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Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match Hardcover – January 31, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (January 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953807
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When journalist-turned-consultant Webb ended a serious relationship at age 30, she turned to online dating to seek her match and avoid horrible setups arranged by her mother. The men she meets on JDate and Match.com prove to be disappointments. They are disingenuous about their physical appearance, they stick her with the tab, and one turns out to be married. Rather than being discouraged, however, Webb combines her investigative skills with her mathematical savvy to better understand how online dating sites work, and who is having the most success with them. She creates several male profiles in order to check out how other women are marketing themselves, particularly the women whose profiles pop up right away, indicating they’re getting the highest volume of responses. Once she’s gathered her data, Webb applies it to her own profile, changing the wording and redoing her pictures. Webb’s clever and inventive experiment, as well as her success story, will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever turned to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love. --Kristine Huntley

Review

"Ultimately, [Webb] got her man, 'a storybook wedding' and the longed-for child. Pleasant, geeky fun. -Kirkus Book Reviews

"Data, A Love Story has me reassessing my sad single years, or at least my approach to them. The book is about pragmatic approaches to partnership, the freedom that comes from asking for what you want, and the clarity that follows honest assessments of oneself and others. (And it's brave, funny, and smart to boot.)"  -Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com and editor of Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair

"I LOVE THIS BOOK TO DEATH! Amy Webb has literally written the book on online dating. This is online dating for geeks, for women, for men, for anyone who would like to meet his or her soul mate or just a playmate, and despairs of ever doing so." -Cindy Gallop, founder of IfWeRanTheWorld.com

"A hilarious, fascinating, meticulous, brutally honest, totally engrossing, and utterly delightful book. Webb's color-coded and cross-indexed tale of her quest for exactly what she unapologetically wanted will make you look at data differently--and use it much, much better." -Rachel Sklar, cofounder of TheLi.st and Change The Ratio

"Webb's clever and inventive experiment, as well as her success story, will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever turned to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love." -Booklist

“Amy Webb found her true love after a search that's both charmingly romantic and relentlessly data-driven. Anyone who uses online dating sites must read her funny, fascinating book.”—Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
Data: A Love Story has me reassessing my sad single years, or at least my approach to them. The book is about pragmatic approaches to partnership, the freedom that comes from asking for what you want, and the clarity that follows honest assessments of oneself and others. (And it's brave, funny, and smart to boot.) —Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com and editor of Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair. 
 
“A hilarious, fascinating, meticulous, brutally honest, totally engrossing and utterly delightful book. Webb's color-coded and cross-indexed tale of her quest for exactly what she unapologetically wanted will make you look at data differently - and use it much, much better. —Rachel Sklar, co-founder of TheLi.st and Change The Ratio.
 
“I LOVE THIS BOOK TO DEATH! Amy Webb has literally written the book on online dating. This is online dating for geeks - for women - for men - for anyone who would like to meet their soulmate or just a playmate, and despairs of ever doing so.”—Cindy Gallop, founder of ifwerantheworld.com
 
Data, A Love Story is blunt, witty, charming, informative, smart, and true. It’s Mr. Spock meets Mary Tyler Moore, as logical Amy turns her life into an algorithm and finds the formula for love. Is this the future of romance? Buy this book and find out.” —Jeff Jarvis, author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live and What Would Google Do?
 
“funny, brutally honest, and inspirational even to the most hopeless dater.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“clever and inventive… will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever tunred to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love.”—Booklist
 
“Potent stuff”— Library Journal
 
“Ultimately, [Webb] got her man, ‘a story book wedding’ and the longed-for child. Pleasant, geeky fun.”—Kirkus

 “It's an enjoyable read for anyone, but online daters should definitely check it out, as some of her findings are revelatory.”—XOJane.com

More About the Author

Amy Webb is a professional disruptor (that's a good thing!). She leads a brilliant team that advises a worldwide client base of Fortune 100 and Global 1000 companies, government agencies, media organizations and foundations. Her new book, "DATA, A LOVE STORY" will be available nationwide January 31st (published by Penguin).

Amy is CEO of Webbmedia Group (http://www.webbmediagroup.com), a digital strategy agency that studies disruptive technologies and consumer behavior. She and her team help Webbmedia Group's clients prepare for the future using research, ideation and a vast knowledge of emerging tech. Recently, her team worked with the City of Chicago to redesign, in every aspect, a modern library system for the 21st century.

Amy holds many professional affiliations and collaborates with a number of institutions. She is a newly-appointed Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab and has been a Lecturer at the Columbia University Sulzberger Program at the Graduate School of Journalism since it began in 2007. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Online News Association and on a number of advisory boards, including the SXSW Accelerator, Knight-Batten Awards, Temple University's Journalism Program, International Center for Journalists and International Press Institute. She is a Delegate on the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and has served as one of the Knight News Challenge judges. Amy is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Interactive Media Peer Group) and helps judge the Emmy awards. She founded the for-profit digital media training website Knowledgewebb.net, and co-founded Spark Camp, a 501(c)(3) invite-only working group that brings together the brightest minds in media and technology once each quarter. In addition, Amy is an active startup investor and advisor.

Amy's work has been recognized with awards and nominations from the Columbia Journalism Review, Webby, Editor & Publisher, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, W3 and IAVA, among others. She originally attended the Jacobs School of Music to study classical clarinet. She later graduated with a B.A. in political science. She also has an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Additionally, Amy earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test and speaks fluently. In the past, Amy has served on the adjunct faculty at University of Maryland, Temple University, Tokyo University and University of the Arts.

Amy began her career as a reporter/ writer with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology, media and cultural trends. She has contributed to the New York Times, NPR, Economist and many publications and broadcast shows. She appears regularly as a commentator, and is a keynote/ featured speaker at conferences and industry gatherings around the world. She tweets at @webbmedia and @datalovestory.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

This is a fantastic book that I found both funny and insightful.
Bill M.
The author is a smart sensible lady who has studied the online dating game and come up with some useful suggestions that serious online daters can use.
Barrington
The description of this book mentioned that Ms. Webb used math and data to "game the system."
MSK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 109 people found the following review helpful By L2theP on August 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A friend recommended this book to me, as I have done some online dating in the past. It's a quick read with fine writing, not challenging to get through. However, around the chapter where Ms. Webb starts logging in to jdate as a series of falsified male profiles, I realized I was feeling really, really bothered by this book. I think it goes deeper than frustration with her neuroticism and lack of social grace. It's that she has a genuine disregard for other people! I found it distasteful that she would head off mid-date to email about how terrible the person was. Yes, online dates can be tough and people can be duplicitous, but if you stoop to their level, you are no better. But then - the hypocrisy - the most duplicitous turns out to be Ms. Webb, who engages with 96 women on jdate who all believe her to be a man looking to date women. Perhaps, if she had logged in as a man to check out a few profiles and learn a few tips that might have been okay. But responding to messages of unknowing women was so...mean-spirited. Almost as mean-spirited as her merciless mocking of these women's profiles, who never intended to put themselves out there for such a purpose. She kept smugly comparing herself to a researcher...she likes data and spreadsheets, she knows people at MIT, she knows the formula for the correlation coefficient. Oh, Honey, no. I am a PhD-level researcher, and here's what sets us apart: real researchers have to abide by these things called "ethics" - which would not allow duping all those women because you can't get a man. Many of Webb's take-aways (profile word clouds, photo analysis, etc) have been analyzed and documented on the okcupid dating website blog (so you can go there for tips instead of paying for this book).Read more ›
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Killa Killa on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Amazon reviews tend to have something in common with this book-they run on, and on, and on. Here's the quick hits:

Yes, the author is neurotic (as presented in her book, I'm not claiming personal experience here, thank Jewish Guy) in a non-cute, difficult to sympathize with way.

Yes, this is the self-obsessed, awkward, repetetive, list-heavy, repetetive, repetetive, and perhaps even REPETETIVE book you haven't been looking for. We get it. You have a list. By the third or fourth nitpicking revision, I wanted to get this back to the library ASAP to preserve my patience and faith in humanity.

Is there any practical information here for those seeking online connection to their future spouses? Not unless you consider marketing yourself to the point of straight up false advertising practical information. Shallow, shallow stuff.

I couldn't make myself finish it, but got stuck at the DMV before I could return it to the library, and thus got inspired, much as prison inspires weightlifting: it was better than staring at a wall. That said, I really can't say that reading this was a rewarding experience for me. I felt like I got scammed by a marketing campaign, which is heavy irony considering the content of the book.

Vayo con diablos!
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Chicago Book Addict TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I work with data as part of my job and I've been using online dating sites off and on since 2005 so this book seemed right up my alley. After reading about it on several websites to say I was anticipating reading this book wasn't an understatement.

Basically, Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match is the story of writer Amy Webb who, after being frustrated with her initial attempts at online dating, decides to use data to game the system, have better results, and ultimately meet the man of her dreams. It is a premise that I am sure resonates with many online daters (I know it did for me) because there is often a stark difference between the way dating sites are presented in their commercials and the reality that many online daters experience when they sign up.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure this book lived up the hype. For starters, there just wasn't enough focus on the 'data' part of the story for my tastes. Given its prominence in the title and the degree to which it was referenced in the articles I read before picking up the book, I was disappointed to find it comprised less than 1/3 of the content. The rest talks about the relationship and online dating struggles that lead her to game the system in the first place, the other things she did to improve her chances (i.e. going to the gym, buying new clothes, and getting a hair cut), and her experience dating after doing her research. To me these sections weren't as interesting or compelling to me as the data side of the story in part. I think this was partially because her storytelling wasn't really on par with the memoirs I usually read.
Read more ›
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Chamson on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You're either going to love or hate this book. I did both, so I have to give it a mixed review.

It used to be that if a fellow was decent and kind, honest and faithful, and could provide for a family, he was considered good husband material. Now, apparently, there is a new generation of upwardly mobile Jewish women trolling for trophy husbands on JDate and other sites. This is the story of one woman's neurotic, obsessive search for the perfect prince-doctor-husband. It is occasionally entertaining, sometimes moving, but often annoying. If you share the author's values that people can be reduced to a set of superficial stereotypes, that desires of the heart can be described with equations, and that "anything goes" in the search for your own Perfect mate, then you might enjoy this. The rest of us will cringe and moan as we read it.

The underlying premise of online dating is simple and seductive: given a large enough pool of potential matches and enough information about each one, finding the perfect mate can be reduced to a data-crunching problem. One must gather, filter and interpret the data posted by others and manage and manipulate the data you put out about yourself. The author, a self-avowed data geek who is as happy in a big pile of data as a pig in... well, you know, resolves to become an online dating Ninja so she can find that Perfect Husband needle in a haystack of mostly mediocre men.

She begins by defining the attributes of her perfect husband; not just the top 5 or 10 or 20, but a detailed list of 72 requirements. Of course, "tall, dark and handsome" are givens, but he must also be good with money and "very, very, very good in bed". Naturally, Mr.
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