I noticed an interesting experiment on another blog the other day which utilized word clouds to examine online dating profiles. For those that don’t know, a word cloud is a graphical representation of the frequency amount of each word used in a given text. For example, a word that is used 10 times in a body of text will appear much larger than a word that is only used once or twice. Many of you will have probably seen similar displays as a “tag cloud” on various other blogs and websites.
So, using this concept, I decided to conduct my own little experiment, I went on to Plenty of Fish and copy and pasted the Interests sections of 50 female profiles and converted them into word clouds using the Wordle web-site. I repeated the same process again using 50 male profiles and converted those into their own word cloud.
Female Online Dating Profile Word Cloud
Male Online Dating Profile Word Cloud
As you can see there are both similarities as well as some big differences. Lets see if we can analyze this a bit, shall we?
First, lets take a look at the biggest/most used words in the female profiles, which are:
music, movies, friends, dancing, beach, reading, family, concerts, traveling, shopping, laughing, fun and tattoos
Now lets take a look at the biggest/most used words in the male profiles, which are:
sports, music, movies, fishing, camping, cooking, outdoors, golf, football, beach and travel
Obviously, everyone likes music and movies, so it’s no big surprise that those are two of the biggest interests for both profiles. Also, no big surprise that ‘sports’ is the biggest word in the men’s’ online dating profile.
What I find interesting though is that the female dating profiles tend to be more about emotions and bonding, with words like: friends, family, laughing and fun. While the men’s’ interests are mostly activity based and typically some sort of outdoors activity or sport.
A few more interesting observations:
- The word ‘cooking’ is used more as a male interest than a female interest
- Tattoos and piercings is a fairly common interest for the ladies. Does this mean that they enjoy getting tattoos or do they like guys with tattoos?
- The word ‘bars’ is used more on female profiles than on males
- Though cooking is a big interest in males, the females tend to list specific types of food like: sushi, Mexican, chocolate, and cookies
It really is interesting and I’ve been studying these for over an hour now.
So, how does this help you with your own Plenty of Fish profile? I’m not exactly sure, but I could say that you get a pretty good idea of some of the generic interests that most people list. And if you are trying to generate a profile that is unique and really sticks out, then it might be a good idea to avoid the generic ‘movies’, ‘music’, etc.
A good strategy might be to list specific types of music or specific genres of movies. Even listing a bunch quirky fun things that barely anyone else would add to their online profile would help to spark curiosity and attention.
I saw a good example of someone mixing up their interests section so that it was interesting, funny, and unique:
It has some general interests as well as some that you wouldn’t normally expect. It definitely helps to make the online dating profile more fun.