I don’t attribute this to an alignment of stars, to the mercy of the web gods and goddesses, or even to OKC’s algorithm, which supposedly uses questions such as “What’s worse, book burning or flag burning? Instead, I chalk up my positive online dating experiences -- which, with the exception of a brazen date who rudely shushed fellow theatergoers (referred to amongst my friends henceforth as “the shusher”), has been without horror stories -- to my careful evaluation of a potential match’s username before arranging a date.
Puns and hyper-masculine references were mostly no-gos.
This can of course be explained by the sheer number of users on OKCupid, but also the fact that, as opposed to IRC, the site is transparent, and allows users to see names, photos, ages, and other information by scrolling through a profile.
This frees up users to get inventive; names now include "profession, interests, personal attributes and attitudes, and what the user is seeking or promising," according to Herring.
“Moreover, the kinds of attributes they mention differ from those mentioned by men.” While "cuddly," "silly," "sweet," and "faithful" were all used in the women’s profiles she surveyed, men gravitated towards "sexy," "cool," "mellow," and "great." According to Herring's survey, usernames on OKCupid are an average of 10.5 characters.
She compared this with the number of characters in usernames from Internet Relay Chat logs she's saved from 1999 -- names on that site were an average of 6.6 characters.
I’ll spare you the gush-fest; suffice it to say we’re an awesome match.And of course there is the birth year suffix -- cuteguy1975, for example.” Rudder is right. Unlike gender or income level, there are limitless options and combinations of traits.But, another data-driven researcher I spoke with, Susan Herring, a professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University, found the question intriguing.This includes subbing in "1"s for "i"s, but also riffs on the AOL chatroom trope of suffixing a username with "4u".Although 53 percent of usernames in Herring's survey included a number, very few of the numbers seemed to have personal meaning.