I have a few female co-workers here in NYC that are single and every now and then we have a conversation about the ridiculous ratios of women to men in New York City and how Carrie Bradshaw in her Manolo Blahniks destroyed the city by attracting hundreds of thousands of women here to find their own Mr. Big.
I highlight their pain because it just doesn’t make sense to me that someone hasn’t developed tools to even the odds. Between Facebook, Twitter, Match.com, eHarmony, etc., somebody somewhere should be able to come up with some kind of data architecture, API, and license rules that allows everyone to share in a serious money making opportunity.
What I have in mind is a system that would distribute real-time statistical “singles” data based upon neighborhood or general location, enabling ladies (and men) to find love. A user could tap into this main “registry” app at their leisure and check out the prospects in the current area, view proximity to local attractions, industry districts (jobs data), and even filter for time of day.
This, of course, would be “weighted” in the context of the target gender. For example, say a group of women are walking around the city, and they end up in an office district after hours . We all know that there are far less men around that area than during the day. However, this tool would theoretically help the women to find the after work spot that everybody goes to, or suggest alternative options. It would be like having a friend “in the know” or “hunting at the zoo” (to borrow a friend’s phrase).
But on a serious note, if you’re wondering what sparked all of this, it started with this singles map. I think the map is fun to talk about partly because I’m married and I don’t have to deal with dating any more, and partly because the map has its detractors. It first appeared in National Geographic February 2007 and ever since, it has been an interesting conversation piece because of the conclusions it draws, plus I love information graphics.
There are resources like Yahoo Neighborhoods, MSN Real Estate, Kiplinger’s Best Cities, and Sperling’s Best Places. Those tools have their place, but I”m talking about something fun and hip with a slick user interface that singles can use on the go. I mean, it’s been three years later already!
I’m certain that I am not the first to think of this, so there must be an online service or geo-tracking mobile app that I don’t know about. It would be hard for me to believe some enterprising mind hasn’t been all over this.
List any Websites or apps in the comments if you know of any.
I’m sure there would be crazy privacy concerns and there’s also a risk that someone would try to skew the system for their own purposes, but it would be interesting to see it in action. I mean even on a generic level the data would be interesting.
Maybe we can re-define the word “hot spot” and come up with a system similar to the FON shared Wifi network and have single people register in their own neighborhood, anonymously if they choose to.
Come on, people work it out! I can’t think of everything. This situation presents a ripe opportunity for some angel fund investor.
Hang in there, ladies. I’m trying to support you by shining a light on this situation and hopefully answers are on the way. Maybe those boys over at Hot Potato can take a run at this one.
And fellas, if you’re reading this… Yes, I wrote this post to have an excuse to use that headline and use a picture of Beyonce… Later.
1. Online Dating Infographic via Mashable. Full of interesting statistics.
2. The New York Times attempts to demystify online dating.
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