Algorithms of Socializing Sites

In a world of overflowing data, algorithms that aim to find one’s perfect match have reached a new level. The sales pitch of OkCupid, one of the gratis datingsites based in New York, says “We use math to get you dates!”

Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, actually spends his time assessing data from users in order to gain insights.

Lauren Rosewarne, a sociologist from the University of Melbourne, said, “We like the idea of maths-based matching because it suggests we can set limits to a game of chance.”

Dating sites usually start by asking users about their personal information, as well as their preferences. However, their focus has expanded from gauging compatibility to predicting chemistry.

The “Desire” Era

Studies show that women that use dating sites look for men that are their own age; meanwhile, most men are attracted to women who are between 20 to 22 years old. Although this is an ironic circumstance, it actually illustrates a vital point. Kari Taylor, the marketing director of RSVP, said, “What we know about dating is that what people say they want, and what people really want, are very different in practice.”

Matching people according to their behavior is actually adaptive; it would evaluate what you said that you wanted and your behavior. For instance, if you said you prefer a partner that has a stable income but you always message freelance writers; then, the algorithm will suggest knew recommendations.

The Love Language

Predicting who someone wants to interact with is much harder than predicting who they want to marry. More often than not, people choose who they’re attracted is subjective and may vary according to a set of characteristics.

Steve Carter, the vice president of eHarmony, says their company’s predictive model of attraction has improved for up to 400% in the past couple of years. “We’ve gone from predicting a minuscule amount of variance to predicting a very small amount.”

gratis datingsites

According to Carter, an attraction algorithm is possible since there are so much data available. However, the question remains whether this is the direction that the online dating industry should be heading.

The Tinder app, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on models and algorithms to measure compatibility. They, however, only rely on the original ingredients of romance, looks and distance; the rest is then attributed to “fate”. You might say that the app is about judging people according to their appearance and it may sound shallow, but this is actually what happens in reality.

Whisky Home Delivery Business

The largest distributors of whisky and liquors in the US are investing in a startup tech company in the hopes of accelerating e-commerce in the liquor industry.

According to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America which is a trade association that represent over 350 distributors, they acquired a minor stake in Drizly Inc. that is based in Boston. Drizly Inc. is a tech company that started last 2012 which aims to enable consumers to place orders for alcoholic drinks from the touch of their fingertips.

The Investment Size

The 72-year old company declined to disclose their investment size but according to them, they got a seat on Drizly’s board of directors. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers will be promoting to retailers nationwide to utilize Drizly and help the company go through local laws, as it’ll try to increase the number of cities in which their app will be able to provide door-to-door deliveries.

The Strategic Plan of Drizly Inc.

Drizly Inc. plans to expand to other cities as it is looking to widen its network this year to 18 from 12. They are looking to add over 30 cities nationwide and boost total sales on the retail it handles to approximately over $100 million by the end of this year.

The Drizly app serves as a connection for consumers and retailers who sell alcoholic beverages and deliver orders. The company earns from the monthly fee they charge their retailers.

Online Alcohol Orders

Although home delivery of alcohol is considered legal in some states for years now, most retailers chose not to offer it; thus, online ordering remains uncommon.

This partly reflects the issues such as the need to verify who are placing the orders and whether or not they are of legal age to buy liquor. Drizly solved this issue by equipping deliverymen with smartphones carrying the software that can scan a document and determine whether it’s valid.

According to Trade association members, they’ve taken the unusual step of investment in the startup company because consumers expect to be able to utilize their phones to order products and have them deliver to their homes.

Danny Wirtz, president of the Wirtz Beverage Group, the 6th largest distributor by sales nationwide, said, “It was time for the alcoholic industry to innovate, and Drizly offered a great solution to retailers, to buyers and to users to get product responsibly to consumers on demand.”

The Wines & Spirits Wholesalers’ investment, on the other hand, isn’t just about getting alcoholic beverages into the hands of the consumers whenever and wherever they want it; it is also about securing the position of the wholesalers in the liquor industry from potential disrupters in the market.

Tech Industry Giants on Government’s Proposal on Encryption

A group of tech industry giants that have domains with PR like Facebook and Google, as well as other organizations and Internet security experts, sent a letter to US President Barrack Obama to caution him of the unintentional consequences of policies that are meant to weaken encryption technologies that provide safe and secure communication over the web.

Currently, the White House is deciding whether to mandate that tech companies use only the types of encryption which only provides the law enforcement with the means for access or the so-called “back door”.

The Concerns about the Back Door

The critics of the tech industry have concerns about the “back door” for the United States law enforcement as this can also mean that it can be a back door for everyone, including other government organizations and hackers as well. A Yahoo executive described the proposal as “drilling a hole in the windshield.”

Letter to Obama

The letter to President Obama said, “We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products. We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption of strong encryption technology.”

Giant technology companies have been leading the move to encrypt the communications of their customers so that the government won’t be able to monitor them without passing through the customer. Their efforts, on the other hand, were criticized by some people in law enforcement who argue that the strengthened security will stymie their case investigations.

The Proposal being decided by the White House

The White House is deciding on a proposal on which parts of the key that unlocks web encryption would be held by the government, and which part of the key would be held by the tech companies. This system was articulated by the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Mr. Michael S. Rogers, during his recent speech at Princeton University.

However, according to tech experts, such solution won’t work. In fact, the White House’s own handpicked NSA review group members (several of them also signed the letter to the President) also highly advice that the government should support the efforts to toughen security encryption.

The Letter Signatories

The letter was signed by over 140 tech companies and other groups like Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch. It was also signed by about 60 experts in security and policy including one of the co-inventors of the public key cryptography, Whitfield Diffie, and the ex-White House counterterrorism czar Richard A. Clarke.

Recently, Apply has turned on end-to-end encryption in its mobile operating system. Facebook did the similar thing as well in its WhatsApp messaging service. And Google also announced its end-to-end encryption system; however, they are still yet to switch it on as the default setting. As soon as Google turns it on though, law enforcement agencies will have to go directly to the user and not the companies in order to read the messages they wish to see.

RingBoost’s Paul Faust on Primary Phone Numbers

Companies actually spend way more money to become more memorable to the consumers. If you are specializing in a certain industry, you’re probably spending a good fortune in terms of promotion; whether or not, it is lead generation, ads, TV, radio, and more.

While you spend more money in generating leads, why don’t you acquire a memorable phone number to drive those leads to the right place?

Paul Faust, the Vice President of Business Development for Primary Wave Media and RingBoost, the leader of the vanity number marketing said when consulted about the legal services industry, “Given a choice, most lawyers would prefer to be contracted by a prospect on the phone rather than through email or a website lead.” This absolutely makes sense because according to some studies, inbound call convert more revenue than web leads; thus, having a memorable landline phone number would most definitely help on your ROI.

RingBoost

Image: aonesms.com

Primary Phone Number Products

When asked about various primary phone number products in the industry today, Paul enumerated four of them.

Vanity Phone Numbers

According to Paul, these are the numbers that are often just words or a mix of letters and words that are designed to be remembered easily by people. They can be assigned depending on one’s geographic location to protect a company’s territory. They help create a strong brand in the industry. An example of which would be a firm using 1-800-HURT-NOW.

Easy Dial

The easy dial products are numbers that also help in quick recall. An example of this would be 1-800-180-8000.

Local Phone Numbers

Instead of settling for the phone number that the telecommunications company provides you, you can personalize a local number to be either a vanity or an easy dial. According to Paul, most businesses want both local and toll-free numbers; thus, they opt for this one.

Tracking Numbers

Big companies that have made it their objective to advertise their products a lot usually use tracking numbers in order for them to easily determine which advertisers deliver the best rates. However, accurate tracking isn’t always this easy. If you want to keep tabs on your ads accurately, it’ll probably best that you ask how the consumer heard about your company.

Easily Recalled Phone Numbers

Note that easily recalled phone numbers offer great help in terms of referrals. If the source of the referral tells another person to look you up, but he/she searches the web to find you, there might be a great chance that they’d find another company instead.

You might ask, so is one type of primary phone number better than the others? Should you acquire both local and toll free numbers? Paul Faust said, “It depends. Phone numbers are just one tool in your marketing arsenal, and the best choice for your firm depends on what you are currently doing in the marketplace. This is why the folks at RingBoost work with you to bring the perfect phone number solution specifically for your firm. Every market is different — usually, it is best to default to letting prospects decide by giving them both a local and toll free option.”

.sucks, Is it Helpful or Hurtful for the Company?

The social media networks and the Internet such as Twitter and Facebook have already provided an outlet for their unsatisfied consumers, anonymous haters and disgruntled employees to vent their discouragement and fury against companies. However, the venting may reach a new level in a couple of months from now since there is a new Internet address with the suffix, ‘.sucks’.

Companies will be able to decide if it is worth paying $2,500 just to tie up with .sucks address within the access period which will last for sixty days. This has been set aside for celebrities and trademark owners that begun on March 30. If they will not, anyone all throughout the world can register the name at the same time, set-up their personal protest site.

Recently, another controversial suffix, .porn also started their early access period. They were able to draw registrations from Harvard University, Microsoft and even Taylor Swift. Celebrities are more experienced with the problems that arise regarding new suffixes that begun doing business 4 years ago. The latest offbeat suffixes are now added to the domain name system of the Internet and they are part of the hundred suffixes approved in the last two years. Most of them are far more harmless than the names released today like .party, .accountant and .shoes. The new suffixes that are out recently are intended to release the people’s creative energy as well as few of them will be marketing dollars through breaking free from the crowded domain names like .com space. Today, more than 100 million names were already used in .com that includes the entire words in the dictionary.

The non-profit ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers which is responsible to govern the whole system has established a procedure with regards to adding new suffixes. It started in 2011 and they are gradually working in about 2,000 initial applications. As of today, they have been able to approve over 500 and more are added everyday. According to James Cole, ICANN’s spokesman, their role is about consumer choice enhancement, marketplace creativity and increasing competition. In most cases, what the organization envisioned is also the same with the things happening in the Internet world. For instance, Quiksilver is the top maker of surfing gear; they snapped new domains such as .surf group, boradshorts.surf and wetsuits.surf.

The success going way for other suffixes could happen even in the most controversial domain name which is .sucks, according to John Berard, Vox Populi Registry’s CEO. This company oversees the registration of the new suffix. Berard said that in 2015, the suffix they use is not a pejorative anymore but it gives more emphasis. This was his statement after so many comments from the name used like Twitter said that harassment sucks. The company said they pose it as a challenge.

Companies can register .sucks using their own names at the same time; the sites will be used to collect comments and complaints from their customers. Also, the sites can be run by ordinary people and learn from the posts given, as suggested by Berard. He further said that their new domain name will not bring harm but opportunity so that the Internet world can create a place for collaboration as well as criticism. The cost of the new domains is $2,500 for companies while for consumers; it is worth $250 after the initial period ends. Also, there is an option of $10 each year if the consumer agrees that his site is going to be part of the discussion of the network of the company.

There are some complaints that the offering of .sucks is a kind of extortion, they are aiming that various firms will be compelled to buy this new name to avoid potential discontentment or tainting of their brands.