August 04, 2007

Fascinating discussion by James Hong about Reinventing HotOrNot (part1, part2, part3)

"PEOPLE are the killer app" is probably attained the status of a truism in the social software world. But it's still worth keeping in mind as a "guiding star".

As an intriguing aside. HotOrNot is now smothered with adverts for illicit dating sites. Hadn't really looked at or thought about this before (honest!) but when you start to consider it, internet dating really is bringing a hell of a lot more liquidity and plasticity to what you might call the "sex market".

And in the process, the incumbent institutions (eg. marriage) are getting pulverised. In the UK, the Tories are currently banging the drum for marriage. But look how the internet is a) revealing the degree of dissatisfaction within it, and b) helping people route-around the restrictions it places on their erotic lives.

Is online dating creating a more efficient sex market? And if so, does that mean that more people are now getting more sex? Is that turning up in any other social statistics or having further knock-on societal effects? Are we happier? More at risk from STDs? More dissatisfied?
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