Plentyoffish fires darts at eHarmony, on Valentine’s Day

It may be the day of hearts but a social dating site appears to be shooting darts at well-known peers eHarmony and

Plentyoffish Media Inc., which runs the Vancouver-based free social dating site (POF), today released a white paper indicating that its social media dating formula may be more effective at hooking you up than the matchmaking algorithms employed by other dating sites.

“Traditional online dating sites provide a very linear and singular experience,” said Mark Brooks, principal analyst of Courtland Brooks, a media relations and marketing company that does work with POF. Brooks released a whitepaper titled What is Social Dating?

Courtland Brooks released a graph showing that feature-for-feature it outguns both and eHarmony.

Sites like eHarmony use business intelligence tools to play high-tech matchmaker to millions of people. The company’s goal is to get 20 million people married or in long-term relationships.

Brooks said the process of making users browse through numerous profiles based on specific criteria with the intent of finding a potential date or partner is too time consuming and requires “significant commitment.”

With most online dating systems, he says, users have to create profiles to “sell” themselves to others. “This leads to misleading information or a frustrating experience.”

On the other hand the social networking focus such as that employed by POF offers a “more relaxed environment,” Brooks said.” Social networking is very much centered around activities and interest, which give excellent representation of who a person really is.”

Brooks also pointed to astudy authored by Dr. Eli Finkel, associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, in New York, who pointed to several “pitfalls” of online dating.

“To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” Finkel said in statement. “Our report concludes that that it is unlikely that algorithms can work, even in principle, given the limitations of matching procedures that these sites use.”

He said the biggest factors for predicting long-term success are how couples interact and manage conflict.

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