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Fun with Hot or Not

Let me begin by admitting that I recently posted my picture to that inimitable public service, Hot or Not Dot Com. If you don't know (and who doesn't?) hot or not is the internet's premiere resource for discoving if you are, in fact, hot, or (get this) not. You post your picture and people go through, rating you 1-10, depending on your hotness.

          I posted one of the "before" pictures from my and Nick's prom adventure. The idea was to look as nerdy as possible. Hey, it was something to do.

          I discovered that the hot or not people also host a dating service, called "Meet Me at Hot or Not". You got to write a profile and include keywords so that people could search for you with similar interests. If you know my brothers and I at all, you know that as soon as we saw this, we knew it had to be exploited.

My profile was as follows:

Introduction/bio (min. 250 characters): When I'm not being described as "somber" and "wan," I enjoy inventing preposterous queer theory readings of "Will and Grace". Please someone give me a makeover!

Keywords (max 30): affectation, air conditioning, austen, bears, being ugly, books, buffy musical, critical analysis of buffy, dinosaurs, glasses, hackers, lance and eskimo, librarian, linux, nerd, open source, orcs, silence, spacemen, tina fey, triviality, villainy, wilde

NOTE: From these, the only ones that actually appear on my profile page are as follows: "bears, books, dinosaurs, glasses, hackers, linux, nerd, silence, wilde"

I guess they only show each keyword for others to see if it seems like something someone else would have. But I'm pretty sure you can still search using keywords that don't appear on the profile page.

I actually started out with a wackier set of keywords, but once I realized that they abridge them, I toned them down (which had the added effect of making them more true). I figured mildly weird but visible is better than horrendously weird but unknown.

The original set was as follows: "hackers, villainy, cobol, bear baiting, grog, orcs, interests, sashaying, being ugly, edutainment, great barbarians, spacemen, commandos, jacques redcloud, elitism, the caste system, regimes, jingoism, zoog, punishment, manifest destiny, slotted spoon, lumps, aging gracefully, ropes, nunnery, gunnery, ravaging, dandruff, lance and eskimo"

But of the original set, they only displayed "hackers, interests, ropes."

          It's not, dear readers, that I want to meet someone. It seems like most of the people on Hot or Not don't. Many of them mention specifically that they have significant others. And Nick was right there while I was posting my stuff. In fact, he posted some of his own. (Note: His profile has even less to do with his real personality than mine does to me. The idea with him was to make a suave, sophisticated character with a lot of knowledge about Things. He later removed his profile because he was recieving too many Meet Me Notes.)

Introduction/bio (min. 250 characters): The books one reads and the food that one eats-- therein lies the mettle of a man. Actor, poet, scientist, troubadour: I refuse to characterize myself except to state this one belief: A man may see all there is to see and still know nothing.

Keywords (max 30): atomic theory, bifocals, chamber music, civil war, cobol, cryptography, deep blue, dna, ehrlberg equation, fasting, hot chicks, john nash, korean war, luc besson, madness, manta rays, mir, neuroscience, paris, pascal's triangle, psalm 186, richard feynman, self-denial, spelling bees, the skeleton, theology, virgil, war of 1812, yoga

Visible Keywords: cryptography, dna, hot chicks, yoga

          It would be impossible for me to meet someone through this service anyway. Including any contact information in your profile was strictly prohibited. And we know they check, because they did reject some of our attempts. (Mainly, they objected to weird photos, including Nate's rotating gif of himself and Jacques' close-up photograph of a plastic hockey player.)

          They keep you from contacting each other for free. It's all a big capitalist thing. Unless you pay for the service, you can only send form letters to people--selecting out of four possible sentences five different times to form a completely uncreative letter. If you do pay, you can send actual emails that you wrote yourself, and people can send them to you. Theoretically, you can coast if you just write to people who have paid, but there aren't many. It's only six bucks, so if you're serious about meeting someone, it's not that big a deal. But most people--like me--aren't willing to cross that line. Once you pay, no matter how little, you're basically saying "Yes. I seriously want to use this service to meet friends--maybe more." Whatever! I can meet about the same calibre of friends for free by hanging out at the local mall.

          It's mildly annoying when you do meet someone who seems vaguely cool, and you can't write to them. Obviously, no one cool will ever have paid. And it's not like I'm gonna pay to meet the one person who seems all right, when, after talking to them, they will probably turn out to be lame anyway. People need a no-risk method.

          Sure, you can meet people online by browsing their personal websites, and altogether ignoring the middleman that is Hot or Not. But that would be too easy.

          What I propose is a revolution. Provide a way for people, with no money but with access to a common search engine, to find you based on your profile at Hot or Not. Seems like it could be done. Most of the people who make Hot or Not sites probably at least have some free webspace somewhere. I suggest that those people simply paste their H or N profile somewhere on their webspace. Thus, when I search for that entire thing, in quotation marks, THEORETICALLY, their page is the only one that should come up.

          I've already done this on this page. Now it's up to you.


- Laura