Quick: what words are Silicon Valley singles more likely to use than other Americans when describing themselves on Internet dating sites?

Try these: queer, decadent, robot, raiding, wacky and telepathic, to name a few.

Musician and exerimental media dude R. Luke Dubois aggregated data from 21 online dating sites in order to create this awesome visualization of the 20,262 unique words found in the dating profiles of more than 19 million single Americans. He then combined that info with geographical data to create an atlas of how people describe themselves and the people they want to be with. Each word appears in the place it is used more frequently than anywhere else in the country.


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So why do we care? Dubois’ project underlines the fact that we can learn a lot about the people who live within a certain geographic area by mining data from social networking sites and combining that with locational information. The result is a powerful way to gain insight into what makes a community tick.

The singles data was harvested from Match.com, LavaLife, PlentyOfFish, Chemistry.com, Ok Cupid, Nerve.com, eHarmony, SinglesNet, PerfectMatch.com, FriendFinder, Great Expectations,  AmericanSingles.com, Date.com, Christian Mingle, Gay.com, Blacksingles.com, Jdate, AsiaFriendFinder, Alt.com, and Collarme.com.

And in case you were wondering, this is not an April Fool’s joke. The technorati just really love their robots, okay?

Know a company that is doing interesting things with social network/geographic data along these lines? Call them out in the comments.

[Image via R. Luke Dubois]


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