People-Rating on the Web?
February 20, 2003 10:20 AM   Subscribe

David Pogue in today's NYTDirect/CIRCUITS: "Wouldn't it be great if you could look up a person and read the real scoop about what he or she is really like? Think how many weeks of dating you'd be able to avoid if you had capsule summaries available: "Comes across great on a first date, but beware — runs out of stories by Day 2." Or, "A bit unkempt, but you'll never meet a more loving, loyal mate." Or, "Sharp dresser, warped mind." "Of course, a Web site where you could review friends and coworkers probably wouldn't work. I'm kind of kidding about this whole thing." ( still available.)
posted by azul (11 comments total)
A ebay-like site recently came out to rate boyfriends across the US. I saw it on some blog last week but the name of it escapes me.
posted by mathowie at 10:26 AM on February 20, 2003

Hmmm...ex-so lets exes rate each other, but it's been around for a while. You're not thinking of Great Boyfriends, are you?
posted by lbergstr at 10:29 AM on February 20, 2003

Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), in one skit, foretold this whole concept. "You lied to seven women that you liked Meryl Streep!"

I've heard of Google breaking up relationships when someone discovers stuff.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:43 AM on February 20, 2003

Here's the actual article.
posted by faustessa at 11:44 AM on February 20, 2003

And after reading it, I am torn between the reviews I've been writing in my head and the sense that what this creates is a really giant junior high slambook.
posted by faustessa at 11:56 AM on February 20, 2003

How about dating as therapy? Unfortunately, it does not have a search by medical diagnosis.
posted by john at 4:30 PM on February 20, 2003

How can any company do this and not get sued? Despite the disclaimer for Ex-so--like a disclaimer is going to stop someone from suing. I think it reeks of libel.
To win a case for libel the plaintiff must prove:
1. The words complained of are defamatory.
2. The words complained of refer to him.
3. The words complained of have been published to a third party.
How can anyone prove how good someone is in the bedroom? And exes are not going to have malice toward people who broke up with them?

If something like this ever did come to pass, it would do wonders for morality. Imagine meeting someone, pointing your PDA at them to rate them for everything they ever did. Permanent record, indeed.
posted by timothompson at 4:30 PM on February 20, 2003

I can't think of anything more horrendous than knowing what 'someone is like' at the start of a relationship. It's a fallacious argument, anyway: the whole point of successful relationships is that they produce something than the sum of their parts. Allow some space for mystery, and learning, and changing with and for each other, would you?

God, it's like comparing the New York Review of Books' personal pages with those of the London Review. Or it's like that story of the British bloke who goes on a date with an American woman, and by the time the main course arrives, she's told him her life story and revealed just what medications she's on. His response: 'can we not just flirt a bit, please?'

A friend once said something to me about relationships that I'll always remember: if you seriously treated other people as if they were as complex and changeable and so on as you know yourself to be, you'd never talk to them in the first place, because the effort would be too much. But just because it's necessary to simplify people so that you're able to live with them, it doesn't mean you seek out 'knowledge' over experience. What a depressing thought: freeze-dried relationship.
posted by riviera at 5:24 PM on February 20, 2003

Rate this!!!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:26 PM on February 20, 2003

I think the personal ad sites like should all institute a feedback feature like this. So the people who actually did go out with them can post things like "looks nothing like the picture" or "ad neglects to mention he's married" or "so cheap he took me to McDonald's". That would be a fun read.
posted by trust_no_one at 7:59 AM on February 21, 2003

"Wouldn't it be great if you could look up a person and read the real scoop about what he or she is really like?

umm, no.

Call me old fashioned, but I will use the method of conversation and discovery to guide me. I guess this disqualifies me from the 6-minute "power dating" events.

Pogue is an idiot.
posted by lampshade at 11:39 PM on February 21, 2003

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