The best mapping service on the web, Google Maps and inovative new dating service Hot or Not? have been hacked together by some itinerant engineer. I quickly alerted my friend Paco on Messenger and we cruised the bay area looking at the girls (it didn’t matter that I’m in England and he is in Denmark). God knows how long we spent on this thing. Call it voyerism call it lurking hey, call it letching if you want.
I admit I didn’t know about Hot or Not. But even on its own it stands out as a remarkable service. Its jokey theme How hot is she? encourages lurkers to vote and for people to post more outrageous profiles and posed photos that are all linked by technologically bleeding edge del.icio.us style folksonomy tags.
So perhaps I shouldn’t be so amazed at how open people are about what they want. The short tag only profiles makes reading sharp, to the point and amusing but then also gives you the power to feed your obsessions by asking things like show me all the babes in my area who like Jeff Buckley or, more alternatively, prefer kinky sex.
Of course psychologically the thing that the girls are really interested in is how sexy am I really? And Hot or Not will give them a numeric answer. Thats why the photos are so good. But then consider that the majority of girls posted the sex tag. (Don’t ask about the guys – I didn’t even think about checking out the competition.) I guess its like having an avatar, an altered ego that can live out our fantasies in the virtual world – or maybe I’m getting old.
I’ve never had the patience (or the temerity) to go through with the online dating service thing. I’m too cautious – they ask for too much info, but suddenly simply chosing tags, a completely loose format free of grammer, produces sometimes un-thinkable lists (like that one that was always quoted by Borges about the clasification of dogs). So when I fill mine in (in the name of science) I’ll be waiting for that refreshing injection into my character as my attribute tags are sorted alpabetically into hiterto unforseeable witty combination.
Just to give you an idea I’ve just been back to Hot or Not? and this was the second girl that I got to: Rekha from Bradford starts with “art, being stupid, buddhism, cheese” likes “sleeping, smiling, smoking” and ends up with “stars, talking crap, trip hop”
So go and get your character transformed, or live out your altered ego!
I couldn’t get the mapping bit to work for the UK. But HotOrNot was so good you just caught me tag surfing blindly through Yorkshire by the end.
I wrote to the programmer Geoff and he’s going to try and get the maps working for the UK, only he’s tried it for Canada with no success and they have similar postcodes to us.