This is a comment by Alastair on the post “How to Successfully Meet Women Online“.
“I wonder if the Nigerian 419 approach has something going for it. Nigerian 419 scammers send barely coherent e-mails, littered with spelling and grammar errors. While some wonder why they would take such an approach, which would alert most people immediately to the fact that the e-mails were a scam, the Nigerians are onto something. Each response requires time and effort to string along to the point where they get money out of them. However, only the most gullible would actually give up money. By writing their e-mails in such an amateur manner, Nigerian 419 scammers pre-screen their respondents for high levels of gullibility.
“Likewise, if you have a very clear idea of what you are looking for in a partner, or are a person of extremely particular interests and tastes, it can be worthwhile to write a profile that aims only to interest that narrow window of people who would share your interests and be of interest to you. Most people seek to be generically pleasing, but there is much to be gained from aiming to be as distinct and ungeneric as possible, to seek to appeal extremely strongly to a small section of your visitors, while being of little direct interest to the majority. Back in the days when I used online dating websites, thinking of ways politely to disinterest those people with whom I had little in common was always a continual concerns.
“The quality of respondents was always much higher when I presented myself in a manner that emphasized highly niche, rather than generic appeal. The number of respondents with limited connection was diminished and those who did respond generally felt that we had something very important in common, because I had aimed to stick out from the generic norm as much as possible. The decreased quantity had the benefit of giving me more time to devote to each contact and increased the quality of those contacts. Besides, ultimately you only need to end up with one person.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Jon Gosier