What a fun topic. I think just about anyone could find this one interesting.
That said, I found that the author, unfortunately, really didn't deliver. Here are some things I felt the book was a little short on:
- Algorithms. There's a great set of correlations about halfway through the book from the blog of one of the guys who started OKCupid, but that was about it. In other words, the behind-the-scenes stuff about how all this works really wasn't there. Instead, what we get is a lot of history and individual stories. Interesting, but just not the same.
- Lots of jumping around. I like when an author threads a bunch of stories together, but - honestly - I had a really hard time keeping track of who's who or even what a particular section was about. And his attempts at transitions from one part to another (when there) seemed rather forced.
- Somewhat surprisingly obscene material. Maybe this was in there solely for titillation, or maybe that's just the way things are these days. I don't know. It really didn't seem necessary however. I'm not a prude, but I thought it was really overplayed.
- Wearing his politics on his sleeve. It's pretty obvious that he's rather liberal when it comes to sexual matters. He doesn't seem to take the more conservative eHarmony very seriously, and he also goes a little nuts on the international sites (he sees them as imperialistic exploitation). I'm pretty liberal myself, but could definitely have used a little more balance.
- Lack of real depth. This is very much a journalistic effort. If you're expecting a Dan-Ariely- or Malcolm-McDowell-like work, you'll be disappointed.
Just to even things out, though, I really did like his cynical musings on the whole process - the questions he raises about the combination of commerce and romance. In particular, I liked his argument about how it's simply not good business to pair your clients off and make them happy. You really want them to keep fishing, to never really be satisfied, to always think there are more options, to keep coming back to the site.