Attractive screen names for dating sites
She conducted a small study to determine whether there are trends in username choice, and whether the way we choose usernames has changed since Internet’s nascent days.
She surveyed over 300 usernames on OKCupid, coding them for information relating to the following categories: gendered, real name, numbers, trying to be funny, geographical reference, hobby/interest, profession, sex/love, physical attributes, nonphysical attributes, sentential, “random” words, meaning unclear.
"Five of 71 men and six of 93 women included their birth year, and two men and two women included the current year, 2015," Herring said.
Age, after all, is just a number -- a number that's listed prominently on OKC user pages, so displaying it in a username is a little redundant.
This includes subbing in "1"s for "i"s, but also riffs on the AOL chatroom trope of suffixing a username with "4u".
Although 53 percent of usernames in Herring's survey included a number, very few of the numbers seemed to have personal meaning.
This can of course be explained by the sheer number of users on OKCupid, but also the fact that, as opposed to IRC, the site is transparent, and allows users to see names, photos, ages, and other information by scrolling through a profile.
This frees up users to get inventive; names now include "profession, interests, personal attributes and attitudes, and what the user is seeking or promising," according to Herring.
But he concluded that from a data standpoint, usernames are too unique to draw specific conclusions.“There’s too much variety in the names to really get a sense of whether one particular one affects incoming messages,” he told me in an email.“There are certainly trends -- people append the word 'taco' a lot, but that’s because we suggest it, kind of as a joke.They were, to me, the pseudonym equivalent of a cheesy pickup line.Much more appealing were earnest self-depictions or vague, consciously nonsensical noun mish-mashes.