OkFilter is a program that I made to improve my OkCupid experience. It’s been pretty remarkably effective for me, and the development has been pretty fun. It’s currently on version 0.3, with a GUI thanks to Shoes (unfortunately, the packaged .jar file doesn’t work on Windows, and I haven’t tested it on OSX yet).

What it does:

OkFilter uses Watir to kick off a browser, login to OkCupid, go to the quickmatch page, and start rating the quickmatches automatically according to the given match settings. By default, it’s set to 5-star anyone with a match percentage greater than 90% and 1-star anyone with a match percentage less than 60%. It skips anyone between, and it skips 0% matches on the assumption that they haven’t filled in any questions yet.

Why does it work?

OkCupid is a really well designed service. They’ve put a lot of thought into making something that would provide excellent results to their users, and it shows. If you answer enough questions and properly rate their importance, then the match percentage is a very good predictor of whether or not you’ll actually like someone. This is especially true on the lower end: you’re unlikely to even want to be friends with someone with a sufficiently low match percentage, and for me, that’s around 60%.

OkCupid also seems to believe that less-is-more, and only shows you a limited pool of users at any given time. Even searching for users by match percentage will not show you a comprehensive list of people in an area, unless the specified area is fairly small. They’re doing some filtering on their end to decide who you get to see. There are a few ways to remove a profile from your pool that I can tell: sending them a message, 1-starring their profile, hiding them, and blocking them. When you remove someone from your pool, then OkCupid will replace them with another user.

When you combine the above ideas, you get the following strategy: remove poor matches from the pool as quickly as possible, in the hopes that their replacements will be good matches. OkFilter automates that process.

My experience with it

OkFilter has rated somewhere around 10,000 profiles for me, disliking the vast majority and liking a small fraction. How’s it worked out for me?

All in all, this is a huge improvement on my experience on the website, and I’ve only had this going for a little over a week.