I have an idea for a story that features a dating website, so I signed up and created an embellished portrait just to see how the thing works (BTW - I'm not interested in dating - I'm long past that horrible period in life). Ethical? Borderline? I'm not intending to go out with anyone or lead them on. If I get any hits (and who wouldn't want to check me out?), I'll politely let them down (but let them know they were this close to male perfection - sorry ladies, I'm taken). Have any of you done such a thing for research? Thoughts?

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LOL. Is your photo on the dating site the same as the one you use here?
I have to find a photo that will actually attract women.
I'm sure Chow Yun Fat could draw in the ladies.
Come on, I'd do Chow Yun Fat in a Hong Kong minute! I'd date a guy who likes HK action movies too.

I've lurked on boards dealing with topics that relate to various WIPs but I've never gone so far as to create a false profile. I'm curious to know if it's been helpful.

- Christa
I once smoked a cigarette with Chow Yun Fat, but I hadn't had sex with him first. I'm also curious as to whether or not it's been useful, and just how Steve is using it. I'd think you'd need some follow up with the people who answer the ad to get much of anything out of it.
It isn't an ad but an ID set up on one of the dating sites - but I guess that can be considered an ad. Either way, I'm interested in how people communitcate on such sites - and how much one can really learn from people that way - and how I can exploit that into a story.
"Come on, I'd do Chow Yun Fat in a Hong Kong minute!"

Who wouldn't?
Regardless of your original idea for a plot, what you are doing now simply as research has the makings of a fine mystery novel. "Man dabbles in online dating, but without intending to, he actually meets a ....." Spurned love and false identities are plenty of reason for something very bad or good to happen.

Nothing like that, but when my parents when to Hawaii a while ago, I needed to know how the airport greeting process worked, so we arranged for them to be greeted so they could tell me about it. We do all sorts of things for the sake of research sometimes.
Hey, I'd respond to a picture of Chow Yun Fat! Seriously, if you set limits and your girlfriend is on board and is cool with it, why not.
there was some guy who lived in a suburb of minneapolis, -- married, two kids, had this online false identity. he was young girl who'd been a victim of rape...maybe incest...i can't remember. drove a VW bug, and would talk about where he was going over the weekend, what clubs, what bands... his online girlfriends -- who didn't know she was a he -- would sympathize with his dating problems and drug problems, etc. he developed quite a posse over two years, then the whole thing blew up in his face. he was writing a book, and his persona was research, but most felt he took it way too far. i'll have to see if i can find the article about it.


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