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Publisher's Summary

A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony - and met her eventual husband.

After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition - so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.

Then began the deluge - dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.

Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

©2013 Amy Webb; 2013 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Amy Webb found her true love after a search that's both charmingly romantic and relentlessly data-driven. Anyone who uses online dating sites must read her funny, fascinating book." (Gretchen Rubin, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project)

"Data: A Love Story has me reassessing my sad single years, or at least my approach to them. The book is about pragmatic approaches to partnership, the freedom that comes from asking for what you want, and the clarity that follows honest assessments of oneself and others. (And it's brave, funny, and smart to boot.)" (Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com and editor of Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair)
 

"A hilarious, fascinating, meticulous, brutally honest, totally engrossing and utterly delightful book. Webb's color-coded and cross-indexed tale of her quest for exactly what she unapologetically wanted will make you look at data differently - and use it much, much better." (Rachel Sklar, co-founder of TheLi.st and Change The Ratio)

What listeners say about Data, A Love Story

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 2013-02-20

Fun story, but not a how-to

Amy Webb's story, for all of her anal-retentive, control-freaky, color-coded spreadsheets is a pleasure to read. Her story of travel, work, family, and online dating resonates well as a plain fun narrative. The only place it falls short is the title's hint at a how-to. Since it took 8 years to bring the book to its audience, its how-to component is out of date. She acknowledges this in the last pages of the book, that interfaces and options have changed in online dating, so her precise experience isn't what exists currently, making it less relevant. However, her overall method, be clear and honest about what you want in a partner, prioritize, and don't waste time dating people that you know don't meet those needs. So don't read it for the how-to, which few of us would perform to her level of complexity, but for the story of a smart woman, a little heartbreak, a lovingly patient sister, spreadsheets, and finding a loving, compatible partner with whom to share your life. The narration, performed by the author, isn't professional, but isn't poor either. She narrates capably.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Darryl
  • 2014-02-01

Don't waste a dime on this narcissistic hypocrisy.

Would you try another book from Amy Webb and/or Amy Webb and Brian Woolf ?

Never

Would you ever listen to anything by Amy Webb again?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She's the writer

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Data, A Love Story?

All

Any additional comments?

Don't waste a dime or a second on this hypocritical ego-drama. Like so much non-fiction this is, as Capote says, "not writing but typing." Like so much non-fiction, this is obviously a magazine article artificially inflated to book length. Inflate how? Tediously describe opening computer folders, files and applications between maniacal descriptions of time management. Describe a date then describe going home and emailing your mom and sister about the date WHILE REPEATING THE CONTENT. Don't get suckered in by the good title and relevant subject. The narrator/author is a hypocrite: she ridicules her male dates for lying about their weight while adoring herself for lying about her smoking. This is a book people want to like given its subject and some marketing spin. Given the protagonist and the (so-called) writing, however, it's not a book any thinking person (let alone dating veteran) CAN like. No. P.S.: how can she keep saying "graduate degree from Columbia" and "storybook wedding" in the same paragraph? "Storybook"!?!?! Are you eight?

4 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 2013-10-31

Good book, but very one-sided.

I thought that this was a very good, because I've online dated before and was interested in getting to know more about it.

The information given in the book was very cerebral, and I did learn a lot from it. The only problem is that she seems to talk a lot about her bad dates, but a lot of her dates seem one-sided. We all make bad decisions on dates, and she doesn't really seem to talk about what she does. Granted it is hard to fully criticize yourself, I take what I read in this book with a grain of salt.

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  • Krystal
  • 2013-03-12

Striaght advice on online dating

What made the experience of listening to Data, A Love Story the most enjoyable?

I found Amy's narrative fascinating and useful to my own trials with online dating.

What did you like best about this story?

The part at the end with Brian's take on Amy's adventure's.

What does Amy Webb and Brian Woolf bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I loved hearing the story in Amy's own voice.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Data, A Love Story?

I have already made some massive edits to my online dating profiles based on some of the general advice Amy gives in the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jason
  • 2016-03-08

A book about how without a guide

Thanks for writing an interesting narrative about your success with nearly zero help for others

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marziie
  • 2021-08-12

Brilliant System

If you hate and struggle with online dating, I highly recommend this book. It allows you to apply careful analysis to something most people don't put enough thought into while making it enjoyable. It's also must read for the anxious, slightly neurotic dater but it's a method that can be applied by anyone. It will change the way you approach dating and it should because chances are you are doing it wrong.

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  • Mara P.
  • 2021-06-29

Huge dating help

finished in 2 days, whole new perspective on dating and apps, great stuff, highly recommended

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  • K. Bess
  • 2021-02-14

Liked It Enough

Not how-to, but experiential. The writing was too detailed and grating at times. Maybe worthwhile.

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  • D. S.
  • 2018-07-18

Worth the wait

It took several chapters to get to the reason I bought the book but it all comes full circle and makes sense in the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-04-23

Authors personal experience in 1 word have photo..

Very poor material and poorly crafted story. Not recommended. All the story is that having nice photilos in your website imroves your chance significantly....