Posts about the 21Pictues website – news, publicity, new projects, technical issues etc.
Anyone who's tried online dating knows that it can be fun if you're after a hook-up, but pretty unsatisfying if you're looking for something more meaningful. We're crowdfunding an app via Kickstarter that uses insights from psychology to make online dating a whole lot easier for relationship-seekers. Feel free to back us here!
One of the important ways in which 21Pictures differs from other dating sites is that you get to suss people out by looking at pictures of their lives, rather than by analysing written self-descriptions or lists of attributes. The aim is to encourage people to make intuitive judgements about who they might want to date, similar to how we do it in the "real" world.
Sometimes, though, intuitive judgements can lead us astray. Everyone sees the world through the lens of their own experiences and beliefs, and it’s easy to think that we've "got" someone based on a few scraps of information, such as how they look. We're great at fitting people into boxes. Often we get it right. But not always.
At our recent launch party at Lights of Soho, we conducted a social experiment to see whether people of similar “types” were more likely to appeal to each other, or find each other attractive. This was not, we’re happy to admit, in the tradition of rigorous science. The aim was to illustrate – metaphorically – how intuitive choices and other psychological forces guide our social decision-making, which is something we think about a great deal at 21Pictures.
It was psychology meets social at the newly opened Lights of Soho club last week, when journalists, bloggers, photographers, artists, designers, fashionistas, tech folk and social bees rubbed shoulders with some of our members at our media launch party. Neon artworks by Chris Bracey and Tracey Emin, personality-themed cocktails (courtesy of Babicka), oysters (of course!) and a social experiment involving intuitive decision-making made it a buzzy mix of fun and education. 21Pictures has been up and running since January, but this was our official opening bow in public. Appropriately, there were cameras a-plenty. Here is some of what they captured...
On Facebook, the lives of others can seem so much more appealing than our own. Usually this is because people tend to post only the appealing bits – which is why you don’t often see pictures of them first thing in the morning.
But the “Facebook effect”, as it’s become known, is very real. Looking at what other people do – or just looking at their faces – has a profound influence on how we view or rate ourselves.
This post first appeared on BrainBlogger.com on 31 March 2015
In this age of rationality and endless data, intuition is often looked on as an inferior means of problem-solving. Yet in many situations, even in the hard sciences, it is the most useful means of all. “I believe in intuitions and inspirations… I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am,” remarked Albert Einstein before his theory of relativity was tested and confirmed as the basis of a new way of looking at the world. Read the full post on BrainBlogger.com
A profile made from pictures is like a mood board of your life. But what kind of pictures should you use? Guest blogger Daniela Bowker of Photocritic gives some professional advice
All good pictures tell stories. It's what they're meant to do. Sometimes the story is obvious, like a flashing neon sign; sometimes it's more subtle. It's the difference between a photo of you splashing in the puddles with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, and one of the Eiffel Tower reflected in the damp pavement. Both of them tell the story of Paris in the rain. One's a scream, the other's a whisper.
Bad photos don't tell good stories. They leave you in squinty-eyed wonderment. At Photocritic, a website dedicated to photography which I edit, we see a lot of disappointing photos. Crowd scenes or uninspiring snapshots of tourist attractions are some of the worst offenders. The tell-tale sign of a photo without a story is when you don't know where to look; your eye wanders about the picture and you think, "What am I meant to be looking at here?"
Pictures carry a lot of subtle information that is hard to express in words: that's one of the basic ideas behind 21Pictures. But how much can pictures really tell us about someone?
To test that out, we asked one of our colleagues here at 21P HQ (Sam) to choose six photos that sum him up in some way. We then asked another colleague (Arianna) to comment on Sam's images and describe what each one says about him. This was a blind "date": even though they know each other, Arianna didn't realise she was looking at Sam's pictures, since none of them show his face.
Scroll down to see what happened, including Sam's reaction to Arianna's discerning analysis. You'll be glad to know they're still friends.
You're probably thinking, not another dating site! But if you sign up and have a look around, hopefully you'll notice that this one feels different. Instead of words, you describe yourself entirely in pictures – not just a few headshots, but pictures that give people a sense of what you're like. Imagine a noticeboard of your life and you're not far off.