Metadating: exploring the romance and future of personal data

Chris Elsden, Bettina Nissen, Andy Garbett, Dave Chatting, Dave Kirk, John Vines

We introduce Metadating — a future-focused research and speed-dating event where single participants were invited to “explore the romance of personal data”. Participants created “data profiles” about themselves, and used these to “date” other participants. In the rich context of dating, we study how personal data is used conversationally to communicate and illustrate identity. We note the manner in which participants carefully curated their profiles, expressing ambiguity before detail, illustration before accuracy. Our findings proposition a set of data services and features, each concerned with representing and curating data in new ways, beyond a focus on purely rational or analytic relationships with a quantified self. Through this, we build on emerging interest in “lived informatics” and raise questions about the experience and social reality of a “data-driven life”.

Author: Open Lab

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