Crush Finder experiment gets off the ground at Princeton


And who says these college students aren't getting anything done? The Princeton University student government announced, among other things, a web site wherein students could list up to five other people they have crushes on, and if two people list each other, the web site puts the two potential lovebirds in touch with each other. The site went online on (appropriately enough) Valentine's Day, and student reaction was swift, with over a thousand students signing up before the day was over.

You can pay Crush Finder a visit, though since you're (probably) not a student you can't actually submit anything, but the gossip in you can check out the top ten most crushed-on students.

Comments (25)
  1. Randolpho says:

    That is amazing.

    What’s most amazing, I think, is that people are desperate enough for some lovin’ to actualy use it.

    Still, I guess it’s a better way to find a pen pal than AFF. :)

  2. nksingh says:

    We had something like this at Yale, just before http://www.facebook.com took off.  It was called YaleStation Dating and it worked precisely this way.  There was a big controversy about it actually having been a ripoff of Wesleyan.

    I think people are desperate enough to use this at places like Princeton and Yale because there just isn’t enough time and social tradition anymore for serial dating to find that person, but people still want lovin’.  

  3. Nish says:

    Google’s Orkut has had this feature for a while now. You can add someone to your Crush-list, and if that person adds you back to his/her Crush-list, you are both notified. This helps to avoid embarrassing proposals that get rejected. I know at least one couple who were friends for years without telling each other their feelings, and finally found out via the Orkut Crush feature. They are married now.

  4. Nish says:

    Btw, Raymond – you are single, right? Maybe this is just what you need to us ;-)

  5. Nish says:

    Btw, Raymond – you are single, right? Maybe this is just what you need to use ;-)

  6. Neal says:

    My first thought when reading this was, I really wish this existed on a big scale.  

    How cool would it be to go to a web site, enter your name and the area you were in, and be told so-and-so from the past was thinking of you too or had left a message?

    Me first: Stephanie Keefer, Evansville Indiana, mid 1980s –  I was shy, lonely, and had such an enormous crush on you.  We we drinking too much, I tried to put the moves on you, and I copped a feel.  I violated your trust, hurting you and our friendship.  Once sober I lost my courage and I was too shy and embarrassed to speak of it and I failed to give you the apology you so deserved.  

    Every time I saw you my heart ached for what I’d done and for what I’d failed to do.  Every time you pulled back in a close moment I recognized and regretted the violation you felt.  Still I couldn’t find the strength or words to apologize.

    To this day, 20+ years later, my heart still aches with regret for my actions, for my failure to apologize, and for what I lost with you.  You were very special to me, more than you ever knew, and I was a fool and I’m sorry.  If I knew where you were I’d find the words in person but since I don’t I hope you’ll find these some day.

    Sorry Raymond. I was actually awake late last night thinking about her and you provided an opportunity I had to take.  You can tell me to get my own blog and delete the post, but I hope you won’t.  

  7. David Walker says:

    What a horrible background!  It makes me dizzy.

  8. Philip Taylor says:

    Neal’s message reminds me of Lost Loves on BBC Radio 2 (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/sunlovesongs/lostloves.shtml – I have no idea if anyone else runs the same kind of thing, but that’s the one I’ve heard). Often there are people looking for others who they lost contact with decades ago but have been thinking about ever since.

    The bandwidth of a ten-minute-per-week section of a radio show is somewhat lower than that of a web site, but at least there are enough listeners that it seems to occasionally succeed in finding people. I guess Raymond’s blog doesn’t have quite the right audience for such success…

    Not that I ever listen to that programme myself – my parents just had it on sometimes ;-)

  9. Peripatetic says:

    Am I the only one who read that as "Crash Finder"  and was all excited to read about a new cutting-edge debugging tool?

  10. Stephanie says:

    Neal –

    I’ve been looking for you for years! Please call me ASAP # 219 765 1 ..2/sd~…~~

    carrier lost

  11. cK says:

    Almost all the personal site have this kind of feature, except it’s not really working as you think it might work.  You either get a note in your email indicating that you have a crush or whatever from someone at a specific personal site.  This is just to entice you to join, thus making them popular, thus making them rich.  Hasn’t everyone receive such a gimmick?

  12. Neal says:

    I’ve been looking for you for years! Please

    call me ASAP # 219 765 1 ..2/sd~

    carrier lost

    Nooooooooo….. Stephanieeeeeeeeee

  13. Grunch says:

    Thank God for this! I’ve been lying awake at night, worrying myself sick that college students aren’t getting laid.

  14. Dave says:

    I studied the site carefully and found several denial-of-affection exploits.

  15. Jonathan says:

    Wow… I did this exact thing 7 years ago.

    Except you could list 20 people, had 7 kegs, and 97% of the school came ;)

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=booty+site:www.tsl.pomona.edu&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

  16. foxyshadis says:

    Check out a couple of previous attempts at this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_matching

    (Naturally the LJ version was mired in drama, fancy that.) A thousand real people in one day on a single campus is pretty darn awesome uptake though. What’s that, 5% of the market?

    [Try 20%. Princeton is a small school. -Raymond]
  17. Richard Berg says:

    The "web 2.0" trend will only lead to more of these kinds of services.  For instance, http://matchrevolution.com/ plugs into the Facebook API for an instant 8-figure userbase.

  18. Dan says:

    Is this really the top crushee?

    http://www.princeton.edu/~jshwang/profile/profile.htm

    I’m a guy and all – so maybe I’m missing something…

    [This is explained in the linked article. -Raymond]
  19. David Walker says:

    Dan: I’m a guy too, but what’s wrong with Jonathan Hwang?  Great list of books, good looking, great taste in music…  Maybe he’s charming in person too.  :-)

  20. PatriotB says:

    It’s exactly like CrushLink (from the late 90s), except that it’s university-centric and (presumably) not a spam hole.

  21. Dan McCarty says:

    Neal: not a bad idea, if Stephanie ever searches for her own name on the Internet this is likely to be one of the top hits because of the OldNewThing’s ranking.  Unfortunately, if you were trying to actually get ahold of her, you didn’t leave a way for her to contact you…

  22. Luci Sandor says:

    Heck, they will allow any NetID, including employees (like me). I will add Hwang as my one and only crushee, I like his tastes in books and music.

    Enrollment is about 4500 including grad students, so I am afraid all the fun was over after the first day.

  23. Neal says:

    Yeah, I know Dan, it was deliberate.  I’m most interested in Stephanie getting the apology she deserved.  She’s no doubt married as the best usually are.

    Besides, contact info would leave me open to be annoyed by spammers or toyed with by the immature.  I’m sure if she ever finds the note, and wants to, she’ll figure out how to leave something (somewhere) for me to find when next I search – and I do now and then.

    Only she (or a common friend) would know my last name, a common friend’s, or where I went to school, etc.  so no one else can fake me out.

  24. Matt says:

    >> Besides, contact info would leave me open to be annoyed by spammers or toyed with by the immature.

    Yeah, cause only mature people bleed their heart out about 23 year old regrets on technology web sites.

    Sorry Raymond.

  25. James says:

    We had the same system at Cambridge some years ago (sometime around 2000?), at romance.ucam.org, which currently has 842 active users (and over 500 days of uptime, with 6 million messages sent, apparently!).

    The downside is, if you get an e-mail saying "somebody has a crush on you", it’s fairly easy (particularly with 5 slots on your list) to brute-force it: enter ‘suspects’, five at a time, you’ll know who listed you very quickly. Perhaps Princeton, with such high uptake, will avoid this: if someone listed you, it’s more likely to be ‘real’ than just curiosity about whether or not you listed them.

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