Below is an article from Men’s Health magazine,
along with some of my comments.
FIND HER ONLINE
Make yourself irresistible on Internet
dating sites without lying — and get
by Lisa Jones
pp. 150 & 152
FIRST QUESTION: ARE YOU SINGLE?
Second question: Are you online?
If yes to both, skip to where I tell you how to spend less
time pecking away at your keyboard and more time getting
some e-booty, or a meaningful relationship — whatever
your goal is.
If yes to number one and no to number two — you’re a
single guy who’s not looking online — let’s chat. I know
what you’re thinking. When I put my L-search on broadband
a few months ago, I felt very late to the party. And I
thought I would hate it. But after giving it a go, I
solemnly say, if you’re offline, if you’re single, and
if you want to hook up, it’s time to upload your kisser
and your brand of smooth for the millions of ladies online
to check out.
Be aware: The e-flashing pond is more competitive
than ever.  On most sites, men outnumber women.
On match.com, the guy-girl ratio is 60:40. On others,
it’s worse: 70:30.  That’s why you need this guide.
“Any guy who’s complaining about being single, and who
at this late date does not have an online profile as
part of his diversified dating portfolio, should stop
complaining”, says Lynn Harris, a journalist who helps
online daters perfect their profiles at personalstrainer.com.
“Having a profile online is like having another credit
card in your wallet; it’s there as backup.” 
 (Virgo) This sounds backwards to me. Wouldn’t it
be *less* competitive for men now than it used to
be in the early days of the internet, 10-15 years
ago, when a much higher percentage of the people
online were male?
 (Virgo) I was under the impression that it was
a lot worse than this for men. Heck, I’d think
that the I.T. and computer science people who
frequent these groups would feel that a ratio
of 70:30 isn’t all that bad, given what they’re
used to, so the fact that they still complain about
the ratio suggests to me that the 60:40 and
70:30 figures might be a little sugar-coated.
I’m guessing that by including *all* age groups
in this figure, it misrepresents how things actually
are for guys in their 20’s and for women over 50.
 (Virgo) Am I missing something? If anything, I would
think the competitiveness of online dating for men
makes it less important for a guy to have an online
profile, not more important. Actually, I think there
are other reasons for what Lynn Harris said, and the
author should have started a new paragraph with Lynn’s
comments, since Lynn’s comments don’t fit all that
well with her paragraph’s topic sentence: “The e-flashing
pond is more competitive than ever.”
It’s just another way to meet women. My brother (jokingly)
calls his online pool of ladies his “stable”. As in, “I have
a few new ladies in my stable this week”. I think you should
start building one. I’ll help.
1. SHOW A GOOD FACE
Women don’t respond to messages without photos. We’re
shallow. We’re suspicious. We think you’re ugly and have
a wife. On match.com, profiles with photos get up to 10
times more responses than those without. Make sure the
photo is taken up close and in focus — no sunglasses,
no hats. Would it kill you to smile?
One man I went out with had a profile shot of himself
at the wheel of a sailboat: superhot. Normally I don’t
recommend props, and normally I’d be suspicious of a
show-off. But this worked. 
What I won’t respond to is a photo of a shirtless
man — even if you’re on the beach; even if you have
Men’s Health abs. It is never a good idea. In the
female mind, hottest is the man who appears not to
realize he’s attractive. The shirtless man thinks
he’s hot, and that instantly makes him unhot. 
 (Virgo) I think “suspicious of a show-off” is a
good comment, but I also think the sailboat guy
is almost over the top in this regard. The only
similar thing I can think of that would be more
obviously showing off a guy’s wealth and exciting
lifestyle would be if the guy had a profile shot
of himself at the controls of an airplane. I think
the guy’s appearance, and not his sailboat prop,
is what “worked” for her (unless the author is
not being honest with her feelings about props).
 (Virgo) I agree with the shirtless issue, but I’d
revise the author’s reason a little. It’s not bad
because he thinks he’s hot. Having confidence is
hardly a turn-off for women. It’s bad because it’s
juvenile and because many women are going to feel
insulted by his implication that his having a nice
chest would be important to them (even if it really
is, although I don’t think it would be for most women).
2. GIVE GOOD WORD
It’s like freshman camp:
Show, don’t tell. Saying you’re funny has no meaning
if nothing in your profile makes me laugh. Saying
you’re adventurous isn’t nearly as interesting as
describing your kite-boarding weekend. 
Do a cliché check. Even if you _are_ a good listener
who likes museums, sunsets, and walks in the park,
don’t say so. Cheese like this gave personals a bad
Spelling counts. Not because we’re picky bitches. But
when we see misspellings, we think, “How badly does
this guy want to meet someone?” says Harris, who is
also the cocreator of www.breakupgirl.net. “Maybe
that’s not fair. But that’s all we have to go on.” 
 (Virgo) I think “intelligent”, “athletic”, “have
lots of money”, “sensitive”, etc. are each easy to
get across without saying it _and_ your point would
better made. That’s assuming the adjectives are true,
of course. If I was looking for someone and I was
picky, I’d probably skip over the people who *say*
they have the qualities I’m looking for and only
consider the people who *show* the qualities I’m
looking for. And if I wasn’t picky, it wouldn’t matter,
so “showing” comes out as the optimal strategy.
 (Virgo) This is a no-brainer to me. Since spelling
counts in almost everything else you write — business
reports, office memos, letters to another company
proposing a business proposition, legal briefs,
advertising statements, minutes of a meeting,
travel expenditure reports, etc., misspellings
in an ad show that you rank almost everything
else you do as more important.
3. RECRUIT A WINGWOMAN
My friend Matt (whom I used to date) sheepishly told me
he had started online dating. Of course, I stalked him
Yikes! The handsome face I know was in his photo — but
he was holding a baby. (Bad move. It’s cloying, and makes
a woman wonder whose baby it is.) And his answer to the
question “What’s your favorite on-screen sex scene?”
involved gay porn. (It was a joke, but the humor didn’t
translate.) I called him, I advised him. He changed the
answer, he changed the photo. He immediately received
messages from five new women. (And that’s the power of
my advice, boys.)
Before going public, ask a lady friend (the kind
would like to date ) to look at your profile. Or
hire someone: At www.personalstrainer.com, an expert
can tune up your profile or write it for you.
 (Virgo) It seems to me that this would be a good
use of someone who LJBF’ed you, whether we’re
talking about a guy or a girl.
4. CHOOSE THOUGHTFULLY
I have this theory about dating, and it’s especially
true online. When you go after a woman you’re truly
interested in — instead of just any random girl —
you’re more likely to get her. You come across as
enthusiastic and genuine. When you first start e-dating,
there’s an eBay effect: You want everything you see.
But if you’re writing generic messages to hundreds of
women, they won’t respond.
“Women are actually quite sophisticated online daters
today”, says Trish McDermott, who was part of the
founding team of match.com, where 15 million people
are members. “The know when they’re getting spammed —
when a guy is just playing the numbers game.”
5. MAKE ME CARE
Winks are for wusses. (It’s a half-assed message that
says my profile caught your eye.) I’m not so crazy
about the IM option, either. Send me an actual e-mail.
In the subject line, most guys write “Hi” or “Hey” ,
so at least add my user name. Or write something like
“Caring is creepy”, because my profile says I like the
Garden State soundtrack. Then I’ll feel like you get me.
It doesn’t matter much what you say in your message.
 Make a connection based on something you noticed
in my profile. Say that of all the women you saw online,
I’m the one who stood out. If you show genuine interest
in me and I like what I see, you’ll keep my attention,
and I’ll respond.
 (Virgo) Is anyone really this stupid? (This is a
rhetorical question.) Surely I’m not the only
person who gets at least half a dozen spam
messages a day with these subjects. The only
things I can think of that would be worse to use
in the subject line are “Important business
proposition” and “MicroSoft Patch”.
 (Virgo) This goes against my instincts. I’d
think that you’d want to be very careful with
what you write, as well as not write too much
or write too little, in order to stand out from
all the other guys writing her. Also, if it was
obvious from my profile that I was what she’s
looking for, I’d figure she would have already
written to me, so I’d be working under the
assumption that it wasn’t obvious to her.
(These considerations are only about first
impressions from the profiles themselves, not
how well two people might actually fit together.)
6. ASK ME OUT ALREADY
If we’ve e-mailed a few times, it’s a safe bet to
invite me out for coffee or a drink, or ask for my
phone number. If you wait too long, I might lose
interest or start building expectations. “Too many
online exchanges and we start creating fantasy women
and men in our minds”, says McDermott, “and then they
don’t live up to the fantasy”.
7. CALM MY FEARS
I’ll assume you’re a weirdo/psycho/probable rapist
until you demonstrate otherwise.  Don’t be
offended. Women still have safety concerns. Let
me take the lead in revealing personal information,
like where I live. Otherwise, once we’re on a date
and have exchanged last names, consider it regular
dating, and work your magic, normal-style.
Very important: If you’re just looking for sex,
make sure you’re targeting women who are clearly
doing the same. On most sites, you can specify
whether you’re looking for play or intimate
encounters, friendship, dating, or a serious
relationship . E-mailing a woman who’s in the
serious relationship category when you’re listed
in intimate encounters is a waste of time — and,
really, it’s rude and creepy. Shout-out to the
guys who want to “play”: No, I will not meet you
on the 6 train. I will not meet you anywhere.
 (Virgo) This is analogous to something I could
have said in my comments about spelling earlier
(see ). If you present yourself as an illiterate
who can’t earn more than the minimum wage, then
I would figure that most women are going to assume
this about you, even if you claimed you’re in a
mid-level management position making $55 thousand
a year. Related to this is something I posted back
on May 8 (see ).
 (Virgo) O-K, now I’m going to show my lack
of knowledge about online dating (I’ve been
married since January 1991), but I wouldn’t
have thought there would be enough women who’d
openly admit to wanting only an “encounter” to
make this a workable category.
 Excerpt from a May 8, 2005 post of mine:
She seems O-K to me. But what’s up with this comment
that she made?
## I dnt hav any stamps so if you do and u like me i
## will give u my upmost attention and respond straight away 🙂
I wish there was a way to stick one of those “Bind Date”
(the TV show) bubble comments after this, something like:
Obvious Guy Says: “A good way to keep every guy who’s
literate enough to have a job earning over minimum wage
from contacting you is to write like you’re not.”