Inner workings of Eph Match: revealed

May 13, 2015 by Gabriella Carmona, Features Editor and Lila Anderson, Staff Writer

Do you think you’ve found “the one” and just can’t work up the nerve to talk to them? Or maybe you’ve talked to them, but you’re unsure if they feel the same way? In our techie age almost everything can be found online: our homework, our social interactions and now, our other halves. But as college students, most of us feel too young to go try EHarmony, and does anyone really take Tinder seriously?

Luckily, students at the College have been given yet another opportunity. EphMatch, made by an anonymous creator in January, has joined ranks with EphCatch, a non-affiliated exclusive program hosted by the Office of Student Life (OSL), for College seniors to catch up on four years’ worth of missed connections.

“My inspiration was really the other types of programs trying to achieve a similar goal but that, for whatever reason, were ineffective for providing the service to the whole school,” said EphMatch’s creator. Regarding EphCatch, they said it “obviously has extremely limited scope and isn’t useful for most of the year.”

The inner system of EphMatch is really a mystery to most. Is it an entity? A hunched-over figure in their room toiling away at a computer screen? What happens after someone fills out that magical form? “They get a confirmation email, and if they’ve indicated that they want their crushes to get notified, their crushes will also get an automated email sent to their Williams emails that someone has submitted their unix on EphMatch. All the info is automatically put into a spreadsheet on Google Sheets. The only part I still have to do myself is the matching. When unix A is submitted, I just log on and do a quick ‘control-F’ search to see if anyone has submitted that unix A and, if so, if those submitters are the same as any of the ones that unix A listed,” said EphMatch creator.

Though the site has been around for quite a few months and constantly promotes itself on Facebook, it’s difficult for anyone else to know how popular it is. According to EphMatch, there have been 341 submissions and 13 matches, “but people can submit as many times as they want, so how many individuals have submitted is tough to say without counting.”

But what do people actually think of EphMatch? “People seemed really into it, and a lot of them thanked me for the information but also for the service I was providing. It’s tough for me to know exactly what people think of EphMatch, especially because not everyone wants to advertise that they use it,” said the EphMatch creator.

But like any online dating service, using EphMatch has its flaws. The system inherently only works if everyone submits their crushes, and thus it depends highly on participation. This leads to a vicious cycle where people don’t submit because they don’t think anyone else will, resulting in fewer submissions and thus a loss of successful matches, which EphMatch creator is aware of. “I have sent out a few submission notifications on my own behalf, but for the site to be successful, as many people as possible really just need to submit as often as possible. It obviously can’t create mutual interest when there isn’t any,” the creator said.

But EphMatch’s creator is working on resolving other issues: “One person actually messaged me to point out that when someone is emailed and told someone has submitted their name, they really have no idea who it could be most of the time. Ideally they would be able to name 15 people who they’re interested in and think they might have chemistry with, but that can be harder than it sounds. While I like the idea of being able to add a “hint” box next to each crush where the submitter can add a hint to give to that person if they wanted, that’s a little beyond what I know how to do.”

Whether there has been any truly happy coupling because of EphMatch is hard to say. If you happy couples are out there, you should let the world know, and make believers of us all.

So what’s next for EphMatch? “As a senior, I’m graduating soon and will be making some attempt to pass on the reigns to someone younger. However, how exactly I want to do this is still in the works. Ideally it would be someone I know and trust, because you are being entrusted with confidential information,” said the EphMatch creator. Whether the site will one day truly be an appealing option for all students at the College is still up for debate. But why not give it a shot? Go out and submit some misconnections of your own. and maybe you’ll find your lucky one.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Where?! May 13, 2015 at 1:38 pm

But where do I go to submit!?

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Corrections April 9, 2016 at 9:43 pm

A small factual correction about EphCatch: it’s actually run by WSO, not OSL, and has been since its creation in 2006.

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