Co-Founder of OKCupid and Author of Dataclysm
Rudder is one of the founders of OKCupid, one of the largest dating sites in the world, which was sold to IAC in 2011. He still runs it day-to-day, while also heading a small data-mining team that scours the digital universe for meaningful trends on important sites. The original outlet for Rudder's research took place on OKCupid’s blog, OKTrends, which was not only read by millions of people, but also changed the way companies approach data as a media-relations strategy. His research and findings have been featured repeatedly in The New York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and were the subject of a New Yorker feature.
Graduating Harvard cum laude, with a math degree, Christian Rudder got his start as the Creative Director for SparkNotes, a sort of 21st century Cliff’s Notes for the Internet, which was sold to Barnes & Noble in 2001. He sold his book, Dataclysm, for a seven-figure deal—a usually unheard of amount for a first time author.
There are a lot of people talking about data, and you don't need another person to simply tell you about all the amazing stuff out there. What Christian Rudder has to offer—and what few others have—is the data itself, alongside a terrific social, cultural, and business sense of what it all means. In this powerful talk, Rudder digs through terabytes of the actual information people are creating on social media and other new technology platforms to reveal the surprising things that people and companies can learn from it—all the moving, quirky, strange, unexpected, and otherwise revealing things people do to and for each other. A smart, personable, and funny speaker, Rudder presents noteworthy and customized findings, but also gives you large-scale data analysis in its proper social, corporate, and historical context. We're at the cusp of a new age of human understanding; you'll leave his talk believing he's right.
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)
What is the secret to a stable marriage? How many gay people are still in the closet? Do we truly live in a postracial society? Has Twitter made us dumber? These are just a few of the questions Christian Rudder answers in Dataclysm, a smart, funny, irreverent look at how we act when we think no one’s looking.
For centuries we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers and without filters. Data scientists can quantify the formerly unquantifiable and show with unprecedented precision how we fight, how we age, how we love, and how we change. Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Rudder uses it to show us who we are as people.
He reveals how Facebook "likes" can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more job interview requests; and why you have to have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publically. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? Hint: They don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel. Rudder also tracks human migration in real time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible.
Provocative, illuminating, and visually arresting, Dataclysm is a portrait of our essential selves—and a first look at a revolution in the making.
We're closing up shop for the long weekend! Enjoy your days off, everyone, and looking forward to catching up on Tuesday!about 3 days ago
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