Thanks to Geekwire for digging out a Microsoft patent that not only offers a new way of running a dating social network, but in a fashion that targets… comic book readers. Take it away Billy boy!
Most users of such conventional systems understand that any affinity (or other information) included in an associated profile or space can be viewed by any third party who accesses that profile. This situation can substantially serve as a chilling effect on self expression or at least result in a profile that is a less accurate or less comprehensive representation of the associated user. For example, an ambitious professional is not likely to divulge that he likes, say, comic books, even though quite true.
Oh no! And why is that?
Typically, this is so because these affinities might be a source of shame or embarrassment or incur undue explanation.
The shame! The shame of it! And so how does Microsoft propose to help us share our inner desires in our attempt to find The One or make do with a quick one behind the bins?
For example, suppose two users, Ashley and Ross, are both young professionals and both like a specific series of comic books. However, both parties understand that comic books are often viewed as fanciful or juvenile, and, as such, to indicate an interest in comic books in one's profile might lead to embarrassment or inappropriate characterizations. Accordingly, it is very likely that neither Ashley nor Ross will know of their common affinity, except by chance. …
Once (the) matching component identifies the matching affinity, (the) notification component can provide Ashley (a) message indicating, e.g. "We've located someone who shares your affinity for comic books. The two of you might have a lot in common."
Of course it would also be a great way for, I dunno, white supremacists to find each other too…