“Moreover, the kinds of attributes they mention differ from those mentioned by men.” While "cuddly," "silly," "sweet," and "faithful" were all used in the women’s profiles she surveyed, men gravitated towards "sexy," "cool," "mellow," and "great." According to Herring's survey, usernames on OKCupid are an average of 10.5 characters.She compared this with the number of characters in usernames from Internet Relay Chat logs she's saved from 1999 -- names on that site were an average of 6.6 characters.
But, another data-driven researcher I spoke with, Susan Herring, a professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University, found the question intriguing.
I began with Christian Rudder, OKCupid’s founder and the author of , a book that uses data from the dating site to draw conclusions about message language, message length, depressing discrepancies between male and female age preferences, and more.
But he concluded that from a data standpoint, usernames are too unique to draw specific conclusions.
She conducted a small study to determine whether there are trends in username choice, and whether the way we choose usernames has changed since Internet’s nascent days.
She surveyed over 300 usernames on OKCupid, coding them for information relating to the following categories: gendered, real name, numbers, trying to be funny, geographical reference, hobby/interest, profession, sex/love, physical attributes, nonphysical attributes, sentential, “random” words, meaning unclear.