Want to know how to chat up people of your chosen gender successfully?
Research in Edinburgh, Scotland last year, involving speed dates of 100 single heterosexual people (who then rated their dates), revealed that, in that context at least, the secret of a successful opening chat-up line is this:
encourage them to talk about themselves in a fun, quirky way.
Best line from the top-rated man:
If you were on Stars in Their Eyes, which celebrity would you be?
Best line from the top-rated woman:
If you were a pizza topping, what would you be?
One of the least successful lines (ahem) was:
I have a PhD in computing.
So now you know, if you didn't know before.
Now tell me, which one would you be if you were a New Blogger widget... blog template... JSON feed... Greasemonkey script... Linux distro...Symbian smartphone... oh yes, see, I'm definitely getting the hang of this!
(From a fun New Scientist 9 May 2007 article on "quirkology" by Robert Wiseman, who's written a book on the subject, done a podcast for New Scientist, and produced some YouTube videos.)
UPDATE: I went to an interesting talk on internet dating and how to write the perfect profile, at the Dana Centre - see my writeup of the internet dating talk.