Match.com responds, and a new pic of the author.

Here is the response I received from Match.com Public Relations:

Hi Dalrock,
Thank you for contacting Match.com.

This series was presented to us by the author as a firsthand account of her own online dating experiences. In order to protect her own privacy, she changed several of the more easily identifiable details (including people’s names).

Warm regards,
Jaklin

I have to say this wasn’t the response I was expecting.  I really thought they were going to say that they assumed their readers knew it was fiction all along.  I don’t have any problem with her changing names and using a pen name, but I’m not convinced the story bears more than a passing resemblance to the author’s life.

I’ve found another blog post titled “Single in the Suburbs” really makes me irritated where they were discussing the series in May of 2008, so the series started at least 3 years ago.  I’m guessing it is closer to 4 years ago, because the blog quoted the 49th installment of what MSN calls a weekly column.  It may be even older than that, because there appear to have been significant periods of time where the series wasn’t updated.  Interestingly fairly early in the comments section of the irritated blog someone stated that it was fiction:

Don’t know if this changes how you feel about it, but it’s a fictional column written by a novelist who’s written a romance novel on a similar topic🙂 Thank goodness.

The blog author and several of the commenters were surprised at this, but all seemed to accept it once it was stated.  This seems to be fairly common from the threads I’ve seen discussing the series.  Most of the women discussing it don’t have any doubt that it is real.  For example, there is a  comments to the author page on the site with her new series.  The first few commenters write from the perspective that the events in Suburbs actually happened to the author.  One even asks her how things are working out with Ethan:

So sad that Single in the Suburbs is over, but very happy for you and Ethan. Thanks for keeping me entertained every Thursday. I couldn’t wait to read whether you chose Ethan or Craig, but secretly wanted you to pick Ethan! :) Are we going to get any updates on you and Ethan? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love an update!

The next commenter agrees:

Seconding! I’d love to know what you and Ethan are up to now. Sounds like a great guy!

But the next commenter writes:

Thanks for sharing Single in the Suburbs with all of us for the past 2 1/2 years. I look forward to your future works, and I am supportive of the open ended way that you stopped the column. Life has no ending, and not all tales turn out the way we expect them to. It is best for your fans to keep that in mind when reading your “reality fiction”.

The author responds to a later question on that page, but doesn’t respond to the commenters who think the story is real or the one who suggests it is fiction.

Also, I noticed that Debra Kent has updated the picture on her linked in page since I posted on this yesterday.  I’m guessing that isn’t a coincidence.

Edit:  Her linked in page has since been removed so you can no longer see the new picture.

Lastly, my original post is now mid way down at the bottom of the first page of google results for Single in the Suburbs.  I’m hoping as more visitors see that page it will keep moving higher up.  Perhaps some of my fellow bloggers will be willing to assist by linking to my original post with the text Single in the Suburbs.  Together we may even prevent at least a few kids from growing up in broken homes due to frivolous divorce.

See Also:

This entry was posted in Choice Addiction, Finding a Spouse, Grey Divorce, Marriage, Post Marital Spinsterhood. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Match.com responds, and a new pic of the author.

  1. Simon Grey says:

    Lastly, my original post is now mid way down at the bottom of the first page of google results for Single in the Suburbs. I’m hoping as more visitors see that page it will keep moving higher up. Perhaps some of my fellow bloggers will be willing to assist by linking to my original post with the text Single in the Suburbs. Together we may even prevent at least a few kids from growing up in broken homes due to frivolous divorce.

    Consider it done.

  2. HarmonicaFTW says:

    It’s amazing what women will do to themselves. I’ll get on linking as soon as I can.

  3. Done. Will post on Monday.

  4. Dalrock says:

    Thanks for your help men. I really appreciate it.

  5. Pingback: Single In the Suburbs « Gaming My Wife

  6. Pingback: Is match.com peddling divorce fantasy? « The Badger Hut

  7. Lavazza says:

    This reminds me of the whole genre of “autobiographical” abuse stories (there is a funny name for the genre but I have forgot it). In Sweden there was a big scandal two years ago about a best selling crime author (Liza Marklund) who started her career with a book that was presented as a “true story” but that had no bearing in reality (according to court protocols, interviews with neighbours etc.). There were even feminist MPs who cited the book when discussing legislation concerning violence against women.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hmm… “she changed several of the more easily identifiable details (including people’s names).” Sorta like calling plagiarism a “typo,” I guess. (Ah, the wonderful world of “framing the debate” today.)

  9. Lavazza says:

    Now I remember, the genre is called “mis lit”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misery_lit

    A lot of similar hoaxes in that genre, where it is stated that some details have been changed to protect anonimity but the truth is that it is the story that has been changed to make it more selling (more misery in mis lit, more post divorce success in post divorce stories).

  10. Lavazza says:

    Quote from an abstract:

    “… With the distinction between what is a depiction of reality and what is fiction, in a
    state of dissolution the traditional genre classifications have become dated. My claim
    is that the boundary between fiction and reality has imploded as an effect of the postmodern process and that readers today, like cultural consumers in general, look for ”the real thing” but want a better reality than the one they get in real life. Traditional classifications like ”autobiography”, ”reality” and ”fiction” thereby no longer apply to contemporary literature.”

    “readers today … look for ”the real thing” but want a better reality than the one they get in real life”, about sums it up.

  11. I made it a link on my blog roll

    [D: Thanks! Great blog by the way. I’ll see if I can’t throw some more traffic in your deserving direction.]

  12. Obsidian says:

    Yo D,
    WOW. Fascinating stuff, and as always, I tip my Kangol to you in honor of doing such a Yeoman’s job in getting to the bottom of a matter with the facts and the truth. You da Man.

    Now, lemme make sure I got this straight:

    Match.com has been featuring on its website, an ongoing series of articles chronicling the online dating lives of recently divorced Women – and that this Woman, Debra Kent, is at the heart of it? Only thing though, is that ain’t nothing she saying true – its all made up – and, she done already wrote at least one romance novel, if not three of em, all of whom have very similar plotlines to the whole Match.com deal?

    And on top of that, Ms. Kent switches up her LinkedIn pic, after you go to asking around? In like, a day?

    Please tell me it ain’t so, D. I’m not as gung-ho for marriage and the like the way you and Athol Kay etc et al are (actually, I’m rather neutral on the matter and consider it a personal issue, although I will readily concede that all the stats and data we have clearly shows that as far as kids go, its the best deal we got), but I like to be straight on principle – and from the looks of things, Match.com got some serious splainin’ to do if indeed what your two posts here say what I think they sayin’.

    Now, I read your excellent work you did on that AARP study; really, nuff said. And it seems to me that, again, if what I think you’re saying about this whole Match.com deal is on point, that it, along with the OKCupid study you referenced above, falls right in line with the AARP piece. Match.com could seriously be shooting itself in the foot.

    So, just for the record, if you don’t mind, could you please get at me on all this? I just wanna be sure I got the facts as best I know them right, from the horse’s mouth so to speak, before I run wild with this thing on my blog. Because if you tell me that what I think is what it is, it’s ON. You will have my full support and I’ll be sure to spread the word.

    Holla back

    O.

  13. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Last of the Old Edition

  14. Pingback: Google censors my match.com exposé | Dalrock

  15. Rarfy says:

    Really who cares though? If some woman is stupid enough to get divorced because of something she read then she deserves it. And if a guy is stupid enough to get married for any reason, then he deserves it.

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