Hot or Not

Hot or Not is a rating site that allows users to rate the attractiveness of photos submitted voluntarily by others.

Description

Photos are approved by a panel of volunteer moderators, who strive to keep the site "fun, clean, and real". However, in recent times there have been changes to the moderating system, see below.

History

The site was founded in October 2000 by James Hong and Jim Young, two friends and Silicon Valley-based engineers (both graduated from UC Berkeley), as a technical solution to a disagreement they made one day over a passing woman's attractiveness. The site was originally called "Am I Hot or Not". Within a week of launching, it had reached almost two million page views per day. Within a few months, the site was immediately behind CNET and NBCi on NetNielsen Rating's Top 25 advertising domains. To keep up with rising costs Hong and Young added a matchmaking component to their website called "Meet Me at Hot or Not", i.e. a system of range voting. The matchmaking service has been especially successful and the site continues to generate most of its revenue through subscriptions. In the December 2006 issue of Time Magazine, the founders of Youtube stated that they originally set out to make a version of Hot or Not with Video before developing their more inclusive site. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook similarly got his start by creating a Hot or Not type site called FaceMash, where he posted photos from harvard's facebook for the university's community to rate.

Hot or Not was recently sold for a rumored $20 million.

Predecessors and Spin-offs

Hot or Not was preceded by the popular RateMyFace, which was launched a year earlier in the summer of 1999, and AmIHot.com, which was launched in January of 2000 by MIT freshman Daniel Roy. Despite the head starts of its predecessors, Hot or Not quickly became the most popular. Trademark threats from AmIHot.com eventually forced AmIHotOrNot.com to change its name to HotOrNot.com in 2001 and buy AmIHot.com in 2004. Since AmIHotOrNot.com's launch, the concept has spawned many imitators. The concept always remained the same, but the subject matter varied greatly. The concept has also been integrated with a wide variety of dating and matchmaking systems.

In 2007 a new concept emerged and BecauseImHot.com was founded. Unlike Hot or Not and other spin-offs, Because I'm Hot restricted membership to hot people only. Users that are not deemed hot enough by voting audits are deleted.

Variations on the Hot or Not concept include voting via a Condorcet method where a candidate is compared with other candidates in a series of pairwise comparisons in order to gauge their popularity.

Research

In 1883, Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, devised a technique called composite photography, described in detail in Inquiries in Human Faculty and its Development, which he believed could be used to identify 'types' by appearance, which he hoped would aid medical diagnosis, and even criminology through the identification of typical criminal faces. In short, he wondered if certain groups of people had certain facial characteristics. To find this answer, he created photographic composite images of the faces of vegetarians and criminals to see if there was a typical facial appearance for each. Galton overlaid multiple images of faces onto a single photographic plate so that each individual face contributed roughly equally to a final composite face. While the resultant "averaged" faces did little to allow the a priori identification of either criminals or vegetarians, Galton observed that the composite image was more attractive than the component faces. Similar observations were made in 1886 by Stoddard, who created composite faces of members of the National Academy of Sciences and graduating seniors of Smith College. This phenomenon is now known as averageness-effect, that is the highly physically attractive tend to be indicative of the average traits of the population.

In 2005, as an example of using image morphing methodology to study the effects of averageness, imaging researcher Pierre Tourigny created a composite of about 30 faces to find out the current standard of good looks on the Internet (as shown above). On the popular Hot or Not web site, people rate others' attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10. An average score based on hundreds or even thousands of individual ratings takes only a few days to emerge. To make this hot or not pallate of morphed images, photos from the site were sorted by rank and used SquirlzMorph to create multi-morph composites from them. Unlike projects like Face of Tomorrow where the subjects are posed for the purpose, the portraits are blurry because the source images are low resolution with differences in posture, hair styles, glasses, etc, so that here images could use only 36 control points for the morphs. A similar study was done with Miss Universe contestants, as shown in the averageness article, as well as one for age, as shown in youthfulness article.

A recent 2006 "hot" or "not" style study, involving 264 women and 18 men, at the Washington University School of Medicine, as published online in the journal Brain Research, indicates that a person's brain determines whether or not an image is erotic long before the viewer is even aware they are seeing the picture. Moreover, according to these researchers, one of the basic functions of the brain is to classify images into a hot or not type categorization. The study's researchers also discovered that sexy shots induce a uniquely powerful reaction in the brain, equal in effect for both men and women, and that erotic images produced a strong reaction in the hypothalamus.

References

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

This article is based on "Hot or Not" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hot+or+Not&action=history