Monday, February 22, 2010

Bored? Have a webcam? Not bothered by Freak?

Then Chatroulette could be for you!

New York Times: The Surreal World of Chatroulette

Nothing can really prepare you for the latest online phenomenon, Chatroulette.

The social Web site, created just three months ago by a 17-year-old Russian named Andrey Ternovskiy, drops you into an unnerving world where you are connected through webcams to a random, fathomless succession of strangers from across the globe.


Before you rush off to your computer to try Chatroulette, it is only fair to let you know what you’re getting into. Entering Chatroulette is akin to speed-dating tens of thousands of perfect strangers — some clothed, some not.


In its simplest form, the site does exactly what its name says — it pulls you into a game of roulette. I used the service for the first time a few weeks ago, and I found it both enthralling and distasteful, yet I kept going back for more.
What to make of chatroulette?
"how did it take 15 years for the Internet to deliver this experience?"
NY Mag: The Human Shuffle
ChatRoulette is, in this sense, a blast from the Internet past. It’s the anti-Facebook, pure social-media shuffle. It arrived quietly last November, with no fanfare.

Sounds like the old days of Skype or the scene from (I think) Heinlein's Friday whereby the rich look for dates via hologram.


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