This post has been sitting in the backoffice as a draft for about 2 weeks now. The reason for this is that what we’re about to introduce may be addictive to some and disturbing to most. It’s Chatroulette, and frankly, the cat is out of the bag now. Over the last few weeks the site has been written about by most newspapers, has featured on a number of TV channels and resulted in this hilarious video of Daily Show with Jon Steward.
So, while mainstream media have certainly picked up on it we want to make sure our readers stay informed, after all, one of the things we report on is the use of new media. Chatroulette was started by a 17-year-old high school student in Russia named Andrey Ternovskiy. It’s a one to one chatroom where, with one click on the next button you’re connected, via webcam to a random stranger anywhere in the world. This brings us to why we were hesitant about publishing; when we were first allerted to the site the percentage of naked men,doing, well…things was ‘on the high side’. The site has since added a ‘report abuse’ button that should bring this percentage down.
The appeal of the site is that with a single click you can connect to anyone, anywhere in the world and, theoretically, have a conversation. Theoretically, because you’ll find that in many cases the person on the other side will pass on you immediately and move on to a next person. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself passing on others with increased ease. This has already led to a new word: ‘Nexted’, which happens when you, or the person on the other side, clicks the next button and moves on.
Besides the large amount of ‘nexting” going on it looks like some are finding interesting partners. Sites have sprung up where people are trying to reconnect with people they were chatting to and were connections were lost as a result of accidental ‘nexting’ or freezing computers. So if you’re actually having a good conversation: Get a contact method.
Chatroulette has gone viral very quickly and at any point in time there will be tens of thousands of people pressing the next button. The commercial value is debated on numerous blogs. Some think it’s a fad that will pass quickly, some think there is mileage in it, others think it may be snapped up by a social network rapidly. All we know is that we’ve told you about it now and you can check it out at your peril if you’re prepared for the consequences…
Check out this video for some ‘scientific’ research into the site.
Picture: Stock Exchange | Surprise | John-De-Boer