ChatRoulette!

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I were chatting with a friend about the social networks and the benefits from a marketing standpoint. To this topic, our friend began to tell us about a NEW social networking site called ChatRoulette…I had never heard about it before, but his description intrigued me to do some research…

The site is only a few months old, but its population is beginning to explode into viraldom: 300 users in December had grown to 10,000 by the beginning of February. Although big media outlets haven’t caught on to the newest thing in social networking – the blogs have taken care of getting the news out there – typical. The blog the Asylum called ChatRoulette its favorite site since YouTube,  The Frisky called it “the Holy Grail of all Internet fun.” Everyone  agrees that it is intensely addictive — another  simple idea  that  captures the  power of the Internet in a  revolutionary way.

The site activates your webcam automatically, and when you click “start” you’re suddenly staring at another human staring back at you, at which point you can either choose to chat (via text or voice) or just click “next”-  instantly calling up someone else. The result is surreal.  There already seems to be no end to the creative, talented, gross, perverted, and any other possible  description that could come from such a random social interaction with complete strangers – and without any real repercussions, which is scary.

There was a man who wore a deer head and opened every conversation with “What up DOE!?” A guy from Sweden was reportedly speed-drawing strangers’ portraits. Someone with a guitar was improvising songs for anyone who’d give him a topic. Others dressed like ninjas, tried to persuade women to expose themselves, and played spontaneous transcontinental games of Connect Four. Occasionally, people even made nonvirtual connections: One punk-music blogger met a group of people from Michigan who ended up driving eleven hours to crash at his house for a concert in New York.

The internet has done it again…another medium that we will need to figure out to determine the pros and cons…ChatRoulette does seem to be the most dangerous because its meant to meet strangers – not friends and family…doesn’t the name say enough?!?!?

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