Saturday, February 20, 2010

Does My Blog Look Fat In This?

Finally, my template problems are solved. Just like my fashion sense, I've settled on something which is simple and nobody can make fun of. (Everyone knows tassels are the new black.)

Welcome to Go Forth and Blogeth 2.0; where everything is different except the writing. (The one thing you might have wanted to change, i know.)

This week, I've been exploring the rather crazy world of ChatRoulette. Here's how it works - You're thrown headfirst into a conversation with a complete stranger from a place unknown. It's a simple concept with an even simpler site design. After you hit "play" on the site you'll see a picture of you on your webcam making the "wtf is this?" face. And from there your odyssey begins. You'll see a stranger in the top left-hand corner of the screen and then you can both decide whether you want to talk to each other. You can also decide to not use your webcam, but you might have trouble with people not wanting to begin a conversation with the black screen they see before them.

I've had 3 or 4 long-lasting conversations on the site - with people from all over the world ; South Korea, The Philippines, UK, France... and so i think it's a pretty brilliant concept. The problem, of course, with any new Internet site which is beholden to the unwashed masses, is that users may decide to show you things you might not want to see. This issue can be readily resolved with a quick click of the next button - hopefully before any images are burned into your mind.

This whole idea is nothing new, of course. Chat rooms in their various forms have been around since the 1500's .(May not be factually correct.) This instantaneous face-face connection with a stranger across the globe is something quite different, though, and if they can get rid of the freaks and turn the site into more of a user-friendly group-based area, it could have massive potential for growth.

While most of my would-be conversational partners saw me and immediately clambered for the next button, one out of every 7 or 8 people actually stuck around and had a conversation with me. I talked politics with a guy from Seoul. I helped (i think) a girl from Newcastle, UK solve an issue she had with her boyfriend and I talked with a girl from The Philippines about what they do there for Valentines Day.. apparently in Manila they have a giant hot-air balloon festival (if you need me next February 14th.. you know where I'll be.)

Chat Roulette - Great in theory. Simple. Sometimes weird. It's like we're twins. Maybe that's why I'm addicted to it? If you check out the site, let me know what you think!


Allison said...

"fancy" redesign.

Rob said...

Haha. Thanks, Al. You like? Playlist on the way, P.S!

Allison said...

E-mail the playlist.

Also, I don't think I could do this chat roulette thing. Rejection seems likely.

Sarah said...

I like the little guys at the top. Did you make them?

Rob said...

Sarah : Nah, although in theory i probably could have made them. I just saw it online, thought it was funny and then here we are.

Allison : Fair enough. Although i wouldn't think of it as rejection. Some just click away without even waiting for your picture to show up. Still, i see what you're saying.

Amanda said...

I used to chat with strangers back in like 1998-2001, but stopped.. i prefer my own friends to talk to. And I would always prefer typing over videochatting. That's my my two cents about it :P