Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Fearing a lack of inappropriate interactions with strangers online, parents groups have banded together to great the new internet phenomenon, chatroulette. If you haven't seen chatroulette, never fear. I have taken it upon myself to read several random articles about the service by news organizations who clearly believe I live in a hole and have not seen the millions of news articles about the service being thrust my way daily.1

Chatroulette's principle is simple: people enjoy rejection and talking to random strangers, so let's codify that into a web app. You connect, fire up the web cam, and soon you are chatting with ugly men all over the world. If you don't like someone, you can instantly reject them by nexting them, sending them into the oblivion that is non-chatting life (horror!), and move on to the next ugly man.

This obviously has several appeals. Many beautiful women spend weeks accruing enough rejections to apply for the epithet 'rejectress'. In contrast, with chatroulette, you are speedily rejecting men right and left, quickly building up your social capital and self esteem in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, you could spend your time talking to these people. Maybe you talk about the weather. Maybe you talk about girls. Maybe you spend your time threatening to next them. The point is, I have no idea what you'd actually speak about with these people.

Does nobody else on that site realize that conversations with strangers are nothing but awkward? Have you ever tried speaking to the person next to you in line at the grocery store? Their immediate reaction, honed through years of urban evolution, is to shield their children from you.

My idea of a good web app would be one that removes awkward conversations from your life, not adds them. Hence, I'd like to announce my intentions of possibly thinking about launching mindyourownbusinessroulette, the web app that follows you in your day and speaks to strangers on your behalf, encouraging them to move along, and possibly stop following you while humming.

I invite eager investors to send me an email, text, or some other sort of message that does not require human interaction.2

1. Yes, you read that right, I have not gone near the site. Please, have I not complained already about the prevalence of actual research in many prominent publications these days?
2. I'm totally kidding! I love people! Especially people with money.


drfindley said...

A Chat Roulette study:

bek said...

chatroulette what? i just enjoyed the photo with eli.

who can reject a single, londonite, job-holding, car-less, chocolate eating, american, tall, male, returning to palo alto?