r _Web.log

tag: social

Omegle: talk to a stranger

K http://omegle.com/

Omegle is the logical endpoint of a ubiquitous global network: a single-page website whose sole function is to connect strangers in one-on-one conversation. Upon visiting the site, you are put through to an unseen interlocutor within a few seconds, and then left to do what you will with this temporary channel of communication.

It's Twitter-like in its elegant simplicity, and another of those oh-so-obvious ideas that makes a programmer wince at not having thought of it earlier. And, given the manifold denizens of the net, the outcome of a conversation is entirely indeterminate.

My experiences with it so far have ranged from a pleasant chat with a college student from Derby (on food, education, and getting lost) to a trolling aggressor attempting to cast spells on me ("i summon EPIC INFERNO"); I gather that the system is being put to use for some sort of player vs player game-playing. Another party left rapidly upon discovering that I was not female, simultaneously honouring some equivalent to Godwin's law that states that any online conversation with strangers will inevitably include a mention of paedophilia, lesbians, or 'cyber' (in this case, all three).

No authorship is given, but a brief whois suggests that the person behind the site may be Leif K-Brooks, an excellently-monikered teenage coder from Vermont. Nice work, Leif!

ArtReview.com beta

K http://www.artreview.com/

Social networking with artworld roots? Though it remains to be seen whether it will ever see the likes of myslb, it's surely worth a shot. Go.