ChatRoulette - Exactly What It Sounds Like

Mon, Feb. 22 2010

It's 7:20 pm in Moscow - do you know where your children are?

As I went through my Monday drive mental checklist this morning, I stopped at one nagging item - "must nurture blog."

But this is easier said than done.For one needs something to write about in order to write.And I know as soon as I get into the office, I'm likely to come under heavy fire that will not let up until sometime Friday when I lock up for the night, so the opportunities for a moment of precise clarity leading to a worthy blog post are few and far between.

Needless to say, I arrived at work without a topic.Well, I was thinking of interviewing Steve, but I'll save that for another day.

As I dove into my morning mash of news and tweets, it hit me square in the face.

Enter ChatRoulette to save the day.

What is this? I thought. Another breakthrough social web platform–and I've not heard of it.

How is it possible?

I read the New York Magazine article about a 17-year-old Russian kid who, out of boredom, built the site for random video chatting with strangers.

If you don't like what you see, all you have to do is click next to get a new stranger from somewhere else in the world - before they do it to you.

Brilliant. I thought.

Exciting. I imagined.

Gotta check this out - I did.

And what I got in my five minutes on ChatRoulette was a lot of quick images - mostly guys and most of them jerking off.

Next, next, next...

A guy, wearing a furry raccoon hat with murder in his eyes, stares back at me - next.

A woman, no that's a guy with breasts, next...

A sign - "show me your tits", next...

And then I arrived at something different - like a bad art installation.Are those giant bags of cocaine or is it seat cushion stuffing set against an aluminum foil backdrop?

The chat started as words appeared on my screen - the stranger on the other side asked me "know what this is?"

"Clueless," I responded.

Next - the stranger disconnected.

Clueless, and happy, I thought.