Everyone's talking about Omegle, a new chat website which promises to hook you up with a random person on the Internet. It's the perfect antidote to Facebook's real-people prissiness: Social networking with perfect strangers.
What is Omegle?
It’s a chat room that pairs you randomly with someone else. Both chatters are anonymous, identified only by the handle “Stranger.” You can chat about anything you like. You can share data or talk about the weather. You can make a new friend or frustrate a stranger until he or she chooses to disconnect from the conversation. It’s pretty much a free-for-all.
According to the Omegle blog, the site is the brainchild of Leif K-Brooks, an 18-year-old high school student who lives in Brattleboro, Vermont. Which makes perfect sense: If you've been to Brattleboro, it's easy to imagine how quickly a clever teen might run out of interesting people to talk to. And yet Facebook, with its insistence on real names, has made making friends online so cumbersome. Part of Twitter's charm is its throwback use of quirky Internet usernames.
Around 1800 people are now connected and chatting and I can’t help but thinking that the website is bringing us all a bit closer together… virtually that is. Is this what the whole “Web 2.0″ phenomenon was about? I’m not quite sure but it’s pretty damn cool either way.
Leif says he wants to see meaningful discussions and not just trolls and spam and will be looking for a way to crack down on such activity. I wish him well as I continue to explore the far reaches of the Internet and Omengle is taking me one step closer.