talking to strangers

Pretty interesting site I came across from Leonid – which as he warned on his twitter feed, can be pretty addictive!

Omegle is a brand-new service for meeting new friends. When you use Omegle, we pick another user at random and let you have a one-on-one chat with each other. Chats are completely anonymous, although there is nothing to stop you from revealing personal details if you would like.

I tried it out for a short while but found that my conversational skills in this online world are pretty hopeless… couldn’t hold a conversation for more than a few seconds with anyone. Most strangers I came across seemed to be pretty impatient. Someone started with ASL… what’s ASL I had to ask, they replied Age M/F Land, then we exchanged ASL info, I found I was chatting with a 16 year old girl from Finland.

Why are you here? a couple of people wanted to know but they usually disconnected after a few seconds. By the time I could type a response one of them asked “don’t know, or too slow to type?“.

Ouch… I guess one can be pretty vulnerable out here – but at the same time it makes one ready for anything. On the other hand, I don’t want to spend a lot of time typing  just to give someone a chance to rudely hang up with no reason (or perhaps its a site/internet connection glitch). There can be a different situation where things are getting boring and I don’t know what to say and want to hang up myself! 🙂

I was there to have fun, to maybe strike an interesting conversation and possibly even exchange interesting ideas and synergise, maybe make new friends but so far I’ve not gotten close to going anywhere beyond the first, and to a teensy weensy extent the second point 😉 But well, I’ve spent only a short time on it so far, so maybe I can refine my skills over time. I think at some point its important to convey to the other person that you like the other person. I was at the receiving end of this information at one point and it was nice, so I think I’ll make it a point to express this myself .

In any case, definitely a first original technological idea I’m seeing after a long time. The founder is just an 18 year old guy. Eventually, I managed to actually have a conversation with some German, using Yahoo Babelfish translator – this would be a pretty useful feature to add.

What would really be useful for the site, which I mentioned as feedback as well, would be a drop down list of my chat history, I hate to retype things I’ve said earlier but seem to be doing it frequently for every new stranger I meet!

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