You never know who you might end up talking to, hence the name, "Chatroulette." Log on and in seconds you could be talking with someone from next door, Japan, or even the Jonas Brothers (the band's been known to talk to fans on Chatroulette from time to time).
Only months earlier, the 18-year-old had entertained drooling interest from the likes of Digital Sky Technologies and Fred Wilson, turning down million-dollar offers for his popular video-chatting service. Nearly every major media outlet wrote about Chatroulette. But six months later, the fickle followers of Web fads have collectively hit the “next” button.
Following a week’s worth of back and forth and blown off interviews, including one scheduled at 11 p.m EST, Chatroulette founder Andrey Ternovskiy finally picks up his cell phone after several rings.
It’s early in Palo Alto, California, and Ternovskiy’s voice is soft and raspy. “Just a second–I can’t talk very loudly because there are people sleeping in my room,” he whispers in his Russian accent.
Bender projects the Chatroulette session on a big screen, so it becomes the centerpiece of each performance. So many, that Bender had to make them a part of the show. " and has a female assistant hold them up every time one appeared on the screen. All were competing for cash prizes ( for first place, for second place), awarded to the act that not only could rock a stage at Make-Out Room, but also find favor with the notoriously fickle crowd on Chatroulette. "I'm over the hill being in my thirties," he admitted. During the third round, a pretty teenager took one look at Unwoman, and gave all of us the finger.
For those unfamiliar with the network, it's fairly straightforward: You attach a web cam to your computer, log onto Chatroulette.com, and have a random conversation with whoever pops up — or flip to see who awaits on the next screen. Most conversations are fleeting, most users noncommittal, since you can ditch the current chat at any point and initiate a new one. He created several hand-written signs with the words "Dick! The show went three rounds: five minutes, three minutes, one and a half minutes, respectively. "Chatroulette is mainly for people in their teens and twenties. It's not something I do at this point." Nonetheless, he got seduced by the brute competitiveness and accelerated nature of the medium. All those improprieties are just the nature of the beast, said Bender. But every once in a while, Chatroulette finds a way to promote brotherly love.