You too can get all Chatroulettey with CamChat. Don’t know about Chatroulette? It’s a one-on-one video chat room that connects you with a random person using the same service. Yeah, lots of opportunity for being offended, shocked or amused.
However, if this CamChat cloneÂ were restricted to registered users on your site, you might be able to produce a targeted conversation channel.
So, for example, on the flyingflashlight.com/yogurtwatchers page (so sorry, it doesn’t really exist), registered yogurt watchers could randomly connect with others in a video chat room.
Larry Magid at the Safe and Secure blog on CNET wrote about this concept.
Again and again, I see it demonstrated that technical capabilities are quickly reproduced and spread across the Web. It’s like a gigantic toolbox that everyone can use to push their content however they want. So is software the path to making it big? Perhaps, if you’re first to market. That allows you to build a community around a particular type of service (like microblogging) before anyone else. The community (audience) later becomes the main value of the service. You can extract data from the community’s activities, then supply that information to others for a price.
To simplify, here’s the formula for modern Web businesses:
- Make nifty (and free) tool that allows people to communicate and share information on the Web
- Gather data about that tool’s users and their messages and activities
- Sell that information to others
I expect we’ll soon see Chatroulette offer its technology — and audience — to other Web sites as some sort of embeddable feature. Twitter recently announced its own version of this.
Of course, you can have all the talky talk gizmos in the world, but people need something to communicate about. That’s where content providers come in. The interesting thing is that everyone is a content provider now, and every moment of life can be a candidate for being content-inized due to the ubiquity and ease-of-use of these tools.
And for an example of one of the more entertaining uses of Chatroulette: