So…Airtime was launched recently and I saw some people tweeting about it and thought I’d give it a shot. Airtime is Sean Parker’s newest venture, and many are comparing it to Chatroulette…a service that was cool for about 5 minutes but ended up just being a website where you’d go to find random people engaging in porn. So, I was skeptical about this new service.
However, I think there is a main difference, in that you have to connect via Facebook, so it lacks the anonymity that Chatroulette had. I think you have a bit more responsibility for what you do on Airtime; hopefully they’re working on solving what many called the “porn problem” of Chatroulette.
But…in probably 2 hours spent on Airtime during the past two days, I ran into some pretty cool random people. But first…the hamsters. Or guinea pigs? I don’t really know what these are…
Then there was the magician who showed me a card trick. Not bad. I don’t really know much about magic tricks, but seemed like a decent card trick.
And then I ran into the guy who makes the Romo, a smartphone robot (they’ve currently raised almost $115,000 on Kickstarter).
In addition to these folks, I also spent some time chatting with:
- A bunch of “after hours customer service” workers – but I think they were actually working for Airtime, or Chatroulette, because all of their questions were about the service itself.
- A Muslim man who started telling me that Jesus isn’t God
- Someone in Chicago who happens to share one mutual friend with me on Facebook
- A couple guys who are Liberty University graduates. I laughed when they said they graduated from there, and we ended up having a pretty fun conversation. They were the “bad guys” when they were students at Liberty. I actually ran into them AGAIN today, which seemed odd.
- Aaron Craig: he makes music videos for Sufjan Stevens
- A guy who juggled for me
- A product manager with Google
- A Saudi Arabian mechanical engineering student in Seattle
- the head of Social Media at PayPal
- I also ran into a guy named Vinny from New York two times. He’s currently unemployed and looking for work. We had a nice chat.
There are some nice features, being able to chat, check out the interests of the people you’re talking to, and when you “Add” someone, if they add you back, then you can see each other’s real names. Anyway – like Chatroulette (before it became soft porn), it can be quite a time suck, so beware. But…people are having fun with it and doing some creative stuff.
Perhaps it’s something that people who are more extroverts will like, but it is a cool way to make connections with friends of friends, meet new people who are geographically close to you and/or share similar interests. Right now, since it’s fairly new, there are a lot of people in the tech community involved, so you never know who you might run into…maybe even Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
Who knows if there are any potential ministry uses for such a technology…but I’m sure folks will be experimenting with it. What are your thoughts? Has anyone other than Steve Knight tried it out? What do you think?