Chatroulette. ( http://www.chatroulette.com )
Chatroulette is a website that pairs two strangers from all over the world for a webcam based chat. It is one of the first websites that uses this concept. The website was created by a Russian teenager, Andrey Ternovskiy. Chatroulette was actually inspired by Skype’s video chat, but instead of chatting with a list of friend, you chat with random strangers. The site is basically a webcam based chat with added touch of randomness which was taken from the Russian Roulette, hence the name ‘Chatroulette’.
Ever since it was first made online on November 2009, Chatroulette has improved its system. The most noticeable improvement is the filter. During the early stage, the biggest problem faced by Chatroulette was the huge amount of perverts and ‘exabitionist’ which showed ‘unwanted’ and disturbing scene on Chatroulette. This problem has made Chatroulette unable to spread to users of all ages. At first they came with a ‘report’ button which users can click to report a user that is broadcasting’ inappropriate view’ through Chatroulette. If a user is report more than 3 times in 5 minutes, he will be blocked for up to 40 minutes. It also added a blurry video for the first few second of the broadcasted video before it actually shows the full view, which gives the option for the users to cancel it before seeing something that could be disturbing.
However, with the latest version of Chatroulette, this problem appeared to be solved. Based on my latest visit on the website, the ‘exabitionist’ and pervert there has been totally eliminated. The site is now literally clean. The ratio of man-woman using the website however still remains the same, where man dominates the population of the user. Based on my last visit on it, from 10 users, only one of them is a woman, while the others are men.
Despite the fact that most of the users there spent their time there just for casual talk or chat, Chatroulette can actually helps a lot in improving the mastery of English language. For local students that do not have anyone to speak English with, they can use Chatroulette to practice and hone their speaking skill as most of the users on Chatroulette are English speakers. I believe that this will be a tremendous help to them in learning the English language.