Connecting Curious Dots

On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.

Chatfe: Equalizing the Chance for Interest Based Conversation?

Chatfe Research - Male on Skype Chatfe Research - Female on Skype Is it more awesome to be a guy or a girl online?  If ideal experience means ease of attracting strangers into conversation, the above graphs (left = guy, right = girl) of a small experiment on Skype suggests that I should be happy I'm female.  But if ideal experience means connecting with someone new for a substantive conversation, maybe its not so great for either (notably most of the dots on the right graph are from the opposite sex). 

Last night, the guys who started Chatfe opened with that idea as they talked about what influenced their user interface design.  Aiming almost to be "the opposite of a social network", the platform serendipitously matches like-minded individuals for conversations.  Instead of making a profile pretty, playing the numbers game of building your network, and updating one-liners, the focus is on adding topics to conversation queues and indicating windows of available talk time.  If two users' topics and time match, after checking that each side is indeed human, the system calls both party's phones to have the conversation.  The voice-centric design (aside from mitigating potential creepy behavior) experiments with the hypothesis that the nature of the conversations will be different from those mediated by text.  Chatfe is in Beta, so whether/how their bar chart will look different from the ones above will soon get a chance to be tested.

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