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How Chatroulette Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About the Internet

Here’s the first paragraph of my new column ‘How Chatroulette Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About the Internet’ for Flow TV:

chatcat Genetic scientists love the humble Fruit Fly (Drosophila melanogaster) because it has such a short life-cycle; several generations can live, reproduce, pass on genetic material, and die within a month. In this column, I’d like to suggest that Chatroulette is the current fruit fly of the internet, by which I mean, Chatroulette, its users, and the responses to it, evoke many of the big issues facing internet users today, and do so in a far faster and more immediate way than on the internet at large. On the off chance you’re unfamiliar, Chatroulette does exactly what the name implies: the website randomly connects two users with webcams and chat functionality; there are no log-ins, no registration pages and very few rules, none of which appear to be enforced.1 Notably, Chatroulette was created by Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17 year old Russian student who, legally, would be considered a child himself in many countries. With that context in mind, I want to address Chatroulette in terms of search, ‘Sex!’, privacy, copyright and creativity.

If I’ve sparked your interest, please head over to Flow TV to read the rest.

Learning with Lily Allen … no, really!

timthumb I’ve been neglecting the longer, more meaty posts here for a while, but I have been writing.  So, if you’re interested, my first column for Flow TV is up: Learning with Lily Allen: Copyright Criminals or Complexity and Confusion?  It’s a little bit of an experiment in writing for me, intermingling lyrics and analysis … let me know what you think. 🙂