Chatroulette

Social Networking

Founded in 2009, Chatroulette is a website built around the idea of meeting random people in face-to-face video chats. The site grew very popular very quickly through the spring of 2010 before leveling off a bit. While the peak period for Chatroutlette—during which it was featured on The Daily Show, South Park, Good Morning America and elsewhere—may have passed, but this unique approach to social networking may still have value for your group.

Consider using Chatroulette as a viral marketing tool. Get the whole group, or a subsection onto the chat and start singing to whoever you come upon. Some people won’t be interested, but others may be pleasantly surprised to make your group’s acquaintance. Become the group on Chatroulette and you’ll start gaining international attention in a whole new way, spreading your talent s to people who never would have heard of you otherwise.

Also consider Chatroulette as a source of inspiration. One of the reasons the site gained such notoriety was the tendency for people to portray themselves in inappropriate ways on the site. While you don’t necessarily want to spend your time looking at a series of people with their junk hanging out, this brand of expression does represent the diversity, and often outlandish nature of the people who go on Chatroulette for fun. Such personalities can help to inspire you with new brands of personality you might infuse into your group. You never know where you’ll get your next great idea for how to dress, carry yourself on stage, or market yourself—what better way to go looking for inspiration than on a site where the interactions are random by design?

You also might find value in using Chatroulette in performance. A cappella advocate Ben Folds have gotten more mileage out of Chatroulette than anyone when he took his laptop and a projector on tour and performed a song inspired by and for a random person he met on Chatroulette during many of his shows. Your group may not have quite the extemporaneous chops as Folds, but if you do have someone who can pull it off, this is an exciting, surprising and memorable little feature to include in a show.