[Air-L] ChatRoulette Study

Alex Leavitt alexleavitt at gmail.com
Mon Mar 1 07:09:52 PST 2010

To my esteemed Internet denizens,

As part of the efforts of the Web Ecology Project (
http://webecologyproject.org), Tim Hwang and I have published an analysis of
the community and culture of ChatRoulette. We would appreciate your input
and criticism.

The paper is available as a PDF here:
* <goog_1267455805262>ChatRoulette: An Initial Survey*

*by Alex Leavitt <http://twitter.com/alexleavitt> & Tim
with Patrick Davison, Mike Edwards, Devin Gaffney, Sam Gilbert, Erhardt
Graeff, Jennifer Jacobs, Dan Luxemburg, Kunal Patel, Mike Rugnetta, & Karina
van Schaardenburg*

*This paper represents an initial study of
conducted between February 6th and 7th, 2010 by researchers in attendance at
Web Ecology Camp III in Brooklyn, NY. We sampled 201 ChatRoulette sessions,
noting characteristics such as group size and gender. We also conducted 30
brief interviews with users to inquire about their age, location, and
frequency of ChatRoulette use.*


*• ChatRoulette represents an example of a probabilistic community: a
community shaped by a platform which mediates the encounters between its
users by eliminating lasting connections between them. *

*• After ChatRoulette users become more acquainted with the system (ie., do
not browse solely to explore), we predict a decrease in explicit content, an
increase in the consolidation of content genres, and an increase in the
formation of celebrity figures. *

*• Our survey shows that ChatRoulette’s current community continues to
consist of males age 18-24, concurrent with Alexa data.*

Alexander Leavitt
Research Specialist, Convergence Culture Consortium
Comparative Media Studies, MIT
Twitter: @alexleavitt

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