The half-life of an Internet meme is shorter than the life of a ripe avocado. Double Rainbow Guy, Steven Slater, Bros Icing Bros--those have all come and gone faster than you can make guacamole. ChatRoulette was the hottest fad on the Internet for a solid few weeks, only to lapse into an endless parade of eye-scorching man-parts with little of the joy it originally inspired.
Mashable is reporting that ChatRoulette is currently down, sporting a message stating:
Interviews with ChatRoulette's founder, Andrey Ternovskiy, showed that the teenage ingenue is thinking bigger than other quick-made Internet celebrities like, say, Christian Lander of Stuff White People Like. Ternovskiy had entertained huge offers for ChatRoulette, but turned them all down in favor of keeping the property himself. He even partnered with Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who will be played by Justin Timberlake later this year in The Social Network, though TechCrunch hears that partnership may have ended.
So what's next for ChatRoulette? There was talk of an algorithm to lessen the male nudity, by directing people to users who are "nexted" least often (working under the assumption that the exhibitionists are nexted quickly and often, which hopefully is the case). But really, we don't know what lays in the future for ChatRoulette.
More important is the distinct possibility that nobody cares what's in the future for ChatRoulette. We're on to different things now, new memes, new technologies, new timewasters. The fact is, I haven't gone to ChatRoulette in months, and I wonder if Ternovskiy can come up with a compelling reason to change that pattern.