(NB: Sandeep’s and my consulting fees remain quite modest.) art art of office politics banana seeds blog books boston california chicago coffee computers crime current events decision-making economics education evolution family financial crisis food and wine friends funny game theory incentives i Phone kludge language law marriage maths movies music obama politics psychology publishing sandeep has bad taste sanitation sport statistics suicide teaching terrorism the web tomatoes travel TV vapor mill war winter writing i think i disagree, and here’s why: i don’t think a ‘win’ in chatroulette is a long, worthwhile conversation.
there’s boatloads of lemons, to be sure; not just obscene scenes, but also just people without their camera on.however, since the cost of moving on is so low (just press ‘next’), the ecosystem can withstand a huge amount of duds in between worthwhile scenes.self-servingly, i attempted to analyze the appeal of chatroulette in the Becker/Murphy rational addiction framework here, but i don’t think it really works.the site is just weird, and think it will just be a short-lived, deeply disturbing novelty.Chat Roulette (NSFA) is a textbook random search and matching process.Except that it is missing a key ingredient: an instrument for screening and signaling.
That, coupled with free entry, means that everyone’s payoff is driven to zero.
In practice the big problems with Chat Roulette are These are all screening mechanisms: you earn control over whom you match with.
But the system also needs a signaling mechanism: a way for a brand new user to signal to established users that she is worth matching with.
The problem is that a good signal requires a commitment to reputation if you don’t measure up.
But without a way to stop users from just creating new identities, these penalties have no force.
This is a super-interesting design problem and someone who comes up with a good one is going to get rich.