Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]
One of my favorite things to do online is chat. Real-time chats haven’t been done well since the old aol chatroom days where you could enter a room based on the city you were close to, or an interest that you had.
Since aol, apps like Yobongo have tried to bring chat back with real-time serendipitous chats based on your location.
Today a simple app called “Sirkel” was released.
Set your chat Sirkel
By dragging the slider up and down on the right hand side of Sirkel, you can choose how much of the world you’d like to chat with. Your default circle is set to 3 miles.
You log in with your Facebook account, and the app asks you for your location. Once you get going, it’s kind of neat to see new people pop up on the map.
Chatting through your browser
Since Sirkel kept things simple, there is nothing to download. By clicking the photo above the red dot when someone pops up on the map, a chat is started with them. The chat interface is clean, and lays nicely on top of the map.
I could see leaving Sirkel up on my extra monitor, glancing at it once in a while to see if anyone is active. What we miss on Twitter and Facebook is real-time interactions with people that we don’t know. While this might not be something for everyone, it is a nice way to chat outside of your normal circle.
Considering that you can drag around the map, it will be interesting to see which areas embrace Sirkle, if any. The only downside to Sirkel is that there is no “friends list”, so if I chat with someone I have to remember their name, otherwise it’s likely that we’ll never talk again.
Try chatting outside of your default 3 miles, and see who you meet! Since the app requires you to login with Facebook, Sirkel won’t end up being rowdy or crude, since peoples real names are coming along with the incoming chat requests.
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