If Chatroulette made you squirm, then you'll definitely have trouble with Tinychat and its new location-sharing feature.
Chatroulette, you'll recall, is the site that lets you randomly connect to Webcams around the world. There's always a chance you'll find an interesting person and engage in a fascinating conversation. But you're more likely to connect to someone showing off body parts that would normally be covered by clothing.
Chatroulette focuses on one-to-one contact, but you can move on from one video chat to another by hitting "next." The site rolled out with local features called Localroulette that snatched users' IP addresses, but the idea didn't take off--the Web page for the local service doesn't exist anymore.
Now, for better or worse, Tinychat has revived the location-sharing idea (as an optional feature), and it goes a step farther than Chatroulette in another area as well. It displays several Webcam streams on a single page ("Brady Bunch" style), thus creating the equivalent of a chat room.
If you think the prospect of even more exposed body parts--attached to people who know where you live--would appeal only to the very brave or the very bizarre, you might want to think again: Tinychat says it's growing at a rate of 50,000 new users every day and that there are about 30,000 active chat rooms (public and private) receiving a million visits a day. The company also boasts of having some celebrity backers, including Ashton Kutcher, Diddy, Madonna manager Guy Oseary, and Ron Burkle.
The new location feature is optional and reveals only a 10-mile radius if you decide to share where you are. … Read more