There was a time when yahoo chat rooms were ‘in’. a/s/l was the buzzword way before RT even existed.
The yahoo chatrooms allowed you to pretty much pick any topic of your interest and join in conversation with a bunch of people that you did not need to know. There was true exchange of ideas without having to break ice or know about the other person. Sure the occasional ASLs were exchanged and people took conversation off the group into the personal domain. But it really was the coolest thing ever. Don’t have friends that listen to western classical? Join the chat room for it and have intelligent and rewarding conversations with strangers from all over the world.
Twitter started out that way too. You could follow anyone you found interesting, without having to say hello or ask about his dog. You could follow his thoughts and the links he shared. Scott Frogg and Shashi Tharoor was suddenly within reach. You could shout out to them and engage in interesting conversation.
But somewhere along the way with @replies, people turned it into personal networks and group chat with many followers finding themselves in the middle of conversations that are useless to them. Is twitter now perhaps a FacebookLite.
With the demise of the yahoo chat room, where does today’s surfer go for interesting conversations without having to engage personally? Omegle?