Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Idea: Topical Chat

This website would take the top headlines from a tech or political site for that day – at first just from Reddit (you gotta start somewhere), but later, from other sites too, in aggregated form, similar to Techmeme, but across different topics you can navigate to from the frontpage (entertainment, politics, technology etc.). It would present them in some sort of list of headlines with a link to the discussion source. Below every headline on the frontpage there’s an expandable chat box window. You log-in once into the site and then you can expand any one of these chat boxes, and see who’s in there, and read the chat log, and join yourself with remarks by typing them in a box, similar to IRC and others.

The chat wouldn’t be a replacement of the discussion going on at the other site, but an addition to it. One benefit: a discussion evolving in chat can be very dynamic, and also, late-comers won’t be punished by having their comment be added to the bottom of the page.

After a while, the chat room for that topic of that day is permanently closed, with the chat log made available as a public archive somewhere else.

Now during the chat, every sentence you type can be upvoted, the results of which show in real time in that chat window next to the sentence. Spammers on the other hand can be flagged accordingly, so that they will have problems typing new stuff (provided they have low karma to begin with, and those who flagged them are somewhat trusted users in the system, judged by their own karma record). In the chat log made available in the archive, top-upvoted comments will be highlighted in bold, so that you can quickly scroll through the chat view and see what caught the attention of the crowd at the time.

In the beginning, the site would perhaps just start by showing the top 3 or so topics for the day, because perhaps not many people use the site yet, and chat rooms shouldn’t be empty. As the site grows, so would the diversity of topics and sites it aggregates for its top topics (and it could be ported to other spoken languages). A browser extension could later be made available to dynamically alert you, when browsing a site like Reddit, that there’s a chat available for the page you’re on, so that you can instantly open it; but this extension wouldn’t be too crucial because it would need a huge number of users to be useful, so the typical starting point for most would still be the Topical Chat site itself.


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!