Omegle.com has spread across many social networking hubs, forums, and internet chatrooms rapidly over the past few months. It’s a new site with a very simple concept: you log in anonymously and talk to someone else. Someone random, someone you’ve *probably* never even met before, just talking about whatever. It seems like a breeding ground for spam and pranks, but it ultimately seen very positive results in traffic and user response.
After logging into Reddit the other day, I was surprised to see in one of my favorite subreddits IAmA a topic by the title “I made Omegle.com. AMA“. I figured this was just a prank, but the submitter even provided some proof. I was shocked, and it was the perfect time to learn a bit more about a great upcoming social media website.
It turns out his name is Leif K-Brooks, he reveals in the text document he posted to the static directory of Omegle. He went through and answered as many questions as he could in the short time he had, but I was very impressed with a lot of the answers. The post had over 1000 comments last time I checked on it and the thread contains some really interesting stuff.
One of the most popular questions people have is how did you come up with the idea. He answers this question very well in one of his comments on Reddit:
Well, my media-friendly answer to why I created Omegle is that I observed social interactions and noticed that people tend to associate based on common interests; and while that’s completely understandable, if it’s the only kind of social interaction, people’s lives will become stagnant because you can’t learn much from someone who’s just like you. Therefor, I created Omegle as a sort of melting pot; a place where people could interact safely with those outside of their normal social groups.
I really do think that’s a goal Omegle can serve, but I originally started working on the site out of boredom and curiosity more than anything. It was just a fun coding project.
Reddit’s obsession was really funny to watch, since I’m a long-time reddit user. I think it was mostly a good thing for the site; redditors talked a lot about trolling the site, but I think they actually had a higher ratio of good conversations than people from a lot of other sites.
Another popular question, and one that was on my mind as soon as I saw the thread was “Do you make enough moeny to live off of from Omegle?”. Leif replies:
Yes, although I’m a college student, so I’d probably be living off of student loans if I weren’t living off of Omegle. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll want/need to get a “real job” once I’m out of college.
Also, how did you come up with the name Omegle?
I was working on a different project before Omegle, and it kept breaking due to an error from a third-party service it used. The error code wasn’t documented, and I wanted a name for it, so I nicknamed it “error code omega” because it was sort of apocalyptic. Omegle was eventually named after that.
However the questions aren’t all generic. He also goes over some of the backend stuff that a lot of the techies and programmers would understand. Turns out the site is built on Python using the Twisted Framework, and it only runs on one server. He goes on to say that the site doesn’t even use a database to store any of the conversations, but if a database needs to be implemented in the future it would probably be PostgreSQL.
It was fun meeting a sort-of internet celebrity, even though it wasn’t really meeting him. The questions were really great and it’s awesome to see kids in college creating such impressive web 2.0 applications that are drawing massive amounts of attention from social networking communities. Oh, and the last and best question of them all:
How do you pronounce the website’s name?
Oh-meg-ull. I used to just say that it’s pronounced like a combination of ‘omega’ and ‘Google’, but apparently, a lot of people pronounce ‘omega’ as oh-mee-guh, which is just strange.
You can check out the Reddit thread here.