Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Merton on Chatroulette

Early in 2010, Chatroulette became an Internet phenomenon. The site, which allowed users to anonymously chat via webcam with a stranger and quickly move on to another one, gained rapid popularity but burned out as quickly as it rose to fame. During the site's heyday, one user, who called himself simply Merton, gave the typically voyeuristic site an optimistic twist, performing improvised piano tunes based on his chat partners. He posted the results to YouTube and gained millions of views. Many assumed Merton was actually singer Ben Folds — they look alike, and both have piano chops — so the men filmed a video in the same room to prove that, yes, they are two different people. Though Merton might now have a similar legion of fans.