Can Yobongo Avoid The “Masses Are Asses” Chat Room Problem?

Let’s say I invite you to a chat with me, you, and Bill Gates. Or Steve Jobs. Or Barack Obama. You pick one. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Now, lets say we invite in 1,000 random people. Wouldn’t your utility go down? Of course it would.

That’s the “masses are asses” problem that hit chat rooms.

So, when Caleb Elston, founder of Yobongo, told me he had a way to solve that problem, I was intrigued.

How does he solve it with his new service Yobongo?

1. He keeps the chat room size small. Only about 10 people. Others will be pushed into another chat room.

2. Yobongo’s chat rooms will be location-based, so you’ll have one thing in common, you’ll be chatting with other people near to you.

3. Yobongo is keeping track of who you actually chat with, who you like, who you private message with, etc, and will continually improve the room.

In the interview with Caleb you can hear my scepticism. But that was before I tried Yobongo.

Now I’m addicted, but still sceptical about how they grow over time.

See, it put me into a room with people who all have something in common: we’re early adopter crazy people.

But will this work when normal everyday people join the service?

Will it still be interesting when we get drunk at SXSW? Techcrunch thinks it could be one of the hot services there.

Will it solve the “masses are asses” problem?

We will see. For now I’m in a cool chat with 10 people arguing about which winery in Napa is best and we’re discussing Zagat‘s new design (if you’re a foodie that’s a site you should watch). Gotta run!


This post originally appeared at Scobleizer.


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