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A conversation without rules
December 12, 2005 5:54 PM   Subscribe

RandomProxy [via mefi projects] Tired of talking to the same people on AIM all the time? RandomProxy allows you to talk to someone randomly and anonymously. Air out your problems with your boss or just find out what the weather is like across the country. Warning: Not for those who strictly adhere to the rules of conversation.
posted by tozturk (45 comments total)

 
When I had AOL. I did the same thing except not annoymously. It was pretty interesting when you were bored.
posted by wheelieman at 5:57 PM on December 12, 2005


Neat idea. It seems the bot is down at the moment, though.
posted by LimePi at 6:31 PM on December 12, 2005


Just as I was diving into a really nifty conversation, RandomProxy signed off. Phooey.
posted by Gator at 6:32 PM on December 12, 2005


I !terminate'd it. Sending !terminate repeatedly crashes it. I feel like such a hacker.


║ ■ Type: AOL ■ Format: IM ║
║ ■ Archives: 1x 4.7GB ■ Date: 12/2005 ║
posted by geoff. at 6:33 PM on December 12, 2005


Wow, I can't wait to get drunk!
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:34 PM on December 12, 2005


Wow, I can't wait to get drunk!

I know. I need to put a sign on my wall that says, "Ryan, are you drunk? If yes, use RandomProxy."
posted by gagglezoomer at 6:36 PM on December 12, 2005


This would appear to be completely broken.
posted by majick at 6:37 PM on December 12, 2005


Aww, this seems really cool. Too bad it's down at the moment. I added the Bot to my Buddy List, so hopefully it'll come back.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:39 PM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


RandomProxy signed on at 9:39:36 PM.
GatorDreaming (9:39:47 PM): Hey.
RandomProxy (9:39:48 PM): You have been paired, chat away!
RandomProxy (9:39:49 PM): This conversation has been terminated.
GatorDreaming (9:39:57 PM): Awww.
RandomProxy signed off at 9:40:00 PM.
What a mercurial bot.
posted by Gator at 6:42 PM on December 12, 2005


Hello everyone.

Seems my dream of getting frontpaged came at an innopportune time, I hope my 15 minutes isn't shot.

The bot is being signed off due to AOLs rate limiting "feature", which I had added protections against, but will need to be revised. It's a fairly simple fix, and I will eventually use a few screenames to balance load. I was actually planning to do that tonight...

Go ahead and add it to your buddy list, it shall return!
posted by phrontist at 6:44 PM on December 12, 2005


is it back?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2005


It's back!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:46 PM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


if this gets beyond pre-alpha it may degenerate into a anonymous hookup service.

Let's see if people start asking for location restrictions or versions like RandomProxy_NYC_Gay.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2005


Now it's gone :-(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


Now it's back!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


It's very off and on right now. It's actually pretty amusing to have all these thirty-second "conversations" with people in between getting disconnected.

Hey, does anyone else remember BuromiSan, the insult bot from detonate.net? I abused a few people with it myself, before AOL made them shut it down.
posted by Gator at 6:49 PM on December 12, 2005


I think I was chatting with Jesus. Then it went offline.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:51 PM on December 12, 2005


eh? it goes away? i got
"RandomProxy: You have been paired, chat away!"
and then nothingness...


*pop*
posted by p3on at 6:55 PM on December 12, 2005


monkeysaltednuts, not a bad idea, though restrictions by things other than location and preference would be cool too. I prefer some sort of neurosis filter -- I think chatting randomly with people with borderline personality disorder, for example, could be a blast.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:56 PM on December 12, 2005


RandomProxy does not respond to my request for a tomato!
posted by Captaintripps at 6:57 PM on December 12, 2005


Now there is no one to ask for tomatoes!
posted by Captaintripps at 7:03 PM on December 12, 2005


I think I've found a fix, but AOL has blocked the RandomProxy user for "connecting and disconnecting to rapidly" (thaaanks geoff!)
posted by phrontist at 7:25 PM on December 12, 2005


Please try again in 10 minutes... You may have to wait longer if you sign in again...

*sigh*
posted by phrontist at 7:41 PM on December 12, 2005


I have now set it up so that it will only foward one message every 5 seconds. If more messages (in a given conversation) are entered in that time, it will ignore all but the first, and reset the timer only when a message is sent. This should prevent the bot from going down, but is unavoidably constraining.
posted by phrontist at 7:46 PM on December 12, 2005


the problem with this anonymous thing is that my every urge is to ask "Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?" I like the idea of speaking to somebody randomly, but how can I be a dignified emissary of my community if I don't know who I'm talking to?

The other problem is that it keeps disconnecting. But once the kinks are worked out, [this is good]s are due.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:07 PM on December 12, 2005


BuddhaInABucket: it is up to you if you want to tell the anonymous person your AIM name. Maybe you really want to further talk with someone who claimes to be a female real estate lawyer in NJ who collects lunch boxes. Or not.

Or you are desparate to up your score for AIM Fight.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 8:20 PM on December 12, 2005


Okay, I'm beginning to suspect that AIM has a limit not just on how many messages an account sends to another account in a given period of time, but how many it sends out total to all accounts. In which case this whole enterprise may be doomed.

One alternative is multiple usernames. This is flagrant violation of the Terms of Service as I understand them, but then again, so is the whole thing.

I must think...
posted by phrontist at 8:38 PM on December 12, 2005


think faster, we want to play
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:42 PM on December 12, 2005


If anyone is feeling creative, take a look at the code. I'm going to sleep on it.

I have failed.
posted by phrontist at 8:45 PM on December 12, 2005


This would be nice if it worked at all.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 8:46 PM on December 12, 2005


This ordeal makes me sad. It's a great idea.
posted by smackfu at 8:58 PM on December 12, 2005


How about forgetting the whole AIM thing and doing it another way...another IM? Java Applet on a website?
posted by Jimbob at 9:02 PM on December 12, 2005


Okay, it appears to be sort of working now. But as soon as a bunch of people get on it doesn't.

So here is the plan. Everybody post your emails so we can coordinate when to use it and...

Oh... wait...

;-)

I'll set up a bunch of accounts and the bot will hand connections off to them. I see no reason why that shouldn't work. I'll update the website when this change is made.
posted by phrontist at 9:03 PM on December 12, 2005


phrontist: don't give up! You've made something really cool so far. I can see myself using this a lot when none of my other friends are online and I'm really bored.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:09 PM on December 12, 2005


I'm tempted to blatantly abscond with the posted code and port this to Google Talk / Jabber, which will likely have far fewer problems. Would anyone use it?
posted by majick at 9:15 PM on December 12, 2005


People are using this. I'm watching the number of conversations climb...

Is someone successfully holding conversations, or is this an error?
posted by phrontist at 9:19 PM on December 12, 2005


Somewhat relevant link: An earlier Perl AIM bot attempt, with a few suggestions on how to get around the limits (and a fix from a mysterious benefactor).
posted by whatnotever at 9:28 PM on December 12, 2005


I've held several half conversations (to the dude who was asking me dating advice! I only got half of your situation, but good luck!), but always get delayed or disconnected or cut off somehow.
It sucks getting into a conversation without being able to finish it, but I'll keep trying.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:29 PM on December 12, 2005


Metafilter: Chatting randomly with people with borderline personality disorder could be a blast.
posted by pompomtom at 10:01 PM on December 12, 2005


[22:07] lesyndicat: greets from los angeles :)
[22:07] RandomProxy: >western mass here
[22:07] RandomProxy: >oh man this is great acid
[22:07] RandomProxy: >um
[22:07] RandomProxy: >gotta go
[22:07] RandomProxy: This conversation has been terminated.

Hmmm....
posted by starscream at 10:08 PM on December 12, 2005


I tried it yesterday afternoon- it was interesting how the dynamics of a conversation change when you know very little about the person to whom you're talking. I found myself grasping desperately for common ground at first, and then, gradually relaxing and having an interesting conversation.

If you were to (eventually) collect some demographic information about the pairings (and even have a voluntary exit questionaire), there might be some quite interesting sociology experiments. I guess the first priority would be to get it working consistently.
posted by JMOZ at 8:13 AM on December 13, 2005


phrontist: Take AIM out of the picture. If both people using it are doing it because they want to talk to a stranger, they might as well be using a chat feature on a website.
posted by mendel at 10:40 AM on December 13, 2005


This is an awesome idea. You should make it work so that we can use it.
posted by bondcliff at 11:32 AM on December 13, 2005


Yeah would some brainiac get this up and working already? Seems like you could set up multiple aim accounts (ie. RandomProxyNYC, RandomProxyLA, RandomProxyDFW, etc.) and do it that way, or perhaps using the GoogleTalk/Jabber method. I'm no code whiz but I WANT this toy.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:52 AM on December 14, 2005


Hassle me over the weekend (so I don't forget) and I'll see what I can do.
posted by majick at 7:26 AM on December 15, 2005


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