All the charm of a martini bar, without all that "courtesy"

Curmudgeon mode, Engage!

I’m a big gadget/Web/Internet/wasting time fan, but the latest waste of time just made me laugh today. It’s called firefly. Firefly (sorry, firef.ly; did no one learn from del.ici.ous, wait, deli.cio.us, damn it del.icio.us?) is a service that lets you add (sigh) live chat to your web site. Really. Live chat. You know, for all those deep, moderated discussions taking place on the Web.

Firefly runs on Flash and a Javascript library (as far as I can tell), that lets anyone on your site chat with the other people on your site. I don’t know if someone on the homepage is chatting with someone on a sub-page, but really, who cares? This only works when a couple of things are in alignment: you have sufficient traffic and people want to talk about what you’re writing about.

Those two things also basically guarentee that you will have a high Internet troll quotient. And now, he’s a real-time, unmoderated, permanently S3-stored troll. It’s also next to impossible reference another chatter to, yah know, have a conversation.

It’s a cute toy, but that’s all it will be. Om Malik is saying it’s in Alpha on HuffPo; I’d love to hear how they’re dealing with political Internet trolls over there.

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