I’ve been enjoying a new service called Olark. It pops a little click-to-chat box in the corner of my browser window, and lets any reader chat me instantly from my website, connecting with my Adium (or most other chat clients.) A service like this is miles away from the inclusion of an email link or phone number. It adds a comforting layer of anonymity while at the same time reaching out and saying “Here! I am available to chat with you, right here and now, with no further effort on your part.”
I’ve gotten some use out of it so far, with a few readers asking questions about my posts. I’m hoping that it turns my website into more of a two-way conversation, but for not it is mostly me pinging my visitors. “Hello,” I will say, “what’s up?”, this being incredibly risky considering I have absolutely no idea who the visitor is. So far, I think it’s been treated as spam or an odd gadget rather than a real human being waiting for a response, but I await the day when I message a reader of my blog and make a real connection.
How are you playing with technology and connection?