Imagine that instead of my nickname above this message, there was a a camera icon, with a little green dot next to it indicating that I was online in real time, and that, assuming you also had the requisite equipment, could just click on that icon, and there I would be, in real time, full motion and full audio.
You wouldn’t know me from Adam.
This scenario is here now, but only for those so equipped (see http://www.apple.com/isight/). It’s bound to become mainstream in the next couple of years.
But would anyone actually cross that boundary of anonymity that is provided by text? How many of us would be willing to take a forum “to the next level”?
If you had the choice, would you really want to click on that camera icon and suddenly begin talking to a total stranger in real time, real life?