WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) is a communication way between 2 (or more) browsers without a server doing the job. It allows, for instance, to make video streaming, radio broadcasting stations, chats, or real-time edition apps.
Some weeks ago, at the beginning of the lockdown in Spain, I did a fork from another project to create World Base Chat, a tool to meet your neighbors online. It allows you to chat with your neighbors, the ones you know and the ones you don’t.
A bit of history
When the lockdown started, I encouraged the use of Next Door. This is a platform that allows neighbors to be in touch, make groups, offer and request help… However, some users said to me that this is requesting a lot of information and that’s true.
Next week, Google announced the shut down of Neighbourly, an app to connect you with your neighbors and make sharing local information more human and helpful.
I wanted a way to talk to people from my town to know, for instance, if I can help them with something. But, I also wanted the possibility to talk to people from NYC, New Delhi, and other locations to ask them how is the situation there. I wanted the capacity to ask people at the origin of the information in a time full of fake news.
I forked another project to build, spending only two days, the seed of World Base chat, a web app to meet your neighbors.
There are some users using the app, so I think that it could be a real thing.
It is not too beautiful, but it owns the functionalities that everybody needs to stay in touch with their neighbors.
Functionalities of World Base Chat
It allows anonymous users to chose a location to chat with anybody connected to the same location or the regions that contain it. So, if you choose Madrid (the city), you can chat with people in Madrid (the city and the region) but also in Spain and in the World chat. Everybody is in the World chat because all the people are on the planet or orbiting around.
You can also create a group linked to any location. You can create a group for your neighborhood. A group to contact your friends from the bowling alley. You can create a group for your University campus or for the basketball court. Yes, you can create a group for whatever you want and share the link to spread the new meeting point.
You can also see some ‘Top hosts’ that are currently active, and the data from Wordlometer related to coronavirus, in order to avoid fake news.
I know that this is very basic functionality, but this bus just started its trip and I am thinking about the next stops while doing some little improvements.
I did some tests and got some data, and I think that the bigger next stop is private chats with the possibility to add voice and/or video to the conversation. I am starting to validate this and I trust that it is going to be a changemaker.
There are other nice-to-have like beauty and/or custom user names, maybe a registry, an emoji keyboard, drawing open graph information when people share a link… but my bid is for video chat. What do you think?
I would love read your feedback, just here or in the World Base Chat.