Meatspaces + Chatspaces



How it started

Worked on a bunch of chat experiments for the past couple of years

Sole was working on an offline WebRTC camera app for Firefox OS.

I asked her the most important question: "Can we take a GIF when a user is doing realtime chat?"

Feature "less"

Started as one public channel, no profiles. Didn't want to make IRC 2.0. But then media hits and we have to make decisions.

Focused on developers using the API to contributing new features, rather than affecting the core codebase.

This resulted in creative and clever plugins/bookmarklets/bots, etc.

Muting and social dynamics

Muting is clientside and records the MD5 hash of the user's fingerprint and IP.

Muting discourages trolling since nobody wants to talk to the troll or give them attention. Troll gets bored and moves on.

Participants create a community by filtering out the noise, encouraging value.


Two communities have grown (that I am aware of).

International (primarily N. American) and French communities.

"Meatups" where people meet in their respective cities and socialize. Real meatspace!

Continuing from Meatspace

Meatspace is and has always been about minimal features and channels.

We only open channels by language when the community is possible (rather than opening too many at once).

Some close friendships and connections are made through this - where do they go next? Private group chat.

Private group chat

Requires profiles

Add one or many friends to a conversation thread.

After 25 messages in a thread, the older ones are removed. No pagination.

Cross-platform via the web

Works on Desktop (Firefox, Chrome), Android (Firefox, Chrome), Firefox OS.


Chat links + Code