covarla: (Default)
[personal profile] covarla
So, I randomly got an IM today from the Yahoo screen name "mediansalmon" which started off with "I don't believe your lies." So, not understanding the context for this my response was "?" After a second the other person responded not with an explanation, as one would expect if it was someone I know (and really most of my friends are weird enough that "I don't believe you lies" could be a response to anything from a livejournal entry to a facebook or twitter status), but instead the person also responded with a "?".

At this point I have to wonder if I've been hit with a spam bot or something so I check the user info, which doesn't have anything. I google the screen name. What I find is that I've just become the newest client/victim/target of Project Upstream. Apparently a computer program gathers screen names from Livejournal updates, Twitter, Facebook, etc and connects two people randomly. The screenname of the computer is randomly generated lately with fish (salmon in my case) in the name. Each person thinks that the other IMed them first, which tends to lead to some irate conversations.

Now, I can see where this could really annoy some people, but I kinda find the concept itself rather intriguing. There's nothing malicious in it, just a project to randomly connect two people who may or may not have anything in common. Yeah, most of the time it's just going to be meaningless conversations and people yelling at each other to argue about who IMed who first, but the potential is there for spontaneous friendships to be created. And that, I find as kinda neat.

There's a livejournal community dedicated to the phenomenon - themissing hat and there's also a webpage for Project Upstream where you can request a "robotic fish connection".
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August 2010

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