Last week a pretty interesting little web startup called Blabbelon debuted. Think of it as a CB radio for gamers. Using high quality audio, provided by Skype’s SILK codec, and a basic flash interface, it allows you to instantly invite pals to “blab” using a push-to-talk metaphor. Wanna talk? Push and hold the shift key and speak into your microphone. When done, release the key.
It’s fun, it’s funky, and it’s kind of retro. I kept expecting my friend Charlene, who was helping me to try Blabellon out, to yell “Breaker breaker, good buddy… what’s yer 20?”. The creators of Blabellon are hoping that it will catch on as the way for gamers to chat on the web – amongst teams, and also for trash talk with the competition.
More to the point, however, Blabellon is a clever example of how voice communication is changing. It mixes voice and web, and targets a niche “long tail” market of gamers who play games that aren’t already chat enabled. There are millions of these kids, and nobody is trying to reach them.
Perhaps it will catch on, the way twitter did. If nothing else, it’s a fun way for folks of a certain age to remember the golden age of Bert Reynolds, the CB radio, and Smokey and the Bandit.