Andrey Ternovskiy, the 17-year old Russki responsible for the web's latest Ashton Kutcher-approved House of Horrors, Chatroulette, has reportedly applied for a U.S. visa. And SoHo could be his first stop, since Silicon Alley is on the comeback trail.
Remember Silicon Alley? It made waves back in the heady Monica Lewinsky days of the late '90s, the name a play on the Bay Area's techie haven Silicon Valley. New York's facsimile stretched down Lower Broadway from the Flatiron District through SoHo. The dot.com crash of 2001 hobbled the area, which lost ground to not only San Francisco, but also, shudder, Boston.
But Web 2.0's focus on social networks and endlessly fragmented media have made NYC a magnet for start-ups once again. Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures, which invests in local services like FourSquare and Tumblr explained to the Times:
"[Ten years ago] 80 percent of software was being built for enterprise. Now, it’s being written for consumers and is more media-centric than ever. And, historically, those have been New York’s strongest sectors.”
Ternovskiy would make quite a splash if he sat down for a Balthazar breakfast or Lure lunch. Maybe even Denton would deem him worthy enough to dine with? And he'd have Pravda just a webcam's throw away should homesickness for Mother Russia take over.
Hell, a cameo on the rumored Brighton Beach reality show (think Jersey Shore meets Eastern Promises) would bring Chatroulette even more exposure, but hopefully not of the site's masturbating old man variety. Chatroulette might have made all of us internet reality stars, but we doubt reality TV semi-celebrities would hold that against it.