Read/Write web and Webware both have coverage of me.dium which shows you who else is on the site you’re on. It also shows you where your friends are hanging out online. And it shows you where people go to from the site you are on at any moment. You can chat with people who are on the site you’re on, too. Me.dium is a browser plug-in, so it works on any site.
I’ve seen several sites like this but is crowd dependent – its only interesting if other people I know are using the service. Until then, can I be bothered? It doesn’t feel like a must have app which will improve my productivity, but then I am a wee bit nosey about what certain friends are looking at, who also love new services, in case I am missing out on something “exciting”.
It’s possible that they might mention exciting sites be that via their blog in or an IM, but that involves overhead for them. This way, being able to observe their surfing trail happens as a by-product.
I’m less concerned about the privacy issues since I can turn “invisible” when browsing, just the same as being invisible on my messaging services [provided I remember, which is a concern since I invariably forget to change my IM setting from “available”]. But I’m equally relaxing about disclosing where I am. Notably, more of my IM buddies are starting to report things like what music they are listening to via various plug-ins.
However, I am far less interesting in bumping into strangers on websites & striking up conversations – services like gabbly offer this facility and it just doesn’t do it for me.