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Pandalous.com: A virtual living room

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The one place you can talk bacon ice cream, Shakespeare v. Lil Wayne, and Star Trek all at the same time 
07/13/2010

Pandalous.com photo

There are so many social media sites these days you can’t even count them all—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Digg—not to mention the never-ending amount of blogs ranging from personal to business to completely random. With all that out there on the internet, it’s pretty easy to get confused and lose sight of why many go online in the first place: to publish opinions, and to make voices heard.

The solution to this modern-day dilemma? Pandalous.com.

According to the website, “Pandalous is a site where people who like to think share their views and deepen their understanding of everything that matters. We're a new, vibrant internet community with a growing membership; we've set out to gather a diverse, thoughtful and articulate crowd to share in the experience of living.” Think of it as a digital gathering place, like a living room of a house, to converse intelligently about any idea or topic you can think of.

According to Assaf Peretz, CEO of Pandalous, the audience started small in early 2009 and has been growing steadily ever since.

 “The original group was comprised of Berkeley and Harvard grads but it quickly attracted people from all different places and walks of life, ranging from college students to Tibetan monks,” Peretz says.

Some of these community members include some well-known Israeli artists. Of note is the author Etgar Keret,   who has posted a story of his in The Library called “Snot”. Also in The Library, Nir Ratzkovsky, one of the most important translators to Hebrew from French, has posted excerpts from a future book of a translator journal of The Kindly Ones. And in many different rooms, concert pianist Edna Stern, writes about topics ranging from music to literature to even vampires.

But why a living room of all places? To explain, there is conveniently a section on the welcome page labeled “Why Pandalous?

“We found as we grew up that it was going to be more or less impossible to get all the people we missed talking to in the same room (or even the same country) on a regular basis; Pandalous is the living room we wished we had,” the site says. “Our goal is to create a new kind of internet experience, what we call a ‘Social Wiki,’ somewhere between publishing, blog posts and chat. A place where each member is a unique voice in a novel community, and a building block in a growing encyclopedia for everyday life.”

And as for the name? Well, that’s up for debate…which is exactly what the creators of Pandalous wanted.

In this virtual Living Room, you can discuss all sorts of things. Topics range from the deeply philosophical, like “What if the devil could be killed?” to the completely random, like “Dear CNN, I hate you” . But don’t assume you are limited to only one room. Surrounding the Living Room, in the shape of a house, are 28 different rooms, like the Computer Room, the Garage, the Testimonial Room, etc. Any topic you can think of is there under these 29 different themes, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for? Easy. Just make a new topic, and ignite a brand new debate.

Sound like just a regular old blog? That’s where you’re wrong. Pandalous boasts superior features that beat out normal blogs, the sites creators say. Features like an already existing community allow you to post whatever and whenever you feel like it, without becoming a slave to you own personal blogs. Another benefit of posting to Pandalous is that your posts are read and engaged with for years as topics are constantly and randomly hosted on the homepage, instead of the couple-of-days life expectancy of most other content sites. One of the biggest draws of the site, however, is the ability to have “Conversations” which allows for a deepening of your understanding of the subject matter you are reading or posting about, with just about anyone in the world—provided they have internet access.

So whether you’re in the mood to rant, wondering how to find the right gym for you, or you’re craving to learn the “ethics” of being vegan, pull up a chair and join the Conversation. As the Pandalous motto goes, “the internet doesn’t have to be a waste of time.”

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