A browser plugin called WhoIsLive is looking to make the experience of Web browsing a whole lot more social — adding live chat and more to sites that didn't have it previously. The idea is sound, and could be either awesome or awkward, depending on what site you're on. Here's how it works.
Because WhoIsLive is a plugin for your browser (it looks like the service currently supports Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome), it doesn't need to get the permission of individual websites. An app for Facebook, for instance, would have to work within the site's privacy requirements, such as they are. Not WhoIsLive. WhoIsLive doesn't play by the rules.
So, say you're looking at Facebook, or your favorite tech blog or some embarrassing porn website. If other folks using WhoIsLive are looking at the same page, you'll be able to see them, send them status updates and even chat in real-time.
In a lot of ways this could be really cool and useful. Folks could engage one another over the review of a new gadget, or discuss a recipe or album release or anything at all. Of course, just how useful it really is depends on how many people use it, as WhoIsLive users can only interact with others on the service.
Just think of all the new friends you could meet with similar interests! Say, that girl with the cute buddy icon is into the same conceptual cooking gadgets as you are! And hey, maybe you're not the only one with a fascination for bizarre vending machines! And lo, the world's not so big and scary after all.