Use code MWVIP to get $200 off an all-access pass to Engage! Expo, happening September 23-24 at the San Jose Convention Center. Looks like a nice line-up, including:
* New keynotes include: Jeremy Liew, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Mark Pincus, Founder and CEO, Zynga.
* 125 speakers covering the subjects of virtual goods, social media, digital law and 3D learning.
* Best Buy’s innovative social media strategy keynote: With Best Buy’s Gina Debogovich and Jason Parker.
* Super Social media case studies from leading brands: Walmart, Best Buy, Intel, H&R Block, and Kodak
* Virtual goods case studies from Playdom, Six Degrees Games, MyYearbook. Plus hear from Habbo, Zynga, Social Gaming Network, Playfish and more.
* The venture capital point of view: Hear from Lightspeed, Rustic Canyon Partners, SVB Capital and Venture Capital-Private Equity Roundtable
* Get the latest market research from from Strategy Analytics, Interpret, Pearl Research, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, VGMarket and ThinkBalm
* Get your hands dirty on the expo floor with demos of the top new technologies.
* Understand the critical legal ramifications pertaining to games, social media and virtual goods
* Learn how to use the latest 3D technologies within your enterprise to save money now.
Michael Arrington is reporting that the AOL Games Group may be getting ready to launch a social network for World of Warcraft players, since the company owns wow.com. Could AOL’s reach make wow.com a category-killer? Sean Fanning’s Rupture, another WoW socnet, hasn’t particularly taken off, as I understand it. New entrants to virtual world social networking include Koinup as well. More on the subsector at GigaOm.
It’s South by Southwest season again, or at least the run-up to it. For the last two years I’ve headed to Austin for the excellent South by Southwest Interactive festival, a fun week of geeks and great conversations that takes place each spring in one of the greatest small cities in America. The process of choosing who gets to take the stage there, though, starts early. Hugh Forest, who runs the place, has just posted this year’s SXSW Panel-Picker, the mechanism by which a fair portion of the panels are chosen. I’ve proposed two, which I’m going to insist you all go vote on forthwith. Here are the titles, links and descriptions:
â€¢ Presence: Building the Social Web
“Despite social networking, the Web remains a lonely place: a billion people browse it, each one alone. This session examines efforts to make the Web a more social medium by bringing “presence” online. Help us imagine a Web that works less like a library and more like a multiplayer game.”
â€¢ Kicking Virtual Ass and Taking Avatar Names
“What is it like to run the virtual world’s most notorious tabloid? Where do you draw the line between good taste and bad, between information and sensation, between virtual and real — if such a line exists? Explore the role of a very free press in the evolution of online worlds. Dual presentation with [Second Life Herald founder] Peter Ludlow.” Continue reading
Susan Wu, who was instrumental in arranging the Virtual Goods Summit I moderated a panel at in June, emailed me some embargoed news earlier today, and though I begged and pleaded, she asked me wait until midnight to post it. However, I see that the news is already out there, so I have to apologize to Susan and jump the gun, if only slightly: The news is that Charles River Ventures, where Susan is a partner, has just co-led a $5.5 million Series A financing of Conduit Labs, which is “building cool social entertainment destinations for you and your friends. We are bored of the same old social networks, virtual worlds, and MMOs,” according to its placeholder site. Over on Conduit’s blog, CEO Nabeel Hyatt is talking about the investment, and also tells the interesting story of how the comany got started. It’s hard to tell exactly what they’re building over at Conduit, but it sounds like a browser-based games network that’s somehow differentiated from what’s out there already. “We want to deliver a completely new kind of massively multiplayer experience â€” one that requires minutes, not hours, to access and learn, and one that is as rich and social as real-world activities like shooting hoops or jamming in a band. And we wanted it all in a browser, as accessible as your email,” Nabeel says. Later on, he puts Conduit “at the nexus of a lot of whatâ€™s happening on the social web, from Twitter to Areae” (which are both also CRV investments). I’ll be very interested to see what Conduit is cooking up, and whether there’s a form of “social gaming world” that could be that different from current offerings. Considering its backers, though, it’s definitely one to watch.
With the success of Nicktropolis and even more so WebKinz, Club Penguin, and things like GoPets and more (Animal Crossing, anyone?), virtual worlds for kids have become the hot ticket this summer. Two new ones are on their way: one an educational 3D theme park, the other a cool 2D “world” designed in part by Aardman Animations, the outfit behind the excellent Wallace & Gromit cartoons.
The Aardman offering is known as WebbliWorld, and is populated by all kinds of avatars and features beginning for the most part with W- or Webbli-. That’s WebbliWallace above, the avatar I created by sticking together the bits and pieces on offer. Not really an immersive multiuser world, as far as I can tell, WebbliWorld instead offers a range of Flash games and activities designed to educate young ‘uns and inspire them to take on real-world activities like sports or mucking about in the garden. You can view other Webblis profiles, but communication seems limited. Continue reading
Groups are a standard feature of the virtual world of Second Life. They provide communities for avatars with mutual interests, and can range across every interest or specialization known to avatar-kind. Within Second Life an avatar can be a member of up to 25 groups. Sometimes they are used to restrict access to specific areas, but more often they are used as a communication medium, as it is possible to send messages to all (online) members simultaneously.
A couple of months ago a new group was founded by Nick Wilson (aka 57 Miles in Second Life) of the popular Metaversed blog. It was called “Things To Do” and was based on the simple premise that Second Life is a social environment in which it is enjoyable to share activities with people, and make friends. Things To Do has since grown into both a popular group and an effective communications channel. But it also illustrates some of the limitations of social tools in Second Life, and raises some interesting questions about how to reach and manage large communities of people within the virtual world. Continue reading
The Guardian had not a bad story the other day about the potential for virtual worlds, focusing mostly on business uses. In contrast to some other recent takes on this in the press, the Guardian story seems more balanced to me, acknowledging that things are still at an early stage, and also tipping their hat to a wider universe of worlds than only Second Life. The article also calls out one of my favorite subjects: the convergence of virtual worlds and Web 2.0, which is still at a nascent stage. Judging from who’s quoted there, the article seems to have been inspired in part by the upcoming Virtual Worlds Forum Europe (more on that here), which takes place October 23-26 in London. I’ve been hoping to make that, but it’s looking less and less likely. There’s an excellent roster of speakers that are going to be on hand, though, so if you’re in the area, go for it.
I won’t be able to make this, unfortunately, but what sounds a really interesting panel will be held this Thursday, July 19, in the virtual world of Second Life. Kicking off at 6pm SL time (9pm Eastern), the panel will be a “Virtual Roundtable,” discussing “what drives the virtual human connection.” Moderated by Giff Constable of the Electric Sheep Company, it features some great speakers: Susan Wu of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Charles River Ventures, Beth Coleman of MIT, Robin Harper of Linden Lab, and Chris Carella, creative director of the Electric Sheep Company. Continue reading
Google’s Charles Hudson, a host of the Virtual Goods Summit, moderated the last panel of the day, on virtual goods and entertaiment.
Jim Greer of Kongregate
Erik Bethke of GoPets
Sean Ryan of Meez
Charles: What motivates people to stay engaged, and how do virtual goods play into that?
Ryan: For us it’s about self-expression. When our users spend 4-6 hours online, self-experssion as they show themselves in their IM, in their blogs, in the game, is incredbly impoertant to them. Our most loyal users are female. Unlike in Second Life, where they routinely blow up the American Apparel store, it has to be a conscious choice to engage with the brand. We find our users actually associate with brands. It comes down to, I’m online and I want to express something about my identity to everyone else. Continue reading
Conference host Susan Wu moderated an afternoon panel addressing the question of whether virtual worlds are “the next big business model” at the Virtual Goods Summit.
Tim Stevens of Doppelganger
Kevin Effrusy, general partner with Accel Partners (investor in Facebook)
Dan Kelly, CEO of Sparter
Min Kim of Nexon
Susan: How do you guys estimate the size of the overall virtual goods market?
Dan: It’s easily a billion dollar [secondary] market. Consumers have told us these things have value, the industry now is trying to reconcile that with their business model. Continue reading
Denise Caruso and Clay Shirky opened Supernova 2007 this morning by approaching the socially networked environment of the World Wide Web from two different directions. Caruso’s basic thesis was that people needed to break out of their insular social networks and take additional risks in order to bring in a greater variety of viewpoints and push innovation forward. Shirky called for the industry to rely more heavily on love, and posited that love would be a better indicator of where the IT industry is headed than business models are. Continue reading
Hm, I must have fallen out of favor with the folks at MTV, since I heard about this not from them but from one of the artists involved in the project. What is it? It’s nothing less than Virtual Lower East Side, or vLES, for short, which is basically the implementation of what was to be known as MTV’s Music World. Using Doppelganger‘s technology, MTV has built out a more or less street-for-street replica of New York’s Lower East Side, complete with virtual versions of the area’s real clubs and restaurants. This is like the seedy sister world to Virtual Hills and Laguna Beach. Essentially, it’s a 3D virtual world with a MySpace for bands attached. If things are still on course, your band can get promoted from the Web-based social network into the virtual world, if you’re popular enough, with the distant possibility of actually getting into rotation on one of MTV’s channels if you do well enough there. (The site doesn’t say that, but that’s what I was told wehn I was working on the article linked above.) It’s just now in alpha, so you probably can’t get in yet, but the site shows some promising features, including a cool map highlighting the few establishments that have already been built out. But the $64 million question is, Can this gain any traction with young hipsters here and with those who aspire to hipsterdom elsewhwere but who can’t get to the Lower East Side they’ve always wanted to see?
One of the great things about lifelogging is that it takes a bunch of data that formerly had been in the hands only of companies and the government, if anyone, and puts it back in the hands of the individual. At the moment, Amazon.com knows enough about me to recommend Infotopia, but unless I care to do some clumsy screen-scraping, what I buy on Amazon stays on Amazon; there’s no way for me to combine that Amazon data with a Netflix history and my Zappos purchases to build a more detailed profile of myself. That’s a shame, but we’re now approaching the point when something like that should soon be possible. Already, there are services and applications out there that can record my browsing history in more or less detail, including stuff like Google History, Justin Hall’s Passively Multiplayer Online Game, Slife, Me.dium and several others. Me.dium, in fact, has been able to leverage the attention data flowing through its Firefox plugin into a $15 million Series B round of funding. This very perceptive blog post (which is excellently titled — and from which I’ve stolen the image above) starts to get at why lifelogging services like Me.dium could become very valuable as the broader metaverse takes shape: “Me.diumâ€™s technology, by tracking peopleâ€™s behavior, could become valuable to advertisers looking for more ways to target ads.” Continue reading
June 13 will see cable new network CNN kick off something it’s calling a Future Summit with a “landmark television event.” Why does 3pointD care? Because the series, which looks like it will unfold more on the Web than on the air, starts with Future Summit: Virtual Worlds, featuring everyone from Linden Lab CEO Phhilip Rosedale to Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield, Funcom CEO Trond Aas, and people like EA co-founder Trip Hawkins, Jimmy Wales and Nick Yee, among others. There’s precious little information on the site about just what’s happening and when, but it sounds like it should contain a lot of information of interest to metaversal types. Continue reading
Artur Bergman, writing on O’Reilly Radar, has a good wrap of the location-based services that were trotted out last night at Where 2.0. We posted yesterday about UpNext, about which there’s now more detail, and Artur has good insights into other services as well.
UpNext sounds pretty cool, featuring “a 3D cityscape of New York” where you can zoom around, select different data sets and mash up things like your Upcoming.org events. Plus, “You can click on any building to find out what is in it, as well as tag buildings.” It’s not avatarized nor multi-user, but otherwise sounds quite nice. Of course, it sounds like you could build similar functions for Google Earth with a little bit of effort, and the new Google Maps Street View gives you a crude approximation of the scene at street level (it actually took me a minute to recognize the facade of the building I live in when I looked it up). But UpNext sounds like — sorry about all the “sounds like,” there’s still very littile information on just how it works and what it does — it sounds like it comes ready to load up with events and people and all the rest, which means it could catch on if people dig the interface. Continue reading
UpNext is in closed beta, but it sounds like it could be very cool. According to Mashable, it provides “a 3D virtual cityscape, providing users a way to explore cities. UpNext will offer ways to search visually online to find out whatâ€™s going on in their city, or cities, on a local level.” Very cool, very metaversal, very 3pointD. The team (seen above), which has just started a blog, is launching the service tonight at Where 2.0. If this works, it could be close to the virtual Williamsburg that the Electric Sheep Company‘s Jerry Paffendorf is always on about. It doesn’t sound like it’s avatarized, though we won’t know until tonight. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit surprised that no one has combined these ideas yet: a 3D representation of my neighborhood, links to the Web, and all in an avatarized, multiuser space. Coming soon, I imagine. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing what’s up next for UpNext.
DoMyStuff.com actually launched in April, but it represents an interesting dovetail with some of the ideas that knock around among some of the younger metarati. In particular, a few people have been talking about wish markets: marketplaces that let buyers announce what they’re looking for and receive offers from vendors, rather than the normal course of commerce as we’ve come to know it, in which vendors announce their products and receive offers from buyers. Wish markets are cool not only because they tend to promote competition if they’re broad enough, and thus lower prices (as on Priceline), but also because they allow you to shop for the thing you actually want, rather than having to choose from the limited number of things that are already out there. You can tell a wish market that you want something that might never have existed before, and if you’re willing to pay enough for it, the market will create it for you. Just like having a wish fulfilled (for a price, of course).
DoMyStuff has created what’s more or less a wish market for chores and other small tasks. It’s not terribly unlike Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, where employers crowdsource small tasks, for small change. But DoMyStuff services involve either “local tasks,” which include stuff like Clean My House and Do My Laundry, and Yard Cleaning, or “global tasks,” which are more like Upgrade My WordPress Blog and Find Me Clients, that can be done from anywhere (similar to several sites that list small jobs for programmers and designers). The listings are essentially RFPs, or Requests for Proposals, and are even referred to as such in the php script that runs the site. What that means, of course, is that competition for jobs drives the price down, instead of competition for products driving the price up in an auction market like eBay.
My favorite thing about DoMyStuff, though, is not necessarily the market mechanism. That’s been seen before, here and there. It’s the fact that this market is designed for face-to-face meetings, to create a more dynamic market for chores, of all things. (Isn’t there a Cory Doctorow chapter about a similar system?) Continue reading
MySpace recently announced it would hold a mock presidential election on January 1st and 2nd of next year. (Results will be posted on MySpace’s impact channel.) While that’s obviously not very virtual-worldy, I do think it’s worth noting here, because it’s going to focus a huge amount of attention on one of the most compelling sites of digital identity-making on the Web today. Not that MySpace lacks for attention, but most of that attention perceives it as a novelty. It’s only in the last couple of months that sites like MySpace and other lifelogging-related spaces are starting to be taken more seriously, as important bellwethers of the culture. I’m looking forward to seeing what the coverage of this is like in the press. I’d also love to see “global” polls held in the virtual world of Second Life. Anyone want to set that up?
Pete Cashmore’s excellent Mashable has featured a couple of interesting sites in the last few days that are moving closer to the kind of identity-building tools I’ve been thinking about lately, including the identity-information aggregator I Twitter-predicted for epredator: OtherEgo and YouGetIt let you aggregate your social networking-style identities on a single page. MobileOX is looking to do the same thing. While this isn’t a revolutionary idea (all three services sound like a home-page builder with easy plugin tools), it’s significant that the process of collecting your disparate content and identity information in one place is becoming easier. A technology that’s been around for a while only begins to have a broad impact once it becomes broadly adopted, obviously, and these are just the kind of tools that could lead in that direction. Continue reading
No April Fool’s joke this: 3pointD turned one year old today! It was in the early hours (early minutes, actually) of April 1, 2006, that I posted my first Hello, World! here. Something like 1,400 posts later (can that be? WordPress must be over-counting) and our mission remains the same: “At its most fundamental level, itâ€™s about connecting people in new ways, and about giving them the tools to get more out of not just the Web but out of the real world around them.”
That’s still true, but in the year since then, the 3pointD space (aka the metaverse) has begun to resolve itself a bit — which is perhaps not surprising, since the word didn’t actually mean anything a year ago. What I’ve been trying to describe over the last year is the general direction of the future of connectivity. I still feel, as I wrote last March on my old blog, Walkerings, that “Web 2.0 is over like a hipster neighborhood when The Gap moves in,” and that there’s a new neighborhood to be colonized. That’s of course an overstatement for effect, but I don’t think it’s off the mark. Over the next several (many?) years, the most exciting developments in technology are going to be those that leverage our ever-increasing digital access to places both real and virtual to develop better connections between people in various ways.
The question is, What’s that going to look like? I hate making predictions, but as my birthday present to the blog and its readers, I’ve just spent the evening going out on a limb. You can read the details below or you can jump directly to a brief, fun scenario at the end of the post. Enjoy. Continue reading
The L Word build in the virtual world of Second Life (created by the Electric Sheep Company, sponsors of this blog) has apparently generated quite a following, and is reportedly one of the more successful corporate VW communities in Second Life. Now an interesting thing has happened: Fatty Cardiff, one of the earliest L Word in SL members, has put up a MySpace page for her avatar (including an amusing rap song about the place). According to Electric Sheep Chris Carella, Fatty has been in The L Word in SL from its first or second day, and was founder of the Lesbian Mafia group [UPDATE: see below for a correction], a very large and active user-created group in SL. Fatty is not the first avatar to have a Web-based social networking page, of course, but I love that the in-world L Word community (three times fast) is pushing itself onto the Web in this way. If nothing else, it speaks to the fact that Second Life users want more powerful tools of social networking and self-expression than SL can currently provide. Worlds like Kaneva, Metaversum and Sony’s PS3 home may go further, but based on how those have been described, I’d bet we won’t really be happy until there’s a really deep integration between 3D virtual worlds and some of the social networking services that already exist on the Web, like MySpace and Flickr, to name only two.
Also interesting to note: My discovery chain for this story consisted of a single Twitter update. Nice. Continue reading
After I saw the I-D Media team in Berlin, I met up with Jeremy Snyder of the Berlin-based Metaversum, which I learned is currently working on a virtual world that will feature Web 2.0 integration that sounds along the lines of what’s being done in Kaneva, though perhaps with some extra features. Metaversum’s world has been in development since July of last year, and currently has about 40 people working on it, Jeremy says. (There’s also a hiring notice on their site.) First, though, the company is building out the social networking piece of things, a service known as Yumondo. This is described as “a Web 2.0 platform that will integrate with the world,” and will feature social networking, photo sharing, collaborative event planning and perhaps some other features that have yet to be decided. Look for that in April or May, with any luck. The world itself will be coming “later this year,” and will integrate with the Yumondo platform. The world will feature user-generated content, but it doesn’t sound like it will be quite as free and flexible as that found in Second Life. (Perhaps more like Sony’s PS3 home service? Remains to be seen.) However, it looks like importing of 3D models may be supported, which would be a nice feature. Continue reading
Three services we brought you recently that mash up the virtual world of Second Life and the (also virtual, in its way) World Wide Web, have had new versions released in the last few days. Sloog, TwitterBox, and SLateIt, (originally blogged here, here, and here), are three instances of one of my favorite things: they’re real 3pointD apps that make the 3D world of SL interoperable (to a small extent) with the 2D world of the Web, and in a social, Web 2.0 way. Their initial release was very rough and beta, but now all three have new versions out that have made them easier to use and/or increased their functionality. Excellent news. Full descriptions below. Continue reading
Venture capitalist and World of Warcraft addict Joi Ito and lifelogger Justin Hall sat down for a conversation together in Room 9C on Monday afternoon at South by Southwest. Ben Cerveny joined them midway. Title of the talk: Online Games: Beyond Play and Fantasy.
Ito: I know everyone says this, but we’re going to try to make this as interactive as possible. Justin and I are going to talk about online games and what we can learn from them and things like that. I play World of Warcraft and mess around in Second Life, I think it’s stupid to compare them, it’s like apples and oranges. If you played text MUDs you know MOOs and MUDs split at some point. People who were into furries tended to go toward one, people who went toward the other focused more on gamplay and quests and levels. But it is interesting to compare in terms of what you can learn from them.
I play my WoW videos inside of SL and plan WoW raids in SL. SL is more for simulation for me, I do lots of ritual there, talks and things like that. It’s really not where I build relationships, although different people do that.
Shows a slide of WoW UI. Think all the way back to LambdaMOO, Pavel Curtis was saying the whole Internet will eventually be MUDs or MOOs. You can think of WoW as an evolutionary point in interface design. You can think of this as an interface to everything on the Web. You can make add-ons, there’s the Lua language for scripting that you can do. Shows his own more complex HUD with lots of add-ons. Most of the screen is in 2D. There’s all kinds of sophisticated stuff. Sometimes the 3D world is really important, but when I’m engaged in a boss fight it’s like a pilot looking at instruments rather than at terrain. A Lot of the innovation happens in the user community. Continue reading
RatePoint, which provides a way for users to rate, share, discuss and connect based on how they rate sites on the Web, will launch a new avatar ratings service for the virtual world of Second Life on Monday, according to a press release. I’ve been talking to the RatePoint crew over the last week or so, and the service seems pretty cool (note that RatePoint is an advertiser on 3pointD at the moment, so take that as you will). I especially like the fact that RatePoint will try to match people with other users who’ve rated avatars similarly — more or less like Last.fm builds a constellation of “neighbors” for you based on similar musical tastes. The question for RatePoint’s Second Life service, though, is how much uptake it will actually see in practice. Ratings systems have been a controversial thing in Second Life, and there hasn’t yet been one that’s been wildly successful. Can RatePoint break the mold? Continue reading
I’m scurrying around this morning getting what ducks I can in a row before leaving for a 1:35pm JetBlue flight from JFK to Austin and South by Southwest. (I’m in seat 12B; say hi!) Might blog from the airport if I have time, but for now I just want to wave to anyone who’ll be there (or who won’t) and invite you to Twitter me if anything interesting is going on or you just want to meet up for a chat; I’d love to hear from you. As noted previously, I’m moderating a Screenburn panel on Monday at 11:30am on user-created content in online games and virtual worlds, featuring Raph Koster, Betsy Book, Corey Bridges and Reuben Steiger, so of course I’m hoping we get a good crowd for that — and bring your challenging questions. There are a couple of panels I want to check out, as well as Philip Torrone and Limor Fried’s keynote, which promises to be weird and wooly, if I know that pair. But mostly I think I’ll be wandering the halls, hoping to get a few good geeksleeps in, handing out my new Moo cards to anyone who wants one, and looking for interesting people to talk to and maybe even write about. John Swords and I may try to catch a couple of people and revive our short-lived podcast, the Metaverse Sessions, so let us know if you have anything interesting to talk about. Other than that? Who know. See you in Texas.
Regular readers know I’ve been making noise lately about an idea factory that would seek to leverage (sorry, Ordinal) the skills of anyone who cared to participate in an effort to create any or all of a list of wish apps that had also been created by the community. As previously noted, I had to miss last Saturday’s jawboning session on the topic, but Bill Ward and a couple of other people who were there have been kind enough to send me some notes about what was discussed (including a fantastic handwritten page, from which I’ve clipped the chart above, which you can view in its entirety on Flickr). I’m going to try to tie all those notes together here into a vision of a metaversal idea factory (which I’m still not convinced shouldn’t be called an idea farm — or insert your good idea for a name here), and will try to keep you posted as things develop. Keep in mind that this is my interpretation of the state of things; it seems a fairly complex undertaking, so I may have gotten a few details out of place. In any case, though, it’s a very cool project which I’d love to see take off. Continue reading
I’m going to go ahead and call Sloog the best Web 2.0-style site for the virtual world of Second Life that I’ve seen yet. Sloog lets you tag locations in Second Life, storing them in the Sloog system so you can access them later on the Web. It’s a bit like del.icio.us tagging or Digg-ing virtual places, and it’s not a new function for SL users, but this is the best implementation of it I’ve seen yet. Continue reading
Second Life resident Koz Farina, creator of the very popular BlogHUD tool for blogging from within SL, is developing a system to allow you to cross-post your BlogHUD posts to your account on Twitter, the hot new social site that lets you miniblog along with your friends. Koz is already feeding all BlogHUD posts to a Twitter BlogHUD page. This is just the latest entry into a growing pool of Twitter-to-SL mashups from people like Ordinal Malaprop and Kisa Naumova, among others. And in fact, there’s been a huge flowering of ancillary Twitter apps since the service launched last fall. Why? Because Twitter is incredibly compelling, for a number of reasons. One of the most important, in my opinion, is the almost complete lack of button-based features that Twitter offers to its users. (Although I’d love for someone to build the wish app described at the end of this post.) Continue reading
After the metaverse meetup we held recently, Jerry and I and several others have been pondering how to help some of the ideas that were kicking around there take shape. On Saturday, Jerry got together with several interested parties (I couldn’t make it), to discuss some approaches. I’d been talking about an “idea farm,” but what seems to have emerged from Saturday’s jawboning session was the idea of an idea factory, which is described very well by Bill Ward:
. . . An “Idea Factory” to leverage the newfound connectedness of society towards solving problems of all sizes. . . . [A] combination of social networks, semantic markups, peer review, incentives, and “knowledge visualization” could improve the effectiveness of ad-hoc collaborative teams. We’d like to harness the power of the community. . . . [We] covered ground related to facilitating open idea exchange, ranking those ideas, and mapping their relationships in a format which would facilitate the sort of ad-hoc collaboration that thrives in the open source community.
I’m not saying Kaneva is the future; I’m just saying it could well capture a lot of little clicking fingers. [Now with further details.] I met with Kaneva CEO Christopher Klaus, COO Rob Frasca and marketing director Michelle Norwood yesterday at a Starbucks on the Upper West Side to hear what they’re up to, and I was surprised to find a lot of it dovetailed with some of the things I like to blah on about here on 3pointD. They won’t let me into the beta until next week because they’re moving some servers around at the moment — as well as barnstorming various bloggers and media outlets — but the demo reel I saw showed a system that seemed to combine the expressive power of MySpace with the social power of There.com, and which was a nice way to bridge the 2D and 3D online worlds without worrying too much about things like “immersion.” If it turns out people are starting to push the limits of what they can do on MySpace, this could be the natural next step for a lot of them. What it allows you to do, which MySpace doesn’t, is to engage in the kind of “social media consumption” (I just made that term up — I think) that has been one of the more powerful features of existing 3D social worlds, and which will increasingly come to mark our media habits in the future, if you ask me. Continue reading
The always-awesome Ordinal Malaprop is developing an interface that will let Twitter members post and receive updates from within the virtual world of Second Life. Go, Ordinal! It sounds like there’s already a working version, though it’s in an early stage of development. I want one. I’d love to be able to Twitter my wanderings around Second Life. I like Koz Farina’s BlogHUD system, but I don’t use it because (a) I want to reach people outside Second Life, which I can’t do using BlogHUD from the chat line, and (b) cross-posting to 3pointD from BlogHUD involves composing an unwieldy notecard, which I don’t see the need for. A Twitter interface would combine the ease of posting short Twitters from the chat line, and the range of broadcast that Twitter already features. Totally ace.