Tagged: Tagging

Video: Digg-Like Service For Second Life

You might remember Babbage Linden’s SLateIt heads-up display that can be used to flag and tag objects in the virtual world of Second Life, much like the functionality of Digg. Well, Babbage has been hard at work since we first blogged the SLateIt HUD back in February, and now he’s come out with a YouTube video demonstrating the latest version’s feature set. It’s nice stuff, too, usable via either dialogue boxes or the chat line. It even interfaces with the SLateIt Web site, pulling in the last-flagged item on a search and offering you a teleport to its location.

What’s nice about this is that it lets you see how many times an object has been “SLated” without having to leave Second Life. I realize Babbage uses the word “rate” to describe what SLateIt does, but I don’t think that’s accurate, since the only actions possible are a “SLate” (a thumbs-up) or a “hate.” (Objects that are too hated get removed from the list.) Rating seems to me to imply a scale of more than just zero or one. So as usual I’m going off on my own tangent and refer to it as “SLating” — which is more in keeping with the “Digging” model anyway.

The only other things I’d like to see? An open API to both the HUD and the Web site so that people can build their own cool services atop this cool service. (I think the HUD may already be open-source, I’m not sure.) In any case, it’s nice work. With enough people using it, it could become a useful tool.

Destroy Television Returns for NY Art Exhibit

Just when you thought it was safe to watch lifecaster Justin.tv, or broadcast your own life with Ustream, along comes a virtual life you can not only watch on the Web but take part in controlling, a kind of collaborative stream of avatar consciousness — and one that’s going to be on display in a real-world art gallery from May 23 to June 2. Curated by the excellent Annie Ok of the GHava{SL} Center for the Arts in the virtual world of Second Life, the show will be designed by Electric Sheep Jerry Paffendorf and Christian Westbrook, and will involve Destroy Television, the interactive avatar-bot designed as a research project of the Electric Sheep Company, who streams live images of Second Life to her Web site (although that seems to be dark at the moment). Just what form the exhibit will take has yet to be revealed, but the show will take place simultaneously at the Fuse Gallery in New York (at 93 Second Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth Streets), and in SL at the GHava{SL} Center for the Arts, which is run by Annie’s SL self, Xantherus Halberd. Continue reading

Synchronize Metadata From Flickr to Hard Drive

Dutch IT consultant and photographer Erwyn Van Der Meer is working on something called a Flickr Metadata Synchr, “a tool to synchronize relevant metadata added to images stored on Flickr with the original versions of those images stored locally on your hard drive.” Though the project is only at version at the moment, this is a great idea. Erwyn shares some of the thinking behind it in this blog post. I think it’s a great idea. (The one drawback, for now, is that it works only under Vista.) It would be great to have access to the metadata associated with my Flickr photos even while offline, and to be able to work with that and then synch the same data on Flickr without having the enter it all again. Storing that kind of data locally makes it accessible to all kind of other applications, which broadens the range of things I can possibly do with it. Continue reading

Sheep Spidering SL Grid for New Search Service

The Electric Sheep Company (sponsors of this blog) launched a new beta search service for the virtual world of Second Life today, at search.sheeplabs.com, according to Electric Sheep Christian Westbrook. What’s unique (as far as I know) about this service is that it doesn’t rely on users to manually list their products but instead spiders the SL Grid to automatically collect information about items marked “for sale.” (Read more about how it works on the service’s About page.) The service allows avatars to opt out of the system, or to list all items they own, and doesn’t crawl private islands. Results are returned with a teleport link, price, object creator and owner, and description. According to the Sheep, it also puts less load on the system than a single avatar, so it shouldn’t create much lag.

Having someone spider the SL Grid is something I’ve been looking for for a long time, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this works in practice. Having users manually list objects, as the many other SL search services do, is a far from comprehensive solution, but it’s been the best we’ve had until now. If all goes as planned, this should push SL search forward by leaps and bounds. Continue reading

Panoramio Hits 1 Million Geolocated Photos

Panoramio racks up one million geolocated photos

Eduardo Manchon of Panoramio, the very cool geophotography site (another coinage?), sends news that Panoramio recently saw the one-millionth geolocated photo uploaded to the service. [Also reported in Ogle Earth.] What’s so cool about that, besides the fact that it’s a damn big number even for a service that started in October 2005? Well, if you were reading 3pointD last December, you already know that Panoramio, then “still a small site,” according to Eduardo, has been a default layer in Google Earth for the last three months. That means that if you upload a geolocated photo to Panoramio, it will appear on everyone’s Google Earth if they have the Panoramio layer turned on (which it is by default). The question then is, why geotag your photos on Flickr when you can just have them stuck right into Google Earth? Continue reading

Three Second Life-to-Web Services Updated

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

SXSW Xcript: Joi Ito and Justin Hall

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

Sloog Gets its Tags Up in Second Life

Sloog location-tagging site for the virtual world of Second LifeI’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

Toward a Metaversal Idea Factory

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.

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Geeksleep an Unsuspecting Snoozer Near You

Geeksleeped at State of Play and Terra Nova symposiumWe all need our rest. Some of us, though, catch our catnaps at more vulnerable times than others. For that reason, I’ve coined the term geeksleep, which hasn’t exactly caught on since I started using it in March, but still has enough breath left in its lungs to keep knocking at the door of global Internet meme-hood. What exactly is geeksleep? Well, as defined in Geeksleep #1, it’s the following:

Geeksleep: (noun) 1. the act of sleeping during a technology conference or while involved in any geek-like activity. 2. sleep performed by anyone who could be described as a geek. (verb) 1. to capture a geeksleeper on camera and post his/her picture to Flickr with the “geeksleep” tag.

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Graph of Second Life’s Land Area Growth


Second Life resident Mark Barrett, who’s been providing community tools and collecting interesting information about the Grid at SLStats.com, SLBuzz.com and SLTags.com, recently cobbled together a nice graph showing the growth of SL’s land area, which I’m happy to present above. While Second Life’s economic statistics page gives some data on how many “private islands” are out there (i.e., regions not part of the mainland), it doesn’t give a total figure for the land masses present in Second Life. Mark’s figures, while not 100 percent accurate, should be close, and give a very good picture of one aspect of Second Life’s growth since he started collecting the data about six weeks ago — in which time the SL land area has grown almost 15 percent, from under 3,600 16-acre sims to over 4,000. (Almost half of these are private islands, according to LL’s economics page.) According to Mark, Linden Lab is adding some 10 to 20 regions every day. It will be interesting to see how this growth curve changes, if at all, given the recent increae in prices for islands not on the mainland. Continue reading

Geotag-to-SLurl App Wanted For Flickr

Automatic geotagging of City of Heroes screenshots

I’ve played a bit of City of Heroes, but really not all that much, so I was interested to see the following tags attached to a friend’s COH screenshots on Flickr:

• City of Heroes
• coh
• cohtagged
• coh:x=-964
• coh:y=327
• coh:z=-662
• coh:zone=V_City_02_01

At first I was impressed that he had thought to tag his screens this way, but he informs me that the game embeds the information into the pics automatically. “When I upload them to Flickr, it just interprets them into tags,” he says. Interestingly, Second Life resident Lev Kamenev posted a similar idea to his blog the other day. All it needs now is someone to write a quick Flickr app to turn SL geotags into SLurls. Continue reading

SL Social Location-Tracking Hack Via del.icio.us

Cory Linden, aka Cory Ondrejka, chief technology officer at Linden Lab, makers of the virtual world of Second Life, has sent along what looks like a nice SL-del.icio.us mashup that works as a kind of SL-centric “GPS” location-tracker and has the potential to become a piece of social networking software for SL as well. The slice of Linden Scripting Language code (aka LSL, pasted after the jump) goes in an attachment worn on your avatar, and periodically posts your location to del.icio.us under the “SLurlTrack” tag. If you want to monitor someone’s movements or track your own, just subscribe to the del.icio.us feed for the right user and the SLurlTrack tag. While Cory’s codeslice is a bit crude at the moment (codeslice? did I just coin that?), it contains the fundamental seeds of some interesting possibilities, and could easily be reworked to do some powerful stuff. Continue reading

Call for Chapters on the Geospatial Web

Have any thoughts about “integrating cartographic data with geo-tagged knowledge repositories” and how “the emerging Geospatial Web will revolutionize the production, distribution and consumption of media products”? If so, you may want to be in touch with Austria’s Know-Center project, which is seeking chapter submissions for an upcoming book on the geospatial Web. There’s a whole list of possible topics in the submission guidelines, including:

• State-of-the-art and emerging trends of geo-browsing platforms
• Knowledge acquisition and management in a geospatial context
• Knowledge relationship discovery and management (e.g. matching geospatial relationships with semantic or temporal relationships)
• Knowledge-intensive, location-based services
• Marketing of products and services via the Geospatial Web
• Content, annotation and ontology services as enablers of the Geospatial Web

Submissions are due by October 10, 2006 — so get to work.

Yahoo!, ZoneTag Search for Science on the Web

Does the Internet need a new scientific discipline? That was the contention of Usama Fayyad, Yahoo!‘s chief data officer and senior vice president of Research & Strategic Data Solutions, who spoke about “the new science of the Internet” at the Supernova conference in San Francisco today.

“The Internet touches all of our lives, almost every aspect of our lives,” he said. “And yet, when you really ask what these things mean — what does community mean? what does it take to make a community thrive, or whither? what does it take to establish trust on the Internet? — these are questions that are all really fuzzy, and what you find when you dig into them as a scientist is that there’s no science behind them. What can we do to fish ourselves out of the dark?” Continue reading

The Unexpected Third Dimension

3D wiki in Second Life, pictured in The New York Times

A short piece in The New York Times today mentions a very nice tool created by SL resident Hiro Pendragon, a kind of 3D wiki that lets users collaboratively work on designs for the redevelopment of a real-world park. We blogged about the park project a while back, before the wiki was up, but this addition certainly merits more attention, as it’s a good example of the kind of tools that can be built in SL with a bit of thought, creativity and application — and also an unexpected case of a 2D tool suddenly sprouting a third dimension. Continue reading

SL Shopping Site Relaunched With Metadata

Relaunched SLBoutique site for shopping in Second Life

I just found out that SLBoutique, a Web-based shopping site for Second Life objects, has been relaunched with a new look and new functionality. The relaunch comes courtesy of the Electric Sheep Company (a sponsor of this blog), the virtual world services firm that bought SLBoutique some months back. SLB is one of a handful of sites that let SL users browse and purchase in-world items via the Web. Others include SLExchange, and Second Server, plus a few others I’ve no doubt forgotten or haven’t discovered yet. How significant is the SLB relaunch? Well, the site certainly is easier to use and look at, but it’s the new functionality that will make the difference. Or at least, will begin to. Continue reading

SL Vendor Site Gets Tagging

SLBoutique is a Web site where residents of the virtual world of Second Life can sell the things they’ve created in the world. It accounts for a large portion of many SL vendors’ sales, and is quite popular (along with sites like SLExchange) among SL shoppers — mostly because it’s difficult to impossible to advertise products in an organized manner through the in-world interface. But even SLBoutique (which is owned by the Electric Sheep Company, sponsors of this blog) has its limitations. That seems about to change slightly, however, with the news that vendors can now add tags to their products on SLBoutique, much as you’d tag a photo on Flickr. I don’t think shoppers can search on those tags yet, but that’s apparently forthcoming in a future version of the site. It’s nice to see services like this get more and more Web-friendly, and it seems Linden Lab is also getting the idea that SL will have to move toward a closer integration with the Web, something that’s happening already with the back-end move to a Web services architecture and indications that more such capabilties will be added in future.

Bookmark SL Locations on del.icio.us

SLurlmarker del.icio.us bookmarking tool in the virtual world of Second Life

For a long time now, I’ve been waiting for someone to build a Web-based social software app for use within Second Life, something whereby you’d be able to tag a location from within the virtual world, then navigate out to the Web to refine your tags and/or make it part of a group list or what have you. Now, with the advent of http calls that can be made from within SL, someone’s done just that (almost). In SL’s Taco sim [< -- SL link] you can acquire a device called a SLurlmarker, which lets you automatically post a del.icio.us tag containing a Second Life location and linking to a SLurl page that lets you navigate directly to that location from within SL. (Actually, I realize now that http calls aren’t needed for this; it could have been done long ago.) Continue reading

Self-Updating, Self-Localizing News Stories

This is one of those things that might not ever really get here (then again it might), but I absolutely love the idea: Adrian Holovaty, head of editorial innovations at Washingtonpost.com and Newsweek Interactive, had a story recently on XML.com in which he explains his ideas for dynamic news stories. Holovaty doesn’t get all that blue-sky in the piece, pondering things like dynamically updating time words (today, yesterday, last week), currency rates and other commonly taggable items, but at the end he toys with a really promising tangent:

Isolating people and quotes: How about marking up each quote, and associating it with the person who said it, so it would be possible to automatically retrieve all quotes by a given person, and all articles in which a given person was quoted?

Isolating individual facts: This is a pipe dream, but how about giving each and every fact a unique ID, and doing things like ? This would let journalists and readers create elaborate “fact trees,” which could display the relationship between information.

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Tag Your Stuff

Mytago tag for tagging real-world stuff

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch flags an unfortunately named app called Mytago, which lets you tag the real-world stuff around you for later access on the Web by putting a scanable sticker on it. I’m not convinced (neither is Michael). This kind of physical tagging of real-world objects only makes sense if you’re tagging someone else’s stuff; if it’s your own, there are plenty of better ways to upload things and acquire a Web presence for them. Tagging items out in the world for people to see and share on the Web is a great idea, but I doubt it will be accomplished by introducing a new protocol into the mix. Arrington prefers Mozes, which lets you bookmark things via text messaging. That’s a nice idea, but aren’t our mobile devices soon going to be more powerful than that? In a couple of years, pretty much everyone’s going to be able to Digg (or insert name of new app) pretty much anything they want. I doubt it will be via Mytago or Mozes, however.