An odd comment to make on virtual worlds Leo Laporte?

Andy Piper was telling me that he was listening to a podcast with Leo Laporte where he basically dissed Second Life as a gimmick and suggested it was not all that. Well I did have a listen to the end of this podcast and sure enough both Leo and Amber Macarthur made some throw away comments about the value of Second Life. Now to be fair, it was not a rant. In some ways this was about the time and effort required to engage, and they did give a shout out to the great communities that have formed. Though Leo did use the word gimmick.
Clearly they only said Second Life, they did not say virtual worlds in general, so they may have been dealing with a specific experience and press bubble, but it is a little odd position to take when someone has a reputation for transitioning across media. Yes it can take a little bit of time to engage with people in virtual worlds, but that is the point in many ways.
There is room for text, for twitter, for podcasts (that I sometimes find very time consuming to have to listen to), for virtual world events and for whats next.
Without virtual worlds we have no place to take this further, no mirror worlds, no augmented reality, no 3d printing/rapid fabrication.
It is of course different horses for courses, but I dont think any of us in any field should consider excluding any of the others or writing them off out of hand. Text and voice still work of course.
The journey of discovering good ways to interact with one another is one I think we are all on so I am just let them off this time 🙂
If they want a metaverse evangelist on the show to explain…. well happy to help.

So there’s nothing going on in Virtual Worlds?

I did seriously have someone (in fact more than one person) suggest that there was not much happening in virtual worlds these days. I think they may have been referring to less press based “me first” stories. Of course I should not mock as if people’s touch points dont see whats happening and if they dont engage with the mass of social media it pretty unlikely to know anything.
It is therefore good to see such a bug roundup, even of one week such the last one just past as the one Caleb Booker has done on his blog.
You will see in there small, medium and massive funding announcements, things new to PS3 Home, Nortel’s elounge/Lenovo project, Entropia spin off etc etc. Obviously many of you reading this are in the know on many of these, but its the breadth and depth of all this that we need to share to help push the industry even further.
I just twittered “I do wish I was an investor. seen some great opps for business that need a little push and look very profitiable, worthy and interesting!” as there are obviously projects that have not made it to the light of day yet that that will add to this list over the next year+. Though clearly with the starting premise of this post being some people not realizing this my/our work is cut out still evangelizing all this to people who dont know what they are missing out on!

Dogear-nation podcast takeover

It may sometimes seem as if eightbar is taking over dogear nation, but the founding two Michaels(Martine and Rowe) are honoury eightbars anyway, so Andy Piper doing the recording and editing for the show is not quite so bizarre.
Anyway this weeks show features your truly as a guest. I almost missed out the podcast in my web evolution, but I am circling back around and finding it a very good way to explain my passion for all things. The only fly in the ointment being my broad Norfolk accent, but the other guys sound great 🙂
Yes I did do a Clarkson impression, and I did mention my disdane for Vista so it was not all virtual worlds!
So thankyou Dogear-nation for having me guest. Enjoy the programme let us know what you think its on itunes and everything :).
For those that don’t know tag things of interest on with dogear-nation and it can become part of the running order for discussion on the show.

Metaverse Evangelist hits Private Eye

This was some fantastic news from eightbar alumni Roo Reynolds. He has made it, along with our shared job title of Metaverse Evangelist, into the Private Eye magazine. Private Eye is a satirical master piece and hugely respected here in the UK and around the world.
Twitter was full last night of the link flying around. Roo has it fully documented (of course) on his blog here. I fully expect an appearance on Have I got News for You next.
Metaverse Evangelists FTW

Second Life in a different scale

PatricaAnne Daviau, goddess of the small, builds miniature tableau in Second Life. When so many people spend time building full size mirror worlds, one of my fellow eightbars has focused on a suprising niche. The film by NextworldDesign shows some of the work which I think you will agree is a great twist. Feel free to contact PatricaAnne in SL for a demo too.

Business week predicts a resurgence in 3d this year

A colleague Bill Chamberlin(*updated with full name and link to his external blog 🙂 ) had spotted this article in business week and shared it with us. (Business Week provided great coverage back in 2006 when our CEO Sam Palmisano entered Second Life )The stand out line is of course “3D returns in a big way” not that it ever went away of course.
The prediction refers to the increase in 3d capability from Nvidia, and also James Cameron’s Avatar project (film, game, world etc). I am waving at Corey Bridges at Multiverse of course as he has very close ties with this project and the production team from what we heard in LA this year
If you tie this to my epredictions around companies needing to do something to engage and communicate across organizations strapped for cash and not travelling it really is an obvious step isnt it?
Still as I saw a quote used on twitter by Kathy Sierra “You can’t reason people out of a position they didn’t use reason to get into” I am sure there is still some convincing to do.
So if you are out there and wavering, not knowing why your business can benefit from virtual worlds, even it if is just for the sake of an argument give us a call here at eightbar 🙂

Yes more Shapeways 3d printing/rapid fabrication

Many of you may still not have seen just how amazing the creations that can be got from rapid fabrication devices are. Lots of fabricaneurs have been busy placing designs on a service called shapeways (VC funded by phillips.
People have been making and sharing all sorts of things, this trackball assembly (more here in how it works )

They have also of course been exploring the entertainment side of things. Such as this killer flower character

With an increasing number of people making devices, small devices for a smartplanet, some interesting cases for the various sensors, monitors etc can be created using this technique. Low cost low volume is also very handy in a downturn for prototypes.

Reaction time is a factor in this test – serious games

During a recent twitter exchange @Renzephyr tweeted an @slhamlet post on GigaOm about the 10 potentialy game changing games for 2009. The list is in part compiled by David Edery so it is worth take note of.
Of course many people will see games and 2009 and think about more driving, shooting, puzzle games etc. and may not pay attention. However there are some very significant elements in this list.
One of the very interesting elements is an isurance company looking at using a reaction test serious game for older drivers in order to offer cheaper insurance. That, as Wagner James Au says, will herald the incorporation of gaming elements in many other business. Not just the sort of virtual worlds real leaders that we often share or simply business meetings and education and training. The game becomes part of the channel, and clearly much of that will reach into virtual worlds, and not solely be stand alone mini games. The brand/business is also immersed in the game or across other channels.
Also of note on the list is the Augmented Reality pet on PS3 but I will let you read the article and enjoy the near future.

How to respond to posts – as a big organization or individual

Over on his web strategy blog Jeremiah Owyang has posted a great flowchart for the USAF on how they should respond to blogs. Of course this should not just be a large organization approach but each of us with our own stake in our personal brands and reputations.
The basic premise is to engage in a positive manner where it makes sense. This also needs to extend past blogs, but it takes a while to ripple these through to social media guidelines but it does indicate the correct awareness of the conversations that occur.
Many organizations treat commentary with disdain, either seeking to remove, purge, cover up anything not released by them or just ignoring it. It is interesting this a military organization initiating a hearts and minds scheme before many companies have.
It all gets much trickier when you are representing yourself and/or your company live in a virtual world, but that just increases the need to think on your feet and respond appropriately without too much spin of faffing around.
Honest conversation, up front about who you are and done for the right reason. Great chart I think.