Check "have my stuff featured in Wired Magazine" off my "geekly things to do before I die" list. It's page 42 if you have the tree-killer edition like I do. ;)
Anshe Chung: Cover Girl
This on the heels of Anshe Chung being the first human avatar from a MMO to grace the cover of any major magazine. The article inside is a great milestone for SL, including 6 pages and 7 avatars:
Philip Rosedale gets his picture in there too, but the message that is being sent is clear:
The Metaverse is in the hands of the developers!
This is an enormous milestone for Second Life, and for all of us developers. The real business world is looking at our methods as a prototype and example of how to do things in the impending technology of the Metaverse.
Some more links to the Business Week articles online:
It's not all fun and games
The Online Universe: An Old Fogey's Guide
Virtual Land, Real Money
Virtual Worlds, Virtual Economies
Meetup, SL:UK 06
The news came out a day before SL:UK, the London meetup run by Fizik and therest of the lovely avalon crew that I got to hang out with all last week. Fortune smiled upon me and I got to travel to London - my first time across "the pond" at all. There's some pictures on flickr.
I love London, and there's so much I could talk about it, but this is a tech/futurist oriented blog, not my personal journal. To put it in perspective, though, these kinds of meetups are essential ways for people to make SL more of a "real" thing to them, and they are certainly also great networking opportunities. They're also a lot of fun.
Hello everyone! I write to you from London, England, where I am conducting super-secret business. Hooray!
This weekend is SL:UK, http://spacethinkdream.com/sluk06.php, which means I get to meet more SLrs.
One thing I learned from last year's overwhelmingly positive response to SLCC 05 was that despite the advantages SL has over other online avenues of communication, there exists this need for people to meet face to face. And yet, even if this is some sort of reality-solidifying event, people who knew each other in SL seem to not be surprised at all with each other when they meet in the "real world", and people seem to already be familiar with each other's personalites and be comfortable.
I wonder what this intangible need to connect in the real world is, and I wonder how fine that difference is going to become as SL gets more and more interactive technology.
I'm listening to Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, do the first voice chat town hall, hosted by Johnny Ming of SecondCast. It's going way faster than typing, is fairly streamlined despite a few dropped Skype users. Connections were a bit sketchy at first, but Linden Lab added another stream, and things stabilized. It's also far more engaging, having voices rather than going blind reading all the text; that just goes to show how much we need voice chat abilities in SL. You also don't have to bear through reading all of the peanut gallery comments because it's only the host, Philip, and caller talking.
I was thrilled to be the first ever caller, too! Via Skype I was bridged in, and asked what Philip thought was essential to get done before SL explodes past the 1 million user mark. His replies:
- Get framerate for everyone 15 frames / second or better
- Better search tools
- mono bytecode implementation
He added that the architecture is fairly scalable now, and that's great to hear, because certainly that was at the top of the list back in October when Philip answered a similar "top priority" question at SLCC.
I was sad not to hear "HTML", so I'll have to try harder to convince Linden Lab of this as an essential feature, not just a good feature.
Johnny Ming is a great host, and I'm working out when I may be able to guest on his audio podcast SecondCast.
After the Metaverse Awards last night, I hung around talking with a few folks about making a living in Second Life. Warda Kawabata came up with an interesting observation. Conversation went like this: (posted with permission)
Warda Kawabata: funny thing, my first pixie av (forest), people want to by it off me, but everything in it could be assembled for under 50 L if you know where to look
Hiro Pendragon: But you knew [where to look]
Hiro: Knowledge = money.
Warda: yeah. in SL, you pay for the knowledge, not the product
Hiro: the knowledge is almost the product itself.
It's an excellent point. Aside from the obvious allegory to 1s and 0s, knowledge in SL is often the most valuable part of a product. For example, I drive myself crazy for good animations, and I pay good prices for custom ones, as a consequence. The reason being is that it is so tough to find the right animations - that knowledge of who and where is critical.
It's also a literal reality. As everything is data in SL, it is the knowledge of the objects that we really are experiencing, not "possession" in any traditional sense. When you look into the Inventory, it's your knowledge of part of a database.
The person who winds up with the knowledge winds up with a product. Keep your eyes out for opportunity.