Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cool new Museum

The Tech - a technology museum across the street from the convention center in San Jose, California - is in SL now. They're going to try to build exhibits in SL and in the real museum - get SL and RL designers working together. They have a great space to exhibit spaces and lots of room for people to work on their projects. There's even a contest with a $5000L prize.

They have an IMAX theatre to show videos. They want to have mixed reality events (which I love of course)

Right now the exhibits are about music and dance - you can play a guitar, create art together. Fun times.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Real Life in SecondLife

I saw this on another blog striking writers picketing in SL on the NBC Universal island

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Other Christmas decorations

I blogged earlier about decorating hte Park Island for the winter - made it snow, covered the ground with snow, put in some dead/wintery trees.

I went over to the many Rezzable islands the other day - that's a subject for another post (what are they doing with all those islands - urban sims, vampire castles - all for RPGs?). They have the Greenies house. And now they have an island with a huge Greenies Christmas tree. Here are two pics.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Club Penguin News

I was just watching Disney channel (yeah - that's right - the disney channel!)

and they've been taking radio disney and club penguin vans around doing events. They just announced an in world charity contest. Kids play games in Club Penquin and earn coins. They can donate coins to one of three charities. There's a pool of a million dollars - Disney will split up the money in the proportions the players donate their coins.

Cool way for Disney to get started with their connection to Club Penguin. And a great way to introduce kids to philanthropy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More pics of the island dressed for winter

Folks wanted lights and a school name - so here we go. These first two pictures show the lights and then the lights and hte name.

Here's a completed picture during the day.

This picture shows the island all dressed up and at night.

possible griefer attack?

Here are a couple of pictures I took on the Electrolux site. They're having an innovation contest.

One time I visited there were these pacman characters spewing out. I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be there (maybe part of someone's innovation?) or if they were part of a griefer attack (however lame).

Anyway - interesting to see particles this big.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Book Launch

I went to a presentation by an author of a RL book about Sl - How to Get a Second Life. The author is a SL entrepreneur - used to run a club, then a security service. Now he runs a company called SL Guides that sells small focused help booklets for doing things in SL. The new book is supposedly a guide for users from day one through experienced.

It was held on Book Island, next door to Publisher island. There are a variety of book publishers (RL and SL) there as well as authors. Interesting idea.

And there were 65 people there - another full event. (Friday I went toScience Friday and there were more than 60 people there too)

Here are some pictures.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lazer Tag

Some students from the University of Texas designed an arena/play space for lazer tag. What a hoot. We each got guns and a game HUD (heads up display). Each gun only held so many bullets/rounds at a time - you had to get additional ammo from powerups scattered around the space. There were also shield protection and health points scattered around. Once we figured out how to play - they left a lot of important basic details out of their documentation (oh, like you had to join the group they created in order for the guns to work and you had to be in mouselook mode to shoot) but we eventually figured it out. Maybe that was part of the experiment - see how long people would struggle to figure stuff out, how long they'd stand around without being able to play...

ANyway - they created a fun space with multiple floors, things to go into, fly over, look around on. They had a good size crowd too last night. I don't know if they're doing it again. I'm going to check on monday and take my students there. It's a good example of a game built inside the virtual world.

I of course got too carried away playing the game and forgot to take pictures - d'oh. So if we go back in on Monday I will be sure to take some then.

Here's a SLURL - if you have SL running, ou should be able to click on this link and be teleported.

Some more wintery island pics

Might be a more promising headline if I'd just come back from Aruba - but no - just pics of the Park Communication island dressed for winter. I got hte snow a way that I like, I added some more items, I made an ornament that glows in the dark and put it around and some banners.

Here are some new pics of the work i did today

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gate Crasher

Today we were having class in SecondLife on the school's island. We were discussing ethics. The students had met (in world) earlier to discuss different questions. Today we came together in our amphitheatre to go over each group's conclusions.

While we were discussing, someone noticed a new avatar in the seats. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture. A white haired (on the head anyway) squirrel type furry sat down. I think the person was just looking for other folks to talk with, used the map to find people and saw our little cluster of green dots.

They didn't cause any trouble. And the group that is investigating furries is going to contact the squirrel to see about doing an interview.

And tonight on our island I met a furry from Cornell - they're a programmer working on the open source viewer. Very cool. They were a bunny with big feet. It was good to see someone actually using Cornell's island; the bunny mentioned that Cornell proper has another island that profs use for classes and office hours. I'd love to have office hours in world.

When we teach about games - wouldn't it be funny to have office hours inside World of Warcraft or Puzzle Pirates

Winter on the Park Island

I got inspired to change the season on the island. So I changed the textures for the land to be snowy. Here are a couple of pictures of the first changes.

Then I started putting out snowy trees, poinsettias, wreaths, and some roping. Right now I have been focusing on the Park School building on top of the mountain.

I did put a snowman and wreath down on the welcome center too. Here's a couple of pictures of the snowman.

There's a rumor that we'll be taking a photo on the island to use on the Park School holiday card. That will be cool.Here is a shot of the front of the park school building where we might take the photo.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

this is so amazing

I just downloaded the windlight firstview viewer - hooks you to the main grid but things can be buggy

in this case it is oh so worth any bugs that might pop up - the new light and water and cloud effects are freaking amazing - real. not videogame real but real real.

go here to download the viewer - remember anything you do yo do to your real account.

then try out sunset and sunrise. go to the beach and look at the reflections on the water. check out the clouds. It is so real. hmmm - SL sunsets were always great, but now they're just incredible.

ok - maybe real isn't always good - just trying to imagine what it would look like with real sky in Bedrock - have to check that out next time

blog about secondlife freebies

amazing blog with a new post everyday about free stuff - lots of free clothes

and there's a list (link on the right side of hte page) of all kinds of freebies

this is a goldmine

Monday, October 29, 2007

notes pt5

man - i think 2 and 4 are from teh same panel - gotta go back and look at that

interesting info from a guy from Turner - they're not cable channel anymore - they see themselves as content aggregators, goal is to build audience to sell to advertisers, they build groups of niche audiences

now with broadband content - can go after smaller niches, let in user generated content

content is not independent of time, space and device

communication, gaming, computing, broadcasting - all converginging

VW environments with built in social networking, multimedia tools, user controls

cool part - here's what Turner wants to learn from tehir VW experiments - how people socialize while using media, what's happening wiht contextual viewing, can they create virtual TV networks and watch how people watch it, what else they do while watching, see how they talk about the niche content

disney fireside chat - disney has a lot of online properties now -, toontown online, a faires world, there's a priates VW coming - and now they have club penguin
- story driven MMO - 1 endpoint kind of like a disney ride with structured activities and cooperative play
- Disney likes structured activity sites because audience mostly kids, Disney good at storytelling so gonna provide the environment to tell good stories, gets people deeply immersed int he brand (ex: Fairies - kids create fairies, publish it on the web, make a home page for their fairy - 3 million fairies created, get kids immsered int eh Disney created fairty cultures)

movie directors typically like the idea of virtual worlds because htey have whole worlds created in their heads for their movie - they have side characters and settings lots of things that couldn't fit into the movie - ex: John Lassiter from Cars)

(SL is unstructured space and people use tools to create structure and events, many people uncomfortable in teh chaotic situation)

cool space - story, balance of structure and creativity, people so steeped in story that they could create additions to the story that fit

not all business models good when working with kids, hard to advertise to kids, it has to fit the story, maybe microtransactions

notes pt 4 VW conference

panel about Entertainment - called It's a Game, It's a TV

people just want to be entertained, don't care where. the line between types of sties/media are blurring

people want stories, narrative, want to be involved
the question becomes how do we tell a story in environments that aren't really set up for that - we have to develop ideas about non-linear stories, open ended content so users can insert themselves into story - users want control not static sites, want content available when they wnat it (and htey really want it yesterday) and they want constant stream of new content

need compelling, fresh content
my friends need to be there so it's worth my (user) time
everybody (companies, users) have to be willing to experiment, take small steps

people like branded merchandise and don't care if it's officially licensed or not

VW - a communication medium where people can be together, it's experience not traditional story
stories have to be something users can have an effect on, so users can help determine outcomes, each persons story can be different

no good case studies for designers to show customers or management

problem - hard to scale VW up to large enough audience for VW to be interesting to advertisers, to make the development costs worth their while

notes pt3 VW conference notes

a cool idea - other parts of the company benefit (or could benefit) from these in world experiments

companies get consumer research opportunities, new product development ideas

ROI needs to include positive changes in attitude towards the brand, along with increased sales, increased traffic to website

ROI - might get more data from same budget, more sales from the same budget because of multiplication of effort

we're in world to learn - tht's hard to remember - it's not about the nubmers at this point

im going to come back and pull all the roi stuff together once i get hte notes typed in

Saturday, October 27, 2007

notes part 2 from VW conference 2007

people want to be entertained, don't care where, lines between types of sites blur
- people want stories, narrative, want to be involved
- the question becomes how do we tell a story in an environment not really set up for that - non-linear stories, open ended content so users can insert themselves into story

VW are the first communication medium where people can be together, most projects for hte design company not for entertainment compnay but for brand/products
- VW are replacement for tradiitonal media ads - because people not watching,using dvr's --- so engage online

stories have to be something users can have an effect on, determine outcomes - brands have to give up control
VW not traditional story - it's experience - story elements, but users build story, each user's story can be different
- no good case studies yet for designers to show customers or to show management

hard to scale up to large audience in VW to actually be interesting to advertisiers, to make development costs worth their while
- need compelling fresh content - liek the CSI effort with their new mystery every month
- has to be someplace you can hang with your friends like on myspace and facebook
- companie shave to be willing to experiment, to take small steps

Better late than never - my notes from the virtual world conference San Jose 2007

Going to be spread over a couple of posts - i'll put in pics later

First thing - there are a ton of virtual worlds for kids - webkinz, club penquin, barbies, bratz, nictropolis, Ty Dolls, horseland
Sibley Vebleck of Electric Sheep predicted probably 40 VW for kids in 2008 - and really brutal competition between them leading to lots of failure
he thought the competition would be good tho because it would drive innovation adn enhanced user experiences, maybe new business models and ways to market

gotta thing about kid safety - make sure there's no predatory activity
- content has to fit the expectation of ht eaudience, the age level, lots of worlds don't let in R or X stuff
- give users tools to give you feedback about the brand, let them talk about what they did with the content out of world - did they buy product, see your movie...) - this is true for adult worlds as wella s kid worlds

There was a panel about advertising in virtual spaces
- audience wants to participate in media, not just consume
- advertising system kind of in chaos now - don't know where or how to reach people, how to let them participate
- no standards, data different from world to world, objectives different for each project and for each world
- one big measure tho is engagement = time spent iwth brand - people think its key and VW give that kind of engagement, people spend a long time in world and there htey can spend time playing with your brand
- VW don't sell in terms of CPM tho since smallish audiences
- another measure - impact = expeirence with brand, impact on sales, and on attitude towards the brand
- VW have to start talking the language of ad agencies and marketing cmopanies, have to start talking metrics, hours of engagement is good unless the goal is sales
- as TV audience continues to fragment, VW are another channel to reach audiences with deeply engaging intera tive experiences, not a static billboard, attitude change takes time - VW engage people over time much more than does 30 second spot
- other measures - time spent, number of steps in the environment, tshirt worn, customizable things customized, number of freebies taken - proxies for standard things like attention to message, impression (see the ad) in VW
- braod categories of measures - exposure, interaction, engagement, adoption (invention, buying), momentum, pass along (tell friends)

- organizations should set goals first - goals different for each world and each brand
- eyeballs see my brand, talk about my brand, post pictures about my brand, blog traffic as measure of mindshare
- time spent in different areas of your site and doing different functions on your site, unique visitors, visits by core demo, information about user about whether they're heavy vs light users and how big their network of friends is and whether tehy're leaders or followers, can do surveys for brand impressions

- attach brands to experiences - people go to experiences that interest them - so things need to be contextual, the more you know about users the better you can do contextual ad placement, can reach out to groups in world
- metrics not standardized - we're experimenting - IAB type standards don't work, web type banner ads and signs don't work in virtual worlds
- one measure - what did we learn that we can apply to next project, for when there are 10 mllion users in VW
- VW needs to educate ad agencies, bigger agencies trying to figure out the world and measures, brands don't know who to go to - world makers, design companies, ad agencies - don't know where to start
- world building companies spend most time building own world
- ad and design agencies develop the brand experiences to drop branded experiences in world - these experiences make people happy with the brand and with the virtual world - - so they stay in world longer

VW should be part of a campaign - messages reinforce each other, not all messages cause you to buy, some help you learn about brand, others let you market to others by wearing brand, would be cool to track users across paltforms, across messages

VW have to make it easier to buy VWs - takes time to complete project, and we need a few projects complete so we can look at numbers and outcomes, figure out what's important, develop some case studies and ideas about best practices

lots of room for independent desingers - they help bring in new clients, worlds supposedly give access to tools and demographics because the VW want more users

connection between people - that's important in VW
- different goals, different desired outcomes, different costs
- don't just go because competition isin world or because it seems cool
- costs are small compared to tv/msm - but still have to account for the costs

other measures - dwell time, activities engaged in, engagement
- send email with product sales messages for real life based on what htey did in the VW
- PR coverage for your build and for what people do iwth it, tiein with other marketing activities of the brand in RL
- example - Pontiac wanted to reach tech savvy early adopters - that's what SL did for htem - other ad $ spent on Maxim and college sports

- may be lots of other parts of hte comany that could benefit from the build to increase ROI - like consumer research,new product development --- people in world building dream cars, dream clothes --- take advantage of that
- bad ROI if world not cnvenient, doesn't give user control

- just bulidng isn't enough - bad advertisign is still bad advertising, gotta add value tothe virtualworld, enhance, add expeirences

measures - positive change in attitude, increase sales, increased traffic to website
- not just word of mouth PR - lots of things you can measure, people treat virtual brand expeirence same as traditional media expeirences - memories and attitudes don't distinguish between rl and vw

- ROI can be threatened by griefers - strong communities are self-policing - maybe amount of griefing is a measure of success (g) because only go to hassle successful sites
- ROI might come from getting more data for same budget, more sales from same budget, because of multiplication of effort
- dn't get hung up on the numbers - it's about what you can learn so you're ready when the worlds explode, get more numbers later, maybe money for VW experiments should come from R&D budget not marketing
- Pontiac started by talking to car people in SL, held car camp, learned they wanted more realistic cars, did in world research before starting, already lots of fantasy flying ufo cars, people wanted name they could recognize on their car and wanted to drive like they do in rl

CSI and SL

I was on the Dr. Dobbs island with a bunch of other folks, dancing, talking about the SL-based CSI episode and waiting for the grid to crash from all the news members the promoter/LL/we hoped the show would attract. We all liked the show pretty much - we want the wall-screen size television. we all wanted to be the white rabbit or at least a cybercelebrity.


Looks like the powers that be may have overestimated the appeal of csi:ny in sl - - the grid didn't crash tho the sl web site did. the OnRez site crashed too it seems. There are lots of empty islands. There were almost 500,000 signups/registrations, but they didn't all come in (at least not all at once).

the idea was great - you can be the csi types and do the crime solving; the was product placement to make it seem even more real; the islands looked like city setting; they had greeters on the island that first night anyway and lots of signs nad arrows to help people move around

why didn't people jump on the idea?

- is it possible people didn't relaize the virtual world was real, tha thte commecial was real?

- my students said that of all the csi's, ny was their least favorite - it did fairly goodin the ratings - according to the overnight ratings reported in cynthia turner's cynopsis ( it did 8.9 rating/15 share - the highest for the time slot on any network. The show before it (criminal minds) did a 9.6 rating so csi lost some of the lead-in audience. The bad thing about the audience tho is cbs overall does the worst of the 4 main networks among the audience advertisers want, 18-49 year olds. and that age group is the one most likely (at this point) to hop online nad check things out. So older audience might not be the right one to target for an online adventure

- are people leery of downloading anything these days? At a presentation at the Virtual Worlds conference in San Jose in October,2 07, a representative from Puzzle Pirates said that only about 30% of the people who came to their site downloaded the app - and about half of those who downloaded stopped the process when they got the screen that mentioned it was a signed java application and they had to agree to something. People stopped because they were afraid - was this a sign of something wrong, something would happen totheir machine... ----- so maybe people didn't want to downlaod someting outside their browser, maybe they didn't know how to download (see the bit about the older audience above?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Advertising 2.0 panel at ONA - notes

can't just buy easily packaged set of the right eyeballs

used to be that everyone on the commuter railroad read the print paper - not any more - many more interactive devices - audience fragmented and moving away from mainsream media - another example of hwy ya can't buy easily packaged eyeballs

uncontrollable viral
PR people becoming more important to busienss because advertising not as effective

media not just a place for content, but platform for development - let user play with your content nad mix it up
need to add developers, get used to working with api's, develop own api so others can develop with your stuff

gotta think long tail for revenue generation
what's traffic unless people do something
your current customers (advertisers) could become your biggest competitors because now everyone can create and package content around niche audiences and they have lots of resources to satisfy that niche - and they're trying, experimenting -, wrigley's sites

think about web as peanut butter jelly sammich - can't tell where one starts and one ends, your jelly might make a good sammich with someone else's peanut butter (, and someone else might stick in pickles to enhance your sammich beyond what you envisioned), one brand advertises on another brands content site because they want to reach the same audience (axe on bud site)

people learn about brands by how the brand lets the people interact with the brand

cheaper to do a site to adv brand than buy lots of ads on tv - and you still control the audience --- but it's a lot of owrk, lot of risk

reach and frequency - people going to facebook, youtube, and myspace - line between off-and on-line blurring

"local" has been the next big thing for about 10 years - not happening - local has the same problems as national except local doesn't have the tools for reaching audience, local is smaller advertisers and they're not as net smarter - maybe create a niche site for a group of small advertisers, and local advertisers aren't necessarily focused on local business anymore - can ship anywhere, world getting flatter

start with the idea that it might not work and figure out what you can measure, know your exit strategy/when to cut nad run and change tactics, think of how you can setup content for peopel who want to use it on yoru site nd how to package site for people to 'take away" - rss feeds, email newsletters...

advertising in rss feeds - not very successful at this point, rss helps you build an audience - and they can help your advertisers build their own audience without you for distributing specials and ad content, RSS feeds give you a lot of data that you can use to sell your content

everybody experimenting, nobody has an answer - secondlife experiments are an example (value so far is the mainstream press coverage of the involvement)

companies spending money on search, media making money on adsense

need to build a relationship with the advertisers - tv hs gotten really creative with advertisers, letting them help create content, putting the products in the show (Axe and MTV - mtv let axe create a show or work closely with them on the creation, some branding, reaches the right audience) - creates reach and engagement - - like advertisers creating own content sites

video - easy to sell, easy to create, but hard to get peopel to watch the video ads on the net, youtube has some interesting video advertising experimetns to keep an eye on

ad agencies want internet video ads to work and are willing to spend money on this kind of ad - they know how to make 30 second spots and have assets to use, on a lot of sites, the video ad space is sold out especially in the prime locations, want to know how to stay in business in era with less mainstream media power, but people don't really like them

they think it's a way to build their brand online - with video - - it's an open question however - banners and buttons didn't work, can you base a brand building campaign online or is web a part of a brand building campaign

google - cheapest reach you're going to get
look at the sponsors in rocketboom
what's a banner ad, what's a widget, what's editorial content - - lines blurry -- check out google widget ads - can create fun things to paly iwth that show up as ads

gotta get people to the site, gotta get them to interact with the content or doesn't matter hwo much you spend on the advertising on the site

not just reach - it's the quality of the reach

gotta use the analytics - but advertisers want the info before they buy, not after

this is about the math - getting best reach for your money
use your own tracking, use google analytics

advertising recession - for sure, when is the question - may carry over ot online if the marketers don't figure out what works, probably going to fall back to reach and frequency

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

At the Virtual Worlds conference in San Jose

more people but much bigger space - less claustrophic than in March in NYC

So many more companies are here as presenters and exhibitors. I wish i was 2 or 3 people because at some time slots there are multiple presentations that sound great. I'm going to stick with the entertainment and marketing track today i think and tomorrow hop around to different tracks. Fun fun fun.

opening keynote from Sidney Vebleck of ESC -
more than 30 wv, 100 speakers, 25 exhibitors, 1100 participants from around the world

preteen/kids VW market - doing well, very established and financially successful
ex: webkinz and club penguin with interesting business models
nicktropolis and barbie world - set up by estab lishe brands with all their marketing weight behind them
he expects probably 40 kid oriented virtual worlds - tons of brutal competition and lots of failures to be expected - scary time but lots of innovation driven by the competition so gotta keep a close eye on this part of hte market - he expects lots of new sutt in enhanced user experiences, different business models and marketing, new ways to make cool world without downloads and on lowerend ocmputers

teen vw - gaia and imvu are examples
they combo communication tools and vw components - added value from teh combination to increase entertainment - the comm tools are things they're used to from other platforms with social networking
- MTV has been really successful in this market - branded worlds
he predicts more in this area with more use of hte comm tools like profile pages, synch and asynch comm tools

braod market VW - still developing, not as successful as the kid worlds
business models not strong yet
should do more in the shopping-ecommerce realm because vw could totally enhance the shopping experience over shopping on a website

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

At the Virtual Worlds conference in San Jose

2 days of workshops and keynotes on SecondLife and a bunch of other virtual worlds. I'll be blogging when i can - i'm looking forward to the entertainment track!

You can check out the schedule here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Here's a youtube video about a good place to visit in SL - a fun house. It uses sound, music, and strange visuals. And it's russian, gotta love that (Hey - i got my undergrad degree in Russian Studies back when it was still Soviet Studies!)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Working on a research project

with another prof and a student...we're going to different branded islands/sites looking for things they're doing, signs, events, any evidence company comes in world...

The PR prof, Arhlene Flowers, looked for PR statements - who's in SL and why, what do they hope to accomplish, their goals - and found quite a list of companies who have done something in SL

Then the student, Jordan, and I have gone to allthe sites for those companies and taken pictures, recorded branding elments we saw, looked for evidence of events, employees regularly schedule, for how the company uses the site

We've looked at about 30 sites - not everybody but all the companies for whom Arhlene found PR statements

There are some pictures from the project on the side of the screen in the Flickr badge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SL Down

It happens - not as frequently as it used to - whew

But occasionally SL goes down - and the homepage puts up this great graphic - somebody had to take the time to build these avatars for the picture -i love a company that plans ahead

Monday, September 24, 2007

just sort of related to sl

a blog post about how to make better use of your facebook profile to connect in your industry - reach outside of your network, add apps to look cool, keep your porfile up to date...

I wonder if the profile in SL is similar. I hear a lot of people say they look at other avatars' profiles - i have very little in mine. Maybe it's a place to promote the school;s islands, my blog, our classes... Gotta figure out how to get pictures and links into the profile. And then get hte students to update theirs too

Thursday, September 20, 2007

panel on protecting brands in SL

I"m at a panel put on by millions of us about protecting brands in sl

Here are my notes from the panel....

one of the speakers (haver cole) is a community director for metaversatility
one is reporter for Virtual news nework
how should brands enter sl - observe the virtual brands first - how are they deploying nad presenting their brands, they have experience already reaching customers, handling transactions, advertising
then see if you can interact with them, engage with existing products (like the coke experience contest)
bring brand in slowly, respect the existing sl community, sl branding not hte same as rl branding, in sl hav eto understand where the commuity is and how to intract with them, so you have to observe, spend time here

SL as a platform with cache - can't just come in anymore and get pressclaim to be the first - that doesn't work anymore, gotta think out side the box in sl to be successful (and most didn't)
good to have real world/sl connection - coldwell banker was innovative with their open house in sl built on a rl house
hotel chain - turkish luxury hotel - ?riksoft? - in sl now
not so good to recreate the real world product, he thinks its better to create sl specific products, things designed for virtual owrlds, will get press, and could develop into new revenue streams -- oen goal is to get sl residents to stop being anti brands and to being pro-brands, people tired of real life recreations, in sl products don't act same as in rl so recreations not the same, look at hte brands and services you provide in rl, your companies expertise and values - and see hwo you can bring those things into sl to meet a need

one speaker said sl residents more brand savvy than in rl?

brand management avenues in sl - profiles, how you present your self, brand as your complete identity

now pricing is artificially low in SL - no higher priced luxury brands
soon - prices are going to change, her ewill be higher priced luxury brands

griefing and brands - bad or do rl people just say oh those wacky sl people? - some brands are sort of afraid of the residents, islands give control, a llot of rl people don't care, sl has built in security tools - just like in rl, use the tools to protect yoruself, - turn off scripts, bounce people, ban people

crisis management in sl - in rl reactive, in sl process and control issues, can be a bit more proactive by making sure brands propoerly positioned, probably be some company coming in (as the first) to do sl crisis pr

best way to maintain good relationships with sl residents - keep watching, keep learning, brands will change a little in sl from rl to better take advantage of sl strengths, to be doing stuff that's most appropriate in sl, meet real demands in sl, kep doing new stuff, be interactive, new events, but also doing new things, new ways to connect with people, new ways for peopel to interact with the brand

how do you get your brand known in sl - you hav eto findyour audience and speak to them directly, use viral marketing, connect iwht bloggers, get pics on flickr so people get yused to seeing it and seeing hte name, show up to social events with your brand identity , doesn't have to be expensive project

look at malls and shops run by sl residents as distribution channels - why build up island and recreate what they do - can you work with them, distribute thru them

mainstream press not into sl - reporters probably not going to come into sl to talk with you about your sl brand, so ya need to have things in sl that are relevant to rl, to attract new users, want to amke sure any mainstream media coverage is about yoru brand, not about how hard it was for the reporter to get there or about griefing, but reporters always looking for weird/different thing to quote

fil out your profile - users look at that, put pics in the profile of you in different places around sl, show you're in the community reaching out

if you send out a press release, be available on talk on the phone about it with reporters

Monday, September 17, 2007

more from the life 2.0 conference

The Scripting workshop this weekend at the Life2.0 conference was great. My brain hurt afterwards

The speakers were all prepared with examples and demonstrations - tho the piggy disappeared too quickly for me to see it (and from what i heard it was never seen again). There were 2 big screens where the speakers notes were displayed. The Dr. Dobbs folks are going to make those available after the conference.

The subject of scripting was covered from the basics - built in functions, events nad states, even how to assign values to variables (local and global). It continued thru scripting to have objects communicate with each other and with avatars. Turns out you can script email messages. Then it got deep and fast and I got lost. But i have a base now so i can go to the online resources (which the speakers pointed out and provided links to) and they will make sense.

A big thanks to the Dr. Dobbs folks. Another great event. And the fun continues all week with speakers and beach parties and sponsor exhibits. Including Sun - check me out with my Sun balloons.

I got a free tshirt too but haven't put it on. I need to update my branded avatar (weather channel backpack, nbc scarf, crayon mug and now java tshirt and sun balloons.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More on events

Going to the Life 2.0 conference in SL sponsored by Dr. Dobbs Journal in SecondLife

They have the amphitheatre straddling 2 sims (I think) and they have upped the number of avatars allowed on one sim to 80. We had 72 avatars hanging out this morning tho by the end of the scripting lessons this afternoon it was down to about 50. But still - 50 is more than in the past.

Here are some issues I've noticed with conferences -things we need to watch for in the future...

- they had name tags - interesting idea but people played with them thru out the presentation whihc was kind of distracting. And they took up a lot of screen space if you loaded the default info (name, title, company). But it was a good idea to see who was from where since this was a professional conference (altho not everyone acted professionally)

the course materials in a box - one of the best ideas around - we could look at each script the speaker was working with and we have them to study afterwards. It was a quick couple of hours so not much chance to play with the scripts or to put notes in them for later.

People who want to chat or to make comments need to be encouraged to use a back channel like the group IM. With all the text from the objects we were playing with and the side comments, it was sometimes tough to see the speaker.

It's a week long conference. THey've been promoting it on their website. It's conceivable that people might come into sl just for the conference. SO the dr. dobbs folks scheduled a newbie Q&A session for a couple of hours. Thought that was a great idea. I think i need to do that on the island - have some time where people know someone will be there to answer questions

I've seen this at a couple of conferences - signage! how to use voice, how to turn on th estreaming media. Probably need a sign now that says you're not using voice or audio but only text. People seemed confused. Most things on the dr. dobbs island are done using voice so the confusion was understandable. The promotion for hte conference mentioned voice too (the dr. dobbs folks said later in the week (with the main speakers) they'd go voice.

They had a networking "breakfast" at their beach party area. Some people tried out voice. It was kind of awkward this morning - we'll see how it goes tomorrow. But having some social events for this kind of long conference seems to be a good idea. The NMC folks had some social areas and time for people to hang out and talk.

If the conference is taking place at different places on an island, signage and maps are a good thing. SO is a teleport map. So is a big copy of the program. NMC did that too - even if it's on the web since some people can't easily go back and forth between SL and the web.

Have official people there - who can speak for the organization, for intro's, to do a little policing, to help attendees find what they need. Dr. Dobbs has Rissa and John and they were present when they needed to be.

and just a side note - some of the voice/anti-voice rivalry is just weird. Use it or not. It's not a religious decision.

ANd lag happens. Sometimes it's on SL end, sometimes on your end. You have to deal with it - not complain to everyone around you. Log off and come back in - that helps sometimes.

ALl in all - a good event so far. And I'm trying to pick up ideas about having events along iwth the info on scripting in LSL.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're going in

The semester is starting (ok we're in week 3 already! yikes)

Today the students in qualitative research methods started in secondlife. And it all went smoothly this semester. The computers downloaded the viewer software quickly, everyone found a last name they liked. We had to deal with taking off face tattoos and wigs once they started playing with their avatars.

Side note - why does LL even bother with the different avie choices when making accounts? As soon as ya get onto orientation island you are shown how to play with your appearance. And people don't know as new users about tattoos and attachments versus clothes.

Students were going thru the orientation island tasks. I showed them a little about search.

The semester seems to be starting off well. Here's a pic of one student with his torch

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Planning an Event

Thursday morning at 10am (New York time) which is 7am SecondLife time, John Scott will be on the Park Communication island to talk about his latest project, Scouts are Cancelled about poet John Stiles. John will talk about making documentaries and about some ethical issues that came up while making this movie.

We don't have a reputation for events yet - hopefully if we can get several going for this semester that will change. The better known we are, the more people will come and the more fun events will be.

Here's what I did to promote the event so far
- sent email to the mailing list for educators in SL
- sent in world IMs to groups related to film, movie making, poetry, and Canada
- emailed an influential blog that runs one or two posts a week about upcoming events
- added it to the SL calendar under arts & culture and discussion
- put up clips from the documentary in a special place on the island along with a notecard that probably needs to be beefed up
- asked a student to make a tshirt to give to attendees

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another conference in world

The SLCC - SecondLife Community Conference - is this weekend in chicago and in SL on a lot of different islands. I've been hanging mostly on artificial isle, the main site for hte conference in world. There are different tracks and (supposedly) audio streams for each. They've had serious issues iwth their audio - the conference organizers are blacking it on the hotel's internet infrastructure.

i've mostly been going tohte business trck - some of thepanels I missed because the audio went down. They say they're recording them to listen to later. That will be good.

I heard some good stuf tho - one thing we have to do is improve drastically the new user's experience if we want to grow the user base of SL. Groups are setting up their own orientation experiences and LL is very supportive of that development. I think this is something we could study in qual - the kids will be in that category (new users) so we can study ourselves. I need to come up with some ideas about how to study it.

Here's a pic of some of us listening to hte stream and chatting - that's me in the pink hair.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Creativity Conference Wrap Up

Here are a couple of notes I made during the closing of the NMC Creativity conference held this week in SecondLife (it was amazing by the way - can't say enough good things about the organizers, the organization, the presenters, the presentations, the interactive workshops - all just too much for for words).

Creativity is (or is helped by) collaboration, conversation, conversation, community, complexity, connections, cooperation

when you're creative - it leads to more creativity

in SL we can share the output of our creativity with other SL users

for creativity to besuccessful - there needs to be an atmosphere of acceptance, of play, no restrictions, and tools that let you be creative

SL has the tools - gobs of scripts, building tools, ability to import textures and sounds and animations - we just have to learn how to use them and then get out of the way and let things happen

The teacher is no longer the sage on the stage or even the guide ont he side - someone said we should be the "meddler in the middle" stirring up students so they're more creative, putting out tools and letting them use the tools to learn --- we have to be willing to try new things, to change

One of the tools in secondlife is the ability to make movies, to create sets, costumes, gestures for your actors/avatars. It's a powerful tool - another place to tell stories, to express themselves. Here's the set I built for a machinima I want to make.

Another tool - the ability to build and script (program). Here's a shot from a workshop about live music in SL - we got instruments that have animations built in to make it look like we're playing the instruments

Lots of ways to be creative - theatre, poetry performances, live music, immersive environments, things to do, different ways to "be". You can even create a new culture - like the elven culture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NMC Creativity COnference

This has been a great conference. Way too many cool things going on - one after the other. I"m sitting in my office at home - and i'm exhausted. SO many new things to play iwth and try out and go shopping for. Things to try on the islands - i can't wait.

Here are a couple of pictures - from workshops, from the plaza, from around the island:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

NMC Creativity conference starts tomorrow

I'm excited. I got to sign up for one of a series of intensive multi-day classes on making art in SL - I picked Machinima. other choices included photography and sculpture. I was drawn to the sculpture class (hey - my SL last name is Chihuly) but figured we could get some use from the machinima if we get some more students involved in Park Island.

and it's all in SL. So the registration fee was tiny compared to wht other conferences cost with travel and hotel and meals.

Here's the schedule for the conference

I just found out i have to have a story idea before the first class - oh man - homework!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Running a conference - one idea (from the BlogHer Conference in SL)

Saw a cool thing at the blogher conference - a sign with help for using the multi-media. What a great idea especially if you want to do an event that will attract new SL users - like many of the students in class. People in the audience were giving advice - how to turn the video stream right side up, how to deal with lag. Then someone noticed the sign and started pointing people to it to save screen space. Everyone got better use of the media and new users didn't have to out themselves as newbies

Friday, July 27, 2007

DIane Gayeski came by the island for a few minutes. She is new to SL. Very cool that she is trying out the virtual worlds.

redecorating the welcome center - it needs signage. And I put a notecard dropbox so people could request more info. Of course - now i need a notecard giver with info on the different programs - I'll use that script from the syllabus class - that should work out great

Everybody here is Press

someone at the live event in Chicago just said that - interesting concept with a host of issues - lots of people blog anonymously - if htey don't want to be "outed" then they can't talk in a meeting? Can't have their pic taken? Kind of a new area for conference attendance.

At the conference

Here are a couple of notes from the opening - audio problems, the video stream didn't work (they originally were doing something with flash - you can't do flash in SL I think it's just qt)) but they're working on it - but things to learn for any conferences we do - test the audiovisuals before hand

Cool stuff - nice big space so easy to move around and get to the chairs and see the screen, good exhibitor space wiht interesting mix of booths - lots of neat designs for the booths themselves as well as business ideas. They gave all the participants some cash when we signed in the first morning so we could buy some stuff from the vendors. Since a lot of people are brand new to sl this was a very cool idea - they could buy some neat clothes or donate to non-profits and learn a new SL skill.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Going to BlogHer in SecondLife

I ust signed up for the SecondLife part of the BlogHer conference for next weekend. We're supposed to introduce ourselves on our blogs. So here is mine.

I teach at Ithaca College. I have students in all of my classes blog - about topics in their field, as research notes for qualitative research class, to share ideas. I blog about SecondLife since that's what I am fascinated by right now. To me blogging is a way to share cool things I find. It's also a place to get my thoughts down so i can go back to them and reconsider them, combine them. I always lost those little notebooks and diaries you were supposed to use to write down big thoughts (or shopping lists) - i can't lose the blog. The password, maybe, but not the blog. See you all in SecondLife.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

New features in the left hand column

In SL my avatar wears a blue bracelet on her left arm. It's from SquawkNest and it lets me type in SL and have the text show up in Twitter. I put a twitter feed widget in the left side of this blog so you can see little bits of what i'm doing inside SL as I do it. That's probably the only place I"ll twitter from. Since this is my SL blog, the twitter feed will let me share more frequently about what i'm doing in world.

I like widgets. I also added a search box for creative commons media. It's not SL related but it's an interesting widget. It may not stay around - i may move it to my homepage. On my homepage i now have a Meebo widget so folks can IM me right there. And I have a flower greenhouse widget from a new advertising project that's really pretty to look at. And here - the twitter and search widgets.


Starting to build on the Indy Media Center island

I started playing with BackHoe - flattened out the terrain, made a little ridge. Want to do more playing around. But man you ahve to be careful where your avatar is standing when you upload - i accidentally wiped out the Park Communication island. I had flown a few feet back to see the whole indy media center island and accidentally crossed the border. So - poof - my mountain and small hills disappeared. Linden Lab support guys are great - they had it back within the hour.

I started building a conference center space on the Indy Media Center island. I put in a space where you could give a talk and 2 halls for photo/graphics display. And then outside I have been working on a garden. I went on a tour of a knot garden and took that idea to our island. I built one garden square and then copied it to make a bigger square. and so on. Then i put a big tree in the center and some lights around the edge and paths through out. It's really formal right now. Maybe on another side i will make a less formal, more curvy garden. There are a lot of trees, shrubs, and flowers. I need a fence tho. I think i will play around with some metal textures to make a fence.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Last Presentation Update

Two more seniors presented their research results last night. They conducted an online survey about Facebook and students reactions to it, including whether they'd be willing to pay for it (less than 2% said they'd pay!)

Since Sarah Naylor and Ekta Batra aren't skilled SecondLife users, we streamed their presentation in world. It was a good test for me too - turns out we need microphones and a more powerful computer than my poor little laptop to run these presentations.

They were a little nervous at first - talking to the camera is new for them. But they got progressively more confident. They answered questions from the small but interested audience. One person encouraged them to consider publishing their article.