A little while ago I blogged
on the great Amazon build. Today it was on the Things To Do list and we received a personal tour guided by Amazon's Webservices resident guru Jeff Barr
He told us how it all began: "Last year I got an SL account and started to attend all sorts of events. After attending a NASA launch with live video, I started to get the crazy idea that I could actually do part of my job from within SL. People looked at me like I was crazy. But I persisted, and gave some talks last year on Info Island and at other places. The response was awesome and told me that I wasn't crazy. I proposed to my management the design and construction of this island. They thought it was a good idea, and now, here we are."
This time I got round to asking a few more indepth questions (ahum), like how Amazon teamed up with Joshua Culdesac from Virtuool, a freelance French builder.
Jeffronius Batra: "VeeJay, this is a great story. I bought a little plot of land in Athabasca. Shortly after I started building, this wolf started to hang out nearby. We started chatting and he showed me some of what he was building. I was very impressed with his skills and we became good friends. I shared with him my vision for what we could build here, and it turned out that he was in the process of making a career change to become a full-time SL builder. He's based in Bordeaux, France and has a background in building 3D objects as a hobby, by the way. When I had approval to start building, I wrote a spec and asked him to submit a proposal, and the result is what you see here. He did an amazing job of taking my ideas and turning them into something even better than the vague pictures in my head. We never once talked on the phone during the build phase. I didn't even meet him in person until last month. All in all the process worked out very well and I am quite happy with the results. I wanted to make this place look like it had been buried for hundreds of years and then rediscovered."
This story is off course one hell of an example how inworld collaboration can work out. From idea to end product without ever meeting once
We toured the sim then and saw a very imaginative auditorium, probably one of the most original ones I've seen so far and we toured the Amazon again in the boats I blogged on in my previews posting on Amazon. This time, even the boats caused havoc as one actualla sank!
Virtually Shipwrecked !!!
Actually, we were all kinda amazed that it could happen, even Jeff who certainly knew of no premeditated scripted intend to sink us. Anyway, our clothes dries quickly and we moved on.
The sim is filled to the brim with places to stimulate the 240,000 people Amazon Webservice development community using their S3 (Amazon's storage service) and EC2 (their compute cloud) in various ways related to SL. Linden Labs is also using the S3 as building block for their client. This morning saw their first tech meeting with about 20 developers present.
Finally it seems like Amazon turns out to be one of the places to watch when it comes to rallying the community, potentially more so than IBM or Intel for that matter.