Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why Starfish can’t jump

Ogogolio’s Trevor Smith posted a nice comment on the Starfish presentation:

Thanks for posting the videos. I'm a bit surprised that you can grok his message but choose to work in the spider verse of SL instead of contributing to one of the starfish.

Second Life is controlled by a single corporate entity, hosted on centralized hardware, governed by a single legal structure, and is fundamentally structured around the centralized idea of One Big World.

In this analogy, Linden Lab is the spider head and if you chop it off then Second Life is dead.


I think I have to disagree with Beckstrom then, I guess ;). And I really do.


The thing Rod says about Starfisch companies is that they are decentralized but in order for this to function, there needs to be a very very clear set of operational protocols.



In this, each organisational cell has to have the maturity to operate autonomously within the main ideology. But what happens in unforseen circumstances? Who makes the decisions when a company comes into a crises? It is impossible to have a full starfish company. What happens if we’re in a hostile take-over situation or a scandal? Who will have to pick up responsibility in the end? What if two decentralized cells or organisational units have different interests, or even conflicting interests, who mediates or puts out strategy in the end?


An example of this would be typically Dutch churchlife. In the Middle Ages we had the Catholic Empire. Super centralized and only the clergy had Bibles, their handbook, protocol set. That didn’t really work and Calvinism rose and in the ages past dozens of religious factions appeared. Each having their particular organisational model. Some with centralised governing bodies, others decentralised. The particular set I go to is kind of decentralised. Locally governed churches. Each member of the church has his/her own handbook nowadays and we’re all considered to be really smart intelligent people. There are occasions though that Elders put out a different gospel, to keep with the handbook, a cell leader that thinks the set of protocols needs to be altered a little, or other issues that can’t be solved at a local level. For this occasion there’s a national assembly every four years to judge these things. Consider changes or addenda to the protocols and make a ruling in cases where protocols have been violated, or challenged.


Optimal performance is a cross between Starfish and Spiders I guess, or every rule has its mandatory exceptions.



Now when it comes to Second Life, is it really a Spider company? In part it is, it’s true Linden Lab brings us Second Life. It’s true they’re responsible for many things. But in part it isn’t.


Linden Lab itself isn’t a spider corporation. There’s the tao of Linden which allows each unit or individual employee incredible freedom in picking his / her own priorities (LL should be more Spider in this regard). De grid is spread over several hosting locations, yes true, all LL owned. Take out part of the grid, the other part lives on.


Ogoglio of course is different. It’s open source and if we chopped off Trevor’s head (that’s a no-no) Ogoglio would live on. You can run it at home. Great stuff, and very very Starfishish.


There’s a wide range of variety though. Second Life is open, decentralized sometimes even anarchistic when it comes to user generated content. If we’d cut off Philip’s spikey head (also a no-no) would content creation stop? We’ve got tens of content development companies and we’ve got an active, contributing community. This can’t be said for a range of other platforms, even when the are enterprise platforms and you can run your own version of it, you’re still by far and large dependable on the platform owners for content creation.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2007 sees multibillion dollar investments in 3D environments

Triggered by the 3PointD article Conduit Social Gaming World Gets $5.5m Round on another capital venture investment in 3D initiatives I've made a quick survey of 2007 investment news on the aforementioned 3PointD blog and the Metaversed blog.

Just coming from these blog is 1.651 Million in investments in the year 2007 to date. Surely, they've missed out on many private investments, startups and corporate investments.


Reports on BBC, MTV and Disney investing in new startups and others virtual startups like Stagespace, Metaversum's Twinity, 3D City (ABKsoft), VastPark (Worlds Collide), Ogoglio, Sony's PS3 Home and Mattel's Barbieworld come without figures.


Awomo (a world of my own) is, said to be worth 1 billion euro according to Virgin Records mogul Sir Richard Branson.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

MindBlizzard growing

The MindBlizzard blog has been up for just 4 months, but it's growing (too) fast...

Size


This is getting a regular habit I fear. Right now I'm having a hard time publishing to my blog. It's been barely a month ago that I upgraded my hostingaccount from 50 to 100 Mb and DataTraffic limits from 2 Gb/month to 4 Gb per month.



Now, halway through July I'm at 3.2 Gb Data Traffic already and have grown beyond 100Mb.
Maybe I should start considering getting a sponsor as well.



Reputation


To look on the bright side of life: In the past month my technorati rating has rocketed from autority 26 to authority 50, and closing in on the top 100K blogs. Not bad for a 4 month old blog.




Readers


In the past months I've seen various people comment on and link to my blog, such as:


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Metaverse Map v1.1

Here's the updated Metaverse Map with an overview of 2D and 3D virtual worlds.

The large image (1024 x 1024) can be found here.

Use the map freely, links will be appreciated though ;-)


In alphabetical order:

  1. Active Worlds
  2. Areae
  3. Croquet
  4. Cybertown
  5. Cyworld
  6. Deamville
  7. Disney Toontown
  8. Dubit
  9. Eccky
  10. Entropia
  11. Everyscape
  12. Forterra
  13. Frenzoo
  14. Gaia Online
  15. Google Earth
  16. Habbo Hotel
  17. Hipihi
  18. Immersive
  19. Kaneva
  20. Manor, the
  21. Microsoft Virtual Earth
  22. Mini Friday
  23. Moove Online
  24. Multiverse
  25. Muse
  26. Nasa World Wind
  27. NGI World
  28. Ogoglio
  29. Open Sim
  30. Outback Online
  31. Palace, the
  32. Planet VM
  33. Playdo
  34. Questville
  35. Second Life
  36. Shanda Entertainment
  37. Sims Online
  38. Sony Home
  39. Sparter
  40. Stagespace
  41. There.com
  42. Towerchat
  43. Trion
  44. Uonenet
  45. Virtual Ibiza
  46. Virtual Magic Kingdom
  47. Virtual Worlds SIG
  48. VP Chat
  49. Vzones
  50. Webkinz
  51. Weblo
  52. Why Robbie Rocks
  53. Whyville
  54. World.com
  55. Worldbridges
  56. Worlds Unlimited

I know I left out Club Pinguin and Three Rings (couldn't find any good logo's) and probably missed out on a few barbie-worlds....

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Metaverse Map

The metaverse rollercoster keeps on rolling. Next week I've got to do a presentation on Second Life and the metaverse. I've been looking around a bit and decided to throw in a few logo's of Web 3D / Metaverse initiatives.
Which ones did I miss?

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tonights Geek Meet Wrap up

Tonight saw another brilliant episode of the Metaversed Geek Meet. With speakers from Ogoglio, Amazon and Cisco.


First to kick off was Trevor Smith of Ogoglio who had a very straightforward story on the open source community in virtual worlds.

  1. 1. Point One: The web is open
    Open source software from the apache project hosts a huge percentage of the web. Open source operating systems run most of the core application level infrastructure like the Google borg and DNS. When facing such cultural, technical, and legal momentum... ...it seems foolish to glom closed spaces onto the side of this huge open web.

  2. Point Two: Basic 3D technologies are no longer black magic.
    When a layer of technology has matured to the point where it is commonly understood the open source community can step in and replace proprietary systems with open ones. This is not a particularly glamorous function,... but it does have the huge benefit of enabling people to try new ideas without reinventing the wheel or taking on funding. For example,...
    the Ogoglio platform is a web server for shared persistent spaces You can host spaces on your laptop, on an inexpensive web account... or scale it up on the Amazon elastic compute cloud. Creative groups can experiment with new ideas without spending a

  3. Point Three: Open source is painfully honest.
    When your checkin comments are in the public record and anyone can fact-check your press release by browsing your code..."

Our second speaker was Jeff Barr from Amazon, known for his enthusiatic commitment to Things to Do and the Amazon build, speaking on Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud.

"With a virtual environment like Ogoglio hosted on it, you can conceivably spin up a whole bunch of them (hundreds and eventually thousands) to deal with a short-term event like a party or a concert. Or a big company meeting. Maybe it lasts an hour, or a whole weekend. Instead of begging your friends for loaner servers or buying them outright, or paying a by-the-month hosting plan, you use what you need. This seems to be an ideal solution to the very spikey demand that you will see from a virtual world. Mostly low demand, but occasionally very, very high."


Last, but certainly not least was the inspirational Christian Reinoud from Cisco who spoke on the future of Web 3D.

"Wen people invest as much time and energy as we all have into our sims, avatars, etc. we'll want to take them with us at the same time you have companies like Wells and MTV who are concerned about liability and their brand and will opt for more walled/controlled experiences"


This discussion handsomely evolved into a very sharp discussion on various cultures within the metaverse, creating their own identities, just like in Real Life.

The notorious Prokofy Neva was also present and did some seriously sharp questioning of the speakers.
"If you make a uniform protocol for avatars/goods across the frontiers of worlds, won't that introduce the same ill effects of RL globalization, and demolish some unique indigenous cultures and overutilize labour and resources in some areas and underserve others? Im' not certain that cross-world identity porting is quite in demand as you may think."

That surely did leave us time to ponder!

The Geek Meets are becoming a popular event. I got in early as I expected the meet would be maxed out and truly 15 minutes upfront it was hard to squeeze in the speakers. Our host, Nick Wilson from Metaversed is becoming a real facilitator and set up a few things like ustream tv so other people could follow the meet as well.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Friday's Geek Meet speakers

Nick Wilson got together another team of excellent speakers for tomorrow's Geek Meet.
This session will see talks by:

The only thing is, it's kind of a late night show for us Dutchmen, as this weeks meet will start at midnight.

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