Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Social Networking made easy

Having trouble to explain to the management what social networking is? Well, here's the summary: It's all about S.O.C.I.A.L: It's just a 5 piece puzzle

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Defining the Virtual World Industry - input needed

Last week Nick Wilson started to try and define the virtual worlds. It's a pretty hard job to try and categorise this stuff. Currently I'm writing a few chapters for a (Dutch) book on Web 2.0 and emerging trends and am faced with the same question. Could you help out in making some educated guesses?

Defining the worlds

Here's some of the definitions I'm using:

Web 3D seems the most applicable generic term, but there is no such thing as a universal format for Web 3D and it comes in various guises, some more and some less likely to be used as a business platform.

Terms which are most commonly used are Virtual Worlds, Metaverse and NVE’s (Networked Virtual Environments). Virtual Worlds are not 3D by definition, there are many 2D platforms which are also considered as virtual worlds.

A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars. This habitation usually is represented in the form of two or three-dimensional graphical representations of humanoids (or other graphical or text-based avatars). Some, but not all, virtual worlds allow for multiple users.[1]

The term NVE was first used by Gartner in a quick study on Second Life, but residents of various virtual worlds prefer to call it the Metaverse, as coined by Neil Stephenson in his 1992 cyberpunk classic ‘Snowcrash’

Another section of web 3D consists of the socalled Paraverse, sometimes also dubbed mirror worlds, since this world is most akin to our own reality.

The Paraverse Parallel Universe is a virtual environment that is based on real
world data such as GIS and satelite information that is overlayed with 3
dimensional objects representing the objects in the real space. Examples of a
paraverse include Google Earth, Microsofts Virtual Earth, Nasa's World Wind and

A large and booming business in the web 3D environment are the online gaming worlds, the socalled MMORPG’s (massively multiplayer online role plaing games) such as World of Warcraft, Runescape etcetera.

Finally, there are all sorts of variations and hybrids such as:

  • Interverse A term used to describe a globally integrated NVE, accessible through a single common client and integrated by a common back plane.

  • Intraverse A term to describe the 3D equivalent of the intranet, a private or corporate NVE residing on an internal network and accessible to users within that network environment only.

  • Extraverse A term used for the 3D equivalent of the extranet which is privately or corporately owned and resides on a private network but accessible by one ore more organisation, but not by the general public.

    [1] Virtual Worlds definition by Wikipedia

    [2] Paraverse definition by Wikipedia

Sizing the worlds

Now it's time to get into numbers. A first excellent start by doing a raw headcount of registered users was done by Christian Renaud at the Virtual World Conference. Now let's see if we can split up some other things:

  1. Networked Virtual Environments can be split up 2 ways: Online Gaming and Social network worlds. How are they divided? 50-50%?

  2. They can also be divided by 2D and 3D, what's this pick 40-60%?

  3. How much of Online gaming worlds are 2D, is that 40%?

  4. How much of Social Network Sites are 2D, is that 50%?

  5. What is the division between Metaverse / Interverse, Intraverse, Extraverse and Paraverse?

    I'm using Extraverse as term for corporate sites, like themed sites, Laguna Beach etc.

  6. I'm also looking at our usage of the web. Like web 2.0 stuff we use it at three levels:

    1. Personal (like gaming)

    2. Social (like Second Life)

    3. Business (like Qwaq or dedicated training platforms)

      What's the spread for these in Virtual Worlds?

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Web 2.0 in 333 seconds

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Genealogy meet Web 2.0

Welcome to the 21st Century! This is the age of fast, slick webapplications. The first half of this decennium we've had the Web 2.0 boost and now we're getting ready to rock on Web 3D.

Aside from playing with new cool apps I've got about three hobbies which are so 20th century:
  1. Model trains
  2. Stamp Collecting
  3. Genealogy
Especially when looking at Genealogy many people are under the impression that it is soooooo boring, dusty archive work. That's gonna change though: Genealogy meets Web 2.0 in the new Geni app (currently in Beta)
Geni is a cool app that has a very neat interface and lets you add people directly, elevating Genealogy to a social bookmarking and networking gig.
In this first shot you see your startingpoint, the person of the year 2006: YOU
Easily add relatives, preferably by email to get the social networking on a roll.
There's lots of Profiling to do on this second screenshot. To really get it kicking it would need widgets and it'll be up for Facebook and Myspace competition.
The third screener is about localising your friends and family

As for social bookmarking, it's got potential, but for genealogy freaks it's a start. The real genfreaks are desperately waiting for a GEDCOM interface.

GEDCOM is the standard format for importing and exporting family trees and works with known programs such as Aldfaer, phpGedview and TNG and every other thinkable Genealogy software. Imagine I've got to retype all 5,000 family members (back to 1500) into this app when I've already have them databased!

As far as the forums are a good thing to go by, Geni is offering a GEDCOM export (in alpha stage), but GEDCOM (v. 5.5) import isn't sorted out yet. It was planned for this release, but is delayed.

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