Monday, April 30, 2007

SLUC: Intel gears up

Second Life Under Construction

After crossing the metaverse back and forth today, my eyes are really tired and I can't make sense nor sensibility from some of the things I''ve seen today. However, one thing that is clear is that Intel is gearing up. After Live without boundaries and Intel Ignites OCC there's a new Intel sim under construction in the Millions of Us archipelago.
But it doens't stop there! A new cluster is emerging...they're up to something...
Then there's SMI coming next to SUN and around Sheep Island there are a few interesting signs too, like Baseball, Bridge International to name just a few new projects.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sundance For a Change

The Sundance Festival has found Second Life to be a new carrier to promote its movies. At first glance, there's nothing special about the build; a few brick and wood buildings in a forest. An empty cafe and a Movietheatre...

Well, nothing special, since the sim is cold and empty. I visited the website though and found out they're actually doing something there. A weekly series on the Green features many hot-topic discussions which are also blogged. Since a pic from that meeting is way more spectacular than the snapshots I took, here's one from their blog:Aside from the movies, Sundance Channel the Green focusses heavily on the eco-hype.


Labels: ,

Sony BMG

The Electric Sheep Company brings (well... brought a while ago) another big brand into Second Life. This time it's Sony BMG that's being immersed by the ESCapists. This time I'm impressed. The architecture is great and is slowly straying away from RL gravity rules.

The grand opening was October 19th, 2006 and featured a simulcast event with Ben Folds. Aside from the usual freebees (which in this case are about L$ 100) you can download music here as well.
The only problem with this sim is, is that it's called Media. It took me a while to find it. It certainly doesn't show right off that it's a Sony BMG thingy.

Labels: , , , , ,

MTV's Laguna Beach

MTV's popular show Laguna Beach was originally immersed by the Electric Sheep Company on a standalone virtual world, based on There technology. Due to popular demand the beach has been set up in Second Life as well.

After the L-Word this is the next major tv-shows to set up shop in Second Life. In an interview I did with Paul Verhoeven he mentioned that Second Life has a number of cost-reducing advantages, so we can probably expect more tv-sets to go virtual.
MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach:

Labels: , , , , ,

New Architecture for Sun

Here's a short update on the Sun Pavilion I blogged about earlier. They've done some heavy redecorating and I really like the architecture!

Labels: , , , ,

Adidas awareness

I'm just realising I left out an important blogpost. I've blogged Reebok and BBH earlier this month, but forgot to blog their neighbour, Adidas. I visited the sim, took a few snapshots but completely forgot to post it. There are two plausible explanations for this omission
  1. It was way past bedtime when I blogged Reebok and BBH
  2. The Adidas sim was just not good enough to be blogged.

Well, to be honest, I wasn't very enthausiastic about it. It was pretty much the same as Reebok, a shop with some shoes and nothing much of a so desired experience. When I think of Adidas I think of Steffi Graff sweating on Roland Garros or some other sporty event...

The reason I've added this post now is because there is something funny about Adidas. KZero blogged about brand perception in SL, based upon a research done by Reperes, a french market research agency (the one from the desing competition). The most remarkable result is that Adidas has scored highest with a 69% brand awareness.

Anyway, Adidas was brought to SL by the inevitable Rivers Run Red. However, it could be a German build as it is almost as white as the BMW and Toca Me designs.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Trimedia trial and error

"Trimedia Communications is Europe’s fastest growing Public Relations and communications consultancy." They have offices throughout Europe and thought it would be nice if their sim would have the same layout... Well I was there, didn't recognise it, but somewhere I saw a nice picture that proved Trimedia right.

The official press reading is:

Europe will be an island

Trimedia Communications opens a branch in "Second Life"

Trimedia Communications is the first European PR agency group that is opening a branch in Second Life. "The Trimedia World" mirrors the European Trimedia network and is designed to become a central meeting place, for everyone active and interested in PR and marketing in the virtual reality world...

Off course, there's a lot more in the official release, mainly saying that a lot can be done at the island, but I haven't noticed. My friend Aleister blogged this build last month and had the feeling it was still incomplete. A month later, it still looks like it's missing a beat...

Labels: , ,

Mazda's Failure to Launch

Mazda is adding another virtual promotion to the growing line of car manufacturers in Second Life. Since Toyota made a big launch in 2006 and Pontiac is praised everywhere for its crowdsourcing Second Life is hot amongst the iron-horse producers.

So we've had Toyota, Pontiac, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan (and probably one I've missed) and Fiat under construction, you might have thought Mazda has had enough time to look at their peers and learned something from them, for good or for bad.

The presentation of the Mazda Hakaze at Nagara island was...well... a bummer.

"Dagger rose. Silence. He sat and Barthelmess rose. He sat and Lundquist crossed to the podium. Still silence. A Mazda video played, then stopped and started again. Later another started. Neither video played to completion.

Suddenly the Mazda Hakaze appeared on the oval, which had now risen a bit from its previous ground position. It’s a cute little car, has a bit of a smiley face front and I expected cheers, comments, anything. Silence..," said SLNN reporter Sarah Qi (read full article here). Mazda had been using group IM's to keep the gathered press up to speed, but had failed to tell them to use the group audio channel.

Nagara Island is little more than a beach with a few roads to drive on. It appears Mazda bought the island in Januari 2006 and started building in February. Three employees have been inside SL but didn't bother to look beyond the borders of their own sim. Mazda plunged in without proper market research. They could have gotten away with that in early 2006, not in 2007!

Labels: , ,

Beta Technologies

Beta Technologies is another of the early Virtual Contractors in Second Life. They've got a wide range of skills to help build your presence in SL, ranging from 3D content design, real architecture, programming, web and logo design, video and audio production, production of textual content, project planning and management, as well as consultancy, marketing and promotion.

Among their builds are Xerox, the Scandinavian Saxo bank, Cleveland Heart Clinic and Sunbelt Software. This list reminds me that I have to visit the Xerox build, as I've already blogged the other ones.

Beta Technologies is one of the many succesfull projects by Eggy Lippmann who joined Second Life in 2003. One of the feats on his palmares is the foundation of the Second Life histori wiki. For more information on the various projects of Eggy, you might wanna look at his wikipage.

Labels: , , , ,

Blogstats April

Well, I've started this blog in February, but only got serious somewhere this month.
The first 10 days of april saw an average of 5 visitors a day, the last 10 days an average of 146. So it's been a good month :)

Here's where our visitors came from:
  1. Netherlands
  2. Usa
  3. Japan
  4. Italy
  5. Singapore
  6. Denmark
  7. Canada
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Australia
  10. Belgium

Our top referrers:

  1. Ambling in Second Life
  2. Google
  3. Technorati
  4. 3pointD
  5. Secondlife Blogo

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fasten your Sunbelts

and buckle up for a ride on the Sunbelt sim. Sunbelt is the software corp that keeps the bad guys out...
"...Sunbelt Software has created a presence (Sunbelt Island) for our communities to meet, discuss computer related issues, attend events and lectures, have parties, or just have fun exploring this exciting new world.We built several areas you might want to visit; Sunbelt's corporate headquarters has been rebuilt in Second Life, we have an auditorium, several fun games to play, a gathering area for parties, a partner pavilion and a product awareness island. We also created a Second Life 101 'primer' for people completely new to this new world, called the 'welcome area'.

The nice bits about this sim is that the circle from their logo returns in various settings, e.g. the walkway round the pond, the terraces in the auditorium etc. A few nice gimmicks are several spyware suits in pricedraws and a few virtual software selection wizzards.
Anyway, as I was running my PC unprotected at the moment, I thought it would be fun to sign up for the price draw, and well, here it is. I won... Within a day I'm the proud owner of a 20 (US) dollar counterspy software suit. Can't wait for mcAfee comes to town since I need a new antivirus too.

Labels: , , ,

Funding the Dream

As Second Life's popularity is growing, the tale of Linden Labs gets bigger and bigger. Phil Rosendale must be living the American dream. It''s the typical American IT story of a guy (just like Bill) starting up in a garage and shooting millions a year after.

But there's a step -or perhaps a giant leap- to be made from having the idea to actually making it true. It needed time, but it also needed money to develop and buy the necessary hardware.
One of the things that struck me lately was a sim -deadcenter mainlaind- named Omidyar. It's an ocean but carries the SL logo. A quick search brought me to the Omydyar Network.

"Omidyar® Network is a mission-based organization established by eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar, and his wife, Pam. Since 2004, we have made both for-profit and nonprofit investments to advance our mission, and we are currently expanding beyond investments to include public policy and other areas that enhance the organization's reach and impact."
A reliable source informed me today that indeed they are one of the leading investors in Linden Labs. Thanks Omidyar for funding another addiction ;)

Labels: , , , ,

The road to Web 3D

Earlier this week I made a blogpost of the Business Week SL special. Here's another article (read the full version here) that discusses the future of the internet and NVE's (Networked Virtual Environments a.k.a. virtual / immersive worlds) in general.

"All these developments have one thing in common: They suggest that before long, the Internet of the future, and the vast wealth of information and services on it, will look different: slicker, more realistic, more interactive and social than anything we experience today through the Web browser. "Three-dimensional virtual worlds will, in the near future, be pervasive interfaces for the Internet," says Bob Moore, a sociologist who studies virtual worlds at Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, the legendary Xerox (XRX) lab in Silicon Valley."

It's an excellent article that really gets you going, written by Robert Hof.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kula Chess

"It's time to wage war! Get on your battlesuits, cry havoc and prepare for battle..."

No this time it's not about an MMORPG or a virtual Star Trek roleplay sim but it's good ole battle chess gone virtual. However, in this game you don't move the pieces, you are one of them. Put on a pawn suit, a bisshop or knight's suit and walk onto the grid and be immersed inside the game of chess...

If you're in for a game, then TP to Kula:

Labels: , , ,

Cisco Community Center

Triggered by one of the things I read earlier today about Cisco, I decided to go in for a look.
Cisco has got 4 islands, actually I should say sims. The sims are a terraformed like a cluster of smaller islands with gazebo's and nice bridges crossing the waters
Cisco's really getting into community, also giving some room for their partners if you're able to read the signs below. Trust me, there's a lot of different areas, no real events or fun thingies, but plain old community building and collaboration.
I like the build, the general setup of different islands, quite open but with a sense of privateness. The architecture is a little simple though.

Labels: , , , ,

SL Merger: Dropzone & Virtual Holland

There has been a continental drift in the Holland sector of Second Life as ING's "Our Virtual Holland" and Talpa's "Drop Zone" have merged to form what may be the beginning of a new continent... but are a fair mass at 17 sims right now.

Labels: , , , ,

Word of Mouth

Well, here's a few items from other blogs with the latest SL updates.

Sculpted Prims

3PointD, Metaversed and the Gridblog all spend a few lines on Tao's scoop on the new Sculpties. Here's Lordfly's comment:
"According to Tao Takashi, who has the scoop, a new prim type, “sculpties”, will be on the preview grid either today or Monday (my guess Monday). Cubesque is still counting down, but it’s kinda anti-climactic now :D Apparently Cube Linden is down in Georgia giving a talk, hence the latest message on the website. Still, fascinating stuff. I can’t wait to play with virtual putty."

The 3PointD blog is a little more extensive:
"More importantly, it means that SL objects are suddenly a lot more interoperable with objects and shapes from other worlds and modelling programs. According to the Second Life wiki, “We provide an exporter for Maya, and hopefully exporters for 3ds Max, Blender, and ZBrush will be available soon. We also have plans to provide a sculpt editor within the Second Life viewer.” The wiki doesn’t say where this Maya exporter is available, but according to Tao Takashi, it may be in the next preview build of the client, due shortly"

Sunny Worlds

Then there's Aleister who has a nose for good news that gives a little insight at Sun's plans to compete bringing us a story from Informationweek on this:
"Sun Microsystems put the spotlight on its next-generation technology and showed off research projects that ranged from faster switches and more efficient servers to 3-D virtual workplaces in an open house for analysts and reporters. Among the projects that would wow even a nontechnical person is Sun's MPK20 virtual workplace. Sun has built a client called Project Wonderland that handles the graphics rendering and provides the controls for moving an avatar through the make-believe world.

MPK20 is built on top of the new version of Sun's open source
Darkstar gaming server. While Wonderland does the graphics rendering, Darkstar handles everything else, such as load balancing, managing game state, and voice communications. For storing avatars and other game objects, Darkstar uses the Berkeley DB database, another open source project."


Another scoop-dog, 57 Miles, bloggernaut at the Metaversed blog dug up some more intel at the Informationweek site and here are a few lines by Mitch Wagner, author of the article:
"just got off the phone with Cisco -- we ended up talking for a couple of hours about how Cisco is using Second Life for business-to-business communications. Turns out that quite a few Second Life users are network engineers. These are Cisco's customers, and Cisco is aggressively using Second Life to communicate with them

Cisco has a few hundred employees in Second Life. They have several sims that they use for user-group meetings and meetings among their own international staff. They do customer education and training in Second Life, get feedback from customers on products, and do presentations using PowerPoint, video, and streaming audio. They hold events that combine people in the real world with avatars in Second Life -- a type of event that Second Lifers call "mixed reality."

The real value of Second Life for Cisco is the opportunity for spontaneous customer interaction, said Christian Renaud, chief architect of networked virtual environments for Cisco. "It's like a birds-of-a-feather session that goes on 'round the clock," he said. He routinely encounters customers in Second Life who want to talk to him about their needs and what they want Cisco to do. "I bump into customers and partners multiple times a day in Second Life. In 11 years at Cisco, walking through the parking lot in San Jose, I never get people come up to me and say, 'I'm a Cisco customer, have a second?'"


New World Notes has a nice little article on carting in Second Life

Labels: , ,


Another step in the internation IT competition has been set as Getronics is prepping for SL presence. As with Logica, it's primarily a one man action by an SL-digging employee. However, what I could grasp from the notecards is that Getronics is picking up the bill for the island.

As you'd expect from Getronics, the building style is kind of cold and towering, at least 8 floors are to be utilised in this huge building. I wonder what they plan to do with the rest of the island.

For now, the structure has been set, the floors themselves are empty yet. One detail was a nice personal touch, a butterfly garden. The garden has the setup of a small canteen

Finally, there's a sticky wall at the first floor where GP leaves a few building notes for us to see where he's going.

I'm curious to see where this is going. My boss has been afraid of big IT companies in the Netherlands to announce their presence is SL, while we haven't. Sogeti has been active since late 2006, having its own island and training about 50 employees to work in SL. So we keep telling him; "hey we've got more presence than any of the others, we don't just wanna put down an office and proudly shout wer're in too. We want more"

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Metarati

Well, I did a short blogpost on the Digerati... but they're all 80's guys. Their time has gone. The days of the Digerati are gone, this is the time of the Metarati...

I wonder who they are


Since the term is being rapidly picked up by several blogs (a.o. 3PointD, UgoTrade, Electric Sheep Company, Metaversed), Wikipediasites (3pedia and Wikipedia) and numerous Twitters entries, here's a link to the nomination site:

Labels: ,

Content at Second Life

Here's the latest news on Dutch corps coming to SL. Finally I get the chance to publish the pictures I took two months ago in a sneak preview...

And yay.. it's another Lost in the Magic Forest production.
Rotterdam, 26 April 2007 - Dutch employment agency Content goes Second Life. Dutch employment agency Content, one of the biggest in Europe, opened an island in Second Life. Content sees Second Life as an important platform for dialogue and crowdsourcing. Furthermore, Content will offer both real jobs as well as Second Life jobs on the island. Virtual branding agency [Lost in the] Magic Forest was responsible for the design, working closely together with internet agency Evident.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Digerati

Who are the "digerati" and why are they "the cyber elite"? They are the doers, thinkers, and writers who have tremendous influence on the emerging communication revolution. They are not on the frontier, they are the frontier.

The digerati evangelize, connect people, adapt quickly. They like to talk with their peers because it forces them to go to the top of their form and explain their most interesting new ideas. They give each other permission to be great. That's who they want to talk to about the things they are excited about because they want to see if it plays. They ask each other the questions they are asking themselves, and that's part of what makes this cyber elite work.

See: Edge

Labels: ,

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Price Waterhouse Coopers is the next serious consulting corp that has an opinion on Second Life: The virtual world of the internetplatform Second Life is getting more real for many companies. Small and medium sized businesses are getting interested in the millions of dollars that are spent in Second Life. The biggest mistake you can make is by considering it the next internethype. Second Life is an economic reality with many opportunities"

"Second Life's biggest win is that it can offer an extra dimension to your webproposition", say Ilja Linnemeijer and Ronald van Tongeren, PWC's media and telecom consultants, "By being present in such a platform you connect your business to a portal that's accessible for everyone"

Their conclusion is a little strong "You have to hurry. This is the time in which this alternative economy is getting shape and everyone is taking in positions. Think about what these developments mean for your organisation before it is too late."


You can find the whole thing here. I'll warn you upfront, nothing new or visionary to be found.

Labels: , , ,

Arbo Concern

The Dutch Arbo Concern, a company in sickleave management and workcondition regulations, opened up in Second Life in February 2006. It's goal is primarily limited to virtual meetings and workshops.

Arbo is the Dutch term for work-condition related law and regulations. "An Arbodienst has the image of a dusty and bureaucratic organisation," says Arbo Concern CEO John Frank, "but we're a young, dynamic company. Second Life is an excellent platform to support that. Websites are static, Second Life gives us the opportunity to interact with customers."


Labels: ,

Emerce on Second Life

Emerce is a source of inspiration for Dutch innovators. The magazine (part of the VNU group) is considered to be one of the leading business publications when it comes to new technology. When it comes to Second Life, Emerce was one of the first magazines in the Netherlands to pick up the trends with reports starting back in summer 2006.

In September 2006 they opened up shop in Second Life as well, at the Emerce island. The island is dominated by the old Van Nelle (coffee and tobacco) office in Rotterdam

As for publications (in Dutch)

Other Second Life publications by Emerce: here

Labels: , , , ,

Quarter Bet Watch

In search of some statistics to support a viable business case I searched the web and came across a 2006 prediction by Reuben Steiger, former Linden Lab evangelist and now CEO of one of SL's most succesfull contractors, Millions of Us.
His best bet for 2007:

Well, right now (april 2007) is 5.6 million registered users, so he's only off by 2 million. In the graph you´ll see a conservative guess (blue) and a wild guess (red). There should be a (green) factual line added that picks up momentum december 2006 and aims (hence no longer factual) for 7.5 million by July 2007.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gartner says 80% will use Virtual World in 2011

One of the potentially hyped quotes from the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007 I mentioned in the blog 2 hours ago was a bold statement:

“By the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a ’second life,’ but not necessarily in Second Life,” the company said on Wednesday in a statement released during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in San Francisco.

Let's hypothesize on that. Let's assume the economics for Second Life are a market average. There are now about 6 million Second Lifers, spending 1.5 million USD a day. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, there were about 330 million active Internet home users in March, 2007 (monitored in 10 countries).

330 Mi beats the current 6 Mi about 55 times, extrapolate that to the daily turnover and in 5 years we'll have a virtual market valued at 65 Mi. USD daily and an annual turnover of about 25 Billion dollars, not counting a rise in active internet users ;)

Let's assume Linden Labs will be the sole survivor. Now they're at 8 GB data traffic per second and 8,000 server. Let's do the math: In 2011 Linden Labs will have to deal with about 500 GB per second Data Traffic and 500.000 servers. I'd say.... Let's invest in ISP's and Serverfarms :)

Labels: , , , , ,

1.5.0 (2) Client released

WOW - I'm in. It took some time though as I -and more immersive junks with me experienced several difficulties logging in with the new client. First to cry havoc was 57 Miles from the Metaversed blog. Here's what sucked"

"Well, it's back to 57 channels and nothing on...

Same here, first word I get is that my "new and improved client" can't connect to the version manager, well that sucks..If this were true, that would definately be deplorable, deploying a new version before letting the system know that there will be a new client....
Anyway, news I get now is just that "it's unable to connect and we all just have to take a peek at the status page"... as if that one isn't virtually dead while everyone is downloading the new improved not workable 1.5 client :)

Cheers, VeeJay"

But hey, I'm in so I gotta checksum to do to see if my inventory is still complete.

First spotted errors:
- IM friendlist doesn't come on
- Friends tab doesn't load
- Group IM errors are supposed to be fixed, however, whilst testing it shows:
"[13:56] Starting session with Mind Blizzard please wait." and then it's stuck. After a minute it's done though. So it's probably fixed, just humongously laggy


Okay, humongously laggy might be an understatement. I've been immersed for about 30 minutes now and my friendlist and group members still haven't loaded.
The funny part is... everything's logged, last login, title but names... well... they're gone!

Labels: , , ,

Virtual Traffic Jam

Second Life generates 7GB-8GB of traffic per second, and is currently supported by 8,000 servers. "When people see the broader architecture, they'll understand that's... it's Web-like. It's scalable," said Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007.
I did run a hosting sideshow at one time in my life (am still running a webserver with the full-monty somewhere) and discspace isn't the issue, hosting prices are basically determined by datatraffic nowadays. A regular European ISP will charge you about 1 euro per GB of datatraffic. So 8 euro's per second, 1,680 per minute, 100K per hour and 1.2 Million dollar per day.... I think they're getting quantum discount ;)
Right now, just at the end of the maintenance window, the Traffic Jam is actually happening. There's a new client version (1.5) that's been massively downloaded. The Second Life site is virtually dead right now.

Labels: , , , ,

Everything under control

Everytime the grid is down for maintenance it's a nuisance for the virtual junks. Another hour wasted! Okay, usually Linden schedules maintenance and takes its time to do a few fixes. Probably a good thing.
I work as a project manager for a large IT company. I haven't tried selling the Linden message to them when we are to do some maintenance. I doubt they'll appreciate it, but in the virtual world it's common practise it seems. Let's face it, this is no Old School IT Governance, this is the flow of the new digerati generation.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blarney's Simulcast

Tonight's a night for dancing in Dublin's Blarney Stone pub. Another episode in their Simulcast series draws a crowd as Al Hofman climbs the stage.
Al's performance was great, and I've heard many guitarists in my life. Between his songs he spoke in a soft voice, not much of a talker, but his music speaks for him. The crowd certainly loved it. For those interested, here's a pic from the preference settings for optimal sound. Let's meet again in Dublin :)

If you'll check the Second Life events, you'll find Al to be a regular performer at various clubs and events.

Labels: , , , ,


Down in the Electric Sheep Company area an island called Elysian attracted me. I didn't recognise it as a corp name, so I figured it must be private. Judging the location, I expected some link with the ESC.

Turns out it's the home of a UK based Architect (Real Life one) who also did gigs for various ESC projects and other contractors. I must say I was impressed by the architecture.

Labels: , , , ,

NBA baseball hits SL

Neighbouring STA travel and UGS Innovation are 4 sims under construction:
  1. NBA Courts
  2. NBA Jamsession
  3. NBA Arena
  4. NBA Orientation

(listed in order of completion as far as I can tell)

Unfortunately, they're not acessible right now, but surely worth keeping an eye on.


Labels: , , , ,


After I visited the Kelly Services Island, I thought to take a look at the website of Wishfarmers, the builders who did the Kelly gig to see what they're about and what they've done so far. Below is their own introduction...

Wishfarming is an art: The art of re-inventing creativity in a new space called the metaverse. The Wishfarmers offer our proven ability to design and implement groundbreaking solutions for projects in SecondLife and other virtual spaces.

We’re natives, and we’re restless. We know and protect this “new internet” as well as you know your own business. And we denounce works which fail to enrich them both.

If it doesn’t push the envelope, if it doesn’t blow minds, then we won’t do it. That’s a fact.
We’re re-visionaries: If you just want to replicate your product in a 3D medium, we’re probably not for you. But if you know that this isn’t quite like anything else, then together we can re-think, re-design and re-purpose virtual reality to serve a bold new vision.

Wishfarming is our mission: We sow wishes, and grow them in a brave new world.

Aside from the Kelly Services Island I didn't see many business contracts in their portfolio, just a number of events and contest entries. Their style seems explicit though, so they might be recognised easily.

Labels: , ,

Kelly Services

Kelly Services, a global staffing service opened up shop on april 21st. The opening party was supported by SL's own blues guitarist, Komuso Tokugawa and Anakin Gallacher did a Jazzy gig later that evening.

The island was built by Wishfarmers. According to KSstarfire Rich, Wishfarmer's Director of Operations, “Kelly services is looking to make an impact in SL. They won’t be having one of those boring CHOAH (crappy house on a hill) situations like other business tend to have when entering SL”

Upon entering the island I was spammed with a HUD that tried to get me to sign up for a new job. Well, there's just no job that can beat mine... so I'll pass. The sim itself is a nice cartoonish build, but not much to do besides looking for a job. We'll see which recruitment / staffing corp sets up shop next (I think it will be Content)

Labels: , , , ,

ING Formula 1

ING’s first-ever global marketing campaign was launched on March 15, timed to coincide with the first Formula One (F1) Grand Prix race of the season in Melbourne, Australia. ING was the title sponsor for the race and and is the main sponsor of the world champion Renault team.

The Dutch bankers that brought us Virtual Holland are lining up their Formula 1 team in Second Life. Again they looked abroad to source this job. Rivers Run Red must have made a good impression as they're onto this one as well.

The team’s SL build will “put enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike behind-the-scenes with a championship-winning Formula 1 team. The experience is designed to take them closer to the dedication, technological excellence and teamwork required to achieve Formula 1 success, alongside a number of unique interactive virtual experiences.” according to a spokesperson.

Right, ING's a banker, not a 'createur d'automobiles' so obviously it's an entry for Renault as well. The French aren't too SL savvy I think, since I haven't heard Renault make mention of this entry... and I'm a Renault driver ;)

Labels: , , ,

Racer group expects landprice drop

NAUTILUS IV - Close to the ESC cluster a humongous grey block on the sattelite appeared. At least 60 sims are lined up by the Linden Labs for auctioning. Thai Racer, owner of the Racer Real Estate doesn't look happy. "There's too many out there as it is." he said, and expects landprices may see a surge downward.

Many virtual residents would look at it from the opposite, as many still believe prices are too high. A passing Sandbox Ghost remarked that he's still waiting for that 200-sim desert, but also noticed that Linden is using new terrain textures.

Labels: , ,

STA travel

Next to UGS, in the Electric Sheep Company cluster lies Virtual STA Travel, targeted at travel in Second Life. STA is a big player in the student travel market. Next to the main sim, that's set up as an arena with styles from all over the world, there's a residential sim to give students a place to dwell.

Other aims are:
  • Enrolling students in Second Life
  • Orient them, and teach them basic skills
  • Engage them in educational and entertainment pursuits in the form of events, competitions and other group projects.

Labels: , ,

UGS Launches UGS Innovation

Today was the opening of the UGS Innovation Island. It's been build by the Electric Sheep Company, and in my opinion it's one of the better designs to be found among business sims. It's original and moves away from the traditional office.

UGS Launches UGS Innovation Connection in Second Life; Becomes the First Pure-play PLM Company to Establish Presence in Mainstream Online Virtual World

FOR RELEASE Monday, April 23, 2007

PLANO, Texas - UGS Corp., a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced the launch of its UGS Innovation Connection within Second Life®, a 3-D virtual world entirely built by its residents. With today’s launch, UGS becomes the first pure-play PLM company to establish a presence in the mainstream online virtual world.

Since opening to the public in 2003, Second Life has grown explosively and today is inhabited by more than four million people around the globe. UGS will use various locations throughout UGS Innovation Connection to collaborate with customers and partners, host virtual conferences and provide a more immersive way to experience its solutions just as they are used every day by customers around the world. Customers and partners showcased in UGS Innovation Connection within Second Life:
  • Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) - the only NASCAR® racing organization to win a Cup Series championship for four straight years. HMS, which has been to Victory Lane more than 150 times, builds 750 engines a year and uses NX® software, UGS’ digital product development solution, and Teamcenter® software, UGS’ digital lifecycle management solution, to optimize engine configurations and drill into vehicle data to find information immediately, whether in the office or on the track. HMS’ presence within UGS Innovation Connection will reflect the partnership between UGS and the winning race team and will include Hendrick’s #48 winning car.
  • JCB and the JCB DIESELMAX – a car that, in 2006, achieved a stunning average speed of 350.092 mph (563 kph) to break the land speed record for diesel-powered cars. The new record was achieved using UGS’ NX software to design and develop the groundbreaking JCB444-LSR diesel engine. The winning car used two turbo-charged, high performance versions of the JCB444 engine, underscoring its strength, performance and versatility that was originally created for use in JCB’s construction vehicles. The company’s presence in UGS Innovation Connection within Second Life will exhibit the record-breaking vehicle as well as the diesel engine.
  • The Alloy – a UGS customer and one of the UK’s leading product design consultancies, delivering design and innovation services to companies worldwide. The Alloy is featured within the customer showcase area where residents are able to view Alloy’s Concept Mobile Phone - Polygon - in 3D and learn how UGS® solutions make the design work possible.

“Our launch in Second Life is just one example of how UGS continues to push into uncharted areas and experiment with ways to better deliver on our vision of Global Innovation Networks,” said Dave Shirk, executive vice president, Global Marketing, UGS. “With the natural focus we have on 3D content creation and collaboration, the large number of our customers establishing Second Life presence, it was only logical that we would take a dive into Second Life. We look forward to interacting with innovators everywhere who are interested in developing new ways of bringing innovative products to market.”

Moving forward, UGS will host product launch presentations in the Second Life Auditorium. In 2007, UGS plans to launch updates for its NX, Tecnomatix™ and Teamcenter product portfolios.To reach UGS Innovation Connection on Second Life, visit

Okay... I've been too busy to write a story of my own, so it's part of the official press release. For a decent story on UGS read Aleisters' Ambling in Second Life.

Labels: ,

NGI opens up

April 26th will be the opening of the "Isle of NGI". The NGI is a dutch organisation for IT-professionals and will be hosting a series of events in Second Life.

The NGI sim is meant as a meeting place for IT professionals for knowledge exchange and collaboration. As far as I could tell the sim is build from several prefab offices.

Labels: , , ,

XS4All problems :(

Lately I'm having a lot of problems, certain sims I can only stay for a few second and then I cant move and eventually loose connection and I need to relog.
Finally I found the problem.
It seems there is a problem between ISP XS4All (which I use) and Linden Labs location in San Francisco. Thank fully for me my sim is not located there but, several people can login at there home because there home is on a sim located in the San Francisco colo.

Read more in the jira bugtracker from Second Life: Click Here
Or on the form : Click Here

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 23, 2007

Paul Verhoeven exclusive

Triggered by the audition series I blogged about yesterday, I went in and had a quick look. Various virtual actors and actresses came by to perform a scene from the movie. After the first night of the auditions I had an exclusive interview with Paul Verhoeven, one of Hollywoods great directors.

VeeJay: Very kind of you to drop in at our island and take the time to answer some questions
Paul Verhoeven: : No problem, that’s the great thing about this environment. You can take time for a conversation and it doesn’t cost you too much trouble
VeeJay: This SL gig is about promoting your movie Blackbook?
Paul Verhoeven: : yes, it is
VeeJay: Don't you think using the Drop Zone will make it an exclusively Dutch event? How about promoting the movie in other countries?
Paul Verhoeven: : We wanted to do something creative to draw attention to the DVD release
VeeJay: only for the Netherlands?
Paul Verhoeven: : this is only for the dutch DVD release
Paul Verhoeven: : we didn't want it to get too big, because we didn't know if it would work yet
VeeJay: Did you enjoy your first virtual auditions?
Paul Verhoeven: : yes, I think it went quite well
Paul Verhoeven: : more people showed up for the first evening than I had imagined
VeeJay: and how about the quality of acting? considering of course, we are limited still in our movements in SL
Paul Verhoeven: : some people take it very serious. It surprised me a bit
VeeJay: more seriously than you yourself?
Paul Verhoeven: : When you visit a SL party, you get the idea everyone is more or less making a fool of themselves
VeeJay: sounds you're experienced
Paul Verhoeven: : I walked around for a while before we tried this
Paul Verhoeven: : With another avatar of course
VeeJay: I can imagine
VeeJay: With movies Like Total Recall and Robocop, you’ve probably got a long record with computer animation. What makes Second Life different?
Paul Verhoeven: : Well, I don't see any Hollywood films appearing from SL anytime soon
Paul Verhoeven: : It's the easy acces and streaming technology that's interesting
Paul Verhoeven: : consider doing auditions like this in a real-world promotion
Paul Verhoeven: : it would be very expensive and timeconsuming
VeeJay: I can imagine, perhaps the same will count for making first draft versions of movie sets?
Paul Verhoeven: : yes, that might be useful too
VeeJay: have you got any plans to use Second Life more often for promotions and auditions like this?
Paul Verhoeven: : that hasn't been decided yet
Paul Verhoeven: : this is sort of a pilot
Paul Verhoeven: : if it's succesful, perhaps we'll do more
VeeJay: okay, one last for the sake of the community, did you like working with the guys from Lost in the Magic Forest? I know Dobre has got some movie experience. Did it show in their professionalism?
Paul Verhoeven: : yes, they worked very hard to get this event finished in time
Paul Verhoeven: : And I'm very pleased with the results
VeeJay: Thank you for your time, and I wish you good luck for the remainder of the auditions and the release of Zwartbook
Paul Verhoeven: : thank you
Paul Verhoeven: : I hope the next few days will be as interesting as today
Paul Verhoeven: : Ad I think the auditions will only get better
VeeJay: we'll see. I'll keep an eye at the DropZone traffic rates ;)

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Virtual Auditions at Talpa Drop Zone

Despite a major buzz about being taken over by RTL media, Talpa, or TV 10 or whatever, is setting up its next SL event.

"We are very proud to announce that starting from monday we will host Blackbook on our DropZone platform. More info coming soon. Please take a sneak preview of the commercial which we will air next week! Check our own info page on, see you at the DropZone!" [Talpa Drop Zone]

On april 26 the DVD Blackbook (Zwartboek), a new Paul Verhoeven movie will be released. Starting monday april 23rd a series of unique auditions will take place at the Drop zone. Director Paul Verhoeven will organise a virtual audition in which visitors can play a scene from the movie. The winners will be anounced in SL at Liberation day (May 5th)

The ultrashort IMDB description of the movie: "Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a Dutch Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland. She joins the resistance to find out who betrayed her family after all of them were killed in an attempt to reach the liberated south."

Oh, and by the way, it's another build by [lost in the] Magic Forest

Labels: , ,

ITE 2007

This weekend Silicon City and Silicon Island host the 2007 International Technology Expo. The expo's prime sponsors is V3. Major particpants are SAP, Sun and Dell. This three day event is filled with SL technology related panel discussions and presentations.

I attended a few of the discussions, not all were top notch and structured, yet for the keen eye, there were little tidbits of interesting stuff on companies attitudes towards SL.
I do believe it will take me some time to make a nice report on this Expo, with a list of new tech companies and some chattranscripts...

Labels: , , , ,

Forrester Research

Last week I came across a study on Second Life by Forrester. In my line of work, Gartner, Giarte and Forrester are usually taken very seriously. Usually they know it and adjust their pricings accordingly.

In this case the study was about 10 pages text (and 5 pages notes, titlepage and credits and more bla bla) for a mere $ 750 (US dollar that is, not Lindens). Fortunately my boss picked up the tab :)

If compared to the Gartner study Forrester sees much of the same risks involved in SL business, though they've done a bit more research on the background and the evolvement of virtual worlds. Since it's priced at about $ 80,- per page, I presume they'll have my hide if I get into too much detail of the paper.

Labels: , , ,


Today I hopped in for a fast peek at the Reuters sim. Reuters is a global information company providing indispensable information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets. There information is generally trusted and drives decision making across the globe. They have a reputation for speed, accuracy and freedom from bias.
A nice detail is the news tickertape above the flags on the main info building.
I've been complaining a lot lately about how little adventure there is to be found in the average business sim. This sim is no different, there's an info center and and auditorium, and that's pretty much it. However, in this case it is a suitable setup. For an inworld pressagency, there are two key elements:
  1. Spread the news (info)
  2. Discuss the news (auditorium)

Another key-factor is unbiased news, or bring news as is. This leaves no room for daunting experiences or whatever you'd like from an inworld presence from other businesses. The news is Reuter's business, and that's what they bring, inside and outside SL at their website

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

VIrtual Dutch Tourism and GLR

While researching the new build for Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam (GLR) I came across the SL Toerisme site - a useful, and growing, pointer to a number of Dutch Second Life locations of all types. Mind you, it has not given me any further insight into the state of the build at GLR, most of which is not open to casual ramblers like me.

There is a building decked out with "Grand Opening" banners that is accessible - but I could not find any information as the whether the event was in the past, or is yet to be held. The general state of the build would suggest to me that there is more work to be done, but much of the island has already been constructed.

Presumably as a means of covering some of the costs, GLR are renting out small parcels of land. I will leave it to you to translate the notecard:

GLR Campus Woning - huurovereenkomst Iedere student van het GLR kan een GLR campuswoning huren die beschikbaar is voor verhuur. Gegevens woningen:
Wekelijkse huur: L$500,- Aantal prims: 351 Oppervlakte: 1536m2
Wekelijkse huur: L$300,- Aantal prims: 234 Oppervlakte: 1024m2
Wekelijkse huur: L$150,- Aantal prims: 117 Oppervlakte: 512m2

Studenten die een functie op het eiland hebben en één van de genoemde woningtypen huren krijgen bij hun wekelijkse uitkering een woonvergoeding van L$300,00, bovenop hun normale vergoeding (afhankelijk van functie)
De eilandbeheerder is ten alle tijden gerechtigd de huurovereenkomst niet te verlengen, dan wel te verbreken. Hiervoor moeten dringende redenen aanwezig zijn.

All of this leads me to conclude that the site is not yet officially open for business.

Aleister Kronos appears by kind permission of Ambling in Second Life.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virtual Fortunes

As Lordly already posted, businessweek is doing an SL special, here's the interesting part:

"Meet the virtual world moguls. The number of Second Life residents generating more than $5,000 in monthly income has more than quadrupled to 116 in the past year."

The millionares:

  1. Phillip Rosendale (the guy who did SL)
  2. Ailin Graef(Anshe Chung real estate)
  3. Reuben Steiger (Millions of Us)
  4. Sibley Verbeck (Electric Sheep)
  5. Alyssa LaRoche (Aimee Weber)
  6. Adam Frisby (real estate)
  7. Kevin Alderman (Strokerz Toys & Amsterdam Sim)
  8. Peter Lokke (clothing)
  9. Christiano Diaz (snapzilla SL)
  10. Adam Anders (whatever, over 100.000 sales a day)

To wrap it up: No 1 is the one who dunnit, 2 real estate owners, 3 big builders, 2 clothing &kinky toys and 1 sidekick. So if you're not good at actually doing something, you can always invest in real estate.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Intel makes worlds collide

Intel® Centrino® Duo makes virtual and real worlds collide.October 12-15, 2006

"Can’t live without your laptop? In a 72-hour experiment Intel showed how the power of Intel® Core™2 Duo processors enable you to live life without boundaries. World-renowned virtual builder, Versu Richelieu (inset), created a new masterpiece in the Second Life virtual landscape, using the power and performance of an Intel® Centrino® Duo based laptop featuring the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor. The world’s best mobile processors1. For 72 hours Versu ate, slept, and lived a completely digital life…all in a store window in New York City!"

The Live Without Boundaries sim still stands though isn't a spectacle anymore. It is a good build, with the Empire State Building towering above the clouds. Intel's strategy on SL is starting to interest me. They've got their usual - ordinary business sim, but rather than staying in one spot they're doing branding with several themes, like this sim and the OCC one blogged earleir today.

It's the event that counts, that draws and as long as the name Intel sticks, it works. And like the OCC thing, Intel sticks to Millions of Us for great builds.


Labels: , , , , ,

Burnett impresses

Leo Burnet (1891-1971) was an advertising executive who brought us the Marlboro Man, 7Up, Toucan Sam and Charlie the Tuna, images from commercials you'll always remember. The Burnett company has lost several major clients in the past years like Cadillac and the US Army. Burnett was said to be too 20th century and conservative.

I'm no decision maker for Cadillac (their loss of course...) but I'd seriously rethink that strat. Burnett in SL is one of the few business sims that really impress me with original design.
The scenery is magical and the textures very detailed. A great build by Millions of Us.

(oh... if you've missed it, the auditorium is inside the huge tree and yeah, it's me doing my Sinatra impression in the auditorium)

Labels: , , , ,

Virtual Testdrive

Somewhere in the vast virtual ocean you'll find a double sim, Misp and Moos.

Visiting them brought back memories of the old testdrive game, especially after jumping into the black Ferrari. I doubt it'll get you your driving licence, but it is fun...

Labels: , , ,

Lordfly ignites Intel and Orange County Choppers

"Wow do I feel obsolete" Well, Lordfly, let me reassure you, you're not.

I just visited the sim called "Intel Ignites OCC", build by our own Didge. The build is excellent and recognisable. In the Netherlands I occasionally watch the OCC programme on Discovery channel and some things look very familiar. The sim itself is a promotion for an OCC bike driven by Intel tech.
Everything in this sim is very detailed, the workbenches, the wheels and the engines at the assembly table.

As for fun and games, there's a racetrack on the sim, an assebly area and some promotion areas with streaming media.

Labels: , , , ,

Businessweek prints list of virtual millionaires

Wow, do I feel obsolete.

Businessweek’s list is a who’s who of successful businessfolks, almost all of whom also have a side business selling content.

And here I thought I was doing well busting my ass making custom work. I can only wish I had half the sellable objects these folks have to fall back on.

Congrats on everyone for making the list.

SL doesn't backup your inventory, apparently.

For those of you playing at home, Moo Money, one of SL’s foremost machinimists, and having been in-world for something like 4 years now, has had her inventory eaten by LL.

This isn’t a temporary thing. It’s really gone.

That’s insane.People have put years, millions of dollars, and billions of man-hours making stuff to put in our inventory, and we have also spent millions (if not billions) buying it!

And yet, because LL didn’t think to back stuff up, it’s gone. Forever.

This is indefensible. Doubly so because we have no way to save our intellectual property.

When I make a house there is no realistic way I can select it and go “save as”. SL has no prim export feature. It’s been something they’ve been “looking into” for about 3 years now.

Well, now’s about the time to get the Love Machine rolling, because there’s really little incentive to keep plugging away in this little metaverse thing until I can, you know, save my shit from a database wipe.

So yeah. Nothing LL can do. So you might as well take a good long look at your inventory (all 100,000 items of it) and wistfully kiss it goodbye.


SL mourns Virginia Tech

The world was shocked upon hearing news of another shootout at a US school. This time Virginia Tech in Blacksburg was the stage of horror. The horror and grief is real, there's nothing virtual about it. In Second Life however people teamed up to mourn together and memorials were set up.

Some examples (from SLNN)

  • Forcythia Wishbringer, head of Elf Circle, with more than 600 members, turned the lights off in her sims starting at 7:22 p.m. for 24 hours in respect for those who died.

  • At Info Island, a memorial was erected, where people could take a candle and leave flowers. A sculpture of a man on his knees, and arms raised in the air as if he were asking "why?" was created by Darrien Lightworker.

  • A memorial site was set up at Commons in the sim Kula. A long wooden table holds 33 lit candles, one for each of the people who died in the tragedy. Residents gathered for a candlelight vigil at about 8 p.m. SL time.
When we're writing on Web 2.0 and all shout that it's about You and about creating communities it can sound very technical. These memorials are a fine example of how emotionally involved people are and their need to share grief. Second Life isn't a fun-site, it's a life-site where ups and downs are shared and can act als a katalyst.

Labels: ,

Molotov cocktail at the movies

Filmmaker and multimedia artist Douglas Gayeton is about to release his new virtual documentary titled "My Second Life - the video diaries of Molotov Alva" and will be shown to audiences in two continents almost simultaneously. Douglas himself is the star of the show, as Molotov Alva is his virtual counterpart.

"It premieres at Hot Docs, the international documentary festival in Toronto and at The Fantastic Film Festival in Amsterdam", Douglas told SLNN. That inworld movies can find a stage at these festivals is promising for future productens as there is increasing recognition for SL as a mature cinematic medium.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Electric Sheep looking for a step forward

After visiting a number of business sims that had Electric Sheep Company written all over them I thought it was time to gain a little insight. Aside from the usual setups (auditorium, infocorner, etc. ) I haven't seen much innovation from them. They do have some great builders with eye for detail - the builds themselves are good, don't get me wrong here - but they just don't get me going back to actually DO something.

Well, some insight came, here's a snap:
"We are continually looking to improve upon integrated business into Virtual Worlds in ways that you've described below. Although I'd argue we have made great strides past the gimmicks that you've noted, we certainly have a ways to go. Many of our projects for corporate clients looking to SL for business uses are private, not open to the public, and perhaps below the radar still. In the future, expect to see the use of improved software on the client side to help achieve the goals you've described below. "

(the goals I described are left out for convinience sake ;))

Well, at least me and Aleister do have some trips to make and certainly we'll try to get some more hints before they go public. I can't wait to see some business innovation happen on SL!

Go get 'em ESC ;)

Labels: , , ,

Shop till you drop at Aarhof

Shoppingcentre Aarhof from Alphen a/d Rijn has it's virtual counterpart in SL. The shopzone itself looks a pretty decent job and contains lots of shops. Some smaller parts are not exactly designerwork... (like the cash register) but that doesn't matter.

Some major Dutch retailers now suddenly have a virtual outlet. I can imagine that a lingerie shop like Livera goes SL as lingerie is a desirable asset in SL. Same goes for clothing (e.g.) Didi, or the bookshop Bruna which also runs an online shop. I fail to see the use of a local bakery or butcher's in SL though. I can't order bread, nor can I eat it's virtual counterpart. Okay, presence and branding is one thing, setting up a business driven sim another.
The combination of an existing shoppingcenter with big brands in clothing and other possible virtual assets could have merit in its own. Yet the concept fails short because half of the outlets don't have right of existance in SL (yet).


Labels: , , , ,

Berenschot Bubble Bursts

The Berenschot Group sim can easily be spotted, the island is shapen in the form of a bear's head (not an uggly grizzly, but a kind happy bearhead). I took a shot and TP-ed into a Teleportroom. At first I was kindly surprised by a greeterbot. It's not the real-deal life greeting party, but it's certainly better than entering a cold dark and lonely sim.

Kind surprise made room for normal surprise as I wasn't impressed with the room, then surprise gave way to shock. Hovering over the island I came to the conclusion that Berenschot has done a very bad job at the build. If a company spends nearly 2K on a sim, at least some effort might be expected from the build. The sim is rather empty, a few things dropped here and there, default textures, ah... well, you can see the pictures...

The Berenschot Group is a large, independent management consulting agency with approximately 400 personnel in the Benelux. I wonder how much consulting they've given their own management over this build...
Now I'm probably touching someones feelings, but this build does really remind me of the early days of the internet when big corporate CEO's always had a little nephew who knew something about making websites, ending up with horrible F****page designs because a pro would be to expensive (some of these legacy sites are still online though).
Oh... please forgive me for not remembering where the location is.

Labels: ,

S@SL update (1)

Sogeti @ Second Life is gaining momentum with a second workshop. About 50 professionals and clients attended an excellent presentation by independent contractor Damanios Thetan from

In the next issue of IT-EGOS, the employee magazine, will feature a new article on the developments and the REAL-IT, the corporate magazine informs the clients of Sogeti Netherlands about the current virtual state of affairs. More news to follow soon as Sogeti is prepping a press release.
(public) updates on Sogeti's Second Life events can be found here.

Labels: , , , ,

Gartner digs SL

"The grid is down while we bang on things..." says Linden while leaving me time to ponder the immersive world study by Garnter, one of the leading information and technology research and advisory firms headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gartner concludes that SL has pedagogical advantages in several subjects [Gartner, 22 March 2007/ID Number: G00147015] and has published an analysis of NVE's (Networked virtual environments) and states that there is a lot of potential. [Gartner 22 December 2006/ID Number: G00145046]. This study also names the top challenges for NVE's or immersive worlds (or whatever)
  • Technology
  • Implementation
  • Access
  • Governance
  • Productivity
  • Security and Privacy
Well, when Gartner says it, it's truth ;)

Labels: , , ,

PCM reviews Businesses at SL

It's wednesday, patchday. And as usually there is planned downtime. Well, scheduled maintenance. Linden blogs "scheduled maintenance postponed..." then suddenly while trying to log into SL it reads "scheduled maintenance *now* happening" which pretty much comes down to preponed?

Well, at least it gives me time to blog something about an article in the Dutch PCM (personal computer magazine). Roughly the article reads:

Businesses opening up virtual shop in SL do not meet consumer expectations. During daytime business sims are completely empty. The German micromanagement company Komjuniti did a poll among 200 SL residents on their expectations. 42% of those questioned do admit that the company's presence has a positive effect on their branding. However, businesses really fall short in treating virtual clients. Visitors want to communicate

PCM ends the article with a nice overview of visitors of Dutch Business Sims during lunchtime ;)
Well... Who didn't. While I was looking around I did a google search as the PCM names the shopping centre Aarhaf. I also saw several blog blindly copied the intel and never did a data integrity check. It's Aarhof ;)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The Electric Sheep Company is getting ambitious. They've launched a new search service for the virtual world of Second Life today, at,. The service doesn't depend on users adding their products to the searchengine, but is actively crawling the metaverse for content that is listed for sale. This immediately causes nightmares for those premium account members that couldn't get a hold of a speck of First Land because it was always snatched away by the dreaded landbots.

The service allows avatars to opt out of the system, or to list all items they own, and doesn’t crawl private islands. Results are returned with a teleport link, price, object creator and owner, and description. According to the Sheep, it also puts less load on the system than a single avatar, so it shouldn’t create much lag.

Labels: , , ,

PA gets Griefer consult

On the 15th I reported over gridwide precautions taken in fear of griefer attacks. Well, not truly gridwide. Several sims did suffer attacks, though not as massive if feared beforehand.

From inside sources I received confirmation that the sim owned by PA Consulting had been subject to a Griefer attack.

"and yes we had griefers here, two people - one in the air - the other in the water at the edge of sim. I was in the air - wasn't affected - but when coming down I saw lots of parcels falling from the sky in different colors - that caused the lag."

The attack lasted 10 minutes before the griefers were banned. However, in RL a 10-minute stop could be a costly disaster, but in SL we're not yet to the level that it has become business-critical. As PA said "well it is anyoing - and the reasons not understandable for any intelligent person. There is WOW or other combat plays - for them to go to."

PA Consulting Group (PA) is an international management consulting firm known for its expertise in technology and new product development. As of 2007 it operates in more than 35 countries, so you could say that PA is a Player. The firm works across both the private and public sectors. It has won independent awards and recognition for its client work in financial services, energy, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, manufacturing, defence, and telecommunications. PA's Report and Accounts for 2005 defines its services as: helping clients to design strategies for growth, achieve effective IT that improves business performance, mobilise human resources, deliver complex programs and major business transformations, and develop breakthrough products and processes. The latter are created at PA's dedicated applied technology facilities at Melbourn, Cambridge, UK, and Princeton, NJ, USA. (from Wikipedia)

The PA sim itself doen't differ from most Business sims. A rather conventional office setup with the usual places, built by Rivers Run Red

Labels: , , ,

Sprint Center

I mentioned some time ago (on my main blog) that Sprint had a small cluster of islands in SL, but since then I've not tried to gain entry. However, while rummaging around I happened upon Sprint Center again, so I thought I'd give it a go. And sure enough, I found it was open. It's not what I'd call complete yet, but it looks like it is down to the finishing touches.

Interestingly the Sprint presence here is largely hispanic, and is seemingly themed around the staging of "Concierto Clandestino" in Second Life. To support this, there is an entrance way with bar/seating area, a gift shop (for the inevitable Tshirts) and a large auditorium - the "Sprint Center" - which is modelled on a RL equivalent currently under construction. In the entrance there is a countdown to the opening of the RL Sprint Center, in Kansas City - although it differs from that shown on the website by around 12 days.

As I said earlier, the build looks incomplete - there seem to be a number of rough edges - but the basics would appear to be in place. There are multiple Sprint Center islands (5 so far) and it would seem that the intention may be to clone the main island, so that it can accommodate a large crowd for launch. There is, as yet, no indication of when such a launch might be (or indeed, why the island has such a strong hispanic flavour).

The builders all belong to theSL group "NoDigital", which describes itself (using LSL scripting) as a design group, but this has revealed nothing to my (admittedly brief) Googling!

Oh... just for completeness: Sprint is a global (US-based) telecoms company, described in wikipedia as "one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. With 53.7 million subscribers, Sprint Nextel operates the third largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States (based on total wireless customers)."

Monday, April 16, 2007


Earlier today I posted a blogentry about the Mediacorp BBH and noted that their design had much of the same coloring as the Reebok sims. I just realised I haven't blogged my Reebok visit yet.
As I said it the BBH blog, there's a distinct resemblance. Rivers Run Red surely ran dry on creativity for a while and stuck to a certain type of build with severals sims.
As for Reebok, international manufacturer of sportswear, the concept is rather boring: Let's create a shop to sell our stuff. C'mon! Sports is an adventure, you've got to live live to the max! If I want to buy a Reebok, I'll go to the store and see which shoe fits me. In an immersive world, you've gotta convince me why Reebok is my brand
(err... due to my professional occupation I'd probably stick to handcrafted Dutch Van Bommel shoes anyway)
Aside from the Reebok shop with traditional shoestands the sim has one distinct feature though: The Reebok store is set up in a downtown area, a heavy urban built sim at first glance. Yet the buildings are kinda twisted. A nice non-RL-conformative detail ;)

Labels: , , ,

Crayon Coke Cracker Competition

Oh yeah.... you've been suckered big time!

Last days the buzz was all about Coca Cola making their SL presence known on monday 16th.

Well, it didn't. Serious SL reporters and world wide financial newspapers have been virtually fooled.

The coke launch was a campaign run by Crayon and supported by their website at: No real coke here, but the essence of the liquid: Refreshment, Joy, Unity, Experience. It's a contest to make this essence a virtual reality.
So sign up, be creative and surprise us!

Labels: , , ,

Endemol and EA to bring new virtual world

Endemol, a Dutchbased television producer and gamers Electronic are launching the virtual gameplatform Virtual Me. Players can make their own avatar and enter a gaming environment that is build up by Endemol formats such as Big Brother. At a later stage releases are planned for Fame Academy, Operacion Triunfo and well known tv games like Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs 100.

Labels: , ,

Ridin' the virtual wave

Saturday 14th brought us a massive Surferdude party at the epic condition sim (by the Weatherchannel). The virtual surf contest was organised by Namiko Surf Co in cooperation with GR Boarfds, Reaction, and some other sponsors. 22 surfers signed up to start surfing for Lindens and other prices.

Keala Mimistrobell, creator of Namiko told SLNN that one of the main goals of her company is to create events like this.

Labels: , , , , ,


BBH (Bartle-Bogle-Hagarty something) was quite early to set up virtual shop. BBH is a media company that does ads for Unilever, Audi, Diageo (e.g. the Johnny Walker keep on Walking campaign) and Vodafone). Their virtual HQ is a spacious design (according to the official story - though when I visited it I was under the impression that this was still under construction)
They have their trademark black sheep image and their beliefs posted for all to see. They've got several conference rooms with tables, and a swanky coffee bar in back. The design is a typical early RRR, barely decorated, lots of white blocks. I think they should stick to the media that works for them, and it's not virtual. The promotional video of this build on the Rivers Run Red site, but I'm not that positive on this build for 2 reasons
  1. The coloring and design is too similar to Reebok
  2. The roofless buildings and other barren elements give you the impression this one still isn't finished.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Grids under attack

Yesterday I received a group notice from one of the groups I'm in. It warned me of a possible attack on the grid. Precautions had been taken, building had been turned off for the groups sims, only special measures would make it possible for members to do some scripting and building on their own parcels.

Here's the news from SLNN:
GRIDWIDE - Griefer group Patriotic Nigras (PN), also known as /b/, have had their most damaging weapon disabled, but residents are urged to take precautions with their land to avoid smaller-scale attacks in the coming hours.
PN have recently developed a very powerful griefing weapon known as the "Grid Destroyer," which is a very powerful and fast self-replicating object that could take down the entire Second Life grid in a short period of time, according to an anonymous source.

read the full article here

Labels: , ,

Level 3

I've been pottering about in SL this evening, in a rather random, aimless fashion. I read that Coca Cola launches officially in SL tomorrow, but I couldn't find any useful location, and I think I will have to wait a good while yet before anything starts happening on the cluster of Tokyo islands. So I just mooched about, until I came across Level 3. I have spotted this one before, but it's the first time I've tried to gain access for a while and, lo & behold, I got in.

Level 3 Communications (to give the full company name), based in Broomfield, Colorado, operates one of the largest communications and Internet backbones in the world. They "offer a comprehensive portfolio of network offerings that spans Internet Protocol (IP) services, broadband transport, colocation services, and patented Softswitch-based managed modem and voice services." And they are yet another comms company to set up shop is Second Life.

The island is only part-complete. There is a rudimentary "backbone" with a number of functioning slideshows that give you background on their products and services, and music is tuned to an internet African Music radio station (nice bit of soukous).

The far end of the backbone structure is given over to the "Broadband Theatre". I notice the English spelling here - hmmmm... curious. But aside from a few seating areas, and the start of an auditorium(?) there's not a great deal here as yet, although there are clear signs of work in progress.

The builders are coreaudiovisual, based in Santa Monica and Saint Louis, so I really don't get the spelling noted above - though as a Brit, it is nice to see. Given the relative immaturity of the island it is not really fair to critique it. It is simply not clear what ideas will be implemented here. At present, it is the basics one would expect (some meeting spaces and some weblinks) but I have no idea where it will go from here.

(from Ambling in Second Life)

Labels: , , , , ,

Heartbeat Digital

Heartbeat Digital creates custom Websites and high-value Web software for Fortune 500 companies and other industry-leading organizations. And they've gone virtual. Their sim in Second Life is rather empty, they're aiming for the sky.

A massive aluminium zeppelin hovers above the island. Do we need to watch and see if they are bringing their clients to SL? I think that may take a while. The zeppelin design is pretty ok, but the sim lacks experience. A quick scan tells us that they've claimed their sim in 2004 ! so you might expect they'd learned the inside out of the metaverse by now. Heartbeat Digital seems to have missed a beat here and remained in the Presence stage.

Labels: , , , ,

Third Life Foundation

The Third Life Foundation is a group dedicated to the exploration and development of synergies between RL and SL, with an eye to supporting experiences that help people come to a deep appreciation of their interrelatedness with each other and nature.

That's a nice promotional text, isn't it, but what does it mean? Where is the interrelatedness?

When flying around I saw some idyllic spots on the island, some spiritual ones, but the centerpoint of attention is a whole jumble about Arthur M. Young's Proces Theory.

Teamwork and Collaboration projects are certainly processes that could be carried by Second Life as a medium, but I didn't gain much new insights here. I hope one of the members can shed some light.

Labels: , , , ,


In the deep south of the Developers Archipelago lies the sim of AMD which opened mid February 2007. AMD is certainly not pushing the limits of Second Life's innovative potential, the sim is mainly used as a meeting point for techies with a few events. The design is quite sterile and you may have to wear sunglasses to protect you against snow blindness.

The sim was constructed by the guys at Metaversality.

From the press release:
"MD Opens Developer Pavilion to Promote Collaboration and Innovation in Second Life and Beyond- Contestants face off to win an AMD powered Dell Dimension SystemDev Central Pavilion on AMD Dev Central Island located within the Second Life (SL) metaverse, to extend its Developer Outreach program into a virtual space for meetings, lectures, training courses and networking opportunities for developers. To celebrate the launch of the pavilion, AMD will host a three-month treasure hunt contest with interactive Linden scripting language (LSL) and open source programming challenges. Developers who successfully complete the challenges in the Pavilion will be entered into a prize drawing for a Dell Dimension E521 system, powered by an AMD dual-core Athlon(tm) 64 X2 processor, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, 20 inch widescreen digital flat panelmonitor, and more."


Labels: , , , ,

Fairchang Real Estate

Second Life's first and foremost real estate millionare Anshe Chung inspired many to invest in virtual land. One of the big newcomers is Fairchang Real Estate. Just south of IBM's Codestation and Dev World, the socalled Developers Archipelago, a whole new continent is emerging from the virtual sea.
As per now it consists of nearly forty sims, and if all rented / sold, should be able to give mr. Garth Fairchang a healthy little something to spend.

Labels: , , , ,

Real Life Cities 1: Amsterdam

When in Holland and you want to start a conversation on Second Life, or any other immersive world for that matter, the discussion is bound to touch virtual Amsterdam very soon. Amsterdam is probably the best known sim in Holland, mentioned in almost every SL story.

It usually is referred to as one of the largest sims (forgetting that all sims are created equal), or largest builds. The sim itself encompasses Amsterdam Central Station, the Damrak and the Dam itself with the monument, the New Church and the Royal Palace. Then there are some canals lined with shops. It's hardly a surprise to see half the shops are sex related. When making that conclusion, it's no surprise to see Amsterdam always is one of the favorite places in the Metaverse.

Since I don't dig virtual sex, I judged slamsterdam by it's architectural values. It's true that it is heavily built, and there's an enormous amount of textures used, making the sim very slow to render, which for me is a show-stopper.

The sim was originally built by Strokerz Toy, but was recently purchased by Nedstede, an Amsterdam based real estate firm. The sim was actioned at E-bay and the deal closed at 50,000 euro. I'm not sure the clientele is what they would like to see in Real Life.


If Nedstede is willing to spend that amount of money, they should call Lordlfy who did an extremely good impression of Amsterdam for SL's 2nd Relay for Live event in 2006. Though the sim is no longer live, its contents can be found somewhere in the deeps of Lordfly's inventory. Here are some impressions:

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Virtual Branding

If there's one business that has nothing to do in Second Life it's the alcoholindustry. While you can go to a virtual club in Second Life and sit at the bar and have some conversation or get crazy on the dancefloor, it seems pretty much a waste of time and effort to sit down and have a virtual whiskey: You don't taste it and the alcohol doesn't work.

Yet Diageo (fka United Distillers & Vintners), one of the worlds leading alcohol conglomerates has stepped into Second Life with "the Bar" This is yet another medium for them to support their website Drinks might be of no real use in the Metaverse, but people spending hours a day -in the evening- on Second Life probably get thirsty. So be seen where your consumers look is Diageo's credo in this one making The Bar an example of virtual branding.

Labels: , , ,

Q is good for you...

...were the words spoken to me by the sim robot-greeter.
This Dutch / Belgian sim looks a bit chaotic with a thousand an one things to do. There's the Q-Music dance club, the Q-Music radio station, rental appartments and a funpark with pool, dodgem cars and a Ferris wheel. Certainly there's enough to provide entertainment for visitors.

Nice detail are the neon palm trees that are spread throughout the sim.

Labels: , , , ,

Van Gogh exposition

Even artlovers don't have to leave their pc's anymore if they want to go to the museum.
Raceman Dal took the initiative for a virtual van Gogh exposition; "Virtual Starry Night - Vincent van Gogh's Second Life"

The exposition is a great build, having three alternate routes; landscapes, portraits and stills.
The virtual paintings give info about the original and in which museum they can be found. Top attraction is the painting below, which is a virtual reproduction. Visitors can walk into this painting.
Second Life's an excellent medium for cultural expression, I can't wait to see a reproduction of Rembrand's famous Night Watch.


Labels: , , , , ,

Microsoft admits defunct in Xbox

After several thousand complaints from X-box 360 users, Microsoft finally admitted that their X-box has a defunct. For months Microsoft stuck to their statement that there was nothing wrong with the X-box and held gamers responsible. According to Microsoft the X-box would not damage discs as long as it was placed solidly.

During the Dutch television programme "Kassa" (about consumer rights) Microsoft finally admitted that cd's and dvd's can be damaged by te X-Box.

Labels: , , , ,


Google is looking for the next level in their Search Engine development. They have started an experiment with voice recognition, enabling people to search Google by telephone when you don't have a computer or internet connectin at hand. Google does the search and gives you the results, if so desired per sms.

Labels: , , ,

Virtual Pizzatime

The silicon website ran a story on new developments at Domino's. Work had to be done at the websites for the ever growing demand for e-pizza. Well, there has to be v-pizza too!

Domino's plans to get even more tech-savvy. A mobile text-based order service is in the pipeline and it will be using Second Life to reach more pizza-hungry punters. Jane Kimberlin, IT director of Domino's, told Second Life is where Domino's customers are and therefore that's where the pizza company needs to be too.

Labels: , , ,

Red {an Orchestra} classical simulcast

April 14 is the date the first simulcast classical concert in Second Life was held. Red {an orchestra} performed live at the Masonic Auditorium in Cleveland and was streamed into various theaters in Second Life:
April 14th playlist:

Labels: , , ,

The Undutchables

Last week saw a test-party for the opening of the new Undutchables club in Second Life on April 20th. It is said that the well known DJ Jesse Voorn will be at the buttons for the opening event. The Undutchables will probably try to line up many acclaimed DJ's from the Netherlands for simulcast events.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Building Competition

The Italian publishing company Meltemi Editore wants to establish a seat in Second Life and started a design competition. The deadline for the first stage is May 20th (2007) and the competition ends july 2007.

The winning design receives a price of 5,000 euro.

More on the competition:

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Real Life Cities 2: Dublin

If we're talking about virtual recreations of real life sites you have to visit Second Life's version of Dublin. Many people who have visited Dublin in meatspace will recognise the virtual version.

Dublin in SL also hosts one of the most popular meetingpoints in Second Life, the Blarney Stone pub. Aside from meeting the regulars and dancing. The sims media url usually streams real life Irish radio, but the Blarney Stone is a regular site for musicians to simulcast. Many young artists perform on the small stage behind the dance floor. Due to its popularity the pub was one of the first places used by Diageo to promote their virtual bar.

The heavy build urban sim and the popularity of the Blarney Stone have a downside; the sim is usually very slow to stream and at happy hour many teleports are rejected because of this.

Next to old fashioned Dublin a new sim was added recently, shaped like the traditional Irish four-leaf clover. Unfortunately it is not open to visitors yet.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Rapid Architectural Prototyping in Second Life

was the title of an article on the 3PointD blog. The contents of the article were no news to me, but since they say nice things about our Guestwriter Lordfly, here's the full score:

"Second Life architect Lordfly Digeridoo has posted a great video of the process of designing a site plan in Second Life for a real-world site in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Because of “massive procrastination,” LF says, he had only a week to do it. His video compresses that week into less than 10 minutes of high-speed SL work, and it’s pretty compelling to watch. There’s even a great sense of suspense in wondering what the finished product will be like. An excellent look at the methods of a master builder."

Read the article and view the video at:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Virtual Tuscany

On one of my Metaverse journeys I came across a nice romantic sim, called Tuscany. A small village lies next to a meandering creek. On the shore there's a row of neat beachhouses and a pier.

The sim is set up quite spacey with nice walkways between the hills leaving room for some typical Tuscan trees, a little pond and sunflower farm...

I'd say it's not a professional build like Dublin, but the concept works for me. I can imagine Tuscany lovers renting one of the beach houses here.

Labels: , , ,


Close to my company's sim I noticed an island with an interesting pattern. I couldn't get access to the island, but the layout sofar is inviting.
As far as I can tell from the logo in the bottom right corner, the ICEX Servicios sim is set up by the Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior.
Alas, my Spanish is a little rusty, so I can't tell you what it's all about.

Labels: , ,

Aimee Weber

Aimee's one of the sexiest names in virtual content creation. She's a social butterfly that traverses the grid with grace. She entered the metaverse early 2004 and rapidly became one of the top designers.

Being very mediable, the web is littered with articles and blogs about her, but she's been a very prolific builer in Second Life as well. She rocketted to stardom which does seem to take its toll:

Some jobs are done quite sloppy and like big time celebs she's very much into charity right now with projects such as Second Life Relay for Life from the American Cancer Society, The United Nations Stand Up Against Poverty and (very Gorish) National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association.

What remains is the fact that she comes up with original ideas, contrary to Rivers Run Red and the Electric Sheep Company, and it's the ideas that keep SL in motion. She's been active in the fields of clothing design, virtual education and simulcast events (such as the 2006 solar eclipse)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Machinima is a new form of filmmaking that uses computer games technology to shoot films in the virtual reality of a game engine. Rather than picking up expensive camera equipment, or spending months painstakingly tweaking even more expensive 3D packages, Machinima creators act out their movies within a computer game. We treat the viewpoint the game gives them as a camera - “Shooting Film in a Virtual Reality”, as we've been known to put it in their more slogan-high moments – and record and edit that viewpoint into any film we can imagine.

First class examples can be found at the official website:

Aimee Weber's Tour of the Solar System
Aimee takes you on an educational tour of our Solar System. This movie was made entirely within the Second Life platform and has been credited as the first use of machinima for education.

In a marriage of Machinima and virtual education, Aimee takes us on an informative tour of our solar system. Starting with Pluto, Aimee's own voice serves as our tour guide as we zoom smoothly from planet to planet, pausing only to catch some stunning details, learn new facts, or thrill to the movie's soundtrack. This movie is actually only a part of a larger educational project Aimee has been working on in recent months. The sets for this movie spanned the entire length of a sim and in some cases (such as Saturn's rings) the builds consisted of thousands of prims!

Watch the movie:

Labels: , , ,

Fox Atomic

Fox Atomic has transferred the stereotype hollywood moviestudio into the Metaverse.
Though the Holleywood studios in Real Life (meatspace) are a sight to see, I must admit the lone studio in typical bunker style on this sim doesn't transfer the same feeling. A small ticket area looks nice, but misses context as well.

The sim is mainly used for streaming movietrailers and setting up decorums of their new series.
The 28 weeks later decor of the houses of parliament is a nice trick, but Fox has done little effort to create an innovative experience.

Labels: , , , ,

To boldly go...

"To boldly go where no man has gone before..." Well thousands have visited the Galaxy sim now.

Galaxy is the base of Test station 3, run by the Federation, a circular space station hovering at an altitude of about 250 m. The nearby sim Aeon houses the offices of Starfleet Command and a 3rd sim, Constellation, is under construction. Many Star Trek fans come here to do role playing.

The Galaxy sims is the largest Star Trek cluster on the grid (sofar), but there are other Trekkies inworld.


Labels: , , ,

NBC Sessions from Second Life

Just looking at the sattelite image of the NBC1 sim gives you a dark impression, and it's a telltale sign of a heavy build. NBC chose a full urban sim, probably similar to their downtown headquarters in real life.

Because of this enormous build the sim is slow in rendering.

As for activities, NBC is running a show from Second Life, called the Sessions. The setting is a wee bit like your usual American talkshow, like Jay Leno's "Tonight Show"
Contracters for this heavy build are the Electric Sheep Company and Aimee Weber.

Labels: , , , , ,

Second Life Design Competition

An international architectural contest has been launched to rebuild Forum des Halles' [Paris]superstructures because they have been prematurely damaged. 10 candidates have been chosen to participate in this contest and the jury will announce the winner June 29th 2007.

The City is hesitating to organise a second competition regarding the garden as well as the building because the design proposed by the architect David Mangin is likely to be kept. However, these designs do not take into account the many expectations of those who will be using des Halles: visitors, residents, merchants, walkers… Nothing has changed in the last two years despite the numerous demands of users and studies that have been conducted...

Read more at:

Labels: , , ,

SLUC: Second Life Under Construction

A number of corporations have sims under contruction

Millions of US

These sims are not accesible yet, but at least Microsoft and Comcast look nearly completed.

Electric Sheep
  • Too many half finished sims makes you wonder if they can finish anything soon.

Rivers Run Red
Lost in the Magic Forest


  • According to the CEO they've recently started working on some major projects. I'' try and scoop them.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nemesis CC

Nemesis Content Creation enjoys creative collaborations with companies and individuals which enhance Second Life. In the Netherlands they're probably best known for their work on the Amsterdam Arena. They've done a few other things though.

Numbakulla, the Pot Healers Mystery
One of these fine things is the Pot Healers mystery. The Pot Healers mystery has been available as a free-to-play immersive questing game for over a year now. Originally due to close after a few weeks, the players then, and many players since, donated to keep the game open and alive.

Creju, BBC Demo
In early 2006, they developed a sim in six weeks to provide a demonstration of the possibilities of the Second Life platform. Some of the innovations included a "follower pet" by Oclee Hornet which triggered explanations in chat of the surroundings, a trampoline game and bash-the-mole game.

Labels: , , ,

Rivers Run Red

Rivers Run Red was the world's first agency to establish a working presence within a virtual world. RRR has been active in Second Life since 2003. In meatspace the company has offices in London and San Fran.

Projects include Vodafone, Philips, ING, Reebok, Adidas, Calvin Klein (CKin2U), Heineken, BBC, Channel 4, Penguin, Duran Duran and Radio 538. It's surprising to see how many Dutch client the company has. Since 2007 the RRR faces serious competition with new native Dutch virtual builders such as [lost in the] Magic Forest, Damanicorp and SLionhead.

Aside from their corporate website RRR runs the Space Think Dream thingy as an extra outlet of their works.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Electric Sheep Company

The Electric Sheep Company is the largest company in the world dedicated to designing experiences and delivering add-on software for 3D virtual worlds. Our Professional Solutions team delivers strategic, creative and technical insight and services to global organizations. Our Software team is building a suite of information services to enhance virtual world experiences, such as trending and measurement tools, e-commerce, and social networking.

Projects include "The L word", AOL, Virtual NBC, Major League Basebal and Reuters


Labels: , ,

Sony Ericson

Just 3 blocks away from Second Life's Amsterdam you'll find the Sony Ericson sim. On the one hand SL-Amsterdam is not really the type of sim a bonafide corp would want to have as a neighbour, but on the other hand it does provide an enourmous amount of traffic.

For people looking on the map for Amsterdam, the Sony Ericson sim is hard to miss.

The SE sim itself is not fully exploited as most big-corp-sims, just one small shop stands amid tropical flora. Clean info-desks inform you of SE's latest gadgets and the good old "Finish the following sentence..." competition found its way into SL, giving visitors the chance of winning an SE W880i phone.

Deadcenter is a dancefloor in SE Logo format, with a DJ table next to it. Well, you be the virtual jockey (the VJ ?) and choose from the huge collection of records hovering over the dancefloor.

From a design point of view it's a small and clean design without much sticky content.
Certainly SE has jumped on the hype and wanted presence without much understanding of this virtual world. We'll give them credit for being in time to catch the hype-ride earlier this year but I do hope they're actively thinking on major redecoration in the near future.

The SE sim lies close to most Rivers Run Red projects, so they've probably had a hand in this one too.

Labels: , , , ,

Zoetermeer's media bargain

Last month the town of Zoetermeer created a huge media buzz. The centerpoint of the discussion was how a town could spend taxmoney on Second Life. What are we talking about? The news hung in the air for about 3 days... 17.000 Euro's for a full 3-day media campaign, that's a bargain if you ask me.

Aside from the Zoetermeer city hall, there isn't much to see on the sim. On the other side of the island a snowcapped mountain announces the expected arrival of Snow World, an indoor skiing center in Zoetermeer.

The third element on the sim is a large Eco-labyrinth. In 360 degree cubes you can see the effects of mankind on the climate


Labels: , , ,

Manoa project rewards L$ 100.000

The Manoa Development is a project by Winfinity and Centric (not the IT corp, but a media agency). The current Manoa setup and announcement provide an interesting story to be set up.

Winfinity regrets to announce that the Manoa Development Project has overrun its budget and must be closed. The development ship El Dorado has been recalled by the board, and matter transportation from Manoa to Earth has been disabled. We regret any inconvenience this may cause, and apologize for the short notice.

As the Manoa Project’s data logging has produced conflicting reports of late, we are seeking independent investigation into the causes of the cost overruns. The board has allocated a bonus of L$100,000 for the best data explaining what occurred during the final months of the Manoa Project.

All independent investigators are invited to visit Manoa and report their findings. Please note that the data you provide could lead to the re-opening of the Manoa Project and possible career advancement.

Acceptable data formats for submission include:
  • Text narrative
  • Image sequences
  • Video (independent or datalogged)
  • Audio records

Winfinity wishes to close this investigation in a timely manner, so please submit any and all data prior to June 1 of the current year.

You may access the Winfinity Matter Transportation Grid to Manoa here if you are Metahuman Version 1.5 or above.


Labels: , , , , ,

IBM megacomplex

Since february 2007 IBM has pushed sim after sim into their growing continent.
Here's the current sattelite map. At least 16 of these sims are IBM. Most of the work on these sims is done by the Electric Sheep Company.

Aide from these BigBlue sims, there is a cluster of several other sims that could be shared into the IBM PMWIN project which Google tells me is IBM PartnerWorld Industry Networks, No, I haven’t the faintest idea what this is, either. However, I did stumble upon this description at another IBM PWIN website which says PartnerWorld will allow partners to:
  • Gain access to the best solutions, offerings, and skills to help you win in the marketplace.
  • Quick and easy Web access to valuable IBM benefits and resources
  • Competitive advantage in industries, services and solutions
  • Increased opportunity to generate awareness and leads
  • Teaming for success to deliver the expertise to meet client needs
It will be interesting to see where the development goes. Most parts are unaccesible right now, but here and there you might get in. The pics below are from the island IBM1 where a huge primmy sphere hovers on top of a shakespeare-theatre like foundation.

Probably one could write tons of blogs about IBM, here's a few by our guestwriter Aleister Kronos:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Nissan skytrack

Nissan automobiles has created a 4 sim experience. On the first sim is the welcome area, with gadgets, a sandbox and a promotion show of the Nissan Altima (oh yeah, it's that good...).

Aside from the main sim there's a 3 sim track you can testdrive, complete with looping. And then there's the skytrack... a very promising feat!

The best feature is a candymachine... it's enormous and it doen't deliver the chewable but the drivable candy! The machine is equipped with a thorough disclaimer that these cars are intended for SL use only and can therefor do very UNreal things...ending with a warning like: so don't try this at home kids

Certainly a sim to come back to!


Labels: , ,

FIAT scoop

While searching SL's grid I stubled upon 3 sims, Fiat Brasil, Fiat Adventure 1 and Fiat Adventure 2. The first wasn't accesible, but the adventure sims were open, so I dropped in hoping to see what FIAT was doing in SL.

There wasn't much to see, just plain wooden boards and colored beams. Yet there were a few people working on the island. The construction team is called "vj arquitetura" and they were quite shocked I dropped in... somehow the restriction had disappeared.

Labels: , , , ,

Reclaiming land from inactive Residents

Here's something to keep track of (from the official Linden Blog)

Reviewing Inactive Resident Parcels
Monday, April 9th, 2007 at 7:20 PM PDT

Recently, we have received a number of requests from the Second Life community to seize land from long-term inactive Residents on the Main Grid. While we are unprepared to reclaim land from Residents who haven’t logged recently, we’ve decided to embark on a different approach, one we feel will produce more palatable results for both active and inactive Residents. Keeping your concerns in mind, we have reached out though e-mail to Lifetime Residents who own land and yet haven’t logged during the past 12 months.

It goes without saying that we would all prefer to see those Residents return and participate again in the Second Life community. In this vein, we invited them to rejoin. In the event that those Residents are unable to return and in keeping with our commitments to active Residents who would prefer to see unused land folded back into the larger SL community, we have offered to auction inactive Resident land and deposit all L$ proceeds into the corresponding Second Life L$ accounts. We hope this approach satisfies all parties involved, and we will keep the community apprised of further developments.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sun Microsystems

Last month I visited the Sun Microsystems sim on Second Life. Somehow part of it didn't surprise me, it's business as usual. There's a lounge (the Sun Pavilion), an auditorium and and infocorner. These last two bear some resemblance to a rounded CD-ROM box, especially the info corner (see pic no.4)

Though no special treats or extraordinary events, I must say I can appreciate the architecture. In short, it's a professional build with a lot more coherence than the Dell sim. I'm still waiting for the ultimate IT experience though.

Sun has no personel on-site (at least not during my time there) and the only interaction there is are the clickboards that link to Sun's webpages on the old net.


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Virtual Camping

Throughout Second Life you find happy campers and sturdy dancers. At least, when I first noticed them I thought they were happy. A bunch of people having fun dancing on the beach, sitting near a campfire telling tales to eachother.

It was not much later I learned that these are not tourists traversing the Metaverse, but plain beggars. Camping and Dancing is a way to make money and is certainly not the romantic, fun or relaxing activity you'd want your holiday to be. It's a world gone crazy!

Second Life seems to be littered with these dancing-pods, campfires and money-trees which lure you into participating for a lousy fee (varying from 1 to 25 L$ per 10 minutes). Lately I have done some observing and profiling on these campers.
The obvious thing to notice is that we're almost solely dealing with basic account menbers, i.e. non-paying members who don't get a weekly stipend. Yet they spend hours online (receiving less L$ than wasted on energy bills). About 80% of these members are women who seem to spend lots of money on clothing and face-lifting. They're good looking and could easily pass for members who buy a few thousand Linden dollars to look good.

So a lot of time and effort is put into making those few bucks and looking good. To what end? I tried to start a conversation with one stunning beauty, but she was too busy to answer. Well, she's making 25 bucks per 10 minutes, so I gave her L$ 50, that would buy me some time to get an answer I thought... Well it came a few hours later. The lady in question was not very talkative, too busy.

So what's the use of spending hours in Second Life, working hard to get money to look good, then don't have time for a social life to show it? I took the liberty of speaking to one of the managers.
CS: oh they are [talkative]- once you get to know them ...they are always chatting to me..too much even lol which is great
VeeJay Burns: I'm trying to figure out why they spend hours online for a few lousy bucks, then spend all that money in order to look goodfand have no time to socialize[
CS: Well, I think there is a community feel that keeps them together. They have joined the camping community, wherever they are. So they get to know each other. There are many nationalities here - some do not speak English that is probably hampering conversation a tad.
VeeJay Burns: any idea what age category they're in? Are they teenagers who don't have credit cards
CS: ah no, they are all mature adults mainly.
VeeJay Burns: okay, and mostly female it seems
CS: for sure but a fair sprinkling of men campers too
VeeJay Burns: how much are they making on average
CS: gosh now you are asking ! not a lot anyway in a week, we pay out very little
VeeJay Burns: in short, you're paying them a few bucks to keep your place popular?
CS: Not really. We have other reasons and actually, there are loads of camping places around but half of them are empty, people seem to like the atmosphere here -camping aside

Labels: , , , , ,

Easy as Dell

Second Life needs a whole lot of hardware to run on. Small wonder that computer manufacturers such as Dell establish a presence in SL that goes beyond your regular plot. It's business to be made here, I'd say. Second Life will drive the current server architecture to the limits and will challenge manufacturers to provide more power; in core, in memory, in videocards, in multithreading etcetera.

Dell's presence is spread over various sims, which is a rather good thing, since they have a whole menagerie of different styles. The central welcome area breathes a somewhat French athmosphere with little shops around a circular plaza. Here's where you can get your goodies and can access the teleport platform.

From this platform you're transported by tamponeske shuttlepods to the other parts of the Dell sim. There's the Factory, an Oil-rig style megacomputer invoking thoughts of Sean Connery's entry into Alcatraz through the fan-system in "The Rock" and there's the Business side of life, an Auditorium and a convention center.

It's fun to enter the belly of the beast and notice the fans can't chop off your head, but the sim misses a get-back-soon invitation.


Labels: , , ,

Toyota does Motown

Toyota was an early arrival in Second Life. In 2006 they launched the Scion City sim to promote their Scion model. As was the case with the old internet, the automotive industrie is among the early adapters in SL as well. Visitors can customize their Scion and make a testdrive in a blockbusting urban sim. The skilled hand of Lordfly Digeridoo is easily recognised when one looks at the detail and style of the big innercity brick buildings which would fit any Motown company, but look a bit odd for the Asian carmanufacturer.

Perhaps Lordfly could elaborate on the idea behind this sim.


Labels: , , , , ,


Early february the Vodafone sim went online, shortly before I opened this blog.
Now, two months later I noticed that Vodafone was still missing.

The sims is built around the Vodafone logo, but to much Alice in Wonderland style in my opinion.
An auditorium, an info center and a goodiecorner are the standard ingredients, but the sim leaves room for visitors to stick some pictures to the wall of an iglo.

With giant drums, horns and a circus act skyhigh-dive-into-a-small-bucket I certainly have to say that Vodafone has an original design, but it doesn't invite me to come back either.

Rivers Run Red are the producers of this sim.

Labels: , , ,


A warm welcome to two friends of mine, Aleister Kronos, a notorious bloggernaut from the UK. Aleister spends his inworld time as a traveller and is usually one of the first people to spot new company sims. To avoid copy pasting from his blog in this dog-eat-dog world of exposure, it is nice to have him on board to share his views with us.

And secondly a warm welcome Lordfly Digeridoo, a long time resident of Second Life.

Aside from being a student (Majoring in Sim City and Minoring in Google Earth) he is a very prolific contractor for Millions of Us, having done over 70 large projects such as Nova Albion, Toyota Scion City and many many more. Because of his widespread presence in SL it's best to have him on board as well and receive first hand insights on some builds.

Labels: , , , , ,

Another roaring Dutch Lion

Another team of excellent designers has bonded together and formed a new SL Contracting agency: SLionhead. The Slionhead sim has some telling Dutch treats, such as the (apparantly) unavoidable windmill and orange details.
The last picture is one of the SLionhead projects, the "Cirque Mystique", a nice bar -bounty style.


Labels: , , ,

Pontiac Motorati's Crowdsourcing show

One of the companies that literally drives the notion of crowdsourcing to the edge is Pontiac / Motorati. There's heavy interaction between the wonderful SL sim and their website ( The sim is a buzz of activity with visitors designing new cars, dragracing and all sorts of car-centered events.

Since the Pontiac Motorati cluster borders on the Millions of US development sites, it isn't hard to figure who build this great sim.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Virtual Heatlhcare

NMCthe consortium of the major US universities, developed the OneCleveland sim as part of their “Cleveland 2.0″ concept, a project that encompasses education, arts, culture, health care and community services, as well as business and entertainment. This area will be available for visitors of both the Main Grid and the Teen Grid, and Case Western Reserve University will be the first facility to use the space there.

As part of that project, Beta Technologies developed a replica of the very nice modern building for the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center. I wonder though, are they about to perform virtual surgery? I'm hoping they can explain what SL can add to hospital care.

Labels: , , ,

Virtual banking (4) Saxo Bank

In january and february virtual land was falling short and the Lindens had a large que of requests. Early march we saw an explosion of new sims. One of these new launches was the Saxo Bank, an online investment bank, based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jeffrey Limpele, executive director of quantitative analysis at Saxo Bank (whatever that means), told SLNN that the bank ultimately plans to offer "leveraged Forex trading on the lindens... We want to give you access from Second Life to your Real Life foreign exchange." We'll see.

The bank shares the island with a volcano viewable from the bank's roof terrace. There is also a bizarre Rio carnival parade that processes around the island. Whether there is some deep symbolism in the use of the volcano and carnival, or whether it is an amusing whimsy.

The site is built by Beta Technologies
Pictures kindly provided by Sir Aleister Kronos

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


No big-sim for the Avro, a Dutch television company. Which could be expected since they're not a commercial television station and have to work on a small budget ;)

Avro has a little corner on the Boer & Croon sim (see earlier post) and did a decorum for a children's program. As for judging this virtual creation I asked my daughter (2,5) to look at it. She really liked the moving chickens.

Labels: ,


When entering the BNN (Bart's News Network, a Dutch television company) sim one walks up to a theatre. At first I thought the thing to be rather dark and depressing, but after taking some distance, you can see it's a giant pick-up player.

Although I will have a hard time explaining what a pick-up player is to my 3 year old daughter, I think it's quite an original approach that will invoke historic sentiments.


Labels: , , ,

Virtual Banking (2): ING and Our Virtual Holland

At the Media Plaza Second Life seminar Gertjan Kaaij, Business Innovator of the ING held a presentation about ING in Second Life.... well, not exactly. The Dutch baking and insurance company ING they started cruising the virtual worlds in late 2006, but did not see a ROI on short term.

So there wasn't a big ING hit to launch, then what else to do? For the time being, ING uses SL mainly as a branding medium. They've hired Rivers Run Red to build a region of sims called "Our Virtual Holland"

The plan is for Our Virtual Holland to evolve into a virtual mini-state, and to this end they have been offering free parcels of land to would-be residents. Don't all rush to the website though - the offer closed on 21st March. Rather than churn out all the details here, I would refer you to this page of their website, which tells you everything you need to know (if not, try their FAQ). As is usual with SL that magic word for 2007, "Innovation", looms large. I will be interested to see what emerges. Certainly the pittoresque windmills will add to that innovative spirit...

At the moment ING is working with partners like the Rijksmuseum to add some spirit to the sims.

Pictures kindly provided by Sir Aleister Kronos

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Virtual Classes

Shortly after the Second Life seminar at Media Plaza, earlier this month, I visited the virtual campus of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The sim was build in just a couple of weeks by a team of 4 students. The main structure is quite similar to the Real Life campus, but the college room hovering at an altidtude of 10 m. certainly is not.

The classroom is used for actuall classes. One of the courses given in SL is Law, which is a real happening. Groups of students observe (odd and frequent indecent) behaviour in SL and describe the legal implications of the observed actions.

Other Dutch Colleges and Universities:
[most still in development mode]

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Boer en Croon | Nextstrategy

Last week I was reminded about the Boer & Croon sim. I'd almost forgotten about it since it's been a few weeks since I visited it by invitation of Dobre VanBrugh from [Lost in the] Magic Forest. At that time the sim was in development, so I couldn't really post pics, but here they are:


Labels: , , ,

Randstad Uitzendbureau

Okay, I'm a bit slow in adding things to my blog. The Randstad sim has been active for over a month now and I din't write about it. Well, what's there to say anyway?

Randstad received a lot of media attention in the Netherlands because they were the first of the major dutch job agencies to go SL. The sim itself is crude, but perhaps efficient. It does what it does, but certainly no architectural beauty. Basic white walls and default wooden planking and basic shapes... no, you should watch for their competitors, Content, to go public within the next months, those really invested in design!

Randstad hires "greeters" to welcome visitors and help them out. The greeters can be grateful, Randstad pays them normal wages as if the were regular employees. The jobs offered though pose a new problem for Dutch employment laws as jobs earn an average of L$300 per hour, which is way below minimum wage.

Labels: , , , , ,

Logica, Cap and all the other IT's

Worldwide IT companies such as Sogeti, Cap Gemini and Logica CMG are slow to establish real presence in Second Life.
Sogeti Netherlands is the first to enter SL, but mainly uses the island as an internal playground. No customer orientation yet.

Cap Gemini has several plans that appear to be dead end streets due to lack of management commitment. Logica CMG is fortunate to have a creative builder who started the Logica SIM by private intiative. Well, creativity to a certain extent of course, the regular elements of auditorium, playground and infocorner are there, no surprising new features.

Pictures kindly provided by Sir Aleister Kronos

Labels: , , , ,

German Design

Contrary to the stylish designs of the Dutch, the German design looks like they skipped the chapter on texturing. The designs of BMW and Toca Me are of a blinding white that will doubtlessly invoke instant snowblindness.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Dutch Design

Some of my foreign friends are getting tired of all those new Dutch companies entering SL. It appears that the Dutch are early adapters in Second Life. Right now the Netherlands is one of the most represented countries in this virtual world.

Where the earliest of entries for Dutch companies were crafted by overseas agencies like Rivers Run Red or the Electric Sheep Company, more and more businesses have discovered that we have a number of excellent builders in the Netherlands as well

The leading SL builders in the NL are [ Lost in the ] Magic Forest and Damanicorp. DMA is starting to gain momentum as producer of Streaming Media in SL.

[Lost in the] Magic Forest & DMA Studios

Damania by Damanicorp

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 06, 2007

Virtual Banking (1): ABN Amro

The ABN Amro sims has been online for some time now, a true omission in my blog. But what's there to say?

The sim consists of several hovering platforms connected by several airbridges. personally I like the design, but I'm wondering what ABN's intentions are.

One platform holds a shop where you can buy suits (not the best quality) and other pieces of clothing, there's an auditorium, some coffee corners where you can watch some ABN commercials... But where's the bank?

Labels: , , ,

S@SL Workshops

Sogeti at Second Life (S@SL) is becoming a hit. Today we've organised the first workshop in a series of seven. BigBear Barbosa, the CEO of the DSE Division, moi (VeeJay Burns) and Damanios Thetan from Damanicorp organised an introduction into Second Life for about 50 Sogeti professionals and a number of our clients, such as Rabobank, Codaris, Thales and PGGM

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Second Life Seminar

Wednesday April 4th the Dutch Media Conference Center, Media Plaza, organised a seminar on Second Life, talking about doing your homework!

Indeed, wednesday, worldwide Second Life patch day!


  • Presentatie door Dr. Frans Feldberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Presentatie Bart Bockhoudt, oprichter Dutch Exchange
  • Live streaming video in Second Life door Ivo Krupinski, DMAEen aantal locaties waar (live)streaming video in Second Life plaatsvindt passeren de revue. De DMA-Studio, muziekevenementen, zakelijke bijeenkomsten en een locatie waar onderwijs centraal staat.
  • Presentatie door Damien Simons, [Lost in the] Magic Forest
  • Presentatie door Gertjan Kaaij, Business innovation manager ING
Sogeti was well represented at this event with about 7 employees, leaving the poor lonesome junior of Cap Gemini wondring if he should have looked for a different employer.

Labels: , , , , , , ,