Monday, January 14, 2008

The SLord moves in mysterious ways

2008 holds a promise...

That was about the last line of my previous blogpost. And it does. One of the most promising new startups is Clever Zebra, an initiative by master builder Lordfly Digeridoo and the guys from Metaversed and others (among which a bit of Sogeti).

But aside from this promise, there is something funny going on which makes me think the SLord moves in mysterious ways:

Clever Zebra, Stupid Metaversed?

Although the Clever Zebra project has my sincere sympathy, there's a thing nagging me, and that's Metaversed. Early 2007 57 Miles was blogging like crazy on the Metaverse, doing great stuff and turned it into a business. A sponsored blog with sponsored events. That's when trouble came to town. First there was a break-up with Prokofy Neva on the Second Rant, and now Metaversed is going down to provide space for Clever Zebra. I wonder how the Metaversed Sponsors will feel about this. What will happen to the MMI, the Metanomics and the Virtual Business Innovators. Projects like the Grid Safari and the Geek Meets weren't long lived either.

Onders Skall writes:

How can you close Metaversed?
We covered business in virtual worlds like nobody else. There wasn't a better place to go for coverage of this stuff. We just loved it.

Along the way Nick and I compiled a huge amount of information about business in virtual worlds. We studied the phenomenon like few have ever had the opportunity to, and our imaginations were constantly ignited. More and
more of our days were spent discussing what could and should be done in virtual worlds to help business. We began designing plans to change things and make them better.

We soon realized that we'd rather create products people want to talk about instead of talking about products others were creating. The thing is, you can't often make things happen by telling stories. You make things happen by...
well... going out and making them happen. So while we came across as much news and met as many incredible people as we had before, news reportage became an afterthought. We were chasing a dream: bringing change to the virtual world.

I can agree on this, but why tear down Metaversed? It isn't too smart to burn all your bridges before you've crossed to the other side. A whole lot of tantrum is created now about the Clever Zebra start up and the Metaversed blog has died a slow death over the past months. Fortunately, the guys over at Metaversed also see this:

Why part with a popular brand?
Yes, Metaversed became a beloved brand. That's why we had to close it. Without publishing regular news, it was becoming a shadow of its former self. There's nothing worse than a brand that was once great and has lost its shine. If it's a name to be remembered, it should be remembered as something great.

Some feel we could have kept the name and switched the business model. The problem with doing something like that, though, is that it's a bit disrespectful of the readers. Metaversed is a blog about business in virtual worlds. If it suddenly becomes an open-source virtual world company, well, it's no longer the same company. We'd by lying if we said it was, and we respect our readers far too much to do something like that.

Wello 3PointD Horld

Much of the same is going on at 3PointD, a former leader in virtual world news, where Mark Wallace is letting the blog beed to death posting Glitchy Links for months now without blogging anything usefull and working on a gigantic new start up, Wello Horld with metaverse guru Jerry Paffendorff. His sponsor, Electric Sheep Company probably can't be bothered at this time though as they seem to be focussing on a whole new industry according to the word on the street.

The naked sheep

The word on the street is that the Sheep are (co-) developing a new platform which will be a true adult world (i.e. Porn, XXX). I wonder what CBS and the producers of CSI:NY will think of this. Would they be willing to be associated with a company that's in the porn industry?

Now what is it with these companies in changing their objectives? Is it short term profits, or are they just Metaversal Cowboys that jump on every opportunity?

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Big Blog Bravo!
Excellent, well thought out, and very well written posts have made your blog both a pleasure to read and a source of valuable information.

I’m Edita Kaye, editor in chief of the number one virtual world news network and I also have the great privilege to be the founder of the Association of Virtual Worlds. I believe that your blog would be of great interest and benefit to our readers and have linked to it through’s growing blog network. I would very much appreciate it if you would link back.
Welcome and thank you for writing “the best blog”.
About aggregates news of virtual worlds, MMORPGs, 3D-Web, and more… the trends, people, and technology that are the future.
“ is the only source for news on all virtual worlds. This has quickly become the go to resource to get caught up on the latest news from this rapidly expanding segment of the Internet economy. I like the user-friendly layout of the site. As the media relations director of a Virtual World website I check iVinnie daily to catch up on the latest development in the Virtual World and Web 2.0 space.”
Colin Trethewey, Media Relations Director
Listed as one of the “Top Ten Products, Ideas and Trends of 2007” by Business 2.0 Magazine
October 30, 2007

...thought i would drop you a quick email to say how impressed i am with the site. Normally such sites are pretty much run of the mill but you have just made my bookmarks 
Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith
Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
January 3, 2007

Best regards
Edita Kaye
Editor in chief

If you do not wish to be added please let me know. You may email me directly

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger dyerbrookME said...

Cowboys, roping the calfs. I think I finally figured out how it works.

First, start a news site with space for people to blog. Let them provide the news for free, essentially. Then, start putting up more organized news to keep them reading. Get its traffic up. Gather everybody's news, make contact lists.

Get Prokofy to do a podcast, as that will be controversial and will help drive traffic to the site, and help bond the community as anti-Prokofy, often the only thing they can find in common.

Next, form groups inworld to keep peddling the message and brand, and add safaris and cool meetings to give people something to do. They circle from reading the news/gossip back inworld to the events.

Add some Ivy Leaguers with a thing like Metanomics. Announce some big names as speakers like Richard Bartle or Ted Castronova.

Announce the sponsors and have their logos put on the blog. Hire a paid reporter to generate copy. Have Prokofy report for free from VW 07 with some expenses paid.

Consolidate the followers and ad buyers.

Start losing Prokofy's podcasts and finding audio difficulties. Get spooked by advertisers bitching about the hired reporter's investigative work (Caleb) and Prokofy's "tabloid" podcasts.

Drive more traffic! Trim the groups inworld.

Dump Prokokofy from podcats, webpage, and ban from land -- more traffic!

Stop writing any more news pieces, but just have the advertisers on the panels. As soon as all their revenue is locked in, dump events, they're boring.

With even more contacts and information winnowed from news gathering, podcasts, comments on the website, experts talks on tape, etc., now, there is a critical body of knowledge to open...

...a consulting service!

Dump news site -- not needed.
Dump panels -- too boring, and too busy to do now.
Dump safaris -- too hard.
Spin off Metanomics, let them worry about sound and transcripts and moderation of speakers.

Offer a freebie DIY office kit for biz noobs.

Sell the knowledge, contacts, connections you have scraped for the last 6 months.

News and groups are expendable.

Your information wants to be free. My information is for sale.

Prokofy Neva

Sunday, January 20, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger VeeJay Burns said...

Now I wouldn't really want to put the Prokofy Neva factor into the equasion, but generally speaking, that's about my idea too.

Sunday, January 20, 2008 11:28:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home