- SL Business Mag – “The Premiere Virtual Branding Magazine” This looks awesome, a monthly magazine about marketing and selling in Second Life.
- Metaverse Messenger – I’ve been reading this for a while but never linked to it, so here goes. This is another glossy Second Life magazine. Both are chock full of interesting information.
- Second Style – “The best of Second Life clothing, hair, skins, accessories, and more“
- Tim Bray: On Ruby – “For people like me, who are proficient in Perl and Java, Ruby is remarkably, perhaps irresistibly, attractive.“
By agreeing to write a post-event blog posting, I was able to wrangle a seat at a recent book signing in Second Life. First, some background.
A few years ago Julian Dibbell spent a year earning money as a trader inside of Ultima Online. He wrote a book, Play Money, about his experience doing so. I’ve got the book and have skimmed parts of it. It is currenty queued up behind Synthetic Worlds (you can tell where my brain’s been at lately).
In a wholly appropriate move given the subject of the book, a decision was made to conduct a book signing event inside of Second Life, and also to sell virtual copies of the book. Here are some pictures.
I arrived a bit late (a lot late, actually) and people were already standing in line to get their books autographed:
Things looked a bit chaotic, and it wasn’t clear what was going on:
Some people were reading their new books (this was mind-warping):
At this point you are probably thinking that they are pretending to read a pretend book. You would be wrong — the book is real and tangible, and it can be read with ease.
The in-world book contains the entire text of the physical edition and is eminently readable onscreen. Let’s zoom in for a closer look:
I hope that you can read it; I certainly was able to read it on my laptop screen during the event. The 3D nature of the Second Life world makes zooming in a natural and very helpful gesture in situations like this. In fact, you can start to think of the world as having an irregular resolution, since you can zoom in at any point to see more, and the things that you most want to see are quite often stored at a very high resolution.
The book was created by a gentleman by the name of Falk Bergman. This is the second book that he’s done, and I hope that is is not the last. He doesn’t have a blog, but I told him that he should.
I have three important points to make here, and then I have to scamper off to a meeting:
- You can make real money inside of a virtual world.
- Events inside of Second Life can be compelling.
- Virtual books can and do actually work.
Feel free to challenge any of these, especially the last one. At this point I am not suggesting that we are all going to start reading 3D books projected onto a 2D screen. However, thing of that virtual book as a proxy for a Word document or a PDF, perhaps stored in Amazon S3. By handing someone the virtual book you are giving them the address at which they can find the real document. What if it was report, or a briefing, or a specification? If environments like Second Life are going to be used to create a more compelling environment for real-world collaboration across vast distances (and I am 200% certain that they will), then why the heck shouldn’t the shared knowledge space for the project be accessible from within the space? Shouldn’t there be a library chock full of these documents available for reading and for checkout? Seems to me that there should, and that there will.
- Clint Rukas: That’s Totally Disco – “My theory was that girls like to dance. By having a dance floor in my apartment, more girls would magically appear there.“
- Metafilter: Enchantment Under the Sea Dance Revisited – “ All the temporal anomalies in the BTTF series can be easily explained away in terms of the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics.“
- SSS: Second Simple Syndication – “Due to memory limitations of SecondLife with its first implementations of requesting data over HTTP on the internet, the RSS format can become too large to parse any data that is needed. The Second Simple Syndication format was created on the protocol exchange as an attempt to work around this problem.“
- Joel Spolsky: Private Offices Redux – “They also want M&Ms for breakfast and a pony. Open space is fun but not productive. “
- Kathy Sierra: A Few More Presentation How-Tos – “Don’t make it all about YOU.“
- Peter Rip: Business Model, Schmizness Model – “I myself will sometimes ask others the question, but I use it to test for complexity, not simplicity. “
- Linden Labs: Web Services Serialization Format – “Linden Lab’s upcoming web services format is simple, consistent, robust, readable, flexible, and covers all necessary information [to] faithfully represent REST systems“
I am in the UK as I write this, on the final leg of a three-city eight-day tour which has taken me to Milton Keynes, Oxford, and finally London.
Last night I was dead-tired and was sound asleep by 9 PM. At 2:20 this morning the fire alarm went off and I was awake in a heartbeat. I pulled on some pants and my Ruby on Rails t-shirt, grabbed my Blackberry and my camera, and stepped out into the hallway (after pausing to consult the fire safety card, of course).
Hundreds of people were out on the sidewalk, but there was just one fire truck in attendance. Out of respect for all of the sleepy and half-dressed tourists out there with me I didn’t take any pictures of the gathering crowd. I did get one good shot of the fire engine, though:
After being outside for 30 minutes or so they let us back inside and I went back to sleep. I must have been a bit over-tired because I didn’t get up until after 9 AM. I generally get 5 hours of sleep per night tops; it has been a long time since I got 11 hours (albeit in two chunks) in one night.
- Cafepress: Will Work for Linden Dollars.
- Matt Cutts:ASP.NET 2 + url Rewriting Considered Harmful in Some Cases – “Apparently, doing url rewrites in ASP .NET 2 can sometimes generate an HTTP status code of 302 instead of a 200. “
- Jeremy Zawodny:Feed Redirects Implemented: Full-Text RSS 2.0 uber alles! – “I’ve recently decided to consolidate the various syndication feeds for my blog.“
- Digg Labs – “These interactive visualizations look beneath the surface of the Digg community’s activities.“
- Chris Pirillo:Boost Your Internet Speed Free – “You can probably do two things, right now, to boost your Internet speed. “
- Danny Choo: Maid Trooper – “For some reason, the armor seems to be popular with the ladies which is another good reason not to take off the helmet in public – they would get a shock as to how ugly the person inside is…“
- Phil Linden:The Tao of Linden – “We believe that every person should make specific, visible individual contributions that moves the company forward every week. Projects must be broken down into measurable tasks so that making weekly progress is possible. “
- Marketing’s New Manifestation: Why Avatars Best Represent Online User Engagement – “If an avatar in a virtual world is given the tools to adorn their online projections with brands and marketing messages, whole new levels of reach and personalization become available.“
- Doc Searls: Markets Without Marketing – “In a world of highly networked markets — with more and more public information about everything, where everybody is in a position to publish information about anything, or to ask questions about anything and get them answered by anybody in a position to know those answers — people who make stuff need to relate directly with the people who use that stuff.“
- Understanding JSON: The Three Minute Lesson – “JSON is a syntax for passing around objects that contain name/value pairs, arrays and other objects.“
I promised my wife that I would go for a long walk today but I’m pretty sure that this isn’t what she meant…
There’s an amazing fund-raising event going on in Second Life today.
The American Cancer Society has run a Relay For Life event for many years. For the second year in a row, there’s a parallel event inside of Second Life. The walking tour runs through a whopping 12 sims (simulators) designed in themes to match different parts of the world. There’s a rain forest, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a Mexican market, a camping area, and lots more.
For weeks leading up to this event, artists have been creating and selling merchandise to raise funds to donate. There have been sales, auctions, and other benefits. But today is the relay itself. Starting at 5 PM PST, organized teams will be participating in the relay to raise funds for cancer research.
The build itself is amazing, and it will be here only for the duration of the event (Saturday and Sunday). It is now or never if you want to see it.
Here are a couple of pictures to entice you to join in the fun:
To visit the relay, click here.
I was looking for a Second Life car and found the Silver Motorsports Complex. There’s a complete race track with a pit, a drag strip, cars and custom choppers for sale, grandstands, and lots more. A couple of kids were driving their new Mustangs around. I happened to have a Flintstone-mobile in my inventory, so I rezzed it (created an instance, for you OO guys) onto the track and had some fun:
That’s me in the background. Clearly the babes favored the guy with the cooler car, instead of the sharp dressed man.
The latency inherent in the server-based physics model of Second Life made driving a really challenging experience. There was a visiting 4 year old sitting next to me in real life and he found it fascinating and kept asking me questions.
Here’s a followup picture that I took this morning (after I changed into some cooler clothes):
Laugh all you want, but this stuff is loads of fun, and it will be mainstream before too long.
- Creating Passsionate Users: What a Graphic Can Tell You – “If a dot stood for a day, what would my life look like as a set of dots on the screen? “
- Stephen King: Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes – “When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.“
- The Dominus Shadow – “Well there you have it. You may get an idea why I like this car so much. Its probably the best thing in SL.“
- Virtual Suburbia: Little House on the Sandbox – “The family can literally occupy the house, get a feel for the spaces, and suggest changes based on their first-person evaluation. A Second Life dream representing a Real Life artifact, instead of the other way around.“
- Gopher Now – “Hungry? Find restaurants open now.”
- Maciej Ceglowski: I Cannot Speak Your Crazy Moon Language – “I will simonize my battle tank.“
- Jack Herrington: Five Common PHP Design Patterns – “It’s difficult to demonstrate the value of patterns using small examples. They often look like overkill because they really come into play in large code bases.“
- MLB Home Run Derby in Second Life – “Fifty avatars gathered in a virtual PNC Park to watch live video and a re-enactment of each hit by virtual bobblehead versions of the eight players..“
- The Internet Craftsmanship Museum – “Our goal here is to collect and present as much information as we can about craftsmen from around the world and the projects they build.“
- Joe Martin: Making Money the Old Fashioned Way – “This isn’t a book about how to con anyone out of money for a bad idea. It’s a book for that group of disgruntled workers who are willing to work hard, who believe their way is better and want to start a business of their own to prove it.“