Tateru Nino's weekly take on mixed reality...
300. You'd have to live under some kind of a rock to not know all about it. Everyone's talking about it. Well, everyone except the people I know, anyway. Will the big Internet meme go from Ninjas versus Pirates to Spartans versus Persians? Well, the 300 hype hits Second Life, and I crawl out from under my rock to go take a peek.
We also take a look at French band Air; two more European cities jumping into Second Life; crowdsourcing searches; plus a rework of our mixed reality metrics to give better comparisons between mixed reality and native content, all after the fold.
The Silverscreen sim is packed to the gills with material for the movie of comics legend Frank Miller's graphic novel 300. From the moment you arrive, you're surrounded by a variety of posters and slick marketing.
From the moment I arrived, and things started to appear around me, I knew from the posters that this was not the sort of film I was going to go and see.
Still, it's all really slickly done. If this is the sort of film you might go to see, this place will probably make up your mind for you. If you're already set on the film, then this is a great place to vent your fannish urges.
Separated from the regional hub by a clever tram system, are several domes. Each dome contains different supporting material. There's a gallery of freestanding art and photography to wander through. There's a beautifully contained scrap of a period village, where you can pick up male and female Spartan outfits. If you want to get your overtrained Greek groove on, this is truly the place do do it.
Lastly, there's a reading room, which allows you to flip through the coffee-table books of film art, or links you to a website to purchase one online. The whole dome (pictured) is lined with concept art and production sketches.
On the whole, this sort of loving attention to a film I liked, or might like would definitely sell me. Whether the film flops in release or not, the effort and attention that has gone into its Second Life embassy won't hurt things one single bit. [Fellow NWN contributor Rik Riel has a nice tour of the 300 site, too. - HA]
Each week we build an aggregate mixed-reality metric* from the traffic figures of several notable sites, and match it to figures for a selection of "native" content. They are broadly representative of the sustained retention of a site, per square metre, or efficiency of interest.
I've been asked to include more native sites to match up with the mixed reality sites that we track and that has necessitated some changes. This week, we're cutting the list of mixed reality sites to ten, and bringing the native sites up to the same number.
Some site comparisons are a bit tricky to pull off, as the very nature of mixed-reality sites can make them quite difficult to compare with native content. Nevertheless, we've selected by feel, theme or genre as best we could.
You'll also see some for-profit businesses in the native lineup this week. I can't say as I'm interested in endorsing these businesses - after all, I've got no personal experience of them - but they fit our comparison criteria, have no unreasonable traffic enhancement devices, and were selected largely at random from the short list of candidates turned up by search.
Here's our new mixed reality site lineup:
- The L word: 147.30
- AOL Pointe: 42.05
- Circuit City: 41.04
- Sears: 29.42
- Nissan: 5.89
- Sony BMG: 4.31
- Thomson training: 5.46
- Magnatune: 1.78
- The Pond: 1.99
- The Weather Channel: 31.88
Tateru's Overall Mixed Reality Index: 31.11
Here are our ten native sites and businesses:
- The Shelter: 614.38
- NCI: 389.19
- Isle of Lesbos: 83.72
- Lost Gardens of Apollo: 54.47
- TOP/Tech: 30.58
- Rave Island: 27.91
- Dominus Motor Company: 22.94
- Svarga: 22.64
- The Shelter (Swinside): 20.89
- Home Depoz: 5.27
Tateru's Native Reality Index: 127.19
The L-Word class schedule continues to float them up to the top, while AOL Pointe's Club AOL is their own most focused draw-card. On the native side, the Shelter and the NCI's event and class schedules are doing a good job of keeping them busy; some might say too busy, considering that the sims fill up easily many times each week.
The NCI index is lower this week - two days late this week, no traffic registered at all for its main site due to grid difficulties.
Mixed Reality Shorts
- Fans of the French band Air can visit the band's newly launched inworld site. There, you can enjoy sample tracks from the band's latest album Pocket Symphony, see videos about the band, and wander about among brobdignagian replicas of band memorabilia. There are also links to official websites and newsletter subscriptions. It's good to look at, but does it hold the attention? One resident who looked at the site with me said, "It's a beautiful build by Nick Rhodes, but as an installation, not very engaging beyond five or so minutes. It only plays excerpts from several songs, for example, so there's really no time to really be in a singular experience there."
- Tuscany, Italy makes the jump from the 2D Web into the virtual world of Second Life with Toscana Island. Not yet open to the public, the island is due to be officially launched on Friday, 30 March with a big mixed-reality disco, streaming video in both directions between the physical world and Second Life. I'll be taking more of a look at the site when it's closer to complete.
- Hamburg@Work and METABOYS are combining forces to bring CeBIT to Second Life, by recreating the Hamburg@Work booth in Second Life. CeBIT, the big European Consumer Electronics show runs from 15 March to 21 March in Hannover.
- Two players in the search space, Sloog and RatePoint use resident-provided information and tagging to provide improved location search facilities. Whether or not I can cram any more scripted HUD attachments onto my HUD, now that's quite another matter. Although very egalitarian, these revolve around network bootstrap effects, as does Second Life, the WWW and the phone company - that is, until they start to get a lot of use, they're not terribly useful to begin with.
Got a mixed reality tip for Tateru? E-mail her at Tateru.Nino@gmail.com.
* Metrics are derived by monitoring Linden traffic metrics over the course of a week, averaging those figures and dividing by the parcel size, to remove some of the problems where the Linden metrics tend to prejudice increasingly towards larger parcels. Where sites have multiple parcels, the most favorable figure is used. Sites with multiple sims are not able to be properly calculated. Figures primarily indicate ordered rankings that roughly reflect holding or retention efficiency per square metre.