In my last post, I noted that very few Residents have used the Lindens' bug tracker, Jira. According to Torley Linden, that was partly due to the fact-- the irony is rich here-- that Jira was itself bugged. He says the log-in issue has been resolved-- go here to read more, and go here to log into Jira. Now that it's fixed, will it make the crowd any wiser? We'll have to track the bug tracker, to see.
Rik Riel's weekly round-up of upcoming SL events...
Among the many arts-related activities in SL, you''ll find that there's a vital and diverse poetry scene. From open mic nights to workshops to "poetry tag", you can find a wide range of verse to tickle your muse. On Friday, June 1, at 6pm, there's a release party for the publication of The Absence of Shadows, an anthology of 24 poems written by 14 SL poets, edited by Phorkyad Acropolis. At Bhima (129, 239).
I asked Phorkyad how he ended up creating a poetry anthology. "I began attending poetry readings in various venues, he explained. "After a few visits, I began reading my own poems, realizing perhaps that I could be a poet in this brave new—and virtual—world. Impressed by the work of some of the virtual poets, I decided to publish a poetry anthology 'in-world.' I did it not just to expose poetry to a wider SL audience, or to bring the world of SL poetry to RL, but also to investigate the technical aspects of virtual publishing." Come hear Phorkyad and other SL poets read on Friday.
Also coming up: a 12-hour concert fundraiser, co-creating with Philips, tech talk with Dr. Dobbs, "lo fi" art and "hi fi" music, catching wicked waves, and more events than you can shake a sculptie at. All after the jump...
Here is the ultimate Second Life paradox: while Residents as a whole love their freedom, for the most part they have never shown any collective love for democracy’s more strenuous duties. In 2004, the Lindens asked Residents if they were interested in self-governance, and that query garnered a tepid response. In 2005, the company introduced a feature-voting mechanism—which attracted, at most, a mere 478 voters. A Resident-led petition in 2006 against a widely-reviled property rights abuser tallied less than 100 signatures.
And last month, an online petition was directed at the Lindens themselves, demanding the company fix a number of system-debilitating bugs. It garnered just 4540 signatures—a little more than about 1% of the total active user base. Responding to the petition at a Town Hall meeting, Cory Linden begged Residents to register their complaints on the company’s bug-tracking database, so they could better address them. Three weeks later, the response was even paltrier, with the highest ranked bug attracting (as of last Friday) all of 147 votes.
It would be wrong to say that Residents are apathetic; but if they're so riled up over a particular issue, why is intensity of dissent almost invariably so mild, and so narrow?
Lillie Yifu in a skybox where she plies her trade
Ziggy Figaro recently wrote a full and fairly unflinching look at the state of sexual expression in Second Life, bringing together many disparate elements in a comprehensive way. His conversation with Philip Linden yielded a fascinating nugget, which returns us to the ongoing controversy, "Just how much sexual commerce in SL?" I've speculated it's much less than it's often assumed to be, and this passage offers another nugget for us to work with:
The Lindens, Philip tells Ziggy, "require landowners to disclose if there's mature content on their land by checking a box on the contral panel. As of Thursday, about 15% of the land parcels in Second Life had that box checked, or 18% by land area... Moreover, not all that mature content is sexual in nature... Simple use of swear-words can get content flagged as mature." [emph. mine]
And with a month of Tateru reporting, a consistent theme emerges: real world marketing sites in Second Life are still struggling for significance in the world's overall culture. At a weekly high of 6454 visitors, even the most successful corporate site now attracts but a fraction of Second Life's total active user base of some 400,000.
How well did real world organizations and companies engage the SL community last week? Tateru Nino runs the hard numbers. First, the top ten:
Mixed Reality Site
Est avg hourly visits
Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)
Estimated total weekly visits
|The L Word||24||32||4,112 (2)|
|Weather Channel||12||13||2,128 (5)|
|AOL Pointe||6.6||6.8||1,120 (25)|
|Virtual Holland||4.5||0.5||768 (128)|
|Coca Cola||4.1||10||688 (309)|
|Coldwell Banker||1.9||2.5||320 (Returning)|
NBA drops the ball, joins Dell, Microsoft on the bench; Virtual Holland's tulips wilt; Coca Cola fails to fizz
Big Blue, which most think of as a mighty monolithic corporation, has climbed to the top of the mixed-reality heap. Who would have thought that IBM would be more compelling than these other mixed reality sites?
Still, as you have probably already noticed, Mixed Reality Headcount is expanding. We'll be tracking more sites and changing the format here a little, starting this week. We're already tracking a mixed reality site that stands to shoulder Big Blue aside, and perhaps even edge into the coveted territory held by the native reality sites. More on that site next week.
Right now, you will notice that the chart here only includes the top ten mixed reality sites that we are tracking. You'll see a fuller list with the native reality sites combined, after the fold.
This red rock formation is Uluru in The Pond, an Australian-themed continent in Second Life created by Oz telecom giant Telstra. It's a recreation of a famed outcropping of the same name (also known as Ayers Rock), and when you try to climb it, you're blocked by a force field, and forbidden from walking any further. "Cannot enter parcel, not member of the group." This is a fairly common message, invoked by SL landowners who want to bar their property to outsiders; in this case, however, the underlying meaning of "group" is more profound.
Because in this case, it refers to the Anangu aborigine tribe, and the Telstra corporation is blocking entrance to virtual Uluru in an attempt to respect their indigenous intellectual property rights-- as applied to an online world. Read here:
Do business in SL? A couple university researchers with a Munich management school are running a 10 minute survey for Residents like you, curious to know how you do it. Even better, they've promised to share the results with NWN; it includes such well-targeted and apropos questions as, "Secondlife is a bubble phenomenon that will burst at some point. Do you agree?" Take the survey here.
A corporate presence in a metaverse is not just like a website. A website is where people come to interact with your marketing or information. A metaverse presence is more like a conference booth or a showroom. People expect to be able to ask a question, learn more, interact. The problem is, like a website, a metaverse presence is always on, at all hours and timezones.
This week, we're looking at promotion, presence, what IBM is doing about it-- and, conspicuously, what other companies in SL site are not. That plus our weekly roundup of recent mixed reality happenings, including iCommons, Turin, an SL-based Artists Residency Prize, and a Virtual Venture Competition worth $20,000.