Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reuter's Adam Pasick Interview

CNET interviews Reuter's man in Second Life.

From the interview:

"What was your initial reaction to being asked if you wanted to do this? Did you know much about "Second Life" at that point?

Pasick: I had heard of "Second Life" but never had been in-world. To be completely honest, when I first heard the idea, I was a bit dubious. But even as I talked it over that first time, I saw that it could be a great idea if done well. I think that's typical of "Second Life": The more time you spend, the more it makes sense.

So what do you see as the "mission" of Reuters in "Second Life"?

Pasick: If we can provide good financial news and data to the "Second Life" business community, and find a new audience for Reuters among "Second Life" residents, I'll be happy.

How do you explain your new beat to friends, family and colleagues who don't understand what "Second Life" or virtual worlds are?

Pasick: I've had a lot of practice. But I've found the best way is to get them in front of a computer and show them. My parents love it now. They have avatars and hang out in the Reuters building."


Mashable Labs: The Average Youtube User

Mashable Labs has another look at some numbers. This time they create a profile of the average Youtube user.

From the post:

"From a sample of 41,000 active user profiles we collected some rather unsurprising statistics. Based on the profile info supplied, the age of an average YouTuber is 27, with 20% being 35 or older - a bit more mature, perhaps, than the kids over at MySpace.

We should add the disclaimer that this data is a bit of fun, and really just some preliminary musings before we start looking deeper at the YouTube data we’re collecting."

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Henry Jenkins: Challenges of Participatory Culture

via Smart Mobs, Henry Jenkins has a really good post (part seven) that breaks down the core skills needed to be a citizen in the coming participatory cultural world.

From the post:

"We have also identified a set of core social skills and cultural competencies that young people should acquire if they are to be full, active, creative, and ethical participants in this emerging participatory culture:
Play -- the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a form of problem-solving

Performance -- the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery

Simulation -- the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real world processes

Appropriation -- the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content

Multitasking -- the ability to scan one's environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.

Distributed Cognition -- the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities

Collective Intelligence -- the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal

Judgment -- the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources

Transmedia Navigation -- the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities

Networking -- the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information

Negotiation -- the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms."

Monday, October 30, 2006

danah boyd: the high priestess

This is kind of amusing. The Financial Times does a story about danah called "The high priestess of internet friendship."

From the story:

"As Boyd watched these millions jump on to the networks, she began to develop clearer ideas about what deeper purpose the sites served. A large number of members were obviously still using them as a tool to meet new people. But while some were interested in extending their social network, most were not doing that at all. Instead, they were using it to reinforce existing relations with the group of friends they already had from their offline lives. For them, MySpace had become an electronic version of the local mall or park, the place they went to with their friends when they just wanted to hang out.

“When I have to explain it to parents, I say it is the place kids rush to when the bell goes,” said Boyd."

Nice article and great exposure for danah, who I really like.

Checking her blog today:

"Lately, people have been getting angry at me for not being able to look at their project; others yell at me for not being able to find 15 minutes to talk to them for their news articles; still others go straight for the guilt trip. I've started not responding to email. I find that i've gotten snippy in emails and that sucks; i even read blogs about how overly curt i am.

First, Why I am a Bad Correspondent. Second, My ongoing struggle against "continuous partial attention". I'm nowhere near as cool as Neal but, like him, i need 4+ hours of writing time at a time.

At the top of Neal's description is a quote from Umberto Eco: "I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages." What does it mean that i'm not even 30 and that's my goal?"

Fame is a cruel mistress, even for a high priestess.

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Mark Cuban's Long Tail Ghetto

Love him or hate him, Mark Cuban has opinions. I kind of like him. I got to do an interview with him once and he was really nice. No handlers, just Mark.

With all of his thoughts on the Youtube deal, he has been in the news lately. Here is a video (on Youtube!) of him talking about how Youtube is like a crackdealer.

More interesting however, is Mark's post about the Long Tail of content and how that's not really the place you want to be. Its a long post - go read it all if you think about things like this.

From the post:

"I think trying to define where the Long Tail ends and the Vert Ramp begins is critical, because the fact of the matter is: No Content Creator wants to be on the Long Tail. Anyone who has ever created content realizes that there is a very thick bar a bit above the the base of the Vert Ramp that acts as a content ceiling (thanks to Oliver Luckett for the term). that they are desperately trying to break through in order to get off the long tail and on to the Vert Ramp.

The first step towards the Vert Ramp and up the hierarchy is to get paid. More and more sites like Revver are creating opportunities for video creators to make money, just as sites like WeedShare.com and CDBaby.com have been doing for music for years. The reality however are very, very few make minimum wage for their work.

The next step up the hierarchy comes from breaking out at least once. You got paid enough for your work to think you or your company have a chance to create content full time. It may be a one time reward, or just the first of many rewards. But as long as its just one so far, you are still in the long tail. Still underneath the content ceiling looking up at the Vert Ramp, but at least you lost your financial virginity.

At this point, in order to fight through the content ceiling almost all content creators look to Big Money for help. Big Money is/are all the people and companies that control distribution and have big bank accounts. They are the people who can elevate the content creators from fearing their lights will be off when they get home, to buying a new house."


Second Life Attracting Older Users

LeeAnn Prescott from Hitwise pulls some charts for Second Life.

From the post:


Brightcove for Independant Producers

Brightcove released information about a new offering to help independent producers make money from their work.

Brightcove press release:

"In the last six months we've seen explosive growth in the online video market, especially in consumer sharing, but this is only the beginning of the Internet TV era," said Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive officer of Brightcove. "Now content producers, from serious amateurs to major studios, are looking for an approach to Internet video that gives them commercial opportunities with their content as well as control over their distribution, and that's exactly what we're delivering with the launch of the Brightcove Network."


"By participating in the Brightcove Network, video publishers will be able to manage video posted on their own web sites, showcase their channels for syndication and subscription on the Brightcove website, take 50% of advertising revenue from videos wherever they play and take 70% of revenue from pay-per-download videos, including videos purchased on partner site AOL Video.

Ads will appear in several different formats: pre-roll, post roll, overlays and synced banners appearing next to the video player. Free Brightcove Network accounts will have ad placement decided for them, premium Publisher accounts will be able to select their own ad format."


"Evan Fleischer, director-marketing and promotions at the Rainbow Media-owned IFC, said the model is a practical one for his small cable network. "Syndication is what's going to make or break companies like IFC," he said. "We can't all be YouTube. We can't all be MySpace. ... Brightcove's a mirror of how we work in cable industry. We provide content to [cable operators], they send that content out."

"It's increasingly clear in a market dominated by YouTube and its focus very much on consumer-generated content, there's also a big emerging opportunity with semiprofessional and professional media companies that might not have the scale or expertise to build a self-made online-video initiative," said Joe Laszlo, senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

"There's going to be so much slicing and dicing," said Mitch Oscar, exec VP-Carat Digital. Asks Jupiter's Mr. Laszlo: "How big is the advertising pot going to be and when all these people take their slices out of it is it enough for a content creator to make a real business?"

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Turner's Super Deluxe

The Hollywood Reporter announces Turner's new broadband property, Super Deluxe.

From the article:

"Time Warner-owned Turner Broadcasting is scheduled to announce today its intent to launch a new multiplatform brand in January boasting original shortform videos laced with edgy humor from professional comics and ambitious amateurs alike.

Dubbed Super Deluxe, the free, advertiser-supported venture will target men 18-34 with a mix of live-action and animated material that won't skimp on profanity and toilet humor. "It's like cable TV without the rules," Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus said.

Super Deluxe's online incarnation will be equipped with community tools that enable users to establish profiles, post videos and interact. The Web site collapses the traditional distinction -- and distance -- between performers and consumers, putting user-generated content and original output from notable comedians side by side.

Turner also is making deals with relatively unknown content creators and is expected to sign other amateurs who establish a presence on Super Deluxe to development deals. In addition, Turner is open to functioning as a studio for select site members, helping with financing and other arrangements."

A quick Googling of "Super Deluxe" urls would seem to indicate Turner is going to have to get creative with the site address.

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Greg Allman: Playing for the gods

Guy Kawasaki has a music post up that references a Greg Allman quote and then comments on how it is like pitching VCs. I think it applies to blogging as well so here it is.

From the post:

"In response to a question from Greg Kihn about performing early in one’s career, Gregg Allman said this:

“You play for the gods and people just happen to be there.”

This is a very good description of how you should feel when you are pitching: You pitch to the gods and people (venture capitalists) just happen to be there. Because when you pitch to the gods...
  • You cut the crap because the gods are omniscient.

  • You make it short because the gods are busy.

  • You practice because you’re not going to get a second chance.

  • You use a 30-point font in your slides because the gods are old and have bad eyesight."

Friday, October 27, 2006

MashableLabs: Video Sharing on MySpace

MashableLabs has a great review of all of the video sharing sites that feed MySpace.

From the post:

"Not surprisingly, there’s a glut of web sites offering free video to share on blogs and social web sites. Each wants to grab a piece of the pie and grow big before they drift into obscurity. Only a few will survive the shakeout and likely will be the ones already established, or those with deep enough pockets to play catch-up. Newer sites like Revver didn’t even make the top 10 list and must innovate or go the way of Movie.com into obscurity."

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crayon launched yesterday.

From the press release:

"crayon, the world's first dedicated New Marketing company, is open for business from today in the real world and, simultaneously, in Second Life, the three-dimensional online digital world.

crayon is a different kind of company that integrates the best of the consulting, agency, advisory, thought leadership and education worlds - a mash-up, in new marketing terms.

"The world has changed, but marketing, advertising, and public relations have not," said Joseph Jaffe, author of the bestselling book Life After the 30-Second Spot (Wiley) and crayon's President and Founder. "There is no question that the influence organizations can achieve through traditional marketing, advertising and PR is fading fast."

crayon will help marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals better understand the tremendous changes, challenges and opportunities in today's dynamic and complex world of fragmented attention, increasing consumer control and hardening attitudes towards marketing communication.

"We're not interested in reams of data that says the world has changed. We get it," said Maarten Albarda, Director Media & Communication Innovation, The Coca-Cola Company. "crayon is not only focused on talking about what comes next, but moreover putting the ideas and promises of new marketing into action."

The launch party: CC Chapman

"Have you ever been in a stage production? The rush of energy that fills backstage just before you start. Little things go wrong. Last minute fixes. Mayhem. Crazy times that no one will ever see because they are behind the curtain?

That is what makes any live event special in my eyes. The stuff that is never seen. Sure, we had some of that today at the crayon launch, but I would of had it any other way."


"The riff is just typical early adopters versus late entry capitalists bent on following the eyeballs wherever they may be. It's happening with MySpace right now and people are leaving. It will happen with Second Life too. It's just too easy in this digital world to move somewhere else where marketers aren't. It's your typical game of cat and mouse.

If marketers don't tread carefully, fully understand what they are getting into, converse with and understand clearly the mindset of the people who live in the world they are entering, a disasterous backlash will occur and all parties will lose."

From the comments: Shel Holtz

"We are NOT a Second Life marketing company. We are a marketing company that has its headquarters in Second Life. It makes sense to us, since I'm in San Francisco, Joseph's in Connecticut, C.C. is in Boston, Neville's outside of London, and Chris is in New York. Should we meet via teleconference? Second Life is simply the best solution for us to function virtually yet still be able to meet face-to...er...avatar-to-avatar."


"Jaffe said this at last week's conference and reiterated it at the launch, "What’s the next big thing? It is here today, it was here yesterday. Do it now while you can." Oh, how he is sooo right."

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Second Life Television

And here it is: Rivers Run Red announces a Second Life Television project.

From 3pointD.com:

"PR agency Rivers Run Red, which plans to launch a broadband television and content network in the virtual world of Second Life in November. Virtuallife.tv “will enable news, documentary and entertainment content to be distributed and shared across the entire virtual world,” according to a press release.

It sounds an ambitious project, due to launch in early November on a 24-hour-a-day broadcast schedule carrying music, film, audio and text. More than 100 active channels are planned by the end of 2007, and the network, a Rivers property, plans to produce around 1,000 hours of original programming a year.

The service will be free, though pay-per-view programming is planned for the future. How do you tune in? “A television package will be freely distributed. Streaming will also be available to all landowners.” One question is whether Rivers has found a way to solve the worst problem about video streamed into Second Life: each person watches a different stream of the same content, making it nearly impossible to watch the same program with the same start and end time."

From the comments: Prokofy Neva

"I’ve been a big advocate of bringing TV to SL. I was sad when the SLTV experiment failed for various reasons and I think there should be a lot of competitive TV stations coming in. It’s very important to get local spot news and a kind of civilizing mission going that brings basic behavioural norms to the world in a variety of ways, whether PSA’s, do’s and don’ts, etc.

The idea that it is to run 24/7 and have 100 active channels planned sounds way too ambitious to me. And having it run not by a credible news organization with an independent editorial board with a sense of public mission is highly troubling."

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Birthday thinkd2c!

I just realized that this is the one year birthday of the thinkd2c blog.

When I started this blog last year I ran Dane Carlson's blog worth estimator. It was zero then. Today, its worth $15,807.12. Not sure to who but still indicative of some progress. I think its going to be several more years till I get a $50 check from Google though.

My focus has changed since I started but I hope that I have stayed true to the main point - media: direct to consumer. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for another year!


The Venice Project

Coming soon to a computer monitor in front of you! TV unleashed by the guys that brought us KaZaA and Skype.

Janus Friis:

"What are we trying to do with Venice?

It’s simple, really — we are trying to bring together the best of TV with the best of the Internet. We think TV is one of the most powerful, engaging mass medias of all time. People love TV, but they also hate TV. They love the (sometimes…) amazing storytelling, the richness, the quality itself. But they hate the linearness, the lack of choice, the lack of basic things like being able to search. And wholly missing is everything that we are now accustomed to from the Internet: tagging, recommendations, choice, and so on… TV is 507 channels and nothing on and we want to help change that!"

Bruno Giussani:

"So, to summarize:

  • streaming peer-to-peer television (near-TV quality)
  • free to the user (just download the client software)
  • ad-supported (with ad targeting)
  • deals with content providers (revenue-share)
  • time-shifted
  • searchable
  • with "social TV" features (tagging, recommendations, etc)"
Om Malik: Interview responses from Janus Friis

"Like Skype, The Venice Project is simple - you download and you get free television. There is nothing complicated and simple. Our software is already in beta, and we are doing some bug squashing right now. You can sign-up and we are inviting more people to our beta program. It is near television quality, and it needs about one megabit per second.

We are building an ad-based system, and it is close to the television model. We will do revenue share with the content providers. With our system, people can be targeted with the right kind of ads. We are respecting the copyrights. We will reveal more details about the technology soon."


"The time is right for this. Consumer demand is there and the networks seem ready to take the step. Apple has secured rights to over 220 television shows and sells them on iTunes. YouTube’s market valuation has been set at $1.65 billion by Google, showing the value of simple show clips on the web. And the networks have shown that they are open to trying new distribution options through the Internet. If Niklas and Janus have been successful in securing rights to network shows, we’re about to be introduced to something which is very likely to result in me canceling my cable television subscription once and for all."

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Creating the Multiverse

Patrick Cox has a great article up talking about how Netscape created the conditions for the modern web and how the next big thing is 3D worlds. I wrote my masters thesis on Virtual Reality in 1990 and created one of the first VRML interfaces for a large company. I have been hearing that 3D is the next big thing for 20 years. Only now, it may be true.

From the article:

"We are, nevertheless, on the cusp of the Next Big Thing and those who are ready for the transition to 3D virtual worlds will be far ahead of the game. Those who are actually acquainted with VW will be in a position to help determine the direction of the many critical policy debates that will be engendered as the online VW experience becomes increasingly indistinguishable from the RW."

Patrick is talking about the Multiverse, an open source world building tool. It has many big time backers: "Bill Turpin: His team includes Netscape veterans known throughout Silicon Valley, if not the world at large: Rafhael Cedeno and Robin McCollum, who built critical Netscape server technology still in use today, and co-creators of RSS; Jeff Weinstein, who coded the world-changing SSL; and Corey Bridges, Navigator product manager who then went on to launch companies like Netflix and Zone Labs. On the entertainment side, ex-physics major and film director/producer James Cameron, of Terminator and Titanic fame, has thrown his lot in with Multiverse, joining its board of advisors."

The Multiverse Road Map project is in full swing and holding meetings around the country. The Electric Sheep Company is a big supporter and, if you are in DC, you can hear them speak November 8th.

The Meaning of a Million

Tateru Nino has a fantastic post on New World Notes about the recent Million me4mber milestone reached in Second Life.

From the post:

"So, what does a million signups mean? It means that Second Life isn't a game, or a platform, or a virtual world. It means that Second Life is one million flavours. Some of them are bitter; some of them are sweet, some are here to stay, and some are never coming back. Your vanilla or chocolate world is in there somewhere, in miniature. Like a snowstorm in a globe, if you guard it well, it will remain, but everything else around you is changing.

Embrace it."


Reputation Management: Avatar Guidelines

Business Communicators of Second Life have a good post up about how to maintain a corporate avatar within the proper usage of Second Life terms of conditions and general Second Life culture.

From the post:

"As a way to help businesses address branding and identity issues, Linden Lab will be selling the Second Life equivalent of domain names, allowing individuals and businesses to purchase a custom last name. People operating in-world may now carry their real world organization’s name over their head – literally.

What this means is if your real world brand is doing business in Second Life, you need avatar guidelines for your employee avatars. Creating guidelines helps you and your employee avatars to operate under your banner in comfort and with confidence.

It is extremely important that employees who will be operating in Second Life mingle, learn the SL culture, participate with and contribute to the community, and enjoy the unique activities and benefits of this virtual world. Encourage them to do so. And remind them that in a world without boundaries there is plenty of room for both a professional and a personal avatar."


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

IBM: v-Business

Adam Reuters reports on IBM's continued push into Second Life.

From the article: (photos by Michel Leblanc)

"Computer services giant IBM has plunged into Second Life at the urging of its “metaverse evangelists” Roo Reynolds and Ian Hughes, using it as a location for meetings, training and recruitment. But the company is also eyeing revenue opportunities that could have it vying with Second Life design firms to bring real-world businesses into the virtual realm.

, Ele

“E-business was a strategy for us, why not v-business?” said Reynolds, known in-world as Algernon Spackler, at the “My So-Called Second Life” conference in London on Tuesday. “I don’t mean to be competitive with Rivers Run Red or Electric Sheep, but just like we set up a bricks and mortar business online, we could integrate a company’s services in a virtual world.”

"Integration with services, integration with data — exactly what we helped people do back in the days of e-business, that’s sort of what I envision us doing,” he said. “Mind you, I’m an evangelist, not a strategist, but if I had to guess that’s where we’re going.”

IBM has embraced Second Life to an extent unmatched by any other major company — it has more than 230 employees spending time in-world, and it owns some half-dozen islands. Some are open to the public, but most are private, with restricted access for the public."

See also:
IBM's Secret Island
IBM's R&D in Second Life

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think d2c makes the Intel Blogroll

Howard Rheingold: New Media Consortium

Howard Rheingold gave a keynote address for the NMC, Impact of Digital Media Symposium.

From NMC Observer:

"Today at 11:00 AM was the headline event (well, actually, they all were!), but haivng Howard Rheingold in world for a keynote is definitely a high water mark for our Impact of Digital Media Symposium… 12 days of presentations, art, music, discussion, and interaction. We will have some stats to share soon, but our sensors recorded more than 1000 unique avatars came to NMC Campus during the Symposium.

Some of the web resources mentioned in the session include:

Rheingold’s presentation on The Pedagogy of Civic Participation filled our 60 avatar limit quickly. We apologize to anyone left outside, we needed to optimize and not crash the sim, though we were able to provide the live stream URL for people to listen via iTunes or Media Player."

Machinima Festival Simulcast in Second Life

The Machinima Festival is coming up, Nov 4-5. There are four Second Life producers features in the event. The event will also be simulcast in Second Life.

Rik Reil:

"With a record four Second Life machinima artists being nominated for awards at the Festival, and the interest in machinima both in SL and in real world at an all-time high, this is the perfect time for the Festival to go virtual.

The metaversal festivities will begin on Thursday, November 2 at 8pm EST with an in-world showing of several of the machinima being nominated for awards this year, with special guest appearances by the machinimists themselves to discuss their work. This will take place in the movie theater in the Laguna Beach sim, organized by the Electric Sheep Company. (Direct SLURL.)

This is just the lead-up to the main event, an in-world video simulcast of the awards ceremony direct from the Museum on Saturday November 4 at 9pm EST. Be there in the Laguna Beach theater, live, as the winners are announced."


Sibley Verbeck Interview

I missed this but there is a great interview of Sibley Verbeck in the Electric Sheep Company.

In the Grid: Part One

"I say that we are building interactive, 3D virtual experiences for real-world companies. Some companies are already used to thinking about the Web 2.0, MySpace, user-generated video on the web, or even videogames, and so it's not so difficult for them to understand that this is a next platform. Other companies are not so active in new types of media, so it's a huge leap."

In the Grid: Part Two

"In Second Life more than any other medium ever invented, creativity has the majority of the value of a product -- so let all creative things exist, and let the most creative be the most popular! [Or] at least to the extent that creativity ties in with what most people desire, which is itself debatable, but you see my point. There is an unlimited amount of land here for communities of different types.

Some corporations don't want to be in SL because they're worried about all the non-PG-13 content, for example. Others come in with ideas [that are] the equivalent of selling Honda Civics in SL. But, A, they can't get rid of anything in SL, so they can just choose to participate or not. And, B, no one wants a Honda Civic as their ultimate fantasy car -- unless it's really souped up in an SL way. So, there you go. Again, yeah, corporations are always worried about what will get associated with their brand, and we're sensitive to that and very honest about it. But there's plenty of room in SL for button-down people and organizations, as well as every other kind."

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Nissan and Pontiac in Second Life

Car companies continue to invade Second Life.

Nissan by the Sheep: Giff

"This evening we launched NISSAN’s presence in Second Life, working closely with the folks at Tequila\. The project is tied to Nissan’s current 7 Days in a Sentra campaign you might have seen recently on TV (see website and blog). Nissan’s location has 4 sims:
  • The main sim represents several of the scenes from the commercials, and has a giant animated vendor, some fun remote-control mini-Sentras, video screens to watch some of the commercials, and a giant loop-de-loop which is ridiculous fun (and hard!).
  • A road course sim which will definitely make you work on your gear changing skills
  • An open driving sim with virtually no prims for low lag cruising
  • To minimize lag, we’ve separated the first sim from the other two with a giant bridge so that you can have a high draw distance and still run fast"
Pontiac by Millionsofus:

"Millions of Us is working with Pontiac to launch an event that celebrates car culture in Second Life. The collaboration with Pontiac enables residents who are interested in developing businesses or creating content around cars to form a community of interest.

Perhaps by uniting and empowering a critical mass of people, we can hope to open a conversation with Linden Lab about what it would take to improve the physics/technical specifications behind driving/creating cars in Second Life."

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Eric Rice on Crayons

Crayons announced itself yesterday on a variety of sites, saying it would be the first company in Second Life, or something like that.

In teh TechCrunch comments, Giff Constable (ESC) points out the reality of business in Second Life. In keeping with the Sheep's calm and kind persona, Gif says:

"First, Wells Fargo was one of the first companies to experiment with Second Life, but they were a little early and actually moved their project to the Activeworlds technology. More relevant are companies that have opened up SL presences over the last many months, such as Reuters, Sony BMG, Starwood Hotels, Sun Microsystems, C-Net, Wired, Adidas/Reebok, Text 100, Toyota, Nissan, American Apparel, Jeff Pulver’s team, IBM, the New Media Consortium and many more.

Second, not only are there many many entrepreneurial ventures that have been started selling virtual products within Second Life, there are also quite a few consulting and production companies that are already in existence focused around providing virtual world services.

I think Crayon has a great team, I welcome them to our growing universe, and I expect great things from them in future."

A little on the edgy side, Eric Rice chimes in today:

"You aren’t the first to do anything, homeboys. Far from it. Not first to launch, not first to this or first to that. Not the first to be virtual, etc. Yeah, SL is the media darling now, so the spin will work.

Speak plain language and be humble. You’ll do great, and have a great team which will make Crayon a success. And all the Crayons to come in the future."


Friday, October 20, 2006

Paul Kedrosky Reads the comScore Video Data

Paul has an interesting comment on the latest comScore online video stats.

From Paul:

"comScore's new release tonight containing Internet video data is fascinating stuff. Among other things, comScore says that the total U.S. streaming audience in August of this year was 110.3 million people (each of whom averaged 2 video streams a day).

To put the preceding figure in context, there are 65,500,000 U.S. basic cable subscribers, and 110,900,000 U.S. television households in total. The online streaming audience is currently as large as the number of Americans with televisions, and almost double the number of homes with cable. And unlike either television-related figure, the online video market is growing nicely: It was up 4% from the July figure."

Gootube: Video Advertising Experiement

More Google Youtube speculation from Fortune Magazine:

"I don't know if they're right, but Google's managers now seem to believe they can do the same thing with print, radio and TV, albeit with much of the testing taking place on the more immediate and low-cost medium of the Internet. Buying YouTube will give Google a platform on which advertisers can experiment with TV ads in different forms.

If you were a big TV advertiser, before you spend what is sometimes millions for a primetime spot, wouldn't you like to know how it fared on YouTube compared to alternate versions? How many people willingly chose to view it? How many clicked through for more information? Did it perform better adjacent to some kinds of content than others? Presumably Google has a variety of ideas about how it could help advertisers evaluate TV ads online before placing them offline.

If Google can offer advertisers such tools to test the efficacy of offline ads, it could put them in a far better position to also assist in placing those ads. Google can buy ad inventory in TV, radio, and print to place ads there it pre-tested online. If it chose to, I suppose, it could even create its own offline media products on which to host such ads."

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Google, Youtube and the DCMA

Bambi Francisco at MarketWatch has an interesting point about the potential for law suits coming from Youtube. I don't know if this is anywhere close to correct but it is interesting.


"The biggest reason the media giants don't have much legal ground to stand on is because of the protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor, which offers ample protection to YouTube and, frankly everyone on the Internet, according to Fred von Lohmann, senior intellectual property attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Translation: The DMCA essentially says that even if a company is infringing, they get a free pass.

They would only be found to be willfully infringing if they did not respond to a notice to take down copyrighted material. So, even if I can go to YouTube and see 500 video clips of Seinfeld, YouTube would not be liable under the DMCA, even if it's not proactive about taking down the material, according to von Lohmann.

This safe harbor protection that Congress granted to Internet companies in 1998 puts the burden on the copyright owner and the infringer, not the technology or service that allows for such material to be delivered or shared, said von Lohmann, who makes an excellent point about how the entire Internet ecosystem would be in trouble if it weren't for the DMCA.

After all, if the DMCA didn't work, Google might be held responsible for linking to a page that has copyrighted content, he said. The DMCA has to provide protection or else, as von Lohmann puts it: "The Internet would be sued out of business."

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NBC's Jeff Zucker: Change Agent

Big changes are afoot at NBC; layoffs, consolidation and a push torward digital media.

Tell us why Jeff:

"You have to think about the tremendous changes that are taking place in the media landscape,'' said Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal's television group. "The pace of change over the next five years is going to dwarf the pace of change over the last 50 years and we're going to have to get out in front of it.''

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sony BMG: Ben Folds Five

And in other SL news, Sony BMG, with The Electric Sheep Company, launched a Second Life presence today.

ESC: Giff

"SONY BMG’s presence on ESC’s Media island contains fan zones for 8 leading SONY BMG artists with video and audio content, and two gorgeous lounge and club presences which will host some exciting future events with big-name acts.

One of the really cool things here from my perspective is also that SONY BMG will actually be experimenting with selling music within Second Life directly to residents. It shows that they are innovating with their business model and delivers a cool service to the SL community.

One of the frustrations of SL is that you can’t take music with you normally — the audio stream is tied to the land. SONY BMG is going to sell some fantastic tracks that people can legally buy and carry around, so they can listen with their friends wherever and whenever."


Electric Sheep Make the New York Times

via We the Sheeple, The Electric Sheep Company is in the latest New York Times article about Second Life. Could there be any more buzz about Second Life?

From the Sheeple:

"Today however, The Electric Sheep Company has our first mention by name and quotes from CEO Sibley Verbeck. The article, A Virtual World but Real Money, does a good job laying out the commercial landscape and sheds a few details on our soon to be launched Sony/BMG (today) and Nissan projects. It also mentions ALoft, Reuters and Virtual Laguna Beach. The following sound-bite fails to capture how much we believe in the future of Virtual Worlds as the 3D web but it is something we hear from clients who want to stay ahead of the competition. "

From the NYT:

"Sibley Verbeck, chief executive of the Electric Sheep Company, a consultancy that designed the Aloft and Sony BMG projects, said the flurry of corporate interest stemmed from the 10 to 20 percent growth in the number of people who had gone into virtual worlds each month for the last three years. Though exact numbers are difficult to come by, the figure should top a few million by next year, he said.

The spread of these worlds, however, is limited by access to high-speed Internet connections and, in Second Life’s case, software that is challenging to master and only runs on certain models of computers.

“If it doesn’t crash and burn then it will become real,” he said. “So now’s the time to start experimenting and learning ahead of your competition."

Virtual world proponents — including a roster of Linden Labs investors that includes Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com; Mitchell D. Kapor, the software pioneer; and Pierre Omidyar, the eBay co-founder — say that the entire Internet is moving toward being a three-dimensional experience that will become more realistic as computing technology advances."

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Your Father's Kodak

via Reelpopblog, This is an amazing video. Found on Youtube, its too good and too long to be a fanboy product, I guess.


"I don't know if it's an actual Kodak advertisement. If it is, it's one of the funniest advertisements I've seen in awhile, and it uses the hyperbolic language of a culture steeped in irony to deliver its message. If it's not a Kodak advertisement, then some lonely guy has gone to a lot of trouble to express his admiration for the brand. I'm not sure which is scarier."


Wired's Second Life Gadget List

Ok, this is really cool. The tour guide was great but this is a run down of the coolest Second Life gadgets. I have seen or heard about some of these but now they are all described in one place.

Wired's must have gadgets:

"Second Life residents are spending $7 million a month on digital goods and services. If you're wondering what people do in a world with no levels, no score, no set challenges or quests, perhaps a clue may be found in some of the 15 terabytes of user-created content being bought and sold within the virtual world.

1. Translator HUD


Helping SL's image as a global communications device, avatar Yossarian Seattle, of the blog eightbar, has created a gadget (SLurl) that automatically translates in-world text chat in 10 languages, including French, German, Japanese and Arabic -- a great way to communicate with SL residents from all around the world."

eightbar is one of the IBM outposts in Second Life.

New World Notes

"It started off with me wanting to have a go at building a heads-up display for a bit of fun," he says to me via IM. "That coupled with the fact that I'm doing some real life work with translation at the moment brought about the idea." Relatively new to Second Life, Yossarian first did some digging to see if someone else had used SL's XML capabilities to create a translator, and not finding any*, he began creating one of his own.

"Given that the number of non-English speakers is increasing all the time [in SL], I figured it would be a handy tool to have," he continues. (Indeed, nearly 40% of Second Life residents are now from outside the US)"

There are 10 product reviews in total, another great peice by Wired on Second Life.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

1 Million Residents in Second Life

From Philip Linden:

"Congratulations to the whole SL community and all of us at Linden Lab on reaching 1 Million residents signed up!! Second Life is growing because together we are all building content, welcoming new people, expanding the community, and adding new capabilities to the system.

Now, on the not-so-mushy side, our performance and experience right now for new users is not good! We’ve been able to handle 10,000 new residents or more every day (which is a mind-altering 10x increase since April of this year), but right now the media coverage we are getting is taking us to unreal levels of new users - we will probably sign up more than 50,000 new people today."


Yahoo and Granada International: New Media

Paid Content has a couple of posts today about new media.

Yahoo's Terry Semel:

"Semel: “We believe now is the time to make investments in new audiences and new ways to engage them to ultimately build new revenue opportunities. We plan to further invest, innovate and secure leading positions in the areas where we see the biggest growth opportunities — in social media, video, and mobile access.”

Granada International's Martin Blakstad:

“It’s one of those chicken and egg situations. If the content was there, maybe the market would develop further, but until you know how the market’s developing, the producers aren’t going to be willing to spend the money to develop the content. It’s going to take a leap of faith.”


Versu Wraps up the Intel "Without Boundries" Project

Versu spent 72 hours in a SL/RL project and created several blocks of NYC.

From Millionsofus:

"With a little help from her friends, she built 2 blocks of New York, the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Yellow Cabs, the list goes on and on. Now for some sleep. Thanks go out to everyone who watched, cheered, supported and otherwise made this the incredible experience it was — without you all it wouldn’t have been possible.

Special thanks to Netro our streaming video providers who held our backs when traffic exploded on Friday, to Philip and the amazing folks at Liquid Agency who produced and ran the event, to Rohit Bhargava of OgilvyOne PR who brought us into the mix, the folks at Datavision for hosting it and of course, to Intel."

Moo Money has a great machinima of the event:

WPP will Produce its Own TV Dramas

I think this has been inevitable for a while but Sir Martin Sorrell brings it out into the open.

From the Times:

"SIR MARTIN SORRELL, the chief executive of WPP, said that the advertising group is to make its own television dramas across the world so that it can exploit advertising and use the programmes to promote its clients’ goods through product placement and sponsorship."

WPP Press Release:

"GroupM, the ABC Television Network, and Touchstone Television today announced a partnership to produce six-episodes of October Road, a drama script from Scott Rosenberg, Josh Appelbaum, and Andre Nemec, to air on ABC.

The deal marks the evolution of an unprecedented programming partnership that began in 2004 as a venture with ABC and GroupM, the leading media investment management firm.

“GroupM has proven to be an excellent partner in organically connecting creativity with viewers and advertisers,” added Pedowitz. “We were deliberate in choosing October Road for its compelling storyline that will resonate with the audience.”

October Road centers on a young, acclaimed novelist at a crossroads in his life when he returns to his hometown to teach at the local university and face the family and friends he left behind. The series will begin shooting this month as a joint production between Touchstone Television and GroupM Entertainment."

Group M:

"GroupM, the world's leading full-service media investment management operation, was created by WPP to oversee its assets in this sector. These assets include MediaCom Worldwide, Mediaedge:cia Global, Mindshare Worldwide and MAXUS. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of volume and scale in trading, innovation and quality of services, in order to bring benefit to clients and the companies it operates."


IRS in Second Life

In a follow up to an earlier article by Adam Reuters, "US launches probe into Second Life," Adam now reports that Rep Jim Saxton stated a tax on virtual goods would be a bad thing.

From the story:

“There is a concern that the IRS might step forward with regulations that start taxing transactions that occur within virtual economies. This, I believe, would be a mistake,” Saxton said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“Clearly, virtual economies represent an area where technology has outpaced the law. The goal of the forthcoming JEC study is to help lawmakers understand the issues involved and head off any premature attempt to impose a tax on virtual economies,” he said.


Wired's Second Life Travel Guide

Wired's travel guide is online now. It is the most in depth review of Second Life to date. One interesting thing to note, when the article was written the in world population was right at 500,000. As of this morning the total population is now...wait for it...server down. Oh well I will update the real number when the site is back online but I think they broke one million yesterday.

UPDATE: Real number from the site: 983,621

From Wired:

"The vision of former RealNetworks CTO Philip Rosedale, Second Life emerged from beta just three years ago. Rosedale was convinced that the increasing adoption of broadband and powerful processors made it possible to create a 3‑D virtual world similar to the metaverse Neal Stephenson described in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash.

Today, Second Life is second home to half a million people, and everyone from Duran Duran and Wells Fargo Bank to the Department of Homeland Security has funded real estate here. The national currency of Linden dollars is freely convertible to US dollars (and the exchange rate is quite favorable at the moment!), and an increasing number of residents are ditching their jobs back on Earth to make their living entirely within Second Life's economy."

Facts for the Visitor:

3,000-plus servers at a data center in San Francisco

518,524, growing by 36 percent a month

236,562 (Residents who logged in at least once in the last 60

3.6 months (Skews young due to high birthrate; oldest living resident: 4.5 years)

40 hours per month"


"SAMURAI ISLAND (Click here to teleport)
Engage in magic-enhanced combat, complete with weapons, acrobatic animations, and gorgeous outfits. Hundreds of players brawl individually or in clans. This game was created by former exotic dancer KatanaBlade Anubis, who makes more money in SL than she did on stage. Buy a sword (around L$800) and start practicing your red flame attack."


"The three main landmasses of Second Life – Heterocera Atoll, the Main Continent, and the Southern Continent – presently cover some 26,000 acres, almost twice the size of Manhattan. They are expanding as fast as new servers come online, and each server adds up to four 16-acre regions. Also growing is the number of private islands – 1,350 as of mid-August – that can be purchased by individuals for development."


"A few tweaks should be enough to keep your getup from shouting “tourist” as you walk down the street. Of course, to really fit in, you’ll need some custom threads – and maybe a new body part or two. Luckily, Second Life has plenty of expert tailors to help you."

Wired in Second Life:

"You will notice that our virtual offices bear a striking resemblance to the innards of a computer. You'll probably wonder whether our brick-and-mortar offices also resemble circuit boards and have gigantic serial ports sticking out the back. In fact, no, our real world habitat is much more quotidian – a cubicle is a cubicle is a cubicle.

But when we commissioned the highly inventive virtual architects at Millions of Us to create the Second Life Wired Offices, we figured, why let Newtonian physics get in our way? As Rodica Buzescu, chief architect on the project, puts it, "The beauty of Second Life is that it allows you to embody an idea in the form of architecture in a way you never could in real life."

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PopSugar Raises $5m

Via TechCrunch, PopSugar has closed on a $5m round lead by Sequoia Investments.

From TechCrunch:

"Blog network Sugar Publishing (the most popular blog in the network is PopSugar) has raised “around $5 million” in a Series A round investment from Sequoia Capital. Michael Moritz will join the Team Sugar board of directors. No word on the valuation, although I suspect it’s in the $12-15 million range pre-money. Like all good rumors, the source of this one is a venture capitalist who tried but failed to get in on the deal. The company would not comment on this either way.

The Sugar Publishing network, which includes a number of blogs and other sites catering to “young, hip women” has only been around since the Fall of 2005, but boasts a rumored 3 million unique visitors and 20+ million page views per month (up from 13 million monthly page views and 1.5 million unique visitors just a couple of months ago). See our initial review of the network from August 2006 for more."


"The focus of PopSugar is a demographic that is attractive to consumer advertisers - women. Sugar Publishing is not the only start-up going after the same demographic. Accel Partners has funded Glam. Most of these new companies will be going up against already established brands owned by CondeNast and Time Warner. The old media titans are being proactive in protecting their turn, and turning their consumer/women brands into Internet brands."

Monday, October 16, 2006

From the Mouths of Sheep: Reuters HUD

The Electric Sheep have two posts about the Reuters project and specifically about the in-world HUD.

ESC1: Chris

"A number of Reuters news feeds including the Second Life feed is available in-world via RSS. A heads up display is available for FREE which lets readers receive the daily news headlines throughout the day while they are interacting with other parts of the 3D world. This is one of a handful of useful “applications” in Second Life. When you spend the kinds of hours the Electric Sheep do in-world a news HUD is an exciting device.

Stand-alone RSS readers are available (for FREE) for your home or business. Wall-mounted and stand-alone displays are available so people can read and discuss the news together."

ESC2: Giff

"We created a heads-up display (visible top-left in image above) that has a live feed of news headlines. You can click on the headlines to read the full story on the website. You can also click on the thought bubble icon to add your name to a list of residents who are interested in the category, see who else is interested, and teleport to a discussion room on Reuters island. I believe that the names stay active for an hour, so it is time-sensitive.

Note: ESC building and scripting/programming team: Hank Hoodoo, Barnesworth Anubis, Digi Vox, Iron Fan with assistance from Cory Edo, DNA Prototype, Forseti Svarog."


Reuters Second Life News Desk

Reuters steps into Second Life with a news bureau that will report on Sl and RL news.

From CNET:

"Starting on Wednesday, Reuters plans to begin publishing text, photo and video news from the outside world for "Second Life" members and news of Second Life for real world readers who visit a Reuters news site at http://secondlife.reuters.com/.

Adam Pasick, a Reuters' media correspondent based in London, will serve as the news organization's first virtual bureau chief, using a personal avatar, or animated character, called "Adam Reuters," in keeping with the game's naming system.

"Second Life" citizens can stay tuned to the latest headlines by using a feature called the Reuters News Center, a mobile device that users can carry inside the virtual environment. Stories will focus on both the fast-growing economy and culture of "Second Life" and also include links to Reuters news feeds from the outside world, ranging from Baghdad to Wall Street."

"As strange as it might seem, it's not that different from being a reporter in the real world," Pasick said. "Once you get used to it--it becomes very much like the job I have been doing for years."

Charts from secondlife.reuters.com

New York Times:

“The fact that it’s in a virtual world doesn’t change things as much as you’d think,” said Mr. Pasick, 30, a Michigan native based in London. “It’s not any different than when Reuters opens up a bureau in a part of the world that has a fast-growing economy that we weren’t in before. The laws of supply and demand hold true, it has a currency exchange, people open businesses and get paid for goods and services.”

(That's Hank Hoodoo in the front)


"Reuters’ island, created by The Electric Sheep Company, is impressively realistic. Having been heavily influenced by their real-life presence in Times Square (NYC) and Canary Wharf (London), it’s great fun to spot the details from their real-world locations. There’s a news HUD (Heads Up Display)to take away too, which is really worth a play."

Business Communicators of Second Life:

"What is far more significant than the opening of their presence in SL, is that Reuters Second Life News Center signals that Reuters believes Second Life is a viable and "real" business sector – an environment that real business should be monitoring. And, taking the 2D concept of comments from readers into the 3D web, Reuters Atrium is an area for avatars to gather to discuss Second Life stories."

New World Notes:

"Reuters' SL bureau is located on an island dubbed, fittingly enough, Reuters (direct portal here), and it's linked to the heads-up display, which shows Web feeds both from the real world, and from the company's new SL page. "That 'speech bubble' icon [on the HUD] will teleport you to news discussion areas inside the sim," bureau chief Adam Reuters explains. On the island, "[t]here's a big replica of the Reuters display, screens in Times Square, a big video display, and discussion areas for each of the news topics that are on the HUD."

The HUD also displays the L$-to-US$ exchange rate, updated several times an hour. "We'll be doing a lot more with charts and data over the next month or two," he tells me. "Down the road, I'd like to create an inflation index -- pick a basket of goods and monitor the price over time."


"There’s a very nice tower on the Reuters sim, where correspondent Adam Reuters (aka Reuters’ Adam Pasick) will hold regular “office hours,” and you can pick up a free heads-up display or virtual wall-mounted unit that feeds running headlines from both SL and RL that can be clicked through to a Web page for the full stories.

Another nice aspect of the project is that readers can record their interest in a story via the HUD, which will also alert them when discussions on stories of interest are being held and offer them a teleport to the Reuters site if they want to take part."

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Intel: Live without Boundaries

Intel and Millionsofus are doing a cool experiment over 72 hours.

Intel: Live without boundaries:

"Can't live without your laptop? Check out our 72 hour experiment and see how the power of Intel® Core™2 Duo processors enable you to live life without boundaries.

World-renowned virtual builder, Versu Richelieu, is creating 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 will eat, sleep, and live a completely digital life…all in a store window in New York City! Can she do it? Check out the live webcam and Second Life feeds below to see how she is doing! Or see the experiment in person at the Datavision Store on the corner of 5th Avenue and 39th Street in New York City. "

New World Notes:

"Versu Richilieu has gone live behind a glass case, both in an undisclosed location in Second Life, and on the corner of 39th Street and 5th Avenue of New York City, showcasing both the Intel Core Duo processor, and the ability to mix reality on the fly with nothing but a laptop to bridge both worlds."


"Versu Richelieu bravely completes her first day in both Second Life and a NYC window display box, where she is showing the world how she builds a block of NYC within SL. Her friends and other SL residents have shown up on the region where she is building to show their support."

Rik Reil has some good pictures of both worlds.
Tao Takashi's Flickr album.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Xin's House in Second Life

I am doing my first Second Life event tonight. It is a mixed reality even taking place at 8:00PM EST. The work is by artist Richard Sudden and is an installtion called Xin's House.

SURL: Sheep Island (226,168)

A special thanks to the Electric Sheep Company for being so nice to work with and so very talented.

If you are in-world tonight please stop by!

From the event board:

Join us at 8:00 EST, Thursday, Oct 12th for the opening of Xin's house in Second Life.

Richard Sudden's Xin's House, a long-term project that he is working n with Agnes Scott students, faculty and staff. This is an all inclusive meditation on the world, expressing inter/national cultures, their languages, symbols, philosophies, music and speech, sciences and medicine, geography and more--brought together in this small house.

Xin's House is installed and is open for visiting, now, outside the Dana Fine Arts Building at Agnes Scott College. The official premiere will be the night of, Thursday, October 12th. A Second Life replica of the house built by The Electric Sheep Company will be on display at the real life premiere, and the Second Life community is invited to come experience it simultaneously to the real attendees.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

GooTube for Independant Content Producers

Everyone is commenting on the Google - Youtube deal but here is one thinking about the impact in independant content producers.

From DVDGuru:

"Independent content creators can (mildly) rejoice, since the leader in syndicated web video will stick around for a while. The most obvious benefits are added stability: videos already uploaded will continue to work in spite of lawsuits.

That's the obvious route, but what other benefits might we see as independent producers? A direction I'm certain Google is thinking of would be dynamic ads for video content. Their AdSense for Video program hasn't been incredibly well received, but with the YouTube acquisition, dynamically placed revenue sharing advertisements could be coming to a video near you.

One feature Google video has that YouTube hasn't touched yet is selling videos for download. The new GooTube conglomeration has the potential to offer indpenedent content creators the ability to reach a wide audience, and even make money off of potential direct sales."

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THINKblog Goes Live

THINK's blog went live today. Stop by for insights from Robert, Blair and me.

Agencies Marketing to Avatars

Second Life has built up quite a buzz in the past several months.

AdWeek: "Agency Avatars"

"BBH, like Burnett, sees the Second Life investment as a way to enhance the agency experience. "It's a much more exciting way to share work," says Rogers. "You can e-mail a jpeg and take a look at it on your computer and then e-mail your colleague back, but the experience is a bit flat. Here you can look at it and talk about it in real time."

Bottom line, say these agency execs, having space on Second Life is an investment in their futures. "As we move from an ad-centered to an ideas-centered world, my job is to focus the agency on creative and big ideas," Tutssel explains. "It's going to be a great breeding ground for ideas. And our currency exchange is ideas."

Brand Channels: "Virtual Worlds: The Next Realm in Advertising?"

" What do Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, the W Hotel and the American Cancer Society all have in common? They all use a virtual realm to reach out to potential customers and supporters in novel ways. Today, traditional media captures less attention from the younger generation—including the young at heart! New venues that address this demographic are evolving.

What is the real value of advertising in this new virtual world? First, consumers have the ability to experience things not currently possible in the real world. Product trials in virtual settings provide a low-risk environment for testing features and benefits. You can hire avatars to be product ambassadors and answer common questions. Also, you can demonstrate your 3D product or service in use. Live video and jpegs can add to the experience to help educate the user. In some cases, live feeds such as the Atlantis Shuttle launch can be viewed in some virtual settings."

AdAge: "Video Games Now a Social Experience"

"Social-networking sites are grabbing all the headlines about what's new in digital media, but new research from Nielsen Entertainment shows that video games are increasingly being used as a way for consumers to meet and bond with fellow players.

Marketers spent $56 million last year on in-game advertising and product placement, according to research firm Yankee Group. Yankee expects that number, which includes ads placed in both online and console games, to reach $730 million by 2010. "

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Apple iTV: 5 Ways it will Change TV

Roughly Drafted has an interesting series on how Apple's iTV is going to change the TV landscape.

From the overview:

"Steve Jobs described the iTV as Apple's entry into the living room, as if it were a strategic move in a larger game plan. But with several wireless TV extenders already on the market, why will Apple's be any different?"
  1. On demand commercial content
  2. Personal content
  3. Alternative content
  4. Interactive content
  5. Original content