Monday, February 21, 2011

#SL Goonies and the Giant Claw of DOOM!

It came down from high above the clouds and slowed to a halt above Myrtil's magnificent windmill. A Hovering machine with three propellers, beneath which hung a huge claw. The Goonies only had minutes to gather before the claw clamped down on top the windmill. 

The call had be shouted, and the Goonies came prepared and the game was set to stop the Grand Master from taking off with our favourite Windmill!



After the Claw, the remaining Goonies ventured underground to see what else was on the list of Dastardly Plans. All that is left seems to be two plans about GIANT RAYGUNS and some story about a dragon?

Jimmy battles a Lizard man woken by our noise


eventually we retreat back to the surface.


Finally we retired to the Goondocks John King Tavern to celebrate our victory and Myrtil danced a funny jig :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Second Life, brands, and theatre :) #SL

A friend of mine told me he met with an prominent Ad agency who told him "second life is dead" and my friend shares the opinion. The Marketing industry is  not interested, the hype turned out to just be hype, they feel SL was a scam and have moved onto the bigger players in Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Quora and 4Square. 

I've watched as Facebook and twitter find what they are, what place they can perform best in the industry and flourish. I use Facebook and twitter, mostly twitter. Its very useful and it's part of every minute of my life now, i'm constantly bombarded with information from my friends and others that i follow with interest. Over half of my twitter feeds relate to my Second Life existence.

Second life was never the place for the digital marketing industry to muscle in and build their own coca cola islands, looking back at it now i wonder who ever thought that would have worked. And then for M Linden to come in and try repackaging SL exclusively to business as a glorified and impractical conference room was… unimaginative.

So i think the reason so many are excited about the new CEO of second life Rod Humble is because he's the first to hit nails in his outlook on Second Life. Suddenly there is a flurry of ideas being thrown out in the hope of nudging Second life in a direction that will perform in the industry.

The first idea i want to share was posted by Gianna Borgnine who made a good case for why it's ridiculous to compare Second Life to the success paths of Facebook, twitter and other social info hubs. 

"Today we live in a “NOW” society.  We want things to be quick and easy.   Social media gives us the ability to check in and check out in a few seconds.   The problem with social media is that the connections we make there can often on there own be superficial." 
"So why use virtual worlds?  Because more than any other space, people are engaging/collaborating/creating/etc in virtual worlds in a  uncommonly immersive way that is highly emotionally and significant.  A place where you can not only be part of the story, you can also create it.    It’s hands on.  I don’t want to just read about something, I want to do it!  I want to experience it myself."

John Pathfinder Lester also takes a similar view on his blog.

"Lightweight social media platforms are like magazines.  Virtual Worlds are like participatory theatre."

Another favourite idea about Second Life is by Tom Boellstorff an anthropologist i became aware of thanks to an awesome article by Dusan Writer, where he touched upon the concept of Digital Arts & Crafts, an idea that those who create homes, games, clothes, user generated content are engaged in Digital Art & Crafts. 

"what’s happening here where in what’s supposed to be the age of information, we’re getting all of this stuff happening in virtual worlds about craft, not about knowing about houses in Second Life, but about building a house in Second Life. Building relationships and all the crafting stuff seems to be so important."
"what if this actually may be not the age of information or only information, but about the age of craft or about sort of a new working towards craft. "

This made perfect sense to me as a Steampunk which has been referred to as the new arts and crafts movement.

Understanding it the way i do now it seems ridiculous for companies to come into SL to set up Coca Cola island, or spam our profile and search pages with adverts when SL residents are only interested in what they craft for themselves and their friends. It's possible that Second Life and virtual world user generated content has yet to reach it's actual potential in the industry where money moves to who ever is selling your attention most.

My good friend that i mentioned at the start entertains the possibility that advertising could shift to 'community driven marketing' online.

"We’re beginning to see some bigger transformations in the market that hint at a future free of advertising, at least in its current form. Take the viral nature of Groupon, the power of the social graph and some sort of rewards or affiliation model, and we could find ourselves with a much more efficient mechanism for passing on marketing messages."
"Finally, let’s remove the ads altogether and simply reward those who influence their social network to buy. We find the influential people through studying their online behaviour and engage them directly in the job of selling. The rewards don’t need to be financial but could be exclusive access to brands or products, even just badges of recognition."

For second life to be in a position to take part in this future of marketing, it needs to solve the major issue of complexity. People need to be able to enter SL as if visiting a digital theatre that they heard about via their twitter account, then two hours later they log off with a happy memory. No issues with controls, no issues with hardware, no lag, and whats pleasing a lot of people is that Rod Humble seems to feel the same.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

**EXCLUSIVE** New #SL Destination guide App for iPad


A mobile application to browse, rate and plan places to visit in second life. Taking the destination guide further into social possibilities.
It's Aims.
1) to allow current SL residents to locate and promote their favourite places.
2) to allow none SL users a quick easy guide to the awesome places in SL with tips on how to access these places.
3) Adding a gaming aspect to exploring SL
4) allow further areas for advertising.
What it could do:
The app Will allow residents to create an account if not having one already so as to access the apps features. This is before they even enter download a viewer and enter SL. They can search and find places they are interested in visiting and make a list of places. This gives them purpose to take next step in entering SL.
Residents can rate places they have been to and mark their journeys. They can review places they have been to and publish their favourite places to twitter or facebook.
The Journey Lists could be integrated with SL Profiles so that when you have visited a place, you can update your list on your profile and this will then update to what you see in the App.
You could even recommend places to friends in your SL friends list.

The home screen features the latest places in SL

Your Journeys section lists all the places you have visited
and places you plan to visit in future

You can rate and review places you were impressed with
and recommend them via twitter, facebook and to friendslist


OK so no, there is no new Destination Guide app. This is all spilled from my imagination as some of you know i like to mock up what i think LL could do. A while ago i also did a mock up of a Twitter style integrated message feed, it's purpose to strengthen the communication between the residents of SL and give them the power to promote inside and out of SL.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chapter 2: #SL Goonies and the Deadly Custard

It would appear i forgot to blog about the particular event.

After the madness of the Sky platform drama the Goonies quickly discovered that the Grand Master had written up Dastardly Plans to irritate the Goonies and stop their fun. Deep down in the Secret Underground base are drawings of what the Grand Master plans to do. On that list was the sabotaging of the Flying Ferret Sky Platform.

Another plan on the Grand Master List involved custard and sure enough the Goonies woke one morning to find the whole island covered in custard. With the island covered in custard there would be no way for snow to settle over winter meaning NO SNOW!!!!! meaning NO SLEDGING!!! and NO SNOWMEN!!! and definitely NO SNOWBALL FIGHTS!!! ... something had to be done and quickly!


As you can see from the video many Goonies drowned in their attempt to destroy the Custard Pump. Luckily Goonies never say die so we all re-rezzed at rickety town and partied WOOT!

Goonies Adventure - Barbee

So it's another month and another Goony Adventure exploring the deep far regions of Second Life. This month we visited a rather artistically surreal place called 'Barbee', not to be mistaken with 'Barbie'.

This place is a square path through tiny streets in an almost monochrome tone, like being in a Japanese noir film. The small cafe's and rooms all invite you in to explore. It's another great example of how a small build can produce a wealth of virtual experience and memories.

In some places it can get very cramped even for adventurous child avatars, and perhaps some more interactive elements could have been added to some of the more static rooms, but overall we our group of Goons found the place to be quite mesmerising and very beautiful in places.

The gathering or Goonies: Loki, Sam, Wilf, Vivi, Everest, Richardious & Unixmonky..
and others we met on the adventure...


We stop for a quick rest and get our bearings with a spot of sushi...
mmmm sushi

there are many rooms with surreal art pieces to be found.

After searching the small streets we remember a path leading into trees...

We discover a beautiful hidden garden with a bench, giraffe and seats stuck in trees.




Just before we decide to head home we discover a secret lounge and chill for a bit.

Just before we left, Wilf discovered an elevator that lead to some secret rooms. For the next 15 minutes we got split up in this small block of flats trying to find each other. To which a total stranger laughed and stated "you guys are so funny, you have made my day", so in all a mission completed. Once again the SL Goonies explored a new place and shared the fun with total strangers. :)

Check out 'Barbee' becos it's awesome and make sure you make it to next months Goony adventure on the first friday of every month .










Goony Pirates Invade Antiquity Tortuga Castle GARGH!! #SL

So Sam sends out a group notice that most of us get via the buggy group notices, then we spread the word over the buggy group chat for the 160 goonies to meet at Tortuga to invade a Castle. About 8 of us eventually turn up and we took to the cannon mounted row boats.

Linden Lag tries it's best to slow us down but us Goonies are persistent and with cannon fire whizzing past our heads we bravely rowed as close as we could to blow up the walls of the castle.....

"I watched as boats either side of me were blown away by the castle cannons, but i kept going!"

With the walls of the castle down,
all we had to do was jump up and storm the castle and find the gold!

Running around a corner and bumping into Tepic we almost blew each others brains out,
not the sort of deck i'd wonna swab

Not soon after Tepic fell of the castle wall, i did not push him HONEST!
now where is that gold?

Awesome Escapade, Thanks Sam :)

All the Goonies had a great time pirating at Antiquity Tortuga and look forward to another high seas adventure in the future :). Thanks Sam for organising this escapade XD.