That's a fair comparison, Peter.  There are many lastGen web marketing games
being played and some even older Hollywood tricks like the dust-up between
the Graefs and the media that published pix and vids of the famous flying
penises griefer incident imposed over her avatar image.  CNet poses it as
'virtual world' rights incident and a copyright infringement which it isn't
but it gives CNet another excuse to put up yetAnotherSL-related story.  The
Hollywood Catfight for Publicity is a well-worn trick.

Currently we are in a simultaneous phase of do-overs (VR_The_New_Thing: WE
DO IT RIGHT THIS TIME!) and brand devolution as stalwarts such as CNet
become web'loids manufacturing stories and controversies to get eyeballs.
Depending on your point of view or market, having real-time 3D come to the
front of the pack in this environment may be a curse or a blessing.  The
good news is that the technology is being taken seriously again as a market
in the business development offices of major companies; the bad news is the
MAC-Is-The-Platform-of-Choice, aka, the closed systems marketers, are
leading the charge.  Lots of pundit sites such as Terra Nova are repackaging
worn clich├ęs but getting academic grants for them.  Bruce Damer is looking
for help in documenting the History Of Online Communities.  There is sort of
a bum's rush by some to be seen as the Gandalfs of VR and I have to suspect
some of them are Sarumans In Saris but hey, they keep the presses running
stories about VR and real-time 3D and that is good for all of us.

Meanwhile everyone is trying with every blurb private or public to kill VRML
and X3D because the Web3DC is sitting on the ISO gold standard; so, when IBM
steps forward and claims that there are no standards for 3D On The Web, IBM
looks sort of stupid.   The truth is, there are but they are royalty free
and unencumbered and that messes with their plans to get that 99% because
there is no complexity moat for the client side, and that violates the
classic Warren Buffet rules for evaluating a start-up or technology
(barriers for competition).

For niche players, the off-the-web applications of web technologies have
promise and have gotten serious attention because of major contracts in the
Federal markets.  The entertainment industry still doesn't quite know what
makes this NOT a game market and most of the nova-pundits don't either.
This will be the year when a lot of it sorts out.  In times of change, I say
find your natural allies and work together to keep the market and/or your
technology on track for whatever it is you mean to do with it. 

Me:  just building a prototype world for fun and illumination.  VRML97 still
works for that and I may move it on to X3D.  After building worlds for a
hobby for a long time now, I know that I want to be able to pick up a
project even if it is a decade old and finish it or recycle it.  For that I
need real standards and technology that keeps working.  For that, ISO is
gold.  They are slow but very predictable. 

Do what you do with enthusiasm and a deaf left ear.

len

-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
On Behalf Of Peter Amstutz
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 2:29 PM
To: VOS Discussion
Subject: Re: [vos-d] SecondLife client goes Open Source

Interesting.  This reminds me of the .com mantra "Get Big or Die" -- 
which usually meant expanding quickly and burning through millions of 
dollars to try and capture 99% of a market that hasn't yet even been 
proven to be profitable.

In a couple years we'll be able to look back and figure out where Second 
Life is on launch parabola -- has it archived escape velocity and will 
be the next Amazon or Yahoo, or come crashing to earth when the fuel 
(stacks of crisp venture capital dollars) runs out?  I haven't seen much 
word-of-mouth promotion of Second Life, and what I have seen has been 
mostly negative (of course I'm biased here).  Rather there's been a lot 
of over-the-top hype and top-down marketing, rather than the sort of 
grass-roots support that suggests a sustainable platform.

They desparately want to make SL seem bigger than it is, because people 
like a winner.  But if the real numbers are right (250,000 accounts 
logged at least once in the last two months, 15,000 simultaneous users 
at peak usage) I can't help but think the user community is really, 
really small considering their multi-million dollar investment in 
hardware, software and marketing.

Also I agree that they're walking a fine line between the "natural laws 
of cyberspace" and real-world legal systems, and this could really burn 
them at some point down the road.  Whenever someone tries to bend 
cyberspace to conform to their idea of what should and shouldn't be 
allowed (as opposed to what is naturally possible or impossible) 
cyberspace ends up worse off for it.


On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 12:42:10PM -0600, Len Bullard wrote:
> Letting out the viewer is something of a SOP.  I think the server-side is
> possibly more important given that there are any number of open source
> viewers out there for 3D platforms that are just as good or better.  It is
> the management of the server farm that makes the difference, that and a
big
> budget for marketing.
> 
> Yes, I think they are looking at migrating the building market, but the
only
> thing that brings in the bigCos is the site traffic.  Otherwise, to Sears,
> there is no advantage to being there.   IBM can talk a lot about boardroom
> VR but they are a services company in this market and without other
> companies willing to host on private farms, there is no market.
> 
> There is a lot of puff in the online worlds market.  Of what value is it
to
> own content that you can't move because it only works on that platform?
So
> like a Macintosh or a Mall, without a big membership that is actually
going
> there often, having a presence there is largely a decorative bauble, a
loss
> leader for being 'in the know'.  This market is relying on the naivete of
> the IT groups of the companies hosting there.
> 
> The in-world economy is a fascinating experiment in waiting to see when
the
> Feds will begin to look at it the same way they look at church bingo.
They
> tend to wait until the value is high enough that they can safely take
their
> cut without killing the game.
> 
> len

-- 
[   Peter Amstutz  ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ]
[Lead Programmer][Interreality Project][Virtual Reality for the Internet]
[ VOS: Next Generation Internet Communication][ http://interreality.org ]
[ http://interreality.org/~tetron ][ pgpkey:  pgpkeys.mit.edu  18C21DF7 ]




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