Archive for August, 2007

Mizuho Bank to Launch in Second Life

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Banking

The Japanese bank, Mizuho, will launch a Ferris wheel(?) in Second Life, as a new way to promote its services. The Mizuho Financial Group Inc will be the first major Japanese bank to launch in Second Life, if you really want to call this a launch. Avatars can ride the Ferris wheel once the answer some questions about the banks services and products. Which brings up a couple questions, will it be in Japanese only, and why a Ferris wheel? What is the connection?

A Mizuho bank representative said they are considering connecting Second Life to it’s Internet banking system, which is good news certainly, as we would finally have a bank backed by something other than some anonymous avatars word.

No date as to when any of this will happen was listed on the announcement.

From Japan corp

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Second Life News for August 28, 2007

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Second Life News

Get a ‘Second Life’ at virtual Princeton University Some of Princeton University’s most historic buildings have been given a new home.

A student returning to campus, however, wouldn’t be able to notice the change unless he or she logged on to Second Life, a 3-D virtual world accessible through the Internet that is entirely built and owned by its users. To visit the virtual world, one must create an avatar, which is a computer-animated figure that moves along the screen as a user changes his or her location in Second Life. A user’s avatar represents his or her identity in the virtual world and first and last names must be selected for all avatars. Just about every aspect of an avatar’s appearance can be determined by its user, including, body shape, height, hair color and clothing.

Coldwell Banker Australia’s non-presence in Second Life Of course, Coldwell have been in SL since March but I thought I’d contact the Australian contact listed in the press release to ask what the Australian operation’s involvement was with SL. The response was:

“Coldwell Banker Australia at this stage is not involved in Second Life , the media release was an announcement of the brand’s initiatives.”

SLCC: It has happened I met felt 1000 people although only 800 have been there, I have extra weight on my flight back because of all those business cards (ok, I also gave out the same amount so that’s a lie). I got a new T-shirt and bag And I got some new in-world SL friends (sometimes you need to go via the RL route).

Dan Dufus the Clueless Salesman - SLCC 07 Chicago Report I had the pleasure of attending the Second Life Conference and Convention in Chicago this past weekend as a guest of Campfire Media, Atomic Bombast and Mug Wildung, and Pontiac’s Motorati Island. I was joined by Suku Ming, owner of the SLASCAR race track who shared with me 50% of all the racers on her track are women SL residents, in fact the #1 racer on the SLASCAR track is a woman avatar. Perhaps Second Life racing levels the playing field for women race car drivers? Toby Rainbow owner of the Pontiac SLASCAR dirt track next door and Flux Woyseck, owner of the Drive-In and the Malt Shop joined us to explore the action packed sessions, social events and share the car culture of Motorati Life and our respective Second Life businesses with real life SL convention goers.

Second Life’s Downside I’ve posted quite a bit about Second Life here, and as my podcast with Philip Mallory Jones (more soon, I promise!) probably makes apparent, I think that there is some very interesting potential in that virtual world. But, I can’t say I log in that much or that I have found it nearly as productive or interesting as Mr. Jones has–his work gives him an access point to the community there which is difficult to find for those of us without such a good reason to be there. Interesting that WIRED’s Chris Anderson is throwing up his hands with SL.

Added:

Second Life Community Looks to the Future At the Second Life Community Convention in Chicago this weekend, panelists and guests gathered to discuss the progress of and prospects for the growing virtual world. The real-world meeting featured live music, a masquerade ball and proclamations of how Second Life will be bigger than the Internet. Some panels focused on social networking issues - building trust, for example, and the sex life of avatars. The latter panel, hosted in part by someone named Stroker Serpentine, proved to be one of the biggest draws. But some of the more interesting discussions centered around the economic prospects of Second Life members. One entrepreneur noted that it’s difficult to get people to show up for work in her virtual shop - her “employees” don’t treat it like a real job.

Teaching in Second Life I will be teaching a course in Computer Graphics at Saint Paul College. We will use Second Life as the studio. Not that I know anything about Computer Graphics. I am hoping that my students will teach ME. Hopefully the course will allow me to explore the possibilities of using SL as a studio environment for teaching team-based courses.

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1st Annual Architecture & Design Competition in Second Life

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Competition, Design

What: 1st annual architecture & design competition in Second Life

When: Submission Deadline: September 1st, 2007

Where: Apart from in world-Second-Life the competition will also “happen” in the “first world” at the International Ars Electronica Festival in Linz 2007 and at Zollverein Essen with jury discussions, parties, and a great prize ceremony.

Description: Spatially interesting and aesthetically independent pieces of architecture are sought from the inhabitants of the digital parallel world that has almost five million participants. The competition is open for all. The aim of the competition is to explore new trends of architecture and design on the electronic soil of the MMOG (massive multiplayer online game) of Second Life.

Categories:
Projects will be chosen from five categories:

  1. Private Home

  2. Corporate Architecture and V-shopping
  3. High Rise
  4. Landscape Design
  5. Freestyle and Special Projects

But there will also be two extra-prizes: The Prize of the Jury and the Prize chosen by the Second Life online-community.

The winners will receive a worldwide exposure!

  • The projects will be presented at the Ars Electronica festival 2007 (Sept. 5th - 11th, 2007) in Linz Austria, where the jury will be publicly held.

  • The winners will be honored in an official prize ceremony at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Zollverein Essen a few weeks later.
  • The results of the competition will be documented in a book which will be published by Prestel publishers in spring 2008.
  • The winning projects will be promoted worldwide and presented in a Hall of Fame on the internet - and of course in Second -Life.

Enter the competition here.

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Reinventing the Virtual City – Die virtuelle Stadt neu denken

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Competition

A competition to help find new approaches to shape the growing, or shrinking, virtual world Second Life, I guess it depends on who you talk to about whether it’s growing or shrinking. Can abandoned sims be recycled, can they be reused, or should they be recycled, what happens if the Lindens files bankruptcy, what would happen to all those users? Lots of questions I think are easy to answer, but I guess this is what the competition is for.

On this occasion and supplementing the competition “Reinventing the City – Die Stadt Neu denken”, the Shrinking Cities project in collaboration with the architecture magazine archplus has launched the competition “Reinventing the Virtual City – Die virtuelle Stadt neu denken”. The goal of the competition is to find new approaches to positively shape and qualify the shrinking of Second Life: Can data garbage be recycled? Can abandoned plots of land in Second Life be erased? Or can they experience a third life with digital agriculture? Should the virtual world be reformatted? Or the remaining avatars be cloned? What happens when Linden Lab files for bankruptcy? Where will the former users of Second Life migrate?

Suggestions for projects can address spatial, cultural, media-related, communications-related, social, or economic issues of transformation. The project should be conceived as a real intervention in Second Life.

Proposals should be submitted by November 16, 2007. Explanatory text (word or txt) of max. 1800 characters in German or English. A PDF of max. 4 A4-format pages, max. 3 MB to virtual*at*shrinkingcities.com Source: Reinventing the Virtual City

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More on Education in Second Life

August 27th, 2007 | Category: Education, Resources

I have been seeing more and more educational write-ups about Second Life, whether that is because I am looking for them more or not or because there really is, I don’t know, but here are some more articles on education in Second Life and links to other educational resources.

Academic or Educational Destinations in Second Life Here is a list of educational or academic institutions in Second Life. This is not all inclusive and I will probably start my own on this site very soon.

As a matter of fact, here are some more I found on the site above.

Second Life Starter Guide A great guide in PDF format to help get you started in Second Life.

Scripting Tutorial - This is a nice tutorial put together by a systems analyst at IU. It also contains pointers to other tutorials.

Beginner’s Scripting - A very nice, step x step, scripting guide for beginners, with a few basic code snippets.

Natural Selections Noob Be Gone - A comedic video introduction to basic prim creation and scripting.

Beginner Video Tutorials - A great site from CTER with video tutorials.

Second Life as a Learning Tool I’ve said for a while that Second Life offers something interesting in terms of providing a natural “setting” for online sessions, presentations, etc. because they are based on understood physical settings, e.g., presentation rooms with break out spaces. Now that Second Life has audio, there is a really interesting capability to have natural break-outs during online sessions that just never seems to work well in the current batch of tools, e.g., WebEx, LiveMeeting, etc. I’ve been saying for a while that these mainstream tools will eventually start to provide a very simple Second Life like thing. The hurdles for Second Life are still a little too high for them to become truly mainstream, but would be great for a controlled audience.

Some other resources to help you learn how to use Linden Scripting Language, LSL, official resources from Second Life and other developer sites.

Official Second Life Wiki

Code Snippets Nice site with small code snippets.

Using the Linden Scripting Language The Linden Scripting Language (LSL) lets you add behaviors and interactivity to objects inside Second Life. Scripting is just another word for programming, so in learning about LSL you will end up learning about programming as well. Do not be afraid, though — between this article and the many resources available both online and in-world, you’ll be up and scripting in no time. You do not need to write scripts to have fun in Second Life, but scripting drives the magic, from vehicles and guns to vendors and HTTP requests.

IBM’s Codestation Labyrinth This is a Second Life URL directly to free code kits from IBM.

A Community Site for Second Life Developers I believe I have mentioned this site before, but here it is again, just in case. The first online resource for developers in Second Life, by developers in Second Life.

This site is for SL developers to communicate, coordinate, and find resources online to support their work. It is not for profit, and it needs your help to make it alive and full of useful resources. Please check out the forums and the wiki and contribute!

And here is a pretty good video, Educational Uses of Second Life since we are on the subject. this is the video refernced in this post above, Second Life as a Learning Tool.

Posted to Technology Videos by eubeenhadd on August 27, 2007

And here is one talking about Science Learning Opportunities in Second Life.

Posted to Technology Videos by eubeenhadd on August 27, 2007

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Coke, Branding and Second Life

August 27th, 2007 | Category: Branding, Doing Business in SL

As has been said on many blogs, including this one, you have to become part of the Second Life community to get people interested in what you are doing, you can just create a sim and say here it is. Coke is one of those brands who gets it, as they have been involved in the SL community since they first entered Second Life and will continue to do so. As the gentleman mentioned in the post I reference below, Coke advertising and branding is no longer about selling Coke, it is about becoming part of people’s, or avatar’s, lives, as there is no real way, currently, for them to track if a campaign has sold more cans of Coke or not.

The story below is from a panel at the 2007 Second Life Community Convention, the panel included Mike Donnelly, Director of Global Interactive Marketing at Coke spoke on a panel with C.C. Chapman and Steve Coulson from Crayon about Coca-Cola’s Virtual Thirst contest in Second Life, where users where challenged to create a Coke machine for Second Life, a tough project considering that the avatars do not need to eat or drink. The winner has not yet has been announced, btw, see below.

“Coke was in Second Life prior to us actually entering SL,” said Donnelly, referring to coke machines fans were making and putting in the world. Taking what the fans were doing to the next level, Crayon and Coke developed a contest to make a vending machine, with the idea that SL residents are thirsty for experience. Of course, avatars don’t have physical needs like eating and drinking, but by taking the brand value of coke and appropriately translating it into a virtual world, Crayon and Coke created an appropriate, successful campaign. To be clear, I’m not saying they were successful, Donnelly the client said the campaign was successful based upon the criteria they set for themselves.

“As the #1 brand in the world, I can’t play around too much,” said Donnelly, referring to the fact that he needed to provide real marketing value with Coke’s Virtual Thirst. To do so, they tracked the social media around the initiative. Donnelly said that all marketing ultimately is about selling more Coke, but for this effort, the measures were about branding. In other words, they didn’t measure an up tick in sales, they looked at metrics around participation and community reach. The results were:
- 300 blog posts about the contest
- 33,000 links
- 150+ photos in Flicker
- 31,000 Youtube views with 160,000+ comments.

Donnelly said he was pleased with the results and will continue to participate in SL as part of an integrated marketing plan, meaning, participation in Second Life is not enough, it needs to be part of larger strategy in order to be successful. Indeed, the contest itself recognized that limiting entries to builds in Second Life would exclude some people, so they allowed contestants to enter anything: emails, hand drawn sketches, storyboards, etc. The thing they wanted was the idea, in any form. Source: Coke Comes Clean about Second Life

Donnelly concluded with a number of lessons learned from the experience:

  • Listen to the community. Do not talk at customers.

  • Partner with pros.
  • It’s about community, not location.
  • Embrace your critics and learn from them. (”I’d rather have critics talk about me than no one talking about me.” Donnelly increased the prize money after people criticized the contest for having too small a pot.)
  • Maximize success, use multiple channels.
  • Strike a balance between art and science.

Added: C.C. Chapman pointed out that the winner had been announced on the Virtual Thirst competition, they just have not yet released the final product, the winner is named below.

As one of the project leads I’m VERY excited to announce that we have a winner in the Virtual Thirst contest and her name is Ann Marie Mathis aka Emerie May in Second Life.

Not only did she submit the winning idea, but she also went and took several photos of herself for bloggers to use in their posts. The one above is one that I found on her Flickr stream and got a big kick out of it. The fact that she took the time to take photos gave me a big smile! I was going to ask if I could take some of her and she beat me to it!

In the very near future she will travel to California to work with Millions of Us on making her idea a reality. We can’t wait to share some of that with you in the future! Source: Virtual Thirst Has a Winner

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Chat with Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman LIVE

August 27th, 2007 | Category: Chat

What: Chat with Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman LIVE

When: Monday 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM EST

Where: SAP Community Office.

Description: Don’t miss it, come join me while I have a chat with Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman LIVE in Second Life at the SAP Community Office.

While there you can get your free “virtual” copy of the book with all the needed information to get your hands on the “real deal” including a link straight to purchasing!

Most importantly though you’ll have the chance to ask the experts themselves questions!

So have your questions ready and log in soon, the SIM can easily support 60 folks but who knows how many more after that ;-)
Second Life URL.

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Second Life News for August 27, 2007

August 27th, 2007 | Category: Second Life News

SLCC Day 1: Second Life has the killer app, which is community I’ve been impressed so far with how friendly people are. If you sit down next to a stranger, they turn to you and introduce themselves and ask how you are doing. For a New Yorker, I find this somewhat off-putting, but better than a bunch of the usual Web2.0 geeks huddled over their laptops and only interacting over Twitter.

Exclusive: Philip Rosedale interview from SLCC Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale sat down for an exclusive interview at the Second Life Community Convention on Saturday to talk about Linden’s business model, its relationship with its customers, and whether the company will have to chase the lowest common denominator in adhering to real world laws.

Innovation Award winners announced The first ever Linden Lab Innovation Award winners were announced today in conjunction with SLCC. This year’s awards focused on open source contributors who are making the Second Life experience better for everyone. Speaking to the SLCC audience in Chicago and in-world, Rob Linden described a community of talented and dedicated open source contributors, and he gave his warmest thanks to all who are helping to make open source Second Life a success.

Third ‘Second Life’ Convention sees active media presence This weekend the Hilton, in downtown Chicago, is playing host to the third Second Life Community Convention - SLCC 07 - along with around 800 ‘residents’ of the on-line ‘metaverse’, or virtual world, out of a total of some 5 million, 40,000 or so of whom are regularly ‘in-world’ at any given time.

Blogging the SLCC: Sibley Verbeck Keynotes Business Track To kick off the SLCC’s business track, Sibley Verbeck, CEO of the Electric Sheep Company, outlined some of the Sheep’s projects, but focused on exhortation of business developers to think cooperatively about the future of the world. “We’re all in this together,” said Verbeck. “We do compete, and we should, and we should really be pushing each other. But we’re all going to sink or swim together. And there are lots of things we can do to swim.”

Second Life Development - Code4Software.com news While it’s true that some Universities have gotten into Second Life Development - such as VITAL Lab at Ohio State including scripting, content creation, full-service Sim development, creation of teaching tools and learning aids; none have come up with a full blown Web Metrics Package that’s Enterprise ready, or an Advertising Network in World, than www.Code4Software.com with it’s V-Tracker and AdSoft In World Marketing offerings.

And check out the group on slideshare here.

Second Life Gets ‘Real’ at Conference Two men dressed in furry rabbit costumes danced the night away. A scantily underclad female vampire gleefully played dominatrix to a male vampire who obediently sat on the floor and mischievously snarled at her. A man wearing retractable wings showed off his stuff, while another in a see-through top went around spanking people with a wooden paddle.

“It’s just like being online at a party,” said Marsha Ellstrom as she observed the scene Saturday night at the Second Life Community Convention’s “Leather and Lace” Masquerade Ball here in Chicago.

“Second Life is boring, nothing much to do.” I normally don’t report on this sort of post, but this one was just so weird I couldn’t let it pass. Okay, so Singapore now has a presence in SL; good for them.

Still Waiting for Land? Okay so people are out there still trying to find land… of course people want to participate. Well as it stands right now there isn’t much more available. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. Word on the street has it that an extra 4 sims might be added to the festival on Monday (if the Linden’s are able to do that) and there’s still the possibility of parceling off some playa for extra camps. But that doesn’t help you if you don’t know about it. So once again get involved by joining the .:Burning Life:. group and the BurningLife.com Community Chat.

Russell D. Chapman of Plano: Gamers need to keep it real Virtual worlds offer a chance to be something you’re not - like someone who spends time with family, for example

In this place, people design their own physical appearance, assuming new and sometimes bizarre forms. Most men are about 7 feet tall, women about 6 feet. Everyone is as young, old, beautiful or strong as he or she wants to be.

A First-Hand Look at a Chinese Second Life, HiPiHi Zhong Guan Village, Beijing - Last year, a mysterious You Tube video purported to demo a Chinese Second Life called HiPiHi (pronounced “high-pee-high”) stormed the virtual world blogosphere. But with little English language commentary to go on, metaverse experts like Raph Koster were left to wildly speculate.

Posted to Technology Videos by eubeenhadd on August 26, 2007

Added:
Inside Story: Virtual visions The online alternative universe that is Second Life was supposed to offer myriad opportunities for media companies to showcase their wares. Chris Green takes a look at their differing fortunes.

‘Second Life’: The promise and paradox In Second Life, avatars can fly with the push of a button. Maybe that’s why it seems like the virtual world’s enthusiasts sometimes have trouble staying grounded.

Second Life sees its biggest crowd yet “Who has had sex in Second Life in this room? Show of hands,” asked the moderator, a man who calls himself, inside the virtual world, Nexeus Fatale.

All those hands represent a whole lot of virtual hanky-panky. Collectively, they painted a picture of what people are doing in Second Life that’s a far cry from the usual stories about how fast the world is growing and which businesses made how many real dollars trading in parcels of virtual land.

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Financial News

August 25th, 2007 | Category: Banking, Investing

Weekend sales, SLCC edition
Three bargains you need to know about, even if you’re hanging around the SLCC hotel in Chicago!

Jolie Lumiere of Jolie’s Boutique is having a big sale through September 4th to raise money for medical expenses. Whether or not you’re feeling especially charitable, half off is half off, and Jolie makes some really fabulous items — everything from gowns to lingerie.

Regulating Second Life The recent run on Second Life’s Ginko bank, one of the virtual world’s financial institutions, has prompted many residents to ponder whether their magical play land might not need some regulations after all. Their fears aren’t fueled by lewd acts or incessant griefer attacks. Rather, they’re about the one thing that truly matters: money. CFO magazine recently looked into the bank’s failure as evidence that some form of outside oversight is needed to guard against fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and incidents like Ginko and the recent theft from the World Stock Exchange. An excellent suggestion. But the article fails to deliver on its promise.

IBM Employees Might Strike…In Second Life The Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria IBM Vimercate (RSU), the official trade union representing IBM’s 9,000 workers in Italy, is planning a strike to protest the fact that IBM is raking it in and none of it is being passed down to the employees in Italy.

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Festival in Two Worlds

August 25th, 2007 | Category: Festival, Music

Festival in Two Worlds

What: Festival in Two Worlds a series of classical music performances that can be viewed in Second Life.

Where: Music Academy Online

When: Saturday August 25, 2007

Description: For the first time beginning on Saturday, a series of classical music performances can be viewed in Second Life. This includes works by such timeless composers as Igor Stravinsky, Edgard Varese, John Cage and Aaron Copland along with such living composers as Willliam Kraft, Alex Shapiro, Antonio Giacometti, Andersen Viana and Stefania de Kenessey.

This “Festival in Two Worlds,” which is being presented by Music Academy Online (MAO), runs through Sept. 2.

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Modeling Contests

August 25th, 2007 | Category: Contests, Modeling

Modeling Contests

Here is a nice post over on the Second Style Fashionista blog, detailing all of the modeling contests and links to get more information.

First, Style Guru and Second Style columnist Isabella Sampaio has revealed the 20 competitors (and 3 alternative participants) for her Miss SL Tropics contest. The winner will be crowned at a pageant that will take place at noon SLT on August 26, 2007 (when I will be at SLCC, alas.) You can see close up head shots of the 20 lucky finalists on Isabella’s blog post here. Good luck to all of the models. Source: Who’s the fiercest of them all?

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Press Club Meeting

August 25th, 2007 | Category: Press

Press Club Meeting

Where: The Standing Stone Irish Pub in Sanctum Sanctorum: 90. 111. 37

When: Saturday 11, 2007. 15:00 (3:00 PM) SLT

Description: Committee to set up a press club for Second Life journalists. Determining location, purpose, name, insignia, and events. Once we have an actual press club we will form a new group and transfer interested members to it.

Second Life URL.

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