Saturday, December 20, 2008

AjaxLife Down In Protest

The most talented programmer of the Teen Grid, the amazing Katharine Berry, has shut down AjaxLife, a free service that allows any resident of both grids to connect to Second Life on a non-graphical interface that can be launched from any Web browser that supports JavaScript.

The shutdown is a protest. According to Katharine, account creation (outside the US) on the Teen Grid was down 18 months out of the past 24 months. Allegedly, Linden Lab seems to abandoning the Teen Grid completely and not caring if it works or not. No wonder they're not worried about a lack of new residents there.

We have obviously no way to verify this, of course, but it seems pretty serious to the point that Katharine, usually a calm person when dealing with LL's refusal to deal with issues on the Teen Grid, is actively protesting this time.

Katharine claims that residents using AjaxLife, which runs from Amazon's virtual server platform, consume about 100 GB of traffic per month, for a total cost of around US$120/monthly, which comes from donations.

United Sailing Sims joins the mainland

In the wake of the Openspace drama, huge areas which used Openspace sims for sailing and races were threatened to disappear from Second Life since Linden Lab announced the dramatic price change for 2009.

Well, LL is trying hard to make things less painful for the boating fans all over the grid. One of the largest sailing community in Second Life, United Sailing Sims, boasting 9 different communities joined together and around 130 sims — most of them set up just for sailing and races, obviously using Openspace sims — have been designated by Linden Lab for an experiment: joining up private islands with the mainland, at a prime location just eastwards from the newest mainland continent, Nautilus.

Obviously Linden Lab looks forward to this "promotion", but for USS, threatened to drop about 95% of their landmass, this is the only option they had left. They'll survive and grow — while at the same time, landowners in Nautilus' east coast will now enjoy the racing competitions just outside their windows :)

It's quite likely that Linden Lab will do the same for other sailing communities, or other communities using openspace sims in what Linden Lab redefined as "proper use" (ie. basically not really using them much except as 'filler space' — ideal for ocean-loving or forest-loving residents). We'll see if they all get 'connected' to the mainland in some way, thus making my own predictions come true: 2009 will be the year of "back to the mainland" :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Remedy Communications to Extend Reach and Impact of Metanomics "Virtual Talk Show"

Toronto, December 16, 2008 – Metanomics, a "virtual talk show" filmed primarily in the online, 3D world of Second Life and broadcast on the web, announced today that Remedy Communications, a leading communication and "virtual world" development company, will provide marketing and technical expertise to the program.

Remedy will supply the resources to extend Metanomics’ role as the leading source of insight into online virtual worlds. Metanomics, hosted by show founder Professor Robert Bloomfield of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, will continue to focus on best practices for the swiftly evolving enterprise, educational and social opportunities of online three-dimensional web content.

"The partnership with Remedy Communications is a valuable resource as Metanomics strives to enrich its substance, reach and influence. I am impressed by the energy and talents of both the Remedy creative staff, and the virtual world development team that will promote and operate the Metanomics show,” said Professor Bloomfield. "We want Metanomics to be the most trustworthy portal to access the latest and best in virtual world practices and potential."

Metanomics has charted, analyzed and assessed the growing commercial and consumer importance of virtual worlds, using Second Life as its "home base". For Metanomics, virtual worlds "are serious business".

Many businesses, small to multi-national, are looking for solutions to remain competitive in a global market with limited resources. "In an economic period where cost-savings are critical for large corporations, virtual worlds offer advantages that are not fully realized by alternative bleeding-edge internet solutions," said Sandy Adam of Sigma-Aldrich Chemical. "For example, Sigma-Aldrich uses virtual worlds for cost-effective 3D collaboration, as well as for product demonstrations that would not be possible at customer sites. Enterprises that benefit from 3D visualization, global intra-communications, or effective social networking, rely on the weekly Metanomics show to keep up-to-date with timely and in-depth coverage of virtual world opportunities."

Erica Driver, co-founder of ThinkBalm, an independent analyst firm focused on enterprise use of the Immersive Internet, and formerly a strategic advisor at Forrester, said that: “The Metanomics show is a futuristic combination of traditional lecture, TV talk show, massive group text chat, and weekly gathering of friends and associates from around the globe. In just a year, the Metanomics show has evolved into an invaluable source of information about immersive internet trends, developments, and announcements."

In recent Metanomics programs, attorney Benjamin Duranske considered how the creation of virtual worlds might alter intellectual property law, architect Jon Brouchoud explained how virtual worlds could provide cost-saving collaborative and integrated practice in the building industry, and Dahlia Khalifa of the World Bank emphasized the value of reaching a large world audience through virtual worlds as part of their "Doing Business 2009" report.

"Remedy believes that virtual worlds hold real practical and commercial potential for a vast range of business, non-profit and social organizations," said Doug Thompson, CEO, Remedy Communications. "Much like the first Internet revolution, use of 'virtual worlds' can assist collaborative business practices, save money, and build revenue. The Metanomics program is dedicated to showing businesses and others how to step into this brave new world."

Additional information about Remedy and Metanomics, along with the full press release and related contact information, can be found here: