Monday, August 6, 2007

Multiversed Live - notes

On Friday, Thursday, August 2nd 2007, I attended the Metaversed Live at 12pm PDT (3pm EDT) on Bertaggia. The guests were 57 Miles, Goedeke Messmer (John Lopez), and Navillus Batra (Jacob Sullivan) along with a few other people who were part of the voice stream. This is being staged in Second Life and also being streamed through Talkshoe. This Metaversed Life is the first of what will become a weekly event.

An operational note from 57 Miles, starting tomorrow (8/3 – I had planned to attend but was not able to due to a scheduling conflict) will be First Friday, which is the replacement of the Geek Meets, and will actually happen every Friday. 12pm PDT at Dr. Dobbs island At this meeting there will be a discussion and debut of the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) Harness.
Below are the topics that were discussed and the notes I took while the meeting was going on (and while I was trying to multitask).
  • Multiverse – a new multiuser virtual environment by some of the original founders of Netscape. They have created a platform for building virtual worlds. They give you the tools to build your own virtual worlds and they ask 10% of the revenues in return. Avatars created in one Multiverse world will be able to travel to other Multiverse worlds.
  • SL Grid Meltdown – After the recent serious problem starting on the 27th and running into the following week, rumors were flying, but no matter what happened it had an impact on us all. There was discussion about the fact that the rumors seemed plausible and that in the absence of real information are what is being talked about. The rumor involved griefers (virtual world hackers and those who interrupt events, operation, etc…, some times to prove a point and some times just because they can) exploiting a know flaw to create serious database problems.
  • Voice – Apparently it is really tough to get good voice from the native SL voice chat so it might not be so good for events. There was discussion about needing to pan the camera to keep the voice level, otherwise the 3D voice technology created problems. The media stream seems better for events right now but requires additional equipment and a level of expertise. There are those who are “old fashioned” who like text chat, especially since there is a transcript to go back to. The options need to still exist that allow for chat, audio stream, or voice chat if one prefers. During the presentation someone passed along an Information Week article indicating that as of 3pm today, an optional viewer with voice built in will be offered for logins. Someone talked about the idea of developing a script that can be stored into an item (such as a virtual microphone) that one holds and then where the voice gets recorded into can be determined. Voice events are enhanced when the audience can use chat as a back channel.
  • Priorities – there was a discussion about where LL is putting their efforts and why devote time to voice when there are other, much more critical issues that need to be addressed. Some disagreed that LL really had that many problems and that the time spent developing voice is ill placed.
  • Linden Scripting Language – there was a rather heated (but civil) discussion about whether the LSL is a great tool or not.
My note – I am sitting here watching a bunch of avatars sitting around watching other avatars that are not really talking, while we listened to the media stream. So, a question that was once asked of me was what makes this better than, say, video conferencing. With the products that are out there, what IS the benefit of this type of events in Second Life.

I don’t have an answer except that SL a a vehicle JUST for this type of activity would be senseless. Using SL as one vehicle, a tool, to do other things as well as deliver content in this manner is much more appropriate. Case in point, if this had been offered by video conference I may not have attended.

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