Making money or monet?

Wagner James Au has a very full article around the thoughts that came out during an event with Julien Dubill author of Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot.
Its it money or art of the builder that drives Second Life?
It is fascinating to hear from someone who made a mint doing this. Whilst I have been vocal about not falling into the trap a fledgling economy does have its advantages to those who spot the early opportunities.
Some of this article though is more about the industry that is emerging. Its well worth a read. It is not often you get to see things like this form, but we can all experience it and form our own thoughts.

More Amazon integration from Hugo

Hugo Dalgleish, a fellow eightbar member, invited me over to his working area last night. This was spurred on from some of the conversations we had with Jeffronius Batra at his presentation facility over how to use the parcel media, and suitable split thereof, to get more live information from places like amazon such as pictures of books.

Hugo has an object that you ask for a book title, and it finds the first hit on Amazon and displays the book cover, along with the other related books.

Here I asked for both the now popular in business long tail and the popular in my house Gruffalo, both suitably different to illustrate the principle.

The Long tail


Real world business in Second Life

Ok, so I missed the actual grand opening, sometimes the timings of this things dont fit well in a UK based Real Life.
However I did pop along to see what Amercan Appareil were doign with their first store.
It is a convincing looking store, and whilst I am not up on this particular set of brand values I think I see who they are aiming at.

aa store

Most interesting was this poster though, buy the same item for teh real you as in the SL store and get a 15% discount. Its not quite buy the virtual and real one as a single transaction but its very close.


The video wall mock up was interesting. I am assuming that this is a video texture, with a set of see through TV’s jumbled around to make it look like a multi tv video wall.

Video Wall

The inside is styled as one might expect, though the crates of “free beer” are an interesting adjustment to what you might expect in a real store.


Another Second Life First for Me

Timeless Prototype, a long time and very influential member of Second Life and I met in Real Life today and had, as you would expect, a very interesting discussion around Second Life and around metaverse concepts.
We were both already aware of one anothers standing in the community and various contributions. Timeless is the creator both of the London Eye I blogged about recently and the famous Multi Gadget.

Timeless Prototype shop

I will not expose any Real Life details as that’s for Timeless to choose to do.
However, we certainly are on the same wavelength, and are both totally committed to the future that we can see, feel and already experience with these metaverse concepts.
As with the ‘business’ exchanges with various key influencers in Second Life we all seem to be very experienced people, who have mentally qualified this direction as extremely significant.
Significant enough to invest our own time and money, and convince people around us to join the cause. Those of you who look up our Second Life eightbar group will notice the membership topping the hundred mark. All individuals around the world, who all have the same employer.
I came back home from our meeting, even more inspired to find that my wife was sitting reading the Saturday Times and a 2 page spread on Second Life. Also mentioned on game tommorrow my Andy Piper
Anyway, thankyou Timeless, and I hope we get to work together somewhere and ride this incredible wave.

That certain something that needs explaining

I have recently been trying to consider, in order to explain, why there is such an effective and instant bond created when people collaborate in Second Life. Giff Constable from electric sheep
explains a particular interaction within a team and also adds “The one thing you hear over and over about Second Life is how it triggers some sort of psychological reaction in the brain that makes you feel like you are WITH somebody else, even though in reality they are thousands of miles away in front of a computer screen.”
I have a few theories. One is that currently the people who are using SL are the people who know how to communicate in this sort of way, the sense of ownership and investment being a self fulfilling virtuous circle. Which could equate to believing our own hype.
The other is that we have evolved to become more literate in electronic communication, and up to now we have been restricted by the interface. Having the experience that we all tend to have had up to now SL is such a breathe of fresh air that it opens up some things that have been squashed for so long by emails and documents. Like suddenly moving from B&W silent movies to colour surround sound and a plot we can influence.
A few of us have said also how it is changing how we look at real life, I certainly look at the architecture buildings in a new way. An adrenalin charged game entertains, enthrawls and then you need a rest. Metaverse interaction in Second Life is a continuing flow of ideas, chance meetings, humour filled interludes, discovery of other things as well as a design and tech geek environment. I can be talking cross corporation collaboration one minute and writing some code the next. This makes it more fulfilling, without a context break of changing systems, travelling to meetings, dealing with bureacracy etc.
This is not to say it is better than real life but it does allow for a more flowing approach to operating in multiple threads and modes. When you know the other people in the environment are there for the same sort of reasons you are then immediately more on one another wavelengths.

Amazon interfaces in Second Life

“Hugo Dalgleish” a fellow eightbar member in SL pinged to to say I should come and see his Amazon interface in Second Life. Spookily there were also some posts on New World Notes, and on the Amazon Web services blog about similar ideas.
we could be on the edge of a very exciting development.
Updated: with this bigger article on Hugo and his SL partners work at

The Darren and Roo Show: Gala Dinner

Last night was the Institute’s Gala Dinner, the bit where people dress up, there’s eating and even a little dancing. The meal was nice, Roo and I got to catch up with some people we knew from giving a previous Emerging Technology pitch. After the meal there was some live music by The Sun Band, who were pretty good. I liked their varied set list, a little bit of The Kinks, some Blondie, The Bangles and some Curtis Mayfield. Live music is always so much better than having a DJ.


Some of the entertainment was definitely provided by this IBMer who turned out to be a bit of a mover. I think he had a good 20 years on his partner. He started off fairly slowly, just like everyone dances, but suddenly he was spinning and throwing her all over the floor, it was actually fairly impressive. She could obviously dance too, but did looked exhausted afterwards. I’m not sure who either of them are, I’ll try find their names today.


It’s pretty cool to see people’s hidden talents coming to the fore and it seemed to get everyone else up on the dance floor, though some of us weren’t given much of a say in the matter! Anyways, it was fun, just need to prepare our presentation for today now.

The Darren and Roo show: Day 1

We’re still in Nottingham, enjoying the first full day of the IT Specialist Institute, 2006. Since we’re staying in the University halls, the rooms are not quite hotel-quality, but definitely not bad. Probably the worst bit (for a 6’4″ freak like me) is the small bed.

The breakfast was great though, as was the opening presentation from Sudhir Chardha, who presented on innovation and the GIO (Global Innovation Outlook). We are not giving our presentation until tomorrow afternoon (2 – 3pm if you’re attending the Institute and want to attend). Today we’ve been mainly hanging around underneath Darren’s very cool posters, chatting to people, demonstrating Second Life and talking about why Virtual Worlds are important.

Darren and his posters

There has been a fairly steady stream of conversations. We’ve also managed to add two more people to our (probably not very comprehensive) list of over 100 known IBM SL users who can access Ian’s island.

Darren and Roo on Tour

Roo and myself are currently in Nottingham demonstrating and presenting on Second Life for two days. It’s the IBM IT Specialist’s Institute, a yearly internal get together for people in the IT Specialist profession. Attending the institute is often used as a reward, but it’s mainly about increasing your social network and learning about other things that are happening in IBM. As well as the two days of presentations and demos there’s usually (I’m a bit of a veteran of these things) some entertainment, a nice meal and a few free drinks.

Roo and I were feeling a little peckish last night when we arrived and weren’t too confident in how filling the evening hog roast snack was going to be, so we headed off to the local town center to find some food. There wasn’t much open, it’s a student area and we’re well into Summer vacation now, but we did manage to find a Subway. So here’s Roo posing for our first Institute photo (I’m sure there’ll be more).


Second Life Relay for Life Charity walk

I came back from holiday in France the other day so had missed some of the initial coverage of this build such as over at It did not take me long to hit Second Life and see how things were progressing. Hursley Island has grown, lots of builds and lots of people. I did, as per usual though, start to explore the wider world though.
The most impressive, awe inspiring and also touching, is the very large build by many of Second Life’s leading lights for the American cancer society Second Life relay for Life 2006.
I did the entire walk, though only once so far. I bumped into many of the famous Second Lifers, Spin Martin whom I always bump into!, Cubey Terra and Timeless Prototype to name but a few.
Timeless had an excellant build for the UK/London, having been on the real London eye a few weeks ago this made it even more personal for me. Personal experience being the cornerstone of social computing.

Cubey Terra was helping people base jump from the eiffel tower

The whole build has lots of interesting architectural points, experiences and generally has a more Epcot than Epcot feel to it.
My photo blog for the walk can be found here with the slurls to the individual element, but get a pedometer and talk the walk, donate as you see fit.

UPDATE : As Eric Rice has reported the relay raised $31,520.76 USD