Julian Lombardi makes some terrific points about asset risk for virtual worlds on his blog. I think the issue is a pretty fertile area for exploration as we all continue to invent new ways of working together, but Blogspot simply doesn’t allow that much content in discussion, so I’ll have to fork it here.
I see the asset risk issue-space as breaking out into at least two dimensions:
* Bit storage vs bit usage
* Point assets vs context
The servers that handle mail to wetmachine.com addresses have been scrod for going on two days now. The ISP estimates that normal email will be restored sometime middle-of-the-day today.
If you’ve sent me mail & it’s bounced, don’t worry, I’m still around. In the meantime, my handle at yahoo.com is jsundmanus.
One of the really great things about the WWW, as opposed to the Internet in general, is that the Web separates the concept of naming from everything else. A URL is bit of text that names a resource. You can type it. Except for some long URLs used by banks and in ecommerce, you can often even remember it. But most importantly, you can include the text in some other technology such as an email, an instant message, a calendar invite, a Web page, or even in a book or piece of paper. It can be sent and stored. The URL can be transmitted through this separate non-WWW media, and it still works on the other end.
When you name something, you have power over it. Like the dreidel mnemonic of the title, names help you to remember stuff. You can speak clearly about places and objects instead of just using misunderstood pronouns and long descriptions. And best of all, if you know something’s name, you can use it in casting a spell. (We call them programs.)
So a big part being able to work with virtual worlds, talk about them with other people, and use them in programs is to have a name – a URL that corresponds to each interesting thing about a virtual world.
My boss has blog on blogger, which I gather is now owned by Google. Hard to believe that the “Don’t be evil” folks have a hand in this monstrosity.
In my favorite bellweather case for “have we sunk back to the level of McCarthyism yet?” the government has challenged the standing of IndyMedia to find out who asked the FBI to confiscate its servers, and why. Story at The Register. I may try to add my own analysis if I get a chance to read the pleadings.
Stay tuned . . .