Under a banner that says “make a difference in the world”, there’s a wonderful piece at active rain about using collaborative virtual worlds for Web 3.0 activity in the real estate industry.
I think we made a difference.
Thinking: slippery when wet
We’ve discussed here how collaborative virtual worlds and other technology can be used to facilitate better business meetings while reducing business travel. (See here and its links.) What about when the Read More
Listen, I know that there’s a pretty good chance that you (yes, you!) are some kind of policy wonk who only reads Wetmachine for the insight & analysis of all things FCC/Net Neutrality/media hegemony/First Amendment provided by the inimitable Harold Feld.
And there’s also a pretty good chance that you don’t give a care about Harold Feld’s wonky analysis, because you read Wetmachine for Howard Stearns’s stunning and out-of-nowhere insights into software development in general and 3-d collaborative virtual-world software in particular.
Or maybe you’re a Gary Gray groupie. Stranger things have happened. Maybe you even come here to see what I might have to say.
Or maybe, like those men who were busted at the suburban New Jersey bordello a few years ago, you just happened to be here because you pulled your car into the driveway to make a U-turn & got trapped when the fuzz showed up. Maybe you were googling for “Ted Williams’ Frozen Head” and wound up reading this instead.
I don’t care.
Wetmachine readers come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, even non-policywonk walks of life. Whatever. All is cool here. One love.
But you all should click on the above video, dammit. And you should chip in at least a buck to support Creation Science, the nifty new novel by moi, the Ur-Wetmechanic. I’ve been bringing you this site for 8 years now. Ain’t that worth nothin? Show me your love! At least watch the flippin video! It’s short!
N.B. Even if this is your first visit to Wetmachine, you can still show me your love. Click on the video! Join the family!
David Smith made this video a year ago, showing how you could have:
One of the great mashups going on now is not just mixing content, but media. WebTV. NPR on an iPod. MTV on YouTube. TV on the Radio. Some social virtual worlds are lightweight enough that they can run within the frame of a Web browser when you visit the associated site. While we have always had documents, applications, sounds, movies, and Web browsers running within our Croquet and Qwaq virtual worlds, we’re now doing a bit more ping-pong between the Web and Qwaq Forums.
< %image(20090816-ForumPage.gif|522|437|Web page corresponding to a room in a virtual world. Click for full size.)%>
Pages like this one make it easy to get information (e.g., documents) into or out of a forum without using the 3D collaborative client. Maybe you’re not at your usual laptop or desktop computer and only have Web access. Maybe you are an executive or assistant to someone working in the forum such that you can’t suit up and be seen.
We’ve all seen the cartoons of people sitting next to each other in silence and texting each other. I just picked up my daughter from a concert where she did exactly that.
At work, we meet for a few hours in-world at least twice a week. Usually at least one of us is in some other part of the world and a few at home, but sometimes we’re all in the same room with headphones on. It isn’t always better than being in the same room with someone, it isn’t always worse. It’s just different, although occasionally it isn’t even that.
For folks growing up with texting and ubiquitous computing, it seems working with others in a virtual world should not be an issue. But circumstances matter (context is king) in ways that I still don’t understand. I’m disappointed that even we are passing up some working relationships that are long distance even as we do others that are global.
Sometimes you text the person next to you and sometimes you have to get on a plane.
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.
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