Monthly Archives: August 2007

My first Linden $

Right now my avatar is over in SL sitting in a chair.  If it (I) sit for 15 minutes, I earn $3 Linden dollars.  Apparently, 18.5 hours will get me one US $.  Whooppee.  This is called camping.

Giving procrastination a whole new name.

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Filed under Information and Communication Technology, New Projects, Second Life

Second Life’s Real-World Problems

A student of mine (Thanks Ellie!) found this article about SL in Time.  Does the SLLA want no commerce?  Or no bricks-and-mortar commerce? Is this anarchy or mercantilism?  And what did Linden do to SLLA?  Any sanctions?

Second Life’s Real-World Problems – TIME
The dilemma for Linden Lab, the company running Second Life, is how to rein in its creation without alienating hard-core users. Fans love the site as a way to meet people and experiment in self-expression. And companies are drawn to these techno-savvy trendsetters who spent 22 million hours on the site last month. But some devotees are so upset by increasing commercialization that a group called the Second Life Liberation Army last year gunned down virtual shoppers at American Apparel. So-called griefing, or on-site harassment, is on the rise. Says Gartner research chief Steve Prentice: “Second Life is moving into a phase of disillusionment.”

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Filed under Protest, Resistance, Second Life, Social Network Sites

US launches ‘MySpace for spies’

US government realizes it can use living web technology to do collaborative work.  Does this make them early adopters or laggards?

Part of answer is point of reference.  They are early adopters for federal government but laggard compared to your average 15 year old.

FT.com / World – US launches ‘MySpace for spies’

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Filed under Information and Communication Technology, innovation, national security, Social Network Sites

Innovating markets- idea for the Department

My colleagues have been crafting a new curricualr program possibility to roll out.  We wnated to get away from overly functional silos.

Several ideas had been suggested around the intersection of marketing, creative industries, design,  and the criticla skills of a liberal arts education.

One way to gel these came to me at our (5 hour!) department retreat:

“Innovating Markets”

Why?
1) It is clearly focused on markets.  The other programs are less directly focused on markets and more on organizations.
2) Innovating captures both a timeless and timely aspect of how organizations react to markets.
3) The ability to make or modify markets is essential to innovation and creativity.
4) Going from three ideas to a gerund + noun leaves more room for the program to grow where there are opportunites while having carved out a core competence.
5) Stamp out nouns.  Verbs are better! (Hat tip to Karl Weick).

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Filed under higher education, innovation, Marketing

New words- Digindigenuous

I like to play with words.  When obtuse or overly specialized, this can become jargon in the worst sense of the word: words which deliberately obfuscate and insulate insiders.  When there is a new experience, a new phenomenon, the desire to name wells up and starts playing with words.

Operationalize is jargon.

Podcast is not.

I have seen people refer to the residents of virtual worlds (aside from editorializing them as geeks or nerds) as residents, digital natives, and so on.

Perhaps there is a whole category of practices and objects that are digitally native.

Hence, I humbly offer digital+indigenous= digindigenous.

Digindienous is not short and sweet, but it has a certain rhythm in saying it.

Maybe there is something better?

Digigenous?  Sounds like stuttering
Digenous?   Sounds to much like disingenuous.

Thoughts?

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Filed under digital culture, pithy expressions, words

Banking Crisis in Second Life and the Convergence of real and virtual

Second Life Research: Banking Crisis in Second Life — Calls for Regulation

This blog post form one of my new favorite blogs, Second LifeResearch (because it helps me sort out the reams of info about SL) describes how an investment bank with $750,000 collapsed.  With no SL FDIC to back up deposits, the money is gone.  While this will surely make many people’s jaws drop as they start to mouth silently or out loud “what kind of idiot would put real money in a virtual bank?!?!” the blog post points out that many residents have nothing esle to do with their money. The fallout will be more oversight, by organized residents or Linden Lab itself, or, more likely, both.

I was thinking more about Edward Castronova’s point in Synthetic Worlds.  In the introduction, I found him trying to say that synthetic worlds have many of the same features as real worlds.  As they become more ubiquitous, they will become more like the real world.  This is the convergence argument.  And I find it compelling.  This banking story is a great example.  However, Castronova, at the same time as he is normalizing synthetic worlds to make them palatable to the academic/technophobe crowd, wants and needs to say that there is something profoundly unique in them  Well, this presents a dilemma.  SL is supposed to be just like the real world and also totally different!

As I read the book more, and think about my own research, I will have to resolve this dilemma more satisfactorily.  What is distinctive about the sociology of Second Life?

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Filed under Banking, Information and Communication Technology, Second Life

State of Play Conference

Ted Tschang, my new Second Life research pal, sent me this link to a conference…

I find it quite amusing that they use “metaverse,” a term originated by Neal Stephenson so many years ago.  Is this life imitating art?  or did Stephenson look into life and simply speed up what he saw into a likely future.

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Filed under Future of Technology, Gaming, Sci Fi

Colony Collapse Disorder in bees comes close to home

I was reading the New Yorker last week about Bees and CCD (colony collapse disorder):  a very nice article by Elizabeth Kolbert (she even gets into the act and becomes an amateur apiarist).   She has problems with bears trying to eat her honey. Guess Winnie the Pooh has a kernel of truth.   As it turnsout, the beekeeper who first “reported” this problem lives here in Lewisburg: Richard Hackenberg.

What’s more, some of my biology colleagues are studying this problem too.  I know Beth Capaldi!  I play Frisbee with her.

Small world?  Not technically here.  Just a coincidence.  The thing about the bees and CCD is really worrisome to me.  I asked my students last Spring if they had heard of it and less than 25% had.   Add high oil prices, collapsing housing starts,bubble popping in mortgage markets, and global instability around Bush’s lame duck foreign policy and you have a recipe for one hell of a recession.  I sometimes wonder if the technocratic managing of the economy has gotten so good as to keep the bottom from falling out like it did in 1929…

Now they may be in for a real test.

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Filed under Biology, Political Economy, Small World

Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade

Amazon.com: Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade

Book recommended at my NITLE workshop.  Worth looking into?

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Filed under Books, Gaming, management

NITLE and Social Bookmarking

I am at a workshop by NITLE.  The leader is Bryan Alexander.  Interesting overview of emerging technologies.

I want to know more about social bookmarking.  I am here and want to bookmark something.  What’s a good site?

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Filed under liberal arts, social bookmarking