Why metameets 2010 rocked

Why did metameets 2010 rock so much? The answer is simple, it is the same one I gave to John Mahon’s initial question on day one for what the killer app is for virtual worlds. People. Too often a conference will be about an particular product or artefact that needs to be sold/monetized/promoted. In the case of metameets, whilst there is a heavy Second Life focus, it is about us all connecting with one another. Some of that involves close proximity of one another’s carbon atoms gathered in a physical location, however lots of it was powered by people being present from wherever they happened to be at the time.
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Clearly we are all enthusiastic about the use of virtual worlds and its related tech as a medium for the things we do. Also we are very tolerant and understanding of the various ways locations real and virtual got connected. We knew the tech would not always work, however the team how put it all together and made it run had so many bases covered it was very impressive.
Consider what was actually going on.
1. A group of early adopters fly in from all over the place to be at the Dublin Institute of Technology, many who know one another from purely online interactions and the mini fame bubble we have in all this.
2. A group of early adopters drop into the sim in Second Life where video from the DIT is streamed in.
3. The video of both Second Life and DIT is also streamed/recorded to a web chatroom
4. Some speakers present in Second Life as a talking head, some present as a more TV style chat show interview format.
5. Some speakers present in the DIT, mixture of slides, body language, stage performance etc.
6. Some speakers present as a Skype stream mixed with slides.
7. The whole thing gets threaded on twitter with a #metameets hashtag
8. Inworld chat in SL, and twitter, and web chat, and skype and physical voice are all used to present questions to speakers wherever they happened to be.
People in the physical room were also engaged with the online parts, some people in world, some on twitter etc.
How many conferences have you been to where there is not even a web stream, or a suggested hashtag, where the whole thing has been designed to be closed off. This was 100% open.
The team were both in the conference and organizing it, and as participants were were equally enabling and helping. A whole set of people were also not in Ireland but directing the streams from elsewhere
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We realised that sometimes the remote presentations either direction meant we were a little detached form one another atmosphere wise. However, those are solvable. I was not in SL very much as I happened to not sit by a power socket, so it really was a very old fashioned problem of needing more electricity (we had wifi) to then engage in SL or webchat. I did though use my iphone a lot on the wifi to engage on twitter.
So not only did we have very interesting people saying very interesting things, we were doing it in the ecosystem that we all talk about and thrive in. After a talk people would go for a break, gather in small groups and chat about things, just as the groups in SL and wherever else were able to gather and chat. Chat sounds like a trivial word, but really it was to extend one another’s understanding, to challenge and support the various conversations, to share war stories.
The threads that came together though were so intriguing. The first night in Gogharty’s pub in Temple bar, talking with Ham Rambler about how his very famous Dublin in SL came into being. How the Blarney Stone in SL was modelled on the pub we were in. For me that had lots of serendipity, not least because the builder of said Dublin in SL was originally Robin Winter/Shukran Serendipity who now works at Imperial College with Dave Taylor/Daveee Commerce and who I have been working with on some medical training sims. The blarney stone also featured in one my earliest evangelist moments helping a client persuade the rest of his team about the benefits of virtual worlds, in particular the mirror world aspect. He described to me in front of them how I would reach this pub using verbal directions only. I then sparked up SL and turned the very corners he described to arrive at the Blarney Stone. They then almost 100% got that particular point.
So to all the organizers, speakers and attendees I have to say a huge thankyou. It is so nice to be amongst friends sharing ideas and leaving feeling motivated.
For me it was a great honour to do my pitch, to think some thoughts and also to do them as almost a warmup act for Philip Rosedale who was on straight after me.
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Thankyou JojaDhara for inviting me to speak (via my old colleague Rick Reesen 🙂 )
Well done to Malburns and the crew for the remote TV studio direction and wrangling too 🙂
Slimwarrior and BevanWhitfield for seemingly powering the entire place with frantic keystrokes and electric enthusiasm.
Sitearm Madonna for keeping it all on the straight and narrow, and asking some damn good questions.
Other things and people you really should check out.
StuWarf should be an inspiration to us all. As he pointed out he probably was the youngest person in the room, yet he has driven into existence a whole business with Rezzed.tv whilst still being a student. I hope he will be at the next metameets and get to present his life experience to us too.
Chantal/MaMachinima and her marvellous machinima that the edit her pieces of work certainly bounced around with my emotions , a few brought a lump to my throat, others made me laugh. It is very inspiring too that her work has been show at the world expo in Shanghai.
Slimwarriors album Slimgirlfat is on itunes, I know that because I am listening to it now whilst typing this 🙂
It was brilliant to hear Lisa Feay/Elfay Pinkdot’s rant/monologue/empassioned plea and list of words she never wants to hear again (monetize anyone?). Her radio show and Jazz geek out is worth checking out http://www.coffeeandpajamas.com/
Claus Uriza and his pop art lab are certainly worth hearing more about and visiting.
On the tech side of things it was great to catch up with my fellow colleague at the old firm and travel with justincc. He is Mr opensim and it was great to see him in the mix and hearing some cool things to geek out to.
Jon Himmoff of Rezzable had some very interesting things with opensim and unity3d to talk about and show. Something dear to my heart, that kind of integration.
Now of course I realize that this post could go on and on, Jessica Pater, Tim Savage, Paul McDonagh-Smith, Tim Goree, Justin Bovington, Robin Harper, Joel Foner, Mark Kingdon, Philip Rosedale ….. all had cool things to say.
Who could not though be inspired by all this? All in the beautiful city of Dublin.
So yay for bangers and mash
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Rock and roll fish and chips
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(I hope epredator makes it onto the roll of honour up there with U2 🙂
Guinness and the Blarney Stone/Gogharty’s
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The megaprim needle in the centre of Dublin
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My one concern is that somehow we may have excluded some of our virtual world peers as they seemed to be a little annoyed and have made a film about it.
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Next year more furries in RL please. Thankyou……

8 thoughts on “Why metameets 2010 rocked

  1. And of course you forgot to mention how cool it was for all of us to actually meet you in person!

  2. Robin Harper

    Sounds like a terrific experience Ian. I sure wish I had been there in person.

  3. Thanks Jon 🙂
    We all wish you could have been there in person too Robin. There was lots to talk about. Though I love our collective resilience in making sure it worked ash cloud or not.

  4. JoJa Dhara

    What can I say!! Thanks so much and really great I finally met you 😉 Hope we can be neighbours again next year!!

  5. Very nice post Ian and it captures the whole package of cool stuff happening when the virtual and real stick together and share knowledge.

    I loved our coffee talk on how we might expand each of our brains into individual virtual worlds – in time to come. Geeky but inspiring stuff 🙂

  6. Ian: And yay for your presentation on getting us “out of the box.”

    Digital virtual environments got us out of the box, from being stuck in one body talking to other bodies. Instead, in a digital virtual environment, we could change our camera angle and now also SEE ourselves talking to others. “The bigger picture”

    But was that good enough for you?

    Nooooo….. you had to go and point out that we’ve put ourself in a NEW box, “Puppets In A Stage.” You had to drive that point home with perfect imagery, didn’t you? You had to stretch our brains, didn’t you!

    Now my brain muscles are sore but I am already looking at opportunities for “augmented reality environments.” Will I ever forget the image of Giant Hands Coming Out Of The Screen At Me? Aieeee!

    Seriously: Fantastic presentation, super post, great to meet and chat you there, and looking forward to learning more about Feeding Edge!

    Site

  7. could have included a link here and we could have checked it out. it’s gonna be alot of little things that cause it not any one major advertisement. Anytime you write anything anywhere or whenever you get a chance you need to open your mouth about it. Once people start looking at the content and enjoying it they will start to link to it also

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