Washing away cave paintings – Live

This week sees me on the road for two presentations of Washing Away Cave Paintings.
The first is tonight for a joint BCS/IET branch meeting in Swindon to IT professional and Engineers.
The second is on Thursday on London at Workplace Trends. (Somewhere I spoke last year, so hopefully I don’t cover too much of the same ground). This time the audience are property and real estate managers for business.
The same presentation, and with a slight addition from the original one back in march at the Derry Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship. The addition being a picture of presenting the same presentation in Second Life is a different way and a Kzero chart.

(Not to self really must do a voiceover for this one day!)
The message fits people, as much as the specifics of a job role or area of interest. I think the diversity of audiences and the positive feedback from them (so far) shows that this still has a way to go.
It is not just about virtual worlds, nor about the tech to operate with them. We are all experiencing a change to work and social life where the tech is a conduit. Whilst it has fashions, trends and quirks we are very much more connected to a more diverse set of people than at any time in human history.

Explaining Second Life inside and out

This week I had the pleasure of driving to the NEC in birmingham and presenting the a body of people attending the Events UK trade show. The presentation was quite last minute, I was offered the chance to fill in for Linden Lab/Second Life.
The show came in two parts. The first was presenting at the NEC live, the second was doing the same presentation in Second Life so that there could be a compare and contrast.
The show featured myself, Justin Bovington(Rivers Run Red) and Kevin Aires(GPJ) with moderation by Adam Coulter for the Institute of Travel and Meetings(ITM)
The NEC version was an interesting stage open and in the corner of Hall 8. The other corner past all the trade stands was a battle of the bands expo. This made for some interesting competing sounds for us and the delegates. I was accompanied by a Michael Jackson tribute and Kevin was battling against a version of the Kings of Leon Sex on Fire. Justin had some guitars to compete with though it may have been an original tune.
This was of course out of anyone control in the hustle and bustle of a trade conference. It does of course highlight a massive benefit of a virtual environment where you can make sure that you only get the distractions you want, passers by etc. So it became part of the conversation when we did the SL rerun of it all.
You cannot get away from the irony of an audience question “So what are the measurable benefits of business meetings in a virtual world”, and having to ask them to speak up because the guitars drowned out the question πŸ™‚
In world was interesting too, as clearly doing a pitch about SL in SL does not really need the powerpoints. For Justin he was really showing the Immersive Workspaces off by us all being in there, and for Kevin, as he was talking about alternatives and different ways of getting online interaction again we were already in there.
We were using streaming media for the slides, as we all know this is to stop uploading and giving away textures to Second Life for a ppt, to help show there is a secure way to share visuals. However as we all know some people have problems, the play button, the quicktime install etc. So I had some IM’s saying a few people could not see the slides. Handily I had my rezzable clothing presentation and used that to both illustrate the point was on, but also to illustrate the dynamic nature and benefits of being in a virtual world such as Second Life.
I think both shows went very well, reenforcing the fact that this is not going away, there are challenges, but also huge advantages and interesting tradeoffs.
The presentation I used is below. Some of the slides are really just the basics, a vehicle to explain what this is all about people and immersion and engagement with one another and with information.

As I was writing this post I also went over and commented on the great infoworld piece pointing out “19 Century thinking wont cut it in Second Life”
I have pasted my comment here too to avoid repeating myself too much πŸ™‚
“I have been helping enterprises and individuals alike get used to the changes and ways of working online for a long while. As a metaverse evangelist I spend time with anyone who needs hear why, or what, virtual worlds are and what context they can be used in. Due to the visual nature of the environments people often have to go through the stages of exploration that start with “can I do exactly what I do at the moment in here?”. The classic being, if we have a serious business meeting can I show powerpoint? Once you get people into the environment it is much easier to show that there really is no need to restrict yourself to one screen or one room layout. We use ppt in real meetings because we only have one projector and one screen, we cant alter the size or mood of a room or environment. So locking into this area of mirror world thinking is really missing the point and benefits of a dynamic evolving space that can be used to explore the data or subject of any gathering. There is also an assumption that because we are dealing with a technology that in some way this is just one thing, one way of working or engaging. in reality it is a vessel for people and the things people need to communicate. It is the web, but with people live in it too. Hence I am never surprised at any objections that people throw at the technology, but really is is that they are being challenged to work with people in a richer way. You are not hiding behind a mass email you are in the place with the people who need to hear what you have to say. When people attempt to classify any virtual world but focus on one thing they dont like about a particular one it really is like saying they don’t like all literature because some people write historical dramas and they don’t like historical dramas. Many of us in the industry are quite used to these potential misdirected objections and fears (though they are valid if people have them). “I don’t have time to contribute to x, to blog, to twitter to go into a virtual world” – I usually ask what they do spend time doing, wasted travel time, responding to CC emails, waiting for teleconference calls to start rather than being more efficient. “I am not a gamer” – Well its not about games, it can be but its not games. You can send something playful in an email as much as a serious statement, you dont regard email as a game. “People lie and cheat and misrepresent” – Some do yes, but they do that in the office and con men convince people via all sorts of means. Again this is just a medium, a place for things to happen. “There is sex there” – Yes there is, it is the internet, you do not choose to not have a company website just because other people use the web for other means. The list goes on, but the benefits of the degree of engagement that you can have, not to replace face to face, but to enhance your online interactions when you cant move your carbon atoms around the planet are undeniable. You don’t have to use all the tools all the time either, this is not an either or. For me the greatest benefit to a virtual world gathering is memory of where it happened and who was there. As with all memory aids keying into a space and place gives a common context. Which is easier to reference when following up “In the course of the teleconference held on the 9th September at 2:45 pm you mentioned a new product development” or “You know when we were sitting on the park bench in Dublin last week and you mentioned..” or “We were just coming up to the 9th hole at the golf course and..” Space and relative context to one another is important to human communication, social and business, and yes business and social can mix and do already very nicely.”

Heading for the NEC Birmingham

I have just been asked to present on the subject of Second Life and what it is all about at this event next week (23rd, and on the 24th in Second Life itself). I don’t think this is the right venue for all of my washing away cave paintings pitch but one that needs more of the whats this all about then style that I have of course done a fair few times :).
The event is for the Institute of Travel and Meetings so it is a great audience to help along the path with a bit of evangelism.
I am sharing the card with two well known names. The first being Justin Bovington from Rivers Run Red and the other my fellow ex IBMer Kevin Aires now of George P Johnson.

Rock star game developers in Brighton

I just spent 2 days in Brighton just along the south coast at the Develop conference. This conference is for the games industry, of which there is a huge talented base of people here in the UK. Brighton is particularly well served too with games and related industry people, though the conference had people from all over the world.
Develop 09 Brighton

The first day I attended was a new set of tracks from the traditional game development case studies and deep dives. It was entitled Evolve. Very much aimed at trying to show the games industry that the world is changing and its not all shrink wrapped products and giant corporations. Hence, that was an ideal place to check out.

I am not specifically from the games industry, but I am a gamer and I think bringing games technology and virtual worlds to enterprise and education has been an unusual but growing niche. What I was struck by was that like enterprise the games industry has a lot of people who for various reasons have locked into certain ways of thinking and of doing things. This means that some of the great (though initially small) opportunities are ignored in favour of the more tried and tested and seemingly worthy approaches. The industry is obviously slightly more sparky and used to sudden departures from the norm, but as it is really just regular enterprise and box shifting to the money men it shares much of the inertia of other corporate environments.

This explains why the games industry has not dived into and all over corporate and social use of virtual worlds, why elements of social media and user created content are still rare in mainstream games. It will happen, but it will be the independents and mavericks that make it happen but niche innovation.

So what did I attend and hear?

Resetting the Game: A keynote by David Perry,

David Perry is of course a gaming name that resonates with me as a consumer, and it was great to see and hear him enthuse.

Much of what he talked about was the changes in the games industry brought about by digital distribution. In particular he was showingΒ the principle being that of Cloud gaming. There is still much speculation on cloud in general (or grid computing as we used to call it) however this is a clear crossover with every other industry. If your local processing cannot deal with something, or you local storage can’t keep something then with good network connections there is no reason to now process things elsewhere.

I do not think this is an either or solution, but a blended one. It will of course bring new ways to play and rent video game time, pay per play and per use.

Mobile Moving Games to a new beat : Dance Fabulous – Mark Ollila Nokia

Mark was showing the evolution of a freeform dance game on Nokia devices, featuring custom avatars, your own music collection and a mix of rhythm action pattern following and just expressive dance in a range of styles. Nokia Dance Fabulous also features a new artist Cindy Gomez who when the project started was right at the start of her career, and being featured in the game turned out to coincide with a blended discovery of her work by the media. Dave Stewart is all connected into this as he is a Nokia advisor, so it make an interesting cross platform story. (Mark handed out a few Nokia mirror balls after his talk and apparently my Ed Hardy t-shirt attracted his attention as I got one.)
Green Spikey hair biker

The last session before Lunch was

20 Great Innovations in Casual, Social and Mobile Games That You Should Steal : Stuart Dredge, Pocket Gamer

Stuart is a gaming journalist and writer and admitted up front there were more that 20 things in his slide deck. For those of us who work and experience social media this was very much a validation of the sort of things we say about how to engage people, how to start small, how to adjust on the fly, how to tap into leveling up and bragging. He pointed out a few interesting trends such as the Spymasters and 140 mafia’s of the world, and that these principles should not be ignored in order to make what they call AAA games titles.

A common theme across the day(s) was that there was a massive base of people being able to just deliver and publish content now with facebook, web apps, iphone, unity3d, etc.

Most notable and funny was of course the conversation about Rainbow Poo in Pet Society. Pet Society is a casual/social pet based game. It has developed a cult following too. Whilst this seems to many people an odd expression of a way to reward use of a system people value things that happen with their pet. Certain conditions and unknown actions have led to some special excretions from the pets. (Given there are more than one physical kids toys on the market this may start to seem less strange). The digital asset that is rainbow poo is very rare, rarity brings value to those that care.

After a great lunch with Ren (Renzephyr) Reynolds, Jim (Babbage Linden)Purbrick and Dave (nanodave)Taylor talking all things metaverse. Imperial College’s healthcare project featuring on the Second Life home page amongst other things. This was great as it was a grounding and crossover with the rest of the people, of whom I knew many names and faces but I was more of a consumer than part of the industry (have to rectify that I think!). Jim is part of the advisory council for Develop and had pushed for the Evolve conference to try and extend peoples knowledge.

Next up.

How Social Networks Will Change How You Make, Play and Sell Games Tomorrow : Kristian Segerstrale, Playfish

This was a very passionate and evangelizing pitch from a very successful company in the online casual games market. Kristian was very clear in explaining the the business model and the opportunities to engage with people across social networks and related platforms is very different to the shrink wrap AAA title. This part of the industry is usually online, and is able to capture huge amounts of data and statistics on usage. It was this data that Kristian was clearly indicating had to be considered. Knowing what people liked and disliked through data analysis was what the new marketing professionals in the industry had to come to understand. It is knowing what is happening almost live that allows the various games to evolve. They can evolve because of the way they are delivered. Start small but prepare for big seemed to be a message. One that I totally agree with. Elements of free to play, generating dedicated fans and then gaining money from that to sustain the business is important. Playfish of course do Pet Society (See Rainbow Poo above).

For me this was a busman’s holiday, it is a case study, as with some of my previous work, of engaging with people and driving things across various platforms. Kristian was also acting as a guardian for the industry, reminding the other companies to not make spam as that will kill the industry. Act with integrity, make people happy not annoyed. You can already see some lazy marketing efforts across social media and casual games. I believe we will manage to bypass those by ignoring them or finding ways to filter things out.

Launch Your Game Across Multiple Mobile and Social Platforms Without Killing Your Team Chris White, Glu Mobile
This was primarily about dealing with the complexities of going from low end java phones to Iphone and Android and how the there are porting considerations. It was interesting that one game was ported to Android in about 2 weeks by a new hire who was a good programmer and picked up the java source and learned the android platform.
Another consideration that Chris covered was the move into a facebook flash game and how you cannot simply port mobile to web. This was an interesting direction change. It used to be people talking about how they could get their games and content onto a mobile. This was a mobile company trying to come back the other way.

How Social Networks And Emerging Platforms and Technologies Will Re-Shape Gaming’s Oldest Genre Struan Robertson Gutso Games
This was one of my favourite presentations for crossover. Struan was explaining how sports games and sports experiences can be enhanced with technology and games.
Why was this so good? Well Struan mentioned Wimbledon and Hawkeye, real life data and how things could be done with it ( in the Q&A I had to come out of stealth delegate mode and say that not only was it highly possible but that was precisely what had happened in 2006). He also covered Augmented Reality potentials. I don’t need to write much more other than I think we were most definitely on the same page and I would recommend listening to him if you are in the games industry. He is right on the money!

I missed the next session as I had to go and find my hotel, but I was straight back for the closing keynote by David Edery, Pincipal, Fuzbi

The Long Tail and Games: How Digital Distribution Changes Everything

On David’s site he has posted his ppt, I had already blogged some time ago about his great book Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business: How Video Games Are Transforming the Business World and we had been introduced to one another by Wagner James Au. So once again I felt a connection with the content and the presenter.

David was pointing out that the Long Tail of digital distribution is still influenced by the market demands and that the gate keepers and ing makers are still able to make a hit a hit in a sea of content.
He also talked about how an eco system without a gatekeeper or trusted source will be flawed.
David was also very clear that just having exceptional quality will not make a game or experience a mass market success. This is of course a common problem. People assume that great things will happen because they should, either by effort or quality of idea. This was really a rallying call to sensible and engaging marketing, even as a small startup you have to make friends and enagage.
It was also bang on the money that many of the elements of the current games industry are completely missing enablers for Long Tail at all. Whilst some games are engaging with ratings and UGC, shared experiences etc the consoles are not really built to deal with it. They are all aiming to get there, PS3 Home, XBox NXE are trying.
Unity3d, Flash and Torque also got a mention aswell as iphone for indie developers to just get on with it.
I should add to that Mark Rein from Epic was sat behind me, a brush with rock and roll stardom. Though he seemed to be happy to comment out loud with various exclamations. I guess you cant argue with the success of Unreal engine can you? Still I hope that dave realized the noises and sub heckling was not from me but from the person behind πŸ™‚

Then it was a an evening’s entertainment across at the Linden Lab party with some great conversations with everyone. I still never get to talk to everyone as those gathering inevitably we get into some deep conversation. So hello to everyone. We then retired to the Koba Bar somewhere for Credit Crunch cocktails and some interesting conversations about the games industry, and also certain other larger companies and their attitudes and policies. That though is not for blogging as its off the record conversation πŸ™‚

Day 2 kicked off with a change of pace and some new delegates, as this was now the main part of Develop not Evolve.

Online Functionality for Your Next Game? Why Not Go 100% Online : David Jones Realtime Worlds
David Jones is somewhat of a legend and he admitted he seldom did conferences. (Though to be fair he has rather a good new development to plug so it really did make sense).
He has been the driving force behind some of the best and my favourite games of all time. So I switched very much into Fan Boi mode for his pitch. Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown. Anyone one of them would be enough for a wow! you did that! but all 3 is fantastic.
He explained a little about his history (being of my age this all made sense) ZX 81’s etc. He said that he liked to build games that made people laugh as some point too. It was good to hear this history, but even more exciting to hear about where he is taking APB his new game.
The game is a cops and robbers free roaming persistent online experience (my words not his). There is a great article here with actual quotes on
For me the things that stood out.
The avatar customization was tremendously powerful, Dave indicated the problems of needing to be able to distribute customizations in a MMO environment but that they had to compete with the likes of Forza2.
The game is based around celebrity to. It is actively designed to let you become famous in game for various things.
I loved the trailer video because it also featured the brilliant Imelda May in the soundtrack.

The game is PvP multiplayer but introduces some new dynamics. I liked the concept that if 2 people were getting away with murder too much then new players would be introduced to the mix such as 10 police to counteract. All the players of the game are people, players are the content. There are NPC’s as scenery of course.
Another thing that got a round of applause was a little music composition gadget in game. It lets you build a tune/jingle in an old school 8 bit tracker way and then use that to attach it events in world, like someone else’s death. So not only have you taken them out, but you play your theme over them. That can be a funeral march or (as demonstrated) a crazy clown like mario style jingle.
The player customization was also demonstrated by the video of the Obama they made, brilliant and exciting stuff indeed. Buzzed indeed! and a true gaming legend presenting the idea.

Playstation Home – First Term Report: Peter Edward

This session was Peter saying how Home was getting on and where it was going. It was interesting to see Peter pitch as I had seen him at VWFE a few years ago, when I was on a separate panel on enterprise virtual world use.

So Home has grown considerably. 7 million downloads, 3 million in europe and 6 million virtual goods bought (include free buy) in europe alone.

Peter showed some of the advances in using Home as a development platform to make interactive games and experiences to support other brands and properties. If you are a registered Playstation developer you have access to the HDK (Home dev kit) though it is a pity we don’t all have access to that in order to explore ideas with the LUA scripting. Whilst I accept they are gating the content and approving it.

Peter also was asked about the problems of the US content being much richer than Europe. There appears to be some underlying politics, but also a genuine element of needing to localize for multiple languages (which the US seldom needs to do).

I was intrigued by the comment that the ability to place your own content in you own apartment ( a feature I like in the closed beta) was available in the US but not in Europe for legal and moderation reasons. That is more than a little irritating.

It was great to see some of the positive things happening, the promotions of watchmen and star trek in world, and the EA Sports hub mini games and poker. All good stuff that may take Home past a lobby.

After lunch (where I got to talk to some great people) it was back to being a fan again

Designer Mash-up: David Braben and Dave Jones play Elite and GTA

As if it was not enough to have the creator of GTA sharing his thoughts and new stuff earlier this session brought in David Braben the co creator of Elite. Elite was one of the games that I suddenly realized back in the 80’s that there really was so much more to games than a timed 10p a go shot now we had home computers. Trading, exploration, dog fights, levelling up in space. Elite is an influence on my thoughts and formative years that really cannot be ignored.
This session was also introduce by William Latham! So it could not get more gamerati.
The two guys talked about their seminal games whilst the other played them on the screen. So Elite running on a BBC emulator and GTA actually running on Vista.
Elite on screen (and next to it)
Braben had some very cool insights into the 18 month process of building elite, being keen to get it out, but the publisher wanting to hold off until after the summer. Stats like it actually sold more copies that there were BBC micro machines as people bought copies to play on their school computer club machines. Procedural generation of the massive star system managing to fit the entire game into 40-50Kb as Braben pointed out the same size as a normal email these days.
Jones talked about the fact the top down GTA was based on pinball with a hint of pac man. It started as a tech demo and they made it into a game. They knew there would be controversy with the idea (it started as a cop game but they wanted to change it to perp). Their publisher BMG was used to rock stars, so they were happy to deal with controversy. They also had Max Clifford as PR for it. He made the call that as it was so cartoony and top down to not show it to anyone. That led to uproar and politicians/daily mail etc getting all het up, then seeing it they we disappointed. A brilliant image πŸ™‚
Watching Jones play Elite on the emulator was funny and as most of the audience had played it (and GTA) there was a common understanding of what had happened as a pirate zeroed in on him only seeing the scanner blip then a debris of his own ship.
In GTA Braben started chasing the odd pedestrian and chased one around and around which got a giggle.
It was interesting to hear the dichotomy that Elite was 3d in a world that only knew 2d at the time so got criticized for that and GTA was top down 2d in a world gone 3d and also got criticized, yet they are 2 of the most influential games in my gaming history.
This was a great session to have been a part of and I hope it got filmed (though I guess you had to be there).

Panel Crossing Over: How Working With Other Industries Can Improve Your Games and Your Bottom Line
Alex Amsel, Jamie Campbell, Adam Russel and Chair Margaret Robertson provided an insight into a creative networking experience called Crossover Labs. The point of the session was to remind people in the games industry the need to engage with other industries (in this case mostly TV and film) to understand one another’s thoughts and processes, but also to get the sort of seeds of ideas that come about when separate industries combine.
I was impressed by the passion that the panel had for the experience. As I was there to cross over with this part of the industry it all resonated. Equally the techniques used and the mashing of people together is pretty much what caused the virtual world industry to blossom. I asked the question if the process used had been adjusted and exercised in virtual worlds and online in order to extend it. That led to a long discussion afterwards.
It is well documented that we use elements of the virtual world to aid in communication and sharing of ideas and opening peoples minds to new thoughts. So watch this space I think.

The Art of LittleBigPlanet – A Big Medley Kareem Ettouney and Mark Healey
This was another rock and roll moment. This brilliant presentation had the co-founders of Media Molecule explain the though processes and creative hurdles that faced them trying to get to the absolutely brilliant Little Big Planet on PS3.
Once you play LBP you can look at what they have day and see that it fits and in some ways you may say “oh thats obvious” but like all brilliant design you almost don’t notice it.
They explained that once they came up with the notion of Hand Made the rest followed from there.
It was also interesting to see the team dynamic. It looked as if Mark was the more edgy and Kareem the more grounding. It reminded me of Liam and Noel in Oasis. They even alluded to where they had the odd massive falling out over some of the ideas.
One telling anecdote was Mark creating the spongeworld previz video. Showing a character interact in teh 2d/3d way with the physics. That worked so well that some of the publishing execs only wanted spongeworld to be developed. So too good a previz can lock peoples ideas too early.
The decisions to end up with menus and icons when they had wanted to keep them out was based on trying to use the in world tools and it getting too much hassle, so as Mark said windows and icons were tried and tested so they gave in. Kareem pointed out that the designers came up with a felt pen look which blended so well with the handmade feel.
They covered the strange and fantastic results of a User Generated Content environment. Users of the system creating things that the team did not think were possible. That seemed to be a real buzz for them.
There was also some discussion about the recent new hire they had in their small team of 30, based on some fantastic work by a fan. His attention to detail and creative thought showcased through his levels.
LBP is particularly amazing in our house as my daughter is a fan and is able to enjoy building and playing levels as much as my peers. The fact that my good friend and long time gamer Mike (who runs MIST Susuki) and I played at the same time as my daughter for several hours and no-one got bored. That was amazing.

So that was it, I had been in the presence of some huge figures that have influence my life and now my kids. It is also an industry that was the reason I started programming because of (back in the 80’s) but somehow fell into corporate enterprise. My journey via the web, virtual worlds and social media and now an entrepreneurial life has led me back.

So look out πŸ™‚ epredator is on the hunt.

Being a delegate : Brighton Develop

Yesterday I got my pass/ticket through to the Brighton Develop conference. I am attending the Evolve sessions on the first day, and then the first day of the develop track. I am excited about going to this as for the first time (probably ever) I am going to an industry conference but not as a speaker or booth person. This means the only obligation I have is to Feeding Edge and myself of soaking up the entire thing and getting to know yet more people in the industry. As I see the virtual world industry and the games industry as very much on a collision/merger course seeing who is doing what fits nicely on this companies mission.
So as per usual if you are there come say hi or track me down. I wont be hiding in any corners, though if the weather remains this hot I may have to just carry my leather jacket πŸ™‚
Heading for Develop 09

Update: It will of course mean I will miss the excellent Southampton based @tuesdaytweetup at Dock Gate 4 so hi to everyone remotely.

You are able to confer – virtual gatherings all over the place

The last few days have seen a good few events in both virtual and physical space. It is a mini conference season.
The first (that I had to drop out of half way through) was Raph Koster talking to Cory Ondrejka in Metaplace.
metaplace talk raph and cory
This was notable for several reasons. The first was the number of Second Life friends in there. With a back channel conversation about how we were all happy to have both SL and Metaplace as places to gather for different reasons. The second was that Raph was kind enough to pick up on my question that relates to avatars and what they actually are. I asked “Can we have our avatars be the room?”. Cory spotted the similarity with the concept of being a Dungeon Master which is the though that got me on this track a while back.
Also Metaplace has now become embedable in pages. So your event can be seen live by people sitting on your blog as Cory did.
The other event has been Cisco Live, with some spin off panels in Second Life. I was not able to attend the first of these on Virtual Universities but the excellent has this archived already In addition they have archives of all the Metanomics shows including my first outing as Feeding Edge should wish to listen to what I said again and pick me up on any of it down the line πŸ™‚
I managed to attend the other SL event though. This was about the sensor networks and the Stirling “internet of things”.
cisco live

spimes at cisco

There was a great crowd there and the panel expanded and explained the trend we are seeing of a massive amount of simple connected devices being spread over the planet. Spimes (Space+Time) being one of the main descriptions of them as championed by David Orban
In the post event I sort of changed from audience to presenter as I showed off my mini wearable presentations which turns me into a virtual peacock to show off some ideas. It was not a spamming or griefing excercise but just sprung out the conversation.
Another post event discovery was when the audio stream switched to Kona Radio Gospeed Racer was at the event too. They played a fantastic mashup that I had not come across. (Sorry to the cool kids who alread know of this artist). It was called Boulevard of Broken songs by Party Ben. This was an incredible mash of Green Day and Oasis (Plus Travis and Eminem). I checked out some more of the songs and they are all fantastic, cleverly technically but also creatively. Well worth checking out.
This of course highlights the importance of the post event mingle that we get in virtual worlds again. The 10 mins after the event let me connect with a fellow SLer who often came to SL Wimbledon (Hi Sean), show of some ideas live to an interested audience and also have my ears opened to an artist I had not come across. (You don’t get that on a telecon do you !)
Finally in the events list there is the event that I did not get to in physical or virtual form, but that instead had some great coverage from my good friend Roo Reynolds.
He always takes great notes and shares the salient points on his blog. In this case the Guardian Activate 09 gathering.
The official site is also still live
In particular I liked these lines by Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post

  • Mainstream media suffers from attention deficit disorder. New media suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • You consume old media sitting on your couch. You consume new media galloping on a horse.
  • The cost of launching a new business is now so low that sometimes it’s indistinguishable from starting a new hobby
  • The Guardian covered Arrianna’s speech in an article
    As a gathering and conference with the tag line “Politics, economics, technology and society: Building a better future through the internet” the whole thing was well aligned with my interests as Feeding Edge, so I am thankful as I could not attend that I got a version in Roovision.

    Tweetups, random combinations, overland2oz

    Last night was the second running of the Southampton Tuesday Tweetup and it was interesting to pop along to somewhere relatively local to meet a set of people who happen to use twitter and happen to be near Southampton.
    Unlike most other gathering and conferences what actually happens is that the collection of people there are inevitably very diverse. It is not one industry, one hobby or one subject. So whilst I point out that online “everywhere is local” that means it is easy to reach like minded people, on your chosen subject.
    The tweetup brings people with a certain attitude to life together, and hence they are an affinity group, but also it collides worlds. I met a lot of great people last night and we talked about lots of things but one example to highlight in particular occurred just as I was heading for the train home.
    I view myself as a bit of an explorer, finding new things and new technology, boldly going….. etc. However I had to ask one person last night why they had a map in their hand. Which led to hearing about something worth sharing here.
    It turns out that Fiona Easterby is going to drive overland to Australia in a VW Beetle/Baja Bug in a few weeks time. This meant I could not dash for the train after all I had to hear the story. In particular because at some point on my wish list of ambition I would love to do a rally raid, like the Dakar through remote parts of the world. I had hit many of my mini ambitions, patents, Guinness book of world records, moderately famous for doing something to name a few.
    Here though at a random gathering of people was someone who had already done two significant drives and was about to do another.
    Fiona is using this to also raise money for charity and her website has the links for the donations
    We also got to see Fiona’s Sebring SX and hear the wonderful engine note as she pulled away
    Sebring SX

    So I know that everyone who talked to @Overland2Oz will be wishing her the best of luck in her journey. Who knows the next journey might end up with a Feeding Edge logo on the side as sponsorship.

    Southampton Tuesday Tweetup

    Tomorrow (16th June) is the second Southampton Tuesday Tweetup at Dockgate4 Southampton. The last one was great and some of the photos can be found in this pool on Flickr
    I have lots more stories to share from my travels and since starting Feeding Edge. With a bit or organization I may not have to drive there either πŸ˜‰
    See you there fellow southcoast tweeters, I should get it merged with the South coast Metaverse Meetup really. (As I remind myself I need to organize that franchise!)
    Anyway follow @tuesdaytweetup for more information

    Trying a different presentation style in SL

    Before going to present at Ander’s Train for success the other day I thought I better have some material ready as a backup in case voice broke, or the needs of the gathering changed. I used to carry a showreel object around that if I had rez permissions created the various pieces of work from tennis courts to twisted prim builds. However, as I had the presentation I do in RL usually and had laid that out in SL I wondered what would happen if I adjust the slide, made them more 3d and also used them as clothing. So I wear the presentation. That way I need no rezz permissions and can easily present. Extending the avatar past the look and the gestures and making me part of the scene I present.
    Extending presentation






    Of course this goes with the explanations and what a presenter has to say, but it seemed a good step towards helping people get past pure powerpoint and see the potential.

    Inworld conference today- Train for Success

    In Washington I met up with Anders Gronstedt of the Gronstedt group and he asked if I would willing to come along and talk at his “Train for Success” in Second Life. So today is the day. I will be attending and speaking at the session here at 9am SLT or 5pm UK time.
    Previous sessions are recorded and available here and I guess I will pass into the archives if you are reading this after today.
    As usual whilst I do have a subject I have a fair few anecdotes from the past few years to draw upon, and some ideas about the future direction of the industry. So we will have to see where the conversation goes and where questions take us.