Vivaty is closing down

 Posted by (Visited 11514 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Mar 312010
 

The shakeout continues in virtual worlds, as more worthy projects fail to gain enough business traction to keep going.

As one who has spent years making Vivaty a reality and then trying to make it a success, it pains me to announce that as of Friday the 16th of April, Vivaty.com will completely shut down. I apologize to our loyal users that this must be so. Vivaty.com is a rather expensive site to run, much more than a regular web site, and Vivaty the company has been running out of money for some time. Our business model was to earn money through Vivabux sales, but that has never come close to covering our costs. We tried for months to find a bigger partner that would support the site, but that didn’t work out.

Vivaty Shutdown Party « Vivaty Blog.

Vivaty is X3D-based tech, and the folks there have a very long history with the VRML community, going back to when they were called Media Machines and had a product called the Flux Player. Most recently, they caught my eye for having done an implementation of X3d in Flash.

Requiem For There.com

 Posted by (Visited 10811 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Mar 302010
 

Celia Pearce has written a thoughtful and touching article about the closing of There.com that will resonate with anyone who has ever watched the closure of a virtual world they loved.

As an ethnographer who has devoted six years of her life to serving as a kind of emissary and folklorist for the people of There.com, I feel both a sense of loss and a special sense of responsibility. The book I published on the Uru culture in There.com was meant to describe a living, breathing culture. But, as real-world anthropologists know, when a culture is eradicated, anthropology can tragically become history.

via Worlds In Motion – In-Depth: Requiem For A World.

I agree with a lot of her assessment of what There did well, too — a bit unsure on the UGC aspect, but the social design she describes was really excellent, and inspirational for aspects of SWG.

Great description of how blogging has changed

 Posted by (Visited 27355 times)  Misc  Tagged with:
Mar 242010
 

Fair warning: this post is mostly just a giant quote. 🙂

Our social media connections represent a spaghetti bowl of decentralized networks for the distribution of content, but the meat of that content typically resides behind a bit.ly link to a site or a blog.

In other words, Twitter and Facebook and Friendfeed gave us a means of circumventing the broadcast-pipe advantages of mainstream media, but these channels weren’t themselves always the thing being communicated. The best perspective on this change came from Robin Sloan, writing at Snarkmarket in January:

There are two kinds of quan­ti­ties in the world. Stock is a sta­tic value: money in the bank, or trees in the for­est. Flow is a rate of change: fif­teen dol­lars an hour, or three-thousand tooth­picks a day. Easy. Too easy. But I actu­ally think stock and flow is the mas­ter metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:

  • Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind peo­ple that you exist.
  • Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the con­tent you pro­duce that’s as inter­est­ing in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what peo­ple dis­cover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, build­ing fans over time.

I feel like flow is ascen­dant these days, for obvi­ous reasons—but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audi­ence and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a tread­mill, and you can’t spend all of your time run­ning on the tread­mill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got noth­ing here.

And this is how we have to understand blogs today. Four years ago they were flow, and for a lot of news organizations, they’re still viewed as little more than low-grade, ephemeral dross. But in the real world of the Web, where we are relentlessly building a new-media economy and culture whether we openly acknowledge it or not, blogs are now the stock.

Xark!, “Blogging in the new decade”

For what it’s worth, my “back catalog” of posts way way way outdraws new blog posts on just about every single day. You can see over on the Popular Posts page that longer essays tend to dominate too, barring what are probably SEO quirks on some random posts…

The Sunday Song: Dubious

 Posted by (Visited 7786 times)  Music
Mar 212010
 

Another little piano improv here. It starts out a bit rough, sorry. By the same we get the second statement of the theme, it’s a bit more surefooted. Sorry about that. 🙂

download

It’s nice to feel like I can sit down at a piano and just bang out stuff like this again. I was never very good on piano, and still am not really “good” in any technical sense. It has been a couple of decades since I stopped noodling on keyboards in favor of the guitar. Now when I go back to it my comfort with chordal structure and progression is so much greater that it’s making it a rather different experience, and a lot of fun. Maybe I should get around to relearning how to read music…