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  Linden Lab Rolls Out Google-Powered’Second Life’ Search Engine  
Posted 2007-10-20 by Tony Walsh
Linden Lab announced yesterday that a new, Google Search Appliance-facilitated search system for Second Life should be available both to Second Life users and outside web surfers "in the next few months." The new system, which funnels data from the virtual world into ordinary web pages, replaces a legacy system so past its prime that a number of third-party developers have invented their own public search tools, such as the Electric Sheep Company this year, or Wet Ikon in 2005.

Land parcels, resident profiles, groups, scheduled events, individual objects, and articles in the Second Life Wiki will be indexed by Linden Lab's new search engine. "Mature" content will be flagged as such in search results, and objects on public land which are marked for sale will be indexed by default. Second Life residents will be able to manually exempt objects from search, addressing privacy concerns raised by The Electric Sheep Company's search tool earlier this year.

Because official search results will be published to public web pages, Linden Lab expects in-world content to be indexed by web-exclusive search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. Presumably search results across all engines will include direct links (known as "SLURLs") to in-world content, and RSS feeds so interested parties can receive alerts when Linden Lab's search engine finds something they're looking for.
  links for 2007-10-19  
Posted 2007-10-19 by Tony Walsh
  Why Facebook Is Losing Me  
Posted 2007-10-11 by Tony Walsh
Dear Facebook,
Since getting dumped on by piles of irrelevant requests and notifications seems to be your idea of a party, I'm afraid you might not be the kind of people I enjoy hanging out with.

I don't know if there's a way to turn off the stream of spam, and that's not entirely my problem. Each one of those irritating little messages should have a "STFU" button next to it. The absence of idiot-proof noise-filtering features seems to be a deliberate design choice: Why else would you join Facebook if not to be notified every time your "friend" wipes her nose?
  Linden Lab, IBM To Collaborate on ‘3D Internet’  
Posted 2007-10-10 by Tony Walsh
Computing giant IBM and virtual-world maker Linden Lab have announced a joint effort to brighten the future of 3D virtual worlds through the development of open standards-based technologies and methodologies. According to an official press release, the two companies intend to "work with a broad community of partners to drive open standards and interoperability to enable move from one virtual world to another with ease, much like you can move from one website to another on the Internet today."

Virtual-world enthusiasts are no doubt excited about the prospect of avatar-portability, a feature currently unavailable in most contemporary 3D worlds, but promised (or at least hinted at) by up and coming platforms such as Multiverse and Metaplace. Obviously there are many more hurdles to this idea than simply technology--for me, it will be the creative and cultural ramifications of avatar portability that are worth solving first.

Continue reading: Linden Lab, IBM To Collaborate on ‘3D Internet’
  ‘EVE Online’ Seeks Citizen Journalists  
Posted 2007-10-09 by Tony Walsh
Players of sci-fi MMO EVE Online have been invited to apply for in-world reporter jobs as part of the "News Clones" wing of EVE TV, a web-based broadcast by the makers of the game for its players. According to the official call-out, the EVE universe is too large to cover with EVE TV's original staff: "Stationing reporters and correspondents across the Galaxy means we can cover more events, investigate more stories, and offer a broader scope for news."

News Clones, a sort of citizen journalist team, will be unpaid, but will receive special social status and broadcast credits. Applicants need only to possess "decent" English skills and the ability to file stories on time... hardly a high standard in reporting, but given that EVE has already had success with its own in-house magazine and its (paid) fan contributors, it's likely some skilled News Clone reporters will emerge to cover EVE from the inside out.

Continue reading: ‘EVE Online’ Seeks Citizen Journalists
  Meta Social Networks For Virtual Worlds  
Posted 2007-09-21 by Tony Walsh
In an age where online social networking services are a dime a dozen, two more have recently arisen from the primordial muck of the metaverse. Koinup aims to provide a social network for residents of "all virtual worlds," where users can meet, mingle, and share media. Ning-based Virtual Worlds Connect describes itself as "The community for professionals involved in virtual worlds." With genuine respect to the creators of these latest online two networking services, I don't see the need for either. Virtual worlds already facilitate social networks, and I've already sunk dozens of hours into forming in-world relationships. Neither Koinup nor Virtual Worlds Connect will import my relationship data from virtual worlds. Why join a network about networks if the networks aren't working together?

Aside from the lofty promises of the recently-announced Metaplace, virtual worlds don't seem to want to play nicely with third-party services, instead relying on users to kludge things together, like Rupture, which harvests profile data from participating World of Warcraft players. I just can't stomach the idea of re-friending my contacts every time a new social network comes along. Nothing personal, Koinup and Virtual Worlds Connect--we just weren't made for each other.
  ‘Metaplace’ Virtual World Platform Revealed  
Posted 2007-09-19 by Tony Walsh
Raph Koster's mysterious startup Areae has finally revealed what's been up its corporate skirts since last December: Metaplace, an online world platform described by Koster as working "how the web does."

According to the official Metaplace site, it's possible to create a world in "just a few minutes" using an open markup standard and "MetaScript" scripting language based on Lua. The idea is to be able to create an graphical online world that doubles as a web site, or import web data into your world:
"Every world is a web server, and every object has a URL. You can script an object so that it feeds RSS, XML, or HTML to a browser. This lets you do things like high score tables, objects that email you, player profile pages right on the player -- whatever you want. Every object can also browse the Web: a chat bot can chatter headlines from an RSS feed, a newspaper with real headlines can sit on your virtual desk, game data could come from real world data... you get the idea."

Continue reading: ‘Metaplace’ Virtual World Platform Revealed
  Drowning in ‘Quechup’  
Posted 2007-09-04 by Tony Walsh
I went offline for four days, and when I got back, my inbox was full of "Quechup," an asinine-sounding social networking system that has apparently been behaving very badly. Screw you and everything that looks like you, Quechup.
  links for 2007-08-18  
Posted 2007-08-18 by Tony Walsh
  Reactions to Technorati’s Overstatement  
Posted 2007-08-15 by Tony Walsh
Blog search engine Technorati has changed how it describes search results. It now refers to search results as "blog reactions," a description I'm not comfortable with. Technorati search results are not necessarily comprised entirely of "reactions," and are more neutrally described as "links" or "references." Not every blog that links to another is "reacting." To say otherwise is suggesting a more conversational blogosphere than actually exists.

Furthermore, when Technorati lists search results, it's only giving you results it was built to understand, rather than results from the entire blogosphere. A long-standing beef I've had with Technorati is its inability to index URLs containing a question-mark ("?"), such as nearly all the content on my Secret Lair network, effectively omitting Clickable Culture blog from its database. I've filed over a dozen support requests about this issue, but nobody seems able to get Technorati to read beyond a question-mark. Sigh.
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... Hope it helps someone... Dino...
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in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

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in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock

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