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  ‘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.
  links for 2007-08-12  
Posted 2007-08-12 by Tony Walsh
Posted 2007-08-06 by Tony Walsh
Bah, I won't be able to attend FaceBookCampToronto tomorrow. Sounds like a great way to get the creative and technical juices flowing--lots of potential in Facebook Applications still to be tapped, and Toronto's got a solid, long-lived development scene ready to take up the challenge. I noted a few familiar local people and firms on the list of attendees, wish I could join in the fun, but I've got diapers to deal with.
  Microsoft’s Cross-Platform Ad Play  
Posted 2007-07-30 by Tony Walsh
Advertising Age looked into Microsoft's "Live Anywhere" ad strategy last week, finding that audiences are being offered to advertisers by demographic or game preference rather than by platform. Live Anywhere spans the Xbox 360, Windows PC, and according to Ad Age, mobile spaces. One identity is tracked across platforms, so Live users could be targeted by personal details--such as age, sex, and location--submitted when signing up for Microsoft services. As far as I can tell from using Xbox Live in San Francisco and Toronto, users are already being targeted with local ads based on where the system is accessed (common in internet advertising).

The Ad Age article quotes an analyst, who says Live Anywhere is "easy to leverage for advertisers. You can integrate advertising that won't be intrusive, [and] you can also target ads more effectively." Well, sure, you can integrate non-intrusive advertising, but from personal experience, Xbox Live is cluttered with banner ads, demonstrating that the people in charge don't care about intrusion. Given that Microsoft's ad play results from last year's purchase of Massive--an in-game advertising company with a habit of ruining games--I doubt the power to target gamers across platforms will be used responsibly.

When I first subscribed to Xbox Live, there weren't any advertisements. Now, the service is littered with blatant ads, yet the service still costs me sixty bucks a year. A brave new wave of cross-platform ads may soon wash over Live Anywhere, but what benefit do gamers receive?
  links for 2007-07-30  
Posted 2007-07-30 by Tony Walsh
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