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  ‘Second Life’ Events Go Public With Eventful  
 
 
Posted 2006-01-03 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Web-based event-management service Eventful has opened a public portal to the strange goings-on inside virtual world Second Life. The Second Life Event calendar, formerly hidden from non-residents, is now indexed regularly by Eventful, which listed over 1600 searchable virtual happenings last month alone and expects to index about 400 events daily. Virtual-world residents can travel directly to event locations via Eventful by clicking an embedded link in each entry containing exact coordinates. Event-listings, which are updated regularly, can be subscribed to in iCal and RSS format.

With a formerly members-only function of Second Life's official web site now opened up to the public, casual onlookers are able to see for themselves exactly what sort of weird and wonderful events are scheduled. Those already part of the virtual world are offered greater functionality and data portability than Second Life's maker Linden Lab could provide on its own. The move is indicative of what I believe is part of the future of virtual worlds--the expansion of virtual boundaries to include software and hardware platforms traditionally used in non-game settings.
 
     
 
   
 
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  4 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 4, 2006 @ 1:15 am
     
 
*Looks at watch and calendar*. I wonder how long Eventful will go on doing this, publishing 1600 Tringo and sexxay avatar contests, etc. that cause Lordfly and others to have "eyebleeds" trying to find the higher-quality events like discussions, building competitions, theater, etc. Events of high culture or intellect, like the Barnett reading and discussion, are far and few between.

What's likely to happen at some point is that Eventful or other feeds will switch to the feed already sanitized of excessive Tringo by the aptly-named slboutique.com

Then we'll see how a public "shopper" free press, such as it is, gets bypassed through the sheer openness of the Internet into...an InfoFunnel.

EventFul might well have a hard time justifying the continued publication of a million yardsales. But I imagine they won't have the time for culling. So they'll switch the feed to those who do cull, and cull with an agenda.

What to do about this problem?

Unlike the internal, inworld version of the Events list, which has filters where you can just logon and pick only "discussions" for that day or only "pageants" etc., Eventful has the full monte.

Maybe since it costs them nothing hardly to just run the feed, they'll leave it.

Ach, the Thirdpartization of our world...Not sure it's a good thing, not because it opens up our world -- that seems valid and good -- but because it closes it on to the closed networks of third-party sites that already funnel.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by chris_radcliff
January 9, 2006 @ 12:17 am
     
 
Your point about publishing "a million yardsales" is a good one, but I think it misses the real value of a service like Eventful. The whole point of Eventful is to index *everything*, from the next author tour to Billy's soccer practice, and let anyone slice and dice the data however they choose. With that in mind, a few million yardsales aren't much of a problem.

The inworld list has filters, but the search functions at Eventful provide all the same filtering by including and excluding tags. For instance, you could go straight for the noncommercial discussions by searching for:

tag:secondlife tag:discussion -tag:commercial

...or if something else floats your boat:

+tag:secondlife +tag:adult +tag:NightlifeEntertainment

Wrap that up in an RSS feed or whatever and you're good to go. The point is that you don't have to let someone else do your filtering for you. Of course, if you want that you can always join a group and filter your events based on what they think is interesting.

There's always the chance that someone will game the system, but I still think it works better to give individuals all the power instead of sanitizing everything beforehand. Where's the fun in that?

(Disclaimer: I drank the Eventful kool-aid and I'm on the payroll. I still love the idea of all those SL events. Bring 'em on.)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 9, 2006 @ 1:43 am
     
 
The problem is, AFAIK, the inworld events calendar has no way to tag it such that it could then productively be tagged in Eventful. That is, the categories inside SL don't have some kind of tag that Eventful can pick up -- I don't think. So Eventful has the full raw feed, with no tags, and then it would have to rely on someone knowing to type in, say, SL Future Salon or Thinkers or something to avoid culling through yard sales.

I'm thinking Eventful, if they just take everything, will leave this "as is". But others will then go to slboutique.com and use their filter, which is pre-cooked and may leave out things they don't like.

I'm so glad someone likes all those SL Events. Inside the hothouse of the SL forums, the forums royals constantly slam them as low culture, lowbrow, not interesting etc. But for most people, they are the lifeblood of the world. And they are an entry-level job -- organizing, managing, and attending events is the first source of income in SL. Casinos, yardsales, etc are all the events people rely on to get income to start. So I'm all for leaving them completely alone.

There's a posse in SL tho that wants the Lindens to empower mentors/greeter etc and other deputies to remove content from the list they view as "spam" or "violating the rules" (there's much debate about these). I'm for leavint it alone, using the filters, or, as you aptly point out, joining a group that pre-filters for you by being themed already, i.e. all Star Wars events or whatever.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by chris_radcliff
January 9, 2006 @ 1:40 pm
     
 
I'm not sure where the tags are coming from, but SL events are tagged before they get into Eventful. If you click on my example searches above or this example event, you'll see that at least some events are tagged and the tags seem appropriate (from an outsider's point of view.)

We have the same debates here about what constitutes spam vs. a real event, and we keep coming back to the same answer: let users decide. Give people the tools to pick out what they're interested in, then get out of the way.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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