Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gartner Says 80 Percent of Active Internet Users Will Have A ``Second Life'' in the Virtual World by the End of 2011

Ok. This is it. Garter is now covering the field. Maybe time to move into a new field. No... just kidding. Gartner analysts are examining the hype and reality around virtual worlds during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007: Emerging Trends, being held here through April 26. Gartners advice to enterprise clients is that this is a trend that they should investigate and experiment with, but limit substantial financial investments until the environments stabilize and mature.

According to this press release:

Meaningful corporate use of public virtual worlds/platforms will lag considerably behind individual consumer use as enterprises struggle to develop appropriate and relevant business models. As enterprise try to define their role in the virtual world, Gartner has identified five laws for companies participating in the virtual world. They include:

First Law: Virtual worlds are not games, but neither are they a parallel universe (yet). The initial reaction of many business leaders when faced with virtual worlds is to dismiss them as a mere game of no benefit to the enterprise and something to be banned for wasting compute resources and time. Many of those that see beyond the gaming elements immediately veer toward questions such as How do we exploit this as a sales channel? This reaction is equally incorrect and potentially even more damaging to the enterprise. Growth in virtual worlds is significant but lower than it appears; the overall population of non-game virtual worlds is still small compared to massively multi-user online games (MMOGs) and the totality of community-oriented and niche-targeted environments, Mr. Prentice said.

Second Law: Behind every avatar is a real person. Gartner said people cant be fooled by the fantasy elements in the virtual world. There are unwritten rules and expectations for behavior and culture are developing. Enterprise users must consider their corporate reputations.

Third Law: Be relevant and add value. Many commercial companies have established a virtual world presence, but none have converted it into an effective, profitable sales channel. There has been criticism of early corporate entries into the virtual world, Second Life, related to the showrooms usually being empty and lacking atmosphere. While there have been a limited number of individuals who have earned more than $5,000 per year from their virtual world businesses, most corporations will see minimal revenue gains in the market at this time. Do not expect to undertake profitable commercial activities inside most virtual worlds in the next three years, Mr. Prentice said.

Fourth Law: Understand and contain the downside. Enterprises face serious questions, such as Could activities in the virtual world undermine or influence my organization/brand in the real world? With significant portions of the virtual economy based on adult oriented activities, questions of appropriate behavior and ethics also arrive. In-world behavior can be a problem in public areas; annoying interruptions can range from unintentional arrivals and erratic behavior from new residents whose avatar control is still suspect to misdemeanors such as graffiti, to more-concerted protest activities designed to disrupt.

Fifth Law: This is a long haul. Todays multiplicity of virtual environments has developed through the convergence of social networking, simulation and online gaming. There are many new entrants, whose stability and scalability are not yet established. There is significant probability that, over time, market pressures will lead to a merging of current virtual worlds into a smaller number of open-sourced environments that support the free transfer of assets and avatars from one to another with the use of a single, universal client.

My 2 cents: Unlike any other technology in the world. Metaverse is blending fun and work. This is both very temping and dangerous.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Video of the Toyota Scion Release of 2008 Vehicles (Mixed Reality)

I just 4 hours -- very intense ones with Reuben Steiger, one of the true Mavens of the Metaverse. Reuben, who used to work for Linden, is now the CEO of Millions of Us -- one of the most successful production houses int eh Metaverse.

One of their most innovative clients is Toyota Scion (for non-US people take a look at their Scion web site, and Scion Wiki Entry.

Friday, April 20, 2007

March 2007 Second Life Key Metrics Released

Second Life has released official data for March.
Lots of data in an excel file. This time I looked at actaul core premium users.
The growth is impressive. Absolute numbers only 75K (up from 66k in Feb and 57K in Jan).
Other numbers looks also good.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

First Holocaust Memorial in Second Life

Just now. In an emotional ceremony, we commemorated the Holocaust Memorial. Carter Giacobini hosted. People from all over the word gathers. This truly gives "memory" a new meaning. Inspiring.
[12:04] Carter Giacobini: Shalom and welcome to the first observance of Yom HaShoah in Second Life. My name is Carter Giacobini and I'll be officiating at this ceremony.
[12:04] Carter Giacobini: And, it struck me just how much we are a family... As a family, we help each other when we need it. We love and support each other. We bicker with each other. We laugh with each other. We come together to celebrate and to mourn. Today, we celebrate and mourn...
[12:05] Sheva Writer: ow
[12:05] Carter Giacobini: We mourn the loss of those that perished during the holocaust, we feel anguish at the thought of what the survivors of the Shoah must live with everyday.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google to Acquire DoubleClick for $3.1B

The Google Machine strike again. Proving Google care about business as much as innovation it has done it again.

Forbes report today:

Seeking to expand its already well-honed ability to sell targeted Internet advertisements, online search leader Google Inc. said it has agreed to pay $3.1 billion in cash to acquire ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Anshe Chung Studio to Welcome Israeli Game Conference 2007

As part of the 2007 Israeli Games conference
I hosted a panel on the Metaverse. We were fortunate to be welcomed by the Founder of Anshe Chung Studio, Ailin Graef. This video demonstrates the range of things that can be done structured in the Metaverse.

Yesha to Join JVP Studio as EIR

As you may know I have joined JVP Studio as an EIR (entrepreneur-in-residence). This is a neutral move (that came very quickly I must say). I have been working with JVP on various Metaverse ideas for few months and we felt that it is ripe to go forward. Here's a little about JVP Studio:
JVP Studio is the creative and financial home of exceptional seed stage companies focusing on enterprise and media-related software. The Studio’s mission is to provide a suite of critical services including seed financing, management guidance, infrastructure and strategic direction to outstanding entrepreneurs. JVP Studio offers a solid yet inventive framework for young companies seeking to make their mark in world markets.
JVP Studio is affiliated with JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) which has a strong focus on New Media. JVP has already invested in companies like Forttera, Emergent, Double Fusion, Funtactix, Gamearray. This is going to be hard work and fun :-).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blog Was Down Sorry .... Google Blogger with Google Apps

My blog was down for about 36 hours. I am sorry... and thanks to those that reported it. The reason: a CLASH between Google Blogger and Google apps.

I was testing Google Apps (and was foolish enough .. or may be too eager) to use the same domain In any event, Google apps "stole" the DNS record from Blooger. There was no way I could return it to Blogger.

I called Google Support... yes (I do pay money for this... so Google actually answered!!!). Well after 4 calls... (still not sure how) it was fixed and I got my beloved blog back. (thanks).

BTW, Google support included 3 people all very nice -- but not fully aware of how critical this problem was for me. I called all over the day including night and I did get Google to get back to me. Also the Email path was nice (I did submit a ticket over email too).

So... bottom line:
1. Apps is new (even Google is not fully aware of all its side issues). Enterprise computing is not the Internet. It seems that Google know that (see support).
2. If you play with your production (my blog) expect some bugs! (a big no no for next time).
3. More about Google Apps in the future.

Thanks to the C. and S. from The Google Apps Team.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Metaverse Work... see Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon has a service called the Mechanical Turk. This is a tool that allow people with a need for HIT (Human Intelligent Tasks) to find people that will do it for them. While tasks pay between few cents (to the simple ones) and up to a dollar or more for more elaborate ones. Sample tasks:
- Review my blog.
- Send 3D ultrasound photos.
- Transcribe something. (I did that).
- Review a web site and let me know how to improve it (I did that).
- Some of the tasks are generated by computers via API (and not by people); for example there is a tasks that slice a podcast into 9 min section for transcribing.

Now, take that into the the Metaverse. This means that you could hire hosts; have virtual guides, builders, things do not need to be in sync, work can be auctioned out. This is world wide 24 hrs a day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

IsraeliGames 2007 - April 11 Kfar Hamacabia

Quick Facts:
Guy Ben-Dov
Date: April 11th, 2007
Place: Kfar HaMakabya, Tel Aviv, Israel
More Info:

2006 was a great year for the growing Israeli game market. We saw over $80 Million USD invested in Israeli game companies.
This event, the first of its kind in Israel in terms of its focus on the game industry and international span, will feature keynotes from worldwide industry leaders, development and business presentations and a couple of round tables.
  • Ofer Leidner, Co-Founder, Head of Business Development, Oberon Media
  • Shaul Olmert, VP, Nickelodeon Networks
  • Alexander L. Fernandez, CEO, Streamline Studios B.V.
  • Jonathan Epstein, CEO, Double Fusion
  • Jessica Tams, Managing Director : Casual Games Association
  • Ilan Graicer, Creative Director, Funtactix
  • Steve Weiss, Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, Sony Online Entertainment
  • Giuseppe Amato, Technical Director, Sales & Marketing EMEA, AMD
I will Moderate the Metaverse round table. See you all there.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Google TV to go Beta (ok, April 1st)

After a lot of internal work, Google has done it again. Their
plan to enter the TV space. In competition to Joost Google has
released Google TV. The idea is simple
install the new service -- and see shows. Google does not
look for money just market share. People are talking about
1000 beta users a day. Mark, from this site
show us how to get in. I would highly recommend not
to bother with it now. Lets wit for the official release.