Much Ado About Ads

Well, a portion of the Second Life virtual community is up in arms over an article over on the GameDaily website. The article is about the move of real life advertising into games and virtual worlds. Here are some excerpts from it, including bits of an interview with Linden Lab Marketing VP, David Fleck:

“There is a place for anybody to participate,” said Fleck, “including big corporations.”

Currently, Second Life has a program developed by Wells Fargo called Stagecoach Island, which features Wells Fargo ATM machines that give out “Linden Dollars” that can be used to buy products in “Second Life.”

Fleck said he is currently in discussions with other brands about advertising in Second Life and is hopeful that additional deals could be reached by year’s end. He mentioned he would even be open to the idea of using avatars as advertisements.

Of course this has some people screaming bloody murder. Apparently everything changes when the virtual Nike stuff residents covet for their avatars goes from being the product of illegal trademark violations to legitimate content blessed by the brand owner.

Millions of Indie Dozens

BusinessWeek is reporting news of a new independent videogame publisher on the block, Manifesto Games. From the BW article:

According to the press release, Manifesto will employ a digital distribution method to sell its games. The site will offer gamers a place where they “can find ‘the best of the rest,’ the games that the retail channel doesn’t think worth carrying.”

I need to check out the indy game dev boards to see how they’re responding to this “Long Tail” news. Distribution is one topic that seems to come up repeatedly on those forums, so this will doubtlessly make some waves in those ponds. And who knows, we may even see someone take an open-source Quake engine, and sell what would have once been a total conversion. Cool. And can indy game content be far behind?

A Chainlink Fence Still Has Holes

Wells Fargo Stagecoach Island

I just came across an entry over on Clickable Culture that I fully expected to be reading… if not quite so soon. Read the news here. And I’ll just paste in the comment I made over there:

having come across the backdoor on the forums, i assumed LL was allowing residents to take a peek… or something (since the thread was rather long and still open). so i took a peek. and i mostly did so because while my curiousity level wasn’t too high initially, it has been recently piqued by search engine queries sending people looking for “Second+Life+Wells+Fargo+ Stagecoach+crack+password” to my blog.

so much for protected (cyber)spaces. ha.

Oh well, at least I got a few snapshots before the door got bolted closed. I suppose serious code jockeys looking for work might want to keep an eye on the Linden Lab employment page; especially those will backgrounds in security.

{Edit: it appears it’s not quite as bad as Clickable Culture lets on. From the referenced entry:

An obfuscated back door to Stagecoach Island was recently opened by a handful of Second Life residents who quickly found a number of bugs, exploits, and similar glitches–the most serious of which, perhaps, is the ability to transfer items between the Main Grid and Stagecoach Island.

Having read comments from those involved in the project, this appears to have been a kind of beta test – which explains the endorsement of the Lindens when this “back door” was brought to the community’s attention.

However, the beta has revealed some potential issues as reported by CC. But then that’s what a beta is for. That doesn’t mean my expectation for a cracked client won’t go unrealized. I hope it doesn’t happen, but the ease with which the client was recently hacked doesn’t fill me with confidence.}

{Image Copyright © 2005 C. Sven Johnson}

On Rebound and reTail

rebound book-handbag

I’m always surprised to see “re” in the names of businesses that fit the niche end of Anderson’s “Long Tail”. Yet they pop up everywhere. And when I find them it feels like a vindication for picking the name I did; reBang is really about remaking everything – from remaking/redesigning our world in cyberspace, to how that virtual world opens a feedback loop to the real world and influences it, and to how everything changes as a result (when I first came up with the name years ago I even did logo treatments that represented different industries/activities – hence the current underlined “B”; you’ll see what I mean soon enough). It’s very much a Long Tail kinda thought process – or more accurately, in line with the ecoToroid process I worked out.

Anyway, the above is an image from rebound design‘s books-to-bags collection. I love the idea. Perhaps because I have an affinity for old books (yes, even text books). And the business model – and especially this “Economy” bag – fits in well with this next bit.

While looking over last night, I luckily happened across someone entering a link to a slideshow given by Chris Anderson. You can watch his presentation here: link. What struck me was this slide:

Long Tail Forces

Wow. That looks a whole lot like the ecoToroid I’d worked out and have been talking about (see an earlier entry – reLink). I’ve been informed Anderson is aware of my work and I’m now curious if anything I’ve done has had an impact on his thinking (doubt it).

In any event, now I’d like to get Anderson to go 3D; and to discuss/consider market forces that propel a product to greater sales and distribution without additional Originator energy. To show what happens over Time.

{top: Image Copyright © rebound design; bottom: Image Copyright © Chris Anderson