Tags Posts tagged with "Communities"

Communities

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Imparafacile

Imparafacile is back from holidays and presented last Wednesday, September 26 at the Auditorium of the literary district of the homonymous island in Second Life, the new 2012-2013 season. A lot of news presented by Imparafacile Runo (aka Giovanni Dalla Bona), along with some confirmations from the new season of Libriamo Tutti, which this year will see the readers as protagonists to tell their favorite books, recommending readings to friends who will come to listen. Even Libriamo Tutti presents a couple of new features:  the first is Imparafacile Runo as conductor, who will present the readers and lead discussions that will arise during the evenings; the second is that it will be announced in advance some titles of books which will be discussed in order to facilitate the discussion (if you want to submit a book to the upcoming events fill in the form on this page).

ImparafacileNews (and confirmations) also with regard to partnerships and sponsorships with TV2000 (La Compagnia del libro) and Whipart Onlus as regards the first, the Sistema Bibliotecario Cremasco-Sorinese, the Consorzio Sistema Bibliotecario Nord Ovest and Informatici Senza Frontiere as regards the latter. Among the courses on the calendar, is sure that regarding building, held by Solkide Auer, who has had so much success last year, aimed at those who want to learn how to build in Second Life from scratch (yo will start by creating a simple form to switch to modeling its coming up to the choice of the texture) but also to those who want to improve their technique or knowledge held. At the end everyone should be able to build forms, even complex ones, using the tools Second Life’s graphic editor provide.

Andrej Nansen and Samaya Silberman will lead instead the three evenings devoted to music and in particular the gesture with which some great musicians express their musical ideas through the piano. During the evenings “Dita sull’avorio, il gesto dei grandi pianisti” (Fingers on ivory, the gesture of the great pianists), in the music room of Imparafacile island, will be proposed videos concerning the performances of three great performers as Keith JarretPhilip Glass and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. From music to publishing, Livio Korobase will explain how to “Realizzare eBook in formato ePub” (realize eBook in ePub format) through eight events dedicated to who is planning to build an eBook even from scratch (a basic knowledge of XHTML and CSS, however, can help). ImparafacileIf the idea appeals to you, please note that you will need a text editor, a bitmap editor and the Sigil page layout software and that will be used some readers and an online validation service to check the work.

Last but not least project of the new season, “Libri dall’altro mondo” (Books from the other world) propose events in “mixed-reality” mode that will be host (in RL) at Biblioteca Chiesa Rossa, one of the most beautiful and innovative libraries in the library system of Milan city and (in SL) at Imparafacile island. Virtual environments, interaction between the audience in RL and SL avatars, literary games, interviews with authors, reading and sharing are the ingredients that will be used to actively involve all the participants. The first three events will be dedicated to social reading, to the presentation of the book “La dona dal cagnin ros” (The woman with the cagnin ros) by Laura Sanchioni, published by Rayuela Edizioni and to Sergio Bonelli and the history of Italian comics. A project that seems to be particularly ambitious, because as Imparafacile Runo mentioned during the opening ceremony, arrange events in this mode is much less simple than you think, one having to deal with microphones, lights, streaming, coordination of interventions by study and by SL, preparation of real and virtual locations. This is why atpresent there are no events “out of Milan”, even if in case of success it is possible that Libri dall’altro mondo can make a stop in other cities such as Rome (or, why not, Naples).

ImparafacileIn any case the new season prepared by Giovanni Dalla Bona and his stuff (whom in the meantime have created the cultural association Libriamo Tutti) seems to have what it takes to reach the target and disseminate greater knowledge of the potentiality of virtual worlds as a cultural environment and channel for the dissemination of culture. Therefore we invite you to keep an eye on the activities of Imparafacile, by checking the programs available on its Ning on Libriamo Tutti site, and on its Facebook fanpage. But of course follow even Mondivirtuali.it fanpage on Facebook, where we shall have the chance to speak again of the activities of Giovanni and his staff and partners.

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    Koinup and Biboom strengthen their partnership that is transforming the graphic community founded in 2006 byPierluigi Casolari and Edoardo Turelli on the wave of enthusiasm for the possibilities that 3D virtual platforms as Second LifeTwinity, or Imvu were open to enthusiasts of digital graphics, from an environment similar to Flickr, only dedicated exclusively to the user-created content in virtual worlds and MMORPGs, to a social media able to give life to purchases and sales of the best works created by its members, a little like as microstock platforms as Fotolia.

    After announcing in late July, the possibility for Koinup.com usersto transfer their images collected in Koinup on a physical medium and sell or buy paper prints of digital images displayed on Koinup, thanks to the integration level of API between the same Koinup and  Bigoom, platform founded by Ruggero Frigoli, possibility that seems to have been a success in terms of subscriptions from the most famous “koinuppers”, it is now the turn of another agreement that will allow them to make the most of the partnership by signing a Bigoom premium account at the discounted price of 35%.

    BIgoomIn practice,you’ll have just toenter the coupon code Koinup at the time of signing in order to pay only € 2.57 for a premium account of the duration of 3 months or € 9.07 for an account of 12 months (compared with, respectively, a list price of 3.95 and 13.95 euros) to acquire total control over prints that each has (or will have) for sale as well as their prices. Among other benefits of Bigoom premium account: unlimited storage space (while the free account limit is 100 MB and/or 10 uploads per month), the ability to decide on the markup on the price of prints, with a gain for the author equal to 100% of the markup itself (as opposed to 80% in the case of the account free of charge) and a priority in upload.

    koinupIf all this is not enough, you have to know that Koinup is also increasingly active on Pinterest, one of the “coolest” social media of the moment, and that the board Koinup-prints (just born but already about 200 followers at the time of writing this article) will be gradually picked the best of the Koinuppers prints on sale on Bigoom, providing additional visibility (and thus greater chance of sale) to the authors of the same. An initiative that easily could soon be imitated by other users Koinup present on Pinterest including the same Mondivirtuali.it further extending thevisibility of the whole.

    Finally, a tip: images that can be printed must have high resolution and size not so tiny (at least 21×15 cm), so when you go to select your best images to be sold, be sure to submit images of large, high resolution , high visual impact. And do not forgetto spread as much as possible (especiallyusing the major social networks and online communities of fans of digital graphics) the news that your works are for sale on Bigoom, thanks to Koinup, because in this case sharing is the secret to succeed.

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    I had a hint a few weeks ago when commenting with Pierluigi Casolari, Koinup.com community co-founder in 2006 together with Edoardo Turelli, the decision of the US private equity company KKR to take control, for 150 million dollars, of Fotolia (microstock platformwith over 17 million digital images and videos, leading European online pictures bank that allow its users to sell their works at reasonable prices) we concluded that the future of the web is increasingly linked to the images (still or motion that is) and it would be logical and also nice to seeKoinup evolve in this direction.

    KoinupThat said (or rather, thought) and made: since somedays you can, thanks to integration at the API level between Koinup and Bigoom, transfer your images collected on Koinup on a physical medium and sell or buy paper prints of digital images displayed on Koinup. Apossibility that is still in beta testing and have be tested further and therefore can be improved, but even now promises for those who want to sell to automatically transfer images from Koinup to Bigoom (which you must register, providing the details of your account on PayPal to receive future payments), convert the selected images into prints and show on Koinup the link of the page where anyone can buy the prints themselves.

    For those who are willing to purchase the printing of an image seen on Koinup, just press the button “buy print of this image” whose presence in the page indicates that that image is available through Bigoom. For Casolari’s and Turelli’s community (which also created a new forum with a specific tutorial, to discuss the news) this is an important development that expands the reach of a mere online community to the e-commerce, for the printing and distribution platform the agreement promisesto bring a new users.base potentially very excited to offer for sale and buy the fruit of their own and others’ experimental digita art. Having for years supported Koinup Koinup and togetherdeveloped the Graphic Dreams groups wher you can now find over 9,000 images (and the omonymous column where Luciana Pinazzo selects the best artists and their most interesting), Mondivirtuali.it can only be pleased about this development and hope that many graphic dreamer sand lovers of digital art in general actually take advantage of it to support the development of this art will linked to virtual worlds.

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      Google+ Luca SpoldiGoogle+ has now passed the 40 million users, as announced by the company in its latest quarterly earning release, but not everyone, even within Google, is convinced of its success. Indeed, in an email that should have remained within the company and instead was (accidentally?) published, a software engineer, Steve Yegge, argues that Google+ is “is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that’s not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there’s something there for everyone”.

      While the error made ​​by the google team would consist, for Yegge, of thinking in this way: “Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let’s go contract someone to, um, write some games for us”. “Do you begin to see – concludes Yegge nella mail ai colleghi – how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them”, instead of leaving to the users themselves and third parties to do the development work. But hey, we of Mondivirtuali wanna add: this was not exactly what Linden Lab tried to do when it has developed its 3D immersive online platform known as Second Life? Beyond the errors of management and marketing and despite an economic crisis that has taken many the desire and the ability to think of something different from the first life, Second Life remains by far the most successful virtual world between those launched so far and there is a reason.

      Mondivirtuali fanpage FacebookIf you compare Second Life, as has sometimes been done by the same Linden Lab, to videogames (maybe a MMORPG), the difference leaps to the eye as more active users in Second Life resist a few years on average while in MMORPGs to achieve higher levels removes any motivation for more active players over 6-18 months at most. The secret is probably right in that happy intuition of Philip Rosedale, to create an environment that may be the world that the imagination of its users (“residents” to use a term fell into disuse) is able to create. Too bad that Facebook guys and even Google engineers understood this much better than Linden Lab, although any comparison between these two social platforms and SL is misleadingin technical terms, given the greater complexity and richness compared tothe usability of the latest but also “flatness” of the first.

      But the hundreds of millions of users of social networks, of course, this demand: a lightweight platform, easily accessible, suitable to be used for different purposes and with tens of hundreds of entertainment. Facebook understood it, Google is trying, now is up to Linden Lab demonstrate the ability to understand its current and potential users, which obviously will never be the same of these social networks. Not necessarily a bad thing, if Second Life will remain a niche product aimed at a “high end” and “rich” market, adopting more the model of Apple than of  Microsoft as we have already explained before.

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        Blognetwork

        blogoSomething moves in the Italian blogosphere: as it said in a joint statement, Dada,  the Florentine Internet company founded by Paolo Barberis, which among other things owns sites such as Splinder, Register.it, Supereva, Clarence and digital terrestrial channelPlay.me , controlled by the RCS MediaGroup (which seems willing to hand over control in the near future) and Irish Populis, a group that is trying to replicate the success in European sauce of the “online content farm” as Demand Media and Associated Content, have reached an agreement for the sale of 100% of the network of vertical blogs Blogo (in which Dada had over the years bought 70% for a total of 2.3 million euro, 30% is so far remained in the hands of Marco and Francesco MagnocavalloLuca Lizzeri and Filippo Bassoli, the founders), for a total of 6 million euro.

        DadaAll in all in less than 4 years Dada has seen roughly double the value of its capital in and out of an activity which, having registered in 2010 estimated revenues of € 2.1 million should still have scored an operating loss of approximately 300,000 €, while Populis puts its hands in one go on another 45 blogs and 250 bloggers that last November recorded 8.5 million unique readers a month in Italy (11 million worldwide, according to Nielsen SiteCensus) and thus consolidates its business, based on the publication of about 15,000 articles per month spread through a network of 500 blogs, and prepared by a thousand bloggers paid a few Euros per item in lines with the business model of  “nanopublishing” that seems increasingly successful in America as in Europe (including Italy), but about the real sustainability of which many analysts have some doubt, especially now that Demand Media is preparing to face the market, wanting to land on Wall Street.

        Populis

        Same place, incidentally, that are looking for other “stars” of the web of the latter two years as the social game publisher Zynga(valued around $ 5.8 billion at the time), the social network for professionals LinkedIn (that would be a couple billion) and of course Facebook (come to the colossal scores of 50 billion dollars and many intended to tap the 90 billion within the next year when it may debut at Wall Street). More and more distant from the Italian market, even in the case of dynamic companies such as Dada, which preferred to go out with a good gain and focus on its core business. And, incidentally, more and more distant from the assessments of Linden Lab, is now down around $ 220 million.

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          Avatars United

          We lack only someone who sings “Let’s go avatars, to the rescue …” then the media effect, at least among fans of virtual worlds, will be maximized. As many have already read on the official blog of Second Life or on the Facebook note that Biancaluce Robbiani devoted to the news, Linden Lab has announced the purchase of Avatars United, the online community created by the Swedish Enemy Unknown AB and years in beta, which until now was around the 293 thousandth position in the ranking of Alexa.com.

          As if to say that, span, had so far half the traffic of New World Notes of Hamlet Au (aka Wagner James), whose blog is around position 103 thousand and generates 100-125 thousand pageviews per month (see there: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2010/01/nwn-seeks-partners.html). Incidentally SLnn.it last week was about the position 310 thousand and generates about 15-20 thousand pageviews a month.

          Mark KingdomJanuary should be a month “magic” for the Californian company since last year thet, again in late January, acquired Xstreet and Onrez and then merged into the XStreetSL marketplace. Now, as then the strategy of M Linden (aka Mark Kingdom, the Ceo of Linden Lab) is to take a step back from the “visionary” mission of the founding father who in the meantime left the scene and passed to deal with “love machines”) Philip Linden (aka Philip Rosedale) and groped to embrace the web “2D” where, it is worth remembering, a social network as Facebook has succeeded in little more than a year to take off until more than 300 million members (even if one needs to understand how many use it and how often, but certainly tens of times the 750-800 thousand active residents of Second Life).
          Mark says explicitly that this year will make Second Life (which will arrive by March revised and corrected version of the client, the SL2.0which has long speaking) simpler to use, with more “social glue”, more integrated with other social sites, capable of giving every resident a wider feed of the activities of his/her “friends” (so far limited to the online presence and exchange of notices or IMs between individuals or between individuals belonging to groups in world). In short, simpler and more interaction to go toward the creation of an online community that is partly in 3D, and partly in 2D. Not to mention that shortly would officially open its doors (currently is in beta) Second Life Enterprise, “serious” version of SL for those who want to use the grid for business needs.

          Avatars United Lukemary SladeMy feeling is that this is an opportunistic strategy, which aims to exploit the hype (which is already being rapidly descending) linked to the success of Avatar the movie but the move comes too late compared to when it would be appropriate and sensible to do it. In addition I believe, like others, that this move is contradictory to the need to drive towards business. Of course, having both a platform that can be attractive for the global market of online entertainment at the retail level and at the same time able to adapt to the needs of large individual business clients, perhaps taking advantage, from time to time, of the marketing efforts of others so as to minimize investments and costs is an irresistible temptation, especially for those who, after all, has been able to take better than others in moment of global economic crisis (so that transactions between residents in value have appeared in growth in 2009 despite the number of residents from the same time does not grow more). If will also be a winning strategy in the long term we’ll find out over time, but the doubts remain, even though (there was no doubt about it) at this time almost all the players of Second Life (both of the Italian community and other nationalities) are rebuilding their networks of contacts even on Avatars United, to avoid being excluded from the business (I’m curious to see how will react to other online communities like SLbloggers, Moolto or Pixelook just to name a few).

          I think the point is always to go from extreme self-lovers of Second Life and virtual worlds in general and on this front the move of Linden Lab does not offer any new, as would have been possible in the case of a partnership with Facebook or other mass social networks (even if M Linden has promised “optional registration and sign-in using credentials from other properties (Facebook, Yahoo, etc..)” within the year, thus leaving an open door for future integration, these did not entail an obligation to disclose their real identities, while giving to those who would like this option). The same would be said for the decision taken last year, after all: if instead of trying to buy two sites for constitute a monopoly in their own little niche Linden Lab had opted for a partnership with eBay or Amazon maybe some more success would have been obtained. But certainly likely, at least in the short term, the income flows for the Californian company could be lower and after all Linden Lab is not a charity, and venture capitalists that finance it does not want to change the world, just want to earn on investments in the quickest time possible.

          (A few months after theannounced acquisition, in 2010 Avatars United has been closed, SL Enterprise wasclosed, Mark Kingdom left Linden Lab… My doubts were not  totally without reason… LMS)

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          virtual worlds and journalism

          More and more (inter) related projects and the Italian space that somehow relate to the experience of metaverses and social networks, primarily but not exclusively in Second Life and Facebook. Two phenomena around which, notes Marco Minghetti (author of the column Aziende (in)Visibili on the metablog of Il Sole24Ore), often develops from the mainstream media a double phenomenon: first a surprise because of the success that they know how to get in a short time, then the adulation / enhancement of their creative abilities, finally blacklist them for the mass and pathological attention to allegations of crime in some way attributable to the new “diabolical” medium.

          Marco MinghettiNot a day goes by that journalism does not pursue with our national obstinacy worthy of a better cause the attempt to demonize, reversible competitive tools with which you do not want (or can not) deal. For the traditional journalism Facebook seems worthwhile to notice only when there is to highlight the dangers or often to make sensationalism an end in itself, of course, perfectly offset by Fantozzi’s deference to established power“, writes Minghetti, sparking a chorus of acclaim and underscore, by some experienced users, as Petronilla Paperdoll, that “the pattern” recognized for FB is identical to that applied many times in Second Life. In both cases there is also a serious lack of first hand information, that – at least – is unprofessional. Theme already addressed a year ago by Petronilla herself but that is obviously topical.

          Elena Zadro wonders, note, that “in this debate, I have the feeling that it regard people who love the web. I wonder: We are a small group who gather to “give courage” and share ideas or is now that in some way, the rules, values, go out and be reached from the crowd?”. Good question, which Aquiladellanotte Kondor (EsseElle Movie Magazine reporter, but not only) answers discouraged: “I tried posting the mechanism hence forth always used in these cases: news on the case -> construction of the blister with false or exaggerated expectations – > news half muckraking or strongly negative -> bubble -> rejection reactions -> scale in favor of the novelty of the traditional media that we always have been and always will be. We have already seen and we have already given (see SL). Unfortunately, as always, we will pay dearly for lagging behind other countries, we are the rear guard of the industrialized world“.

          As analyst I am cautious in giving an answer, I does not believe in absolutes, but I note, thanks to the numbers of Mondivirtuali.it, that the self is strong when talking about Second Life and social “we experienced” networking. Concrete example: the little article dedicated to Luciana Pinazzo naked, from September until now, has done about five times the number of pageviews of that devoted to Rinascimento Virtuale, event which has been discussed in many different ways and not just on this and a few other specialized sites (indeed, we saw with pleasure the Rai services dedicated to this meritorious cultural event designed by Mario Gerosa, aka Frank Koolhaas).

          In short, the “tricks of the trade” (slamming the “monster” on the front page, a cover package with a cute girl, held with a certain prudishness, enter keywords related to hot situations, etc.) are still paying more than just putting “high qualitty“contents. And who is speaking can still remember what at the time managing director of Mediaset, Maurizio Carlotti said in 1998 (speaking of pay television, but the concept, “mutatis mutandis“, also apply to metaverses and social networks): the only thing that pulls paying are hot explicit scenes, or contents for niche markets, highly specialized such as surgery (wich at the time the Italian group sent to several medical schools in France) as may be the blog dedicated to virtual art or architecture by Roxelo Babenco (aka Rosanna Galvani) and Arco Rosa (aka the Milan architect Paolo Valente) or the specific issues psycho / techno / logical of Mind Clarity (aka the Roman psychologist Marco Longo).

          Kublai campYet the lesson is that from a broom and a Nobel Prize there is certainly a vast territory / market for both content creators for their merchant – vehicle use. And then? So here we continue to see attempts at mutual contamination, bringing the contents of one container in another, grouped to find the winning combination of content and audience. A further example? The collaboration between Uqbar and Nova100 which led to a meeting, “present_art “, for which he will attempt to show a wider potential audience of Internet-only residents, the work of creative people and artists in Second Life “through cultural contexts in which you can get directly to their work without further mediation“.

          An attempt could be followed by other experiences that can directly reduce the barrier between SL and RL for all those who desire so, of course (given the right to interpret the metaverse and social networking as “clearing houses” of the stress of everyday life). In this sense, we are curious to see what the results of the BarCamp held in Rome Saturday, Jan. 24 by the Kublai Project that can also be accessed by web. From the comments that remain after the fact here emerges the awareness that “the need to communicate the territory is endemic” and that communication should start from the bottom up. Although known Patrizia Filippetti, “You only need to be more aware, (but) by whom?“. We’re back to the starting point: the new tools can allow a communication from the bottom to reach a wide area / audience, particularly if they are common in cross media rules and without barriers between virtual and “real” worlds.

          But this potential will not be enough if you do not succeed in removing the obstacles that the “incumbent” will inevitably arise to protect its position. To be able to remove these obstacles we need not be self-referential, so we welcome suggestions and opportunities for collaboration: we at Mondivirtuali.it are available, who wants to make us a better whistle or send us an email or give us a call.

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