One-question ebook survey

As part of my New Year resolutions — and in response to the growing interest in OpenSim — I’ve been planning a couple of ebooks, to sell through this website, on Amazon, and through other channels.

The goal is to make OpenSim more accessible to a wider audience.

Please help me decide which book to do first.

Option one: 99 Steps to Your New Grid

It takes a lot of work to get a new grid going. This book will cover everything from small home-based mini grid to mid-sized school and company grids to large public commercial grids, with an extensive checklist of action items. Some of the material has appeared in Hypergrid Business before, some is new, and everything is brought up to date.  Check out the table of contents here. And, before you write in and complain — not every step will apply to every grid! Non-profits and personal grids can completely skip the business model section, for example.

Option two: Getting Started in OpenSim

Everything a newcomer needs to know about getting started on this platform. Includes recommendations for best grids for socializing, education, creativity, and shopping. Selecting, installing, and configuring viewers. Exploring the hypergrid. Finding people, events, and content. The best online communities and places to go for technical help. Renting land. Running your own grids.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

10 Responses

  1.' Sarge Misfit says:

    “Escape From Reality: Create Your Own Virtual World With OpenSim”


  2.' Fleep Tuque says:

    Why OpenSimulator is the Most Promising Platform for an Open Metaverse

  3.' Hannah says:

    “WTF is an ‘open sim’?!?!??: How to use free tools to create a shared 3D space on your desktop to share with your friends, family or business.”

  4.' Talla Adam says:

    What Sarge said but shorten to just “Create Your Own Virtual World With OpenSim”

  5.' Vanish says:

    Hm, my answer is a little longer, so I better write it down here.

    I’m not particularly interested in either of these titles, because I already know how to get started in OpenSim, and have no intentions of running a grid. That is not to say that these books could be very useful for many people; I’m just not one of them. So if your intention was to scope out the potential range of readers, I have to answer simply “not interested”.

    However, I think books about OpenSim are sorely needed. Simply because books about *anything* on the internet are sorely needed. For us living in virtual worlds it might be sometimes hard to imagine, but there’s still a large part of the population, even in “broadband” countries, that don’t engage in online activities in any meaningful way. I know this because I’ve got lots and lots of examples in my own family; if I had to estimate a guess, I’d say at least 50% of my family (and not just the “old and downtrodden”) aren’t computer or internet-savvy. And this is a family that has at least one long-time hacker among them (me), even though I am just more or less the Microsoft Support Team for them.

    The problem is, when a book has “opensim” or “grid” in the title, you’re catering to a very small subgroup of an already small enough niche, and chances are, the people who recognize these terms are the people who already know most of what you’re going to write about. From the times I’ve spoken about OpenSim to audiences who were not active or interested in Virtual Worlds (even though they were definitely computer savvy), I’ve found the biggest problem is not explaining how OpenSim works and what to do to get a grid up and running; it’s telling them why OpenSim matters, why we think this is a great and important technology that will shape our future, and why it’s not bloody enough to have facebook.

    So, I think we need books about that. Even though I already am on board of that particular bandwagon, I think we sorely need texts that talk positively about the cool things that can be and are being done in Virtual Worlds. And since books particularly appeal to the kinda-computer-savvy-but-not-online-all-the-time crowd, I think the (e)book format is the right thing for them.

    Now the other problem is how to sell it to them, but that’s the issue with every book, isn’t it?

    • For the audience, I was thinking more of current users of other virtual worlds who may have heard about OpenSim somewhere or read an article (such as my article about the MOSES grid for Network World) and are interested in learning more. Also for people who belong to a community that is considering OpenSim. For example, if you school or museum is setting up an OpenSim grid and you want to know more about it. And also for vendors looking to pitch OpenSim to these types of clients, and are looking for materials to give to them to show them that this is something that’s actually real.

      •' Vanish says:

        Ah, okay. I don’t know them. Personally, if I was in that position, I’d look up the info on the net, and would probably find enough to get me going. Then again, I know next to nothing about the ebook market and which people are buying those, so consider my opinion one that lacks all necessary experience.

        • There’s a certain category of people who prefer to read on paper. Especially difficult topics, or new subjects. I still remember the dot-com media boom — bookstore shelves lined with guides to the Internet, inch-thick technology magazines — what a great time to be a tech writer!

          Then there’s folks who prefer ebooks. I’ve recently become the second type of person. I still check out library books, or pick up print books by my favorite authors, and buy reference books, but the majority of my reading is now on an e-reader. I have a subscription to Oyster, and I use my library’s OverDrive system as well (and I recommend both). Given the choice between learning a subject by reading a book about it, or a bunch of different blog posts, I like to start with a book. It’s more organized, and I’ll be sure of not missing critical parts. Once I’ve got this base of knowledge, I subscribe to relevant blogs to stay up-to-date, and build on that foundation.

  6.' Ener Hax says:

    i highly, highly, highly recommend that you read APE by Guy Kawasaki

    anyone writing books can strongly benefit from this (the eBook version is actually preferable)

    not only does it cover Kindle Direct publishing but it is fabulous for re-framing any old habits for established authors and also a massive help to new authors

    we are setup as full-blown publishers with Lightning Source (which was a massive pain) and have our own ISBN numbers (would have been a great time to be living in Canada where those are free) BUT APE changed our perspectives greatly

    APE changed my mind on making more of my OpenSim work free (Hax Nuit is free now if you know where to look) and eventually Enclave Harbour will be free

    it’s an easy read with lots of highly actionable things you (anyone) can do to succeed

  7.' hack13 says:

    I think this is a good idea, but knowing you Maria. You have stated to me before in emails and on this site, that you don’t know too much about the tech backend end of things.

    I think if you do a book like this, you need to consider a few things. Like hiring someone to write the indepth understanding in the tech work that goes into a grid. I am going to tell you now, we have jumped in and have had many grids who started with video and blog tutorials and when we picked them up because they said it got too big for them, we saw they were holding on by strings. A simple corruption could have brought down their whole thing.

    I have actually been working on a tutorial for running a grid. Because the ones out there, are good if you doing it as a hobby, but at scale are dangerous. It is really somthing you need to contact people willing to share their setups and how they did it on every platform.

    I notice many people just pay extra to do the windows route, because its easier, but honestly its not neccessarly a great way to go in the terms of scale. Linux runs opensim just as smooth, if not better.