Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Sparkle IM — an iPhone app that allows users to send and receive instant messages from inside Second Life — now supports access from OpenSim grids. “It’s been awhile since the last update of Sparkle IM,” the company announced today. “We apologize for the silence.” In addition to support forRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

This list was researched in late December… then we forgot to post it because of the holidays. In November, we counted up over 6,500 regions, so we’re continuing to see around 500 regions gained a month. This list still has unconfirmed numbers for two grids — OpenLife Grid, and LegendCity.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we write a lot about the Second Life-OpenSim-realXtend ecosystem. We love the low cost, the flexibility, and the massive amounts of content available for this platform. But it isn’t the only option for business users. Here are some alternatives: ProtoSphere ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere is an enterprise-focused virtualRead More →

The great advantage of using OpenSim is that a grid owner can leverage all the work done by the open source community. The OpenSim server platform is updated continually, with new bug fixes and new features coming out almost daily. And the viewers — also open source — are steadilyRead More →

On Monday, Metaplace announced that the company was shutting down its virtual world. This virtual world wasn’t the first platform of choice for enterprise users. The game-like interface, the kid-friendly avatars, and the lack of true 3D graphics — not to mention the lack of business functionality — didn’t lendRead More →

As OpenSim-based social grids continue to grow, Second Life content designers are understandably worried about the free content floating around these grids — content which may have been ripped off from Second Life. Part of this is accidental. Users copy their bought-and-paid-for inventories from Second Life to their OpenSim regions,Read More →

Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd.  announced they reached a record number of prims this week, with half a million separate objects in a single OpenSim region. According to the company, the objects were mathematically-generated  “Menger sponges,” or fractal shapes. And the region wasn’t killed by the load, said company directorRead More →

The choice of OpenSim hosting companies has grown a bit but is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — at the start of this year. If you’re looking for a free alternative to a paid hosting services,Read More →

Imagine a place full of literate adults, 100 percent broadband penetration – and people willing to work for pennies an hour. There’s no minimum wage, no unemployment insurance, and no labor laws. Sounds better than China, doesn’t it? The place is Second Life — and other social virtual worlds alsoRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Reality Collides with Real-world Law in Forthcoming Book by Rutgers–Camden Law Professor CAMDEN –  In the new James Cameron movie “Avatar,” characters “inhabit” other bodies to fight oppression.  Sounds like science fiction, but thousands engage in similar activity every day through online communities and gaming.  And theRead More →

I love Google Analytics and use it to track visitors to my Websites — and where they come from and how they leave. It would be great to have this same information for my grid. This could be a gadget that I place on each region I need crawled, possiblyRead More →

The largest social OpenSim-based grids have gained over 1,000 regions since our last count in early September, bringing the total regions on these grids to over 6,500. These are grids that allow anyone to register for free. In addition, social interaction is a significant aspect of the grid’s activity.  InRead More →

This article is now out of date. Lots of new material is now available! Read more here: Where to get content in OpenSim. One of the great advantages of using OpenSim as a virtual world platform is the availability of free or low-cost ready-made worlds. OpenSim allows world owners toRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

The U.S. virtual goods market doubled in size from 2008, to  reach $1 billion this year, according to a new report from Inside Network. “While virtual goods have been driving revenues in Asia and Europe for years, 2009 will be remembered as the year virtual goods-based businesses began to scaleRead More →

Press Release: Duke Center to Participate in White House Science-Education Effort DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University is playing a major role in the new White House campaign to encourage students — especially in middle and high school — to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The third-annual Digital MediaRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] Folks looking to enjoy the interoperability of OpenSim-based virtual worlds by hypergrid teleporting between different grids have been repeatedlyRead More →

Press Release: President Obama Launches “Educate to Innovate” Campaign for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (Stem) Education Nationwide effort includes over $260 million in public-private investments to move American students to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade President Obama todayRead More →

One of the joys of exploring virtual worlds grids is finding new fantastic new regions and builds. Then comes the pain of virtual worlds — you bring your friends back to visit, and the builds are no longer there. Maybe it cost too much to keep the region up andRead More →

Over 300 grids run on the OpenSim open source virtual world platform today, a dramatic increase over the last few weeks, mostly due to the release of Crista Lopes’ Diva Distribution of OpenSim, and to the efforts of a growing number of OpenSim vendors. However, this number does not includeRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead More →

Getting free OpenSim land is a great way to test out the OpenSim platform, or to have a home base for exploring the social aspects of OpenSim-based virtual worlds. Free land can also be used as a location on which to design objects for distribution or sale elsewhere. Freeland typicallyRead More →

Intel CTO Justin Rattner introduced OpenSim superstars Shenlei Winkler and Crista Lopes to the world yesterday at the at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore. According to Rattner, super computers can make three dimensional worlds richer and more immersive, creating a potential new driver for supercomputing sales in theRead More →

As the number of virtual worlds proliferates, Second Life is beset on all sides — niche worlds, big social worlds, high-end worlds, inexpensive worlds, browser-based worlds, kid worlds, business worlds and many more. Today, Second Life has the clear first-mover advantage when it comes to mixed-use social worlds, but consumerRead More →

Amsterdam-based architecture firm Dedato has moved into its new headquarters — a building originally prototyped in Second Life. Rakeem Buaku, who coordinated the virtual construction, called the project a success, and told The Arch Network that he would definitely consider using virtual worlds again for future projects. The architecture firmRead More →

As my staff and I begin building out our third — third! — company grid it’s becoming apparent how much manual labor is required in creating office space and landscapes. The first time we set up offices, it was fun. Playing with landscaping, designing buildings, arranging furniture in offices —Read More →

Normally, creating an OpenSim grid requires not just downloading and running the grid software but also setting up a MySQL database, configuring firewall ports, editing an initialization file, and editing region files. And upgrading the OpenSim software is a hassle almost as major as installing it in the first place.Read More →

Press Release: Study of 2,000 women regarding social media gaming and “app’ing”: loyal, thirsty for virtual currency and engaged with brands Social Media Behavior Points to Brands As Welcomed, Appreciated Partner A new study from Q Interactive and Social Media World Forum of more than 2,000 women finds them activelyRead More →

Press Release: NEOVIA Financial Selected by VirWoX for Second Life Currency Exchange NEOVIA Financial, the independent global online payments business, has been selected to securely process online payments for VirWoX, the Austrian based Virtual World Exchange. VirWoX is using NEOVIA’s NETELLER e-wallet to enable users of the Second Life virtualRead More →

Australia’s DeepThink Pty Ltd. has launched an OpenSim hosting company, founder Adam Frisby announced today. Adam Frisby is DeepThink’s co-director and the company’s head of research and technology, and he is also a core developer of the open source OpenSim virtual world server software The new hosting company — SimHostRead More →

Japan’s 3Di, Inc. announced a cloud-based offering for enterprises looking to deploy OpenSim virtual worlds. 3Di currently offers a server-based software solution, as well as a Web-based browser for its enterprise customers. “Cloud computing services would allow enterprises to deploy 3D virtual worlds without needing to invest In their ownRead More →

Immersive collaborative environments may be the perfect solution to a company’s training or collaboration needs — but may be a hard sell if the senior management still thinks of 3D environments as video games. According to a new report from analyst firm ThinkBalm, proponents of virtual worlds technology need toRead More →

SecondLife currently has around 23,000 user-owned regions, with another 5,000 regions owned by Linden Lab. However, OpenSim-based grids seem to be catching up in total land area, with over 5,600 regions on the public social grids alone, up from around 5,000 from our last count earlier this summer. This numberRead More →

Manchester-based virtual world development firm Second Places helped two U.K. universities with an immersive art installation which ran through this past weekend. The installation, produced by the University and Salford and Liverpool’s John Moore University, was part of the ISEA2009, and international electronic art symposium in the U.K. and Ireland.Read More →

According to a new report by analyst firm ThinkBalm, immersiveness is not an all-or-nothing proposition but a continuum. On the low-immersion extreme are virtual worlds with cartoony graphics, static camera angles, no spacial voice, and limited gestures. High-immersive worlds, by comparison, have realistic graphics, customizable avatars, spacial audio and aRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, US virtual good sales will total $621 million in 2009 — upRead More →

Press Release: UC Irvine establishes Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds Will join forces with Institute for Software Research and Game Culture & Technology Laboratory UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences has established the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds, led by ICS AssociateRead More →

Have you seen the episode of The Office where Dwight Shrute gets a Second Life? It’s exactly the same as his first life – except that he can fly! And did you catch that episode of CSI: New York where Mac Taylor has to go inside Second Life to catchRead More →

Japan’s Sanwa Supply Co., launched a site today where visitors can shop for computer supplies and peripherals using the immersive 3Di OpenViewer from 3Di that came in the form of a browser plug-in, instead of a standalone application like the Second Life, Hippo, or Meerkat browsers. The breakthrough is thatRead More →

A Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life is a Holy Grail for business users: it would make it easier for employees, customers and business partners to access virtual platforms. That would make for easier meetings, easier conferences, easier product demonstrations, easier training seminars, virtual tours, showrooms — all theRead More →

Ever more frequently, companies looking to save money are moving meetings and training into virtual environments such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra, and Qwac. In some cases, the company fully controls the environment, creating avatars and user names for their employees. In other environments, it’s all up to the employees. Read More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Corporate Planners Unlimited, Inc. is not only a meeting and events company – it is also a travel agency. So it might be strange that president Dan Parks is promoting a way to hold meetings and conferences that requires no travel at all. It wasn’t always this way. When ParksRead More →

Though virtual events enable organizers to avoid travel and facilities expenses, in many respects they are no different from real world events in their marketing, according to the Event Marketing Institute. While many people think that virtual events are easy and don’t cost any money — and that only tech-savvyRead More →

Whenever I interview a Wall Street executive, or a technology expert, I have to ask for a photograph.  I often joke that we already have a lot of headshots of guys in suits — what I really want to see is some variety. Maybe a photograph of them on aRead More →

Boston students may be able to attend a virtual high school in September 2010, if Roxbury Institute of Technology‘s plans for a charter high school are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The school will combine a virtual environment, based on the Sun Wonderland virtual platform, and a real-worldRead More →