Category: Maria’s Worlds

11

What kind of entrepreneur are you?

Back when I incorporated my first company a few years ago, I tried to learn as much as I could about the entrepreneurial process and mind set. I joined entrepreneurial organizations and attended events...

2

HG Biz Plan: Hyperport

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly...

3

HG Biz Plan: Virtual fishing

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly...

1

HG Biz Plan: Virtual book world

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly...

1

HG Biz Plan: Virtual psychics

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly...

7

HG Biz Plan: Virtual gym

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy...

10

The coming sim-com boom

We are going to have a metaverse of interconnected virtual worlds. Whether it evolves out from the current OpenSim and the hypergrid, or from the new crop of Web-based virtual platforms, or some combination,...

7

I’m building a virtual memory palace

Back before I became a business journalist, I was a war correspondent. And I accumulated a few psychological scars as a result. In the past, I deal with some of my ghosts by lighting...

6

Unity a road to un-united worlds

As the number of Unity-based virtual platforms proliferates, and a decent viewer for OpenSim and Second Life still remains a pipe dream, we’re getting close to the point where the center of gravity will...

4

What I look for in an OpenSim host

The OpenSim hosting industry is still young, and, though it is developing quickly, still lacking in experience and maturity. But it doesn’t mean that customers have to settle for substandard service. I’ve tried out...

41

Why free land is good for OpenSim

Will free land destroy grids? There will probably a winnowing out of grids that continue to charge for residential land without offering enough additional perceived value. But the end result will, I believe, a...

3

Getting attention in a virtual world

A few days ago, I heard a brief talk by marketing expert Steve Harrison in which he talked about how to get attention for your message. It turns out he was speaking about how...

27

A modest proposal for hypergrid security

As John Rogate pointed out today, the 4096 bug — which limits hypergrid teleports to no more than 4,096 regions in any direction — is a significant impediment to hypergrid travel and to the...

12

5 missing pieces in OpenSim

OpenSim development — like that of any open source project — is very much focused on what developers want to do. They are, after all, volunteers, they don’t take orders. That leaves business users...

9

Whose side am I on?

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my...

36

Free land might kill your grid

Any grid owner that makes a living by renting out premium residential regions should start planning ahead — for a future in which the effective of residential regions drops down to zero. Free is...

22

SpotON3D’s five PR mistakes

SpotON3D is a small commercial grid, with more money and programmers than customers. It has developed three innovative pieces of technology, two of which nobody cares anything about, and one, a browser-based viewer plugin,...

10

Kudos to SpotON3D for viewer plugin

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the...

12

The ‘official’ real me is legion

Until yesterday, I’ve been keeping up with — but haven’t been particularly concerned about — the Google Plus real names controversy. After all, I already used my real name in all my social networking...

2

Freebies need licenses

First of all, I’d like to thank all the creative folks who are creating original products and distributing them in freebie stores on OSGrid, JokaydiaGrid, GermanGrid, FrancoGrid, and many other locations. OpenSim has come...

3

5 grid design mistakes

I’ve been traveling around the hypergrid a lot lately enjoying the new hypergrid landmarks, friends, and messages — and updating the Hyperica directory. And I’ve been amazed at how far the grids have come....

5

5 reasons to rush to Unity 3D

Two major players in the OpenSim community have recently joined ReactionGrid in promoting the Unity 3D platform. In addition to ReactionGrid’s Jibe environment, we now also have Second Learning’s Unifier environment, and a product from...

12

Free campus released

Educators and companies looking for free, Creative Commons-licensed starting regions for their corporate or school campuses should take a look at Universal Campus. These four regions were originally created by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni...

10

Five top metaverse blogs

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I...

2

Jibe vs. OpenSim

Jibe is a new, Unity 3D-based virtual environment created by ReactionGrid, one of the leading OpenSim hosting vendors. Many people confuse the two platforms, but they are very different environments. In fact, Jibe has...

5

10 marketing triggers

As the number of new grids proliferates, grid owners need to look beyond “cheaper than Second Life” as their key marketing ploy. Instead, why not try one of these time-tested strategies? 1. Limited time...

4

How to hijack the metaverse

We all remember the Microsoft-Netscape battle. Okay, maybe some people don’t, so here’s the summary: Netscape was a company that made a free Internet browser and and a not-free commercial Web server. (The latter...

14

Second Life vs. OpenSim

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as...

9

No happy endings for virtual investors

There might be a role for new kinds of exchanges in our virtual future, just as the Internet spurred the growth of online trading and alternative trading networks. But there aren’t going to be...

9

Why pay for OpenSim?

With OpenSim hosting prices dropping fast and features and stability improving, it surprises to me that people still ask why anyone should pay for OpenSim. Yes, OpenSim is free. You can go to OpenSimulator.org...

3

Mesh may accelerate OpenSim migration

I’ve been reading lately about how great mesh will be for Second Life. But I’m wondering whether it won’t actually be better for OpenSim, instead. Off-world content versus in-world content In Second Life, the...

5

The business case for OpenSim

A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead...

0

The virtual is magic

I know the iPad is supposed to be magical. But, to me, it doesn’t come close to the magic I feel inside Second Life and OpenSim worlds. When I’m on a grid, I can...

5

At the Second Life tipping point

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according...

7

Waiting for an OpenSim content marketplace

Update: There are now two marketplaces, Cariama and HGExchange, that deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids. Read more here: Where to get content for OpenSim. As a business owner — and someone who is very...

5

How virtual worlds will converge

Today, we are seeing an explosion in virtual world platforms. We’ve got various — and incompatible — open source projects, including OpenSim, Open Wonderland, Open Cobalt, Sirikata, and Vastpark. We’ve got stand-alone proprietary software...

8

When do cloud-based sims make sense?

With Kitely‘s bill-per-minute, cloud-based OpenSim hosting service now available, non-technically inclined folks now have a real choice in what kind of hosting they’d like to have. Here is a breakdown of common use cases...

2

Proprietary code is good for OpenSim

A lot of debate about open source code versus proprietary code these days centers on the personalities of the folks involved, or on the politics behind the idea of open source. But, from a...

0

Dress for virtual success

Back when I was fresh out of college, in my first reporting gig, I learned that context matters a lot in getting folks to talk to you. At the start, a typical conversation would...

0

Why PioneerX matters

Yesterday, I posted a story (yes, a little on the long side) about a new services from PioneerX Estates where they manage your whole grid for you. Everything — estates, land rentals, voice —...

3

Beware vendors bearing gifts

Resellers of open source software survive by making life easier for their customers. For example, Website hosting providers handle the setup, backups, updates, load balancing and server management for you. Yes, you could run...

1

How not to work for free

When aspiring freelance writers ask me for advice about how to get started, here’s what I always start out with: Don’t do anything that other people are willing to do for free. So if...

1

My 2010 predictions scorecard

In January of 2010, I made a few predictions about what I thought was going to happen with OpenSim this year. I was way off on most of them. The OpenSim developers will continue...

0

Thanksgiving on the hypergrid

It’s easy to get frustrated with the pace of technological change. My wish list of OpenSim features gets longer with every day that I use the platform — but I’ll save it for my...

2

The hypergrid’s not for everyone

Ever since Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine invented the hypergrid in 2009, people have been debating whether grids should be on or off the hypergrid. On the one...

9

What is OpenSim standard time?

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’re in the process of launching a virtual events directory (now that the vendor directory is up and working). And the question comes up — what times do we list...

3

Growing your sim-com business

Now that we’ve got our new vendor directory ready to launch (see the test page here and give us your opinions!) we’re taking a second look at what exactly customers are looking for when...

1

Building OpenSim neighborhoods

One of the joys of social games like FarmVille is getting to visit your friends. In a virtual world like Second Life, this is also a major attraction — your friends’ regions on the...

2

A three-year plan — and then some

I occasionally hear frustration from OpenSim vendors and their early-adopter customers that mainstream users aren’t getting OpenSim, that they aren’t aware of the benefits OpenSim offers compared, to, say, Second Life or other virtual...

6

Advice to educators

Today, Linden Lab announced that the price of land for educators and non-profits will double in January. As a result, the price differential between Second Life land and OpenSim becomes even more significant. You...

4

How I lost 20 pounds in Second Life

Today, my scale shows that I’ve lost 20 pounds over the past three months. In addition, today at my doctor’s office, I learned that, my blood pressure was down, and so was my body...

0

How to get rid of ‘real life’

I’m ending it. Beset by criticism on all sides — okay, just one side — I am officially going cold turkey on “real life.” The phrase, that is, not the living itself. I’ve never...

0

What do you want to know?

I was in a meeting recently with a local business networking groups going on — as I normally do — about virtual worlds. And the other folks at the meeting expressed an interest in...

3

What to wear to a virtual job interview

I regularly hire people I’ve never met in real life. We cover international business, and we like having correspondents and editors around the world — and with today’s economy, we just don’t have the...

0

We all live in a virtual world

Mike Treder, the managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, recently asked a loaded question: If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to...

1

Renting or owning your OpenSim land?

Hosting providers with previous experience in Second Life are bringing some Second Life terminology with them into OpenSim. For example, Coral Estates draws a distinction between “owning” a region and paying “tier” — and...

10

Whisper clear as a bell in OpenSim

Tonight’s meeting of the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group was an eye-opener for me and several other attendees — well, ear-opener. We got a chance to try out the new Whisper directional voice system for OpenSim,...

0

Grids should consider zoning

A couple of days ago, Second Life merchant Darrius Gothly proposed a plan to reinvigorate Second Life’s land market by  zoning regions residential or commercial. Today, Second Life does have some zoning. Content aimed...

1

The grid is another country

For the past year that I’ve been attending meetings in Second Life and OpenSim, I’ve been thinking of the virtual platforms as another kind of collaboration tool. I compare it to Web-based conferences and...

5

How open are virtual worlds?

There are three ways in which a particular platform or service can be considered to be “open.” One is whether it runs on multiple systems, or is locked into a system from one particular...

7

When will virtual land be free?

Today, Web space is free. Almost. You can get free accounts for blogs on Blogger.com and WordPress.com — among many others. And storage space is so cheap that some Web hosts offer virtually unlimited...

12

A call for a new viewer

Second Life has rolled out some great features recently, such as media-on-a-prim, which are great for business. And chief product officer  Tom Hale’s promise of mesh imports in the second quarter of this year...

7

Resilience during virtual disasters

Virtual worlds have been offered up in recent weeks as alternatives to physical events because they are disaster-proof. No volcano or tsunami can take down the whole Internet. And virtual events are particularly budget-friendly...

1

Joys and dangers of work avatars

If you’re a business manager considering rolling out virtual workspaces, you may think that an avatar identity is nothing more than yet another user account, the login credentials for a particular piece of virtual...

1

Business on OpenSim

Last week, I surveyed the state of OpenSim commerce, in the column Business in OpenSim. This included the beginnings of in-world retail shops, OpenSim hosting providers, and design and development services. These are new...

2

Business in OpenSim

[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.] Is it too early to start doing business...

0

The OpenSim front porch

The Internet is a wide, and anonymous place. For me, it’s always a slight shock when I comment on someone’s blog post — and they comment back, or send me a personal “thank you”...

4

Obscurity is not security

Back in the early days of Internet technology it was feasible to have “security by obscurity” — putting up a document on the Internet, say, but making the address so complicated that nobody would...

4

The Maria Awards

Can’t wait for Oscar night? I know I can’t. So here at Hypergrid Business we’re doling out our own awards. First, a little video introduction. This is a little sailboat trip that OpenSim’s own...

5

Virtual worlds? Bah!

If you think that the virtual worlds are over hyped, and the metaverse of hyperlinked OpenSim grids will never amount to anything, you don’t have to think up an original blog post — just...

3

Viewer envy is bitter, and stings

Last summer I decided to open a virtual office for my company. I don’t just write for Hypergrid Business — I run a company with staff in China and India, among other locations, providing...

2

Time for SL private grids?

Second Life is a popular destination for businesses and schools because it’s cheaper and easier to use than most other enterprise-quality virtual platforms. In addition, Second Life’s popularity with consumers means that there are...

0

Building a 3D workspace

In my last column (“The 3D future“) I briefly touched on the idea of a 3D desktop to replace the current Windows interface. Nobody knows yet what a 3D workspace will look like. It...

5

The 3D future

The dawn of the 3D age is upon us. Over a dozen immersive virtual world platforms are competing for our attention — and that’s just in the business sector. Our kids and teenagers are...

4

10 predictions for 2010

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This...