On Being “Part of the Product”

Dusan Writer thinks a lot about the business of virtual worlds and, specifically, Second Life.

He recently wrote a very thoughtful and interesting blog post titled “SECOND LIFE NEXT: 2011.

In my comment on his post, I said the following:

You also talked about how “user generated content is not a business model.” I’m not sure I fully agree with you on that. The bottom line is, if you’re using a service and not paying for it, you’re not a customer. You’re part of the product. At least that’s how all successful businesses see it.

I’d like to expand a bit on what I said in bold.  Because, if done right, I think it’s a very good thing both for businesses and customers.

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New Mailing List for the Hypergrid Adventurers Club

Our Hypergrid Adventurers Club continues to grow.  At our last meeting we set a new record by having people from 5 completely different grids attending our club via Hypergrid connections.  We typically have about 20 people attending our big Sunday meetings. And we’re even expanding our collaborative efforts to other grids.

In addition to our weekly inworld meetings, we stay in touch with each other via this blog, our #HGAC hashtag on Twitter, and our IRC channel.

It’s always good to have different options for communicating.  And it’s especially important to use the right tool for the right job.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to create a Google Groups mailing list for the Club.  This will allow us to have more detailed ongoing discussions.  I also hope this new list will allow us to talk about broader topics such as education and the exploration of all kinds of different virtual worlds.

I’ve had very good success with mailing lists in the past.  They’re a great way to help a growing community evolve.

And boy, we are growing!

Take care,
-John “Pathfinder” Lester


Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #28+29: Physics Education and Giant Laboratories on NewWorldGrid

This past Sunday we made two excursions to the region Physics on NewWorldGrid, where we discovered and explored a giant-sized physics lab as well as a planetarium.

In our second meeting of the day we met with the creator Aime Socrates, who also built the amazing CERN nuclear physics area we explored in a previous visit.

Read on for a full transcript and many photos from our two meetings on Sunday.

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Encore! Another Live Opera on FrancoGrid on Jan 6th – The Marriage of Figaro

The folks on FrancoGrid are hosting another live opera.

It’s happening Thursday, January 6 @ 8pm French Time (11am SLT/2pm Eastern).  Our Hypergrid Adventurers Club attended the previous opera, which was simply brilliant.

I’ll be leaving from the region Pathlandia on jokaydiaGRID at 7:30pm French Time (I want to arrive early)  if folks would like a hypergrid guide to the performance.  We can make the jumps from jokaydiaGRID to FrancoGrid together.

@Hugobiwan has created a poll to see how many folks will be attending the opera in Second Life versus Opensim.  If you plan on attending the opera, please fill out this poll.  That will help them a lot in their organizing and server setup.  Thanks!

À Bientôt!

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

UPDATE Jan 8, 2011: Some nice coverage of the opera in the French press. See these articles on France24 and leParisien, and video coverage by a French TV station.

Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #27: Educational Whiteboards, visiting a There.com outpost on NewWorldGrid, and Dachshunds

At this meeting we learned about an Opensim whiteboard tool designed by Trevor Meister and visited a There.com outpost on NewWorldGrid created by Mike_37uk There.

We also briefly discussed dachshunds.  A subject very dear to me.

Read on for a full transcript and many photos of our adventure.

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Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #26: Visiting VWERGrid (Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable)

For today’s meeting, we visited VWERGrid, the new home of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable community.

On November 11th, 2010, the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable announced the opening of their second virtual home on their own Opensim grid called VWERGrid.  Today we traveled to VWERGrid and had a chance to speak with AJ Kelton, the founder of the VWER.

Read on for a full transcript and many photos of our adventure.

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