Tag Archive: Virtual World Basics

User interface complexity

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Great post by Tateru Nino on the death of Lively and some lessons about complexity.

In interacting with the atomic world, you have available one of the most sophisticated interaction interfaces available. It has between 60 trillion and 100 trillion basic components, and over a quadrillion discrete mechanical parts. It’s called the human body. It allows you to make coffee, paint a picture, have sex, walk, run, sit, read, write, communicate by voice, dance, sing, fill out insurance forms, build or repair machines or buildings, and more — though not every one of these options is available in every single model.

Imagine trying to perform some of the same tasks if your interaction interface was limited to a two-button mouse. Or just imagine being Stephen Hawking trying to build a shed or brew a cup of coffee, if that helps. The number of steps he has to perform even to ask someone else to do it for him is enormous, because his interaction interface is so limited.

So, ideally the interaction interface needs to be of an order of complexity that is coupled to the order of complexity of the number and type of possible tasks. If it rises above that or falls below that, performing tasks becomes harder.

Building community online

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A fascinating article about community management at Flickr, but many of the points made in Nasty as they wanna be? Policing Flickr.com could as well be applied to virtual worlds as well.

The essence of Champ’s job, she says, boils down to defending this imprecise but holy “spirit of Flickr.” Indeed, imprecision is an art here. The list of community guidelines is an assortment of lawyer-vexing instructions like “Don’t be creepy. You know the guy. Don’t be that guy,” and “Don’t forget the children.” If you’ve spent any time online, you instantly recognize these to be meaningful and clear edicts. Champ is only half joking when she says her is responsibility is to keep things from “encroaching on Flickr’s serenity.”

Social media

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A wonderfully succint definition by CoyoteAngel Dimsum on Twitter:

social media are “presence by other means”, and that includes Twitter, IM, and SecondLife

Trying out Twinity

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I’ve been trying out Twinity, and they have a contest that will start on Thursday. Voting will last for a week on locations that have been decorated over the last two weeks for the contest.

Here are some shots of “Caledon outpost” for your amusement.

Social norms, privacy, and community

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There’s a thought-provoking post about social norms and privacy at Grace McDunnough’s blog, Phasing Grace: Upholding Social Norms

Reflecting upon my early Second Life social experiences and those today I see dramatic changes, especially related to social privacy. For example, part of the subtle but consistent reinforcement from the early community was that the separation between one’s Second Life (SL) and real life (RL) was assumed, and the merger of those two was the decision of each individual to be exposed, discussed, etc. at their discretion and without prompting and if shared, certainly held in the utmost of confidence.

I’ve left a comment with a few of my perceptions as a resident of Caledon, a Quaker and Unitarian Universalist, and a middle-aged avatar (since November 2006, when we had already passed our first million residents).