Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tag lines

I collect tag lines from blogs (and a few sites)

Here are three of my favorites:

From About PhotoMatt (aka Matthew Mullenweg)
This page took 0.049 seconds of computer labor to produce. No computers were harmed in the making of this page. Some browsers whose name starts with Netscape may be though. Proudly powered by WordPress. Also powered by ramen noodles, XFN, Ping-O-Matic, gallery, and love.
This founding developer of WordPress shares some of his tools and scripts on his site.

From the Boing Boing Digital Emporium
Our favorite digital products for sale at low prices and without irksome Digital Rights Management.

Certainly the most economical tag line is from
Cafe Hyak, Where orders emerge.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Gomem Blogs from SL

Goto Desoto is the first blog I've seen that comes directly from Second Life (and YouTube).

Many thanks to the avatar in red, Gomem Desoto.

SL snapshot from Stuart Warf's blog

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Long Links

Tom Evslin's recent article highlights the importance of long links in networks of all sorts, from social networks to power grids.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How to Succeed in Second Life

Thanks to Gwyneth Llewelyn for the best advice to entrepreneurs on how to succeed in Second Life. Her advice begins with Spend Time in - Invest in - Second Life, and ends with Have a Business Plan and an Exit Strategy.
Some business models are totally different in SL, and a crafty entrepreneur has to learn to adapt to the differences.
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Cringley on VCs

The new world for west coast VCs is on Robert Cringley's Blog, based on his interviews with some very experienced entrepreneurs. The recent history according to Cringley:
There was a time in Silicon Valley when starting a company meant building something that you wanted to have, then other people came asking to buy one and you were in business.... As an example look at Apple Computer, which was financed in part by the legendary VC Arthur Rock who invested -- get this -- $37,500 in the company.

Then the 1990s brought the dot-com era where this system was thrown on its head. Start-ups took gobs of venture money, a lot of it simply used to figure out what it was they really intended to do when they grew up.

And now we've entered the crazy era of AJAX and AJAX-related start-ups where a new hybrid rule set applies. Companies no longer need to raise lots of cash, no longer need lots of people, no longer need to even directly sell anything at all to be considered successful. They need revenue, of course ...
And tomorrow?
Buy west and sell east, they'll call it, and the strategy will be a
key one for the next decade. It will buy a whole new fleet of Porsches
and jets for the boys and girls of Sand Hill Road.
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

CNET, IBM and Kage Seraph the Avatar

The CNET interviews of real life people on Second Life are becoming more interesting, as transcripts are carried on the CNET web site. For example, Stephen Shankland's interview with IBM's pioneering strategist, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, includes SL audience questions, some sharp, some polite, addressing economic impact and proper attire.

Some observations by Wladawsky-Berger from that interview:
I honestly think that as we learn more about visual interfaces, we will have another very serious revolution in field after field and industry after industry, because changes in interfaces invariably are followed by major changes in applications.
We like the idea of creating virtual branch offices for our people in the field. Close to 50 percent of our work force is mobile--mostly sales or field people. That is very efficient, but it can be lonely.
I think Second Life and similar virtual worlds will open up lots of interesting opportunities for e-commerce to become more visual and to include people as sales help.
On that last point, kudos to avatar Prokofy Neva's Second Thoughts blog for the article on viral marketing by avatar Kage Seraph with his Elemental machine, The Killer App for SL. Original story by avatar Pixeleen Mistral from the Second Life Herald.

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Chung SL Interview, CNET

Second Life's original millionaire, Anshe Chung, was interviewed by CNET's Daniel Terdiman onDecember 19, 2006. Chung talked about her business, how she makes money in Second Life, and the recent announcement that she's got a million dollars in virtual-world assets and currency in Second Life.

Second Life residents were able to join Terdiman as he interviews the most successful SL "land baron". The discussion was open to the SL public.

Future interviews in the CNET Second Life bureau, include alternate-reality game pioneer Jane McGonigal (December 19), Smart Mobs author Howard Rheingold (January 11), Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin (January 16), Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (January 23).

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Podcast Search Engine

Founded 2006, the podcast search engine, Pluggd includes a business category.
Searches for "entrepreneur" and for "Charlottesville" turned up wonderful podcasts.

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Another Search Engine

Tired of the same old search engine interfaces?
Here's an (annoying? charming?) new entry in the field, Ms. Dewey

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Richmond Social Entrepreneurs

In October 2006, Michael I. Pirron and Michael S. Cousins, Ph.D., founded Impact Makers, a new consulting firm in Richmond. The company business model begins with:
Impact Makers is a not-for-profit, competitive social venture dedicated to delivering quality professional services with community improvement as a resulting goal.
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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Inspiring Entrepreneur

Guy Kawasaki's choice for the most inspiring entrepreneur of 2006 is not in technology, or even from California. She is a woman who runs a soccer-ball factory in Kabul, Afghanistan, named Aziza Mohmmand.

Kawasaki met her while speaking to a group of Afghani women who were attending a class in entrepreneurship at Thunderbird in Arizona

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DARPA, Revised

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, recently announced that there will be $3.5 M in prize money for the first three finalists in its 2007 Urban Challenge next November.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Virginia's Digital Places

The Center for Digital Government recently announced the most technology-advanced places in the country.

Eight Virginia cities ranked in the top ten for their size categories:
Alexandria, Richmond, Hampton, Chesapeake
Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Blacksburg

Five Virginia counties were also recognized: Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Roanoke, Albemarle

The Commonwealth of Virginia now ranks number 2 in the nation.
Read the Center's interview with Lem Stewart, Virginia's CIO, about how the state's technology infrastructure has been developing since 2004, and the role of the private sector partner, Northrup Grumman.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Virtual Worlds as Communities

Second Life reports more than two million residents, as of December 14, 2006.
The number is measured by querying against [the Linden Labs] database for the number of accounts in “normal” status.
This does not include:
• Folks who start the signup process but never complete it.
• Folks who are currently being suspended/held for CSR purposes.
• Folks who cancel or have been cancelled for various reasons.

Aaron Greenberger, a Crayon blogger, says that
Communities are important regardless of if they are outside your front door or at your desktop. Connecting with others, feeling a sense of belonging and being needed – these are all things you can find at your fingertips these days and people are taking notice.
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Happy Birthday, Creative Commons

The Creative Commons celebrates its 4th year today. From the San Francisco party, Lawrence Lessig, Jimmy Wales, and Joi Ito will be steaming through to Kula Island in Second Life at 9PM PST.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Heavyweights on SL

Especially now that IBM has gotten a Second Life, some more heavyweights are establishing themselves on Second Life. According to A Shel of my Former Self,
Cisco Systems is the latest company to open an island — two, in fact —in Second Life. How risky would it be to claim to be the first company to open two islands consecutively in SL?
Shel Holtz, who is also VP of Crayon, continues
At the bottom of Dell Computers‘ home page, there’s a pull-down menu you can use to load a version of the home page in the language of your country. It’s a pretty comprehensive list, and it got a bit longer recently with the addition of Second Life, nestled between Saudi Arabia and Senegal.

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BGN Entrepreneur's Minute, December 2006

(About one minute)

Jason Hull, of OpenSource Connections, on internal reporting.
He credits Chic Thompson with inspiring his blog post, More Reports means Less Information.

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Biomedical Product Development Costs

The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development announced it has developed the first comprehensive estimate of the average cost of developing a new biotechnology product, and pegged it at $1.2 billion with average preclinical costs of $615M and clinical costs of $626M, and just over eight years to bring the product to market.

Thanks to the
Colorado Life Science blog for noting this, and providing additional information.

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David Aronoff, the Geek VC tells his story on startups:
Nimbleness is a key attribute of startups and Route 128 and the Silicon Valley have a virtual hall of fame of companies that started in one direction, and then because of market forces or execution problems, pushed the reset button and recovered to become fantastic successes.
Startups are by their nature organic and need to be nurtured as they grow. As such “flawless performance” in a startup is an oxymoron, but thoughtful and lucky strategic decisions are usually the deciding factors.
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Presenting in SL

From Ben McConnell at the Church of the Customer, comes this:
If you're a road warrior on the tradeshow marketing circuit or do regular presentations to customers, prospects or clients, this is bound to happen soon: You'll be asked to present in the virtual world of Second Life.
Jeff Barr shares his experience in making presentations on Second Life. His sound advice includes:
Spend time in-world first: This may be the most important piece of advice that I can give.
Attend some events in-world: Watch how the presenters interact with the audience, and [learn to] do much of what they do - movements, gestures, chatting, IM’ing, and so forth.
Master the basics of Second Life: ... the most interesting part of any presentation is actually interacting with the audience — listening to their questions and concerns, ... and responding appropriately. Anything less and you are simply broadcasting to them.
Dress the part: Putting on and taking off clothing is definitely a fundamental Second Life skill, and if you can’t be trusted to get dressed, can you be trusted to present good content?
Get your gestures ready: ... gestures as part of your presentation will take some presence of mind, but they will add realism to what you do, and will also make clear to the audience that you truly understand what makes Second Life special.
Watch yourself: On a second computer, place your alt in the audience, and keep an eye on your own presentation.
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A SL Work in Progress

Curious about how an ambitious Second Life project and builder develops? Take a look at the blog of Second Life avatar Kel Adria.
I got the idea from looking at (I think) Verrie's blog. He made a comment about conceptual art.
Hence, I would love to build a room of illusions.
Here is a visual update on what I've been doing. I still need some code to make the planets rotate on an invisible prim... which would mean making my planets phantoms (so they don't smack into people).

From just a few months ago: Hmm, I wonder if there's something like a "Second Life for Dummies" book for sale? Because I'm simultaneously ahead of people (with designing and altering clothing), slightly off-track with scripting (but working on it), and completely hand/eye coordination challenged (when I try to build anything in the world... I mean, why do you need to click back and forth between rotation and edit? Snippets from Kel Adria blog
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Virginia's first online gaming club, Cyberwocky, opened recently in Newport News.

In mid-October, Nielsen Media Research announced an electronic rating service to track who is playing what game. The data will be collected from the same 10,000 sample households used for Nielsen's television ratings.

UPDATE: According to Wired, the "much beloved sci-fi series Firefly will soon make an unexpected return, not as a TV show, but as a massively multiplayer online game" from Multiverse.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

IBM in 3D

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger comes another report of a recent IBM meeting on Second Life, this time originating in China, where IBM chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano announced the results of InnovationJam.
Palmisano pledged to invest $100 million over the next two years to pursue new businesses based on the top ten ideas coming out of InnovationJam, which included Smart Healthcare Payment Systems, Real-Time Translation Services, and the number one idea: 3D Internet. “... partnering with others to take the best of virtual worlds and gaming environments to build a seamless, standards-based, 3D Internet - the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business operations."
Part of the meeting included the Second Life venue, the Virtual Forbidden City being developed as part of the The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time project, a collaboration between IBM and The Palace Museum.
In this context, the new IBM worldwide patent policy is of interest.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Virtual as Economic Development Lab

From Norman Maynard comes the thesis The Wealth of Worlds, The Case for Virtual Worlds as Institutional Laboratories in Economic Development.

Thanks to Terra Nova for the pointer.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rough Types

From Nicholas Carr, of Rough Type comes this:

A brief piece, Paradise Lost, on how the copybot excursions in Second Life caused Aleks Krotoski to say "Inspired by this milestone, I'm going to add a wing to my new lab. And inside will be a shrine to CopyBot, the little hack that transformed Second Life into a real world."
The great technology historian Thomas P. Hughes introduced the phrase, "reverse salients". ... In my new column on business innovation for Strategy & Business, The Weakest Link, I describe how the idea of reverse salients can also help companies make smart decisions about where to invest in innovation and where to look for competitive advantage.
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Terra Nova's State of Play

If you are following the conference on law and virtual worlds at NY Law School, here's the latest from Terra Nova: History of Virtual Worlds and the State of Play.

More detailed discussion of governance, including taxation, at Ralph Koster's Website, the Ludologist, 3PointD, and CNET.

If you are interested in the relationships among the virtual worlds, online games, and real life, here's the book review section of the Resource Center for Cyberclture Studies established by the University of Maryland.

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Monetizing Contexts

John Blossom from Shore, on Monetizing the Value of Contexts
Media companies…. focus on owning and monetizing their own intellectual property, usually copyrighted. ... What Google IS, however, is a content company - a company that provides information and experiences created by individuals, institutions and technology to benefit audiences in contexts that they value. The information and the experiences happen to focus largely on others’ intellectual property, but it’s the same net effect: Google just decided to focus on monetizing the value of contexts, not intellectual property ownership.

Thanks to Flying Seeds for pointing us to this article.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Entrepreneurship Education - Ohio

The University of Cincinnati is among nearly 20 universities establishing an outpost on Edu-Island on Second Life. The already impressive Ohio-based entrepreneurship activity is quickly expanding into virtual worlds.

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The Venture Forum of Richmond

BGN recognizes The Venture Forum of Richmond for their support and participation during the past year. Special thanks to the board members representing TVF: Robert H. Mitchell, Thomas A Grant, and Thomas L. Bowden, who gave generously of their time.

Although TVF is no longer a BGN Chapter, we wish them well in their new endeavors, such as participation in the first annual Southeast Venture Conference, to be held on January 31 and February 1, 2007 in North Carolina.

BGN spent the past year developing an organizational model integrated with existing entrepreneurial groups across the state. Although there has been interest in this initiative, it is clear that the entrepreneurs, and the landscape in which they work, would be better served by a different organizational model. As BGN redefines its future, we are grateful for the encouragement and support we've received from organizations and individuals across the state.

We have been listening closely to those of you who have expressed a wish to become involved in BGN on an individual basis, or as part of an online community. We plan to start the new year with new initiatives and opportunities to do just that. The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute will continue to spotlight new initiatives, opportunities to engage in business competitions, and most importantly, recognition of central Virginia entrepreneurs.

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Venture Investing

Venture Investing, 3rd Quarter, 2006
(Virginia is part of the Potomac sector, in blue)

Paul Graham recently ranked the top internet VC firms, and the list turned out to include the angel investors, Ron Conway and Ram Shriram

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Guy's VCAT

The Venture Capital Aptitude Test, courtesy of Guy Kawasaki.
Venture capital is something to do at the end of your career, not the beginning. It should be your last job, not your first.
Here’s the bottom line: You should become a venture capitalist after you’ve had the shiitake kicked out of you. This will yield at least two positive results: First, you’ll stand out from the full-of-shiitake artists who entered the business when they were young. Second, you’ll really be able to help your portfolio companies—which is what venture capital should be all about. See you in ten or twenty years.
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Innovation Forum

Presentation transcripts from the Innovation Forum sponsored by Fortune Magazine are available now. Play, from Richmond, lead the Innovators Studio at this event.

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