Gorree: ‘avatars are everywhere. Let’s use them even more!’

Avatars are everywhere nowadays. Not only in fully immersive virtual worlds but also on social networks in Flatland such as Twitter, Facebook etc. They come in many forms and one might even say there have been avatars for centuries, like the heads of kings on coins or of presidents and other important people on paper money.
At the MetaMeets conference in Amsterdam I interviewed Tim Gorree, IT Solution Architect at Nokia, about avatars:

Previous posts about MetaMeets:
MetaMeets:”We are at the beginning
MetaMeets Day 2: “Going beyond virtual worlds, machinima, avatars…
“Kitely asks for some help to get virtual worlds on the web

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About rolandlegrand

I'm social media manager at Mediafin, the publisher of Belgium's leading business newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo. I have a special interest in the intersection of immersive media, business and philosophy.
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0 Responses to Gorree: ‘avatars are everywhere. Let’s use them even more!’

  1. Prokofy Neva says:

    Did any of these people make any money yet, besides some ads from a few corporations for whom this is a PR budget rounding error?

    I’m going to be relentless on this, like Amanda Chapel.

  2. Roland says:

    I think Linden Lab is profitable, at least they claim so – so if they are part of “these people”, yes. Not sure about Forterra, they get interesting contracts in serious gaming, and Active Worlds gets nice contracts as well. I don’t know about other platforms.
    Clever Zebra earns money mainly as an organizer of conferences like the vBusiness Expo, I don’t know whether they are profitable.
    A lot of social networks and media stuff is not profitable. That does not mean they will just disappear eventually, but that – unless they can find ways to be profitable – they will be integrated in other companies or will continue to exist as non-profit entities like Wikipedia.
    Maybe it is a bit like the dotcom bubble, a lot of companies and projects went belly up, but that did not mean the internet as such was dying, quite the contrary.

  3. Dusan Writer says:

    Clever Zebra has the right idea, but the model might need a refresh. The idea that businesses need a source of builds, desks and vendors and that by providing this for free will generate significant flow-through consulting work might have been useful a year ago, but I’m having trouble making the mental leap now. Others might say that the way to make money in the SL economy is to make stuff and charge money for it, but the reality is that everyone’s bought into the “Free” meme thanks to the Long Tail and open source and other assorted coder chic and so I see the economy for objects shifting to either objects with considerable brand cachet, or to services.

    Now, going on the “get it for free and then hire us to help” idea, this idea in the wrong hands means you end up with, well, a lot of stuff that’s free, and a lot of venture capital money floating around, but nobody making any money. Remember the last bubble anyone? Back in the day, everyone said it was all about the eyeballs and first mover advantage. Forget about revenues for now, just get the traffic and go IPO like Netscape and we’ll all retire to Tahiti.

    Now, I’m not saying Clever Zebra isn’t getting the add-on business. They get some press. They’re building an ecosystem, and that takes time. And I visited their sims and the builds are great (although not everything there is free, and some of it is waaaay over-priced).

    But I had no sense of solutions. And having joined their group and having visited their sims, it’s not like I’ve become engaged in something deeper because no one’s asked me what my problems are. There’s no add-on service to be had if all I end up with is an auditorium but no one pinging me and saying “Hey, what are you using it for, have you considered….” In other words, if you’re going to do free, you also have to do the follow-up exceptionally well.

    I don’t have anything against CZ….although maybe today it feels like it lol but it’s just a coincidence.

    I’m pointing out that I’m not sure the “free stuff” approach has legs – look at Slippcat – whatever happened to their embedded viral sofas or whatever? Maybe Millions of Us will make a go of it with their celebrity endorsed shoes and animations and whatnot…don’t we all wanna look like Paris Hilton or Justin Timberlake afterall (I kid you not, that’s what they’re doing).

    What I DO think is that the problems are becoming more complex – it’s not about the build, it’s about how to structure interaction, narrative, and experience. It’s no longer enough to aggregate objects and add on services, you now need to aggregate services and add on deep strategic, IMHO.

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