Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 BIZ: PEOPLE: Unconventional thinking about conventional conventions in the virtual worlds

Unconventional thinking about 
conventional conventions in the virtual worlds
In the olden days, big cities had huge convention halls.  To fill them, people traveled for hours to the big cities and stayed in hotels there.  Then, some convention decided that conventions were not about travel and convention halls. They were about bringing people together to share what they knew.  In the age of the internet, you don't need an airplane to do that 
Modern convention hall
  • To think outside the box, first find the box

Why do we have conventions? 

To bring people with similar or related interests together in the same place at the same time--valuable for stimulating interaction

To get people to organize their thoughts for a presentation.  That gets better organized thinking and gets that organized thinking to other interested people right away.

  • Why do we have conventions over a weekend?
  • Can we spread our conventions out over a longer time? 
  • Can we use internet services to get more efficient use out of conventions?
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Why do we have conventions, conferences and the like over a weekend?

  • Because everybody has to fly to the same place and stay there.
  • (For the benefit of virtual worlders, we pause here for laughs.)
  • Because promotion, publicity, etc., work better in a concentrated period.
  • Because you can get keynote speakers more easily for a big convention.
  • Because people managing the conference could not stand a month like that. 
Ok, I grant you 3 out of 4 carry some weight.  but let's look a little closer.

Promotion, publicity, etc., work better in a concentrated period.  

True, up to a point.  But if that applied to everything, we would pick one weekend a year and have a convention of everything.  
  • Publicity is always directed at a specific target audience. 
  • Generally you know the audience as a community
  • People with common interests 
  • People with existing communication paths.
  • As a community expands, it breaks up into smaller communities.
  • If the convention grows, it will naturally break up into smaller units.
  • The smaller units may not need to meet on the same days.
  • Some conventions run multiple tracks.  
  • Maybe the set of tracks can be spread over several weekends. 
  • And not compete with each other for audience.

You can get keynote speakers more easily for a big convention.

  • True, but that is about the size of the audience you can deliver.
  • In virtual worlds of the present, you can deliver about 400 avatars.
  • You can stream to an unlimited number of people. 
  • You will archive and later deliver to an unlimited number of people.
  • All of these count in audience size.  
  • You don't have to get people into the same room to communicate.
  • We have known that since 1933
  • Maybe the biggest payoff would come from post-convention promotion 
  • of the keynotes and other products of the convention. 
  • A longer convention would give more promotion time.

Yes, but...the Q&A session only happens at the live session.

  • That is because it is only scheduled for that time. There are alternatives:
  • Advanced Q&A.  Collect questions in advance.
  • Invite presenters to respond in their presentations.
  • Follow-up Q&A: Collect follow-up questions.
  • Invite presenters to hold follow-up sessions a week or 2 later.
  • Outreach Q&A:  For cases when the presenter can't make a second session. 
  • Presenter sends representative or session gets someone else.

People managing the conference could not stand a month like that

  • So don't do it like that.  Delegate to the track managers.

Easy first step: Leave build presentations open for a month or longer

  • Will work better if the convention is spread over a month.
  • Or if presenters promote their builds.
  • Or if you can get bloggers to keep reporting about the place.
  • Or if you can develop post-conference events.

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News and Notes

Events 

This week on Thyliea, Kitely Grid

  • Tuesday, Jan. 13 
  • Folk, Blues, & More! at Wizards Retreat
  • The Bohemian - 12PM PST
  • Ciske Crumb - 1PM 
  • Joe Parazane - 2PM
  • -
  • Thursday, Jan. 15 
  • Ambient, Tribal, & More! at club Giza
  • Echo Starship - 12PM PST
  • DeceptionsDigital 1PM
  • -
  • Friday - Jan 16
  • ROCk N' ROOOOLL! at Wizards Retreat
  • Scofi Robson 1PM

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Virtual Learning Series Jan/Feb Classes

In Kitely, with Firestorm, use the Firestorm Hop
hop://osgrid.kitely.com:8002/Hypergrid Academy/173/129/22
HG: Paste HG address into World map, use TP
grid.kitely.com:8002:Hypergrid Academy 

Don't forget! Creating and Managing NPCs, lead by Nara M, will be on Sunday, January 18th from 12 - 2pm Pacific/SL time.  
Location:  Use hypergate from Hypergrid Academy

January 15 1:00pm  Virtual Learning Series - Navigating the Hypergrid

Come get some tips on jumping around in the hypergrid, along with some resources on where to find locations to visit.

January 22 1:00pm  Creating Communities in Virtual Worlds

A Virtual Learning Series open discussion on community creation in virtual worlds.

January 29 1:00pm  Photoshop Clothing Creation

A Virtual Learning Series class on basic clothing creation in Photoshop. Free shirt and sock templates will be included.

February 5  1:00pm  Introduction to Roleplaying

An introduction to basic roleplaying skills and character creation in virtual worlds.

February 12 1:00pm  Education Roundtable

A roundtable panel on education in virtual worlds. Guest panelists!

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Hypergrid

Lauren's Place

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Newcomer Help in Virtual Worlds

Education

Writers

How to handle a Hypergrid address 

From any Hypergrid-enabled grid, paste the address into the address bar of Firestorm and press enter. Or paste it into the world map search bar of any viewer, search, and click Teleport when the destination is found. If it doesn't work, don't give up. Try again in couple of minutes.  Sometimes the first try fails (probably times out).  And try again a few hours later. Some hypergrid destinations are offline part of the day. 

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Video-Machinima in virtual worlds
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