070708 Not Possible In Real Life Metanomics Transcript
METANOMICS: NOT POSSIBLE IN REAL LIFE
JULY 7, 2008
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Welcome to Metanomics here on JenzZa Misfit’s historic Muse
Isle in Second Life and from Cornell University in Real Life. Well, as real as a small college
town can get. Thanks to our primary sponsor, Simuality, for making this show possible. We
have Brendan Tripp, Simuality’s director of communications, watching the show at Colonia
Nova, one of our event partners. Welcome, Brendan; glad to have you watching. Thanks
also to our four supporting sponsors: Kelly Services, Language Lab, Intersection Unlimited
and my own institution, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Last Friday was the one-year anniversary of the Second Life group of elite builders, artists
and fashion designers called NPIRL: Not Possible In Real Life. Today I’ll be interviewing
Bettina Tizzy, the group’s highly respected and rather mysterious leader.
But first I’d like to start the show by announcing the first in a series of special events
covering the Virtual Workplace, with the help and insight of our supporting sponsor Kelly
Services and particularly Dave Fenech, who is our contact there. Virtual Worlds have
important implications for the nature of work. Large corporations like Cisco and IBM have a
significant proportion of their employees working from places other than a main office, and,
if you’ve been keeping up on the Metanomics blog, you’ll see articles about completely
virtual companies that even incorporate “virtually” in the state of Vermont under a new law.
So next Monday, July 14th, from 6:00 to 8:00 A.M. Pacific time, we’ll be bringing you special
coverage of a roundtable event produced by Dancing Ink Productions, to celebrate the first
anniversary of Manpower Incorporated and their in-world operations. The event includes
Manpower’s CEO and chairman Jeffrey Joerres, Linden Lab president and chairman
Philip Rosedale, and Second Life resident Gentle Heron, co-founder of the Heron
Sanctuary, a support group for disabled people in Second Life.
Monday is going to be a very busy day for us because we also have our regular Metanomics
show that day, at noon Pacific time, covering the startup firm, ROCKETON. Now that show
is going to take us out of Second Life and onto a new Virtual World that exists right on your
web browser. ROCKETON recently received five million dollars from D. E. Shaw for their
novel technology. And, as you can see on this graphic, I know have an avatar that goes
anywhere I go on the web, even to our Metanomics website, and I can hang out with my
friends there too.
That’s Bjorlyn Loon’s avatar on the other side of the page. Bjorlyn, by the way, has always
single-handedly responsible for our new logo and the new look and feel of the website and
show graphics. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on these changes. I think they’re
great, and I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Bjorlyn for working incredible hours, over
the summer, to make all this happen.
I’d like to encourage everyone to join the Metanomics Group to get information and feel free
to pick up a kiosk here, right here on Muse Isle or at any of our event partners. So our event
partners are Colonia Nova Amphitheater, Meta Partners Conference Area, Rockliffe
University and the Outreach Amphitheater of the New Media Consortium Educational
Community Sims. A special shout out today to Rockliffe University where you can take
courses to learn more about anything from Linden’s scripting language and dynamic prims
to more traditional Real World fare like project management. So hi to my friends out there
on Rockliffe, and I hope you enjoy today’s show.
Just like last week, we’re using Intersection Unlimited’s ChatBridge system to transmit local
chat to our website and website chat into the event partners. Please do keep in mind that,
wherever you’re watching this show, you’re local chat is public and will be seen at all event
partner locations and on the web. But we do encourage you to pipe up. That’s how we know
that you’re out there.
Before we turn to Bettina Tizzy and focus on what’s not possible in Real Life, we’re going to
take a quick look at something that is common in Real Life and, in a big surprise to many
people, is a thriving industry in Second Life, and that is the wedding. We start today with On
The Spot featuring Metanomics virtual entrepreneur correspondent, Yxes Delacroix. Yxes,
it’s great to have you on the show. Welcome.
YXES DELACROIX: Thank you, Beyers. It’s very exciting to be here.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yeah. And you have some very exciting news to report from your
personal life, your Second Life personal life.
YXES DELACROIX: Yes. In my Second Life, I am getting married.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: I mean it happens a lot, but I remember you telling me, “If there’s
one thing I’m never going to do in Second Life it’s get married.”
YXES DELACROIX: That’s right. That’s right. I have been in Second Life for over two years
now, and a lot of my friends have partnered, and they’ve gotten married. They’ve done the
wedding and the honeymoon, and they’ve gotten divorced. So I always figured I would just
kind of bop along in Second Life and do my work and have fun and go party and what have
you. And I started role-playing over in Avillion and met a gentleman who kind of swept me
off his feet--off my feet I should say--and now I’m actually planning a wedding for me. I can’t
really quite figure that, but--
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Congratulations, Yxes, and I wish you the best. But you know me.
I’m an accounting professor so really what I want to know is how much it costs. And really,
just more generally, what’s involved? I mean it’s got to be simpler than a Real World
YXES DELACROIX: No. Actually, I have discovered that, as in Real Life, a Second Life
wedding planner is doing the same kind of job, only virtually obviously. There’s still flowers
to buy and dresses to have made and tuxedos to fit and rings to buy and bridesmaids and
all those things.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Let’s start with what’s got to be the most important part, which is
the wedding planner.
YXES DELACROIX: Yes. Yes. I researched several different wedding venues, and I went
to Weddings by Jill, who I’d actually just done an infomercial with and had told her, of
course, that I wouldn’t be back, I would not be needing her services ever in Second Life, but
it was very fun to do the infomercial. And it turned out that two weeks later, I came back and
said, “Jill, I think I need your services.” And she was quite excited and stuff. And they supply
everything from the venue, themed venue so you can have a fairy castle. You can have an
underwater grotto. You can have a New Orleans marketplace kind of thing. I mean they
have many different venues. And a lot of different wedding venues will have that type of
themed wedding setup. They do everything from the flowers, the invitations, the poses, the
minister, the reception, the whole bit.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: But not the dress.
YXES DELACROIX: No, not the dress. I mean they have people they could recommend,
but I, of course, had a very dear friend who is a designer in Second Life and who had told
me two years ago that, if I ever decided to get married and have a wedding, that she would
love to do my dress. So I go back to Wiccan Sojourner at Bewitched, and she customized a
wedding gown for me, and it’s white, of course. And it has pink roses, which, of course, I’m
very much into pink, so my colors will be pink and white.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, that sounds beautiful, and I’m sure that the groom is
wearing something every bit as elaborate and expensive as you are?
YXES DELACROIX: No, no. He’s just wearing a standard wedding tux from Blaze, who
makes very nice color-coordinated, so he’ll have a pink vest and cummerbund and the
whole bit like that. But it was easier dressing the groom than it was dressing the bride, of
course. It’s all about the bride.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And so let’s see. I’m trying to think what you’ve left out. The
YXES DELACROIX: The wedding cake we found over at Vasanti Romano Designs, and
they have a whole array in all different color schemes and stuff. And, of course, I found mine
with a fairy castle. And so I am having a storybook fairy wedding basically. So it is the most
romantic and the most beautiful setup that I could possible imagine. And never possible in
real life for me to have such a wedding, so this is actually right along the same theme as
what the show is on because this is certainly not possible in real life for me to have such a
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Basically because of the tab? What is this?
YXES DELACROIX: Because of the tab. If I was going to spend this kind of money in Real
Life, it would be a fortune. I am going to spend probably 20 to 30,000 Lindens on the
wedding and the entertainment. I have a live musician for my reception, Jackson Oxberger. I
have a photographer, IshtarAngel Micheline, who will be taking pictures throughout the
wedding and the reception and then creating a photo book for me. I have a videographer,
[Willer Wood?], who is a very good friend of mine. He’ll be taking videos of the wedding. So
yeah, I’ll be spending probably 20 to $30,000, and that’s not even getting me to the
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, well--
BETTINA TIZZY: And that doesn’t include the lobster dinner.
YXES DELACROIX: No. Not quite. No.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, I see in our backchat that TJ Asp mentions the Second Life
baby business is booming as well. So maybe, Yxes, we’ll have you on the show in however
long such things take in Second Life, and you can tell us about that industry as well. But
thanks so much for coming on the show, Yxes. I don’t know many things that can show the
richness of the Second Life economy more effectively than talking about planning weddings.
Thanks for joining us.
YXES: Right. Well, it’s been very exciting. Thank you.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So that was Metanomics in-world entrepreneur correspondent,
Yxes Delacroix, On The Spot. Thank you, Yxes. Now let’s turn to our main guest of the day,
the founder and doyen of the Second Life group Not Possible In Real Life, Bettina Tizzy.
Bettina, welcome to Metanomics.
BETTINA TIZZY: Thank you so much. I’m glad to be here.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yeah. Well, we’re glad to have you as part of the NPIRL one-year
anniversary, and you’ve done a tremendous amount in the course of one year. Before we
get into that, I’d just like to talk about some of the NPIRL content that you brought with you,
that’s on the set, and it’s actually on your avatar. So for starters, what can you tell us about
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, let’s see. For openers, it was designed by Eshi Otawara, who’s
sitting next to me, and I’m not sure she is actually present. She may be away from her
keyboard. Eshi, she was certainly one of the first designers that I discovered--or rather she
discovered me. She sent me a snapshot of herself in a fishhook dress, a dress made
entirely of fishhooks. And, by the way, for those of you who are into avatar rendering costs, I
tried it on the other day, and it was almost 10,000 points. I don’t know what you call them,
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: For comparison, a standard off-the-shelf avatar has a rendering
cost of about a hundred to maybe a few hundred. That’s how hard it is to actually resolve
the images on your screen.
BETTINA TIZZY: How your screen renders the image. That’s right. But anyway, getting
back to the design, Eshi makes clothes that are not possible in Real Life. Not only does she
accomplish this, she makes fabulous dresses that I’d love to own in any life. And this one in
particular, the tux dress comes in many colors. I have it in about six colors; I think all the
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Also difficult to do in Real Life. Now how about the furniture that
we’re sitting on? This comes from NPIRL as well.
BETTINA TIZZY: Yeah. The furniture, the furnishings that I’m sitting on, and the sofa and
the coffee table and the trees and the plant are by Artoo Magneto, of anyMOTION. He is a
tremendous designer and also a Metaverse developer. He excels in 3D graphics, 3D
rendering and does a sensational job. And he’s also very hep. If I need pointers on what’s
cool, he’s one of the persons I go to.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, I know I need those pointers. I’m just not sure they would
take. So let’s talk a little about your group, Not Possible In Real Life, NPIRL. So that was
founded last year. What’s your goal?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, my primary goal is to identify, find, discover and showcase and
promote quality content that is not possible in real life. There is a lot of it going on, on the
grid, and there’s just no way I’ll discover it all or that the members of my group will discover
it all. It’s really happening, and it’s happening at a faster and faster rate.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And why is it important to you that it’s not just good content, but
BETTINA TIZZY: Because it really is what Virtual Worlds are all about, in my opinion. Why
should we adhere to that which is possible in Real Life when we can have that and Not
Possible In Real Life as well. I also think it’s interesting. It’s intriguing. If you’re looking at
architecture or art or fashion, why shouldn’t we stretch the envelope and look at new
possibilities and see what we can come up with. It’s quite simply very exciting to me visually
to see this content.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Now we don’t possibly have time to talk about more than just
maybe one example of something that was done by NPIRL and your members. So maybe
you could just tell us a bit about an example we discussed last week, which is the wheat
field by AM Radio, the wheat field in the sky. So can you give us a little background on that?
BETTINA TIZZY: I think the reason we were discussing that is, and I do have to say that
the wheat field, for the most part, is hyper real. And you have the cloud, the stormy clouds
surrounding the wheat fields and a rusty old train. But, if you look further and if you try out
some of the animations, you’ll find that, if you touch a certain area, suddenly over a dozen
chairs will be adrift in the air above you in sort of a whirlwind. If you touch the train, you’ll
find that you’re sort of embracing the sky and a God-like light is shining down upon you. At
any rate, for me, that particular discovery was incredibly important and underscores the
significance and the objectives of our group, and that is to find this quality content and bring
it to the fore. AM Radio’s wheat field had sat in a sandbox, in the sky, for one year before
we discovered it. And that’s criminal. I don’t want that to happen again. I don’t want
something that impressive to be sitting in a sandbox undiscovered and unenjoyed.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So NPIRL, although you have many NPIRL members who are
devoted to creating content, this is something that was created by someone before NPIRL
was even founded.
BETTINA TIZZY: Oh, yeah, it was created before NPIRL was founded. Correct.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And so you basically promoted it. You discovered it. You
promoted it. Made sure people knew about it. Is that sort of what NPIRL’s role was?
BETTINA TIZZY: In that particular instance, yes, immediately. Instantly I teleported as
many people as I could to come and see. We were all flabbergasted and immediately made
arrangements for it to be rezzed on an island and began to showcase it immediately and
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And so this now has a Real World tie-in. Is that right? These plots
of wheat are now being sold?
BETTINA TIZZY: Very soon after AM Radio rezzed the wheat fields at Dream World, on the
Dream World Sim. He had a terrific idea, and that was that he would sell plots of wheat and
would take 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale of that wheat and donate it to Heifer
International, Heifer organization which is a nonprofit that provides cows and sheep and
chicks and all kinds of, what would you call them, farm animals, not domestic animals, but
animals that enable people to eat and/or to create or to--
LITTLETOE BARTLETT: Stock.
BETTINA TIZZY: Thank you. Stock. LittleToe Bartlett is helping me here. And also provides
them with the wherewithal so that it isn’t a matter of slaughtering those cows, but of milking
them, making cheese and basically becoming self-proficient. So eight and a half cows later--
this is since September.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Eight and a half Real World cows have been purchased.
BETTINA TIZZY: Real World cows at $500 a pop. And so that’s what Second Lifers have
done, and I want to thank Second Lifers very much for doing those. Congratulations. And
our goal is to raise enough for ten cows by end of year.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Hear! Hear! Well, hopefully, a little bit of promotion here will help
out. So now NPIRL, you’ve limited the group, the in-world actual official Second Life group
to 160 members. I know there are a lot more people who are fascinated by content that’s
not possible in Real Life. But you’ve set a pretty hard limit. Why is that?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, it really all started because I was just gathering people that I most
admired in a number of different fields, and they’re not all content creators. There’s
adventurers who go out and find amazing content. There’s writers. There’s a good mix. And
basically it started to evolve into this high octane information sharing in real time, and soon
enough it became a working group. Pretty soon I found that I was communicating on a daily
basis with a very large number of the members of the group, and, in some ways, it became
like a consultancy. So the members of the group became my clients, if you will. So one of
the reasons is, I’m pretty stretched as it is. Malcolm Gladwell and several other individuals
who study groups and the sociology of groups have found that working groups are at an
optimum size under 150 members. And that’s what we were at until not too long ago when I
just couldn’t resist. There were some people I had to bring in, and I raised that number to
160. As it is, I really am stretched to the max, and, despite my efforts, many of our members
still don’t know each other personally. They’re still meeting each other. But I do want to keep
it effective and tight for information sharing.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Now your background and your Second Life activities are not
really building. You’re not a sophisticated builder yourself. Is that right?
BETTINA TIZZY: Heck no! I can barely rez a prim. After rezzing a prim, I haven’t a clue
what to do, practically.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So here you are then, you’re leading this group of what many
would consider the most elite and respected content creators in Second Life. What exactly
is it that you personally are doing, and how do you earn the respect of these people?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, for one thing, I serve as a catalyst of information, and so when
someone has a need or a question, I try to point them in the right direction, people who can
help them, people who can serve as resources. And also I think it helps. One of the
problems that top content creators have is they sort of work in isolation. They’re so busy
working that they don’t have an opportunity to get out. They don’t have an opportunity to
explore, and so it’s been a benefit to them to get a series of highly selected landmarks and
information, which basically comes from everyone pooling what they’ve found to be
extraordinary. And it cuts short on their need to have to go out and seek this information,
and also it gives them an opportunity to promote themselves within the group. But content
creators are a very lonely group of people, for the most part, the top ones. And so they need
someone that they can bounce ideas off of and also someone who’s going to tell them
bluntly what he or she thinks. And, in my case, I do offer very candid appraisals of what I’m
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And so, again, as someone who doesn’t build, you’re going to
people like Scope Cleaver, who is an extremely well known and well respected architect.
And you’ll tell him what he’s--
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, Scope doesn’t ask me for advice.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Oh, Okay. Okay.
BETTINA TIZZY: Scope has not yet asked me for advice, but Scope has actually been a
tremendous resource to me. He has pointed me to some extraordinary people, and he’s
also impressed me to pieces with his extraordinary buildings. And, for those of you who
haven’t seen them, I highly recommend that you look him up in his profile and look at his
picks. You’ll also find information about him on the Not Possible In Real Life blog.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So we have a question from Earth Prim asking whether you have
a background in the arts.
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, my background is marketing and public relations, and I don’t really
feel comfortable disclosing which clients I’ve had, but some of them have been in the art
and entertainment fields. Yes.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So you’re definitely experienced working with artists, if not
BETTINA TIZZY: Right. That’s correct.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: I’d like to move on to some issues of policy and the policies of
Linden Lab, as well as larger issues, but particularly Linden Lab. I’d like to start with
intellectual property issues. You’ve advocated Linden Lab incorporating the Creative
Commons stamp onto objects.
BETTINA TIZZY: Yeah.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So can you just tell us what your position is on that and why
you’ve taken it?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, let me preface this by saying that, as I work with the Not Possible In
Real Life group, it’s a daily learning experience for me. I make my mistakes. I do. And I have
to say that, by posting that request to Linden Lab on the Not Possible In Real Life blog, I
made a mistake because I had only gathered information and opinions from a few of the
members of my group. And so subsequently, there has been just a tremendous reaction to
this blog post, and it’s been amazing. I’m very happy that it happened because it forced me
to step back and realize that what we really needed to do was to form an opinion that comes
from the body of all of the members of Not Possible In Real Life. And so, as a result, I’m
very, very grateful to Dusan Writer, who has agreed to drive an effort to create our
statement of principles on intellectual property and copyright. He is now developing the
process by which he is going to do that, and then we’d like to be in a position to serve as a
resource to the content creation community--yes, Dusan, I know. Thank you so much. We’re
not worthy, for all your help. And so what we’d like to do is, we’d like to be able to provide a
list of attorneys and websites and in-world groups that are actively doing something and
addressing this issue directly so that people can have a place to go.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So first of all, let me say, I think getting Dusan to lead that effort
for you seems like an excellent choice. I think his writings have been very interesting on
those issues, and I know that you did stir up--Prokofy Neva picked up on your post on her
blog, Second Thoughts, and I have seen a tremendous--
BETTINA TIZZY: I believe that’s his blog.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yes. I’m sorry. I have trouble confusing Real Life and Second
Life. I apologize, Prokofy. But it’s been a fascinating back and forth--and so actually I have a
couple questions to follow up on this. One is: When you posted that originally, your call to
Linden Lab to add the Creative Commons stamp, was that your personal position, or was
that a sort of an official NPIRL position, or was it confused and now you're--
BETTINA TIZZY: It was the position of a few members. It was a position of a few members,
and it actually began when AM Radio brought it up to me, and it sounded so sensible. I want
to point out the idea was not to replace the current system, but to add another layer in which
people could add a Creative Commons license to their creations. The reason I liked it is that
there has been a lot of upsets lately about how to protect beyond the actual creation itself.
For example, if someone’s not familiar with Virtual Worlds and sees a snapshot or a
Machinima taken of objects created by someone other than the author of that photography
or video, it’s easy to see how they might be under the impression that the content being
photographed was created by that videographer or photographer. And so attribution to the
content creator becomes critically important. I don’t know how to address that other than
through something like the Creative Commons license. And, yes, Troy, you did point that
out--I’m looking at the Bridge chat. And you know what, Troy, I was unaware of that, and so
I appreciate your pointing that out.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Actually I missed that. What is--
BETTINA TIZZY: As I said, this is an ongoing learning experience. He was pointing out that
Creative Commons is not the only type of license. There’s GNU. There’s G-NU--how do you
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: I always assumed that was Noo (phonetic), like the animal.
BETTINA TIZZY: Noo? Okay.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: But I’ve only seen it written. So the idea is somewhere between
absolutely no protection for intellectual property and the classic all rights reserved. We have
a number of possibilities, and Creative Commons has provided a range of license options.
Oh, I see. It is ga-noo.
BETTINA TIZZY: Ga-nu. Ga-nu. Okay, thank you.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yeah, what we are being told. So I think it’s going to be a very
interesting idea if you guys are going to go ahead and systematically work with your group
of content creators to actually come up with some official recommendations and proposals. I
look forward to seeing what you end up recommending.
BETTINA TIZZY: So do I. Yeah.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So I do have another question that I saw in backchat. I’ll just pick
up on this now, from TJ Asp: When you’re looking for new content, do you have agents
actively looking, or do you rely on serendipity?
BETTINA TIZZY: I’m sorry. Could you repeat that?
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yeah. It’s not on the intellectual property. It’s when NPIRL is
searching for Not Possible In Real Life content. Do you actively go around looking for it, or
do you rely on serendipity?
BETTINA TIZZY: Constantly. Constantly. And I should add that there is a second ground
called Impossible In Real Life that now has approximately 600 members. And the idea was
that we had, here we had all these great landmarks and all this information that we wanted
to promote, and what better way than to create a secondary group that wasn’t part of the
initial working group, but that also embraced the ideals of celebrating content that is not
possible in Real Life. And so this group is receiving a lot of landmarks and information
several times a week. And they’ve also become sources for this information.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Okay. Moving on to another policy issue, also on your NPIRL
blog you have advocated for better building tools, and, in particular, editable giant prims and
scalable prims. And so I guess I’m hoping you can start by just explaining to those of us who
are distant from building what exactly those things are and why they’re important, and then
maybe just talk a little bit about your policy views.
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, it’s a controversial tool, and I’m not going to get into why it’s
controversial. If you like, you can refer to the Not Possible In Real Life blog. In the upper
right-hand margin of the blog, you’ll see that there is a link to a conversation that took place
on the day that Michael Linden did a blog post on the Second Life blog, in which it sounded
like there was the possibility that huge prims might be taken away and sort of opening up
the conversation for what was the value of huge prims. Huge prims are the basis for many
of the best creations in Second Life, and, if these are taken away, not only would those
creations disappear but also the ability to make a number of things; for example, the trees at
my florist are giant sculpty prims. And if you refer to the blog, there’s a number of places. I
mean AM Radio’s wheat fields has huge prims with walls. I’m trying to think. The flower ball
would not exist. The fabulous maps by Nathan Babcock. The David Rumsey maps would
not happen if it were not for huge prims. So we need to save and protect that. And, in
addition to that, it would be extremely helpful if we could have them in scalable size so that
we don’t have to fish in our inventories for a very limited number of huge prims with which to
create this content.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So why do you think Linden Lab is not, I guess--
BETTINA TIZZY: And I should say, Greenies. There’s another one that would disappear.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Okay. The Greenies Sim. Yeah. It sounds like what you’re saying
is here are these really useful giant building blocks that are already incorporated into a lot of
existing builds, and there are a lot of other great things we could make if they let these, you
know, not only had the ones they started with but added more and more flexibility.
BETTINA TIZZY: And that they’d be scalable so that when you go to edit, you can just
make them the size that you need and get on with your creation.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So why do you think Linden Lab has not done that yet?
BETTINA TIZZY: I understand why Linden Lab has not done that yet. First of all, this all
began before Havok 4. There are some issues about lag and overlapping, and, importantly,
there’s the issue of griefing with huge prims. But, as DanCoyote Antonelli very wisely said,
“Condemn the griefers, not the content creators.” I’m paraphrasing there.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So the idea is if I had some prim that was so large I could actually
have it maybe run from my Sim to someone else’s. Is that the griefing issue here?
BETTINA TIZZY: No. Someone could rez a huge prim in this right here and now where we
are, and they could crash the Sim, for instance. That’s one way that it could be done. It
could be a form of terrorism.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: So that would certainly be inconvenient. Okay. Let’s see. Let’s
move on to another topic, which is, well, actually, you know what? We just got a question in
from Fleep Tuque, and it’s very timely here. What do you think is the most effective way to
influence Linden Lab to consider resident viewpoints on policy decisions? Do you feel that
blogging about issues is more effective than, say, organizing in-world groups? And actually
let’s leave it there. She has some other questions, but let’s go with that.
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, Fleep, I don’t have any idea because my actual interaction with
people from Linden Lab has been very limited. I guess what I do believe--I mean they must
be listening if many of the best content creators are imploring them to take action and to not
only leave huge prims but also to provide us with scalable prims. And so how do we do it? I
think the blog is one way. In-world groups is another. I think we do it by every way we
possibly can. I personally think that Linden Lab is--I’m grateful to them because we wouldn’t
all be here, and we wouldn’t have this tremendous opportunity, but Linden Lab has done, I
think, a pretty poor job of communicating with its community and responding to its
community, with a few exceptions. I would certainly say that Torley Linden has set the mark,
and I’ll never fill his shoes in any way, shape or form in terms of communicating with
anyone. He is a joy and provides us with information on a daily basis.
But Linden Lab has been unresponsive, and we haven’t heard anything from them in
particular. Although, I have to say, I still have not attended Andrew Linden’s office hours,
and it’s on my list of things to do because, obviously, right there would be a good
opportunity to have discourse regarding huge prims. And that is something that--I think
that’s a good step, Fleep, in terms of go to the office hours of the Linden Lab employee in
question and state you case right then and there.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: You mentioned your concerns about where Linden Lab is in
communicating with residents, but you also have been rather critical, more generally, of their
public relations policy. You’ve cited both Burning Life and the Fifth Birthday Celebration as
examples of that. So can you just elaborate on your concerns with outreach and PR?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, the residents make Second Life what it is. This is a community after
all. The Burning Life instance is a good one. I reached out to Catherine Linden and asked if
we could get some support from her department and from Linden Lab’s public relations
agency, to get the word out about all this amazing content and get the ears and eyes of
Real Life media focused on all this content. And the response was willy-nilly and just never
came through. We never did get any support, and, as such, there was very little coverage
on Burning Life, and I think that’s a shame. I think it’s a shame that a lot of these events
don’t get the kind of exposure that they should.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And the birthday celebration as well?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, the birthday celebration, that was a fiasco, and the whole idea of
excluding specific communities that had been working so hard over the course of the year to
make the birthday bash as good as it could be and excluding them at the last moment and
then taking two steps back and two steps forward and deciding that, yes, they could, but
that everything had to be PG. Second Life is not PG. Second Life is PG and Mature. And, if
you’re going to celebrate Second Life on its birthday, you should have Mature and PG Sims,
and you should celebrate all the content that is available and all the residents.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, actually, let me follow up by asking: Have you seen many
changes in Linden Lab’s PR or outreach with the changeover in management and
Mark Kingdon now, playing the CEO role that Philip Rosedale had?
BETTINA TIZZY: On a personal level, I have had some interaction with Katt Linden and
with a few other members of the Lab. I do understand that they’re trying to involve more of
the groups that benefit the larger community, and this I’m very glad to hear. I certainly hope
that they succeed. But I haven’t seen a really significant change, and I think that that change
is going to have to come first of all with some change in management and the fields of
community relations and public relations. And I also question how effective their public
relations agency is. I think that--
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: That would be Lewis PR.
BETTINA TIZZY: --they have not been doing a good job, and I speak from experience,
having worked both in agencies and hired agencies, and I’m not impressed at all.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Now you’ve also been fairly critical of the Metaverse developer
industry, the companies that are providing building and consulting services largely to Real
World enterprises that are coming into Second Life. What’s the nature--
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, I think that they are partially responsible for the very limited growth
that we’re seeing here.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: What is it exactly that you think they are doing they shouldn’t be
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, I gave one very good example, in my opinion, of how it should be
done right when I did a blog piece on Language Lab and contrasted that with millions of us
build(?) for Wired Magazine. I hope that people will read this because I poured my heart into
that blog piece and researched for it. That’s the blog post.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: That was the one that was called something like Dear--
BETTINA TIZZY: Dear Bleeding Edge Corporations--
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: --Bleeding Edge Corporations. Yeah.
BETTINA TIZZY: --(and that goes for you too, Chris Anderson). But I think what it boils
down to is this: A lot of the Metaverse developers are basically taking the money and
running. These poor companies that wanted to come, and they wanted to be cutting edge,
and they want to explore the possibilities in Virtual Worlds. They come in there. They’re
ripped off. So I think what everybody needs to realize is that you have to stop thinking of
Second Life--corporations need to stop thinking of Second Life as if it were kind of a
website. A corporation would not take a website and create one page and then abandon
that page and then expect everybody to come running to this website. Any construction, first
of all, it needs to be quality content. It shouldn’t be a static build. It should be interactive and
dynamic. And it should change continuously, offer reasons for people to come back and
deal with it and visit it. There’s been some examples. I mean I thought the Pocky Sim was
delightful, and that was one month--I think it was one month or maybe 45 days--where they
promoted Pockys just prior to Valentine’s Day.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And that the Valentine Day? Yeah.
BETTINA TIZZY: Right. Right. And then the other thing is that I think companies and
Metaverse developers need to take the plunge and stop thinking on a one-Sim basis. Why is
a company going to be represented by one Sim? A company isn’t going to be represented
by one page on a website. If a company has a number of products and a number of
services, these can be showcased on a multitude of Sims. And then nobody’s going to tell
me that the investment isn’t worth it if we really are going to go from 2D to 3D.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Okay. Wonderful. We’re running out of time. We only have time
for a couple more questions. One that I know a lot of people are wondering is: Well, you
kept your identity private, and so someone actually posted to the Metanomics blog and
noted that you would be the first or one of the first guests on Metanomics without a Real Life
BETTINA TIZZY: Oh, I’m honored.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: --revealed on the show. So I guess my first question is: Are you
BETTINA TIZZY: No.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Not willing to go public today.
BETTINA TIZZY: No, I’m not actually.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, I thought I would try. Will you talk about why that is?
BETTINA TIZZY: Well, I guess there’s about 30 or more people that actually do know my
Real Life identity. You, for example, Beyers, you know who I am. And I think it’s on an
as-needed basis, and when I feel good and ready, I will come out and be public. I have my
own reasons for doing it, and, as a matter of fact, I have proposed a panel at South by
Southwest in March of 2009, and I hope that people will vote for it. The votes are going to
come up soon. And if it wins, well, then I’ll have no choice but to reveal my Real Life identity,
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: One more reason to vote, I guess. Okay. And let’s see. Really,
with the little bit of remaining time we have left, I understand you have a special
announcement for the Second Life fashion designers who are watching the show on a
BETTINA TIZZY: Fashion designers. Oh, please, fashion designers, we need more designs
that are not possible in Real Life and, to that end, I am working with Max Newbold, of the
Fashion Institute of Technology out of New York. Max Newbold is her in-world name, and
we are plotting. We’re working on developing a project that will invite in-world designers to
participate and collaborate with Real Life designers, and we need your input. So hey, Max.
There she is in the audience. And so we would very much like for you to contact us, and
we’re looking for the very leading, leading fashion designers. I think ultimately we’ll select a
limited number--I don’t know at this point; I’ll just hazard a number and say somewhere
between ten and 20 or something like that--and develop a project that I think will be
groundbreaking and very fun. And we’ll have some great fashion as a result.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Well, we are definitely looking forward to seeing what comes out
of that, and I do hope that the fashion designers in Second Life, who are watching the show,
will follow up. And, thank you so much, Bettina, for coming on to Metanomics. I hope we’ll
have you back again.
BETTINA TIZZY: I really appreciate it.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: And you can talk about all your successes for your second
birthday celebration in July of 2009.
BETTINA TIZZY: Thank you. Can I hold you to that?
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: Yes. And then we’ll be able to use your Real World name as well.
BETTINA TIZZY: Thank you. I just want to say that content creators are the true gods of
Second Life, and I venerate them. And they’re what makes Second Life the most exciting
place I’ve ever been in. It’s the ultimate in creativity. Thank you. Thank you.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: I will ditto those remarks. I rely, obviously, for this show, rely very
heavily on content creators since all I know how to do is talk. Okay.
BETTINA TIZZY: To each their own god(?).
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD: That’s right. And so talk I will do now with our closing segment in
the show, Connecting The Dots. A number of people have expressed some surprise that I
would cover something like Not Possible In Real Life on Metanomics because it seems so
much more art than business. So my title for Connecting The Dots today is Business Is The
Art Of The Impossible. So a few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to attend a talk by
Linden Lab president and chairman, Philip Rosedale, who was speaking at the Tech
Museum in California. Of course, I was here in my office in Ithaca, participating virtually
through Second Life. During the Q&A session, I asked Philip who so much of the content in
Second Life looked like Real Life, and he responded by saying people covet what they
know. And then he pointed out that everyone knows Malibu from television shows, and
everyone wants to live there, and that’s why most of Second Life looks like Malibu. Well,
let’s leave aside the humor of a top executive channeling Hannibal Lector from Silence of
the Lambs and leave aside that, to me, Second Life looks a lot more like Ithaca, New York
Instead, what I want to emphasize is that the real reason we see so much of Real Life in
Second Life is that it’s easier to remake the familiar than to come up with something new.
And that is going to pose a real problem for the Virtual Worlds industry because doing
something new is what successful industries do: doing what didn’t seem possible before.
Call it the art of the impossible. Now doing the impossible requires technological innovation,
and we see lots of that. We see plenty of that in the Virtual World industry. Every day on
websites like Virtual Worlds News, we see stories of jaw-dropping new technologies. You
can move your avatar with your mind now. I think that’s my favorite story of the week, out of
Drexel University. This rate of technological innovation convinces me that it won’t be long
before we can use Virtual Worlds for education, for the distributed workplace, for
entertainment, online shopping. Frankly, I’m not worried about the technology. I’m more
worried that we won’t be able to do the impossible with that technology. We have to learn
how to use Virtual Worlds to compete against the more traditional ways of doing the same
Christian Renaud, formerly of Cisco Systems, has said to me several times, “Why make
virtual collaboration just as effective as face to face when we can make it so much better?”
What’s the best way to conduct a virtual meeting? How can we use 3D visualization tools to
communicate information in ways that flat screens and web pages and Cisco’s WebEx
technology can’t? How do we teach a class or reach out to customers better than with a
classroom or a web survey or traditional media advertising? If we’re going to do something
better than Real Life, we’re going to need people who are trying to do the impossible with
the tools that they have today. That is what successful industries do, and that’s why I’m so
glad to be celebrating the first birthday of Not Possible In Real Life, by having its leader,
Bettina Tizzy, on Metanomics. Thanks a lot, everyone. And see you next week.
BETTINA TIZZY: Thanks, Beyers. I loved the opportunity.
Transcribed by: http://www.hiredhand.com
Second Life Avatar: Transcriptionist Writer