Thursday, September 21, 2006

Message in a bottle

Dear mega-uber value readers, apologies, I am stranded on a distant island. I am trying like hell to complete a long note for clients, once again addressing the traditional telco players from the perspective of the accelerating pace of change surrounding them (bascially revisiting and updating themes previously covered here and here) - everything from the "conventional" markets in which they operate to a big section on user-generated content and its complications/implications for telco content/service aggregation.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm finding it daunting for a number of reasons. One is that I'm writing for an audience which includes a lot of non-specialists, which necessitates explanation of a lot of background which I take for granted in the blog - because the blog is a cumulative record of events in near-realtime, which often links freely to others and my own previous output without much need to explain. I find having to construct a coherent narrative from the events of recent months daunting, particularly when the medium - a linear narrative with discrete thematic sections - is ill-suited to the multi-dimensional nature of what is happening. For example, how exactly do you deal with having to divide VoIP, social networking, and user-generated content into separate sections, when they are ultimately inextricably linked?

Anyway, I trudge on, and along the way somehow find time to practice what I preach. I have tried out Truphone on a Nokia kindly supplied by the company for review purposes. So far I'm impressed - it was easy to set up and sounds great, though I've only had time to make a few test calls to my work voicemail. I look forward to some more time at the weekend to put it through its paces.

I also decided, long overdue, to give birth to myself in Second Life. My Second Life name, in case you run into me, is Jimiinc Mikazuki (Mikazuki, incidentally, is the Japanese word for "crescent moon," though it's not a real Japanese surname - it seemed both so poetic and ridiculous that I had to have it). I have to say that the graphics are amazing, but it's a CPU and bandwidth hog, at least in the context of my dull Dell laptop and anemic broadband uplink capacity. While other new arrivals on the Orientation Island seemed to be galloping around like excited yearlings (these people must be on fiber connections), I was a bit jerky, at one point suddenly ending up in the stream when I should have been crossing the bridge. Oh well, fascinating nevertheless.

There's some clever stuff going on here. For example, as new arrivals enter, there is a prompt to change appearance from one of the standard character templates on offer. When another person is editing their appearance, what you see is a generic character looking in a mirror, but the reflection in the mirror is of the new character they are becoming. This alone fascinated me, but then I wandered into the stream, and back in the real world I looked at the clock and thought I should get back to attempting to explain Second Life to the uninitiated.

Off to bed now, see you tomorrow, in this world or some other...

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