All entries for Tuesday 12 December 2006

December 12, 2006

Using the Sidebar

Introduction to using the sidebar

As the sidebar is now very busy it might be helpful for you to have an idea of the lay out until you are familiar with it. also many of you may only have an interest in certain parts.

Section 1

  • Calendar – Self expalanatory
  • Radio 3 Link – This will get you into BBC Radio Player. I like catching up with things like Mixing it and Late Junction
  • Search this blog – self explantory
  • TagsVERY IMPORTANT: Just click on one and it will aggregate all tagged articles with this tag. The tags are the best way to navigate around the articles and call up ones written early on. Please drop a comment in the relevant box if you think a tag needs adding anywhere.
  • Latest Comments – this allows myslf and others to monitor comments and discussions quickly
  • Most Recent Entries – Self explanatory

Section 2: European Cinema

The next section from the BFI film Glossary goes through a range of:
  • Image galleries which are always being developed
  • Podcasts
  • Feeds
  • Useful links
  • There are also 2 links to good film message boards

There are various levels of knowledge required for different entries however it is the intention to aim for a broader readership encouraging those of a more theoretical bent to follow up with various films books and websites. Many of the links are to sophisticated articles that are available on line. If you find them hard don’t worry we all did once. Stick with what you are comfortable with. There is something for everybody here from A level to postgrad.

The entries on British cinema shouold be helpful for OCR A Level Students doing British cinema post 1990. It is also likely to help AS Film Studies students. The work on German Cinema and French and Italian cinema as it gets transferred onto the blog will help A2 Film Studies students doing FS 5.

Section 3: New Media Technologies

This subject is endlessly fascinating and there is little doubt as Web 2 progresses with developments such as the Second Life phenomenon will start to deeply change our social ontology or beingness in the world partially constructed through media.

This selection of feeds and stories even includes the news organisation Reuters who conduct virtual interviews with important people in Second Life. making ‘Virtually Real News!’ This is an important resource area for all OCR AS Media Studies students doing the ‘Audiences and Institutions’ New Media option.

Section 4: News Feeds and Podcasts

This is both a service to visitors providing up to date news as it breaks while you are onsite. It is of particular use to OCR A2 students doing the News option as it affords easy chances to compare the news strategies of different news organisations and functions as a practical case study of how news is being distributed in a Web 2 era.

Section 5:

this features what I consider as good quality blogs linked to the categories above. There is a folder of New Media based blogs and also one for European Cinema or Blogs which have a very high content of European cinema.

Methods for choosing links

There are many many websites and blogs etc on the above subjects. A key objective of this site is to try and filter out weakly researched and written sites. There is a premium on quality and there is a life beyond IMDB. Life is too short to keep filtering out spam. If you find that any sites you have visited from embedded links on this site please leave a comment. The site in question will be reviewed.

New Media. Business Likes Virtual Environments

Second Life Means Business

Below Adam Reuters: in real life the Reuters correspondent Adam Pasick.

Adam Reuters Adam Pasick in real life

Reuters and its use of Second Life

(NB please also check the Reuters RSS feed for stories on Second Life only under the new media technologies section in the sidebar.)

you can teleport out to the Reuters Atrium (you will need to be a member of Second Life to get all the way I’m afraid :-( )

Reuters & Nintendo Wii

CNet on the Reuters Second Life News Bureau (They have one as well).

You may be wondering by now what sort of people apart from journalists visit Second Life are they sad non-socials, geeks, adeventurers, entrepreneurs? A new report came out just as I was writing this (connected or what ? :-) ).

Chart of exchange rate of Linden dollars to the US dollar

Check out the Reuters RSS feed in sidebar for the up to date exchange rates.

Other business Stories about Second Life


Jeremy Paxman in Virtuality
elow Jeremy Paxman from BBC’s Newsnight but not as you know him.
Even the professional sceptic Jeremy Paxman from BBC’s Newsnight has been checking out Second Life. Interestingly drawn there investigating new media technologies from a business perspective. There is a link here to the video report. (The title of the article is a parody of Philip K. Dick’s Sci-Fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which got turned into a very famous film – but thenif you’re reading this you know that :-).

The American journal Business Week

Business Week: Second Life Tip sheet

CNet on how Big businesses are setting up in Second Life

If your’en the sort of person who has an ING internet account then maybe you’ll be able to draw out cash in Linden dollars when you visit Second Life sort of ‘Double Dutch’ perhaps?

Where people go business and economics follows and…

So do the tax people!

Other business Developments in Virtual Worlds

World of Warcraft owned by media conglomerate Vivendi is shaking up the games market.

New Media. Second Life: Views of Founder Philip Rosedale


At the time of writing the biggest developing cultural / social phenomenon on the Web is the rapid growth of the Virtual environment Second Life. It was initially launched in 2003 around the time other web2 applications were beginning to revitalise the web after the crash of 2000. Until a few months ago its growth has been steady but not really spectacular. Already over one million people have signed up to become members and it is suggested that its economy is growing faster than many real countries.

Below I have summarised some of the key points to come out of an interview with Philip Rosedale the founder of Second Life with Oliver Rosedale from .Net magazine. (very old world having a paper based product :-) ). If you go to the other article on Second Life you will find links to several stories by BBC reporters on it.

Interview Summary

Currently (December 2006) about 10,000 people per day are joining Second life

In September it grew at a rate of 38%

About $500,000 (real money) is spent everyday

Current rate of exchange real dolloars to Linden dollars (the local currency) $1 – $250.

Inspiration behind the project: Neil Stephenson’s book Snow Crash

Rosedale: the combination of 3D graphics and broadband were the two things that seemed absolutely necessary to make the whole thing work

Rosedale on the differences between Second Life and other virtual world models:

...there’s no levels, no scores and, most importantly, the content in second life is user created (my emphasis)...Linden Lab just sells and maintains land – all objects are created by people inside the virtual world.

Herein lies the fundamental difference between Second Life and environments sucha as World of Warcraft. Second Life is about creating a country not a game.

The difference is that there are many more possibilities to explore. It can be entirely escapist or it is possible to test out products and developments as some businesses are already. Another difference is that people who are ‘stuck’ in the real world can create their own entrepreneurial opportunities in Second Life.

In this latter sense it can be seen culturally as the recreation of a frontier zone. It has shades of a revitalisation of the cowboy frontier ethic for the 21st century.

Perhaps it is part of the liberal free-trading culture which has been the root of American financial success (as well as some of its poverty some would say).

Web 1 or Web 2

Reuters in Second life

This application seems to blur the differences between Web 1 and Web 2. As Rosedale is arguing that Linden Labs purpose is to create a country they have provided an enormously interactive social environment which is a major attraction. another major attraction which gives it a Web 2 feel is that its future development is primarily based upon what users decide to make and to do.

Users keep the intellectual property rights on articles they make within the environment:

bq. People are using the scripting language to build something like a watch that your avatar wears, and when you zoom in on it, its telling the right time and maybe has an alarm on it(Rosedale interviewed .Net Jan 2007 p36).

Clearly this makes it an extraordinarily interactive and highly dynamic environment which is laregly contingent upon how the users decide to use it unlike the gaming virtual environments which often have regular and predictable features built into the software.

There is is even crime in Second Life however there is some serious thinkng going on from Linden Lab. Issues of control are community based informed by books such as the well known The Death and Life of Great American cities by Jane Jacobs. There are many experiments going on about how to govern.

One thing is currently missing that is present in the real world. That is the potential for monopoly contorl of commodities. there’s no cost of goods and there’s no manufacturing and distribution costs says Rosedale.

For Rosedale the most important feature of Second life is that it is _inherently social. When you navigate the web normally you are alone. although Second life is a website you are rarely alone in your ventures. Arguably this puts paid to those a few years ago who thought that the web would kill off sociality. It seems to be moving sociality into different space which is rather a different thing.

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