26 Jan 2023

Metaquette #Metaverse #VirtualHype #HypeCycle #DAU #MAU #Time #ROI #MilkshakeTest Q32

Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse with................................Pooky Amsterdam

Have we been to this movie before?

AltspaceVR is shuttering, Microsoft is shutting it down after its decade long run and approximately 10,000 will lose their jobs.  Meta lost $700B in valuation after pumping a lot of money in this space, which in October, Wall Street called it a train wreck, yet Meta keeps pumping money into The Metaverse. And the US Military's metaverse firm Improbable is shutting down it's US defense arm.  The Metaverse was supposed to be as ubiquitous as SmartPhones.....what happened?

There was a lot of Hype, FOMO and in the end there are just so many hours in a day for the adult end user to give to elective places to go. We aren't yet at the point where our Metaverse time rivals binge watching numbers.  Unless there is an "Emily In Paris" watch-party in Spatial with Lily Collins in the audience, which would incentivize me to get some brand spanking new virtual clothes!

And Microsoft also owns Activision Blizzard which owns World of Warcraft, among other titles. I'd love to see Balenciaga there!

Over $150B was invested in The Metaverse in 2022. And according to the Mckinsey report just cited, The Metaverse could generate $4 - 5 Trillion by 2030. Optimism is  still high. Linux is launching an Open Metaverse Foundation. And companies are still looking for the Killer app, or apps.....Can we find the place where the end users right to happiness does not interfere with profit-making? 

Q: How Does The Metaverse survive this Hype Cycle?

Does anyone remember Blue Mars? It still has 3,000 users mainly from a university affiliation. There.com? It still runs a blog and more. Even in the 1990's there were a spate of massive Multiplayer Online Games that were virtually happening even before Second Life made its debut. And Second Life is still going strong, despite having closed its VR based Metaverse called Sansar back in 2020. PS, even though SL doesn't support Sansar anymore, there is a dedicated community of people who keep it alive, and according to this events page there are things happening all the time. 

The Metaverse is Entertainment, what people get from it is what makes it tick. Here amazing people  decided the enjoyment they got was important enough to keep the platform alive without any visible means of support!

That's impressive.

The Metaverse exists, maybe not in it's ultimate mixed-reality incarnation as we are still building it, but the concept has been with us for quite a while. There is a bit of "new toyness" of this hype cycle of Web.3 and NFT gazillionaires has everyone expecting the New Metaverse to take over, on the scale of Facebook. However nothing is Facebook, not even Facebook or Meta or Horizons which are all the same company. NFT's aren't even NFTs anymore......ask Porsche.

Not everyone is going to love the Metaverse, not everyone is going to love your Metaverse, but chances are there are a lot of people who have experience in The Metaverse that this current Hype Cycle left out because they were part of Web 2.0. The Metaverse needs time to develop, needs those with prior knowledge on what makes a great user experience to assist. Because we humans are still kind of v1.0, the same problems which closed down other worlds from inactivity are still with us today. What do we want The Metaverse to do for us? Can it get that job done and pass The MilkShake Test?

In these new worlds where the virtual and the physical are one, there are still all the old problems of; why business in the Metaverse is not yet tearing it up. So the question is: Are you giving the customer what they really want for their time? At this point it takes a bit of a leap, Magic or otherwise for someone/anyone to go into The Metaverse. 

When it's as easy as turning on the TV, it will be more widely adopted. This is an entertainment option among many that competes for our time.

Does last year's $150B spend on The metaverse, mean your company's version of success is a fast ROI for the millions invested? If the measure of success is unique daily active users (DAU) and your Metaverse can't get more than 8,000 people in world at any one time but the expectation was 100,000 this week and 200,000 next week, perhaps the problem isn't with your Metaverse but the expectations for it. The goals don't seem to be to break even, but to have some presence using it as a medium for adverts, clothes, NFTs. So what you are offering the players in it besides? How do you keep this alive?

Use it as a media not a medium.

Who is going to invest the kind of money, marketing included to have a great place to play, relax, meet friends and have fun, without a guarantee? We have gone beyond the cool NFT if a blue-chip brand like Porsche can't come in and make a fortune selling them, where it's fans and wannabees can help design Porsches future in virtual worlds. That isn't good for The Metaverse? Posche should sponsor a Luxury Car Talk Show and broadcast it live: From Partyspace, Porsche Talk Live!

(AR, XR and Holographic co-reality will also become more a part of the day. As we spend a lot of time at the computer, taking augmentation with us will take us further, and get us up and outside. This might be the next wave to build on. It would be great to have an AR version of my Call of Duty Buddy as I walked down the street, a fleet of agreeable penguins or both.)

If you wanted to build a rocket ship to navigate the intergalactic gravitational superhighways, you would not need to learn how to build a plane like the Wright Brothers, but you would need to bone up on available  rocket science technology to get you to that stop. It is the same with The Metaverse, the technology that builds Multi User Virtual Environments has been around for ages. What is new is our dashboard, or the VR headsets which we need to become fully immersed. And now there is blockchain, perhaps interoperability. While that technology and those price points still have to adjust to the market and human physiology, we can still enter The Metaverse. What makes us want to find all the joys of these new worlds?

The Metaverse could be a media platform, a place to watch media alone, or with company. It is Entertainment the same way we are entertained by watching streaming series except we are the content as well. 

Cathy Hackl's amazing new What'sApp group pasted us this: 7,000 Crypto investors were asked what is the strongest Metaverse trend and just about 70% said Entertainment. This is why people keep there.com alive, why Second Life has a million MAU's after 20 years and why RecRoom, Spatial, Decentraland are places to go. Because it is Entertaining and Fun. It is all about providing entertainment to the end user, and that comes in many ways, that's our Milkshake Test, does the Metaverse experience we provide do the job of being fun and worthy of return?

The Metaverse is Entertainment, we are the media in it. Our adventures have to be part of the reward.

If you have a question email info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject and it will be answered.

18 Jan 2023

Metaquette #Metaverse #MediaPlatform #Metaversemedia #MediaMetaverse #UGC #machinima Q31

Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse with........Pooky Amsterdam 

Cinema done on machine, familiarly called machinima is returning, in fact it's never left.

About a decade ago I produced a 3-day event in Second Life which saw many people from Jason Silva to Dean Takahashi to Will Wright inhabit avatars to speak on a virtual stage about Media, and the viability and future of filmed content created from virtual worlds. The Poster for that weekend is our blog picture this week. And you can find Ricky Grove, and lots of info on contemporary machinima here.

The Metaverse is a Media Platform.  A movie set, and a moving set for avatars of business and play who visit there. The First Person Story we create is part of the greater media that is The Metaverse, as it's people based. It is a UGC platform because each person's experience is singular and their own, they are creating it there. The FPSt is part of the content created in a virtual world defined as communication, moving, interaction and / or response. As we are observing ourselves on a screen or with a display, we are media, a step away from our physical bodies. 

Q: How can you use The Metaverse as a Media Platform?

If The Metaverse is media for one, it's a media platform for many.  

Taking part in any one of a myriad of virtual happenings is your introduction to starring in your own cartoon movie every night. Look at Decentraland's weekly newsletter with a constant stream of community organized events. Fortnite has a challenge tracker. Or find something here. Joining in on the fun is being part of the show. We are the media in the game.

And we can make or buy content that act like props in your digital life movie. Streamers on YouTube, VR and  video tours of favorite things to do populate YouTube.  And can you believe Spatial has become the best place to play mixed reality shooter games? It also has ingame filming options.

If a Metaverse does not have some of its users making videos about it, that's a bad sign. And if one of them doesn't have a million views, the fan base is not motivated enough. The Gamer Gods can only do so many tutorials. This classic from Sean Kruger is one for the ages though, Man vs Second Life.

Rec Room, with 7M MAU has a video of the creation ecosystem developed with Unity. That is such a wonderful step. Maybe the Metaverse with the largest UGC wins. That has been the unifying, universal model for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al. UGC is what we make, what we do and what we are. 

With so many streaming and video opportunities, nothing really holds us back but a cool tag and secure password.  You want to do your own videos, streams, etc? The character is your avatar, the sets and costumes are made or purchased to your liking.  In The Metaverse we are content, and create it, just like in the physical world. 

Decide what you want to get across, whether you are a brand, a concept or an individual. The Metaverse is a malleable environment and will bend to your will. The other avatars, not so much unless what you are providing is fun, fresh and interesting.

Here are some ways to use The Metaverse as a Media Platform:

  • Stream live from your, or another avatars POV: Ask random avatars a question of the day.
  • Host a talk show with invited guests from around the world. All you have to do is make sure they can log in, sit down and talk.
  • Create a branded community and use the backdrop for a web series. Create a storyboard first of  screenshots
  • Make a gameshow, open mic, debate etc with avatar audiences and film it.
  • Check out what Metaverse Explorers is doing in Party.Space. Pitch Nights which bring the community together around shared interests.
In a terrific group run by the estimeable Remco Sikkema, someone posted about a movie they saw recently. And I thought we should all pile into a metaverse and have a watch party, making comments aloud like Mystery Science Theater 3000. While I am a sit forward and engage kind of person, this is yet another way to encourage media in The Metaverse.

The Metaverse is a media platform, it can stream live or pre-recorded video and events inside and / or outside that metaverse. We also can create that media and be the content within it. Let's make that meaningful and engaging.

If you have a question, send it to info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject line and it will be answered.

4 Jan 2023

Metaquette #UGC #Metaverse #MetaverseofPeople Q30

 Tips & Tricks for negotiating The metaverse with.....................Pooky Amsterdam

Word-Up: a segment of The 1st Question where the panelists competed for best made up word.

I love the Metaverse. Discovering virtual worlds meant discovering a way to create content I wouldn't have been able to make elsewhere or otherwise. While I am not personally a creator of those virtual assets which are made with prims or scripts, they're essential for my use as producer and writer of Metaverse videos and real-time game shows.  I also collaborate with people I know from the Metaverse. We all work to our strengths. All of us were drawn to becoming an avatar, and we found fulfillment with our new abilities there. With resources we couldn't find elsewhere. We need to find where people get their enjoyment being in the Metaverse.

Q: What do people want out of The Metaverse?

 I think to answer this question, we should think of what people want to put into the Metaverse, and spend time with. What brings us joy? What brings us bliss? Just like on Earth, where we work on projects and hobbies which bring us the happiness of creation.  Can we realize feelings of productivity, humor and the best we are capable of in a virtual world? 

If we have a hand in creating what that is, then yes.

The Metaverse now is a shiny place, it sure looks good, and interesting! There are places to go and hang-out which are slick looking, wonderfully bright and well-designed, but often empty after the main event. I understand that AI might be populating these places soon but I wouldn't mind, for example, a cafe I could enter in Spatial, which had a real world physical outpost. Wouldn't it be cool for a coffee chain to have a virtual place and in their physical stores had some kind of way for customers to log into the virtual one? Even through a default branded avatar. This would build an almost constant presence for the cafe too, and one that might be 24/7 in it's persistency. Up all night? Well it is caffeine fueled!!

What do we want out of the Metaverse? 

What do we want can also mean what do we want to do there? Creator tools are really important. A hired Unity developer makes a ton of stuff yet there is a look which creates a sameness to the landscape. When more people can make their own digital things, then walking through the Metaverse has the feel of the hands of many.  Hiring someone, or "someones," could be the only way to get started, but don't we want to build worlds where we, the end users can also become involved with creating assets for the platform? Isn't that what the company would want too? The Metaverse must have content.

Isn't it preferable to have a user base so involved that it's working on creating all kinds of items for their fellow denizens of whichever world they were in to use? Is your Metaverse just a place to pass through and look, or kind of shop? Or does it offer a way for people to work on things, work on something fun in your world because they want to? Are there appealing Calls-To-Action anywhere beyond an NFT or XR code? For many, the Metaverse is elective, time not binge-watching or doing the laundry.

Love fashion? There should be a fashionista hangout in The Metaverse where you can show off your latest great creation, or purchase. I hate being in the metaverse all dressed up with nowhere to teleport.  Want a place to virtually swan around in, and maybe run into other people in the Fashion biz.  Sports? Music? Wine? What kind? A Metaverse must let their users create groups, with the ability to invite people into them. Groups build community too.

Want to offer your interest set to others? Want to learn? There should be some kind of Message Board for people to post their skills if they are looking for a fun project to work on. Maybe a musician can work on a theme song for something or a music venue needs a musician? UGC is one of the strongest pulls to any of the incredibly successful social media platforms out there now. We love it.

While you can't cook food you can actually eat yet in VR, XR or the Metaverse, if you liked French seafood wouldn't it be great if there was a wonderful real little restaurant off the coast of Montpelier, and the owner had a cool virtual restaurant to hang out in? Fruit de mer foodies from all over the world could talk about recipes they wanted to try, or were trying.  The Chef could have an AMA. People would bond over their shared passion, talking about their travels to great seafood experiences, sharing media and discussing how to aid the oceans health. What happens? A fan base for the restaurant, bonding experience, something fun to relate to and a place where other people talk about cuisine you love.  

You dont even have to leave your pajamas, but it does seem a perfect opportunity for a travel agent to visit. Buying the trip to that restaurant in France and booking it in The Metaverse? Why not? If the coin is one both parties are willing to trade in? And the platform gets a small currency transaction fee. 

The UGC becomes part of what people come to your Metaverse for. Giving tools to your user base to create programs looks like a huge benefit. I created two shows, 20 people could create how many more? Buzzers and game boards should be accessible as content, or some kind or adaptable User Interface.  Allow the program creators to have a commercial interest in their own enterprise as that will also encourage content. A program can have sponsors and physical world connection to prizes. Being an avatar in a game in The Metaverse means you have a presence, you are not just a data point voting for a winner. It is a higher level of being there.

People in the Metaverse should be able to create their own programs that other people take part of either as panel or audience. The Metaverse is even more than a place to watch a show or video, it should be a place to create original content. Plus the results can be filmed with in-Metaverse tools and shared. The Metaverse could host avatar based content which also acts like soft advertising for The Metaverse. It becomes an ecosystem. 

FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media channels all have users uploading content. They are huge because of UGC.  What other people can produce is exciting, we have to give people a way to make their content, whether film, texture or thing.  The Metaverse has the ability to become a place where people go to see what other people have created, and take part in it. The Metaverse has to encourage engagement where people want to spend time as their avatar, doing things only the avatar can do, with other people whom they meet only because they are an avatar. 

Somethings happen more organically, like someone setting up a weekly recurring poetry slam where people can hang their own poems on the wall, drop in, always open and get to know one another. Other things need planning, pre-production, sound checks and some guarantee of an audience, like a game show with a script, host, panel and studio audience. Doing both of those changed my life, and my name.

There is a Euphoria that comes over us when we surf the Internet, our dopamine is released, we love being online. Being in The Metaverse should be part of that lift, that feeling of accomplishment, of engagement, of surprise and pleasure. We all know what businesses want, to make sales, improve workflow and seem cool. What people want is what the Metaverse will evolve into, and those that give folks the ability to make their dreams come true will prosper.

If you have a question, please email info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject matter and it will be answered.