August 03, 2007

Disney buys Club Penguin

Yesterday, Disney announced that it was purchasing Club Penguin. This was a great newspaper article to get our young CP fan reading the New York Times. Which leads me to my continuing amazement how the old-style media complains bitterly about how young readers don't read their newspapers and yet really don't seem to comprehend how to connect with younger readers. The CP newspapepr is a must read in our household every Thursday morning. Why? Because it contains information that a younger audience wants to read. Most newspapers I read these days are geared for white management-types who are over 40 and are only excited by albums, oops CD's released by old hippie types or promoted at Starbucks. They barely get what anyone under 30 is interested in reading in the newspaper anymore. I have lots of ideas.

Disney gets it by purchasing Club Penguin, but I hope that they don't mess it up. Good things could come out of this.

The avatar worlds are just starting to increase in popularity. This Globe and Mail article points the way to where things may be headed. Here are a few other selected opinions about Club Penguin, which seems to be a puzzlement to many writers without kids. Motley Fool points out how this is a good deal for Disney. The Washington Post has a photo of the founders and includes negative authorities on kids on the internet. Tech guru John Dvorak writes that he's never heard of Club Penguin, which suggests to me that the world is changing a lot faster than he understands.

I want to sound bemused here because I sense there's lots of money to be made. But the guys who tried to sell us 'synergies' a few years ago are unaware as they count the exorbitant sums of money they made through speculations while others got burned. Let's just hope Disney figures out how that too much synergy is a bad thing.

August 01, 2007

Second Life conference

My first conference in Second Life was lively and interesting, yet it also had those routinely boring moments, just like any conference. Over the weekened, I attended BlogHer's 07 conference in Second Life, instead of being in RL in Chicago at Navy Pier, which sounded quite appealing. But it was fascinating to sort of be at the real life conference via live video feed, and then be at our own SL conference with topics just for SL confenferees, particularly on Saturday.

Queen Tureaud and everyone at BlogHer's tech side did a good job of trying to get this conference going. There were many glitches, and a few too many complainers, I thought over the general IM about not being able to get the media feed. But oh well. The first photo is of Elizabeth Edwards as the final keynote on Saturday answering questions from the audience. Turns out she is a long-time computer user and keeps a blog on her husband's presidential campaign website. I was impressed by her candidness and her sense of understanding where the real problems are in the country.

The second photo is a panel with Esther Dyson and three other independent-minded, tech-smart women. You can see me listening in the audience.

Some other ways this was just like an RL conference: This conference had an exhibitors' area where I got a lot of SL bling. And some of the booths seemed appropriate and some were a tad off, like real conferences. I tried to IM a few people individually in the crowd while a session was going on via voice. This seemed ok, but it was interesting how we could privately have chats without anyone knowing or seeing us pass notes. I particularly enjoyed chatting with the new mother who runs her blog Toddler Planet.

But I feel lots of pain for her as she was recently diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. I do hope she recovers well. Check out her link on the different kind of breast cancer she has, which is particularly hard to detect via mammograms. I had never heard of it before.

Another weird thing about an SL conference, is that you can click on people to see their profiles and learn more about them. I found out about a lot of interesting SL groups doing this. At an RL conference, you're rather anonymous besides your name tag.

I am eager to do another SL conference and to try to get a circle of some of my best, but now scattered, friends together in a chat in the fall in SL.

Well, haven't been writing much as we have been traveling to see all of our families. It was exhausting, but fun to drive 1600 miles in two weeks.