Category Archives: Sydney

Bit Part: Social Networks as Social Media

Social networking and social destination sites by and for social networking alone just don’t cut it. People get bored with networking  for networking’s sake: there needs to be a focus point or focal points beyond simply socnet.

Om Malik has glommed onto this thought I had way back in the mists of time, circa August 2005 and now asks: Are Social Networks Just a Feature?

In Yoick’s view, successful web communities have at their core, a set of pursuits or strange attractors – these pursuits work best if they deliver some benefit from interactions between members of a community…the higher the usefulness factor, the more compelling an attractor.

To sum up, I agree with Om. Yoick is essentially building an “integrated community entertainment platform”, a term borrowed from Andrew Littlefiled, CEO of Doppelganger. Within this ICEP, the social networking aspects are critical as part of the community journey, but they are not the sole destination.

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Virtual Worlds: Life is not a Game

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to note that Second Life is vastly different from World of Warcraft. But Clay Shirky has stated the obvious — the one is a platform with fascinating in-world effects, the other is a multi-player game.

Clay believes that we shouldn’t be comparing the two. With this point I agree. Games are games, they involve quests, levelling, the magic circle metaphor and in some instances, the thing that has given rise to their popularity – guilds (the ability to work as a team). They also include a range of negatives – shards and lag.

Second Life is a 3D persistent environment – it does not per se have games or quests and is more focused on allowing its residents to achieve status through the acquisition of status symbols — land being the primary one, but stuff in general. It is very individualistic, but contains social elements – residents can communicate amongst each other, albeit currently on a rudimentary level, and they can collaborate on building items, again at a rudimentary level.

Similarly to games, Second Life has downsides such as lag and severe limitations on the number of residents that can visit an inworld place at any one time.

In terms of comparitors, Second Life should be compared to other forms of online social media such as MySpace and Cyworld. These social media plays have had massive adoption – why: they pander to our innate desire for CICS (Connect, Interact, Create and Share), they are easy to use, are extremely viral and, in particular in the case of MySpace, have an open architecture – I can visit your MySpace page and watch a YouTube video.

Second Life doesn’t rate as a social media play. Linden Labs may have open sourced the SL viewer, but their product is far from open or viral. It is not intuitive to navigate inworld and creating and sharing are hard things to do. Just as a newb user gets comfortable she starts to experience massive client/server induced lag and SL crashes. Oh well, she sighs, I tried that…now back to social networking.

I agree with Clay that games are not going away any time soon, in fact as a form of pure entertainment…they rock. 3D persistent spaces, however, are categorised in the virtual world arena for now, but should be compared to other forms of social media.

In fact, at Yoick we strongly believe that as social media the right combination will lead to massive Skype-like adoption. Stay tuned for our persistent 3D environment – we are on the cusp of emerging from stealth…

Startup Spotlight: Remember The Milk

Over at Techcraunch we’ve spotlighted Remember The Milk, a Sydney-based startup that makes task management painless.

Their online solution has been available for just over a year and has garnered 100,000 users in 155 countries.

RTM was co-founded by Emily Boyd, New South Wales Young Australian of the Year in 2003.

The state of Australian Venture Capital

We’ve blogged over at Techcraunch regarding the abysmal state of venture capital downunder.

Xmas Break: Fat Snapper Fishing in New Zealand

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Posts will be sporadic over the Xmas Break. Some of the Yoick team are beavering away, but I’m down south on Waiheke Island (just off Auckland, New Zealand) for a fortnight.

Got in late last night from Sydney and hit the water before sunrise for a spot of fishing with the Fat Snapper. No surprises what will be on the bbq this evening. Josh below, taking a break from Eve and Runescape…
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Launching Techcraunch: Aussie Technology

The Yoickpire is growing — we are launching Techcraunch…THE Australian tech blog.

Our premise is that there is a lot to crow about downunder….we have awesome technologists here and it’s about time they had a stage.

Stop by and let us know your thoughts…first blog post here.

Look Alive: Sydney is Buzzing

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I was chatting with fellow Yoicker, Phil Morle, today and commenting on how Sydney seems to have come alive in the past few months. After a long hiatus, this beautiful city is totally buzzing with activity and there are a good few folk doing great things – some of whom have graced this blog, but there are many unsung heroes cooking up a mean technobroth.

As we head for the Xmas break I’d like to pause and thank the many, many folk who have made 2006 one of my most memorable years. I look forward to interacting with you all in 2007 — it will be a huge year, a year in which user generated video and UGV advertising comes into its own, a year in which 3D persistent worlds move into the spotlight and a year in which Yoick becomes a verb.

Hear’s to ya all!