The metaverse is front-and-center in this episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report as the future of the metaverse begins to take shape and businesses start to pay attention. Also in this episode: You.com is a new search engine that delivers clear advantages over Google for anyone conducting research (as opposed to simply looking for the answer to a question), a look at a methodology for businesses to ramp up their TikTok efforts, and Neville shares his observations about the Center Cam webcam. Updates to social audio services are at the heart of Dan York’s Tech Report.
Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is scheduled for Saturday, December 18, at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch live here.
(You can watch the video of the making of this episode, though it’s clearly too late to share comments we can read right into the show.)
We are hosting an FIR Communicators Zoom Chat each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, there will be no FIR Zoom Chat on Thursday, November 25, which is Thanksgiving in the U.S.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
Links from this episode
- You.com wants to remake the search engine
- So what is “the metaverse,” exactly?
- Building the Metaverse Megadeck
- What is Web3 and Why Are All the Crypto People Suddenly Talking About It?
- Execs seemed confused about the metaverse on Q3 earnings calls
- Workplace from Meta will merge with Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft now envisions Teams as the ‘gateway to the metaverse’
- Is the Metaverse friend or foe to travel?
- The Tao of DAOs
- DAOs, Blockchain, and the Potential of Ownerless Business
- Barbados to Become First Sovereign Nation With an Embassy in the Metaverse
- Sweden to open embassy in Second Life (from 2007)
- Why Barbados’ Meaverse Embassy Matters
- How to grow your company’s TikTok presence
- Center Cam website
- Center Cam on IndieGoGo
- User comments about the Center Cam on IndieGoGo
- Neville’s Center Cam unpacking video
- Neville on Center Cam: YouTube video
Links from Dan York’s Tech Report
- Introducing Clubhouse Replays: Live But Later
- Clubhouse adds clips, replays for asynchronous listening, better search and spatial audio for Android
- What is Music Mode (on Clubhouse)?
- Spotify opens access to video podcast publishing to Anchor creators
- Listen — and Watch — Your Favorite Creators as Video Podcasting Comes to Spotify
- Spotify video podcast announcement on Twitter
- Twitter Spaces hosts can now record conversations and share them in tweets
Raw Descript Transcript
It’s an all new for immediate release, the podcast for communicators where this month it’s metaverse metaverse metaverse well, not all. Metaverse you’ll get the low down on a new search engine that beats the heck out of Google. When it comes to research and Neville will share his experiences with the innovative new center cam webcam, but mainly we’re talking about the metaverse in this episode and its implications for business and communicators.
Of course, in his tech report, Dan York takes a different tack updating us on all kinds of movement in the social audio space. All this is coming your way, right? This very minute on for immediate release, another fine podcast from the fir podcast. Now. This is for immediate release the podcast for communication,
greetings everyone, and welcome to Fort immediate release a Hobson health report for November, 2021. 2, 1 3 of fir podcast. This is Neville Hobson and Thatcher in England. And this is Shel Holtz and Concord, California. We’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about in this episode, starting with the metaverse is a big topic.
Um, before we get into that though, I want to mention one thing at which will be a topic we’ll discuss in the show towards the end, uh, which is a bit of hardware. That’s, uh, I’m trialing. Cause I’ve got the product shells waiting for his, uh, it is a webcam that sits in the middle of your screen. That’s called center cam and it lets you.
Um, same as if you’re looking at people. If you look at the camera in the center of your screen, as I’m doing now, it should look as if I’m looking at you as a matter of fact. That’s good to know. So, um, we’ll talk about this at the end. It’s a pretty neat bit of kit, I would say. So, uh, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll talk a bit more about it at the end, but we’re now going to get cracking so over to you show, uh, thanks.
Uh, just a couple of quick housekeeping notes. First of all, as always, we are recording shortly after circle of fellows, uh, was recorded. This is a show that I moderate that features a collection of IABC fellows, international association of business communicators. Uh, the last episode was titled your future in focus.
So it was all about career paths and, and ways to manage your career development. Uh, joining me in this episode, we’re Amanda Hamilton at well from South Africa, Neil Griffiths from right there in London. Neville and Brad Whitworth, uh, from up north in wine country here in California, it was a good discussion.
Uh, also, uh, a while ago I said that we were going to be posting an fir interview that I conducted. And I realized recently that, uh, that slipped through the cracks. I’ve got the recording done, I’ve got the notes written, uh, and I never posted the damn thing. So this was a fascinating discussion I had, it was with two academics, uh, who did a ton of research and wrote a report about the use of, uh, strategic narratives to drive behavior change.
And they found with one particular group of, uh, stakeholders. It doesn’t work. And of course, in marketing and public relations, we always talk about how important it is to tell a story, uh, tell a story because it tugs at the emotions and it takes a broad concept and, and, uh, brings it right home. Uh, but in this case it was not effective and it was a really interesting conversation.
So I’m going to be getting that posted as quickly as I can, since I promised the folks I did the interview with it, it would be up weeks and weeks ago. I needed to do that. Uh, one last thing I want to mention, uh, as you all know, if you listen to the show regularly, uh, right about this point in the show, we have a promo from PoliteMail, which has been a sponsor of ours for some time, uh, our sole sponsor for some time.
Uh, you’ll be hearing the PoliteMail promo in just a minute, but, uh, they have notified us that they are ending their sponsorship effective with our December episode, which will leave us without a sponsor. I think we started without a sponsor. So I suppose that’s fine. I kind of like having a sponsor. I kind of like having our expenses covered, which is all we do.
Our podcasting rates are not near what you’re going to see for things like Invisibilia or cereal or, or, or pod save America or shows like that. Uh, it’s it’s just enough to cover the hosting costs and some of the other expenses associated with the show. Uh, so if you are interested maybe in having your organization sponsor for immediate release, uh, just give us a call.
Um, actually give me a call, uh, or drop me an email, uh, and we can talk about it. I’ll let you know what goes into that, uh, what you get for that sponsorship. We’re also talking about doing a listener survey. We haven’t done one of these in good heavens must be eight or nine years a decade. And, uh, I think it would be helpful for anybody who wants to invest even a little money in the show to know who they are.
Promos are going to be heard by. So that’s on the horizon as well. Uh, in terms of polite mail, who continues to be our sponsor through the end of the year, uh, for the second consecutive year, uh, they’ve been certified a great place to work the awards based on what current employees say about their experience.
Working at polite mail, 75% of the company’s employees say it is indeed a great place to work. And that’s a full 16 points higher than the average us company. Uh, they scored highest in categories relating to work-life balance and flexibility also scored well in culture and continuing education benefits.
But I suspect employees also get great emails since I’m sure they eat their own dog food. As the saying goes and use polite mail to communicate with their own. Uh, polite mail. If you’re not familiar with what they do, they help communication and HR teams improve employee email engagement, 27% of America’s top employers use it.
They’d benefit from analytics that accurately measure those communications. Uh, your outlook plugin for polite mail includes responsive design employee feedback, list management tools and measurement, right in your software. You never need to visit a website to use it. Uh, you’ll find all the information you need about using this great email@example.com and we appreciate their support, uh, for all these years of, for immediate release.
So let’s move into our first story, which is mine. You get to hear my voice continuing here for a little bit. I’ve been playing around with a new search engine. Um, I think it takes so chutzpah to launch a new search engine these days, given Google’s dominance in the field and Microsoft have being trying feverously to chip away at some of that, uh, there’s duck duck go, uh, as, as an alternative to Google, that is based almost entirely on privacy.
And I have to admit, I like the idea of not being tracked and having targeted ads delivered at me through Google, but the search results. Aren’t always that great on duck, duck go and they’re organized pretty much the same way. Google search results are a list of links in descending order on a search engine results page.
So I was definitely up for trying you.com Y O u.com. When I read about it, uh, in an article on the. The idea here is to deliver something entirely different than Google’s approach, which is focused on what they call one, true answer that that factual snippet that appears at the top of the Google search, Google thinks that’s all, most people will need, even though, you know, calling it one true answer is questionable.
Uh, what appears in that snippet is often not all that factual, sometimes offensive, uh, sometimes controversial. And then the rest of the results. They’re just gang together in a list, uh, regardless of where it’s coming from or what the nature of the content is. You dot coms approach is all about sorting and comparing results.
It also lets you influence which sources you see by letting you upvote and downvote specific categories. So how does it work since we’re going to spend an ungodly amount of time talking about the metaverse in today’s show? Uh, I did a survey. Um, hang on one second.
Uh, since we’re going to be spending an ungodly amount of time talking about the metaverse in today’s show, I did a search on the term. So the first thing you saw was web results. And by the way, all the results are listed in tiles rather than just one text block after another. And they appear horizontally.
So you use a right pointing arrow to scroll through them. There were two rows of results for metaverse. As I mentioned, the web results labeled, let me downvote web results. So if I wanted to see news first, or if I wanted to see all the conversations about the metaverse on Reddit first, I could see. Uh, news was second in this case, uh, with one roll of stories, including images followed by a row of shorts, shortcuts to new sources, NPR, AP news courts, and others.
Then I got a row of those articles, a row of NPR stories, a row of AP news stories, uh, scrolling further. I could see Reddit posts about the men at verse. Then I could see tweets about the metaverse then videos and finally posts from LinkedIn. It’s not always those, uh, categories that you see. It depends on the search that you do.
I did a search on something else and I got a somewhat different collection of sources. Uh, and in some cases, fewer sources, uh, the article on the verge notes that you.com isn’t optimized for answering basic questions, the way Google. And Google has gotten pretty adept at guessing what people really want when they search for something.
A u.com takes a far more literal approach. Uh, the article points out that if you want the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes, Google gives you a grid of movie star pictures across the top of the screen. you.com delivers links to lists of actors. Uh, but according to the article I’m quoting now, the service seems far more honest about its own limitations than Google Google’s.
Text snippets are arguably arguably the platform’s worst feature granting a false sense of authoritativeness to inaccurate or offensive information, or even summarizing an accurate answer in a dangerously wrong way. you.com does offer a quick facts box for queries like the distance from the earth to the moon, but it’s delivered alongside a bunch of other results.
So what u.com is good for in my view and what I’ve been using it for lately is. You know, search power users who like comparing multiple sources of information. Uh, I suspect like me other communicators who do a lot of research online. They’re not looking for quick answers to questions. They’re looking for.
What’s the best research I can use, uh, for. This proposal I’m writing. So I searched corporate rebranding and it was a whole lot easier to compare those results side by side, in this tile format and in categories than it was in Google’s linear list of results. And you.com does emphasize it’s more private and less heavily tracked.
It’s not supported by ads. Uh, doesn’t deliver endless, uh, tie in products. They even have an incognito mode that hides your IP address. Uh, right now, uh, you.com is funded by a venture round led by Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, a total of 20 million in that round. The Benioff’s involvement makes sense since you.com was built by two former Salesforce employees, but they don’t have a revenue model yet.
So it’ll be interesting to see how they plan to make a living off of this. Uh, but for communicators and others who are looking for a better way to compare categorized results, when doing research, uh, it’s definitely worth it. I had not heard of it until now. Basically. I like the idea that, um, you touched on that they talk about, uh, the, as they say, the big differentiating feature is, uh, how people can influence which sources they see.
And that I thought that’s interesting if that’s different, how Google does it and you can not vote in downvote specific category. So when you go back or you look at it, then you see what people are. Uh, you know, saying about it as well, who, you know, who likes it, who doesn’t have a sense. Um, if you can, trust that they’re in is, is an issue because can you, um, but uh, if you’ve been using it, uh, and you’re you think it’s worthwhile, then that’s probably.
Uh, how this might build momentum, where people are saying that online and social networks, and we know how this all works. And I think, I think it’s great. Uh, I’m going to try it. Uh, but noting what you said too, and reading the verges piece, the way you were to search term, uh, is actually more important than it ever would have been.
The one thing you like about Google, I certainly do is the ability for Google, uh, search to take an unstructured, uh, um, uh, uh, let’s call it a well it’s like normal language. Um, that’s, uh, isn’t clear. Uh, it actually could be ambiguous and it needs to guess what it is, but the beauty of Google is typically it does it REL it does it right.
Unless you’ve really mangled the question in which case it won’t. But a lot of the time it guesses what you really are asking. And in my experience, most of the time, often than not it’s, it’s got it. Right. So this needs to be that, um, I dunno, I have no idea of what the horsepower is behind that at the server.
And that’s making that all happen, but it’s got to be pretty, uh, pretty powerful to do all of that stuff. So if they are, uh, at the stage of they’ve got this and they haven’t got a business model yet, then that that’s unfortunate that they may not be around in two weeks time. So if they’ve had the 20 million bucks raise, they’d likely to be, but nevertheless, they need a plan, uh, as to where they’re going with this before anyone really takes them seriously.
Yeah. And I think there has to be some buzz generated around it, but I have only been using it for four or five days. I mean, it is in, in public beta right now. This is not a polished product. They have some features that haven’t rolled out yet that I think people would probably expect to be in a search engine they’re coming.
Uh, but I’ve already found myself without giving it. A lot of thought is using Google for this and, and you.com for that. Right. So when I’m starting to do research, I’m looking for studies and surveys and reports on a particular topic. I don’t even think about it. I go to u.com and this is just after a few days.
Uh, so for people who do that kind of research, uh, this could become a go-to place. Um, and you know, as they improve, I could even see paying a subscription. For this, if it’s going to deliver those kinds of results and make that research that much easier, because I have to tell you when I’m doing research on things like the impact managers have on employee retention during the great resignation, all end up scrolling through, you know, 15 or 20 Google search pages that is highly inefficient.
I end up clicking on a lot of links that ended up being completely useless to me. Uh, and with u.com, I’m not having that experience. I’m finding the results. I’m looking for much faster. So, uh, I, I, but if I am looking for just, uh, you know, information about an actor or something like that, uh, I go straight to Google and ask a natural language question.
So yeah. Yup. Promise not replacement, but an alternative for certain types of searches. Yeah, I agree. So yeah, a lot of promise and high expectation that I was thinking to give it a try. So, and so then I think we’re going to talk about, not talk about the most of us now, shell. Yeah. This what’s coming now is, is really, uh, an, uh, an intro, uh, answering the question.
What is a metaverse exactly. And, um, I’m just reflecting and then. Two one oh, last August that’s only three months ago. The metaverse featured large as our main discussion topic. The overall theme then was whatever it turns out to be. The metaverse is absolutely coming as the next iteration of the internet.
So just three months on we’re here with another episode full of metaverse talk. So over these past three months, the conversation has evolved with more voices, adding their opinions and predictions and what’s happening now. And what they think is coming. With so much talk and with so many different ideas vying for our attention.
It’s no wonder that so many people still aren’t quite sure what the metaverse is. So let’s go back to 1992. When the term metaverse was originally coined by Neil Stevenson in his Seminole cyberpunk novel snow crash in the book of the metaverse with a capital N is a shared imaginary place that’s made available to the public over the worldwide fiber optics network and projected into virtual reality goggles in it.
Developers can build buildings, parks, signs, as well as things that do not exist. In reality, such as vast hovering overhead light shows, special neighborhoods where the rules of three dimensional space time are ignored and free combat zones where people can go to hunt and kill. It doesn’t actually sound like how many people talking today in 2021 are defining what they see as the metaverse capital M or otherwise.
I hear many people talking about metaverse versus plural, leading some to liken the notion as similar to the current internet with a capital I, which embodies the huge reality of a network of networks, all interconnected, thanks to willingness and cooperation. Vajra foundation are protocols and standards that enables all the interconnectivity with no central organization controlling at all.
I think too many people was trying to nail down a very specific and rigid vision of what the metaverse is, where it’s far too early for a rigid definition. What we need is to understand what a metaverse can enable people to do. Think of the internet analogy outside of deep tech circles. We don’t explain the nuts and bolts of how it works, but focus instead on what it lets people do in an article published on November the seventh title.
So what is the metaphor is exactly as technique as a good take of what it is from this. For example, it’s a shared social space with avatars to represent users on a website or social media network. You might be represented by a username or a thumbnail picture in the metaverse you’re represented by customizable avatar that can move, speak, and perform animated actions.
These kinds of advertisers have in common, in all sorts of online gaming and social spaces. Since the nineties, does anyone remember Habbo hotel, it’s a persistent world for the advertisers to inhabit and interact with. In some cases, this means a virtual world that mimics the space constraints and land scarcity of the real world as seen in second life’s discrete plots of land.
In other cases, it just means use a sharing specially created spaces for a particular game or a special time sensitive event. Like recent multimedia concerts held in. It’s the ability to own virtual property as you would physical property. This could mean anything from a Neo pets, JPEG that’s associated with your account to a collection of powerful gear in world of Warcraft in either in either case your virtual property stays linked to you.
And does it disappear between sessions second life similarity from 15 years ago? That’s what that looks like to me. Recently, people have tried to use NFTs as a decentralized way to track and establish ownership of virtual goods. In theory, such NFTs would allow virtual goods to be moved freely between methods versus controlled by different companies in practice, the level of standard setting and into corporate corporation necessary for this kind of portability, writ large remains a pipe dream for now.
It’s the ability to create your own virtual property, allowing users to make their own Methodists content can be seen as a boon, both for users who get to shape the virtual world to their wins. And for the metaverse makers who don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort creating every single virtual object from scratch games like Minecraft and Roblox show.
How metaverse is that provide relatively simple building blocks can harness network effects and play a creativity to produce a huge variety of in world creations. It’s the ability to exchange and sell your virtual property. This can range from things like no longer gray market currency exchanges. So world of Warcraft gold farming to strictly regulated full in universe economists like those in evil.
Think back again, the second life as well, but this was an emerging feature. That’s 15 years ago. It’s a shared universe of intellectual property from multiple major companies. This element of the metaverse idea was heavily popularized by ready player. One, the 2011 novel in 2018 movie, featuring a virtual world that combined elements of countless nostalgic media properties from joust and Dungeons and dragons to war games and Monte Python and the holy grail.
You could also add Ralph breaks, the internet and animated 2017 movie to this media consolidation aids its concept, allowing for virtual worlds where Gandalf could fight bugs bunny through the unexpected law, Jess of common corporate parent Warner brothers, but crossovers that reached past a single corporate world garden that becoming more common to characters from Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega square, next Capcom, Namco, Konami, and more all interact in super smash brothers, ultimate foresters.
Which brings me to the next question, whose metaverse is it anyway, it’s important to differentiate between a metaverse and the metaverse while they sound similar change in the article proceeding metaverse can heavily impact the meaning. The difference has to do was control. Broadly speaking, any corporate entity or group of programmers can create a metaverse that meets any or all of the above criteria, just as anyone can create a social network.
And these cases, a single entity manages the service polices, use a conduct and sets rules for how the virtual world. Oh, the other end of the spectrum is a completely open architecture where different entities in interoperable servers connect to a single shared metaverse. The metaverse VAR, a shared set of broadly agreed upon standards, successes like the worldwide web and email or show how this is possible in the wider online world.
But similar efforts to establish Methodist standards have mostly failed to catch on. I’d say that this is where we see divergence from the present internet way of things and what some are calling internet 2.0 as a moniker for the Methodist. How would it play? As technique has lengthy narrative is very good on this point and is worth reading in its entirety.
We have a link to in the show notes. So with that foundation set, let’s continue the discussion show. Well, let’s talk about it. Um, my view of the metaverse and I understand that my view is going to have to evolve based on. Emerges from all of this is that you will be able to move from one of these worlds to another fairly seamlessly.
Uh, if we think back to second, Uh, and I recall both of us believing that while second life was very interesting. It was also way ahead of its time, way too soon. Uh, the complexity involved in, in creating stuff. I mean, you had to learn a programming language to create anything, uh, in, in second life. Uh, you could teleport from island to island or from place to place, but they were all second life places.
What I envisioned the metaverse is you could have all of these lowercase Mehta versus, um, the one from Metta, formerly Facebook, uh, you could have fortnight and you could have a decentral land and all of these. And when I’m done in one place and want to go to the other, I should be able to go there without having to exit one, uh, enter the other, uh, and, and create separate avatars for all of them.
Now that’s not to say that I would have the same avatar everywhere. If I’m going to be on the island where I’m hunting and killing other people. You know, uh, I might want to have a different avatar than when I’m in a business meeting in say spatial. Um, but it should be a common set of standards, at least enough for me to move fairly seamlessly from one to the other.
I saw in one of the articles you shared, they listed, uh, uh, supernatural, uh, in their discussion of the metaverse. This is, uh, an app that I use every morning on my Oculus quest to it’s for exercise. It’s a workout app. Uh, you find yourself in different parts of the world. So you might be on the great wall of China or a plane in, uh, in Mongolia, or sometimes you could even be on the moon or Mars.
Uh, occasionally they even have fantastical environments they’ve created, but mostly it’s places in the world, the Galapagos islands and places like that. Uh, and you, uh, basically you have two bats in your. And you’re smashing targets that are coming at you while you’re also, uh, squatting and lunging, uh, triangles tell you how to do that.
Uh, and I don’t see that as the metaverse. I love it. Um, I’m getting more exercise than I ever did. Uh, but is it the metaverse? Uh, I ha I have a problem with that. Any 3d environment that I can load up in my virtual reality headset is not necessarily the Medford metaverse, uh, I don’t know if you disagree with.
Well, to me, that speaks to the point I made earlier from our standard. Cause pizza people are spending too much time trying to define a metaverse. Uh, every case is raising the question still, what is it? Because no one can do that, right? Your point earlier though, is spot on and indeed ARS Technica touches on it and does touch it that ain’t going to ITO.
They talk about, uh, the part about owning virtual property as you would physical properties, where they mentioned that the reference that using NFTs, as the example of allowing virtual, good to move freely between Meza versus controlled by different companies. And that means the individuals to have that ability.
So they say though, and I can see this, this is probably, uh, if this turns out to be able, then there’s a tipping point, but it’s not, they say. The level of standard setting and into corporate corporation necessarily for this kind of portability, writ large remains a pipe dream. Absolutely true. So, and you, in fact, look back at the internet capital, I, uh, actually is not the capitalized, a small lie, uh, where there are still issues in connecting some internets with others.
Uh, not nothing that’s kind of deal breaking its protocols and things often it’s see it’s the way in which, uh, some, uh, organizations don’t don’t cooperate well with others. So that’s a human element. This isn’t even got to that stage yet with this idea. It will. I, I, I believe it will, but I think also it’s worth pointing out that much of the, what is the metaverse questioning is the thinking is kind of seems to be about like the metaverse all in complete capitals where it means like everything is all connected.
Suddenly it ain’t going to be like, that would be bit by bit. It’ll be metaphors by metaverse, which is what happened with the internet. If you like, partly, although the difference being with the internet was that there was only, let’s say a dozen internet networks that were all connected together. It wasn’t like there were another 50 out there who weren’t, it wasn’t that at all.
They didn’t exist yet. Hey, we’ve got something different where we’ve already got lots of what people are calling metaverses. Uh, I’m not sure that’s accurate. Hey, it doesn’t matter to be Frank and let’s get away from all of that. And talk about what we want to do such as ours as technical is doing, which is to your point as well, shell, I think it will need, um, some very smart people.
Some forward-thinking enlightened people to kickstart this whole thing of standard setting and into corporate corporation who those people are going to be. It could be you and me, uh, could kickstart something. It could be some big name. Uh, I think we don’t want it to be Facebook. That’s a fact that they’re in the frame for this right now.
You are whatever it’s called. Uh, it’s it’s, uh, I don’t want to see the metaverse in mark Zuckerberg’s vision, and that’s not being nasty about mark Zuckerberg, but they don’t have a very good track record of selflessness here. I don’t believe this, dresses it up as that a lot of the time, but they are a constituent element of all of this.
It could be their vision, which I haven’t mentioned here by the way, cause ours don’t tie it to, but I, I don’t, I don’t buy into their vision of the metaverse, but they are likely to influence a great deal of what happens, particularly in this area of, into corporate corporation. So can’t dismiss them and wouldn’t want to, they are one part, they’re one part of the Chickasaw person.
That’s all. I think they’re going to be a big part and I’m not necessarily happy about that. But the fact is, uh, that Zuckerberg has had this vision of the metaverse for years. This is not new. This isn’t something he’s come up. He. No. I’ve I remember him talking about at five years. It’s why he bought Oculus, uh, in the first place.
He wasn’t going in the Meadows then mind you? No, but he did see the evolution from social networks to virtual online spaces for people to gather. I don’t disagree, but I just like to point out he was not the only one. And he wasn’t, he certainly wasn’t the prominent one, but yes, he did talk about it. Yeah.
But with the billions of people that he has on Facebook, as this migration comes, he’s going to have a, a fairly easy time pulling all of them into his metaverse, uh, which is worrisome because I think all of the, the damage you’ve seen Facebook do to a society and democracy and the light, uh, is going to translate right into that metaphor.
So I’m, uh, I’m, I’m concerned about that, but I’m not sure there’s much we can, we can do about it. You can’t stop them from doing it. No. Um, so that’s definitely coming. Uh, I, I do want to make the point though. That I think people have to take this seriously. I mean, we never told everybody that you have to take second life.
Seriously. We knew it was cool. And it was probably an indication of something that was to come, which is this that we’re talking about today. Uh, but we knew it was too difficult and not. Every business. There were some businesses. I was at Dell that had their own island where you could get tech support and look at laptops, quite a few, quite a few.
And there were banks and other big corporation, general motors were there with sports cars. I still got one at Pontiac sports car. I bought back in 2006. So. No, no. In the last couple of years, but it’s still that poets in the garage you wanted to, yeah, they still get, I was reading a, about a hundred thousand daily, uh, active visits to about second life.
But I mean, I’m still, I’m still in second life. About once a month. I go in now. I haven’t been in forever. Uh, but anyway, uh, you know, David Murray, for those of you who don’t know David Murray, he has a column called writing boots. Uh, he’s a brilliant. Um, I think I did a re we did an fir interview with David.
I did a, and I think I’ve reviewed his book as well. Uh, which was quite good. Uh, but he was seeing all of this coverage of the metaverse. So, uh, he re posted on his blog, uh, something he wrote back when second life was new, just, just ripping it to pieces and he slammed second life as well. Right. Um, so we had a bit of a conversation about that and he said, you know, really, do you want to, do you want to go to a football game in the metaverse?
I said, well, you watch it on TV, right? You’re not necessarily sitting there in the stands for every game that you want to see. Wouldn’t see seeing it in three dimensions, uh, the, and 360 degrees be preferable to seeing it in, uh, on a television screen. Uh, so yeah, we have a generation that has grown up online that is used to digital assets.
I mean, we’ve had this conversation about NFTs that’s digital art. It’s not real art. Yeah. Well MP3s or digital music. You don’t have a CD or a cassette or an LP. We have a generation that is accustomed to the things that they use being digital. And, you know, they’ve been in Fortnite and Minecraft and roadblocks and places like that.
Uh, this is not unusual to them. Uh, so this is going to make perfect sense and hanging some art that you have bought as an NFT, um, in the house that you bought as an NFT on the plot of land that you bought as an NFT, uh, is, is going to make perfect sense to them. So, uh, this is coming this time around, this is not second life, uh, what, how it’s going to shake out.
Remains to be seen it’s early days, but this is not something that’s going to fade into the background. This is web three, as one of those articles that you shared pointed out a web one was the early web with people just posting stuff. Web two is the social media and everything that we’ve seen. Uh, the last several years, web three just transfers everything into this, uh, more virtual space where you’ll have an avatar and you’ll be able to interact with other people, uh, pre.
More engaging format than say a zoom call. Um, so this is all coming and, uh, you know, for story number three in today’s rundown, uh, we have more metaverse, which reminds me of our shows. I actually went back into the archive and it was 2006 that we were paddling on and on and on about second life. But, but look, the metaverse is going to be a big deal.
Um, all the pieces are in place and we didn’t see. Much angst over second life from ethicists and the like the way we are seeing it about the metaverse David Murray. Notwithstanding if you need any evidence of the meta versus inevitable rise, though, just consider that Microsoft is envisioning Microsoft teams as the gateway to the metaverse their phrase, not mine.
Uh, earlier this month, they announced that they’re weaving mesh into teams. Mesh is Microsoft mixed reality platform used in devices like the HoloLens, uh, for teams mesh is going to make meetings feel more personal, immersive, and efficient. According to an article in digital trends, it’ll also make remote and hybrids hybrid meetings.
Collaborative. They see this as a way where people can gather to communicate, collaborate and share via a personal virtual presence on any device. So you’ll have a customized avatar, but you’ll be able to use that avatar on a smartphone, on a laptop, a mixed reality headset, and even apparently a VR headset, like my Oculus quest to, uh, Microsoft thinks the key benefit here is that you’ll be able to feel involved and engaged without having to be on camera.
And I’ve read a lot of, uh, reports and research about the effect of being on camera in a zoom call or a team’s call, uh, that you’re always worried about how you look. You’re always looking at yourself and by the way, when I’m on a, a call on zoom, I always turn my view of myself off. I can see everybody else, but I can’t see me.
I just don’t want to deal with that. Um, you can even send your avatar to a regular old teams meeting. So instead of. Image from the camera’s showing up. It’s your avatar that shows up a mesh. Avatars will have moving hands. Facial expressions, animated faces, uh, all supported through artificial intelligence, but it’s the virtual meeting space that really has the folks at Microsoft excited when they call this a gateway.
I think what they mean is that it’s going to get people accustomed to being in a metaverse like environment. So they’ll more easily adapt when the eventually, you know, put their toes into a metaverse. I haven’t found anything that says teams will be a metaverse or part of a larger, better verse. That is you won’t be able to take your team’s avatar to some other virtual space seamlessly.
Uh, which as we’ve talked about is potentially ideally what the metaverse might or should do. I read the digital trans piece too. Uh, and I, I’m looking forward to, uh, to seeing this come to teams. So I use teams. Yeah. I use teams with one client in particular. Uh, it’s the, the tool of choice in that organization.
So I use it, um, I, it’s not the same as zoom to me. And it was different in many ways. Uh, one thing you can’t do that I haven’t discovered yet at least is remove yourself from, uh, from a team’s group. I didn’t think you could do that, but the interesting to me, and again, this is part of the, uh, of the, the difficulty with people in the sense of what is the metaverse is that every article I read in the digital trends, one is no different.
They have to have a photo. They’ve got a screenshot of some time. That’s all I see is this looks exactly like it was in second life. Well, you’ve got, uh, representations of people. Think back to our days at crayon, would Joe Jaffe, uh, CC Chapman and others, where we used to meet up in our virtual office. And we were there with our, with our avatars.
They were done professionally, our avatars. Um, I forgot the name of the guy who did him, that Joe had to do all that. And you could have little statuettes of each. I still got mine by the way. Um, and I still keep the, the design of the avatar. That’s still me in second life. Uh, I had long black hair and that one is pretty cool, I think.
Uh, but, um, so, so, and I, I visualize, I remembering one of the majors that we had, there’s a scene I’m looking at in this picture though, where we were that kind of thing, um, sitting around a table and there’s art on the walls behind us and all that kind of stuff. So this is similar to that, but I think the.
The, the, the difference this time, which you touched on is, is not so much the fact that people in organizations using teams or whatever it might be, will be spending all their time in this virtual place. It’s a mix of virtual and real. So you’ve got a teams group call. Where they say 20 people in the call and literally half of the mile them and the other half are an avatar, not them.
And yet the interaction is quite quite clear. And you could argue that, well, that’s not high tech, particularly what actually it is. The use case is moved on differently now where this is not just a cool new thing that we spread. This is the normal that everyone’s going to be doing, and that will accelerate, uh, comfort and acceptance of doing this that way.
We should drive more to be doing it. So you’ll see a momentum building up. The interesting thing I think as well, shell is, and maybe you’ve got to mention this, but, uh, that’s a, and, um, Microsoft, uh, need to, uh, need to really ensure the interoperability between what places. And, and teams otherwise. And that can, that comes to as technical as point a about who owns the internet, the inter operability, uh, needs to happen now this early stage, because, uh, that will set the scene for what comes.
I would say if that does, if that works well, then you’re going to say a lot of attention on this, I would say in, in, yeah. And I think once these, these spaces are fully baked, it’s going to be a lot harder to make them interoperable than if they figure that out. Now in the old days, you there in one.
Exactly. But you know, I’ve, I’ve been to a couple of meetings. I, I would say not focused meetings. These are. Meetings at work. Uh, but I’ve been to gatherings in spatial, uh, which is this tool for the Oculus quest headset. Um, but for people who can’t get their headsets on, uh, or don’t have one, they can participate just with their webcam.
They can see the room and all the avatars in there. Uh, and we can see them on a screen through their webcam. It’s just a screen that’s sort of hovering above everything else. Uh, so yeah, I think this is hybrid, uh, for sure a lot of these are going to allow people to participate, even if they’re not able to be there with their avatar.
Um, and there is this integration coming for Microsoft teams and workplace. I should note that web core where I work, uh, we’re a Microsoft Microsoft teams shop. And for in fact, we’re talking about ditching email altogether, internally, and doing everything in teams. Uh, there are some security questions that we’re trying to address by stopping the use of email.
Now there’s nothing in this partnership between Metta and, uh, Microsoft that addresses the metaphors. The collaboration is about teams and workplace users. Being able to check workplace from their teams, navigation page and live, strike a live stream teams, video calls into the workplace app. But since both companies are working on these virtual space initiatives, right, how long do you think it will be?
You know, before this partnership does reach into the metaverse, uh, Like I was saying, I think, you know, it may be, it probably is too early for you to start building something in the metaverse for your organization. It is absolutely not too early to start considering the impact of the metaverse on your organization and on your business model, all kinds of industries are starting to look at the prospects, including whether there’ll be beneficial or harmful to their business models.
Uh, the travel industry, for example, is wondering whether the future of travel is going to change as a result of all this. There is after all real estate in the metaverse right? One of the more popular metaverse environments is decentral land where a plot of land sold recently for $572,000. Us dollars really.
Uh, no was earlier this year. I think it was in April. So the travel industry needs to consider where are they really going to plant their flag here? Is it going to be the Metta Metta versus it going to be decentral and some other place it’s only now just getting started or hasn’t even been conceived yet.
And what will they use it for? Uh, they can let travelers experience a hotel destination. They could let people visit an old-fashioned travel agent in the metaverse and pay for their trips and article and focus wire suggest customers could even want to plunge into the metaverse while on a real holiday to resolve a customer service issue, order food for their room, be up-sold some in destination experience or speak to the manager, uh, travel industry.
Employees could use the metaverse for meetings, just like employees in any industry. Uh, they could conduct real world activities like preparing food via of robot. Can you imagine being in the metaverse in a, in a metaverse kitchen, um, doing things while the robot in the real kitchen is mimicking all of your.
Uh, that’s a possibility they could guide travelers around a real museum as a hologram while they’re in the metaverse people in the museum are seeing their hologram, showing them the art on the wall. Uh, someone in New Zealand could be hired to run a hotel in New York. Then. And then there’s the prospect of using the Metta versus an alternative to real travel should say an environmental catastrophe limit our ability to visit a place we once wished we could, could have seen in person, by the way I mentioned decentral land.
Uh, I’m still working on getting a good sense of it. It’s been around since 2017. I read recently they’re getting about 10,000, uh, active daily visits. Uh, One thing to mention about it is, uh, like a lot of what you’ll see in the metaverse though not met a fake former Facebook Metta. Uh, I suspect is there a Dao, a decentralized autonomous organization?
And if you haven’t heard this term before, uh, one Dao infrastructure provider, uh, a company called Aragon defined it this way, it’s an internet native entity with no central management, which is regulated by a set of automatically enforceable rules on a public blockchain. And whose goal is to take on a life of its own and incentivize people to achieve a shared common view.
Uh, Investopedia has an article, a title, DAOs, blockchain, and the potential of ownerless business, which notes that any business can benefit from a model with Dao like ambitions. So this is something to keep an eye on as the metaverse evolves. I mean, you know, I can see business models that could threaten those of investor owned or privately owned business.
Now there’s a good article covering the basics of DAOs for Shelly Palmer. There’s a link to it in the show notes. We’ll also have the link to the Investopedia article in the show notes, but, uh, I think it’s going to be hard to talk about metaverse without talking about NFTs, blockchain and DAOs. I think these are all.
Uh, I agree. Uh, and again, just going back to the technical piece, uh, the, uh, the, um, the NFTs are going to be a big part of this, the trading of property, um, raises lots of questions. And indeed what you were asking when you, uh, talking just before. This segment of this, this conversation now, uh, our, our characteristic of everything people are asking, no one has all the answers yet.
So this is the thing, uh, I think if, if we have questions, realize that no one has the answers typically. So don’t set your expectations and your frustrations up there that you can’t get answers to stuff because no one has the honor that the risk factor is high. That misinformation is, uh, is likely. And so you need to trust your sources when you’re asking questions, uh, and, uh, and keep an open mind and what you might, might uncover, but you’re right.
The Dao NFTs. Um, the, the, the decentral land model, uh, which is all about buying and selling, uh, these virtual properties of one type or another are going to be a big part of this. I don’t see them as, as necessarily certainly decentralized as the major part of, of the Metta versus that caters to everyone’s needs or wants or desires.
I don’t, I didn’t see that, but again, I could be wrong because many people didn’t see second life is anything more than just a fancy game online. It’s not, they buying and say I bought property, I’ve bought land. I bought lots of clothes whilst I was in that. And I still got most of them. And they’re still in fashion, obviously.
Um, but it’s, it’s, it’s, this is a time of, um, I think great risk as well as a great opportunity. Um, I might second. We’ve now got a magnitude of people online. That’s what is it? I couldn’t tell you 10, 20, 50 times more than it was back then. The awareness is exponentially greater. The, uh, the fact that everyone seems to know everything, meaning that things that you’d Google or ask your friends about you don’t anymore, because you easily find out the answers yourself.
Cause someone, then there’s finding out who’s telling the truth. So all that’s part of the landscape as well. So it’s an interesting time ahead of this for people and for organizations. And I think the examples you’ve highlighted, particularly with teams and with what matters up to a really, really important to get an understanding of that.
And indeed with teams, the verge piece actually has a screenshot showing. Now what I, what I was mentioned to you earlier about there’s real people and there’s avatars in the same room. So that’s part of the landscape already. I actually can’t wait to try that. To be honest, but you know, I’m thinking you should do that in second life.
Doesn’t quite the same. I think, I think one of the big tricks, if you remember, you remember this, uh, was getting Skyped to work from second life, we make a Skype call out a second life, and that requires some fiddling around with, uh, uh, an app here or what the one called apps. Then of course, I can’t remember what, but it reminds me a bit of, um, of that jiggery pokery to get Skype calls, double Enders, these both ends of a Skype call recorded.
So really at that stage with this. Uh, yeah, definitely. And the other thing to keep in mind is when second life was world of Warcraft didn’t even exist yet. Uh, so you have a whole generation of people, uh, you can call world of Warcraft a metaverse there’s absolutely. Uh, I, I think a lot of these, uh, big multiplayer game environments, uh, that you see qualify under the definitions from the arts technical piece.
So people are more accustomed to the whole idea of having an avatar now than. One second life was new. So, uh, yeah. Uh, don’t ignore this. Um, but don’t fall prey to people who are convinced that they know everything about it yet. Nobody does. I remember Shelly Palmer, the marketing, uh, consultant, uh, was talking about blockchain a few years ago.
He said, he said he was at the, uh, the, uh, uh, south by Southwest. And he was in an elevator and somebody was saying, yeah, I’m using blockchain for a loyalty program. And, and Shelly said, why don’t you just use a database? He says, are you kidding? The blockchain is so much cooler and he didn’t really have a use case.
Right. So he said, please stop talking about it. You don’t know what it is. You don’t know how it works. Please just stop. Well, that’s the nature of things. So that’s what. Greeting shell and Neville. And if our listeners all around the world, it’s Stan your coming at you from Shelburne Vermont to talk this month, all about social audio and the intersection with podcasting.
The reason is because two of the major services, Twitter spaces and clubhouse, both this past month rolled out the ability to record your audio sessions. Now, why is this interesting to me? And maybe to some of you, my interest is really because someone is the live recording of podcast episodes. It sort of brings podcast recording a bit to a performance art, somewhat like you guys are doing shell and Neville right now where you’re streaming this out to YouTube.
But in the case of the social audio spaces, you can engage with the audience. Potentially bring in new voices. You know, you can promote your show by nature of having it go out through your feed and people learning about the show, hearing it, listening to it potentially then subscribing, et cetera. So let’s talk about what’s new.
The thing of most interest to me personally, is Twitter spaces where they’re rolling out recording to iOS and Android users right now, to be clear though, of course, on iOS it’s only on iPhone. The iPad does not yet have Twitter spaces at all, but what happens is the host can click a button to say, Listeners are warned on entry that it’s being recorded.
And speakers also know that. And, uh, when you go and speak, you are recorded including guests who come on, but you can go in there, record it. Uh, it can be promoted later. It’s apparently available for 30 days. Uh, you, you can’t yet download it. They’re looking at that idea. And I brought it up in a community space, uh, on yesterday, but you, um, but you could of course play it back or something, but you can promote it.
You can work with it. You can do that kind of thing. I don’t have it yet to play with, but it’s coming. They say, and people are getting on both iOS now. Now clubhouse in comparison did launch what they call their replay feature and, uh, PR focused it on a, their, their catchphrase was live, but later, and it actually replays the entire experience of being.
The, uh, in the clubhouse, in a room, you know, complete with when people join, what was said, that the moving around that it is very much of a replay. Now you can though, and this is the key for podcasters. You can download the audio file and then upload it later, or, you know, use it in some other form for us as, as podcasters that might be putting on SoundCloud or some hosting provider, you could use it on Tik TOK or, you know, YouTube or wherever you want to go.
If you play it within clubhouse, they do have some ability to let you jump to a specific spot or skip to the next speaker. You can also share links out to it. Um, and they do give you a total analytics of people who both listened live and also listened later. And you know, definitely so far superior experience to what Twitter’s offer.
But for me, of course, I’ve been on Twitter for 15 years. The switching costs to move somewhere. While we can see it emerging with Twitter spaces is too much for me to change, but for people who are in clubhouse, it’s definitely an interesting option. Now, Spotify, we can’t forget also has their greenroom product, what used to be locker room and from its beginning, the host has been able to choose at the creation time to, uh, to allow, um, to allow recording and you can do it, and then it will email you a link to go download it later.
And they’ve had that kind of built in from the beginning and working with that. So recording has been a big thing, but that’s not all that’s happened in the social audio spaces past bit Twitter spaces, of course, launched its new tab inside the iOS app and should be on the Android app too, as well, which comes at the bottom of your Twitter app.
So you can go right into space. And you can now discover spaces. You can see spaces from people you follow. You can see them on topics. You can see what’s live now and you can be able to go and, and do that. You can, there is a feature by default. If you go into a space, your followers will see the spaces you’re in.
Although if you find that a bit creepy, you can turn it off in the side. There’s also spaces cards. You can now listen on the web. There are links you can share with people. We’ll let, that will bring them there. There’s topic tagging. You can invite people by direct message. If you want to bring in somebody as a guest directly on that, there’s even now ticketed spaces where you can go and charge for somebody to come in to, to come and listen.
So you can run workshops or conferences or events and things for a ticketed price. Twitter is rapidly evolving that space. Now, you know, clubhouse is not standing still either. They’ve got a neat feature, which is clips that you could go and share a section of it and clip it and put that out onto social channels.
So you could, you know, entice people to come and listen to more or highlight a particular segment. The Twitter spaces folks said they’re working on something similar to. Clubhouse has it right now, they’ve also got a much better search mechanism. They also brought in spatial audio, which allows you to sort of, to get panning, to hear people in much more of kind of like a surround sound environment.
They’ve also just recently introduced closed captioning, something Twitter’s had forbid, but you can have that to make your spaces that much more accessible. They brought out a music mode that optimizes the, the, the, uh, the room for music versus voice, bringing in stereo, letting use other Mike’s better equipment, that kind of thing.
They’ve also made it so that you can connect with other people. Like you can wave to people who are online and clubhouse right now and see if they want to connect there. Even interestingly made it so you can send the link to somebody to join you, like anywhere through social, through whatever, almost converting it more into like a messaging, audio messaging, like a phone kind of thing.
Now, Spotify has also been very active. They’ve now made it so you can listen on the way. They they’ve had chat like a text chat during sessions, since it’s, since it was launched here, but they brought that to Android. They’re also expanding beyond sports because the product was originally locker room.
And so a lot of it is sports centric, but they’ve been because they’re Spotify, they’ve been cross-promoting, they’ve been bringing people who create podcasts, having them come over to green room and do live recordings of. Podcasts and do them, things like that. They’ve been bringing over music celebrities to come and perform in greenroom.
They’ve been doing a lot of that. So I wouldn’t necessarily count them out because of their size and power and all of the music and podcasts that they bring around this. Interestingly Spotify also through its anchor product was bringing in video podcasts. They launched this ability to have video podcasts through Spotify as well.
So interesting times in all of this space, I’m not sure how many people will listen in some ways, because you only have so much time in these worlds, but a lot of people are. And with the recording aspect, it becomes an interesting way that we can potentially engage audiences on our way to podcast creation.
That’s it for this week, for this month. And you can find more of firstname.lastname@example.org and even also I’d really encourage people come along to our third. Fir calls. It’s 30 minutes of conversation at 1:00 PM. Us Eastern. You can contact shell and others for that information. Thanks for listening. Bye. Well, thanks Dan.
Yeah, I honestly do believe that social audio is going to be a big deal. Uh, and, and in the short term, maybe even a bigger deal than the metaverse, uh, because everybody has the means to engage with audio. They don’t have to learn how to build anything. They don’t have to create an avatar, uh, and there’s a compelling case for hearing other people other than, rather than just, you know, reading their, their texts.
In fact, I think a lot of misunderstandings we get from reading texts, uh, won’t happen when you can hear the tone of voice, uh, and the other elements that you get with audio. So, uh, I, I’m excited by all of these and, and others that you didn’t mention. So, uh, I appreciate the update on all of the advances, uh, clubhouse and, and, uh, the others are, are making in their social audio offerings.
Cool. So we continue our conversation about the metaverse and sounds good. Yeah, this, this one’s actually quite interesting. Um, a story I saw Yahoo news it’s now appeared in quite a few other places, uh, Barbados the island nation in the lower Caribbean, a beautiful destination for holidays and other things is to become the first sovereign nation with an embassy in the metaverse, uh, in what could be seen as a historic step towards the digitization of the metaverse.
As the Yahoo news space, the island nation of Barbados is preparing to legally declared digital real estate sovereign land with the establishment of a metaverse embassy. The government signed an agreement last week with the central lands that we’ve been talking about already in this, in this episode among the largest and most popular crypto powered digital world says the definition, shell crypto power, digital Wells for the establishment of a digital and.
The government also said it’s finalizing agreements with Somnia, MySpace, super world and other metaverse platforms. The various projects we’ll be assisting with identifying and purchasing land architecting, the virtual embassies and consulates, developing facilities to provide services such as the visas and constructing a teleporter that will allow users to transport their avatars between the virtual worlds.
It sounds a lot like second life to me, shell. That was my reaction when I read that. Yeah. Speaking of which you may remember what the government of Sweden did in 2007, but in that NCO opening of an embassy and secondly, As Reuters reported on may the seventh, 2007, Sweden became the first country in the world to Evelyn embassy in the virtual world.
Second life created to promote the Nordic states image and culture. The embassy does not offer any real or virtual consular services, but provides the information on this real world counterparts. The opening of the embassy was attended online by foreign minister. Carl built in the form of an avatar and after real life press conference in Stockholm.
So don’t forget, this is 14 years ago and this was a big deal. I mean, the fact that they had a press conference and an event both online and in the real world. So coming back to today, what does all this mean in the case of Barbados? Well, Barbados is embassy. Metaverse embassy matters as the metaverse has plenty of promise of governments.
That’s what Michael Casey of CoinDesk says. CoinDesk says it’s an integrated platform for news events, data research for the next generation of investing in the future of money. Casey says. It raises some interesting questions about how sovereignty is exercised in the digital age. And it has the potential to be quite disruptive.
He goes down the rabbit hole of property rights and state power and treaties between states, starting with how it all currently works in real life. He then translates that to NFTs how I relate this legal framework for the metaverse stems. From my view that non fungible tokens NFTs are the foundational layer for a new model of digital property rights.
I believe that systems we build on them will eventually end the power of gatekeeping internet platforms, such as Facebook and Google to set the terms for digital asset usage rights. But those are his words, by the way, he speaks of the Westphalia treaty of 1648, which enshrined the nation state. And he noticed that what trailblazing states might do with this new model remains to be seen Barbados is initiative, may end up having no substantive impact.
He says, by given the explosion of innovation unleased by the emergence of cryptocurrencies smart contracts at NFTs, it seems quite possible that this will spawn disruptive new ideas for governance and diplomacy. I say it’s more than quite possible. I said, it’s very likely that we’re going to see that, oh, I agree entirely.
Um, and by the way, the Swedish embassy closed down in second life. In 2013, they considered it a success, but they also considered it an experiment. So, uh, and I also, uh, a little Googling just found that the melody lives also opened an embassy in, in second life. I can’t find any other, uh, sovereign nation that did, uh, but, uh, you know, As people spend more and more time in the metaverse there’s going to need to be some form of governance.
And if nations want to remain as relevant as they are now, it makes sense to have property. But you know what I see they have, what did the article say? 18 embassies around the world right now? What if I’m a citizen of a bar, the bar of Barbados. And I may in a country that does not have one of those embassies, but I need an embassy.
Why wouldn’t I. Put on my goggles, uh, pop into that embassy and resolve my passport issue, going to be a lot easier than waiting on hold on the phone, I suppose. And that’s certainly more interesting. Uh, so yeah, I absolutely see the, the, the wisdom of this and somebody had to be first. And, uh, you know, how often do you hear about Barbados being a source of innovation?
I think they’re certainly getting more press than they have in a long time. Yeah. I mean, I think what you’ve mentioned there about, uh, you know, you have a need for the services of an, of your embassy, uh, will. So getting access to that online, uh, in a metaverse in a place on the metaverse as, as you can in the real world will come.
Um, I’m pretty sure, but I don’t see that as the next step in all these developments. So maybe this, as Casey mentioned in his piece that was published on his website, Uh, maybe that this initiative may end up having no substantive impact, uh, to, to Barbados and they don’t continue it, but there’ll be learning from this, right.
Including, uh, what you and I are talking about, what others will say, why didn’t you do X or why don’t you do Y they may come up with other things too. So, um, it’s it’s, this is all part of this, everything else we’ve talked about to this minute, I think shell, this episode is all part of, uh, of the exploration, the discovery that’s awaiting us all, and these are serious pointers with.
Of what people are doing already, uh, and what is coming, uh, whether you agree or not, you can’t ignore it. And the point you made at the very start, this is, this is right in front of us and it’s. Yep. And I think we need to at least understand it, be able to talk about it, be able to talk to our, uh, clients and, and, uh, executives about it and to know when to propose it as a solution to a problem or an opportunity in the organization.
So just like, just like anything else, like maybe Tik TOK. So let’s stop talking about the metaverse and talk about Tik TOK. Um, I was in Bismark, North Korea. This past week, uh, I gave a keynote talk on blockchain to a group of cooperatives. And of course, you know, talking about blockchain, I did talk about the metaverse, uh, had to explain why blockchain isn’t going anywhere.
And data will be the foundation for a lot of this activity on the metaphors, but that’s yeah, it, wasn’t the focus of my talk. I got there a day early. My flight arrived at 1145 at night. I wasn’t in bed at the hotel until almost 2:00 AM and I was on the, uh, 8:00 AM time slot for my keynote address. I figured they figured four hours sleep probably wasn’t enough for a keynote speaker.
So, uh, I came in and then I had a whole day before, the day when I spoke. So I got to participate in much of the conference. The day before my presentation, I got to see the keynote speaker for dinners guy named Dan Thurman. Uh, look them up. Uh, he is basically a motivational speaker. He’s quite a good one.
He, his presentation was ridiculously entertaining. Um, he’s written books. Uh, he was giving away copies of his most recent book, which is called off balance on purpose. Uh, this is a concept he demonstrates with juggling and, and cartwheels enhanced stands. He rides a unicycle. Um, he says, has this 90 pound box of props that he ships to every location where he’s speaking.
Um, I don’t know if this reference would mean anything in the UK, uh, Neville, but he’s sort of the Gallagher of motivational speech. Um, the Dunn who Gallagher is Gallagher, uh, he’s nobody anymore. I don’t think he’s probably retired, but he was a comedian who used props and he always had this huge box in front of him.
Uh, he was most famous for, uh, destroying a watermelon with a sledgehammer. And the people in the first three or four rows were always given ponchos to wear. So their clothes wouldn’t get splattered with watermelon when he did this anyway, Thurman uses a variety of vehicles to promote himself, including Tik TOK videos.
And he told the story of getting into the cab at the airport in Bismark, North Dakota, and the cab driver looked at me and said, haven’t I seen you on TV. Uh, that speaks volumes right there about the importance of tick-tock these days, marketers are starting to recognize that tick talk is a vital platform.
Uh, I’ve been wanting to expand our social media footprint at web core tech talk for a while now, which is why I’m glad I came across this social media examiner article about how to grow a businesses Tech-Talk presence. Tick talk. It’s important to understand allows for both an evergreen. Content model and is videos that stick around for some time, as well as time sensitive content that needs to spread quickly.
So you can post a video that gets shared widely and fast, but it’ll stay in the normal distribution for up to three months or more now on Twitter or Facebook, Facebook, you’re going to need to spend some money to get your post to stick around longer than they from that initial surge that they get. And if you think Tik TOK is just for gen Z, there has been significant growth in millennials and gen X-ers both as consumers of these videos and producers of them.
Uh, Dan Thurman made the point that he’s 56 and producing tech talk video. Well, I have yet to create a single video for Tik TOK. I know Dan’s done a couple, uh, but I’m getting ready. Uh, according to this article, the secret to success for growth on Tik TOK is a multi-faceted multi-layered strategy. The algorithm relies on consistent posting at least a few times a week.
And as much as a couple of times a day through regular posting, you get the data you need and connect with your audience and Tik TOK will continue to push out your videos for a few more. So here are the steps laid out in this article starts with identifying three audiences to target. You start at the lowest, the most intense level of a niche, your ideal client, the type of content that’s going to get them to sign up for your offer or buy your products.
Then you look to what they call your middle audience, which is a more focused niche audience. Maybe when you don’t have any offers for this will make your content a little broader than what you create for just the client you want to convert, then move to an even broader audience. What the author of this piece, Michael Stelsner calls your top audience.
The content here might focus on a related field or be more personality based content. The idea he says is to connect and engage with the people in your broader audience, until they’re ready to learn more and down the line, we’ll be ready to convert and take you up on your. As an example, he says, your audience might be say a marketing coach or a course creator.
Your middle audience might be content creators in general. And your top audience might just be someone looking for a way to channel their passion into a career. Next follow for relevant Tik TOK accounts for inspiration. Use the discover feed to search for creators by name or a key word and find hashtags or videos with captions related to those keywords.
Two of the four should be within your niche and the other two can feed from related or broader niches. So if you’re in the fitness niche, for example, you might want to choose two other fitness coaches along with a dietician and a motivational creator. Watch their content dissected learn. And then create a mix of three types of content, 15 seconds or shorter from one to three minutes and trending content that ties a particular trend back to you, or your point of view as with any channel, you need to optimize your videos for tick talk, which means among other things, it needs a hook.
The first second that grabs the viewer’s attention and yanks them into your video. By stopping them from scrolling, you can do this with a short synopsis of what’s coming in the video. You can latch onto them emotionally, or you can just make them curious. Stelzner suggests content that people can connect viewers with other people, uh, like behind the scenes story, success stories, client wins and stories behind a product or service that you’re trying to sell.
Tik TOK, hashtags sparingly. He says, remembering, there’ll be shown on the screen with your video, eating into your videos on screen real estate. He says, keep it to three to five, no more and write relatable, but short captions. These can drive engagement, but they also are on the screen. Uh, so they take up real estate on the screen.
Uh, so make it terse, but relatable. I’ve sent this article to my new colleague in the internal comms department at web course, so that we can develop a strategy and start feeding this beast. When we eventually launch it. I don’t expect anyone to recognize me when I get into a cab. Since this won’t be a personal endeavor, but I do hope it’ll generate some awareness and recognition for the company and maybe help us recruit people.
I think it’s great. Uh, and this, uh, this is a super resource there’s article on social media examiner, common sense, uh, tips and tricks here that, uh, valuable, really valuable shell. So it’s a really good one. Good find of course we’ll have the link to it in the show. Yeah. Okay. So I think we’re coming towards the end of this episode.
And I mentioned the beginning of the show that I was experimenting with this tool called center cam, which is a webcam that, uh, is in the middle of my screen. And I wanted to talk a bit about that. Tell you my experience since I got it. Three or four days ago, I spent quite a time with this in that time.
Um, mostly because I had a problem that I had to solve and I, it took me a while to figure out the solution. So if you, if you want to hear this stick around and listen to this bit, but, uh, let me tell you a bit about this. So I think I mentioned the beginning of the show. It’s a startup. Uh, I back this in the summer on Indiegogo, it’s a fundraising platform, uh, that was developing a new kind of webcam, uh, that is designed to enable you to look at the person on the other end of the zoom or teams call indeed any kind of indirection, really all the audience in a video presentation and still have your eye on the content on your screen.
So it’s not just only about looking, you know, there, I am looking at the webcam, it’s doing it in a way that lets you still see what’s on your screen without being distracted, having to do this. Typically what people do, the web comes up there, you know? So, uh, I found it intriguing as why I backed it and um, they’ve come they’ve uh, they’ve come through.
Uh, Ian foster is the guy behind the company. Uh, I was intrigued he’s based in Oregon, Utah, and yet one of his addresses as well is in Alaska someplace. So I’m not quite sure where they were. They said the cams end up, but they manufacturing is in China. Like what isn’t these days? Uh, and they started shipping, uh, not long ago.
Uh, like every company, particularly startups has manufacturing, uh, in many countries and time zones away, they have suffered through manufacturing, delays, supply chain issues, big time with component parts. This is like everything these days, but the finally coming through bit late for the many, but that’s the way it goes now.
Like this is a startup. So you, you, you give them money as a contribution. And the return is potentially a product. If they make it to manufacturing, this is not like a retail store. You go in and buy a product. This is not one of those. There’s some people aren’t clear about that when they, when they get involved in this kind of thing.
Uh, so I received mine, uh, less than. And, uh, it it’s really super, uh, they give you an idea of what it looks like. Um, it’s, uh, I’ve got a clip which is a proprietary clip. They have a patent pending on it, uh, that clips to the, to your monitor and through the clip extends a tube. That’s a flexible tube, but you can bend it and shape it in different ways.
At the end of the tube is a camera. It’s tiny. I mentioned it’s about the size of a five Pence coin in the UK, which is, which is the same size, roughly as a dime in the U S shelves. So it’s pretty tiny. So like I mentioned, I received one, uh, early week of you playing around with it. So here’s some initial sorts about it and I’ll get to the, um, to the problem after.
I love this product as the first one, I have to tell you, I really do out of the box. It just works. And I’ve got a PC is two PCs at the moment that I use running windows 11, they both worked, unpack it, take it out of the box, plug it in. It works. Uh, what more could you ask for no configuring to do nothing?
It uses drivers or whatever it does need from the operating system. So it’s pretty standard. It is high definition, 1 0 8 O P. And that’s important because you do need at least that it’s not 4k. Not that you don’t need that for most work. It’s just right. I’ve used it in a handful of teams and zoom meetings.
As I mentioned before, from looking at the recordings of some of them, it’s quite clear that looking at the lens mid screen does make it appear as I’m looking at people on the other side. And that’s a really good one. I plan to use it for live and recorded presentations as well. My testing shows it works.
Faultlessly in zoom, Microsoft teams and windows Eleven’s included camera app. I’ve also run it through OBS, which is an open source video program. Uh, that works well there with the virtual camera. So I don’t anticipate this not working on just about any app you’re running on windows. Uh, it also works by the way on windows, Mac, OS, and Linux.
So, uh, all of those should produce a good result too. It has a built in microphone. It’s okay. Uh, but I recommend using external ones, something that developer also suggests it’s not perfect. And indeed, uh, you mentioned show you’re right. Most webcams don’t have very good microphones. So I use a Yeti microphone on I’m currently using and occasionally a Jabora headset microphone has that combination that works just works with both of them.
So one issue. Uh, for me, it could have been a showstopper entirely that would have had be sending it back or just putting it in a drawer. But I solved the problem. It took me a couple of days ago. Here’s what happens? It clenched to your monitor, as I mentioned, but I’ve got a curved monitor, Adele 32 inch UHD 4k curved monitor.
If you have a curve monitor, you need to know this. So here’s what happens with my Dell curve monitor. And if you’ve got a Dell you’ll know this, that the curve is not the thing, the fact that the top and the sides, there’s barely a bezel. It’s probably a millimeter. The screen glass goes right to the edge of the screen, both sides and at the top.
So there’s no bezel for it to clip to a, it can clip to the screen, but I really don’t want to do that. But combined with that, the back of the monitor is also curved. It curves out to where to curves away from the monitor and then goes down to a sort of slope like that. But a 35 to 40 degree angle when it starts and the clip.
Grasp it, even though it’s got rubber pads that are pretty, pretty good. So what happens is I noticed that you clip it and you kind of do it there. It’s at the front, it’s clipping the screen. It gradually starts rising up until it falls off. That’s not usable. So I thought there’s gotta be a way, uh, to this.
Um, I then discovered that the Dell monitor certainly has got a, I got a, an inset at the bottom of the screen over the flat piece behind where the space to put cables and the power cable and so forth. And it has a bezel at the bottom of the screen. So I figured if I can clip it to that. And of course I can, it does.
It works. It works perfectly. This is how I’ve got it now. I’ve got a solution to my problem. Trouble is though, if you do that, your image is upside down. You are upside down and that’s exactly what happens. Uh, so I thought, okay, fine. How do we do this? And that took me a while. It was almost like a blinding, a piece of inspiration.
That was also my God. Why didn’t I look at this before I started finding solutions, which was in windows 11. Oh, there’s a setting in Bluetooths and devices. And the camera’s in that section that you choose your camera. When you do, you should see something you do for this camera, uh, an option for video rotation, and then it uses a dropdown.
You can choose 90 degrees left 90 degrees, right? And guess what? 180 degrees vertical. And. You have a video image that you have here the right way out. So that’s what happens with me now I have solved the problem. So this is now a very useful product. I have another computer that has a, um, a Samsung 28 inch widescreen UHD monitor.
That’s flat screen. It works perfectly on that. One could be at the top. So I was okay and thinking to myself, well, I’m going to end up using the other computer for this kind of work, but I really wanted to use it on the, on the wise. Cause that’s the, my daily monitor. That’s where I sit most of the time in front of this thing.
So it’s. That is an issue that I don’t see sent to cam having a solution to, unless they come up with something that clips, I think the issue that prevents that is the fact that there is no bezel. And the other day I was actually in a computer store and I was looking at big monitors that have a display, and none of them had bezels at the top of the sites.
So this is a design trend. You’re seeing it with laptops as well, whether where the screen is almost edge to edge screen, uh, there’s no, uh, bezel it’s GLA the manufacturing quality and capabilities have improved phenomenally. So that’s what you’re seeing now. So that could be a showstopper for this in organizations where you’ve got a curved monitors, the only monitor you’ve got a, there’s gotta be another way in which someone will come up with a solution.
It could be this done some differently, but I have to say my experience with it on the flat screen monitor. Tips on the top of the curve monitor at clips in the bottom. I prefer the bottom clip. I have to say because my eyes, eye sight, as I’m looking at the camera, and typically I find scrolling, it’s scrolling up the screen.
So my eyes are more typically in the first half of the screen, the top half of the screen, not the bottom half of the screen. So my vision is not obscured by the thin cable with the camera lens as it would be if it was down from the top. So I think this is preferable now on my flat screen monitor, I couldn’t clip it from the bottom anyway, because that’s where the monitor standards on this particular model.
There’s no space to put a, put a webcam. So I guess bottom line on this very short and brief, concise walkthrough, and you’re hearing my voice out and not seeing what I’m doing. So I might take a picture of this show. Actually, maybe if I do the show across post to my blog, I’ll post the picture. I’ll send it to, this is a.
Okay, I’ll send it to you. So I think this is, um, a super device. There isn’t anything else like it on the market that I’ve been able to find. I think they have a first mover advantage with this, uh, and all those millions of flat screen, high definition monitors out there. This will work just fine with those, but if you feel that you’re doing.
Um, communication in, in a substantive way, uh, with calls, with meetings and you’re making presentations, you’re making recordings that you’re going to be given, and you need to look a little more engaging than kind of dotting your I’s around the screen. Typically looking at the image of your, of your audience.
Like I’m doing just now looking at shell for it. It’s in the top left of my screen, but you’d prefer to be looking at them and they see you looking at them, then this is worthwhile. So it replaces the other, um, web cam that I currently use. In fact, it may well permanently replace it. I’m not quite sure yet because you don’t want to have this sitting on the screen like this all the time.
If you’re not doing video recordings now the top one, the top, uh, um, Position on a flat screen is easy. Cause you just move it to the site. Simple as that. Um, so, uh, I got to figure out a way to do this. Currently. I unclip it when I’m not doing video. So, uh, nevertheless, this is worthwhile and I think if I hadn’t seen the backing and I suddenly saw it advertised somewhere, I would buy it.
So it’s it’s excellent. Manufacturing quality is very good, indeed. And I think a center cam, uh, are onto something with this. I hope they sell tons of them, but it’s really good. And when you get your shell, I’m sure you will feel the same as this when it comes. Yeah. I’m looking forward to it. I should have it in the next few weeks.
Uh, they’ve raised over a million and a half dollars on Indiegogo, uh, showing that there is definitely an appetite for this. People are doing enough video conferencing, uh, on. Tools like zoom and teams, uh, that they’ve recognized the value of being able to see this, uh, you know, having people be able to see you look at them rather than looking up at the camera on the top of the screen, I do have a curve monitor, but it also has a bezel at the top.
So I don’t imagine I’ll have a problem with that. Do you have, do you have the back of the monitor curving outwards or is it vertically. The whole thing is curved. It’s assigned. When you look at the monitor at the back, at the top of the screen, you look over, is it flat all the way down or does it curve out?
What’s away from the model? Yeah. I want one clip. Try it though. When you get, okay. And then at the bottom, it’s very wide. So this may be an issue. Uh, and I won’t ask you to troubleshoot this for me now, but I am, I have windows 11 and I’m on the Bluetooth and devices and I see my camera’s here, but all it’s letting me do is remove them when I try to edit them.
That’s interesting. Maybe it’s maybe it’s the, um, camera model, although I don’t think it is. It’s an, I’m just going to go to mine and have a look and I’ll tell you what it says. So if I go here at Bluetooth devices, cameras, I see connected cameras. All my cameras are under audio. For some reason. You already windows 11.
Yeah. Okay. So it’s under, I’ve seen Bluetooth and devices in the air as a manager for cameras. Okay. I don’t find them for cameras. I have, I just see audio and other devices. Got it. Okay. So input, audio, other devices, uh, device settings, and related settings. You know, I’ve got none of those. Huh? You show you running windows 11 time.
Okay. Yep. We’ll talk about this offline. I think, cause it’s interesting. This is interesting. Sit around. No, no, no. So I would say most people, um, are still running windows 10 or Mac, uh, or maybe Lennox and, um, this will work fine. Uh, I think 11 is actually, if it works in 10, locally working 11, it could be a, well, no, I don’t know if it could be.
Cause I’m seeing on my camera’s tab. Another camera actually has a virtual camera Soberlink view. Cam nine is still listed. I actually am installed the other one and my current one is not there because I removed it physically from the machine. So it’s interesting though. Isn’t it show? So, um, yeah. Anyway.
Yeah, so it’s, it’s all good stuff. And, um, it keep an eye out on center cam. Uh, we’ve got links to them and a few other bits and pieces in the show notes worth, worth, checking out if you’re keen to appearing engaged when you’re talking to people online, even if it’s a casual use. So family only worth ago.
Oh, well, that’ll wrap up this episode of, for immediate release. What episode is this? Two 13 to 1, 2 1 3, 3, 2 13. Uh, for, uh, November, uh, 2026. Yes, it’s coming. I’m dropping this episode Monday, we’re recording Saturday. So it will be on November 22nd versus the November episode. Uh, and our next episode will be on December 20th.
So we’ll be recording on Saturday the 18th. I do want to let everyone know who was maybe thinking of joining us for the fir zoom chat. This coming Thursday. That is Thanksgiving in the U S I won’t be here. I suspect most of our us, uh, participants won’t be available so we will not be holding it. Don’t, uh, sit and wonder where we are in the waiting room.
Won’t be happening. Uh, but the following week we’ll be back with an fir zoom chat. Those are always Thursdays, as Dan mentioned in his report, Thursdays, uh, at 1:00 PM. Uh, in the meantime, I I’d still love it. If people would comment. Uh, I miss those days when people submitted comments that led to a lot of conversation on the show, uh, send email to fir email@example.com.
If you’d like to share any thoughts about anything you’ve heard, uh, today, or things that you’d like us to talk about, uh, you can also record a three minute audio, uh, file and, and attach it to an email and send it to us, or give us a link to download it from Dropbox or box or wherever. Uh, if you’d like you could record that directly from the fir website, just click the send voicemail tab on the right hand side, you can record 90 seconds.
If you have something to say that’s longer than 90 seconds record two of them. I can edit those together, edit this show. I can edit two files that you send me. Uh, if I, you don’t have to send them, I’ll get a notice that they’re waiting. I download. As you would say, Neville, Bob’s your uncle. Right? Leave a comment directly on the show notes for this episode of the fir podcast network, a fir podcast network.com.
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