Featuring Proto.in via SecondLife: As if Being There!

Proto.in January Edition
What does the old cliché, Location! Location! Location! translate into in an increasingly flat world? When there is problem of plenty( not exactly abundance) what is the single thing that makes or breaks? Is it not Serendipity? As I’d like to often say, When Geography is History, Serendipity is the New Geography.
A startup showcasing event like Proto.in remarkably increases the serendipity factor of a startup. While that happens, Proto.in event itself can do well with a few serendipity enhancers.

With that in mind, I’ve been advocating Featuring Proto.in via SecondLife. As you might be aware, SecondLife is a 3D virtual world – a game like environment with a mini-economy to boot and a lot of social networking features. Although game like, it is emerging as a valuable business tool, for instance, ScondLife as a travel free meeting place is collapsing geography for events. Featuring Proto.in via SecondLife is an attempt to reach out to a wider audience. The featuring will encourage remote participation and is expected to add vibrancy to the (startup) ecosystem. The idea of using SecondLife is to encourage interactivity especially by remote participants. In a nutshell, the audio and visual richness of SecondLife will serve as an interesting back-channel for the event.
Amazon Web Services, a pioneer in using SecondLife as a tech evangalism medium to reach out to startups, has gracefully offered the Amazon Developer Island Sim for the event. Thus, 2008 January edition of Proto.in is set to be featured in SecondLife at the Amazon Developer Island 1 a place with rich South American Amazonian ambiance frequented by Amazon Web Services developers. Each presentation at proto will be live cast via SecondLife such that a world wide audience could participate(as Avatars) and interact with the startups via text and voice chats.
We are not going to stop just with live casting the event out. It is going to be two way! During lunch networking time, an array of remote experts will join the conversation, offer their insights. Indeed, like corridor conversations in a conference, there is a lot of wisdom and networking opportunities at these back channels.
AWS Dev Island Conf Room

For assistance, teleport and in-world help contact Avatar: Startup Republic. For other discussions and clarifications contact me – Labsji Link( Balaji Sowmyanarayanan in real world). Enjoy Proto.in via SecondLife – as if being there, anytime, anywhere – almost!

Hat tip to Veodia.com for making the streaming to SecondLife effortless! I’ll blog about the setup adventure post-event stay tuned!
Veodia - the easy way to live cast SecondLife

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About labsji

I blog, Therefore I exist ! Funny things are funny to me. Cool things are cool to me. Innovations tick me. I attempt spirituality religiously :)
This entry was posted in Amazon Web Service, bootstraping biz, Chennai, Entrepreneurship, Living the biz aloud, proto, proto.in, Second Life, Second Life Avatar, Secondlife, secondlife.com, serindipity, serindipity is geography, Startup, taking web2.0 to real world, unconference, veodia.com and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Featuring Proto.in via SecondLife: As if Being There!

  1. Pingback: hover.in shortlisted for Proto.in startup showcase | India Business Blog

  2. Pingback: Join the Conversation! - Join the Conversation Links - Wednesday, January 16 2008

  3. Pingback: Proto.in Serendipity Enhancer: RippleRap Conference Notes Sharing « Joy Of Innovation

  4. labsji says:

    Heya Swaminathan ‘Mr M Writes’ Moorthy, thanks for posting the photos. They are awesome!

    -Balaji S.

  5. labsji says:

    Here is some details form the notes I made using the conference notes sharing app RippleRap against the Lunch session:

    Networking and WiFi failed. Pandian the IT head at the Asiana hotel was looking at the WiFi management console that says too many users. The hotel itself is just 6 months old. They are just fine tuning their operations. And in terms of BallRoom( the Venue) usage, this is the first time. In terms of hosting a tech event where large number of people show up with laptops, well they are deers blinking at the oncoming truck.
    Some in the tech crowd are carrying 2 wifi enabled devices – a laptop and one wifi enabled phone. And using it, rather depending on it. And getting frustrated.

    My woes started when the promised dedicated 512kbps line did not materialize, it just degraded within minutes. While testing, I was able to stream video to veodia for even 20 min. Then the line failed and failed miserably.

    When attempting SecondLife via the common pool bandwidth, it worked ok. But failed at network storms. With the testing, I built enough relationship with the Hotel IT manager Pandian to know where to get working LAN points.

    In this context, I was advocating usage of RippleRap conference notes sharing. I was carried away by the ‘Offline’ nature of ripplerap and putting forth that an offline tool is what doctor ordered for the situation in hand. I was politely pointed to the sync nature of the application. Which will aggravate the network situation.( What if there is a bug in the (alpha)sync implementation? – will it add value or subtract value given the situation – unarguable indeed)

    At the end of Day 1, decided to call off SecondLife streaming all together for Day 2. That way prior notice can be given, damage controlled. Etc.
    Took all the equipment back to UPSL office.

    Jeff did the smart thing: said he will do the talk in SecondLife as planned. This changed everything.
    So isolated myself to the empty first floor and started doing the tests once again. This time with ‘upsl pink’ at the Egmore office and me at the hotel. The tests were promising. And fortunately Jeff was also available for testing. After some audio feedback issues, the audio worked fine.

    There was handshake on the timing between me and Jeff. It was beyond midnight for Jeff. And he is a busy person during the day. Converting the absolute time into ‘minutes before start’ was tricky from with with 2 clocks and 3 days of sleeplessness.

    Then I went back to the organizers to reschedule the Lunch time such that the secondlife presentation is over faster. In the almost certainty of failure due to technical glitches, I wanted the bad news if there is one to be communicated fast. At least Jeff can go back to sleep. So the organizers agreed for 1:30 lunch break.
    Communicated it to Jeff. Gave instructions to Upsl Pink at Egmore office to act as messenger to relay status that I communicate over the phone.

    Moved back to the Ball Room. Pestered Pandian to get a long network cable to reach the podium. To my utter shock, the only lan point was not working. The ping window was showing ‘Network not reachable’ and ‘Hardware error’. The people about to go on stage ware asking for IP config from Pandian. There was a presenter from South Africa with a massive machine wanting it configured for demo. He came all the way from SA to demonstrate something and no-Wifi. I tried not to think about it. Sid was fuming. It was 1:30 by then, network was not working, lunch announcement was not in sight. Communicated to Jeff via Pink that it will take some more time. Pandian’s went to the switch room to debug the cable config. I was giving him status via phone looking at his laptop, which promptly went out of power. Then connected my laptop and started the tests. Still the old request time out problem. Back and forth. Sid came and told me, ‘loose all hope, it will not work, this fellow is doing this for the past 2 days’ I told him it will work.

    Then as miracle the ping started working fine. Then the firefox, then the secondlife. It was on a short cable, Pandian suggested why not give the presentation from the table above. Hmmm. Said nothing doing bring the long cable. What ever worked yesterday, bring it in. Being in the hotel, they remove cables and stuff quickly when not in use. They dont want some one to trip on it and create other trouble. So the long cable came. Plugged in and it worked without an incident. Slowly started moving towards the podium area.
    The mementos distribution, etc were going on fast but for me it looked like it is dragging on forever. meanwhile, someone started a chit chat on SecondLife. He also wanted to know the Cricket score which was nearing closing. I told him to get lost.
    Finally lunch break. Started setting up in the podium. Told Jeff that we are all set in the podium. Everything connected, and and Press Fn F4 to get display on to the projector – Black Blank Screen!
    Hmmmmm. That was the only malfunction missing in the sequence. Asked Pandian to power cycle the laptop. It booted and again green plain screen. We were all waiting. Still blank green screen. Task manager – empty list. Just wait was the consensus of Pandian, the Audio guy and me. Waited, saw the icons emerge. Ha – Life is good. Fn F4 with fingers crossed. On projector screen. Again consensus was not to do the Fn F4 again to get the display on both the screen and laptop. Lest it result in a blank screen.

    Logged into secondlife, Jeff was waiting. Jeff = Patience itself. Asked him to do sound check. Audio was perfect. Jeff took over from there it was fluid flow.

    Jeff started off with introducing himself. The photo of Jeff in the aws blog was in the first slide, I simply love his smile. I have heard his presentation before. So I’m familiar with the sequence he is going to go. Much relief. Went around the hall. Went out to the corridor and told people out there that the SecondLife session is on the roll. Few who got informed barged in. Went around the audience to collect questions.
    More chit chat on Snow Crash and such. Many were under the impression that it is a recorded session. I had to tell them that it is live. Explain that the fellow behind the Avatar is at Seattle and from Amazon. A few questions like, “is he the one who designed Secondlife?” Some really serious questions about AWS like is there a way to transact in Indian rupee for AWS services.

    Some posing for photos. Question Answer Session. And we were done!

    Thanked everyone and went for lunch. Usual queries about how to use AWS EC2 and S3 to host. I explained saying that AWS is useful when you want to scale, when the requirement spike now and then and there is design and engineering involved.

    Thus went the lunch session. One thing that piqued my curiosity was the Avatar Discrimination – ignored because you are just and Avatar.

  6. Hi Labsji,

    The speaker from South Africa used my USB Modem to connect to the network. I had brought this modem as an option. But that was used extensively on Day 2. Right from the Registration Desk till the presentation.

    I never knew that you had problems in connecting to the network. You could have told me and I would have given my modem.

  7. labsji says:

    Swamy,
    Welcome back!
    Glad to know that demos had some connectivity. Finally I got the hotel internet connection working and that is how the SecondLife session was successful.
    I’m not sure if the modem would have supported SecondLife. If it supports, I’ll be glad to subscribe for a modem.

    Thanks for coming all the way from Bangalore with all the gears and adding sunshine.

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