Archive for the In focus Category

In Focus #12 The Free Sound Project and sond conversion!

Posted in In focus on May 7, 2009 by Matty

Well everyone! I know I don’t write so often as things have become very busy in my real life, but In Focus this article is the Unique tools of The Freesound Project and a unique conversion programme called Wavepad.

First off The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. (NOTE: PLEASE READ THE TERMS OF USE) The Freesound Project provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to

  • browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a “sounds-like” type of browsing and more
  • up and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license
  • interact with fellow sound-artists!

You can read more here about The Freesonud Project. Do note however you have to register to access!

My next tool which I REALLY want to focus on, is the wonderful Wavepad. Now Wavepad is useful, at least for me! For Audio Conversion, and the best part is, at least if all you want is Audio Conversion, that it is free!

The reason I put these to tools together is for one big reason, Second Life requires you to use .wav sounds, and thats where Wavepad comes in handy! Wavepad allows you to convert files, such as aif, It also supports a number of other file formats including vox, gsm, real audio, au, flac, ogg and more.

-Happy Building.
-BRN Blog Team

#11 In Focus! Part C! Marketing in SL using third party tools available on the web

Posted in In focus on April 17, 2009 by Matty

Marketing in SL using third party tools available on the web!

Well the previous articles we looked at community management, and the various ways to market yourself, within Second Life without the assistance of various tools available outside of Second Life, This article, Part C! I am going to look at various ways to market using those tools outside of Second Life on the web.

What are the various tools are there to market with outside of Second Life?

Continue reading

#11 In Focus! Part B! Marketing in Second Life!

Posted in In focus on March 20, 2009 by Matty

Hope this helps Keanu!

A Brief History

Marketing in Second Life was once limited to attracting people in Second Life to your store through incentives, or by being located in a strategic position that would allow you to gain foot traffic and in return gain sales. However as with marketing using the internet has changed in what so many of you call ‘The Real World’ so has marketing changed within Second Life, no longer limited to just attracting people through strategic placement, or incentives the world of Marketing in Second Life has become a big industry all on its own, at least big in terms of Second Life. You can now market using various tools, and with the competition being tough!

Communication is your friend!

What are the various ways to market within Second Life?

Continue reading

#11 In Focus! Part A! Online Community Management!

Posted in In focus on March 1, 2009 by Matty

Well I was asked a few days ago to post a few articles on Community Management, having been in Second Life a long time (Even if unable to log-in right now) and holding an official position within companies, (Not just in Second Life) I cannot stress how important Community Management is.

Online Community Management is what holds a group, community, message board or chat… together, (However I have been doing a bad job and apologize these last weeks while not being online) and is that ribbon that ties everything together and keeps things moving.  So within this post, PART A! Which has been a long time in the making, I will go over the basics of community management.

A Brief History

Well that’s a very hard one! Community Management is a very new area, in fact most companies did not even think about it till the very late 90’s, it was then during the Dot Com Boom that companies faced a dilemma… Just how do we keep these thousands of people visiting our sites, to actually come back and even more importantly… how do we market to them? The reason this came about was all of a sudden the basic marketing principle which applied to consumers, suddenly didn’t work… it was as if a bomb had come and shaken the foundations.

The answer came with the idea of Community Managers, not a new idea, but a new idea in terms of the internet. Before this time it was primarily held by administrators, but as more organizations, companies and start-up business found themselves moving to the internet for profit there came a need for a special type of administrator, one that could deal with the power, but was not in full control and even More importantly, someone who could be a face for the company and organization and who could plan events, in short a basic Public Relations officer, but specifically for the community, not for business to business relations.

So just what exactly is an Online Community Manager/Management? What does it entail?

Now! To what an Online Community Manager does in detail! Community Manages in short, Manage the Community, they engage and plan events, and they communicate with the community finding out its needs. They resolve Community disputes and make statements on all matters involving the community and Even more importantly…  They are part of it!

How Does Online Community Management relate to Second Life.

This is a very hard question, and it’s one that could go one for pages! So keeping this in a brief short description will be hard, that’s why I will probably continue this into the next post in more detail! Part B! However I will go over briefly just how Community Management relates to Second Life.

Online Community Management relates to Second Life so very easily, after all, most Second Life activity involves groups. However running these groups as they grow and expand becomes a mission, especially if you want to branch out, covering more topics, subjects and have a presence outside of Second Life in terms of a Blog or Webpage.

The basic role of a Community Manager in relation to Second Life is to keep the group active, so that it can grow. Plan events, get them checked over by the group owner, assist in selecting staff (if the expansion goes well) and most important, keeping the group owner informed on the on-goings of the group including the consumers needs and wants.

This effectively gives the group owner time to focus on other areas, such as business to business relations, promotions, sponsorship and expansion.

In part B I will go a bit more into detail of its relation to Second Life and! Go over some of the basic tools great for Community Management

Well I hope this covers some of your questions, to those of you that had some. I also hope that this makes some sense! It’s hard to write these things up on the spot, I sat there staring at the screen for an hour! And even had dinner in between.

Happy Building!
BRN Blog Team!

#11 In Focus! Part B! Marketing in Second Life from within Second Life!

#11 In Focus! Part C! Marketing in SL using third party tools available on the web!

#10 In Focus! Those shortcuts!

Posted in In focus on February 23, 2009 by Matty

Well this article is more a focus on, ust one of those things you should have… and in this case, its Kippie Friedkin’s cheat sheet… a sheet full of nothing but Second Life Short cuts.

It was posted last year on the Official Blog, and many of you may have missed it, or maybe newer. So I thought now would be a good time to post a link!

Just be warned you need a PDF reader to get it/download. If you click on it and it opens in a webpage, and your unsure of how to get it, you can right click on the link and go save as, and save it straight to your computer.

(Sorry I did not post last week, as there has been a lot on. For those unaware, the New Zealand government is trying to introduce a law that forces internet services providers to cut your internet service upon an accusation of copyright infringement (which means guilty before proven innocent) without trial… so I was helping someone with that, in terms of information…)

Can’t wait to be back in March!
Happy Building
BRN Blog Team!

#9 In Focus! Reducing that lag!

Posted in In focus on February 11, 2009 by Matty

This week In Focus,  is a resource, published September 29th 2008, titled Massively’s guide to reducing your Second Life lag. I refer people to this post very often, and I think perhaps its time I give it a link to here in the BRN In Focus articles.

Lag is part of life online, no matter what game, what world, what version, what server, computer or network. At some point, at some time you will eventually come into lag. Lag comes in four forms. Your Computer, The Servers and The Network and last of all your internet connection.

Since Massively has covered the three you can do a lot about about and I don’t think I can do a better job… I will explain just why your internet connection creates lag in relation to Second Life.

When you are in Second Life you are constantly downloading, when you build an move an object, when someone builds beside you and moves an object. You are downloading. There is nothing you can do to improve your internet connection, in countries with internet plans (Like Mine) the best you can do is make sure you have a full download and upload speed. However if you are already on that, and you find your internet to slow, then sometimes the best thing you can do is switch companies.

ADSL is usually significantly slower than Cable, so do keep that in mind. You can test your internet speed here. Though the place you should test your connection to, to in relation to Second Life, is San Jose CA.

As for the other three, read that article linked at the top, written by Massively, I would write my own, but they clear up a lot in a way that everyone can understand it.

Hope this helps a few of you!

Happy Building
BRN Blog Team

#8 In Focus! The Avatar Databank

Posted in In focus on February 4, 2009 by Matty

avatardatabankIn Focus this article I have taken a different look, not so much a tool but at a Builders Resource. Known as the Avatar Databank, a site dedicated with providing you with what you need to assist you in making the perfect clothes.

If you want to make really perfect clothes, you need the right UVs. These can be hard to find it comes to different avatars, and especially if you want them perfect, but thanks to the creator behind the Avatar Databank its become easier.

Linden Labs does provide meshes (in an OBJ format), to assist you in clothes creation, but these meshes but those meshes only provide the female UV coordinates.

What this means is that the minute you try to apply these to a male Avatar Mesh, you will come into unexpected results if you try to bake textures.

To solve this problem, the Avatar Databank has extracted the  meshes from the Second Life® client so it would be possible to paint clothing with the correct UV coordinates. Then from there they have provided these meshes on their site as AC3D and OBJ format data files.

They have also provided just the texture templates in PNG format for those of you who don’t work with 3D applications. You can download all of these files from the pages linked on their navigation bar.

These files include:
The female avatar
The male avatar
Skirts
Hair
And all possible morph targets for all of the above.

These are extremely helpful for making clothing especially if you are targeting non-standard avatars.

A big thank you to Zee Pixel for the help with this article, and wishing you all the best with the Avatar Databank and your other adventures throughout the Virtual world!

Happy Building!
BRN Blog Team!