Announcing: The Avaverse

In a world haunted by walled gardens and proprietary software and devices, the promise of open source and interoperability shines like a bright light (not the finest metaphor, but it serves it purpose).

Adam Broitman (http://amediacirc.us/2007/12/13/and-the-openness-2008-award-goes-to/)

“free” items seem to have a “final” and “consumerist” utility–its utility ends upon its “consumption;” whereas “open” items are constantly evolving–their usefulness transforms and adapts to new situations and scenarios.

Eloh Eliot (http://eloheliot.blogspot.com/2007/12/open-versus-free.html)

“Through my content creation process, I’ve come across many frustrations, many of it includes reliable resources for new residents, reliable resources for content creation, and clear help for many questions for Second Life… As a content creator, I feel that content should be accessible to everyone. While freebies are used primarily for marketing and promotional intentions, I would like to take it a bit further.”

Nexeus Fatale (http://www.nexeusfatale.com/journal/my-new-approach-to-second-life/)

These three quotes explain the core motivation for my new project The Avaverse. There is a plethora of open content available in many forms such as open source software, podsafe music, and Creative Common’s Attribution license. Open software and content aids in all expansion of the web by allowing consumer consumption, the creation of new developer tools, and access for hobbyists to learn new items. It also makes the web more accessible to new users and creates new forms of participation. While open has its benefits, many are still hesitant to the idea, open source seems to be synonymous with free including free’s lack of consumer utility. Open source can be an income generator; WordPress and the recent purchase of MySQL by Sun Microsystems are examples of how open source software can be used as a legitimate business model. These applications have helped transform the Internet, the way business is conducted online, and the ability to develop new, useable, cross platform applications, and to help create a more usable web.

The Concept

Second Life is an area that has major conflicts with “open”. While the Second Life viewer is open source, and there are open-source scripts or applications, there are little or none open content. The Second Life permission system is, at best, rudimentary and would be best replaced by a Creative Content like system. There’s also free content and pay-to-use however you like, these items exist largely in the Second Life world and don’t transfer outside of Second Life well, or at all. With the continuing problems of Intellectual Property Theft, the continued hysteria of content thievery, and a hodgepodge of resources on content creation, it becomes very hard to find reliable multiplatform content, to create new items using more than one method or application.

What makes the learning curve for Second Life a bit harder is the lack of multiplatform, multiuse, quality content. One example of such content would be Eloh Eliot’s skins, which are not only free (so new Second Life residents can have access to quality skins), but “open source” or rather the source files are available allowing people to use them as templates to create their own skins, or to learn what is needed to create their own skins. I use Eloh Eliot as a frequent example because her example really helped usher this idea.

The plan of the Avaverse

The goal of the Avaverse is to provide quality, open, freely distributable content online for Second Life. In the future I plan to expand it to include more than just Second Life (other virtual worlds such as the Open Sim project, and other forms of web development), but for the time being its focus will be SL. I plan for the project to include more than content; I plan to include applications, scripts, and possibly libraries of code for open use. I also plan, in the near future, to open its doors to any content creator who wishes to contribute to the project. The core of this idea is to think beyond free; this is not just giving stuff away, instead giving access to quality content.

Today, I’m launching avaverse.org, with its first two pieces of content. DAZ Studio is a free 3D modeling program that can be used to create poses and animations in Second Life. DAZ Studio is very similar to Poser, and more feature rich than QAvimator, and Avimator. While DAZ Studio is free and Second Life compliant it suffers from not having native Second Life Avatar Files, until now. Today I’m releasing DAZ Studio versions of the Second Life Avatar files. Along with this, I’m also releasing five male poses that can be used however you feel fit. Both will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. While I have no control over the base Second Life Avatar files (thus you don’t need to credit me),I ask that if you use the poses as is in any form, that you maintain that they are from avaverse.org (which means keeping the www.avaverse.org in the file name even when uploaded to Second Life). If you make any significant changes to them, I would appreciate making a note of where you received your source files to create them.

By launching The Avaverse, I’m not abandoning my own commercial brand. I will continue to release new content for The Avaverse along with my own commercial items under the upcoming [nf_d] brand. Some of my previous content I will be adapted for The Avaverse, other content will not. This is also not a replacement for handing out “freebies,” this concept is about providing open content for many uses.

As I keep on hearing from many different sources, the future is open, and I completely agree.

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10 Responses to Announcing: The Avaverse

  1. Prokofy Neva says:

    Gosh, does this stuff need a reality check.

    Nexeus, let's put your theories to the test, shall we?

    Are you willing to quit your RL job and depend completely on Creative Commons and open source to make a living?

    If so, how is the start-up company that might pay you to do this going to keep making money?

    If you aren't willing to do that, and not willing to turn over all your content in SL for free, then why ask others to do so?

  2. Prokofy Neva says:

    Also, BTW, another facet to reality-check:

    If you have a RL job which enables you to use SL as a hobby, why are you releasing your creations you used to get paid for for free now, such as to undermine the effort of others to make a living in SL?

  3. Prokofy, I state, "By launching The Avaverse, I’m not abandoning my own commercial brand. I will continue to release new content for The Avaverse along with my own commercial items under the upcoming [nf_d] brand. Some of my previous content I will be adapted for The Avaverse, other content will not. This is also not a replacement for handing out “freebies,” this concept is about providing open content for many uses."

    If you're unaware, content creation isn't necessarily the main source of my Second Life income. I don't plan to switch entirely onto open source – there are some things that I've worked on and will be working on that are not suited for this sort of project.

    Secondly, although I have not talked much about the RL work that I do, it does not mean that work I've been doing for the past 7 years does not coexist with what I'm doing here?

    As for undermining the efforts of others to make a living in SL, I'm not sure how this is doing that? If anything I'm enhancing it by giving people content to use for their own content. For instance, the poses I've released CAN be used for a studio booth. I'm not going to go after them at all (hence the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License).
    As you said, let’s put my theories to test. Let’s see if this idea works. If I’m wrong, hey, at least I tried doing something that would be beneficial.

  4. Prokofy Neva says:

    Right, Nexeus, read again what I wrote:

    1. If you have a day-job to support your Second Life hobby, great! Don't quit that day job, Nexeus! Therefore, *do not impose a model you do not accept in real life on others and undermine others who DO make a RL living from SL with freebies. Put your theories where your mouth is, please.

    2. Creative Commons is a shill, designed to make people wean themselves from wishing to get paid for their work, and undermining considerable efforts to get people to stop copying for work that people want to be paid for.

    All CC does is provide community pressure to CREDIT people for their work and use it for non-profit purposes but it does not encourage PAYMENT of them, and that's morally wrong. It undermines intellectual property in this fashion.

    3. You aren't putting your theories to test by keeping a day job, making some content you hope to sell in SL, and undermining your competitors by providing freebies — you are merely using your high-profile perch in the FIC 2.5 as head of the SLCC to sell more stuff, get more tips, get more DJ jobs or whatever else you do, and undermine others — especially newbies entering the market.

    This isn't a model for a world; it's a model for a Ren Faire.

  5. Prokofy, you’re looking at this very black and white. In this case you’re making the assumption that I expect this project to be some sort of income generator for myself. While the project has a potential to raise income, that is not my focus. Do I have plants for an income generating aspect in the future? Possibly, I’ve not thought that far down the road. I do know if there was an income generating aspect other things would have to be completed for such a thing to happen. My discussion about open source being a possible viable business model is more geared to the perception of open source, not the core of the project. Income generation is not the core of The Avaverse.
    Now, while you’re assuming I'm shoving a model onto everyone. Never am I dictating that everyone must, rather I have an idea, I want to see how people will use it.

    Now, I understand your argument about the CC license, but show me something better for what I'm doing? Maybe the CC should be expanded, as I mention in the post, I would like to see a CC like model, things spelled out rather than copy, mod, trans. There are still many questions left in the air about what to do next with those things. But I digress.

    I think, Prokofy, you’re not getting my theory about The Avaverse. It's not that about being a self-sustaining income generator instead, this is about providing starting points for making content. I've laid out my theory about the project, and it has nothing to do with quitting my day job. It's more about access to content.

    Now I’m not the first person to do this, I won’t be the last. I think you are not grasping the bigger picture of this project. This is more about access than anything else.

    If anything that you’re correct about it’s the comment of using my “high-profile perch” to push something; but it’s not to generate more income or get more attention for gigs or more tips. I really wish it were. I would be much richer right now. Instead I’m using my “high-profile perch” to see if I can help in an area that I feel is lacking something.

    Prokofy, thank you for your feedback, but maybe you should wait just a wee bit longer to see the full evolution of this project. Again, if all of my theories are right, you may even find yourself wanting to use The Avaverse as a way to help your business in Second Life.

  6. Pingback: The Avaverse Update | Nexeus Fatale

  7. dittohead says:

    giving away DAZ3D….who pays for that?
    yourr "freeing content" like bernie madoff "freed" his condo.
    bernie madoff, your hero?

    schmuck.

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