Follow the Money, IPOs in Second Life

Back in November, I wrote about the money supply in Second Life financial markets. During the month of November, approximately L$ 50,000 of new money came into the Virtual Stock Exchange (VSTEX) each day. How much of that was driven by VSTEX and how much was driven by the CEOs of individual companies is hard to say. However, it provides a good baseline for where things stand.

Currently, there are seven companies in IPO on the VSTEX. The offerings are set to expire on the fifteenth, and it looks like many of them may not reach the 50% required subscription rate. VSTEX is having a meeting this evening for the CEOs of the IPOs, so this might be a good time to look at the companies and think about what should happen.

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The Animals at the Art Show

As if spending the day listening to people think about reputation economies in Cyberspace as not enough, this evening, I went to The Opening of Sky Hye’s Gallery in Second Life. It is a beautiful gallery with some beautiful art work. There were also some very interesting avatars there.

The Animals at the Art Show, originally uploaded by Aldon.

I spent quite a bit of time talking about the symposium, and how it related to being a cat in Second Life. Nimbus Rau provided me with at cat avatar, so I joined the feline crowd. If you haven’t seen her avatars, I would strongly encourage you to stop by at her shop in Second Life. When I teleported in, I was greeted by a humming bird which kept a close eye on me. I took a quick look at her cat eyes, her winged cat avatars and her cat avatars. I had seen these already. Next I looked at her Cybergeek Typer. I’ve seen those around and always liked them. Now I know where to get them.

Next, I looked at her Bottlenose Dolphin Avatar. “Have you ever wanted to be a dolphin? Now’s your chance!” Her shop is conveniently located by some water to explore one’s new dolphin nature. There were other avatars and gadgets in the shop as well, including “The amazing steam-powered ectoplasmic newt summoner!” There had been one of those back in Sky’s gallery when everyone was a cat, and it was great to see cats carrying on discussions of aesthetics and reputation economies in cyberspace as they pounced on wandering newts.

The Internet, and especially virtual worlds like Second Life, opens up whole new ways to be creative and imaginative. It also opens up all kinds of new legal and social issues. It is great to explore many of them, but it is also going to be great to get a good night’s sleep.

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Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace

Who can think of a more exciting way to spend a Saturday in December than sitting around Yale Law School listening to a bunch of legal gurus talk about issues of reputation in Cyberspace?

True, Fiona thought it would be more interesting to spend the day with her Papa and Nanna. Kim felt obliged to travel to New Hampshire to go door-to-door canvassing for John Edwards. However, I’m sure they recognized the importance of the symposium I was at.

I must admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I showed up, and I’m not sure that I can do justice to the symposium with this little blog post which I’m trying to quickly write during the Gallery Opening in Second Life before Fiona gets home.

There are many issues about reputations as they exist in cyberspace, and there were frequent references to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Trademark law, Intellectual Property, various torts, specific cases, such as ABDUL JABBAR v GENERAL MOTORS and so on. A quick summary just isn’t possible. As I get time, I’ll write up more thoughts about that, as well as about some of the very interesting side discussions that took place.

So, can I come up with a quick summary? Well, we talked about establishing a cyber-reputation, and the role of privacy in protecting that reputation. We looked at assessing the quality of a reputation, and who ones what portions of a reputation. Discussions ranged from Dog Poop Girl and Star Wars Kid to *30 Reasons Girls Should Call It A Night*. I do wonder if Star Wars Kid can rid the world of drunken girls putting too much information up on Facebook or other girls that allow their dogs to leave too much behind on the subway.

Perhaps the most interesting observation was the idea that Facebook and related systems for managing reputations online are this Millennium’s equivalent of the Doomsday Book.

At the end of the symposium, Eddan Katz stopped short of saying, “See you next year.” I should have digested much of the information from this years symposium, so if I get a vote, it would be for Information Society Project to run another symposium on reputation economies in cyberspace next year.

Art Shows in Second Life

A week ago, I attended an art show in Second Life organized by students in Joe Sanchez’ class, Working in Virtual Worlds.

Tomorrow, there will be another art show worth checking out. Sky Hye will be opening her new gallery in LBD Villiage in Centro Italia. The opening will start at 1 PM (SLT) and will go on all day until 10 PM (SLT). I have another engagement for much of the day, so I will probably stop by at the gallery in the later afternoon, Second Life Time.

I met Sky at a networking meeting in Second Life a while ago, and got a chance to look at some of her work. I really enjoyed it and encourage everyone to attend. If you want to read up on Sky Hye before attending her artshow, you should check out the blog post that Sherpa Voyager put up about Sky on Second Seeker. While you’re there, spend a little time and check out some of the other wonderful posts that Sherpa has put up.

For those of you who come to read my financial markets posts, I’ll have more of them soon enough, but I do want to remind everyone that there is more to Second Life than just the financial markets.

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National Presidential Caucus

Back in October, I wrote about the Florida Primary Mess and the National Presidential Caucus. Well, today is National Presidential Caucus day and there aren’t a lot that are organized. My wife and I talked about organizing one for our home town, but there were too many things going on, and she is on the road up to New Hampshire to canvas for John Edwards this weekend.

We did have an event that was close to the caucuses being imagined. The Advancing the Dialog Presidential Proxy Debate had all the trappings of the caucuses, bright people presenting their views about the candidates they support. The one thing that it lacked was the actual caucusing at the end and any sort of tallying to see who won.

In New Jersey, they are having their own Presidential Caucus this evening. It looks like a great event. If you’re in New Jersey, you should try to make it.

Many DFA groups held caucuses or strawpolls at their monthly meetings. John Edwards won the Democracy for NEW YORK CITY Caucus. In the discussion there, it is mentioned that he also won in the Oakland, CA and Austin, TX caucuses or strawpolls.

Clinton won a strawpoll at a local fundraising dinner in North Coast, CA. As I commented about the Presidential Proxy Debate here in Connecticut as well as in my earlier post about the National Presidential Caucus, these sort of events, I believe, return us to the sort of democracy that is essential our country, a democracy where everyone participates, instead of simply a democracy where people watch a few ads, listen to a few soundbites and go to voting booths as uninformed voters.

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