December 19, 2008
Yesterday, at 8:00 am Boston time we sent out the press release and just few hours later, there was a bunch of people waiting in the weblin house in SL, to be teleported to the web. How cool is that?
If you are a SL user try it.
Fast Facts about weblin Gate (according to "stargate", not watergate of course):
-- The Weblin house in Second Life is located in New Berlin, close to the tower at Alexanderplatz: New Berlin 221, 73, 32 (PG).
-- The Second Life avatar is capable of performing all the actions of a weblin avatar, such as walking left and right, dancing, laughing or waving.
-- The 3D data is then exported as a library of animated GIFs and once the conversion is finished, the user receives a link and is directed to a personalized weblin login landing page, built with a token. With the token, the generated library can be mapped to one's weblin account.
-- Interoperability between virtual worlds is something Linden Lab actively supports. This is a positive and encouraging development for Second Life users to add more dimension to our user experience.
There are already a lot of blog posts covering weblin Gate. One of the posts I liked best for now ist: Common|Sensible.
December 12, 2008
weblin had a little booth sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark. Thanks for the big spender, we had an exciting time and more than 80 leads to talk to. In the end I could not count anymore how many cameras we saw and interviews we gave. Twice we were asked to do an elevator pitch in less than one minute.
Unfortunately I didn´t saw any speaker or panel on Tuesday. But it was worth it, because we had so many talks with press and agencies, with major companies and interesting Bloggers, with VCs and Trendscouts.
On Tuesday we went to the MySpace party later on, which was a nice place also. A lot of happy people drinking and dancing, some celebrating as if the financial crisis never happened.
On Wednesday, the only speaker I saw, was Morton Lund. I could not believe, what he was saying, that he lost all his money by investing in a free print magazine in Denmark. Morten is a weird guy, but I admire his courage to tell this story, again and again and always adding that he will come back. Falling down is not a shame.
Despite the catering was curtly calculated, and Loic seemed to save the heating for not contributing to the climate change, LeWeb was great event for us.
December 03, 2008
December 02, 2008
The(!) European Web 2.0 Conference "LeWeb" organised by french Blogger and Tech Evangelist Loic Le Meur is taking place in Paris from 9. to 10. December. The who is who of entrepreneurs, startups, CEOs and Bloggers will be there. 1500 paticipants are expected, and weblin ist one of the lucky exhibitors. As one of the 12 companies presenting at Microsoft booth, weblin is preparing for the big Web 2.0 event in December. Take a look at the display board and see, who is with us at Microsoft´s booth.
As long as no other event is planned for 2008, it will be the last event for weblin in 2008, which was a great year. Weblin reached the magic 1 million users benchmark and developed some cool features and localized to 10 languages. At the end of the year we expect to have close to 2 million users worldwide. For the first time, a startup built up a weblin copy cat. We appreciate that and welcome the new player RoketOn on the still niche market of layered virtual worlds as a part of the big virtual worlds landscape.
December 01, 2008
Hiroshi Asaeda, CEO of Meltingdots Inc., Tokyo, Japan wrote us an email and sent over the picture above, the weblin fan crowd in Tokyo: "Here is a photo of the first weblin user meetup ever in Japan. Some active weblin users in Mixi decided to come over to our Office." Hiro is the one in the middle line, sitting on the left.
November 25, 2008
Is it a bug or is it designed to be a feature? Some facebook users got messages from the system, that they had sent too many chat messages and therefor are not allowed to send any more. Michael Arrington is wondering about it in his techcrunch post.
November 20, 2008
Read the original Google Blog why Lively is shutting down
Livelys days are numbered. This is a really surprising news for today, published by the official Google blog. I am sure that the news will arose a pretty big discussion about virtual worlds. Why did Lively fail or what did Google expect from Lively?
There are a lot of questions. I would like to know how many users Lively attracted and how much time the avarage user spent in world with theit 3D avatars and rooms.
My personal assumption is that the users rooms were too separate and there was not enough public space to meet. Separate rooms work for social networks like cyworld and stardoll, while they are not live waiting in their rooms to be visited or if there is enough virtual space infrastructure to connect the rooms like it is in Habbo. But Lively intended to be live, so this is a different pre-condition.
Lets see which reasons will be discussed in the blogosphere in the next days.
November 19, 2008
Virtual Worlds Group at LinkedIn
Did you know? There is Virtual Worlds group in professional social network LinkedIn, initiated by my daily readingvirtual worlds news. If you like to join the network just klick the screenshot and login.
See you there.
November 17, 2008
November 14, 2008
As some might know, Microsoft runs a Start-up Accelerator Program in several countries. The program is called "unternimm was" in Germany and led by Dr. Carsten Rudolph. weblin is one of the 20 supported companies. Every year there is a campus trip to visit the Microsoft headquarter and interesting people like strategic Microsoft VIPs and journalists. This year weblin got the chance to join the journey with a handful of other start-ups like mediber.de, VIOSO.com, and visumotion.com. Jan Andresen, weblins CEO has met Dave Drach, who is the Director of Microsoft’s U.S. VC and Emerging Business Team. Dave mentioned the visit of the german start-ups in his blog. To read his full article please click the pic.
November 10, 2008
There are so many scary Avatars, chatting, dancing, having fun. Check it out.
To download the study please click the picture.
Sara de Freitas wrote a study about virtual worlds. In fact the study is named "Serious Virtual Worlds" and is a part of the JISC e-Learning Programme. I have not read the study so far but I´m pretty sure that it includes some useful Statistics and interesting points of view, if you are interested in virtual worlds generally.
The study prepared 5 case studies in the following categories: # Role-Play worlds, # Social Worlds, # Working Worlds, # Training Worlds and # Mirror Worlds.
Thanks to Sara for her work, it helps virtual worlds to be taken serious besides entertainment and besides the fear of some people (well, mostly politicians) that virtual worlds might be a drug and make teenagers escape from reality. Virtual worlds are a lot more and they will be a part of peoples future life.
November 07, 2008
Mediatech 100 screenshot. to get there please click the pic
Again great news for weblin. The Library House 2008 Mediatech 100 represents the hottest 100 private mediatech companies in Europe - and weblin is one of these! We are very proud and happy to be part of this group of famous and successful companies. Weblin is listed in the category of Community and Sharing, where we are in very good neighbourhood with another Hamburg based company "verwandt.de". Congratulations to Sven and Daniel, maybe we meet on Tuesday in London to attend the awards event.
September 30, 2008
One of the Top Ten social Networks, Hi5 acquired a company named Pixverse a few month ago. Pixverse provides a 2D chat widget with enabled photo-sharing and video-sharing. Charles Ying, one of the PixVerse founders and now a software architect for Hi5 gives an outlook on the further development of Hi5´s social network Chat: "The engine, the client, is capable of rendering a lot richer experiences, in 2D and 3D, but that's not publicly available now." He explained furtheron, that more features of traditional virtual worlds, like avatars and games might appear in PixChat.
Like other social networks developing their communication features such as instant messenger applicacions, Hi5 seems to think at least one step ahead. Ying expects social networks and virtual worlds converge.
September 26, 2008
This is the weblin scrum board. The board knows everything: who does what, when it's ready, what's next, which is delayed, what I do, how long it takes, and what's important.
Each team has a board with lots of short tasks. Tasks start in the backlog and move to the development ready state at the beginning of a 2 week sprint. The backlog is cleared occasionally and old never implemented tasks are removed and archived. During development we use the usual mechanisms and tools: unit testing, daily scrum meeting, pair programming, and feature reduction/expansion to meet the plan. Of course, there are surprises and unexpected developments and not every task goes as planned. That's the time of the Scrum master. The Scrum master notices and prepares a solution so that time is used as good as possible (sounds dry, but is actually quite lively).
After implementation tasks wait for functional verification. When all tasks arrive in the tested state then the feature is ready for internal review. After the internal testing phase we create a release candidate (and sometimes more RCs) and deploy publicly.
September 09, 2008
Since we announced this target for the end of the year, we are more than happy to score ahead of schedule, in September.
It was an exciting summer and weblin is even outrunning now. Of course, a big part of our work, especially in terms of features, is maintenance, to keep up all the servers up and running. And we prepare now to manage the next millions of users as well as the first one.
August 18, 2008
August 09, 2008
There has been a special configuration for Google. If people just want to do a quick search and leave for their destination, then they just pass through and disturb the ongoing chats. Some time ago Google sites have been configured so, that weblins do not enter the Google rooms automatically. Instead, weblin shows a button, which people may press to enter the room intentionally.
But there are more and more web sites with heavy weblin usage.
These sites will increasingly be configured to put avatars into random rooms. International sites will get rooms for frequently used client languages. Later, there will be multiple rooms per language. Most sites also get a number of random rooms for all other languages.
Find technical details about the configuration here.
August 07, 2008
August 05, 2008
And I liked the quotes between the video snippets, I didn't know that even Shakespaere, Henry Miller and Thoreau thought about virtual worlds!
You can see a lots of different avatars, from 2D to 3D in various steps, pixelworlds and full 3D environments. Great film, thanks Gary.
July 25, 2008
weblin proudly announces that it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the AO Global 250 Winners. Inclusion in the AO Global 250 signifies major developments in the creation of new business opportunities in the global technology industries. Weblin was specially selected by the AlwaysOn editorial team and other industry experts spanning the globe, based on a set of five criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz.
The AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies have been honored at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford on July 22-24, 2008 at Stanford University.
Weblin´s GM North America Marc Theermann was there to network and talk to a lots of impressive start-ups.
July 15, 2008
As Microsoft announced at E3 in LA, the Xbox 360 comes with exciting updates: "In the new version, you'll even be able to create your own avatars who can then meet up with your friend's avatars."
This is again great news, because it emphasises the global trend to virtual identity, avatars and socializing.
July 14, 2008
It was a great evening, when the first TechCrunch Pitch! event in London took place on Thursday last week. Only a handful start-ups had the chance to present in five minutes their product and company. Jan, our CEO was one of the lucky guys to do so and he was very close to the top. In the end, WatZatSong won the pitch but weblin together with TIOTI, Amazee and Tactile CRM belongs to the Top 5 European start-ups, ranked in this evening.
July 09, 2008
weblin is one of the nominees in this years AlwaysOn Global 250 Competition! This is so great, we are really surprised to be on this bright listing in neigbourhood to freindster, hi5, Gaia Online, JaJah, meebo and so many other famous companies.
"AlwaysOn and KPMG have officially launched this year’s AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies competition. After 6 years of the AlwaysOn 100, we're expanding our flagship list to better represent the burgeoning startup communities from around the globe."
Weblin is nominated in the "Consumer and Entertainment" sector. We are very excited and hope be on the final winners list, which will be announced on July 22.
June 30, 2008
Habbo recently reached the unbelieveble level of 100 Million users. As mashable writes, Habbo is eight years old, but still, this an amazing and really impressive number!
None other virtual worlds reaches this status; Habbo is followed by Neopets who have roundabout 50% of Habbos user counts, and the next vw as IMVU, Stardolls und Second Life.
June 25, 2008
Watch these impressive slides from one of the first online public-viewing events with weblins. Great!
To get to the slides, simply click on the screenshot.
June 23, 2008
Mashable has just reported that meez is now launching an own virtual world for its avatars. The meez avatars are fantastic; there is no doubt about that. But the users of the cute little figures now obviously want more action, that is to say more interaction and socialising with other meezes. Mashable writes “Unlike most other virtual worlds that have grown out of an avatar creation and sharing site ...”. Exactly, others too began with avatars and are now building virtual worlds around “their” avatars. Everyone for himself and everyone differently. Sure! No-one wants to share his users with others! The result is that walled gardens are to be found everywhere. But what has that got to do with mountains and prophets? We believe that building own worlds for each avatar solution is not only cost and time consuming but also leads to a lot of dead ends. It is almost as if the mountain has to come to the prophet Mahomet. I am not sure when a mountain last moved but it must have been before the age of the Internet.
Mahomet should come to the mountain. That’s our attitude with weblin. The largest virtual world is already there and does not first have to be created. It’s the Web. Sure, it is all still only 2D and not quite as spatial as one would imagine a virtual world to be, but, instead, people are already there! And they are already finding all sorts of distraction in this world – reading, watching videos and, with weblin, they can chat with friends or strangers who could become friends. They can collect points and give presents, wave, dance and laugh. OK, one can’t exactly roll on the floor laughing but, hey, it’s a good idea!
Meez is out to turn the virtual world into money, with advertising “... which can be branded as part of Meez’s advertising options within this virtual world. Just as brands like Nike, Panasonic and Sears have provided gear ...“ This, to my mind, is a form of In Game Advertising. And I bet that, in addition to advertising, virtual goods are also part of the concept. All things considered, I am glad about every avatar creator, every virtual world, whether mountain or Mahomet, because this can only advance our mutual idea of the Next Generation Web.
A lot has happened since we last talked about user figures. In 2007, weblin made considerable progress in respect of session length and user stickiness – a good basis on which to build our strategy for 2008.
As one can read in the faz article, we have not been as strongly visible in Germany in the last few months as perhaps many would have expected. But that does not mean that we are not satisfied with the user figures in Germany. On the contrary, from today’s perspective, we can only summarise that we have planned well and realised our plans consistently. We have created a good product for the user which is a lot of fun. The enthusiasm is measurable: weblins actively spend an average of 30 hours a month with weblin. If one compares this number with other social networks, as one can read in Holger Schmidt’s blog, we can be really proud of the result. With this high intensity of use, weblin comes close to the figures of Instant Messengers or even surpasses them depending on which surveys one looks at.
We therefore succeeded in setting up a sound basis in 2007, one on which we have begun to internationalise and, with the new features, we have above all ensured more safety also for non-weblins. The new functions weblin.lite, weblin Publisher and weblin.lite Widget have extended weblin’s range far beyond the download. For the first time, Mac users too can travel the Web with their avatars. Every blog item with the weblin Publisher reaches many readers who click on the link or screenshot and thus use a weblin avatar for the first time.
weblin, now available in eight languages, entered the US market by visiting the virtual world conference n New York and has been intensifying its PR activities in Spain, Italy and France since April.
In addition to the countries weblin is actively working on, downloads come day after day from more than 50 other countries. Here, too, the strategy has proved successful: thanks to the cooperations and the enthusiastic users who install the weblin download in their blogs, weblin is available on several hundred websites. weblin has thus grown strongly, to a six-figure user community.
There is possibly a connection between the number of reports on weblin and the ebbing away of the media hype on Second Life. I discussed this too with Holger Schmidt. But more about that in another blog. Because Germany is about to play ...
June 20, 2008
The weblin Publisher - a feature which I can no longer imagine being without in everyday Internet life - has been online now for about a month!
With the weblin Publisher, you can send emails with screenshots and links directly from weblin, you can blog, directly with screenshot and link to the screenshot, and you can twitter. It’s a super easy multi-publisher.
How it works? Let’s take the email for example. I don’t know whether you too know the situation but I often come across websites where the content could also be of interest to others. So I would like to send this site to someone by email. Normally, one would have to open an email client, copy the URL and, if you want to send a photo too, you also have to open a graphics programme, make a screenshot, perhaps have to edit it. All very time consuming. I can get that all done now in just 5 seconds as easy as pie. All I have to do is simply click on the menu item “applications/send website as email” in my weblin butler, select the profile created or click on the email address of the recipient and then on send. That’s it! The recipient gets an email from me with a screenshot and deeplink to the website and, if I want to leave a message, he or she gets that too. If I wish to, I can first edit the screenshot in the Publisher – also very easy. I can create various profiles, also an email distribution list. This way, I can quickly send an email to the whole sales team, the whole team of developers or to my friends.
With the weblin Publisher, blogging or twittering is just as easy. I simply set up my wordpress or blogger.com profile and then I can post directly to my blog, with screenshot, with tags with headline and with link without having to first log into my blog provider. Quite smart! Since the Publisher has been available, I have been blogging more often and I almost always have a photo in the post making the blog post so much more interesting for the reader - if one is to believe all the statistics and surveys. Yes and you can also twitter this way and even manage and add to your various twitter profiles.
And there is a gimmick to top it all – screenshots and links posted with the Publisher or sent by email can be sent at the same time with a weblin.lite. This means that anyone clicking such a link and who perhaps has not yet installed the weblin download software becomes visible as avatar, i.e. gets a weblin.lite. So, if one of my friends, for example a Mac user, gets an email from me, clicks on the link I have sent him by Publisher, we meet on the link as avatars and can chat to one another – he is in Saarbrucken and I am in Hamburg. But, what the heck, the Web is a village – for us weblins.
Would you like to try it out? Just click the screenshot.
June 16, 2008
On Friday evening, the 13th of June, almost a dozen committed weblins performed an avatar play. The weblins brought a three hour production of the “Feuerzangenbowle” (a cult movie produced in Germany n 1944) to the virtual stage. There was a lot to do beforehand, from writing the script, designing costumes (avatars), distributing roles, building the settings and directing, up to the actual performance, to the acting. There were over thirty spectators at the same time in the virtual audience. It was a great evening during which many weblins had lots of fun. You can access the picture gallery via the link. Have lots of fun and perhaps you will be part of the fun when it is once again time to make way for the weblin avatar troupe.
June 04, 2008
On June 11th, weblin will join the German TechCrunch / twidox Web2.0 meet-up in Berlin.
Represantatives of a whole line-up of young and well-known projects from Germany will appear.
Indeed, at the same time it's the 3rd Birthday of TechCrunch. The famous weblog's articles have been published by several international print medias such as the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.
April 30, 2008
To solve the problem, weblin build up a tiny new feature for you. Go to your weblin profile and choose your flag. The flag is displayed near your avatar. Now you can easily find out which language others speak and you will have more fun with your weblin!
April 15, 2008
Zweitgeist with its product weblin is a recipient of this award, given to the top 100 private technology companies based in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region each year. The Award Recognizes the 100 "Most Promising" Companies Driving the Future of Technology.
"This really motivates and encourages us to take weblin to the next level", said Jan Andresen, weblin´s CEO.
We are very happy to get this international recognition. It ist the second international award, the first was business 2.0 naming weblin as one of the top ten "world shaking" business models outside the US, in August 2007.
March 31, 2008
March 25, 2008
“This year’s impressive list of submissions from companies demonstrates Europe’s growing role as a major center of innovation in the global technology sector,” said Red Herring Editor-in-Chief Joel Dreyfuss. “The exceptional accomplishments of European technology startups and entrepreneurs are a testament to the rapid advancements being made in building the European innovation ecosystem.”
Red Herring’s lists of top private companies are an important part of the publication’s tradition of identifying new and innovative technology companies and entrepreneurs. Companies like Google, eBay, and Skype were spotted in their early days by Red Herring editors, and touted as leaders that would change the way we live and work.
Red Herring’s editorial staff rigorously evaluated several hundred private companies through a careful analysis of financial data and subjective criteria, including quality of management, execution of strategy, and dedication to research and development.
Red Herring will honor the Red Herring 100 Europe Finalist companies at its Red Herring Europe 2008 event. Scheduled for April 14-16, at the Westin Dragonara Resort, this intimate, three-day event is themed “The Pursuit of Disruption” and will explore how European firms are leading the charge in many technology sectors, gaining the competitive advantage, and driving entrepreneurial success in ways that create business opportunities for challengers and incumbents alike.
About Red Herring
Red Herring is a global media company which unites the world’s best high technology innovators, venture investors and business decision makers in a variety of forums: a leading innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for technology leaders around the globe. Red Herring provides an insider’s access to the global innovation economy, featuring unparalleled insights on the emerging technologies driving the economy. More information about Red Herring is available on the Internet at www.redherring.com.
March 20, 2008
Make and receive lots of gifts because the weblin Easter gallery is only available for a limited period until March 28, i.e. until Friday next week. With six Easter gifts you can fill the Princess Album. If you receive enough gifts to fill the album, you get the special princess avatar. Have fun and Happy Easter!
March 19, 2008
A lot has happened since 19.3.2007 and many new functions have been added. At the beginning there was the buddy list. And then it soon became possible to send websites and bookmarks. New functions include virtual gifts, minigames, quizbots and treasure chests which one can find and plunder on websites. Weblin arranges virtual events and, in the gift sets, one can find special gifts for special occasions, for example Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day, or “Horton hears a who” gifts provided by our advertising client 20thCentury Fox. These special gifts are always only available for a short period.
Today, weblin’s first birthday, weblin users are being given a special gift by weblin: all gifts that have ever been available are available again online today. So make the most of it, you can make as many presents as you can because, in the meantime, you can also exchange gifts and collect whole sets. I have heard that there are some very sought-after items out there which can no longer be sent as gifts in the customary way.
March 18, 2008
February 27, 2008
But that is not all. Weblin will be showing selected journalists the prototype of “weblin lite”. weblin lite dispenses with downloading and is not dependent on the operating system. It can therefore also be used with Apple Mac and Linux. weblin lite does not yet have all the features of the Windows client but the core function “reclaim the web” can be experienced by everyone.
The weblin lite version is expected to be accessible to all Internet users by the end of March or beginning of April. Freedom of speech, with no boundaries.
February 21, 2008
February 15, 2008
Those who are fascinated by the amorous adventures in the PC game from dtp now have the chance of looking for partners on the Internet themselves: For example, all visitors to the game’s web site can see each other in the browser window and chat - or flirt - with one another.
In dtp‘s romance simulation “Kiss before Midnight“, one steers individual characters through amorous adventures in Paris, the city of love. In ingeniously interwoven episodes, it is all about passionate love, jealousy, intrigues and broken friendships. It quickly becomes clear what will lead to a kiss and what will lead to a rejection. The game’s fans can now apply their skills together with kindred spirits outside the game. Just a few clicks and you can create a virtual likeness on the official homepage of “Kiss before Midnight” and, as weblin avatar, get into a conversation with other users on any web site.
February 14, 2008
Shortly after midday it has become clear that this will be weblin’s ultimate record day as far as sending presents is concerned. More than twice the normal number of presents has already been sent from weblin to weblin.
Under the heading “Valentine“, you will find twelve new gifts. Another 66 gifts are available every day and there are always new ones on special occasions. So, if you have not already sent a gift today, pluck up some courage and send one. It does not necessarily have to be to the person dearest to you. Simply send gifts to the weblins you meet when visiting the Internet today. Your reward will be a grateful smile and perhaps a gift sent in return.
February 04, 2008
Thanks Andy Chan for this brilliant article about "The Emotional Side of Behavioral Targeting" and mentioning weblin like this:
Old-timer powerhouses such as Amazon and eBay (with recommendation functions) are certainly steadily raising the bar, but it's newbies such as Like (a visual search-based shopping engine) and weblin (software that enables people on the same Web page to see and communicate with each other) that are taking the power of social proof to the next level to bridge the gap between real-life and virtual behavior.