June 30, 2008

100 Million Habbos

Screenshot Habbo News on mashable; klick to get there.
Screenshot Habbo News on mashable; klick to get there.

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

weblin EM-Party by Moritz.Olf

Screenshot with weblin-Publisher
Screenshot with weblin-Publisher

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

The mountain and Mahomet

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.

FAZ.NET – one of Germany’s largest daily papers on weblin -

We have revealed user figures for the first time in months. Dr. Holger Schmidt, business editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany’s most read daily newspapers, took time to talk to weblin.

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

weblin Publisher, my favourite feature

Screenshot with weblin Publisher
Screenshot with weblin Publisher

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

Avatar theatre

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

weblin at Berlin TechCrunch meetup

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.