Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pandora's Box And My Second Life!

Internet 2.0 is here. I read about it sometime back and thought that it was another of the management jargons that we, management types, inflict on the unsuspecting world. But things are changing, and at a speed that I feel that my adaptation rate would increasingly lag the internet rate of change. This is another indication that my generation is growing old but I will whine about that in some other post.

Collaborative content, participation, personalization and stronger virtual identities have become a reality and an ever increasing number of users are hooked onto the net like never before. I recently sampled two websites which got me very excited. Pandora and Second Life delight you beyond expectations. I am not much of a virtual person but these things have got me!

Pandora is a music genome project. It is a personalized radio station cum DJ cum music club. You can choose the artist/band/song that you like. It will play that song and other similar song/band. You have the option of rating that song and the band. The song list would dynamically change on the basis of your ratings. Also, it would give interesting nuggets of information on the songs that you might not have heard. Your feedback will also be a feed to other users who have similar tastes in music. It is almost like a friend re-commending to listen to a particular song when he hears that you are crazy about a particular number. You can try Finetune too. It is also a great site though Pandora seems to have a better collection. Another great music site is Musicovery. It allows you to choose a mood and it plays the songs accordingly. You can choose the time period and the kind of music along with the mood. The song selection is very neat!

Second Life (SL) is a rage on the net. It has 1.5 million users. It has all the attributes of massively multi-player online role playing game (MMPORG) and yet it is not one because of the freedom it allows the residents. You can choose what you want to be on second life. Linden labs manufactures and sells land. You can buy your piece and start your own commercial activity. The 3D world of SL has been created by its residents. There is chaos, competition, creativity, racism and love in this life as well. It has blogs, newspapers, night-clubs, marriages (!!) and everything else that exists in the real life. A lot of companies have opened their stores in second life to reach out the geekier of their consumer set. 20th Century Fox organized a premier for X-men III in second life. Other companies that exist on SL are Addidas-Reebok, BBC, Dell, MTv, Reuters, Sun and Toyota. SL is an indication of what future holds for us. Businesses have another channel to take care of. But the sociological affects of SL would be clear only after sometime. After all, though the world is virtual, the emotions are real! So do check it out!

For the time strapped and the ones not inclined virtually, I would suggest StumbleUpon. It is a tool that helps you stumble upon interesting sites on the net. It is almost like a treasure hunt except for the effort. The content stumbled upon is of exceptionally high quality. If you have any area of interest, you will simply love it.

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