There can be only one

claymore sword, Highlander by wiki

Miso and I had a short discussion in Twitter (shortened here) when Miso asked a question I think people should ponder:

Miso: – Do you love virtual worlds? I mean LOVE them? Or would you rather see progress ruined because it’s not from “your” team?

Miso: – I am for ALL grids – the more the merrier. I’ve stated so often in many places, my blog among them. I hate myopic people.

Mera –  “There can be only one”

Mera: – “Eventually all the grids must do battle until there is only one left. The last one standing will receive the Prize.”

Miso: – I disagree. That is monoculture thinking and is both unhealthy and unwise. I think long-term, not quarterly profit bumps.

Mera: – I agree but that is how some ppl seem to think =))

misosusanowa: – Evolution will take care of them for me :)

David & Goliath – Second Life vs Kitely, iwz or AVN?

Miso: – Just like it took care of IBM, the monolith, the One & Only… who is now a name owned by a Chinese company.

Mera: – Nokia… and Apple? I too believe in evolution so i dont get emo in this discussion about grids. Let the best man* win (*read grids)

Miso: – lol exactly; Apple lost the desktop market because of lock-in; barely recovered & won’t rule for long when the garden opens.


The costumers will decide in the end, despite how much you love your grid. Linden Lab needs to remember the tale about David & Goliath and dont just sit laid back and relax til someone throws a stone in their head. Some says there is only room for one big closed commercial grid, i dont know? Atm I feel curious about Kitely I must admit. In the beginning of March they will have alternative log ins, not only via facebook, so I might start to explore that grid more closely – stay tuned!

The comments makes this blog post, read them!

Better quality here:

quotes (tweaked) from Highlander


41 Comments to “There can be only one”

  1. I think there is plenty of room for many grids to exist and flourish. I like most grids. There are a couple that I will never log into and won’t promote because I have researched the background and business tactics of the founders of those grids and I do not trust them and so I watch and almost at every move they prove my point for me that they can’t be trusted.

    On the other hand I have grown to really trust some more than I ever thought I would. I used to see OSGrid as a place that was “messy”. I didn’t avoid it because of a bad reputation or anything. I just knew they were a test grid and so I avoided it. But I’m there now and it is my grid of choice to play on because it suits my needs. Many people have the need to feel the security of a closed grid. I really trust InWorldz in that category because they have proven themselves to me. They don’t have a background of being part of other grids that scam people or shut down suddenly.

    I do not think people should enter any virtual world grid blindly. I know too many people who got screwed when they put their time, effort and money into a grid just to have it close down without a word of warning and leave them hanging. Don’t just research the background of the grid. Research the background of the founders as well. Their character will speak volumes.

    People should explore what their needs are and then find the grid that suits them . Some may only want to be on a PG rated grid. Some may need a role playing grid. Some may need to be on an educational grid.

    So the debate will go on. And it is my hope that the honest grids grow and that the others fade away.

  2. Saying there can be only one grid is like saying there could be only one Website.

    Sure, before the Web, you could argue AOL vs. Compuserve and say that eventually, one of them will win. Or any other closed community — Facebook vs. MySpace, for example. The key word here is closed.

    How many times can one person create a new identity, anyway? You’ve got your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your LinkedIn business contacts — but at a certain point, you’ll get burned out, community-wise. My line in the sand was Google plus — too much effort, not enough payback.

    So, with closed grids, eventually people will get tired of creating avatars. I’ve got my Second Life avatar. My avatar on my company grid. An avatar on my home “play” grid. An avatar on Kitely. An avatar on OSGrid. I’m sick of creating new avatars. Getting them clothes. Importing my skin and hair. Making new friends and landmarks. It’s too much work.

    But on the hypergrid, that doesn’t matter. If a grid has something cool, I can teleport over and check it out. I typically travel with my company avatar. I go to see what Linda Kellie is doing on OSGrid. Look at the cool European architecture on GermanGrid. Practice my French on FrancoGrid. Visit the virtual English-language teaching village on VirtYou (so cute!). Visit the freebie stores on Lost Paradise and FleepGrid.

    Just as there are millions of websites out there, offering everything under the sun, some super cool, some lame, some just crazy, so I expect to see millions of grids. Each one with its own little unique thing to offer. A corporate or school campus for meeting and education. A community gathering place for a particular group. Shopping. Museums. Role playing. Dating. And a ton of other activities and experiences we haven’t thought of yet.

    A handful will be closed, “premium” grids where you have to create a new avatar to be a member. Many will be private, behind corporate or school firewalls, the 3D equivalent of “intranet” sites, safe and secure. All the rest will be on the hypergrid, vying for the attention of the public.

  3. Maria; “Saying there can be only one grid is like saying there could be only one Website.” Hahahahh u nailed it :O)
    Thanks for your comment, brilliant description of the Hypergrid. This is why I feel so rich in OsGrid, I have access to all these grids and destinations. And I agree I also fee worn out when it comes to creating new avies. Last time I did a new one was in Nova cos i was curios about aurora. I only have avie on SL, inWorldz and OsGrid (as Nova is gone now).

    Next avie will probably be in Kitely but im very reluctant about creating new avies. Cos of the reasons you mentions i avoid it if possibe. It´s nothing I lightly do. But when i do it I have enormous help from Linda Kellie who provides me with wonderful skins and clothes and rescues me from a poor noob look =))

  4. Maria certainly does nail it and there can only be one metaverse in my book and that will be an open market to all once vendors have a little more security and the walled garden grid operators realize that opening up to the hypergrid can only benefit their residents and generate more business. I am certain it is just a matter of time and once it takes a hold everything else will pale before it.

    • Gaga; I hope so too, and I agree that walled gardens will hopefully just be a bad memory one day. I dont like being stuck in one grid. If someone solves the security issue for creators.

      • Mera —

        Some grids are already filtering OAR exports (so that, say, only full-perm items can be saved). And some grids are filtering hypergrid exports, so that their content can’t leave the grid — but people can come in and visit (this option is available in the latest OpenSim release).

        I’d like to see another hypergrid control added — that only full-perm items can leave a grid. That way, grid owners can give away freebies to visitors (T-shirts with the grid logo on them! Promotional baseball caps!) but creators that don’t want to see their stuff travel, can simply sell it with without full perms.

        And folks who want to be able to take their content to other grids can pay extra for full-perms.

        Personally, I believe creators should not penalize good customer for giving them money and allow reasonable things like personal backups, or being able to relocate to another grid without having to buy everything from scratch. But a full-perm filter would put the control in the hands of the creators — if they want, they can sell full perms. If they don’t, they don’t have to.

        And grid owners who want unique content just for their grid — role playing equipment and costumes, for example — can guarantee that it stays local.

        Any grid that controls its own servers, filters OAR exports and hypergrid access, would then be secure for content creators. Well, as secure as you can get.

        Folks who run their own standalones and minigrids will still be able to do whatever they want with the content on their land by accessing their databases or giving themselves God powers — but they won’t be able to bring any content in, in the first place, unless the original creators allow.

        I believe Kitely will be implementing something similar once they enable hypergrid. I expect most commercial grids to be doing the same, or something similar.

        • Maria; thanks for the input. That is amazing! I didnt realise they had come so far…. “feeling daft”

        • I would also like to see it where only full perm items can cross through the hypergrid. That would sure make it more likely for grids to open their gates and allow HG.

          I would love to have more worlds to explore without having to create new avatars. (although I am an expert at creating alts now lol)

  5. Oh yes Maria. I absolutely agree, Opensim devs should consider a 4th perm for export and put the decision in the hands of the vendors. The OutwardBounds permission in the hands of the grid operator is too limited as a blanket control. Let vendors decide if their goods leave a grid. Absolutely!

    • Gaga —

      The problem with a fourth perm is incompatibility with Second Life — especially given their new TPV policy! Many people use the same viewer for both SL and OpenSim, to avoid having to switch interfaces all the time. I, for example, now use SL v3 everywhere — I have two shortcuts on my desktop, one for SL, and one for my company OpenSim grid. With a new perm option, I wouldn’t be able to use the SL viewers.

      And the user base of OpenSim is still really tiny compared to the SL user base. If viewer developers had to choose one or the other, I don’t know if they’d choose OpenSim!

      Using “full perms” to allow travel would allow compatibility with all existing viewers — the only changes would be on the server side. Individual grid owners would be able to choose whether to have all objects travel, no objects travel, or just the full-perm objects to travel, and creators would go to the grid whose policies were most in line with their own.

      • @ Maria

        The Export-Flag perm system would have no effect on the SL Viewer or Client experience and falls outside of what the TPV Policy change incorporates. Is you happened to be using a viewer that supported Export-Flagging in SL, that “flag” simply would have no effect. This does not affect what LL Client Viewer see’s, does or how it interacts with the other viewers on grid.

        I strongly recommend you review What Henri Beauchamps summarized in regards to the LL Policy and the impact it has on his development of Cool Viewer which can be found here in his forums:

        • Thanks for comment whitestar, this is exciting news! I read that link from Henri B and he seems to be a sensible person. Cool as his viewer =)

        • So some notes of optimism, there! Another possible source of optimism is the new contributors agreement in OpenSim which will — hopefully — allow viewer devs and OpenSim devs to work more closely together.

          So far, fixes that required synchronized action on both the viewer and server sides haven’t gone too well (such as fixing the 4096 bug).

          Meanwhile, some viewers do already support OpenSim-friendly fuctionality such as grid selection at startup.

          A fourth perm setting would allow commercial grid owners to set all existing content, by default, to “no export”, and allow creators to deliberately choose the content they would allow to travel.

          And a fourth perm setting would also be great for Second Life, if they ever decided to allow hypergrid travel and OAR exports — like commercial grids, they could set all existing content to “no export” by default, thus ensuring that nothing would be exported that the original creators didn’t intend to.

  6. Really nice work, Mera! And I’m so with you on this. Evolution happens. hehe, it’s what seemd to make like surive. If SL doesn’t survive, then that’s because of a lot of bad decision. But I think the new team is making a lot of good decisions. I’ve visited a couple other grids and there wasn’t enough “there” there for me. But i’m all for the folks trying to make a better grid.

  7. @Mera
    Yes, Henri is one to not speculate or propagate hyperbole. He is indeed a pretty sensible, level headed person and presents his view clearly. I have been following some of the discussions and it’s really amazing, even to the point of pure comical relief at how things get interpreted and converted into statement of facts based on assumptions, postulations and theories.

    Things will evolve and change… I hope to see OpenSim truly kick into the mode that SecondLife(tm) is simply to be viewed as a baseline to maintain compatibility with but to expand upon and continue to innovate & enhance for the users experience. There are so many good things in OpenSim already, such as LightShare(tm), extended scripting via OSSL (and notice that many requests for new features in SL-LSL are almost identical to OSSL functions ?) It should be noted and even highlighted that none of the OpenSim extras that we are looking to have supported by viewers would be in contravention of the new LL Policy on TPV’s as they do not impact inter-viewer operability or functionality nor would have any deleterious effects on SL Grid proper. These extras are simply un-available features/functions on SL. Ideally, SL should continue to view OpenSim as an “Idea Sandbox & Incubator” (as was suggested to them ages ago by their consulting team) and take from that as indicators as to what others are doing and what is feasible…

    Based on some general observations from some ongoing forum & blog postings ,I feel, that this current TPV policy is being leveraged by the “few” as a way to “purify” the TPV’s to be either SL only or OpenSim only which is counter productive and possibly feeding certain possible side agenda’s. It would be a genuine shame if such things transpired as it would be a loss to all the users in general terms.

    • white; Yes he is and I like that a lot. Level headed and cool, thats a relief after all flame wars, chaos and hysteria in the blogsphere and forums. That left me feeling uneasy cos I dont like when feelings gets carried away. That creates drama and prevents us from thinking logically. Thanks for explaining more, so even a non techie like me understands <3

      I so wish LL would listen to your suggestion to use OpenSim as an idea sandbox.
      Lets hope people will come to their senses (LL too!) and this will have a happy ending :)

  8. Mera :
    I so wish LL would listen to your suggestion to use OpenSim as an idea sandbox.

    Well I would like to take credit for that suggestion, I had nothing to do with it… Rather, the IBM folks are the ones who proposed it to them ages ago as an excellent source of ideas & concepts which could be explored to the benefit of SL as SL development had gone stale at that time.

    Although IBM did take OpenSim technologies & what they gleaned from their work with SL to produce Sametime-3D which is a commercial offering in their Lotus Family, as it turned out to be an excellent idea incubator & sandbox for them.

    • Yes but still, someone has to remind them and that person could be you. This was long time ago. New border, CEO and new people over all, they dont remember. So this time they might listen (i know i sound naive! :)
      We need to have hope until our last breath =)

  9. As usual, Mera, you are much more articulate & classy than myself. Linked this post to mine.

  10. Each grid brings it’s own flavour. I for one am loving InWorldz therefore it suits me down to a tee. Some love OSgrid and others SL, AVN based on their preferences. It’s all good.

    For me it’s about having an enjoyable, fun and jolly experience in my virtual life.

  11. As I have said in many comments and articles, the virtual world community is much larger than any subset of grids. And growing. In the long run, promoting any virtual world promotes them all. That doesn’t mean we can’t have competition, but I don’t like it when someone publicly talks-down another grid. Promote your favorite. Say what makes it great. Even compare it to the others, but there’s not a lot of reason to be critical of others. The problem is, one bad grid, one failure, and it reflects poorly on the whole industry of alternative grids. Look at the negative effect the Emerald mess had on TPVs.

    I think TPVs are a good example of the same thing. Promote your favorite. Point out what it has that others don’t. But don’t be throwing mud on the others.

    This whole thing reminds me of the browser battle in the mid-90s. The *whole* industry was a tiny fraction of what it is today, and yet they were fighting over different 20% chunk of that smaller piece. Opera battling Mosiac/Netscape… etc. Where are they now? Grow the industry, and you will grow your product, even if the percentage declines. And stay innovative.

  12. I should also point out that “walled garden” grid only means “protecting content creators until a viable alternative exists”. It doesn’t mean forever. Even HyperGrid developers like Melanie recognize it’s not nearly ready for production use in a commercial environment with real stores: “I do promote the secure Hypergrid; Avination is not a walled garden by choice. However, to keep the work of our creators safe, we can’t, with the curent state of HG security, safely enable hypergridding in Avination. Rest assured that, once it can be done without inviting wholesale permission exploits, it will come to Avination.”

    I feel that one day, all grids will be connected, including InWorldz and Second Life. But also bear in mind that HyperGrid is *a* hypergrid, not THE protocol that connects them all. When that day comes, whatever is used will need to have the protocol properly documented and peer-reviewed. HyperGrid is not. Some new specification will need to be created. Some of the HyperGrid specifications will probably be incorporated. But it is unlikely to be HyperGrid in it’s current or incremental forms. And we will all rejoice that we can travel from OSGrid to InWorldz to Second Life and back. But we don’t have that technology yet.

  13. To be honest, the whole content- and creator- protection thing is getting annoying tho. Don’t yell at me, I’m a creator from way back! I just think the whole thing needs a shift in paradigm. What would happen if grids shared an inventory via an agency that did only one thing – asset servers? I know, it’s a leap, but there are possibilities present. I just think people need to stop thinking about assets and inventories in the same old way they have for so long. People need to zoom their cams out a bit.

    • ELQ —

      The current technology already supports this. For example, you can create a grid that is a giant virtual closet for people. You can have server-side scripting in place for additional functionality — so, say, folks can get previews of the stuff they own as they look through it, better tools for organizing it, etc… You’d travel to other grids to visit them, but you’d keep coming back to your virtual closet grid for managing your stuff — and this would be a great opportunity for the virtual closet owners to sell you more stuff, or to upgrade the stuff you already have.

      I’d be surprised if there wasn’t someone already out there doing something like this.

      Think of Hotmail providing free email boxes in the early days of the Internet. Before that, you had your email with your ISP, and if you switched Internet service providers, you’d lose your email address — and would have to figure out how to bring your address book and old emails over. (How many people still pay for their AOL accounts so as not to lose their email address?)

      The virtual closet grid would also be in a good position to monitor your shopping behavior and what kind of stuff you like and don’t like. Ka ching! (But also, yikes!)

      • This is exactly my point. The technology is already there, just nobody working on the closet. I’ve talked about this for years – the problem is getting the re-write of the viewers, and the changes in the grids. People just seem to rather disagree and argue over things than find a simple solution working together.

    • This could be a really funny RL/VR parody if we place this scenario in RL =)) Think about if you travel and when u arrive u only have your underpants on and you have to go shopping asap rofl

  14. Eros; that is a healthy view regarding different grids :)

    Jim; Exactly, we all benefits if we work together. The netscape/explorer war was similar and such war dont give anyone any benefits. inWorldz is a good example of a grid who shares their innovations, Tranq is generous with what he accomplishes. And i know the necessity of walled gardens I just hope we find a solution soon so we can visit each other easier without creating a new avie all the time :)

    ELQ; I agree!

    Maria; oh yes that is a great idea and I agree, im sure someone is working on that idea already. In this case RL is a lot easier when it comes to travel. I just pack my bag of clothes and take the train. Think about if we had to shop for new clothes everytime we had to leave town :)) As you said, Hotmail is a good example. I want a virtual closet grid! *yay* Even if they monitor that i like to wear a tail :]

  15. thank God there’s only one Ener! =)

    very nice post and it made me be introspective

    *hey! is that lint in my belly button?*

    • Only one Ener is NOT ENOUGH! We need a Ener on every grid <3

      Though i lost you regarding this belly button issue I have to admit. Lint in your belly button?? /me having a blonde moment :O)

  16. @ELQ

    No, nobody’s working on’s a shame really, this is where cloud technology could really shine, too.

    I agree with this, ELQ. I have thought for a long time that cloud computing could be used to provide asset services to the Metaverse which might take some of the security issues away from individual servers and simulators allowing content to be safely distributed. Might also make it easier to set up a simulator too if it is per-configured to negotiate with the cloud and avoid the need to set up MySQL in the limited hardware environment of your server. Cloud will always scale up on demand.


    I think Ener meant “Glint” as in glitter. Or, a glint in the eye. Something shinny like a belly piercing maybe. Of course Ener is French so she might mean something else altogether – she don’t even start her paragraphs with a capital letter you know!

    *zips her mouth and grins*

    • gaga & Ener; lol! I was roaming my dictionary for “lint” and it had a meaning but i couldnt make sense of it. So I felt daft. Typos are hilarious (if it was a typo?) =))

  17. LMAO @ you guys…@Mera, look up “Navel Lint” and you’ll find the description she was referring to. @Gaga, yes, I believe serving portable content from the cloud as well as other assets could make some very interesting changes to the Metaverse. Any grid would still need their own asset servers, of course, but only for inworld assets. Inventories, which are portable, would actually BE portable, with all creator permissions intact, I might add.

  18. I might also add that altho nobody has announced or mentioned working on an external inventory server system, it doesn’t mean NOBODY is working on it. I do know of at least one grid that’s begun using NoSQL, which COULD suggest that a certain someone is working on this type of solution.

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