Monday, 18 April 2011

Kitely: Virtual clouds over deep troubled waters

When I first read about Kitely I thought, what a great idea but the more I looked into it the less sure I became.

Kitely is an Israeli based start-up company financed out of the pockets of it's founders. They are leveraging the user ID system of Facebook to offer cloud-based virtual worlds to it's members and setting up your region is actually pretty easy once you download a small application from their web site. Then, after you login, you simply click a button and the apps calls up your viewer (assuming you have one installed) and you are into your very own region. No need to download anything. No set-up headaches. It's all done for you and you can start building and inviting friends right away.

At first I was reluctant because I didn't want to join Facebook but, apart from Maria of Hypergrid Business 's glowing report all I seem to read were somewhat negative comments about Kitely, mainly centred on the un-signed application and lack of a published TOS statement. But the apparent cheapness (which is probably not so cheap for any more than light use. See my breakdown further on) and it's ease of setup my curiosity got the better of me and I thought, what the hell I can always delete FB after I try Kitley out. So I went ahead and signed up with FB and visited the Kitely web site to download the application. My Norton firewall blocked it straight away because it was unsigned and deemed too new to risk. I had read about this so let it pass my anti-virus and set itself up. I will be absolutely honest now. It all went like a dream!

Kitely web site


First I clicked to enter Maria's sim and my  Imprudence viewer sprang to life called up by the Kitely application. It logged me in with my real life name and the sim rezzed super-quick. It really was happening faster than I expected for an Opensim world. There I stood fully dressed as my new avatar fit to begin my adventure. I started to walk expecting to waddle like a duck but not a bit of it! The sim downloaded an animation to my Imprudence viewer automatically and I was walking normal - perhaps a bit girly but it was a female walk. I toddled off to look around and rezzed a prim box to check that out - no problem, it was fast and efficient. Good stuff I thought and took back the prim (I don't like to litter in someone else's sim) then went to appearance and messed with my shape some to try that out. Fine,,, Perfect.

So, after a while I thought I should really leave now because here I stood for the first time ever with an avatar that bears my real name. What if someone comes along? Yeah, I thought. I best leave and so I did. I returned to the kitely site after closing my viewer and clicked something to get some credits. It told me my Facebook profile was not up to much since I didn't have a picture of myself and 20 real FB friends so all I got was 10 credits instead of the 50 I might have got otherwise. Anyway, so much for that, I clicked to create a sim and, my word! it was ready in, like, seconds or so it seemed. Up came my viewer and I was logging into my new Kitely sim.

Gaga at Maria's world pretendng to be a real world person


I was really quite excited even though I was now standing in the middle of a vast sea on a tiny island. But it was mine and I had gained it so quick I was just left dumb-struck. I just felt this whole thing was marvelous! So now I thought I would raise some land and try that out before doing a bit of quick building. I raised the land very quickly. It was not sluggish or jerky. Up it came and I smoothed it off but, before I could drop a prim on it, Bang! The viewer closed and that was that. I returned to the Kitely site and tried to re-open it in case I had just crashed but it told me my region had been suspended for lack of credits. Ten don't go far.

Having lost my credits and no way to buy any I thought to look at the Feedback which would be the start of my troubles. I saw a comment mentioning the same problems I had just come up against, lack of credits, no pic, no friends. And yet, the nice Mr Ilan was saying no problem, sorry about that, here is 600 credits so you can go right back and finish your trial. Let me have some of that, I thought! And posted a request. Now, what happens is Kitely uses a system for comments and feedback called "Get Satisfaction". Up came a box, I typed my request and it gave me choices of user ID. Now, with hindsight I should have click Facebook but usually with comment boxes it picks up my Google ID and I am so used to that I clicked to accept Google without really thinking. Big mistake! The damn thing posted my comment in my avatar name - Gaga Gracious!

I realized my mistake immediately and deleted the comment then went into a bit of a panic because I knew I might have connected my avatar name to my Facebook real ID, and so I had because when I checked my Google profile it suddenly showed my home location. I removed that and took my real picture off any profile I had it on in a flurry of activity trying desperately to cover my tracks, and all the while cursing Facebook.

Next I returned to Get Satisfaction to be sure that comment had been deleted and it immediately recognized me as Gaga. So I went off to dig around on the Get Satisfaction site to try an close the account. I got up the profile created for me and found I was due to receive daily emails from them. I clicked that off then thought to myself, this is outrageous! Get satisfaction had taken my Google ID, my email address and created an account with spam emails set on by default. So then I found a comment thread where some 90 people were asking to have their account closed. In fact, you can't close the account, you have to post a request and hope an admin dose it manually for you.

To cut the story short I am pleased to say the nice Mr Ilan got in touch and promised they would make updates to address the problems I encountered. He also said they would work on other ways to access Kitely that didn't involve Facebook so I have to thank Kitely for that and, well, as they said, it's a pre-beta test release and they value the feedback. Perhaps they should have foreseen the kind of problems I faced rather than giving themselves the task of damage limitation addressing these issues after the event answering a host of blog and forum complaints.

I can not fault the Kitely product in itself from what I have seen though. Few times have I ever entered an Opensim world and not experience problems or varying degrees of lag, as well as things taken for granted in SecondLife that just don't work on Opensim worlds but given that Opensim is still officially alpha code we have become use to it's failings while it continues to improve. Kitely manages to deliver a sim in super quick time and it runs very well. However, I don't personally think it will come that cheap if put to regular use on a daily basis. The way it works is that your region is called from the Amazon cloud and activated anytime you or a visitor wishes to access it and then it starts to cost you money. It costs you $0.20 for every user hour which doesn't sound a lot but adds up if you spend as much time as I do in my Opensim region or SecondLife (virtual worlds for people like me are very addictive!). I mean around 30 to 40 hours a week just for me! Even this though is not too bad on my own since it adds up to just $8 at most per week which is $32 a month and yet, if I am just working on content, I can still get a sim connected to OSgrid for as little as $10 a month. So now add a little traffic, say as many user hours again for casual visitors, and the cost has doubled. but, it's still not a lot of people.

Now, lets get serious and try to use a region to run a club or mall. Or maybe a role play game with players dropping in for averages of four hours every day. Multiply that by ten which makes a smallish game and the cost would quickly spiral upward. For example, in SL there is a general practice for role play sims to associate where one will send a raiding party to attack another sim (all done in the spirit of role play of course) and the raided sim returns the raid at a later time. This, typically, can involve as many as ten or more players fighting it out for some time but it may even end up involving captures and return negotiations to free prisoners. You think that doesn't happen? Well, I am involved in role play and I promise it dose, and, what's more, it can get even more involved on busy successful regions.

Charting the costs...
  • Small store or home: 5 users clocking 50 hrs per week = $40 a month.
  • Medium store or venue: 20 users clocking 200 hrs per week = $160 a month.
  • Large store or club/RPG: 40 users clocking 400 hrs per week = $320 a month.
  • Busy large store, club/RPG: 60 users clocking 600 hrs per week = $480 per month.

On the large store figure you are close to the monthly tier charge of  SecondLife  regions but I can't deny the fact that Linden Labs will charge that fee regardless if your sim sits empty or not. With Kitely you pay for what you use and that's it. Moreover, you don't have to find the $1000 setup fee LL charges so it's added value. Of course it could get more expensive than SL which doesn't seem likely but imagine regular spikes in traffic if you are running a music and dance venue. 60, 70 and 80 users, if Kitely can actually handle that sort of load, could start to clock a lot more hours and one would hope you are making serious money from the traffic to make it worth while.

On all the charges down to the Medium store figure you are still going to be better off in one of the established Opensim grids.  InWorldz will charge $75 a month and  Avination, $60. Even  Meta7 at $105 is still cheaper than Kitely on those user numbers and you wont be paying any setup fees in most Opensim grids either so Kitely looses that as a bonus to it's customers. And, in the short term at least, Opensim grids can offer more support since they have established customer services already and considerable content available not to mention established communities and well built sims and venues to visit.

For light use I definately think Kitely can offer a cost effective and valuable service given the speed and ease with which it is delivered. Typically, I think Facebook people might enjoy having the benefit of a virtual home they can fix up to their taste and have friends visit on occasion rather than relying on forums and text-based chat rooms, or even video conferencing, voice and web cam. Being able to walk  about virtually and emote realistic actions such has hugging, kissing and, well yes, even simulated sex too. I am not convinced though the vast majority of people can visualize themselves in the virtual setting let alone having any form of sexual encounter that way, or even manage the learning curve or embrace virtual worlds as anything more than a novelty. SecondLife has been around for near on ten years. It is perhaps the best known virtual world and yet it has never gained the kind of user base that Facebook has in half the time. Even now, SecondLife gets up to 10,000 hits a day on their web site and many do try it briefly so they are getting the people through. My view is that if the masses really wanted to use virtual worlds then SecondLife has been high profile enough for long enough to have attracted them and it hasn't so why should Kitely succeed where Linden Labs have so far failed?

Perhaps the short answer is that Facebook is basically a web site that offers a useful service. It doesn't require a viewer download or present any technical difficulty to the average person. Facebook provides a service to people engaged in real world activity. The vast majority are just that; real-world people happily net-working in that mind set. Now that is not to say some can't or wont try virtual worlds but the fact is the vast majority know about them but haven't bothered to any great extent. Perhaps it all comes down to mind set anyway. The majority want to socialize and make contacts in the real world while a significant number will happily play in challenge-based virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft purely in a gaming mind set just as others will prance about in front of their Kinect or Wii screen at home. In contrast virtual worlds like SecondLife probably only really appeal to people that live in their minds anyway. Call them actors or the true avatars if you like. I don't think the masses could or would ever want to see themselves as anything other than a real person in a real world.

For those real world people who might venture into virtual worlds given the ease of Kitely they probably wont have the intense interest or dedicated a serious user might have but I am sure they might have more modest needs so I guess the cost might not be so bad for them. Perhaps an occasional business meeting or for schools and collages it might be cost-effective too but I don't go with the argument a Kitely sim would be great for content makers to use as a secure workshop since people with that level of knowledge and dedication to virtual worlds are probably already using sim on a stick or have Opensim on their computer to use securely and at no cost at all. For others Opensim is already cheap enough since you can get a hosted region connected to OSgrid for as little as $10 a month and it's always up and can even be a cheap to run showcase for your work or even a store selling your stuff. In any event I think most would rather know what their bill is going to be from one month to the next and, since Kitely charges for time and user numbers, there is no way to be certain what your bill could be but that's not to say it wont appeal to vendors selling clean PG-rated stuff. Kitely, you see, is tied into the user TOS of the registration processes they leverage and, in Facebook, that excludes Adult content. But, lets face it, mature and adult content is a major part of virtual worlds and their trade.

We have seen Kitely has already nailed it's policy position to the mast while not yet producing a full TOS statement. Currently, like Blue Mars that has largely failed, Kitely has banned mature content. On the other hand, SecondLife is more advanced and has market lead including a degree of tolerance for mature content and a huge content base in place. It is already well known Linden Labs has it's eye on the Facebook minions. It would take very little for Linden Labs to upstage Kitely since all they need is a similar plug in to launch the viewer and LL is in a good position to strike while the iron is hot too. SecondLife has existing traffic, a large user group on Facebook and a viewer that has been re-worked (much to the annoyance of the majority of existing residents) to appeal to Facebook people. And, lets face it, what Kitely boils down to is a cloud server farm and a plug in to launch a viewer which still has to be downloaded anyway!

Would Linden Labs serve sims from a cloud? Hell yes, I'm sure they would if the potential revenue generated looked like it was worth it. I mean, how long would it take LL to develop a plug in given their huge financial resources? I doubt for one minute that LL has not taken a look at Kitely's methods and business model. Nor do I think other Opensim hosting business' are blind to Kitely's operation either. SpotOn3D and Sim-OnDemand have been serving sims from a cloud for some time as well.

I think Kitely has a lot of work to do - and learn even - so perhaps I am judging them harshly but I think they are demonstrating a degree of naivety if they think their policy of shutting out mature content and forcing disclosure of identity will work for them. Kitely is another walled garden that just happens to use Facebook member identity and boldly imposes their own values on potential customers. In that sense they have gone one step further than Linden Labs who still allow alias names in place of real names and thereby actively guards people's privacy. Anyone that is aware of the furore generated by the Red Zone controversy in SecondLife will know right away that many people in virtual worlds have more than one alt name and, for the most part, do so for legitimate reasons - often simply differing role play characters. It's actually a common thing in virtual worlds and it's taken as an assault on privacy if anyone attempts to link alts to a single IP address or a real world name.

SecondLife was not built on any notion of social networking. It was built on the art of making virtual content for money that served all comers with both passive and mature content. This included also a lot of escort venues, red light clubs, BDSM, etc, etc, and some seriously aggressive role play thrown in while making it possible to create a degree of realism that made it interesting and enjoyable. That's why there is a viewer called Restrained Life and the Emerald viewer was so successful with it's bouncing boobs feature. A lot of what SecondLife is about is pure unashamed erotic escapism and even Linden Labs has tried to curtail it some after they started letting kids on the main grid and putting feelers out to the FaceBook community but, while it might be making some headway into FaceBook territory, it is loosing people to Opensim grids which, to put it frankly, are leaving SL because they are sick of LL's ever more restrictive Terms & Conditions. That is to say, paying high prices to Linden Labs and being controlled by the perceived values that suit their current business model.

People want freedom. Not to abuse it although a tiny minority always will regardless of your TOS policy. People can have more freedom by running their own server and sims and, with hypergrid, they can still be connected and not isolated behind garden walls paying good money and lip service to someone elses values. This is what Kitely is going to come up against and it wont be limited to that either. They will need content sellers and the best still resist leaving SecondLife while those that have, well, yes, many sell mature content!

Opensim is still not out of alpha and yet Kitely appears to be selling it as beta software fit for use on a par with SecondLife and established Opensim grids, most of which are advancing the software to improve stability. Teleports are, as yet, impossible and so too are border crossings because their apps is forcing a by-pass of the viewer login process which means there is no grid as such, just a collection of standalones called from the Amazon cloud. Presently they demand fall identity disclosure through FaceBook, picture of self and 20 real friends. And they don't allow mature content. Add to all that the possibility of running up a huge bill while your not looking and I have to say I don't think it will work out that well for more than light use. But, in all honesty, it is too early to tell and I think the jury is still out.




26 comments:

  1. frigging outstanding blog post! (not like that gloss over crap Ener does!) =D

    i think your review is very balanced and you stepped through the process in a way that i got a real sense of what it is like from a avatar's point of view

    i will be re-reading this post as it is full of great insight (i hope Ilan reads it because this shows exactly how this appears to avatars)

    gee, i should have tried it, Ilan offered me 4,000 credits! but in doing so, i feel it would have biased me

    i think it's a great idea, but not for how "avatars" want to use it and your time calculations with cost so that this could be really costly for active avatars!

    outstandingly investigated and wonderfully written!!! =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the well thought out analysis. It's nice to see people indicating a "wait and see" stance rather than automatically jumping on a(nother) virtual world technology or just rejecting it outright.

    (Oh, and FYI - "its" is possessive, "it's" = "it is". And "Linden Lab" is singular, no "s" at the end.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Gaga,

    I'm happy you enjoyed Kitely's ease of use and understood that most of the problems you encountered were a result of third-party practices and imposed limitations.

    Our own FAQ (see http://www.kitely.com/#!faq#what-can-i-use-my-virtual-worlds-for) and TOS (in very advanced draft form at this time) permit you to use mature content inside your worlds as long as you restrict people who are not legally allowed to view such content from entering them (see http://www.kitely.com/#!faq#are-kitely-virtual-worlds-family-friendly).

    We have no intention to prohibit anyone from expressing themselves in any way they wish. While our current selection of third-party services may prohibit such activity, the usage limitations currently in place in Kitely will cease to exist once we add alternative login options that do not require real-life identities and do not prohibit mature content.

    Regarding price, you control how many Kitely Credits you pre-buy (if any) in addition to those we give you for free. No bill can ever surprise you, the worst that can happen is that you run out of KC (like how pre-paid mobile phones work in may countries). You can also get real-time reports on how your worlds are being used in the History tab of your Kitely account.

    Heavy usage by multiple people can end up costing you more when you are the one paying for everyone's usage but with Kitely there is no reason why you would have to pay a bill big for providing popular regions. In a couple of months you will have the option to set some of your worlds to require your visitors to cover their own usage costs (out of their own KC balances). It's one of the flexibilities made possible by our pay-for-usage approach. If many people wish to use a particular region they should be willing to pay the $0.20/hour it would cost them to enjoy it. Once we start enabling you to build larger worlds (which is also in our roadmap) you will be able to have a 16 region Kitely world available on powerful hardware for cents a month + $0.20/hour of just your own usage.

    Just some things to consider before you judge Kitely as irrelevant for avatars :-)

    Hi Ener,

    We would still be happy to give you those credits to try out Kitely with no strings attached. We believe in free speech, we won't feel betrayed if you write bad things about our beta service afterwards :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. lol, i'll try not to write bad things but sometimes i can come across as harsh because i think in French and write in English

    what about a world that you don't want to have shut off suddenly? is there a way to do incremental billing, like an automated toll road pass - they charge $25 at a time

    for example, our Enclave Harbour needs to be accessible to students at all times. if our grid was closed for say 8 hours, it would be disastrous for our endeavor. we would rather have a "surprise" bill then to have our world offline

    tracking usage daily could be a pain at times and reminds me of converting Linden dollars. they had no automated way for this and when you collect an average of $120 a day (with peak days being over $500), you have to login several times a day to make conversions =(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Ener,

    As a non-native English speaker I completely understand where you're coming from :-)

    Kitely worlds are accessible at all times, currently from our website but, once we add that functionality, via teleports as well. When someone tries to access a world that is currently offline it is automatically started up so, form a user's perspective, Kitely worlds are always on.

    For most usage scenarios, the only perceivable way this is different from a region that is hosted on an OpenSim instance 24/7 (regardless of whether it is being used) is that entering a Kitely world that is offline can take a bit longer because our system needs to set it up on its own OpenSim instance before its internet address can be transfered to users' viewers. This process currently takes about 30-35 seconds on average and we already know several ways to speed it up.

    While not currently planned, if there is enough market demand, we can add a feature that will keep a world running on an OpenSim instance even when it isn't being used (we'll have to think about how to charge for such resource usage).

    Our roadmap already includes adding an option to enable people to automatically buy more Kitely Credits when their KC balance goes below a predefined threshold. Once we do so, people that chose to use this option won't have to manually buy more KC whenever they run out of them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi iliveisl

    Thank you for all the compliments. You are soooo good to me!

    *hugs the goofy Ener*

    I do think Kitely genuinely wants to provide the best service they can so I finished on the note "I think the jury is still out" because in all fairness to Ilan he has tried to answer concerns in the face of some really quite cutting remarks. All Kudos to him for handling the feedback with patience and respect. He has shown a willingness to listen, be flexible and address the problems raised.

    BTW, I hope Ilan still gives you the credits because you deserve them. Maybe he will give me some too when I get the opportunity to use my choice of name *grins*

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Ron!

    You should have seen my spelling and grammar when I first used the Internet in the late 90s!

    The Internet educated me believe it or not. Well, perhaps it shows *laughs*

    I think Kitely has a great product and I really did want to write a balanced report. Thanks for confirming.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Ilan

    Yes, I did point out in the article I had the choice to select my Google ID or Facebook when using the comments box so I do, with hindsight, take some blame for what went wrong but, in fairness, I think it is too easy to make those kind of mistakes when you are eager to try a product. Perhaps a Kitely forum which you can get for free and set up on your own web site would be a better choice for feedback. Simple Machines is good but there are many others.

    I'm glad you opened up some to allow mature content. I think that is a wise move that will be appreciated.

    Being able to get up-to-date accounting history is definitely needed so people are not left in the dark and facing any nasty surprises so I am glad that is being addressed too. The possibility of running up a heavy bill did hit me as a worrying thought and certainly something I am sure many would think about so allowing sim owners to make their regions optional paid or unpaid will settle some doubts. The more people have control over their regions and services the better for sure.

    SecondLife has fostered a culture of freebie expectation with free memberships and I think there are many people that take full advantage of it and do kind of expect freebie content too. Certainly a lot seek it out and hardly ever spend anything. I have lost count of the times people have IMed me in-world asking for money even. That said, I also think stores and Malls would probably not want to charge people to visit them in the hope they are going to paying customers. There is also competition for traffic obviously and this will play on owner's minds when deciding their own policy. It's hard to know really since people are used to entering regions in SL and OS grids free of charge but having the option to make people pay their own way dose strike me as useful.

    Anyway, I promise you I am not judging Kitely as irrelevant for avatars but I am asking some of the questions I think need to be asked and what is important is that you are responsive and I think you have demonstrated that you are. You do need time to develop Kitely and that is why we must wait and see. Linden Labs has been developing SecondLife for close to 10 years in fits and starts and I have to say they have not always listened to the community very well. In fact, plenty would say they never listen at all. SecondLife and Opensim grids are teaming with highly creative people who are also passionate and opinionated. Once a topic hits the grape vine it spreads like the plague and developers ignore it at their peril. Two or three years ago SecondLife was riding high with growing traffic and, generally, a supportive community but then they seemed to loose their way starting, probably, with the Open Spaces fiasco. A lot of people felt cheated and Linden Labs reputation took a dive and, in my view, they have done little of value to recover. They could have implemented mesh years ago but still it is just a promise while viewer 2 they pushed ahead with because they figured they needed it to court Facebook. Well, that met with almost universal rejection and has had to be imposed like it or not. For many, me included, that is just another nail in SecondLife's coffin.

    More and more people are turning to Opensim because it seems to be going places and it offers more freedom. It's growing as SecondLife stagnates. Kitely has chosen Opensim as their platform and with that choice you will attract people fleeing the sinking ship. I am not even sure Opensim is developed enough for them but how you deliver it, and the services you provide, will decide if Kitely will become a major player. The Facebook registration should have been an option and not an only choice but you are addressing that and telling us you are listening and want to do more so I have high hopes.

    I do wish you every success Ilan.

    Gaga

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think the pay-to-visit option would be particularly useful for service-oriented regions. For example, if you're holding a sales seminar, you could ask people to pay, say, $50 each to attend and have Kitely handle all the billing issues.

    Or you could have the virtual equivalent of a "cover charge" for a hot club. Or charge to attend a virtual music performance, or a fundraiser event for a school, non profit, or political party. Or you could have a book club, say, where members pay a small fee to attend so that the cost isn't all on the host.

    It probably wouldn't make much sense for a store to charge admission. But an art gallery or museum could.

    -- Maria

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Gaga,

    Thank you for your willingness to give us time to prove ourselves. That is really all we are asking for. We are listening to the community and, though it won't happen immediately, we will make sure that what we provide addresses people's needs.

    ... and we'll be happy to give you some free Kitely Credits as well once you feel ready to go back to using our service :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Maria

    I think what Ilan meant was that sim owners will be able to set their region to paid or un-paid, meaning you just don't get any of their presence showing on your bill. I doubt there is meant to be any rake off for the sim owner. Ilan can correct that if it's wrong.

    But a an option to impose a door charge that gets credited to your account could certainly work for the events you suggest, Maria.

    It's a good idea actually.

    Gaga

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'll hold you to that, Ilan *grins*

    Actually, I look forward to returning. I have some unfinished building to do.

    Gaga

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Maria, Gaga,

    There are actually two different kinds of pay-for-access scenarios:

    In the first scenario a visitor to a world covers his or her own usage cost (1 KC/minute) so that the World Manager doesn't have to. This means that a popular world that is never visited by its World Manager would cost that World Manager just 1 KC/day for storage (equivalent to $0.10/month) because all the thousands of avatar hours would be paid for directly by the people visiting the world.

    In the second scenario a World Manager sets a price to access his or her virtual world, either as a per-minute tariff or a single ticket for a predefined period of time.

    We intend to support both scenarios. The first one in a couple of months and the second one, which entails possible taxation issues, once we are big enough to handle all the bureaucracy it would entail.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Ener,

    As a non-native English speaker myself I completely understand how certain thoughts don't carry the same emotional intent when translated into English :-)

    All your Kitely worlds are always accessible to the people you grant access to (just you, everyone, or a group of people of your choice). An inactive world is automatically loaded into its own dedicated OpenSim instance when people press its "Enter World" button (this will eventually work when people teleport from inside their viewers as well). For most usage scenarios this is indistinguishable from having a world that is always on (apart from the slightly longer loading period it entails).

    While you will initially be limited to buying Kitely Credits in advance, we plan to eventually add the option to automatically buy more Kitely Credits once your balance falls below a certain threshold.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Try sim on a stick. You don't have to worry about facebook scammers that way: http://www.simonastick.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kitely takes grave security demands serious >
    What version of OpenSim will Kitely use to host my virtual worlds?
    http://getsatisfaction.com/kitely/topics/what_version_of_opensim_will_kitely_use_to_host_my_virtual_worlds

    ReplyDelete
  17. i hope Ron does not come correct my writings! i rarely use caps (it's Bauhaus style which in the early 1900's did not use capital letters - hey a contraction and a possessive "s" in one phrase!) =D

    thanks Ann on the mention of sin-on-a-stick, err, i mean sim! =D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great review. I logged in with my avatar FB profile so didn't have the real life name issue. I did crash as SOON as I started trying to build (retexture). I didn't even look in to the costs. I was still googly eyed from the newness.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi terrilynn

    Thanks for letting us know your experience. I never got as far as building/texturing so, when I finally go back with a name of choice I will see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  20. hi Ann

    I have yet to try sin-on-a-stick (I love that one! *laughs*) but I will get round to it. ATM I am kind of sold on Aurora sin which I am following avidly. I am working on a new post for that as it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Get ready for 0.7.1 for sim on a stick http://iliveisl.com/get-ready-for-0-7-1-for-sim-on-a-stick/

    OpenSim 0.7.1 released
    http://iliveisl.com/opensim-0-7-1-released/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kitely's terms of service now permit people to use pseudonyms and create worlds that include mature content.

    Please see our blog post about these changes for additional information: http://blog.kitely.com/2011/04/29/terms-of-service/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very welcomed Ilan. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been hesitant on Kitely because of the Facebook connection as I'm not a huge fan of it either. However I do have a Google and FB with my av name so I'll be mindful of what you've mentioned in terms of the av having the name of the FB persona. Good insightful review.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just wanted to clear up some slight inaccuracies - nothing major mind you and an excellent and pretty fair and balanced blogging Gaga! Ty!
    GAGA SAID:
    "I actually know very little about SpotON3d other than they have something going with the Phoenix viewer developers which I noted don't offer any other grid addresses in their grid list besides Second Life and SpotOn3D."

    SpotON3D has a partnership with the Phoenix Viewer folks as part of their platform security and to ensure that those who need a V1 experience will have that option through SpotON3D's platform.

    Why? For one, SL is an ultimate sexy, edgy creator's sandbox and community with a great bunch of users to help test it and push it to it limits. But, as one knows, this can mean volatile management decisions affecting functionality and pricing.

    In comparison, SpotON3D is a production platform designed to be as stable and secure as possible and meet Web 2.0 standards and better. set out iin Web 2.0 , with a floating economy and marketplace that can be extended to most other compatible platforms, The goals is to create the foundation for Web Worlds, with Universal Registration, Avatars and Inventory and the ability to legally replicate inventories to trusted grids via SpotON3D's Double Dutch Delivery system (http://spotonsynergy.com)

    These are ambitious goals that they've been working towards for about 18 months and require a very stable and production level functional and security that closely matches Web 2.0 goals. One of the ways they do this is to limit access to unapproved clients.

    What I do know is that they run a large proprietary grid and host other grids too. They have their own vendor system and deliveries can be made to any grid on their servers but not outside their network.

    ReplyDelete