Mitch Wagner - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek
 Mitch Wagner

Profile of Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 1161

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

Articles by Mitch Wagner
posted in February 2007

Something Will Be Lost When Second Life Gets Voice

I have to admit I'm not 100% looking forward to the addition of voice into Second Life. I agree that it's inevitable and will make the service easier to use. But the text-based chat currently in use in Second Life adds to its charm, and, paradoxically, makes the service seem more real.

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Linden Lab Details Plans For Voice In Second Life

The new feature, allowing users of the virtual world to talk to each other, is scheduled to go live around May. It will require complex technology to deliver a unique audio stream to each of the thousands of users who log into the world simultaneously.

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Three Intriguing Web 2.0 Companies: Jellyfish, Ning, And Dandelife

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s fundamentally impossible to predict which Web 2.0 ideas will take over the Internet. That lifts an incredible burden from my shoulders — I used to think it was my job to predict those things. Now I know it’s not my job — and, moreover, it’s an impossible task. So I can just sit back and marvel at the creativity that goes into coming up with various business models. Here’s three we discovered recently, two

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My FABULOUS Second Life

I've discovered that Ziggy Figaro, my alter ego in Second Life, is vain. In Second Life, I spend a good deal of time shopping, fussing over my appearance, and figuring out what to wear. In real life, I devote exactly as much effort on my appearance as I need to, and no more.

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Does Web 2.0 Add To Information Overload?

My efforts to adopt Web 2.0 collaboration tools within InformationWeek last year were thwarted by a very simple question. I suggested we move a lot of the administrative stuff for to the Basecamp project-management tool. But a colleague put up a roadblock by asking, "Mitch, wouldn't that be just another thing I have to remember to check?"

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How I'm Making Enemies In Second Life

I've had two major interviews in Second Life go badly on me, and I'm still trying to figure out why. I handled them exactly as I do my real-life interviews, and I mostly don't have these problems in RL. It's apparent that the rules are different for SL interviews -- but how? And can the needs of RL and SL be reconciled, or should I brace myself for further conflict?

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Using Second Life For Disaster Preparedness Training

2/21/2007 built a realistic simulation of a small town in Second Life, complete with detailed restaurants and a complete hospital. Then they blew the whole village up real good, as well as inflicting pestilence such as a smallpox epidemic, in order to help train emergency personnel in disaster preparedness. View a 16-minute video overview of the tabletop simulation below.

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My Unsuccessful Quest To Replace Microsoft Office For My Mac

It looks like I'm going to be buying Microsoft Office for the Mac after all. I had hoped to avoid it -- not because I'm anti-Microsoft, which I'm not, but rather because I just wanted save the hundreds of dollars that Office costs. However, I was unable to find a suitable substitute among all the alternatives I tried.

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Second Life Kaffeeklatsch Series Gets Off To A Brisk Start

This morning's kickoff kaffeeklatsch in Second Life was a success, with a small but high-quality group gathered to discuss doing business in-world, and drink virtual coffee (as well as a bit of absinthe). Join us Friday morning at 10 a.m. EST (7 a.m. Pacific time) when the suggested topic will be managing growth. People are signing up by the thousands -- can Second Life keep up?

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Join The InformationWeek Group In Second Life

I've gone and created an InformationWeek group in Second Life, so if you're "in-world" (as we happenin' Second Lifers say), join up to be informed about all the exciting things that InformationWeek is doing in Second Life.

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Second Life Crashes My Mac

There are few things more frustrating than getting a new computer and finding out that it might need to go back to the shop right away. My six-day-old Mac runs flawlessly except for one thing: After I've been running Second Life a while, the Mac crashes hard, locks up, and throws up an error message that says it needs to be re-started.

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Using Second Life For Meetings And Collaborations

I admit I was skeptical, at first, about whether it made any sense to hold meetings in Second Life. Getting together a bunch of avatars to discuss real-life business issues seemed to me to be just plain silly. I would have said adding Second Life to a meeting added distractions and brought nothing useful. However, recent conversations with IBM and with an executive at a SL consulting firm have given me some things to think about with regard to the value of meeting in virtual reality.

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Windows To Mac: A Frustrating Transition So Far

My first couple of days as a Mac user, after a quarter-century using Windows and DOS, have been pretty frustrating. But it's not the Mac's fault. When you're used to working on one platform, you get used to doing things a certain way, and it's maddening to go to another platform that has different ways of doing the same things.

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First Impression: Switching From A PC To The Mac

Do I look different to you? More genteel? More elegant? Maybe even taller? I just made the switch from using a PC as my primary machine to using a Mac. As a matter of fact, I've spent more time on the Mac in the last day and a half than I've done in the preceding 24 years of using personal computers.

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A Nation Of European-American Porn Stars And Village People

I've succumbed to the anonymity trend in Second Life, and got myself a second avatar for most of my future explorations. I'll keep using Ziggy Figaro when I'm in there representing InformationWeek, but most of the time I'll just use this other avatar, so I can do what I want, without having to worry about making my employers look bad.

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GrandCentral: One (Telephone) Ring To Rule Them All

GrandCentral is a service which, if it lives up to first impressions, will solve the biggest annoyance of life here in the 21st century. It's a unified messaging system that gives you a single phone number, which rings at least three phones -- your work phone, home phone, and cell phone -- simultaneously, whenever someone calls. GrandCentral also has nifty voicemail-management and call-screening features.

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