Archive for the ‘Communities’ Category

Inventing for the Internet the Early Years

June 24, 2010

Inventing for the Internet

Over on the Inventor Blog, I have just posted on Inventing for the Internet – the Early Years. Below is a brief synopsis but please see the post for the examples.

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Here is a look at inventing for the Internet written in 2005 looking back over the ten year period from 1995 up to 2005. In general, the focus was on making new use of the medium:

  1. People can interact to make content not just view content
  2. People can communicate with each other
  3. A computer mediates to enforce rules of a game or environment
  4. Production and distribution of virtual objects are free

Other inventive focus was the relation between story and game play. Sometimes a story would suggest game play but usually a relevant story was created for a given game play.

Here are the comments about inventing features for the Internet in the early years. Many of these ideas would have relevance being redone in today’s social media aware world – because we were socially aware in the past but perhaps did not quite have the platforms and sharing systems worked out.

Inventions for 2005 – 2010 will be the focus of the next posting.

Enjoy – Dan Zen – Full Post

Snipisode – Agency Zen Launches First Facebook Status Story Telling Application

February 26, 2010
Snipisode Facebook Status Storytelling App

Snipisode - Facebook Status Storytelling Application

Snipisode lets you schedule status posts as episodes of a story or feature – Snipisodes!

There are status schedulers out there but they are quite tedious to use.  Snipisode lets you type or paste in a whole story and then with a click of a button snip up the story either by line or by periods (? and ! too).  Then you choose a time either daily or every two days and that’s it!

The story will unfold on your status line.  People can click the Full Story link by the status to see all your status posts for the story including comments on one page.

A live Snipisode Post

Snips and schedules!

Here is a YouTube video showing the process in action.  So come on in and try it out!  Please let us know what you think.

Agency Zen has also created The Party and Stick Aliens for facebook.

Party Application on Facebook - see your friends

Stick Aliens on facebook

Group Games Presents Nano Race! on facebook

May 14, 2008

facebook Group Games - Nano Race Group Games is a new concept that in a sense hacks the facebook groups to create games where the leaders are those with the most group members or pictures or wall posts of a certain type, etc. Here is a link to the Group Game group on facebook. Note, that anybody can make a group game and it does not require coding. If you are interested, please consider adding it to the group game page and be part of the collective.

Nano Race! Is the first group game where you join one of the groups that are working towards being shrunk to nano size to gain great speed, strength and riches. How exactly that works is up to the players to role play. The group with the most explorers is winning the race!

The game hearkens back to early Dan Zen social networking games of Blimp Race and Shrink Ray. Please see the post on Social Networking, Social Media and Social Gaming.

The groups are pictured below but do not link through to the game. It is best if you join the overall game group for nano race by clicking the Join Group link at right. Then pick one of the groups by clicking the link to the group and then JOINING the colony group. Then invite friends and write on walls to role play the game.

  1. Join the nano race group
  2. Join the colony group of your choice
  3. Invite friends to join your colony group
  4. Write on the walls to role play the game

Have fun!

Tapoll – Now You Choose Which Polls Go On the Front Page!

April 20, 2008

Tapoll - Put your Poll on Front

Tapoll is the site where you get to predict a poll as you vote. Now, you can decide on which polls go on the front page. That is, until someone else decides on a different poll.

Visit Tapoll the Predict-a-poll site

To view polls you can choose a poll topic at left, choose the latest 20 polls, or see all topics. Once you choose a poll, you can predict and vote on the poll. Just above the poll is a link that says front. Click this link and confirm that you want the poll on the front and it will be placed on the front page of Tapoll.

See the YouTube video showing a brief demonstration of Tapoll

Have fun!

Hip Cats Social Networking Site Makes Top Google Spot 7 Years Later…

November 26, 2007

Hip Cats Social Networking Site

Finally made the top Google page for Hip Cat and Hip Cats. I spent years fuming over being ousted by the likes of Cat Hip Displasia Injuries ;-). Try out the link and please click on Hip Cats!

Google Hip Cat Search Results

Hip Cats was and is a social networking site that was started in 2000. It allowed you to create a persona, make a friends list of people you wanted to hang out with, rate other hip cats, date them, see their favorite music, movies, and books – all connected to Amazon affiliate. You could message other hip cats and view them in different Hip Cat genres like beatnik psychedelia, goth, urban, surf and their words would get translated – good would become groovy, etc. There is a buzz section where users can post reviews, events and creative writing as well as custom moods to view Hip Cats through.

It was a very early dynamic html (DHTML) site that featured updates to certain parts of the page without loading the hole page – which is what AJAX is used for and all this Web 2.0. It was cross platform and still works today which is pretty amazing considering it is a thousand lines of JavaScript, and another five thousand lines of Perl.

The site is self modifying where hip cats that are rated poorly drop off the scene – their data is mailed to the creator.

In the first few months, thousands of Hip Cats were created, top ten Hip Cats messages were sent out to people, and friendships were made. I tried to get other companies or groups to take Hip Cat scenes. There is a SHIFT magazine scene but it went out of business. There is a Beatnik Museum scene but I do not think they added the link. I almost got Austin Powers to take it but it turned out that they thought I wanted to pay for advertising. So it was all very frustrating not to be able to get people to take a free scene and populate it with their fans. It had so much potential.

Comments are like the Beach…

June 5, 2007

CommentRight comment care tool

For many content creators, like Bloggers, money means nothing – all it takes is a few nice comments and they get all charged up to make another post or feature, etc. I know that when I wonder if it is all worth it, I take a look at the thousands of comments on the Dan Zen garden and they tell me, I’ve made a difference. On the blogs however, I seldom get a comment – and if I do, it is spam. This has prompted the making of a tool that will let visitors know that their comments are greatly appreciated. So please, if you have a blog, consider using CommentRight.

CommentRight comment care tool

CommentRight lets you select from a series of image prompts that you would like to tell your visitors with respect to leaving comments. Once you have selected, you can get the image code to paste into your blog post. Because it is just an image tag, it can be used anywhere such as in WordPress, Blogger or MySpace. The image tag will show a different one of your selected images each time.

CommentRight is free and easy – please let others know and please click on any CommentRight banner in this post to leave a comment as to what you think about CommentRight. It would be a helpful indication that CommentRight works. The C in a box to the right of the banner links through to the CommentRight site.

CommentRight comment care tool

Nodism Blog Launched – the Philosophy of Meta

March 20, 2007

Nodism Blog

Just launched Nodism.org a blog that acts as an interface into a Nodism Wiki.  Nodism is a philosophy that helps us explore concepts of meta and hierarchy – generational thought, etc.

Many logical people have been modelling life now in computer gaming, etc. and their way of doing so has converged to Object Oriented Programming (OOP).  And in our information age, there has become a standard way to represent and share information, that is XML.

Both OOP and XML rely heavily on hierarchies – nodes.  And so do we all every time we organize, group, categorize, etc.  So what have we learned and can we learn that would apply to earlier philosophies from food chain to set theory.

Please, if you are interested in such matters – which you will see encompass many exciting aspects of life such as invention, time, energy, nature, god, infinity, logic, feedback, recursion, etc. – please visit Nodism.org and write something!!!!

Add your name to the Nodist Colony!  Learn to use a Wiki – they are amazing – and so, so useful for organizing anything!

Mad Inventor Reveals Chatnap

March 10, 2006

Chatnap instant messenger chat game

Chatnap is the Instant Messenger chat game where you challenge friends who have left their instant messenger on but are gone!

http://www.chatnap.com

You use Chatnap to create a URL that you paste into a friend’s instant messenger window. If the friend clicks the URL within five minutes they win a point and you lose a point. If they do not click within five minutes then they have been caught chat napping and they lose a point and you win a point.

Sign in under START then under CHALLENGE you can create a friends list and challenge your friends. Under SCORE you can see your score and your friends’ scores. Even sign up for an RSS feed to keep track of whenever they score or lose a point.

Have fun!

Predict-A-Poll Predicting and Voting at Once

December 9, 2005

Predict-A-Poll is a poll portal and tool where you can predict polls as you vote in them. You can create your own polls that will show on the portal. If you want, you can post the polls on your Blog or Website. You can also make private polls.

The results show the predictions and the actuals so you can see if you are predictable and if you are good at predicting! Results are also graphed and analyzed.

Polls are organized by keywords and display context sensitive merchandise using a cool little mini mall from Chitika. Click the link under the mall if you are interested in putting a mini-mall on your site. Send the link to a friend if you think they would be interested.

WannaGet – Collecting Game for Collectors

December 9, 2005

WannaGet is the collecting game for a collection of collectors ;-). And it is designed specifically for content creators – like site owners and Bloggers – to offer their viewers something fun.

You can collect items in a number of topics (like Harry Potter, Narnia, James Bond) and as more providers create sites, there will be more items to collect. You get points for collecting – click to read the rules and play!

Spy-mail – Secret Message Service

December 9, 2005

Quite an interesting game, Spy-mail lets you send messages to people and if you do not protect the message or forget to protect the message, then other players can spy on it.

Even before we launched Spy-mail, we sent a Spy-mail message to the president of GameSpy, the very large multi-user gaming site who happened to have the URL spymail.com. We made them a branded site and asked if they would be interested in using it. After a while, we spied on the topic and sure enough, there was a message from another employee back to the president that was unprotected. We got to read the initial message from the president saying “what do you think about this…” then “well, we already have our upcoming gaming network mail…”

Do a spy on Agent Dan Zen and you will find a number of interesting uses of Spy-mail.

Given the right codes, Spy-mail also acts as a full fledged Web-mail account – not bad for a few months of partial programming.

Zen Motto – Philosophical Focus

December 9, 2005

Zen Motto is an attempt to pierce the physical world. One of the most viewed yet empty spaces in our society is the border around the computer monitor. Zen Motto is set up so that you can print a motivational motto and tape it on your monitor.

You can use an existing motto or submit your own. The mottos are two words which often leads to multiple interpretations in a Zen sense. Almost 3% of the views have led to a printing. Perhaps you should try it!

Zen Motto also showcases the Flash grid component for sortable tabular data. It makes use of a full e-mail publishing system where people’s mottos are submitted, an e-mail is sent to the editor who can accept, modify or decline at which point the motto is processed and may show up on the site.

Blimp Race III – Viral Marketing Game

December 9, 2005

One of Dan Zen’s most successful game was Blimp Races. In the first race, people created their own blimps and then e-mailed friends to join their blimps. The blimp with the most people is winning the race. The first race had about 700 people all having fun and cursing other blimps in the forums.

Six degrees of separation were explored as who people invited and where they came from were displayed. In the second race, two years later, it really exploded when invites went into silicon valley and reached out to India, Hawaii, the Netherlands, etc.

The third race two years later was more difficult as distrust in e-mail had grown to a maximum. People were being overwhelmed by spam and just not in the mood to click links in e-mail. This situation may have gotten better with spam filters and it might be worth a try to hold race four.

The race was almost sold and set to run on the large Bell/Sympatico portal but a change in management and a reduction of original content resulted in a no go.

Save Earth – Sci-fi Pattern Matching Game

December 9, 2005

Save Earth is a massively complex game with a simple pattern matching skill game at its core. The story and the data tracking however are quite extensive.

The site is set in 2020 and features some loosely projected technologies. We probably will not have screens or perhaps even text by then so the predictions are not particularly serious.

There is a part 2 of the game for when the over one million patterns are mapped and the invisible sphere surrounding Earth is shattered. It looks like we are about 11% of the way there but there certainly have been some dedicated pilots with several flying hundreds of times and tagging thousands of patterns!

Shrink Ray – Viral Marketing Game

December 9, 2005

Shrink Ray came at the dawn of Web mail and was a very interesting viral marketing game.

You arrived at the first screen asking you to fill in some information to play. If you did, you got shrunk! As you were shrinking you had time to e-mail your friends and tell them how to avoid the trap in which you were caught – in this case, your message would tell them to not fill anything in – only press submit.

Soon, people started passing the first test, and they were taken to a barnacle registry page with six panels. The panels were set up to register barnacles – barnacles are Dan Zen’s helpers. Each step of the way, if the player did things out of order or chose the wrong option, they would be shrunk and would have the last minute opportunity to send a message to friends telling them not to do what they had just done.

All the shrunken people got to talk in a bottle which ended up with over 3,000 posts. Click the link for more of the story and some screen shots although the site is no longer active.

Hip Cats – Beatnik, Psychedelic, Goth, Surf, Urban, Cyberpunk

December 9, 2005

Hip Cats was originally going to be a work of artificial intelligence called e-male. E-male was an idea floating around for some time. It would let you construct a person with various visual components and characteristics.

In the end, the community and creative writing aspects were deemed more important than the visual aspects so default visual people were used. Also, the name e-male left out a gender.

As Dan Zen explored the modifications of characteristics, it became interesting to see various translations of the same text into different moods or genres of speech. Playing with the slang or vernacular of various movements an idea was born. Why not let what the people are saying be translated into Beatnik, Psychedelia, Goth, Urban, Cyberpunk, Surf, etc.

In general these were all fairly hip environments and miraculously, http://www.hipcats.com was not taken.

To avoid excessive download the new technology of DHTML was used to only load the text that changed as questions were asked and answers given. This technology is a combination of iframes, layers and JavaScript which each browser handled differently leading to 1,200 lines of different code for each.

Perl is used for the backend to keep track of logins, question and answer creations, mood translations, ratings, who hangs out with whom, who dates whom, messages, purchases, personal translation moods, various buzz postings in multiple categories, Hip Cat Top Ten letters, different templates, etc.

Translations and linguistics were extensively researched along with histories, music, books and films of the genres. These works can be purchased through an affiliation with Amazon.

Of the thousands of Hip Cats, there are indeed some very interesting ones but also very many lame ones some of which have dropped off the scene as they are rated more than five times with less than a fifty percent average.

If you would like to have a Hip Cat Scene (templated) then please look up our ambassador, Sador Ambas.

Blimp Race II – Viral Marketing Game

December 9, 2005

One of Dan Zen’s most successful game was Blimp Races. In the first race, people created their own blimps and then e-mailed friends to join their blimps. The blimp with the most people is winning the race. The first race had about 700 people all having fun and cursing other blimps in the forums.

Six degrees of separation were explored as who people invited and where they came from were displayed. In the second race, two years later, it really exploded when invites went into silicon valley and reached out to India, Hawaii, the Netherlands, etc.

The third race two years later was more difficult as distrust in e-mail had grown to a maximum. People were being overwhelmed by spam and just not in the mood to click links in e-mail. This situation may have gotten better with spam filters and it might be worth a try to hold race four.

The race was almost sold and set to run on the large Bell/Sympatico portal but a change in management and a reduction of original content resulted in a no go.


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