Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

As many of you know, I've been spending most of my free time in World of Warcraft. We started the guild on September 3 and the guild is now 67 accounts and 109 players big. I've hit level 60 which is currently the maximum level for the game. My sister pointed out to me that most people really aren't that interested in the details of what goes on inside these games, but I thought I'd give you a short update.

It turns out that although it's quite a struggle to get to level 60, it's really just the beginning when you get to this maximum level. After that, there are several tiers of better equipment that you need to get in order to be tough enough to do the more difficult quests. Each item you need requires doing quests with groups of trusted friends. One of the difficulties at this level is that the groups of trusted friends you need to complete quest increases from five, to ten to twenty to forty. To do a forty person raid, you either need a very large guild or alliances with other guilds. I find myself spending a great deal of time networking with other guilds and players to try to put together the dream team while trying to grow our own guild. One of the tensions in growing a guild is that on the one hand, you want a small, friendly and social guild. On the other hand, you want a guild with enough diversity and number of high level players to go on quests together. We are slowing running into the growing pains of any growing community. However, like the #joiito community, which seems to have hit a stable size and culture, I'm confident that our guild will be fine considering the quality of core people we have.

I'm going to stop talking about Warcraft too much on my main blog. If you are interested, I suggest visiting Jonkichi's blog where he will be talking about his adventures. (Jonkichi is my character in WoW.) For other interesting blogs, I would suggest Kazpah's blog and Bastiana's blog.

I'm off today to attend the 39th annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii. I will be giving a keynote at the conference. Not sure how my connectivity will be but hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures or something.

I did a postcast with Tim Pritlove at the 22C3 meeting. He had an incredible podcast setup which I think I'm going to try to copy exactly. He's been doing radio for years and it shows. He's uploaded the podcast. Most people who read this blog won't find much new stuff in the interview, but it's on Tim's site. It starts with a German intro, but the interview is in English. I should say that it was a slip when I said that "my teachers in High School were mediocre" when I was talking about one of my incentives for using the Internet. I should have said, "some of my teachers were mediocre". ;-)

If you speak German, I suggest checking out the Chaosradio Podcast series.

By

Currently in rural southern Ireland and unable to connect to my Gmail account.

Problem could be Gmail server overload with so many people on holiday or it could be the slow dial-up connection.

It has been interesting, however, to see how I quickly turned to my blog as a form of communication to reach the outside world.

As someone who is a relatively recent convert to blogging, it reminds me of the adage that once you go digital, you never return to analog.

Having been a sceptic about blogs, I am now a convert. This is a new medium of communication that will be integrated into our lives over time.

In that vein, the BBC had an interesting piece on Digital Citizens.

Exciting to watching the emergence of digital socialization!

Videopodcasting seems an obvious candidate to take off in the next 12 months, but any thoughts on what other new aspects of digital socialization will emerge in 2006?

I just returned from Berlin on LH710. LH710 is one of the long-haul Asian flights that is supposed to have the new Boeing wifi connection. I took an early flight to Frankfurt so I would have time to use broadband in the lounge. I arrived in the lounge with several hours before my flight and I found a lounge full of very frustrated businesspeople unable to log into the wifi network. The landing page wasn't even showing up. The customers were irate, but the staff in the lounge just sort of shrugged. (I'm not blaming them...) I was able to find the Vodaphone hotline. It was "conveniently" a German toll-free number which didn't work from my mobile phone. I borrowed the phone at the reception and called. After about 10 minutes of waiting and 15 minutes of convincing the first tier support guy that it wasn't a problem with my computer, (He kept saying that English language Macintoshes had problems sometimes) I was connected to the next tier guy. He was much friendlier and he explained that Frankfurt sucked for them because they had to go through the airport network once and it often caused problems. He said he'd try to figure out the problem and call me back. Two hours later, there was no call and I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms. However, I knew I would have broadband on the plane so I was able to bear it. I read a newspaper.

The plane was practically empty since it was new years eve. I anxiously waited for the plane to it cruising altitude. As soon as the fasten seatbelt sign went off, I had my computer plugged in and started searching for the connection. I couldn't find it. I asked a flight attendant about it. She said that the plane wasn't equipped. HUH? There was a USB port and an ethernet and instructions on connecting in the seat pocket. In the past I've connected from LH710. I was in shock. What was I going to do for the next 10 hours? I did email, watched a movie and slept.

As we were landing, the flight attendant came and asked me if I enjoyed the flight and if I had any feedback on their service. I just stared at her. It reminded me of the one-line joke: "Other than that Ms. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" Looking at the happy face of the flight attendant, I realized that non-addicts probably couldn't imagine my frustration. I also reflected on how one year ago wifi on a plane was still a dream for me. I thought about how much progress had been made in the last year. I also reflected on how addiction and obsession will never be satiated.