Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I guess there's something about online games and the Year of the Rooster. I just remembered that the first post of this blog is a link to an article that Howard Rheingold wrote about my addiction to Multi-User Dungeons (MUD) back in 1993 in Wired Magazine. (The post is dated the publish date of the magazine article, not the date the post was written. This post dates back to before my blog when I organized various links on my web site.) Groundhog Day! It's 2005 and I'm doing the same thing. Eek.

I remember that trying to get onto the MUD server at Essex University was what got me to learn X.25. (A little more than KDD wanted people to know.) It was the people who I met on the MUD that got me an account on the University computer where I was first able to access APRANet. I learned more about computers from other players in MUD than anywhere else during my high school days.

I wonder what I'm learning playing World of Warcraft...

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Yesterday Marko brought me a Nokia 8800. I wrote about this phone when it came out. It has special meaning for me because the sounds were designed by my friend Ryuichi Sakamoto. I'm also proud to have introduced Marko and Nokia to Ryuichi. I had read the reviews, but after playing with the phone I'm extremely excited by how cool it is.

The design is beautiful and the attention to detail is stunning. Everything from the black box with the steel clasp that it comes in to the pulsating blue light at the base of the charging dock to the extra battery and extra battery charger on the dock to the polished steel makes it feel very special. I think it has something to do with the steel, but it doesn't have that cheap plastic feel that most mobile phones have. When you slide the phone open, it is a metal on metal sound/feel, which is a "real" version of the metallic "schwing" sound that some of the Sony phones play when you open them. It's also just the right weight and size for my taste.

Ryuichi did a great job with the sounds and makes this the first phone where I actually enjoy listening to the various ring tones. Congratulations to everyone involved. Excellent job. The only problem is that it doesn't sync with my Mac and doesn't have UMTS so I can't use it in Japan... but when I'm in any country where I can use GSM I'll be using this phone.

Kevin Marks
20 million served

Technorati passed 20 million blogs today. The 20 millionth was Les CE2/CM2 Anquetil, a blog from an elementary school in Reims, France, in the heart of Champagne country. They started the blog to celebrate running 2 miles in a Relay Marathon.

That's a lot of blogs. I wouldn't say "20 million can't be wrong" (because history tells us otherwise) but blogging is clearly more of a trend now than a "fad".

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Thanks to Philip and Beth, I've purchased a plot of land in Second Life next to the MAKE plot (secondlife://Crescent/13/99) for #joiito members to hang out. (Nice neighborhood.) Feel free to drop by and mess around. You can join the #joiito group by searching for #joiito or "joi" in groups. The land is also listed. The SL URL for the plot is: secondlife://Crescent/29/86

Posted by Thomas Crampton

Tech editor of the International Herald Tribune seems open to publishing a column of blog-generated ideas.

I need topics of interest our newspaper's readers (wealthy global audience of frequent travelers with diverse interests in politics, economic and culture).

Conversations on this blog that might work have included my postings on Global Sociology of Online Shopping or Joi's post on ideas for new inflight software.

Input welcome on:

Layout - should it be in blog-style or reworked into a newspaper format. I tend to prefer reworking it, but my editor liked the idea of experimenting with a new formatting that might resemble an online chat.

Topics - Ideas for topics that would get the best response and interest our readers. I prefer things that are less about tech-issues than about ideas that may relate to technology.

Writing form - should it be written from a blog or could it be compiled on a wiki-style platform? This would require me to lay out the format and ask for people to help filling it in, but if someone has some appropriate social software platform, it might be fun to test the concept.

Online communities - A futher thought on the above concept is that it may be fun to involve specific online communities in writing guest columns. This would mean asking for the communities - friendster, asmallworld, openbc or another one. The idea would best to use a community with a particular purpose or outlook rather than a generic one. That would allow us to explore how these communities are different. Anyone senior enough at one of these communities should feel free to get in touch.