Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

A large percentage of World of Warcraft players appear to be men, but there are quite few people who play female characters. The gender issue has always been interesting to me, but an episode a few nights ago was a special highlight. Jason started a new character and decided to pick a female character. I asked him why and he said that considering the number of hours he would be sitting there looking at his character, that maybe it would be more fun to have a female character. Jason, Sean and I grouped up and went on a quest. I noted to Jason that his character was pretty cute. As we jogged across the countryside, I noticed that she also had a nice bounce to her walk. In WoW you can type /flirt and your character will say flirty things and make flirty body motions to the target. I started flirting with Jason's character. Then something hit Jason. He suddenly said, "oh man, that's SO wrong..."

On the other hand, there is a very cute Gnome Warlock that I often quest with. I flirt with her too, but the guy who plays that character seems to enjoy the role playing.

I think that people's relationship to their online character is really interesting. It's clearly not the same for everyone. I'm on a normal server, but I'm sure that it's more interesting on the role playing servers. Has anyone studied this academically?

U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses.

U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses. The bodies were positioned to face Mecca and burned -- an act of desecration that violates Islamic burial rites and the Geneva Conventions. A U.S. PsyOps specialist broadcast an inflammatory message to the nearby town in order to incite an attack. "Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."

The video aired last night in Australia, but hasn't surfaced yet in the U.S. It won't be long, though.. "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one, fucking straight death metal."

I'm just re-blogging this in case you haven't seen it yet. I don't have much to add at this point.

If the last link doesn't work, try copy/pasting the URL into the browser.

At EuroOSCON, Microsoft announced new software licenses including some variations that may meet the Open Source Initiative (OSI) Open Source Definition. This is great news. Most of the OSI board members are at EuroOSCON (unfortunately, I'm in LA and missed EuroOSCON) and I hope they have some good meetings with the Microsoft folks. I look forward to seeing their licenses submitted to OSI license-discuss so that OSI and the community can give them feedback on the licenses.

See Tim O'Reilly and Danese Cooper's blog posts for more information.

Posted by Thomas Crampton

Got an early exclusive look at a fascinating survey by ACNielsen about online shopping worldwide.

The study of 21,000 web users in 38 countries, to be made public later today, found that online shopping habits vary radically by country.

The US is way behind Europe in the amount of online shopping (ranking 11 worldwide), perhaps because mall shopping is so much easier than shopping in a European city. This encourages Europeans to shop online.

What people purchase online is very different country-by-country. In South Korea one third of online shoppers purchase nutritional/cosmetic goods, while the global average is just 10 percent.

Payment for online shopping - not surprisingly - are dominated by credit card (visa) and bank transfer globally.

BUT cash on delivery is the second most popular way to pay for purchases in Europe!

I was surprised by Europe's cash on delivery preference, but affirmed it last night at a dinner in Paris. French people at the supper said they do not trust the web so prefer to see the goods before paying. They also said their lack of trust makes them very reluctant to use eBay!

Similar to cellphones, the technology of online shopping may be uniform, but the way in which people interact with it varies by country.

Anyone come across other differences of usage of an identical platforms?

I'll be speaking at USC tomorrow.

Can you tell we're in LA?

Speaker: Joi Ito
Time: Wednesday, October 19, 6-8pm
Location: USC's Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC), Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)
3131 South Figueroa Blvd./2nd Floor

UPDATE: The image above wasn't created by the folks at USC. It was discovered on hard disk. Does anyone know the source? We want to give proper attribution for this (cough) artwork.

UPDATE 2: Gene is the creator of the mashup.

UPDATE 3: The talk will be streaming in a few minutes. You need Windows Media Player 9. Here is the URL Join the AIM chat room imd