A v a t a r s 9 8
ECI's Avatars98 Report
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Electronic Cafe International's Avatars98 Report

[The Electronic Cafe International in Santa Monica is the original cyberphysical multipoint electronic cafe, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year]

TFrom:kit@ecafe.com (Kit Galloway/ECI)
Subject: A good time was had by ECI & LAVUG

Bruce and friends, Kit here,

Just to let you know, all of us here at Electronic Cafe International had a great time during Avatar'98, and loved being a part of it!

Dave, Carole, Pascal, Leonard, Mitch, and others from the LA-VUG (Now: "3-D On the Web SIG"), made it possible for ECI to host a great day, and participate as an important regional centerpiece for multi-world experiences for Avatar'98.

Pascal ran, and hosted, the Colony City & CyberTown activities from here -- and feeding them the live video & audio webcasting from ECI. We also had a presence in the Palace -- Mark Jeffrey, VP Biz Development, Electric Communities was here to.

Seth had a blast -- he keep us heads-up on the activities in ActiveWorld and monitored the chats.

Mandee Tatum dropped in, having seen we were listed as a site, and she had a great time -- and was glad to have finally made it to an ECI event. Too bad she had to go before the after-hours party got started.

We were switching between worlds, and world-types, and displaying them on the multitudes of in-house displays, and feeding all that to the webcast -- including the in-house "real people" shenanigans here at ECI.

ECI's JAVA-based, live video & audio webcasting was perfect for this kind of cultural ritual -- no need for people to go get a plug-in! We have been supported by Graham Technologies Solutions for a long time now, so I'm sorry that John and Matt were away and missed it. The ability to open the webcast in the ActiveWorld HTML window worked FANTASTIC!! Creating a wonderful hybrid. In fact, during the event, one of the principal people from ActiveWorld was so impressed that he expressed a strong interest in
finding out more about the technology. I hope this will bode well for GTS, ActiveWorld, and ECI in regards to further collaborations. People in ActiveWorld seeing the webcast from Colony City jumper over, and visa versa. Facilitating an unique aspect of spontaneous cross migration between platforms, and experiences that I hope was central to the spirit of the Avatar'98 concept.

I must say that the After-Avatar'98 Party at the Electronic Cafe/LAVUG ActiveWorld site was a gas!!!

Lots of avatars showed up, our live webcast heightened and augmented the experience of attendees by providing a stream of mondo exotica mambo fever music, as avatars lined up to do the "Fire Walk." With some assistance from Dave, and a little tutelage from Seth, I, as a total novice, built the Electronic Cafe/LAVUG ActiveWorld site the night before -- while not completed, nor fully wired up with links and amenities, it worked great, and was a fun gathering space for the post-event party.

By virtue of our live video & audio output, and with your webcam transmission from your home site, we could see each other -- creating another unique kluge nothing short of a two-way (and two-way to many), video link between us. Even though it was, as you declared, a rather Rube Goldberg approach to interoperability, it was nevertheless a nice augmentation.

Apart from webcasting, it would be interesting to have a wall of webcam monitors displaying the images of participants in a multi-site conference, with avatars in attendance. I would be inclined to augment that with a conventional audioconference between the participants. That would be interesting, and I would propose doing that at the ECI ActiveWorld site.

For the future, Sherrie an I would be delighted if any participation, contributions of effort, and/or any ActiveWorld promotion, that could be marshalled by you, Seth, Alan Lundell, John Graham, and Mandee Tatum towards Electronic Cafe International's 10TH Annual, New Year's Eve, Around-The-World *TELEBRATION*.

This will be the 10th year since ECI has been producing global cyber telecollaborations for our New Year's Eve, Around-The-World *TELEBRATION.* Perhaps the longest established ritual exploring the potentials of a cross-cultural, telecollaborative march towards the next Century. While others may be producing their first, second, or perhaps third, and while some enterprises may be more prominently represented, ECI has, as usual, forged the trail.

So, enough for now,

Thanks again for a great event!

Warmest regards,

Happy Thanksgiving,

-Kit Galloway, CoFounder, Electronic Cafe International - Santa Monica
-Hi from Sherrie

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