APLINK, a.k.a. Andrew Peters has just had an important call from the Australian High Commission and in the background are “frog like” obscene sounds emanating from my MacBook. How hard to keep a straight face and be serious with my homeland officials. These are the sounds emanating from the gogofrog websites homepage.
During the “State of Play” Virtual Conference I had the opportunity to hand my very last very badly mangled Pacific West Communications business card to the Founder of gogofrog, whilst I blushed with embarrassment, in true Aussie style he withdraw his own business card from his wallet and swiftly screwed it up…unfolded it and handed it to me with a “she’ll be right MATE” Rapturous laughter erupted and along with his business partner, Lorenzo from Japan, the gogofrog story began to unfold.
Due to Singapore’s stringent censorship laws I am unable to repeat that which was discussed with a beer in our hands beside the Pan Pacific’s swimming pool so instead I later sent Vincent an email to get his view on Virtual Worlds and how gogofrog will emerge over the months to come… To my knowledge the gogofrog Virtual World is the only one which does NOT require a MASSIVE download or separate login process to enter the 3D world, just point your browser at gogofrog and with a few clicks of the mouse you’re in.
The Interview – The gogofrog emerging Story – itsReal & itSeriously itsFun & itsFree
That within three years :
gogofrog is recognised as the pre-eminent browser based 3D internet service provider to the broader global business and consumer market.
That the Gogofrog Hub (the independently Gogofrog controlled and linked central Virtual Space that links to the millions of global user defined virtual spaces) is operating as the centre for all commerce to these Users and their avatar visitors.
That the global Flash developer community (exceeding 1 million active Flash Developers) are actively engaged in an open content development economy across the broader Gogofrog Metaverse.
That Adobe, as developers of Flash, are active supporters of Gogofrog as it provides a global medium for their development community to practice and engage in commerce using Adobes products and additionally through this introduces a massive global internet user community, to the power and capability of Adobe products.
2- What is the social vision for gogofrog
The challenge which Gogofrog has been working on to date and has now successfully overcome, is the development of a browser based Metaverse concept. If you think about it, any social and especially and business focussed virtual world be that Gogofrog or Secondlife, ultimately needs to be browser based. A social space that can’t be used from work is a big problem and a business focussed virtual world that can’t be accessed from work is simply unusuable. Why? Because the vast majority of business computers around the planet will not allow people to download executable software. Thus unless the metaverse is browser based it simply will not be a useable proposition. Let’s face it, the Myspaces of this world work as social spaces because people can and do link in through work.
Think how relatively hard it is to get your friends much less new visitors and potential friends, to meet you in a virtual space, if the first thing they have to do is one, wait until they get home from work, then download a whole lot of software and signup to be a member… it isn’t a realistic proposition in the ‘real world’ much less in the instant gratification of the online world. Accordingly the central premise to all virtual worlds ultimate success has to be them becoming browser based.
Our social vision and development efforts has been governed above all else on making Gogofrog a browser based virtual world our number 1 priotity. To be a truly open social space it needs to be. Having achieved that we can now look at the following to take our social vision further.
- Building both an economy and open content development platform that will allow visitors to both build and trade in their content and enable an almost unbelievable ramp up of the overall immersiveness of our current naive virtual environment and avatars. Bottom line here is that our focus to date has been on the engine and now we are moving forward on the economy and content with some very powerful and influential partners (sorry could tell you but then I would have to kill you, stay tuned for further announcements) as well as looking to tap directly into the million Plus global Flash developer community. We have a small handful of developers helping us with our current content (which is more about proof of concept)… imagine when we add a potential million more developers and the underlying economy to enable them to trade on their expertise within our spaces.
- Concurrently we are building out the functionality available to users and their avatar visitors. Let’s face it in the Gogofrog world people can play socially in 2 ways. They can connect socially in The Hub (which is our central virtual space that connects to all user spaces) or they can build their own closed virtual spaces where they can create their very own and indeed if they want ‘invite only’ social networking space. So you can have a school group or group of friends or business colleagues or sporting associates, meeting in their very own virtual space without other and potententially unwanted avatars/visitors wondering into their virtual space.
- To take this User defined social virtual world further we have developed and are currently testing all new avatar communication mechanisms. Avatar to avatar voice and webcam (seperate or joint) communication. We have it working already so testing is what we are doing now and it is all still fully browser based… no dowloads at all. What this spells is a whole new realm for virtual world communication and very much a change in the whole paradigm of the social restrictions and constraints of the existing virtual worlds. Let’s face it, it is hard for someone to pretend to be a 18 year old girl when a click on that avatar allows both voice and visual verification of who that person is in real time. These functions will be User defined of course… so what it means is that people will be able to freely see and interact in Gogofrog social spaces largely as they do in the real world and not in any way have to worry about pretadory or antisocial behaviour within virtual spaces. We are about making the virtual world as close to reality as possible. We go by the tag line Gogofrog: Advanced Social Networking and that’s what we are delivering.
3- What industries would benefit most from gogofrog
Any industry that is could benefit from a virtual showroom or a virtual meeting room that they want to link to their current 2D webspace or for that matter any company at all that wants to put a toe into the world of virtual spaces but without the drawbacks of software based virtual spaces and without the drawbacks of significant entry costs for real estate or content. For that matter any brave company with a very savvy client demographic could shift their whole web presence to Gogofrog as we do have a 3d to 2d switch that enables visitors/avatars to instantly flick to html 2d representation of the companies web space, if the whole virtual space concept is too much for them.
4- Which countries are gogofrog targeting and why ?
Asia markets without a doubt. Currently Gogofrog is available in English and Japanese and expect many more dropdowns in the language boxes. But Asia is the focus because at the end of the day half the world’s population are here and they are all pretty internet savvy. US is important but bottom line is Asia as the big target.
5- The avatars appear to be quite basic is there plans to enhance
Ohh yeah… coming at you real soon along with the announcements on content development partners. However that said, don’t forget that browser based still is the the central focus and keeping it real in so much as voice and webcam commiunication. At the end of the day current avatars in other worlds are very gamey. We will be sticking to a diet of real… so expect your face on your avatar rather than a cartoon representation.
6- What is gogofrog‘s revenue model
STG (Sell To Google) no seriously that is the long term strategy… no seriously, the revenue mode is based around building Gogofrog‘s overall economy and the trade of content there-in. Announcements due in the not to distant and expect that you will go “ahh yeah that makes sense” when you and others see the economy model we are building and launching.
7- Virtual Recruitment is becoming a growing market in SL could this be an application within gogofrog
Already possible and already being done. www.tra-group.com is a regional IT recruitment services company. If you look on their contact page you will see at the bottom…’virtual meeting room’. I have it on good authority (I am the CEO ;)) that they undertake a few interviews for interstate and international candidtes in there. Beats the high cost of video conferencing and they are looking forward to the webcam and voice avatar release to make it even more real.
8- Is Voice being considered for Gogofrog
Yep… voice and webcam are not only being considered but built and done and being tested, it should be in beta in the avatar communities in the not too distant real future… and virtual one too.
much thanks to Vincent Teubler – ceo & founder – gogofrog (pictured below)
and Lorenzo Lorefice – gogofrog