Whether you are Del Rey or Jazzy Jeff, Summertime means something. Whether you’re on your private yacht in the med or sweating on the Victoria Line, I’ve got a little something for you. Because I’ve selected some stupidly funny and downright ridick news stories that we’ve enjoyed in A Week in Metacrun.ch across the year so far. Join me in your hopeful disdain for everything metaverse.
How It Started
I'm not going to sit on the fence. I'm going to tell you that I'm not a massive fan of Meta. Everybody knows I'm not a massive fan of Meta. However, my eyebrows lifted above their digital filter anchors when I read about Horizon Worlds, which is the company's variant of the metaverse. Turns out, those employees are not so enamoured by it either. This is very troubling, isn't it? Horizon Worlds, which is the main Meta, er, verse has got 300,000 monthly users, though not too shabby, it’s a C-minus (try Avakin Life). But a new report suggests that it's not taking off just the way that Meta wanted it to and it's proving to be a bitter pill for its own employees who are being chastised for not spending enough time there. Imagine going to work and getting torn a new one because you’re not spending enough time in a Metaverse that you're creating. Here’s the definition of dogfooding for anyone who wants to know: “Eating your own dog food or "dogfooding" is the practice of using one's own products or services. This can be a way for an organisation to test its products in real-world usage using product management techniques. Hence dogfooding can act as quality control, and eventually a kind of testimonial advertising.” A memo happened on September 30, which required managers to make their teams use Horizon Worlds at least once a week once a week. My take on this is one of pity more than scorn. At the end of the day, I think that your mum's gonna love Meta, but the regular dudes on the street who are serious about spending time inside the metaverse working, living creating, UGC, all of that kind of good stuff? Meta presents nothing more than a fun distraction or a place where you meet your mum. This reminds me a little bit of when I was trying to do my god-daughter’s homework, whilst watching Newgrounds or YouTube. Someone has, however, tried to spend 24 hours inside the metaverse meeting people and her experience mostly revolved around people attending comedy clubs and meeting children who are breaking Meta’s Terms of Service to be inside Horizon Worlds in the first place. And that’s your testimonial. No dogfooding required.
Hey, remember when that guy was in that judiciary hearing or meeting and he accidentally put a cat filter on his zoom and then couldn't get it off? And he was panicking like crazy on the call? Well guess what? Now this is a thing. It literally comes as a standard on Teams Premium (whatever that is) and I gotta be honest with you - this is why we can’t have nice things like the metaverse. I just don't know how serious you can take people with their stupid cartoony moon faces when you try and have a conversation either with the local judge or discussing, you know, an entire firing process for a startup company where the CEO is only going to cry about the fact that he couldn't do more. Like the crying CEO this is also just a load of crap, from a company who see themselves as being at the forefront of technology. Yeah, technology for my mum.
What a Halloween treat for my eyes! My old boss and Decentraland have teamed up for a virtual Ozzfest. Wow! You read that right. Ozzy Osbourne is bringing his cryptobatz concept to the depths of the metaverse by curating a mega concert for the world of rock. In case the last 6 months have passed you by, I created, with Dimoso and Lockwood Publishing, a wonderful listening party experience in Avakin Life for supergroup Dead Daisies (who became the Meta Daisies) back in June which saw over a million visitors to the experience. If that’s so, imagine how big Ozzfest is gonna be for rockers worldwide? Not only that, if you’re a cryptobatz owner (9,666 were minted, of course!) you will get VIP viewing access and wearables for your avatar which kind of beats the sunburn souvenir I got when I was at Milton Keynes Bowl watching the last ever Pantera set. In all seriousness, we’re not getting any younger, and rock gods can attest to their own mortal coil. If they’re not already doing the 27 Club then they are definitely growing old disgracefully. Fortunately for us that means a metaverse near you. Crazy Train or not, the Prince of Darkness is quite evidently stepping into the light.
Dude, Where’s My NFT?
I went out on a huge night out in Cambridge with my game dev team a few years ago and one of my colleagues, whose house I crashed at that night, woke up the next day to realise that he had bought a $4000 Alienware gaming laptop.
Beeple, who holds the record for the most amount of money paid for an NFT artwork. Recently, he has decided to break out into the world of sensible people by creating something that, hold your pearls, actually has a modicum of utility. The Render Network has just raised $30 million in a funding round (a familiar figure this week) to develop, with Beeple’s, their/his very own Immersive 3D NFTs. Participants including the Solana Foundation, and Alameda Research want to develop their decentralised peer-to-peer network that allows users to tap into remote rendering power from anywhere for anything web3. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. To me, that seems a little bit like hype. Can we afford Beeple? Because I know that my colleague could not afford that Alienware laptop and defaulted on his rent for two months straight. The Golden Hind pub quiz was never the same again after that night.
Art should be for everybody. That’s the point I’m making and if it's only for rich people, I’m not interested. An NFT pastiche worth millions can only afford to sit on the wall of the rich folks, or dare I say it gathering dust in a museum paid for by the taxpayer (that’s us). Shouldn't we be helping young people to be educated in the ways of art, accessing and developing their minds towards the beauty of a discipline that few of us are able to touch. We should be helping the future, not forcing the future to conform to our ideals.
How It’s Going
I promise that 2023 is not going to be a year of kicking Meta when it's down. But let’s be really honest: Meta had a terrible 2022, financially and in the press, it has suffered greatly as a brand. I can't pinpoint just one case of suffering. I think it’s fairly obvious to everybody. What I think is important is that Meta still has something that is really important: TECHNOLOGY. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it. $10bn getting wiped off your valuation doesn’t detract from 20 years of tech from platform, to ads to data, to AI and VR. Don’t be silly billies, think like business people. Meta is a mine of knowledge, not a person, but a hive of thousands. Though I don’t believe Meta can deliver an internet future worthy of our hopes and dreams, I suspect we’ll be building it on some of their technology. I would love to see Mark Zuckerberg taking some responsibility for what happened in 2022 like a good CEO. It's always a big disappointment when you over promise and under deliver. However, wake up sheeple, this is a sign of the times. Too many technology companies are doing this these days, and they're getting away with it too. Especially at VC levels of pitching. I talked about it in my final 2022 article for Metacrun.ch, and I stand by every word, so if you haven't read it, you should probably take a look at it.
It's so important these days that we don't find ourselves in a situation where we just bullshit through what it is that we have developed to try and get to the good stuff because we think that's what it is that you want. That isn't how it should be. What we should be doing is focusing on what our strengths are and doing them well. That’s how you stop haemorrhaging employees, profit and product.What Mark Zuckerberg needs right now is probably some very good advice than a good kicking.
That’s enough metaverse for this season, where’s my swimwear AR try-on?