October 6, 2000: Um, about UrbanPixel, which Tog praises so highly... well, I just don't get it. I certainly understand the appeal of virtual space (I did read Neuromancer). And I, too, lament the loneliness of the web, the lack of a sense that there are other humans in the world. But, shee-it, Tog is just describing making really, really HUGE web pages that scroll (which we all hate) and then combining them with a years-old avatar-based chat system. Everything's "below the fold", but if a customer-service avatar happens to wander by, you can ask them where the help link is.

It's one thing to play Ultima Online (which I actually got bored of pretty quickly, but which is undeniably rad) and another altogether to think that's a good model for picking out linens.

All that said, I think there are interesting things there: I like the idea of moving away from pages (although we'll need to solve the bookmarking problem and the multiple views on the same data problem) and I like the idea of allowing serendipitous interactions with other visitors to a site. Plus I just noticed that their CTO is Derek Chung, who I know and who is a very smart dude, so now I'm gonna go email him and try and get a demo before I run my mouth any more. (link to Tog via xblog)