My Field Trip To The Kaneva Inc. Office

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Contests, Kaneva Inc., Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

danceparty3dcard

Last Thursday I took a field trip to the real life home of the Virtual World of Kaneva.  A few days prior to this trip I sent a quick message to ShamelessPlugs – Kaneva’s head of marketing and public relations to talk to her about doing a guest post on Kaneva’s official blog.  We talked about meeting up for lunch and she offered me an invitation to come and meet the team at the Kaneva office.

Unfortunately, I was running late and missed most of the team as they were already at lunch.  However, I did get to meet many of the names that we know and (sometimes) love – Rotini, Corelli, and CKlaus were among those I was able to shake hands with and say hello to.

The visit started off by me getting lost in the large office complex that Kaneva is located in here in Atlanta.  Once I found the right building I was surprised when the elevator door opened and I was greeted by a vast blue wall that hosted the Kaneva logo – a very clean (almost zen like) lobby.  I was actually expecting the elevator doors to open and see doors that matched all of the others that I had seen in the other office building (the wrong one).  However, I was surprised to learn that Kaneva had grown so much that it needed it’s own floor.

I got a quick tour from ShamelessPlugs showing off the offices and seeing the employees hard at work to develop the 3d world of Kaneva.  After the tour concluded Shameless, Corelli, and I went to lunch and talked shop.  On the way over I got a nice surprise as we were accompanied on our walk by Chris Klaus (Kaneva CEO and Co-Founder) and Animesh Saha (Vice President of Kaneva Engineering) and was asked several questions about my feelings on Kaneva and was told about some of the new exciting features to come – such as user developed flash games and new deeds that will soon be released.

At lunch we talked about my feelings on the changes made to 2d profiles, some of my pet-peeves with the game, some of the things I would like to see, and one of the most important things of all… the changes YOU would like to see.  We talked about how Kaneva Ideas has made it easy for customer service to keep track of all of the changes the users would like to see and get the attention of these ideas from developers and Kaneva upper management.

Corelli and I discussed challenges faced by customer service professionals (I have spent many years working in the technology industry with several degrees of customer service).  Overall I was happy to see how much Kaneva wants to listen to their users input to make changes (even though those changes sometimes seem to take forever).

Like a dummy, I forgot to bring a camera – but I am hoping to make more trips to their office and will try to take some more pictures (and show up on time so I can meet more of the staff).  They were very nice to me and if nothing else made great company for lunch.

OK – Now the fun part of this post for you guys…. ANOTHER COMMENT CONTEST!!!!

While I was at the office I was given a Dance Party 3D card (the card they used to sell at Target) worth 1500 credits as a gift.  I wanna give these credits to you!!!!  This contest will be very similar to the last comment contest I had on the blog, but there are a few changes so read the rules below:

  • To enter in this contest all you have to do is simply leave a comment on this post.
  • Leaving a comment will get you one entry.
  • To get a bonus two entries send out a blast linking back to this post (use this link: https://kanevian.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/my-field-trip-to-the-kaneva-inc-office/)
  • See Below for a picture of what your blast should look like
  • Make sure to send me (SFNdust) a screen cap of your blast either through kmail or through email – kanevianblog (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • Winner will be selected by random drawing
  • Contest ends Friday March 6th at 11:59 PM EST and no late entries will be accepted.
  • Winner will be announced Monday March 9th – Winner will have 3 days to claim their prize in the virtual world or a new winner will be selected.
  • I have the right to change this contest at any time – this is something I don’t have to do so don’t bitch!
  • NEW: No using alt accounts – If I catch you… all of your entries are disqualified… let’s keep it fair =)

What your blast should look like:

blastcap

Tips for helping me help you: When you leave a comment for the contest use your Kaneva Screen Name and an email address that is valid so I can contact you easier if you win.  If you email me a screen sot of your blast, please include your Kaneva Screen Name in the email.  If you have any further questions – feel free to PM, Kmail, or Email me.

So let’s get to it Kaneva – Come and win your 1500 credits!!!

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6 Things To Improve Your Kaneva Relationships

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Communication, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , |

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They blossom, they fall, they are always changing – your relationships on Kaneva.  There are many types of relationships that occur – the friendship, the temporary lust, the puppy love, the romance.  All of these types of relationships/interactions are similar to the real-world, except since we are in a digital space… they seem to move at the speed of light.

In this post I want to focus more on the romantic relationships.  I’m not a “love doctor” by any means, but I think I have some solid advice to offer.

1. Communicate

This is probably the biggest downfall of any relationship, but it is also what can be used to fuel the fires.  Communication is sooooooooooo very important.  Choosing the right words to describe how you feel, picking the right time to use these words, and making sure that you are consistent with them all play a huge role in how your relationship unfolds.

Don’t jump in too quickly with the “L-bomb”, people throw out the word “Love” a lot – and sometimes too quickly, involving feelings from the other party that might not be exactly what they expected.  I’m not saying you can’t find love or fall in love quickly – it happens.  Just be careful and be sure that you are using the term correctly.  People often confuse the pre-feeling of love (lust) with actually being in love.

Do tell the other person exactly how you feel, but make sure it’s not just a fleeting feeling of the moment.

Use as many forms of communication as possible… use Kaneva chat, Instant Messaging, Phone, Twitter, Kmail, Email… whatever you are comfortable with in your relationship at the time.

2.  Don’t sweat the small stuff

If you get mad about what you sig. other is doing or saying… think about it for a minute before you express your anger.  Try to decide if this is even really worth discussing.  So many fights are started about issues that in the grand scope of things are really insignificant.  If your partner is doing/saying something that really upsets you then read #3.

3.  Don’t get angry – discuss

It’s ok to tell someone that what they are doing is hurting you or upsetting you.  Just try to detach as much emotion as possible (which I know is extremely hard to do).  Try having a civilized discussion with them telling them how you feel and why you feel that way.  Don’t run circles around the issue since this just generally causes tempers to flair even more.

4.  Keep things interesting

Don’t do it by creating drama – Do it by creating surprise and intrigue.  Send a text or a kmail telling them how much you appreciate them when they don’t expect it.  Send out a blast with an inside joke that only they might get.  Plan out a Kaneva date for them and keep them entertained.

5.  Don’t be so fucking serious!

Joke with the one you call your own…. if you are serious all the time then you are just a stick in the mud… and no one is generally a fan of this.  If I can’t have fun with you because you are always being serious, then I won’t have fun in our relationship… I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

6. Compliments are complimentary

Don’t fish for compliments and don’t wait to compliment until your significant other says something nice to you.  Everyone likes to be told they look good or that they are the bees knees…. Compliment based on how you feel about the other person and don’t do it expecting something in return.  Be genuine and thoughtful and they should return the favor.

What’s your advice for having a good and strong Kaneva relationship?  Harleys, Char, Fur – I’m lookin at you guys here ;-)… let me know in the comments!

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Tips For Getting Your Ideas Heard

Posted on February 2, 2009. Filed under: advice, Communication, Kaneva Inc., Suggestions for Improvement | Tags: , , , , |

kanevaideas_logo

The Virtual World of Kaneva recently launched Kaneva Ideas.  This new page is being used to help Kaneva understand what their members want and according to Coreli, is seen by top Kaneva Management.  The technology behind it is IdeaScale which allows users to post their ideas for improvement and then other users are able to vote the idea up or down and leave comments (positive, negative, or adding to the suggestion).

I’ve recently spent some time checking out the new Kaneva Ideas page and have came up with a few suggestions for those submitting an idea.

1. Separate Ideas

If you have a whole list of things you would like to see added/improved/etc. don’t put them all in the same post.  If I like a few of your ideas but dislike most of them then I will end up voting down the entire thing.  This isn’t the government, don’t attach riders (I think that’s the correct term).

2. Spell Check

C’mon please make your idea make sense by using grammar and spell check… I can’t vote up your idea if I don’t understand it.  I get that English is a second language to a lot of Kaneva users, but some of the attempts at making a cohesive thought are just awful at best.  Spell check and grammar check before posting your idea PLEASE!

3. Title Bait

In the affiliate marketing/seo world there is a term known as “Link Bait” which means writing an article or creating a page that naturally attracts backlinks.  I need you to naturally attract my eyes to the title of your suggestion with Title Bait… If you are only using one word chances are I’m not going to read the rest of what you wrote (unless it is a powerful word that really stands out among the rest).  Also, if your title is misspelled there is a good chance that the rest of your idea won’t make any sense… therefore, why waist my time.

4. Market your idea

Don’t just stop with a post to Kaneva Ideas – Send out a blast with a link to your idea…. hell, pay for a highlighted blast… those really do work for grabbing attention.

5. Watch out for Bugs

This one is more of a tip for those voting… When I was voting on some ideas this morning I noticed that the system was a bit buggy… I would click to vote on something and it told me that I had already voted on it.  All I had to do was close the window and vote again.  Hopefully this bug will be resolved soon as it may affect the outcome of votes.

I would love to hear suggestions from the rest of you on how to get your idea noticed and voted up.  What do you like/dislike about the new system?  Let me know in the comments!

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My Sound Is Soooo Down That …

Posted on November 17, 2008. Filed under: Contests, Events, Suggestions for Improvement, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Blaming Tim - Photo by Paynomind

Blaming Tim - Photo by Paynomind

How Down Is Your Sound” – this sounds like some new reality show you might see on MTV (Since they don’t actually play music videos anymore).  However, this was a contest that Kaneva actually ran back in September of 2006.

How many of you even knew that Kaneva existed back in 2006?  Hell, how many of you even had your drivers license back in 2006?

Anyways, this was a contest used to highlight musicians and help promote The Virtual World of Kaneva.  The idea behind the contest was that musicians would upload their music and a picture of themselves… then for several weeks people would vote for the top 10 musicians.  After the voting had been tallied, the musicians would then perform in front of a panel of Music Industry pro’s for a chance to win:

  • A free recording session at Dallas Austin’s DARP Studios in Atlanta, where superstars TLC, Boyz II Men, Madonna and Monica have put down chart-topping tracks.
  • A five-song demo recording deal with Atlanta’s Block Entertainment, with an estimated cash value of $50,000.
  • A one day song writing internship with Grammy Award winning producer Sean Garrett.
  • $7,500 Cash!

I’m writing this article with a bit of selfishness today.  You see, I am in a band myself.  I am a drummer for a local Atlanta band – BlamingTim (we get compared to Ben Folds Five a lot).  The original “How Down Is Your Sound” contest appeared to be more geared toward Hip-Hop artists…. I myself, am not a huge fan of hip-hop, but to each his own.

I would like to see Kaneva have another musically focused contest (or even a live concert broadcast in world) featuring a plethora of bands that span across musical genres.  I’m not talking about uploading a music video of a band that you like.  I’m talking about a band uploading their music or videos of their own performances and having the users of Kaneva voting for their favorite.  A contest that involves more work from the entrants then simply going to YouTube, finding a video and then coping the embed code over to Kaneva…. A contest that more closely ties Real Life entertainment into The Virtual World of Kaneva.

What are your thoughts on this?  Let me know in the comments below!

Selfish Plug for Those Who Live in Atlanta:

BlamingTim will be playing live not once, but twice this week!  On Wednesday Nov. 19th at the Drunken Unicorn and our CD/Video Game (That’s right a F***ing video game) release party on Nov. 21st at North River Tavern – Check out BlamingTim.com for details.

Selfish Plug for Those Who Live Everywhere Else:

Our new CD/Video Game releases on Nov. 21st – it’s called “Blaming Tim’s Relapse Adventure” and will be available for purchase on our website.

A Note To Kaneva Employees:

I know that you guys are local here in Atlanta so feel free to stop by and check us out on our Nov. 21st show (there is no cover).  Let me know that you work for Kaneva and I will be happy to get you all of our contact info (We Want To Perform In World!).

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So close, So tantalizingly close.

Posted on October 10, 2008. Filed under: Dealing with problems, World Updates | Tags: , , |

Kaneva is fun. Or, rather, it can be. The drama that circulates within it is annoying and reduces the fun levels more than a clown with his pants off, but the thing that really annoys me about my time in Kaneva is… Kaneva.

If the place royally sucked, like, I dunno, IMVU, or Bud Light Lime, I would be ok with it. It’s the fact that they are so tantalizingly close! Argh! If they would quit the work they have wasted on time-sucks like DanceBoring3D and Kerflop, and actually fix the bugs and improve the usability of many features, this place would be rock and roll awesome.

What’s wrong with those games? You have fun with them? OK, sure, let’s pretend that they are fun and the activities in them weren’t better on Sega Genesis or even a key chain I got in the bottom of my Kellogg’s Smacks. Let’s just pretend, ok. Seriously, I know it’s hard, but follow me here, ok? Alright. So, what is Kaneva? Easy, before you answer, I will for you; it’s a 3D social network. I don’t know what all the marketing campaigns say, or what the board meetings pitch it as. But Kaneva is MySpace where you run around and say hi and meet people or keep up with the friends you have. Kaneva is all about the conversations, the interactions, the building your personalized space and having 100 people come see it, telling stories, learning about people, even in some really odd cases, falling in love.

So, naturally, the big featured game activities embrace that, feature it, improve it, right? Oh, but of course not. When you play the dance game, you have to pay strict attention to the arrows, not your fellow dancers. And you have no idea how well they are doing, or how well they did. You can’t challenge someone, you can’t play jointly, and you can’t talk in more than 6 word blasts between levels. And the shooting game? Yeah, no chatting in there at all. Run around, shoot people. You remember Duke Nukem? Yeah, the cool part of that WAS the gore and blood, so naturally that’s all been taken out. And where do these shooting fests take place? By secret ambush while in a club you built with your friends? In the mall? NO! In a completely separate location, away from everyone and everything.

Both of the featured games completely abandon what Kaneva IS, and just throw a simple game structure at you. Why didn’t anyone think of this? Why hasn’t anyone asked for a social game, like automated trivia, card games, even just a simple random number generator to allow people to make up their own games while in world? Oh, that’s right… people ask for that on a weekly basis on the forums. Huh. Well, I’m sure the next big thing to come out of Kaneva’s game minds will surely be one of those, or maybe something even better, like a memory game where you have to guess items people were wearing, or spell their convoluted 9 number usernames correctly, right? Nope. Its gonna be a driving game. Imagine there will be any chatting while you drive?

There are staunch defenders who will tell you, “Oh, the fifty-leven bugs you just mentioned are ok, because it’s Beta.” In all the copy in all the pages in the entire Kaneva website, in exactly zero places does it tell me that the software is beta. Now wait, you are thinking, I know I’ve seen the word beta somewhere. Well, you have, but not only on GMail for 3 years. “Beta” appears just to the right of the logo at the very top right on the 2d pages and launcher. Never anywhere in the actual game. And in text smaller than 8 point font. That really drives home the Beta point, huh? Or, how about the fact that you have to give Kaneva REAL currency, real money, for certain features of the game? That you spend real cash on building supplies, AP passes, costumes, clothing, deeds? Know of anything else in the history of software that took money while in beta? They give Google a hard time for being in beta so long, but at least they have the courtesy of making their stuff free.

This is simply the introduction of a many part series on the “area of opportunity” in the Kaneva software. I’m sure they are aware of most of them. I just think they are of the mindset that people want new and exciting instead of stable and functioning. Or new for the sake of new instead of able to be used easily.

As a usability guy, I believe the complete opposite way, so you can expect more posts on this subject.

Comment for me, and tell me what little annoyances or bugs or usability flaws you see in the same every day. I’d like to eventually have a comprehensive list of not just the flaws, but recommended solutions. I’ll go so far as to make mockups, because when it comes right down to it, I DO care. I DO want Kaneva to be the most awesome online experience ever.

It’s so close right now.

– Paynomind

NOTE: Comments on this post count for the Kanevian Blog Halloween Contest

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