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Meet Our Citizens

Meet resident marketing specialist, Urbane Chaos, in April Meet Our Citizens.

DrEvilHiya UC :-)

Kiwi: Thank you for agreeing to an interview.

Urbane Chaos: Anytime, it's my pleasure... (Nervously looks up at interrogation light). Just please go easy on me, I've heard stories about how your interviews are.

Kiwi: Hahahaha. Where are you from?

Urbane Chaos: Oklahoma, the land of big cows and people with no teeth. Seriously, I was in Wal-Mart the other day, got bored and started counting teeth. I think I got to three. Before that, I lived most of my life in Florida as a beach bum, and then a few years in Chicago pretending to be Sinatra. That didn't work too well.

Kiwi: You should have maybe tried singing something Bon Jovi lol. What do you do in the real world?

Urbane Chaos: I'm a slacker. Ok, seriously, I'm a full time freelance writer and a part-time Internet marketing consultant. I'm also in the process of restoring a house that was built in the 1870s. It's a lot of work, but it's very rewarding. Typically, I write for various Oklahoma historical societies around the state, and have been published in numerous magazines as well as online.

Kiwi: Wow! Very impressive. How did you come across Active Worlds?

Urbane Chaos: I don't know if I can remember that far back, but then again, I forgot what I had for dinner last night. I think it was something green and fuzzy, but then again maybe it is better to forget. Wait, I forgot to answer the question... When I found Active Worlds, I was looking for information about virtual reality and its modern uses. I happened to run across the worlds player back in '96-'97, but it never ran right on the computer that I had so I kept looking for similar programs until I stumbled on Active Worlds a year or so later.

Kiwi: How long have you been a citizen?

Urbane Chaos: Ever since I was born. What? Oh, you mean in Active Worlds... I've been in and out of the universe since around '98 or '99, but I didn't get a citizenship until early 2000. I kept that until I went over to Dreamland Park. In late 2003, I left in order to advance my career, but didn't come back until 2010. I would always come back in every now and then just to see what all was going on, but my visits were brief and always under the guise of a tourist. I'm glad to be back though, and I'm thankful for the people that have helped me since then.

Kiwi: Have you had a lot of experience with Virtual Worlds?

Urbane Chaos: More than I'd like to admit. For some reason, the virtual worlds have always fascinated me. It's amazing where technology has led us. I can't wait to see what it brings over the next few years.

Kiwi: Where do you hang out in AW?

Urbane Chaos: Typically, you can find me in the world Yellow. When I'm not lurking I like to play around with different things there. I also hang out a lot in AWSchool and AWGate, but it just depends on what I'm working on at the time. I set up PKToons at my build, so when I'm writing or doing other work I'll turn on the music and go into lurker mode.

Kiwi: PKToons rock. Can you tell us a little about what you do in AW?

Urbane Chaos: I walk around a bit here and there, sniff the virtual roses, and occasionally roast Kiwi birds... but beyond that, I've been trying to put together a volunteer marketing campaign to help promote Active Worlds. With the new technology that's been introduced, and the history behind Active Worlds, it should be a lot more popular than it is today. While there is a lot of promise behind creating a marketing campaign, it's been rough going. Still, I'll keep plucking along and hopefully my efforts will pay off. I've already seen an increase in organic readers of my articles, so I know that people who have never heard about Active Worlds are getting the message. I hope that those readers will also download the software and buy a citizenship.

Beyond my marketing efforts, I also help a lot in AWSchool, and anywhere else I can. To me, that's important in a community like Active Worlds. With the little time I have left, I also try to create builds that exemplify what the Active Worlds software is capable of. I don't like boring and static builds, but would rather have astonishing, interactive builds that keep people coming back for more.

Kiwi: Leave my KeeWee bird alone lol. You were nice enough to share some of your articles and video Links with me, could we share some of those links for others to look at?

Urbane Chaos: Of course! I created them to be shared with others. Hopefully, they will titillate the senses in some way.


Moving in Active Worlds

Building in Active Worlds

Selected Articles

Where Virtual Worlds Collide: The Dream of Active Worlds -

Virtual Reality in Education: A Brave New Frontier -

Business Solutions: Virtual Tools for Business Development -

The three articles above received the most number of visits from outside of Active Worlds - typically anywhere between 50-100 per day on each article.

"Test" articles - intended to measure growth

A Virtual Bedrock: Meet the Flintstones in 3D! -

Active Worlds: Where Science Fiction becomes Virtual Reality -

These two articles were specifically wrote to follow keyword trends. They measure how Active Worlds relates to Search Engine Optimization techniques. On average, these articles receive 20-50 unique visits per day per article. This test group has so far surpassed expectations.

Kiwi: Thanks UC :-) I see you helping a lot of people. Is this something you like to do?

Urbane Chaos: In a community like Active Worlds, it's essential to help. Even if there are days that I don't feel like doing anything, I still always go out of my way to help someone who needs it. The thing is, by helping out, you help the community grow. You'll never know what will happen from it. The one person that you help out today could be the person who brings in 50 new people to try out the software - and those 50 could bring in 50 more.. Besides, it's always good to help people, it just gives ya warm fuzzies when you've done a good job.

Kiwi: From seeing your build in Yellow I see you have a lot of passion for AW. Where did that passion come from?

Urbane Chaos: I've always had an analytical mind. When I did small business consulting, I would get to take that struggling business and transform it into something that was both profitable and exciting. When I write, I'm able to string words together to invoke a set of emotions. What I've been doing in Active Worlds is no different, but it's a greater challenge. With Active Worlds, you can create anything that you can think of, and do things that can't be done anywhere else. There is so much more that Active Worlds is capable of, and for me, I see that as an opportunity. I like to push the envelope to see what can be done; how many people can I bring into Active Worlds? How can these commands be used to create something truly stunning? How many different ways can Active Worlds be used besides what people have thought of already? These are the things that keep me motivated.

Kiwi: What is your favorite thing to do in AW?

Urbane Chaos: Besides being interrogated? Actually, I love to talk to people and visit new worlds. People in Active Worlds are the most creative people that I've met anywhere, so much so that it astounds and baffles me. I get excited when I see something that I've never seen before.

Kiwi: Are you working on anything special at the moment?

Urbane Chaos: There's many things that I'm working on right now, but I'll name a couple of the big projects that I have going on. Currently, I'm trying to learn all that I can about the newer building commands as well as working on new ways to help market Active Worlds. With building, I'm trying to find out how far they can be pushed. As far as marketing, I'm working on a series of new articles that highlight different builds within Active Worlds and how they relate to the real world. I'm also contacting people to update their existing reviews of Active Worlds, as well as letting them know about some of the new features that the software has. So far, there have been many people excited about it, but we'll just have to wait and see if they act on things.

Kiwi: If you were given the job to market Active Worlds, what would be the first thing you would do?

Urbane Chaos: First thing that I would do is to create a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines different keys to success. Without a plan, there is no way to know where you're going or how to get there. There has to be an ultimate, with clearly defined targets. For example, the web site must be optimized for search engine results, and this is clearly measurable by using different tools such as Google analytics and SEOQuake. The plan could set the target for new visitors to the web site at 1,000 a day, and work towards that end. There's a hundred of these little "goals" that need to be addressed, but without a plan there's no way to achieve them. Simply put, the plan lists what needs to be done, how it should be done, and how to track results once the plan is implemented.

Kiwi: How would that marketing help bring in more people to AW?

Urbane Chaos: With marketing, it's all about visibility and enticing people to buy in to the product. Having a marketing plan would lay out various strategies that would increase the visibility of Active Worlds, as well as how to entice people to try the software. Typically, the ROI (Return on Investment) runs anywhere from 3% to 20%, depending on the type of product being marketed. As we are dealing with visitors and not dollars, this measurement is handled a little differently. To put it simply, this means that for every 1,000 visitors to the web site, 30 of those visitors would download the software and try it out. Of those 30, 5 of those would stay and eventually become citizens. So the investment is the web site and the ROI would be the paying citizens. Right now, AW has a very low ROI in its entertainment sector. With a marketing plan, various approaches can be evaluated and implemented in order to increase the ROI, or number of new people trying out the software. The key point is this: Without marketing, growth is stagnant. Marketing helps bring in new people, new talent, and more income, which is something that Active Worlds needs to remain competitive.

Kiwi: What do you think of the CAVs and how important do you think they are?

Urbane Chaos: I love them - especially those short, fat little green men. For some reason, every time I see them I always have a craving for jello. Really, they give personalities to the avatars - they allow you to be who you really are online, or at least how you see yourself. They're fun and whimsical, which adds a certain flair to the Active Worlds universe.

Kiwi: What would you change for tourists to make it a better experience when they land in Active worlds for the first time?

Urbane Chaos: While the Gatekeepers do an excellent job, I think that there's a lot more that could be done. When a new visitor enters Active Worlds, they should be presented with the best of the best, give them that "wow" factor - really sell Active Worlds to them. The program needs to be easy - which is something that people who've been around awhile tend to forget. One of the simplest ways to do this is to add a question box after installation of the software is complete that asks the user if they have been to Active Worlds before. If they answer no, then bring up a tutorial that explains how to move and what can be done in Active Worlds. Once they are inside the universe, they should be presented with spectacular effects and a lot of interactivity. People want to be able to do things, to play with stuff. This is what will keep new people coming back repeatedly. When writing an article, the first sentence should always contain a "hook" that will draw the reader into the story. Active Worlds is no different, it needs a "hook" to draw people in and keep them here.

Kiwi: What world has impressed you the most in AW?

Urbane Chaos: To be honest, I can't point out a single world. There are so many amazing builds in Active Worlds that to do so would degrade all the work that's gone into making Active Worlds what it is. I've seen stunning builds in places where I never thought they would be. I have already written first drafts about many of these places, and as I complete them, I'll be sure to put a link to the articles in the forums.

Kiwi: Describe yourself a little.

Urbane Chaos: Describe myself? That's like asking an Eskimo to bench press a walrus - it's near impossible, but I'll try... I'm an extraverted introvert. In other words, I love being around people, making them laugh, engaging in crazy debates, but at the same time, I like to sit and think about the world and why it is the way it is. I'm a paradox, and I don't even claim to understand myself. For some reason, it's like I'm having deja vu and amnesia at the same time - I swear I've forgotten this before.

Kiwi: It's been a lot of fun getting to know you UC. Have a great day and see you in Active Worlds ;-)

Urbane Chaos: Thanks Kiwi! Now that this is all over with, can you please turn off that blasted light?? Thanks, it's been fun! Gotta run, got boats to build..

Kiwi: lol. Take care.

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