Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy Holidays: Kitely Supports Vivox Voice!

We have an exciting announcement: Kitely now supports voice! All Kitely worlds are now voice-enabled using Vivox, which has the best virtual worlds voice implementation in the market. This means that, without installing any additional software, you can switch voice on in your viewer to enable other people to both hear you with high quality positional audio, see your avatar’s lips move when you talk and see speaker indication graphics above your avatar’s head. This new feature is absolutely FREE for all Kitely users.

Using Voice

The following screenshots are from the Second Life Viewer, but other viewers have similar dialogs.

To speak, click the “Speak” button:

Speak

If the Speak button is disabled (and you have a microphone) then the world manager might have disabled voice. Worlds where voice is disabled display the following icon at the top of the viewer:

Voice Disabled

In this case, you will not be able to speak in the world until the world manager enables voice. However, you can still use private calls (see below).

Private Calls

In addition to the public voice channel (which everyone can hear), you can also initiate a private call to another user. This creates a conversation that only the two of you can hear, and it works even if voice is disabled in the world. To initiate a private call, right-click the other person’s avatar and select “Call”.

Enabling Voice in Your World

If you are a world manager, and voice is disabled in your world but you want to enable it, then you need to make sure two checkboxes are checked:

1. Enable voice in the Estate.

From the menu, select: World > Places Profile > Region/Estate

Enable voice in the estate

2. Enable voice in the Parcel.

From the menu, select: World > Places Profile > About Land

Enable voice in the parcel

After you have enabled both of these checkboxes, the world will allow voice to be used. Now there’s something to talk about! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

Happy holidays! 🙂

Improved Search, Permanent URLs and Introduction Slideshow

We’ve updated our service with many backend optimizations and several user facing improvements which you may find useful.

Improved World Ranking in Search

We improved the way we sort worlds in the Public Worlds tab: we now take into account the number of Facebook Likes the world has, and other parameters which indicate that users will find the world engaging. This change makes it easier to find high-quality worlds.

Despite this algorithm update, other factors still take precedence when sorting worlds: the text the user searched for (if any); the number of visitors in the world; and whether the world manager covers the visitors’ access costs or visitors pay for their own usage.

Sharing Search URLs

When you search for worlds in the Public Worlds tab, the URL now changes to include your search terms. This allows you to share the search with other people. For example, you can search for your own name, and then include that URL in your blog. Anyone who clicks on it will see the public worlds that you’ve created.

Permanent World URLs for Sharing

We changed the way sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn works. Sharing a world means sharing its URL. Previously, the URL that was shared was the URL that you saw in your browser, which includes your name and the world name. For example: https://www.kitely.com/virtualworld/My-Name/My-World. However, this was a problem if you renamed your world, because then the URL changed as well, so all of your Likes and Tweets were lost (the counter was reset to zero). To fix this, each world now has a permanent URL, which includes the world’s internal identifier instead of its name. The permanent URL never changes, even if you rename the world, so the number of Likes and Tweets will continue accumulating.

Unfortunately, this means that all of the Likes and Tweets that you’ve accumulated until now no longer count, because they were done on the old URL, not the new permanent URL. We apologize for this, but it seems better to make sure that Likes and Tweets will accumulate forever from now on, rather than having them reset to zero at some time in the future.

Note that the links you’ve already shared continue to work: anyone who sees one of these Likes or Tweets and clicks on them will still get to your world; it’s only the counter that doesn’t take these old Likes and Tweets into account.

Introduction Slideshow

We added an introduction slideshow that explains how Kitely works. This makes it easier for new users to quickly understand how Kitely can benefit them. If you are reading this blog then you probably already know how Kitely works, but we encourage you to view the slideshow anyway (it’s on our homepage); we spent a lot of time creating it and we think it’s pretty cool!

Thank you to everyone who agreed to have their names show up in these screenshots, and a special thanks to Karima Hoisan who agreed to pose for a couple of screenshots with her beautiful avatar.

Optimizations

The largest change in this release is actually not user-visible: we’ve made important changes internally to make the service faster, and in preparation for adding billing.