“Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce”
by Selby Evans
Destination board for OSCC14
One element of HGCC
When I heard that someone wanted an article from me about a Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce, I called on Ann Tree Prenyour, one of my head alts, to give some advice.
Selby: Ann, should we try to organize a Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce?
Ann: No. Do it. Or don’t do it. There is no try.
Selby: OK, should we organize a Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce?
A chamber of commerce (or board of trade) is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to work on behalf of the business community. They generally interpret this mission broadly, assuming that working in the interests of the city (say, for population growth) is also in the interests of the business community. (Wikipedia)
Ann: I am not a moralist. I don’t deal in shoulds. I deal in objectives and results. If your objective is to increase the number of people and level of activity in the Hypergrid, then you want to form some organization like the HGCC. That’s short for Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce
Vulcan: The objective of the HGCC would be to increase the number of people and level of activity in the Hypergrid. Working toward that objective requires the cooperation of many people. The function of the HGCC is to coordinate that effort. That is logical.
Pro Moe: You don’t really want to call it a Hypergrid Chamber of Commerce, do you? The name commerce does not fit your audience.
Selby: “Chamber of Commerce” may be under trademark protection in the US. It would take some research to find out whether anyone else can use it as the name of an organization. I was just using it as a shorthand way of suggesting what the organization would do. People will think of a new name
Yes Butters: Yes, but lots of people active on the Hypergrid are competitors. Competitors don’t cooperate with their competition.
Vulcan: If competitors don’t cooperate, there would be no chambers of commerce in the States that included competitors. Yet there are many chambers of commerce with competitors working together, for example, to increase the population of the city. The claim is illogical. But quite human
Ann: Competitors work together towards objectives that support their common interests. Increasing the population of the city benefits retail businesses because they get more customers. The same is true of increasing the population of the Hypergrid.
Selby: And if you are running a commercial grid, your real competitors are the outworld businesses who give people something else to do when they could be coming to the metaverse.
YesButters: Yes, but what would they cooperate on? You won’t get new people coming into the metaverse by talking to people already in the metaverse.
Vulcan: That is indeed logical. It follows that you must talk to people in the outworld. However, projects cannot live on talk alone. You must also work to remove barriers that obstruct entry.
Pro Moe: The two arms of promotion. Show people why they want to do what you want them to do. Make it easy for them to do it.
Ann: And you want to do both at low cost. So you use social media to spread the word. That is free and it benefits from talkative supporters.
Selby: So the HGCC would facilitate cooperation on two main goals: Promotion of Hypergrid activities on social media and reducing barriers to entry.
Vulcan: The first step in reducing barriers would be to identify them. Then you might look for help in getting them fixed.
YesButters: Yes, but you don’t know how to promote that.
Ann: The YesButters are wrong again. They don’t know how to promote anything but the status quo. Talla Adam does. A scripting function was generally unusable because of a serious bug. Talla proposed a crowdfunding solution and raised money for a bounty.
Vulcan: That matter is a detail, useful as an example of how the HGCC might do things. But it is not useful, in planning, to be distracted by detail and neglect the main objective. The HGCC would collect the most serious barriers and evaluate them in terms of importance and potential for removal. It would then select some barriers as targets and develop plans for action against them.
Selby: There is another objective that would the imaginary HGCC would have, improving the virtual experience for everyone. That is what leads to retention.
Ann: That was the problem Second Life had. Lots of people came, but lots of people left.
Vulcan: Then to summarize, the top level objective of the HGCC is
- to increase the number of people and level of activity in the Hypergrid
That leads to sub-objectives:
- Marketing: Show people why they want to try out the Hypergrid.
- Onboarding: Make it easy for them to try out the Hypergrid.
- Retention: Improve the Hypergrid experience for everyone.
Selby: So, whatever you call it, the HGCC would work to achieve those objectives.
Ann: Next we need a plan to develop the organization.
Sue Shul: For that, you need people.
Vulcan: Discussions are most efficient if we stick to the objective. Ann said, “If your objective is to increase the number of people and level of activity in the Hypergrid, then you want to form some organization like the HGCC. We have so far described what goals such an organization would have. The logical conclusion is that such an organization could set goals that could be expected to support the objective that Ann stated.
Selby: We have answered the original question. We are ready for the How, but we must leave that for the next episode.
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