March 17th, 2005

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Get ready to have your socks rocked, guys. Erin (zhai) told me to tell y'all this:

The company that I'm working for, GoPets, is just about to launch its open beta. We're trying to get a bunch of users into the system to stress test it and see if it's fun. We're running a promotional thing right now, and haven't really told many people (since it is still sort of 'closed' beta), where you get $1 for every user you get to sign up with the service and upload a photo to their profile. It's an online network, and everything is completely free. There's a $1000 cap, but if you can get 1000 people to sign up, you'll get $1k, and it can go wherever you want -- I thought it might be helpful in the 4christina thing. It's basically a donation of time instead of money, which might appeal to people... and if we get some users who like our service, it's win-win.

GoPets is an online network hooked up to a 3D virtual pet. The cats are really cute -- you can 'pet' them with your mouse, and feed them, and put crazy clothes on them -- my cat has a pirate hat. You can also totally customize their colors (my cat is modeled after my real life cat, Bean, so he's black, though I gave my virtual pet a blue stomach just to play with it). The network is global, and one of our main goals is to facilitate communication across the entire world -- eventually we
want to set up penpal programs between the US and third world countries.

We created an iconographic language, Iku (from icon + haiku), where people can send each other messages using our icons, and communicate even though they don't speak the same language. You can also make your own symbols for new words. Tied in with all of this is an online network like Friendster, where you can meet people. There's also a blogging service, and your pet (either a cat or a dog, for now) also "blogs" -- they record in icons where they've visited while you're away, who they've met, etc. Pets have fairly sophisticated AI, and will visit people who share your same interests if you fill out your user profile.
Y'all know my love for 1) Neopets and 2) trying out the latest blogger thing, so I'm actually giddy about this one. Downside: kind of a hefty download--something like 25 mb to run the pet software and 30+ mb to run the software to run the pet software. Fortunately, I've just cleared off half a gig, so... ETA: WARNING: the DirectX software did reboot my computer automatically when I ran the .exe. Save any work you have going on before you deploy that one, guys.

P.S. Please remember that this a beta version. It looks really spiff, but you are helping them work out the bugs.

Sign up here! Referral link of doom! I am up right now creating my pet at 3:30 in the morning! Because I am CRAZY!

P.S. Someone left me a message on the site--"In your drive to get people to join, make sure you tell them to leave the referral code blank and to put your user name (cleolinda) in the referrer field."
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Happy St. Patrick's Day! I made the icon just for the occasion. For those of you who have long wondered about my ethnic makeup (SUCH! BURNING! QUESTIONS!), I am your standard white Southerner mutt mix of Scottish, Irish, and English with a dash of French and German. There's some Dutch on the other side the family, but I think they married in.

No, I am not wearing green. If you pinch me I will SHANK YOU.

I had some Very Important Links for you, but Semagic crashed and I lost them, so I'll have to go hunt them down again. Fnarrr.

GoPets update: I cannae make the client work. I want a kitty! Woe. Nonetheless, until the particular bug affecting me is worked out, it's probably for the best, as I don't need help procrastinating just this second. Meanwhile, there's still the Friendster-style applications of the site, and I'll friend anyone who sends over a request. Re: another question, Erin also says that Mac and Linux clients are on the way, and in the meantime, there's also gopets, where she's gopets_erin, if you need help.

(I enjoyed this from the comments on the last entry: "I have joined and am the proud owner of a wee red kitty girl called Paddington. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with her though, and just now a pink & teal doggeh came walking onto my screen and growled at me. O_o Heh.")

Best! Virtual Pets! Ever!: GoPets aren't content to hang out on their owners' desktops, however. They freely roam the net, visiting other owners and making friends along the way. In their travels, GoPets establish and strengthen social networks among Owners, bringing together people with similar interests. Of course, while delivering messages between Owners, they do a bit of personal networking on the side -- you may notice that your GoPet seems to spend a lot of time with one particular feline friend. Break out the cigars -- there may be baby GoPets in your future!

Linkspamorama, continued:

Wonder Whedon!


Interesting dish on Aarongate at TWOP (cannot vouch for its truthfulness, however).

So THAT'S where the icon of the cartoon lion chewing on the giraffe leg comes from!

The Onion: Corpse of Real Michael Jackson Found at Neverland Ranch.

Everything Is Illuminated.

Sin City: a near-religious experience. (Mild spoilers.) The reviewer gives it only "nine and a half out of ten stars" because 1) "Michael Madsen is kinda wasted" and Jessica Alba, of all the women in the movie, won't get naked. Of course, these are the people who also said that The Matrix Reloaded would, and this is a rough paraphrase, make you come until you couldn't come no more, and... not so much with that, no.

Back to the comedy mines it is, heigh ho.
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I'm listening to "Cells" and eating another Krispy Kreme. My mom is downstairs glued to yet another disc of 24. We are sad, sad, addictable people. I just thought I would tell you that.
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