Interview: Mark Hull, Vice President Of Product Management Of Vivaty

Mark Hull is the Vice-President of Products at Vivaty. He ran more than a dozen businesses at Yahoo! (including Groups, Photos and Personals), and also ran product management and marketing at iWin and MerchantCircle.

On his previous interview here, he introduced us to Vivaty Studio and Vivaty Create. The winners of Vivaty Create will be announced before October 13 2008.

In the last times we've assisted to some strange movements of companies to populate their online 3D catalog models without the prior consent of worldbuilders. Vivaty is the opposite: the example of something done right, respecting their rights.

Many of the worldbuilders that have works on VRML or X3D can recycle them and take part in the new developer's program of Vivaty (Vivaty Create).
Your participation can be rewarded with prizes and being showcased in their site as a 3D artist.
They also updated their legal terms, and you just give them a non-exclusive right to use the submitted models, so you don't loose your property and you can still send your models to other contests.

- Are you going to run another developer program after this one ends?

- We aren’t thinking of this as a series of programs. It’s an ongoing dialog with developers. We had to start somewhere, so we started first by asking for feedback and holding a contest. We could only open our contest to US creators for this round (legal hurdles are pretty scary to open contests worldwide), and we know that’s been a challenge for some. But we want to encourage everyone to send us content- if it’s good, we’ll feature it in Vivaty Scenes! It doesn’t matter where you’re from.

- In what direction will Vivaty go in the future: entertainment, business, games, private networking?

- We are wholly focused on consumer virtual experiences on the web. That could take many forms in the future- if web users want it, we’ll do it.

- Vivaty is now embeddable inside Facebook and AIM. How will you extend your presence in Internet in the future?

- We are eager to make scenes embeddable on every URL on the web and we’re open to any type of integration as long as it’s reaching more web users. Facebook and AIM have been great for integrating into a user’s existing social graph and providing a deeper, more engaging experience than you can have on those platforms in 2D.

- What advantages of Vivaty that make it unique would you highlight?

- A few things…We’re taking a distributed approach to virtual experiences, meaning we don’t want to re-create your friends list or your 2D experience. We want to weave naturally and authentically into what you already know and love.

We’re extremely flexible to the wants and needs of both consumers and brands. We’re web-based and working in an agile development environment, so if someone asks us “can you do this?”, the answer is usually yes…

On the product side, we started with self-expression and we’re now releasing features to make our experience more social, interactive and fun. Recent features like dancing, pets, gifting, avatar customization are just the beginning. We know we have a long ways to go but these are the building blocks for what’s to come.

- Recently, you have added virtual dogs and more than 200 avatar customizations. What other content improvements are coming next?

- We just added Firefox 3 support, dancing and gifting. More gestures like “sits” and clothing options are coming, as well as more emphasis on social hangouts to experience together.

- What are the medium and long term aims for Vivaty?

-We want to define the immersive web… and be the best web-based virtual experience out there.

-Jordi R. Cardona-

© 2008 by Jordi R. Cardona. Link to this post without copying the text.

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