Posted by: vivaty | August 19, 2009

Tweet Vivaty!

Want to make a quick 100 Vivaty Points? Tell the world about your Vivaty Scene, and follow us, too!

1) Follow Vivaty on Twitter. Easy enough, just go here and click “Follow”

2) Tweet about your favorite Vivaty Scene so your friends and others can join you. Include your username and the URL for the scene,  so we can credit your account some Vivaty Points!

Here are some examples you can try:

Check out Mark’s favorite Vivaty Scene http://apps.vivaty.com/scene/?pid=572951 #vivaty

Come hang out with me in my Vivaty Scene http://apps.vivaty.com/scene/?pid=572951  See you there! – Mark  #vivaty

We’ll keep an eye out!

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Posted by: vivaty | August 18, 2009

Use Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo to Sign In to Vivaty

We’re making it easier for you to get into Vivaty! Now, the next time you want to sign up or login, you can use your account on Facebook, Twitter, AOL, Yahoo or Gmail (MySpace is coming soon). Think of it as one less username and password you have to remember! You can still use your normal Vivaty username and password if you prefer, too.login

When you use your account from another site, the first time you login you might get asked to confirm it’s OK to link your Vivaty account to another site, but that’s it! It’s supersimple, and next time you come in, it should remember where you came from so you don’t have to do it again.

Also, by linking your account, in the future, it’ll be easier to do some cool things with your Twitter or Facebook account, for example. Stay tuned for more info on this exciting area.

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

PS. Thanks to all the people who have helped VivaBux get off to such a great start in our first week! We love seeing how busy you’ve been trying on the new clothes and objects for your scene, too!

Posted by: vivatymarkh | August 11, 2009

Introducing VivaBux

This afternoon, we launched VivaBux, a fictional currency that the Vivaty Community can buy with real money and then use to access to exclusive virtual goods and services. With VivaBux you can buy additional scenes, special gifts and furniture for your scenes, exclusive clothes, and in the future, the ability to do special things inside Vivaty.

This is an exciting opportunity for our users to get access to some really great content. You can always continue to earn Vivaty Points to buy some clothes and furniture for Vivaty, but VivaBux are a great way for you to get some of the coolest stuff around. There is a ton of new content that has gone live today, and people purchasing VivaBux will have first dibs on it. We also have some great introductory prices on things, too. For example, you can get an additional scene for only 99 VivaBux right now (compared to 7,500 Vivaty Points). You can also get some limited edition tattoos and shirts. There are only a few of these, so get them before they’re gone!

VivaBux can be purchased using major credit cards, a checking account or your PayPal account. It’s very easy to get started, and there are no commitments!

You can learn more here at http://help.vivaty.com/VivaBux

And right now, we’re going to give out some special surprises for our first few customers, so get started today and see what’s coming!

This is a big day for Vivaty, but we have even bigger news around the corner. Stay tuned for those details in the coming weeks!

As always, let us know if you have any ideas or feedback.

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | August 11, 2009

Updated Terms of Service

Hi Everyone,

This is an important week as we’ve launched VivaBux, a fictional currency that the Vivaty Community can buy with real money and then use to access to exclusive virtual goods and services. You can learn more about VivaBux on our other blog entry, but this note is mostly some news about our updated Terms of Service, which you can (and should!) review. As a reminder: By using our service, you agree to the Vivaty Terms of Service.

Naturally, things get a little more complicated and interesting when you’re working with real money. The Terms of Service update basically outlines some common guidelines and rules around using the service and clarifies that, in the interests of protecting all of our users, the community can’t do bad things to the service overall (e.g., hack into the service, decompile the code).

It also outlines some of the policies on VivaBux. For example, all purchases of VivaBux are final — there are no refunds, resale or exchanges. Now, in some certain circumstances, Vivaty may take some other action, but that’ll be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Also, VivaBux have no real monetary value today, so you shouldn’t expect to be able to resell them for real cash to other users, or back to Vivaty.

That’s the majority of it, although I’d encourage everyone to take a few minutes to review the terms (heck, you should probably do that on any online service you use). Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | July 24, 2009

Giving you more control

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the Vivaty office, so apologies we’re a little tardy with the latest launch announcements, but here’s what’s new:

Easier Gifting: We’ve made a series of improvements to make it easier to give gifts, in addition to finally enabling you to give clothing as gifts! (Whew, about time!)

Unique Usernames: We’ve started to enforce unique usernames for everyone. This should reduce any user confusion on identity, in addition to making sure that you are friends with only one Harry Potter and not five copycats. 🙂

Boot and Block: Sometimes, guys can’t take a hint. Now, you can boot out the people who are being a little annoying in your room. Additionally, you can prevent them from coming back by using this. It’s available in the right-click menu.

There were also a wide variety of things we worked on behind the curtains to help make the experience even faster and easier to use.

The next release is a big one for us. Stay tuned for some exciting news!

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | July 15, 2009

vSide Closing Its Doors

We wanted to send a quick note to our friends over at vSide, who announced they were closing down their service due to a lack of funding.

This is obviously sad news for everyone. We’re always interested in seeing more companies in the virtual world space because it helps increase competition, and overall, provide a better experience for users everywhere. The vSide and Doppelganger team were always a very creative and innovative team, and the industry learned a lot from their work.

Luckily, we know a lot of the team are landing at great new places (we’re lucky enough to have one of their best animators on our team now!), so their good work will continue.

We’ve learned a lot from the vSide users who have joined Vivaty and shared their feedback on what we can do to build a better service. I know a lot of those vSide users have spent a lot of time building up their identities and reputation on vSide.

As part of this, we’d like to invite vSide users to join Vivaty. To help with the transition, we’re offering a limited-time Vivaty Points bonus based on your vSide activity. A lot of this is built on trust right now, but we want to do whatever we can to make an easier transition for vSide users.

You can read more about that here. http://help.vivaty.com/vSide-Closing-Its-Doors

Additionally, we’ve often read the vSide forums. vSide users are a vocal bunch (awesome!), so we invite you to share your ideas, feedback and insights with us at http://feedback.vivaty.com so we can focus on making Vivaty a better experience for you, too.

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | June 29, 2009

Shoes, bling, and some firecrackers

Happy Early July 4th!

Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer! We put our regular release out a couple days early this time around, so a few of you have had a head start on these great new additions:

Improved Profile Pages

We made it easier to learn more about the new people you’re meeting in Vivaty. Just click on any user’s name in most places (or click on View Full Profile in other places), and you’ll see a pop-up with that user’s profile. The profile includes new information (which you can control the visibility of in the Account Settings). It’s easy to see where people are hanging out, what their favorite stuff is, and even to send them a little gnome gift so they know you were checking them out. 🙂

profile

gnome

Shoes and Bling

It’s about time we let you change your shoes. Hello! Sorry about the delay, but now you can change your shoes, and also get some cool bling or accessories to trick out your avatar. Sunglasses, tattoos and more. Lots more are coming, and the first batches are limited editions, so get yours before they run out!

shoes

Improved Shop and My Stuff

We weren’t fans with how long the old version of My Stuff and Shop took to load up, so we redid it. Now, it should be lightning fast for you to go shopping and check things out to try on or decorate your scene. There’s a ton of content now, so we’ve made search much better too for you to quickly find something you’re looking for in Vivaty.

Object and Scene Pages

shoeprofile

Now if you click on objects, especially from the stores, you can see a little Information icon “I” which you can click on to see the profile information about that object. So for example, if you love the Garnet Red Sandals, you can learn more about how many are left in the store, other items that are similar, and who are the lucky devils who have one already!

Address Book Integration

Some of you guys are really popular. REALLY popular. So we wanted to make it easy for you to invite more of your friends to join, and to send more of them gifts, too. We’ve integrated web address books into our flow. So if you have a Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, AOL or other address book, you can easily select addresses from those lists to send invitations.

ab

Things That Make You Go Boom

Finally, celebrate the 4th of July in your scenes with some firecrackers! These little things make a big boom when you click and set them off. But be careful! Just like in real life, firecrackers are unpredictable. Sometimes you get a fizzle, sometimes you get a crackle, and sometimes you get a delayed explosion the size of a large farm animal. That’s going to leave a mark. 🙂

Have a great holiday!

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | June 16, 2009

Game on!

Latest round of Vivaty improvements went live last week. Quite a few things undercover that should result in faster, better, stronger performance. On top of that, we rolled out a few fun things, too!

Get Your Game On

We’re testing out Flash games in Vivaty. We’ve scattered video game machines around a few hangouts and for some lucky users. It’s pretty simple to get started. Just walk up to the machine, doubleclick on it, and boom, you’ll have an option to play one of more than 1,200 different games. (I recommend playing “Bloons”). We know many of you have been asking for them, so we listened and built them for you! Now, let us know what you think and help us decide where to go next with them! Add your ideas to feedback.vivaty.com.

arcade

bloon

She’s a Dancin’ Machine!

We thought we’d make it a little easier to go dancing. We built a little dance maker (not to be confused with a tiny dancer), that lets you record a series of dance moves, and then to play them back anytime you want using the “Actions Menu”. Admittedly, it’s a little hidden while we test it out, and after a round of revisions, we’ll make it more widely accessible. To record some dance moves, right-click on your avatar and select “Moods” and “Dancin”. You’ll see “Edit” and “My Dances” in there, which is where you can start recording moves. They’ll be saved in the Actions menu, which you can click on any time to run that series of recorded moves!

dancin

My Account

We’ve made it easier for you to do basic account maintenance (e.g., change your email address, adjust your profile visibility, etc). You can click on “My Account” at the top-right of any Vivaty page, or just click hereto access it.

We’ve got some really cool things coming out. Some great shoes, sunglasses and accessories, in addition to some really cool new dance moves and gestures in the coming weeks. Some other big announcements in the next couple months, so stay tuned!

Thanks,

Mark
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | June 4, 2009

Tweet 3D and Buying Scenes

See @aplusk in 3D! Vivaty just added a Twitter object for you to put in your scenes! You can easily add this object to your walls, and enter the name of the Twitterer you want to showcase. Maybe you want to put your own tweets in your room, or maybe of your favorite friends and celebrities.

6-4-2009 12-19-28 PM

The Twitter object updates when you visit the scene. This is the first iteration of this, and we’ll add more capabilities in the future, including the ability to post from here, and include multiple styles. Buy it now in the Vivaty Shop!

 6-4-2009 11-17-35 AM

Speaking of multiples, we’ve added the ability to own multiple scenes! Many of our users want multiple scenes, so we ‘re now letting you buy them and create quite a few! Admittedly, it’s a little expensive right now, until we learn a little more from our users about this (so prices likely to drop in the future), but now you can switch things around pretty easily!

6-4-2009 11-18-52 AM

You’ll also notice we tweaked the Launchpad a little bit. It should look a little nicer, in addition to being faster, and easier to connect with some new friends.

Check out some of the latest clothing items. We’ve got some cool swimsuits for summer, some awesome hats, and around the corner, stay tuned for some piercings, tattoos, and shoes! (finally!)

More to come!

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

Posted by: vivatymarkh | May 18, 2009

Attention Vivaty Shoppers. Garden Gnomes on Sale, Aisle 4

That K-mart reference is probably going to be lost on a generation of users, but the good news is that you can now go shopping in Vivaty! We’ve opened the doors to the store, and introduced a bunch of new clothing and objects for you to add to your collections! To celebrate the grand opening, we’re giving you some bonus Vivaty Points during the next week when you visit your scene and when you bring some friends with you!

Shopping is super simple. Just click on “Shop” at the bottom of your screen, and you’ll see all the things that are available. You can sort by category and enter keywords for specific items. There are some free things to get you started, and then a wide variety of options for any size Vivaty wallet. There are even some rare exclusive goods for our grand opening, so pick them up while they’re still available! We will be introducing new items all the time (sometimes multiple times during the same day!) so it’s important to come back often! If you want some help, you can learn more here.

While the store has only been open for a couple hours, clearly some of you have been camping out in front of the door. We’ve had thousands of purchases already, and our new dresses, hairstyles, garden gnomes and bottles of virtual champagne are flying off the shelves! Thankfully, another big shipment is on its way. 🙂

shopp

Gift Invitations

You told us you loved giving gifts to friends, so we decided to make it even easier. Now, when you click on “Invite” in the upper-right side of your screen, we’ve given you a new version of invitations, centered around Gifts. Send some of our most popular gifts to your friends who aren’t on Vivaty yet. For a limited time, we’ve made these gifts all free, so it’s even easier to be generous. And, if your friend accepts your invitation within 60 minutes, you’ll both get a bunch of bonus Vivaty Points!

gift

Actions Menu

Some of you guys are really good dancers, so we thought we’d make it a little easier to show off some of your best moves. Click on the “Smiley” button at the bottom of your screen, and we’ll pop-up the Actions Menu, which shows all the dance moves, gestures and different things your avatar can do. Just click on those, and you’ll be doing your best John Travolta impression in no time.

smiley

Miscellaneous

We’re now compatible on Internet Explorer 8.0. We’ve also tuned up the Launchpad and the My Stuff bar at the bottom of your screen, so those should load up much faster than before. We have a nice facelift coming to the Launchpad in a couple weeks too (think of it as just a couple Botox shots to improve the recent cosmetic surgery we did). Also, we temporarily have disabled the ability to change your scene. This is only for 2 weeks, and was a very painful decision, but we did this in order to bring you the shopping experience sooner. It’ll come back, and in a much better way (trust me!) on June 2.

Whew. It’s been an extremely busy few weeks. Thanks for all your support and feedback. We continue to grow at a really amazing pace, as evidenced by the tons of new people we’re seeing popping into Vivaty and becoming part of the community. Keep sharing your ideas with us on how we can make the experience better for you all.

Keep adding us on twitter too! http://www.twitter.com/vivaty

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Product Management

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