Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
Tonight we will discuss online personas: defining the self in a virtual world. We have an all-star panel for you: Robin Harper, Shawn Gold, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, and David Ewing Duncan as our moderator. So please give them a hand for being here. Inforum is putting on lots of great events at the Commonwealth Club, if you're not aware it's a division of the club by and for people in their twenties and thirties and we offer discounts to all Commonwealth Club events if you join. On December 11th, Inforum will host its annual holiday party at the Supper Club. We'll have DJs, complementary wine and hors d'oeuvres, and performance art. You can sign up for this event during the reception with Jeremy. On January 9th, David Ewing-Duncan, our moderator here tonight will be back to share the results of his $15,000 test, paid for by National Geographic, to find out what kind of toxins are in his body just from everyday living. So that should be really interesting. And we hope to see you back here for one of those events. We're recording this program for a radio broadcast, so please everyone do turn off your cell phones. And make sure to use the microphone in this aisle during the Q&A portion of tonight's event, because we are taping for radio. Our moderator tonight is David Ewing-Duncan, contributing editor for Wired and chief correspondent for NPR's Tech Nation. Please welcome David to the stage as he kicks of tonight's program for broadcast. Good evening everyone, and thank you for coming and putting up with the crowds out there. Good evening, I'm David Ewing Duncan and I want to welcome you to tonight's meeting of Inforum. It's a division of the Commonwealth Club by and for people in their twenties and thirties with a mission to inspire debate around civic issues. Tonight we're going to talk about something that I find quite fascinating. About online personas and defining the self in the virtual world, or in a virtual world. In 1954, J.A. Barnes coined the term "social networking". He was writing about a village in Norway, I don't know if you've seen this book, but he decided that the ideal number of people to interact in a social network was 150 people. Okay. The combined networks of the panelists sitting to my left-- I don't know what it is today, but it's about 40 million, 50 million people. And that number is probably low and it's going up all the time. And keeping track of those numbers is one of the difficult things because it's such a fast moving target. In fact, this week, MySpace is the number four most visited site according to Alexa, which is a metric site, and that's just behind Google, and they're actually closing in on some of the top three, including Google. Facebook is as high as number seven, and in some of the metrics. So what is going on here? And more important, for tonight's discussion is, who are these people? I mean, in that sense who are the visitors? Who are we that are paying attention and going onto these sites. And I mean this literally because tonight we're talking about defining the self in a new age of IM-ers, bloggers, podcasters, burners, P2P buccaneers, mash-up artists and phone cam paparazzi. When people have entirely new ways of expressing and re- inventing themselves and fact can blend with fiction... I'd first like to introduce our panelists who are in the thick of this latest cyber revolution. We have Robin Harper, the Vice President of Community for Second Life. And Second Life is a 3D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening in 2003, it's grown explosively and today is inhabited by almost 2 million people from around the globe. Actually I went online last night, it has 1.7 million, but I think it adds people almost constantly. Shawn Gold is a senior vice president of MySpace, a network of personal profiles, friends, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos and I think a whole lot more. It's home to various musicians, filmmakers, celebrities and comedians, and I'm sure a lot of you who upload their work to share with a larger community. Mark Zuckerberg is a founder and CEO of Facebook. Facebook is made up of school, company, or regional networks that allow people to share information the way they would in the real world. We're going to be talking a lot tonight, by the way, about the real world. Yeah. We might even get into a discussion on what the heck the real world is in these days. Reid Hoffman is a founder and CEO of LinkedIn, a site that helps people be more effective in their daily work and open doors using their professional relationships. LinkedIn has a network of more than 8 million users, representing 130 industries, and why don't we please welcome our panel. Okay. Now. We're talking about defining the self here, we're talking about personas. Who we are. And this has been some subject of thought for many centuries, but it's fair to say that we're moving pretty fast into a new realm. A virtual realm or whatever we want to call it. And I wanted to ask each of you, just to get things started here, what the heck. If you could...if you could be anybody you wanted to be, or anything for that matter, who would it be or what would it be? Start with Robin. Well I've had the opportunity to be just about anything I want to be but I find that being myself is...is a handful enough. So in Second Life, I am who I am. So your first life and Second Life are the same. I have a different name, but otherwise I'm the same, yes. Sean. I'm going to have to go with Will Rogers. Never met a man he didn't like, he got along with, you know, regular folk, dignitaries, he was an ambassador for America, probably one of the best ambassadors we've ever had. So you want to be living in the 25th century? Well, this is alive or dead. I guess he's dead so that's a thing. A dead thing. Will Rogers. So you want to be a dead guy. Okay. Mark. I can't beat that. This-- we're going to have a long evening if you don't answer like that. Come on. You're in the virtual world, what do you want to be. How bout Cher? Cher's cool. Yeah, Cher is a feature we just launched, it's pretty cool. Okay, uh...Reid. Beat that. Unfortunately, one of the problems going last is, I was also going to answer myself, in part because part of the whole thing about having a professional profile as you represent who you are, including for example, if someone Googles you by name. So I would say, myself. Okay. Well this is interesting, since you guys are in the forefront of creating the virtual world, at least two of you want to be yourself. What does this mean. By the way, I debated whether to give them that question before so they'd have time to think about it. Maybe we'll come back around if you guys have anything more to say about who you'd like to be. Since you're asking us to, you know the public, to change ourselves in at least a couple of the sites, I think it'd be interesting to maybe circle back again to that. In fact, on that same kind of idea of tooling around in a virtual world, I'm wondering-- there's a big debate out there about, you know, is this helping us, is it harming us, you know, what is this idea of being able to basically link in and talk to a bunch of people, in some cases, be yourself, in some cases not, in some cases create a whole new person. Is this something that's you think is a harmless release for people, or is it something that we should worry about? Anybody want to jump in here? I'll jump in. Shawn Gold from MySpace.com. A place for friends. I think it's ultimately a positive thing, I mean any technology can be used incorrectly, but it's about empowerment and efficiency and the socialization process. All youth culture goes through this process of breaking away from their parents and creating their own identities, and sites like MySpace, Facebook, other sites on the internet, create this empowering tool to do identity production, or personal branding, as marketers would call it. Where they use video and images and graphics and music to position who they are as an individual and they get feedback from their friends, and they get feedback from strangers, and they evolve it, and so it's positive in that way. Anybody else want to jump in on that? Linked In is all about accomplishing stuff that matters in the real world, alright? So whether it's reconnecting with classmates or colleagues you've lost touch with, finding an expert to help you solve a problem, you know, kind of getting an in to a company to do a deal with them, or possibly find a job or try to hire somebody. I mean, the precise reason why it's the exact opposite of anonymity and it's the exact opposite of kind of a playful fantasy world is because it's trying to empower what you're doing in-- well, in the context of this panel, in your first life. I guess what I would say is that when you have the opportunity to explore aspects of who you are through the way that you express yourself, either by changing your gender or maybe putting on your sad avatar today instead of your happy one, whatever. When you have that opportunity, to me it's another form of introspection, and I think it's very healthy. You know. It only falls apart when you use it in a manipulative way and break trust. I'm going to jump in here by the way, I know that a lot of you are familiar with these terms, but explain what an avatar is. In Second Life and in there and in most online games, the avatar is the character that you use to represent yourself in the world. And in Second Life in fact you can be anything, you can be an animal, I saw a dragon who was having a hard time last night putting out a fire, for instance, it was asking everybody, shouting actually, help me put out this fire. Yeah, you can. You can be very very human, you can be an animal, you can be a sputnik, you can be a robot. Whatever. Well, let me ask, while we're on the subject of reality or not of reality, is some of this encouraging denial of reality? I mean, you're talking about empowerment, but do you have people who maybe are not so happy with their own life, jumping in, we're talking about self here, creating a new self, is that, could that be a denial as well as an empowerment? Or does it matter? Well I'm not a psychologist, I don't really know if it's a bad or a good thing, but where I see it playing out to really positive advantage is for people who are in some way disabled in the real world. And Second Life gives them the opportunity to participate in a large community that's very social, has very successful entrepreneurs, and they can participate in that community on a level playing field in a way that they can't in the real world. Does anybody else want to comment on that...you know, is this a denial of reality in a way, I mean... I think anytime you get new technologies and new ways of expressing media and people, you always get this. I mean, you have this television, you know I'm sure that back when radio was created it was a similar kind of, "Oh it's alienation of what it is to be human," as opposed to another vehicle for expressing it. So I just tend to think that it's like look, there's new vehicles in new media, actually one of the things I think is awesome about the internet in general which is true I think of all of the panelists, is it's a way of publishing essential parts of yourself in one framework or another in order to hopefully build better social ties. Whether it's in a case like Linked In, Facebook is based on connections that already exist in the real world, or kind of the tricking out your page in MySpace, or participating in Second Life. I think it's healthy, I think it rekindles the spirit of play. You know, when we're kids we role played all the time, pretended to be different things, and for some reason, we stopped. And this allows you to continue to do that, experiment, have fun, take on different personas...I mean as long as you, you know, use it for good instead of evil obviously, it's positive. I mean, I don't think it has to just be about creating a new persona. I know that on Facebook most of what people do is communicate with their real identities, so I mean I also don't think it's necessarily about good or bad change, from the real world. I think that people choose to communicate online because it's more effiecient way to do what they would have done in other places. So I mean, at Facebook I know we focus a lot on efficiency of information flow, helping people communicate efficiently, helping people publish information about themselves that they want to efficiently, and that means having the control over who you share it with, being able to say who you really are, or anything about yourself. We do have a pretty wide range of spaces here, actually, and it's sort of funny in some ways that we have this range because we range from very real, like Linked In, to a virtual space, so we have to keep that in mind that there, in fact, I was reading, there are at least 200 of these spaces out there, and they range from a site for 5000 people who are real estate professionals, you know, talking to teach other, to MySpace and some of the huge ones, and a lot, my favorite one that I saw today was Sneaker Play. Apparently it's people who are into sneakers. I think we're actually in order of reality in the panel here. Yeah, actually, I think you are. Reality, what a concept. What does that make me, being on... Oh! Freak. In fact, since I'm sort of out here alone, not sitting there with you guys, the next question I was going to ask is about the idea-- what I'm going to do here is raise some of the issues that people have been talking about, and you know we're very privileged to have a group like you to answer some of these things that we all read about, so that's what I'm doing here. I mean, I think it's a fabulous sort of experiment, what's going on, so I don't mean to sound you know like I'm being negative about it, but I think it's just interesting to find out from you guys, straight from your mouths, real mouths in fact, about some of these issues. This idea of reality and communicating, it's an interesting notion that you're communicating sometimes with thousands of people and yet you're by yourself. And there is a barrier there. Do you guys worry that you're creating a world or a space for people where you don't have as much human interaction. I personally don't, I think that actually more human interaction comes as a result of online communication, you vet out and actually higher quality human interaction, because you vet out who's more appropriate for you. But think about like a-- I mean kids today are in more controlled spaces than ever before. They go from work to after school programs to sports in all socio-economic classes, so they don't have the down time that we did, so this offers sort of you know again empowerment and efficiency in that process. If you're like a fifteen year old kid in the suburbs of Denver, you know, you don't have a car, you're stranded. You know, you go home and you're done. Now the internet allows you to communicate with people, connect with many people, especially if you're like the artsy kid or the smart kid who's slightly outcast in the suburbs. Now you can find lots of people like yourself. It's actually a great time to be lonely on the internet. Having kids I think baby-sitter to some extent, but anybody else want to? I agree with that. I think that these things are also good because they give you different mediums to communicate. You know, so I mean communicating in person is perhaps like the richest form of communication, but I mean there are others that cut out certain dimensions, so for example, talking on the phone, you don't see the person, you hear them, it's synchronous, it's live, right? There are other forms, like Instant Messenger that are still synchronous, but have none of the other senses, and I mean I think that one of the things that's great about these is that it's an asynchronous communication vehicle, where you can put something in a profile somewhere and define who gets to see that, and then anybody who wants to consume that information who has the rights to can go later on and check it out. It's just really efficient. And it actually enables interactions that wouldn't have otherwise happened in the other, any other ways, because I mean there are lots of people who I'm just not going to call. You know, I'm just not that comfortable with them. But I'll communicate with them in a different way. Or maybe they can look at my profile, because I allow them to. And also, in terms of making connections, like one of the things that I thought was an unanticipated but very positive side benefit personally is, I've had friends that I've lost touch with from high school who actually ran parallel careers, right? One of the first guys that got in touch with me is the guy who actually worked at Amazon for a long time, and I literally hadn't talked to him since I graduated high school. And he found me and that was a connection, that was cause, you know, finding ex colleagues, or finding classmates, is actually enormously valuable. Relationship maintenance I think is the phrase that pays here at the Commonwealth Club tonight. And you heard it right here. Were you guys shy when you were younger? Did you, I mean, are you, I mean I imagine that you aren't now, yeah okay. So, so do you feel like, you know we're going to be delving in slightly into psychiatry here as you said, I mean none of us are psychitrists, we don't want to go there in the pseudo or any other way, but I'm just curious if this is something that you guys personally feel comfortable with, interacting in this way. I mean, you run companies now, so I suppose you...we have silence. Well you know I find when I am at a party, let's say, and I don't know anybody, that it's uncomfortable, and I find that when I go to the welcome area in Second Life and there's all these new people that I've never met, that I feel uncomfortable in a similar kind of way. The difference being that we have something in common. We've all come to this place that's unique with the intention, perhaps, of being able to transcend ourselves in some fashion. And so you know, you kind of jump in and you can kind of talk to people, and it gives you something to start with, I think. Now I admit that I just went on your site for the first time last night, and I was feeling very shy walking around. For one thing, I didn't know what I was doing, and then suddenly started dancing for some reason. Couldn't turn it off. We talked about that. There is a way to turn it off, if you just start spontaneously dancing. Well, part of what we're talking about here with the self, or the expression of the self, is there's a long history and progression of us sort of coming up, out of the Middle Ages, when people didn't even have last names, and then we became more and more self aware and kind of atomized in having our own sense of who we were within our culture, this has been called an expression of that. It's just a sort of continuum. But are we going to reach a point where everybody has basically got a pulpit and who's going to listen to all of that, or does it matter. Aren't we there already? Yeah I think so. Well, Andy Warhol said everyone is famous for fifteen minutes, and as a result of social networking now everyone is famous for fifteen people. That would be the, that's the 21st century Andy Warhol expression. Well, I guess that begs the question of what does it mean to have a million friends. Because I know some people on your space, I mean, how can you have a million friends. How can you-- you know, Malcom Gladwell, in the Tipping Point, was saying you're the maximum number of relationships you can actually manage is like a hundred and thirty. What does it mean to have a million friends, it means you're very popular. I mean, you can't, you obviously can't manage those relationships, it's more about broadcasting at that point than it is interacting. So it becomes a sort of pursuit unto itself, to try to grab onto that many people I guess. I mean, the ones who, the people who have a million friends are entertainers, and they entertain their friends. I mean there's a saying that we choose our friends for our ability to amuse them. And actually the reason that makes sense is that our self images are supported by an inner newsreel that we play back of people's reactions to us. If they think we're funny or charming or attractive. We like them. So if you go to my MySpace page and tell me I did a great job, I'll definitely be your friend. I think the thing to keep in mind is that all of these different pieces of software are basically enablers, and what they allow you to do is to connect with people that you might not have connected with otherwise. You find people with common interests, in Second Life I've made friends with people all over the world that I wouldn't have met and Linked In, I've reconnected with people that haven't seen or heard from in a long time, and I've been introduced to people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. So I think it's less about do I have a million friends, and a lot more about, wow I've met new people who are interesting and people that I wouldn't have had a chance to meet otherwise. I think it's interesting that this hundred thirty or hundred fifty number keeps on coming up because the average number of friends someone has on Facebook is right in that range. It's like around 125 or 130 or so. And I think that that reflects that the relationships that people have on Facebook are real. You know, it's not really an application that's used for meeting people much at all, it's mostly just for keeping up with the people you know. And getting a handle of what's going on in their lives, communicating with them. In fact, I quoted right at the very beginning, the original researcher that came up with that number, a guy named Barnes, who was writing about a village in Norway, but that's apparently been a number that's been around in sociology for a really long time. But those, I guess those are connections with people who you really do have real interaction, or more sustained interactions with. You'd think the number would go up. From, when was that research done? 1954. Yeah. You'd think the number would go up with the efficiencies of communication. Well it may be efficiencies of being a human, I mean of being able to actually handle in a kind of sustainable or broad way with that sort of number of people. I don't know, I mean it's interesting. I mean, you guys are right on the forefront of that. I don't know if you've ever talked to-- if you have that kind of feedback from your visitors, but what do your visitors say about that? Anything? Have you talked to them about that? I think the technologies of enabling you to kind of stay in touch with a group of people, it makes it easier when you have the technology to do that. And it's easier to for example, you know when you share a piece of information or content, you update your profile, you let people know what's going on, that sort of thing, it's now much easier, you know I've got on Linked In, something about 1170 contacts, and actually they're all people I know. I've met them, I've known them, when they reach out to me and ask for an introduction to someone else, I know who they are. Now some of them, I haven't talked to in 3 or 4 years. Because I've been busy, start-ups are that way, right? But if they reach out to me through someone, I go, oh actually this is a really cool person. Right. They're serious, they're interesting, they're worth knowing. And that kind of referral enables them to get to somebody else. So I actually, I have found that the number of people that I can kind of keep in my orbit has been extended by my use of Linked In. Anybody else want to comment on that? I think the issue of time is something that impacts here. It's, do people really have time to do this, and you were just saying, I mean 1100 people you're linked in with, if all those people all at once or even a small fraction of them ask you to do something for you, would you really, well you wouldn't have time. Well, I mean the kind of thing Linked In is targeting is a professional thing. So when people ask me for an introduction, it's something that really matters to them. And actually one of the things I think that part of building better communities is when can a small portion of my time make a big difference in someone's life. Making the right kind of introduction is that sort of thing. Right, so I'm actually always happy to do it. Now occasionally what will happen is, I'm really busy this week, I'll get to it on Saturday, right, but you know forwarding an email is typing two or three sentences, it's...about 90 seconds. Reid, what is the average age group on Linked In? Last we measured, I think it was 39. So you have an older group. And I don't know if we have the same progression, probably not, we'll stop at Sean, but are all-- what are the average age groups on the other sites? You know, we're probably close to Facebook in the fif...eighteen to twenty-five, is the core audience. 32 in Second Life. Yeah, our average is right around 21 or 22. I personally don't have as much time as I would like to be on these sites, and you know being inundated daily with email and all sorts of things, is there a sort of natural barrier, I guess in the business model, for something like this? Where you're hitting certain ages, maybe, that are people in transition, say in work, or you know, they're younger, they got more time, is there sort of a natural barrier where people just say, okay enough, I really can't, I don't have anymore time to handle all of this. I think that people do this because they need to communicate anyway, right, and this is a more efficient for them to do that. So I mean we define ourselves as a utility at Facebook, and as such we don't care so much about the number of page views that people do, or the amount of time they spend on the site. As a matter of fact, I kind of prefer it when people can come and get what they need and go pretty quickly. Instead what we measure most tightly is the percentage of our users that come back to the site daily. That find it important enough part of their routine that they'll come back to the site every day. And this is the usage pattern that we have, it's something like, you know, you wake up in the morning, you check email, you check Facebook, you shower, you go to work, read the news, check Facebook...um. Short sessions, and the retention number, daily retention is really large. You know, it's 60% or higher sometimes. And we find that that transcends all those demographics. I mean, we started off in college because that's where I was when I wanted this to exist, so I built it for my school. And we've been around for almost three years now, so we've had almost three years of people who are in college who graduated and now aren't in college anymore, which is why the average is 21, 22, and we find that the retention rate amongst people who are outside of school is right around the same as the retention in college. And the retention of all the high school users we have is right around the same, is right around the retention of users in college. And I mean at this point, we're only about half college users overall. And I mean we find that across this, just the amount of use that we get is just uniformly large, and I don't know, I think that that just sort of shows that it's a utility, it helps people communicate more efficiently than they would be able to in other ways, or else they would just do those other things instead. What about, yeah, well. Yeah, well. I would say we consider ourself similar as a platform for self expression, human connection, and the discovery of culture, which is a big part of what MySpace is about. And we're finding that certainly the older demographics that are coming to MySpace are coming for the discovery of culture. There's still a stigma, you know, if you're over forty, to connect with someone online, and it's embarrassing to say I met them on MySpace or Match.com or whatever you're using. This generation, the under 25 generation, is the first generation to really take advantage of the efficiencies of digital communication, and have no stigma behind it. It's like no stigma behind it. It's like it's illogical not to use it. So you know that's part of it, but because you know we go pretty high as far as demographics go, but we're actually seeing that a lot of 38 year olds are coming online. I was like, why are 38 year olds coming online. Coming onto MySpace. I'm 37, not 38. And it is because the 20 year reunion we've seen a pop in that age. And you know. Fascinating. I guess that's what these guys live in all day long. I mean the stigma that you're referring to is generally actually kind of social dating stuff. I mean, Linked In and professional actually doesn't have that sort of stigma. And I actually completely concur with Mark's comments, that the point is efficiency and utility, and because professionals who are over thirty usually are pretty pressed in their life, as you're describing lack of time, part of what we focus on Linked In is when it's a high value moment, not at a kind of a constant communication flow. For that reason. I think Second Life is a little bit different, because for many people it really is a place where they spend a majority of their time. We looked at one point at the top ten percent in terms of usage and their usage hours in a week were averaging about 84. And so... That's an average? This is the top ten percent, the amount of time that was around 84 hours. A week. And so you know, we kind of stopped and thought about that for a bit and wondered what... Can we talk about addiction here? Well, and that's the question, is that a bad thing, and um, again for...when you look at it though, there are over 7,000 profitable businesses in Second Life. Profitable meaning they're making enough money in virtual currency that when they exchange it for US dollars, it's paying minimally for the amount of money they spend in Second Life, but for many, it's become a living. And you know, I spend 70 hours a week or more on my job. So for them, you know, that's what they're doing. And then for many people it's their social life. It's where they go to be with their friends they've met special people there, so but it's different, it's different than checking in to see if somebody's left you a note. For sure. I would like a job as a fire extinguishing dragon...do you get paid for that? Cause fire breathing dragons get most of the work. I did notice I didn't burn up though when I went into the fire, so maybe it's not so bad to be a fire breathing dragon as well. We've got a few more minutes here in the discussion time. Let's talk-- we were mentioning-- or I mentioned the word "addiction." I guess that could get us into again some of the criticism of the sites. I know MySpace has gotten some criticism for who are some of the people online and what are their real motives. I mean, the dangers, the predators, the people that might be out there with my son or my daughter. You know, what are they really after. Well, I mean MySpace is, I mean, there's a hundred and thiry million regestrants on MySpace, about 90 million people visiting the site, about 320,000 new members come on the site every day. So it's like over 3x the size of California. And it mirrors reality. And there's a new set of rules, to deal with online communication. So it's really, to be safe in that environment it's really about education, it's about, I mean there's certain technologies that we deploy as well. But it's arguably safer than real life. You're not next to someone. You can vet people out. I mean, obviously you shouldn't meet people in person without being in a public place, without a friend, so if used properly, it's much safer than real life. And your real life connections can be much safer. Yeah. I mean the guys at the other end of the table are mostly dealing with real people, I think mostly, right? But-- You get stock for the business plan. You can get a baaaad business plan on Linked In. What about in Second Life on this issue. I thought it was, when I went in last night I found it fascinating what my response was, which I started to talk to people, and I realized that they could be anyone. You know, I was looking at some good looking woman, or a dragon, or something like that, and it could be literally anyone, and that was, and you know it was the first time on the site, but that was a little odd but kind of interesting too. I mean, how do you deal with that barrier, where people come in and you're having to get used to a whole new way of looking or using your imagination I guess, interfacing with someone else's imagination. Well, you know, that's the way it is on the internet. It's...what was that New Yorker cartoon, I think? On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog...and you get to know people the same way that you get to know them in the real world. You talk to them, you get to know what they're interested in and what they like to do, and you don't know, when you first meet them, very much about them. But we also have safeguards in place for younger people, and we give people the option of saying as much or as little about themselves as they're comfortable saying. You know. You wouldn't give a lot of information about yourself until you trusted somebody, right? And I think the same thing is true of them. So as in any relationship, there's give and take and you get to know each other. The idea of basically lying online, I mean a lot of people lie. They lie about their age, they lie about who they are, are we enabling some sort of truthiness as Colbert might say? Well certainly verifying identity is a big issue for us. I imagine it is for everybody here. And there is a lot of work being done right now on the, by various companies out there, on how to authenticate what people tell you. And we're building a system into Second Life right now that'll help you to do that, will verify the things that people tell you about themselves in the real world. For 99.99% of the people on MySpace, and Facebook, and of course Linked In, it behooves you to give your correct information because you want to meet people in a similar age group and like minded people. There's always a couple bad apples that spoil the bunch, maybe even in this audience here at the Commonwealth Club tonight. Are any of you out there? I don't want to name any names. By the way, we're about 3 or 4 minutes from question time, and if anyone wants to ask questions, if you could kind of quietly make your way up to the microphone, we'll start that in just 2 or 3 minutes here. I got to ask this too. Is a lot of this a fad, do you think? I mean, I actually looked up the hula hoop. In 1958 and 59, Whammo, remember that company, they were actually just sold for 80 million dollars, believe it or not, Whammo sold 100 million hula hoops and the US population at the time was about 175 million, so you had over half the population were crazed and had to go out and buy a hula hoop. I mean, is there any element of that here, do you think? In what's going on? I think there's an evolution of technology that maybe new things coming, but I think the trends that you see and where they're going, I don't think they're going to go away and then it's going to return to the bucolic agrarian past. Yeah, I mean, it's an evolution. You know, it's a fad if everyone up here stops to evolve their platform, then it'll be a fad, like GeoCities, it was a fad. But as long as we evolve a self expression platform, the communication platform, the content aggregation platform, speaking spefically on MySpace, and even the international platform, the safety and education platform, those are all things that will stop it from being a fad. Just very quickly. Is this going to replace MTV, is it going to replace television as we know it? No, YouTube is going to do that. We don't have them up here. Okay, let's shift to the questions here. We have people already lined up, and if you could keep these really brief, we've got about 20 minutes and we want to try to get to everyone if we can so...go to it.