dio Or No dio

The buzz the last couple of days in the SL blogosphere is about dio, small ‘d.’ dio is the new whatchamacallit from Linden Lab.

In reading the press hits that LL did to promote the unveiling, I really couldn’t grasp what it would be. So I watched their commercial – that animated video LL put out. That led me to think it was going to look something like the video. Not at all.

How does the Lab answer the question, “What is dio?” “dio is a new creative and social experience that allows anyone to make and explore unique places based on anything.”

How would I answer the question? “dio is a website you can put your photos on and write some text about them and share it with your friends or the world.”

But isn’t that like Facebook, you ask?


And isn’t it like, flickr?


And isn’t it like Pinterest?


And couldn’t you do all of this with a plain old website?


So what’s the big deal?

Beats me.

Does it look nice? Yeah, it looks nice. Clean is the word that hit me as I clicked through the site. I have since seen others describe it that way.

When you login you get a page which shows pictures of the pages you can go to with the title and the creator’s name below the picture. This looks like Kitely’s Public Worlds page. I mean, it looks EXACTLY like Kitely’s Public Worlds page.

When you click on a picture, you are taken to a profile page of the Place or Room, as LL wants you to call it. Then you click the Enter button and you are taken to that Place or Room. But you don’t go to a place or into a room as you do in a 3-D world. You go to a website page. It doesn’t feel like a place or room, In fact, it doesn’t feel like anything. It looks like a webpage. Mainly because that’s what it is.

And, unless you brought your own music with you, say you’re running iTunes or Pandora, you sit there in silence – no music, no sound effects. You look at the nice pictures, read the black on white text and then, when prompted by the text, click on one of the buttons on the lefthand sidebar and go to the next picture.

And that’s it.

Sounds exciting doesn’t it?

One very annoying aspect is that when you have finished looking at the current picture and reading the text and you click the button to your left for the next picture and look back to the center for that picture…nothing happens. Because the sidebar on the left doesn’t take you to the next picture on one click. No, it scrolls out the LOOK button. You click on that and then look back at the center of your screen and then you scroll down and now you can see the new picture.

The reason for this is that sometimes there is more than one option when you click the button on the left. However, most of the time there is only the one, so you must click a second time – often on the same descriptive word. Very redundant. Two clicks and a scroll to go from one picture to the next. Sounds like a big step backward. They should do something about this.

Maybe dio will be the next big thing, I am not saying it won’t. I use Facebook and Twitter but I sure don’t understand why they are so big. I use them for professional reasons, that’s where you can reach people. I conduct my business and leave. If everybody ends up on dio, I will probably have to do that too. But the enthusiasm some people have for FB and Twitter, I don’t get. dio looks to me to be more of the same. So, maybe it’ll be a smash hit!



About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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3 Responses to dio Or No dio

  1. Inara Pey says:

    dio is fun and easy to grasp – and currently functionally challenged, as you point out.

    Whether it really has an audience remains to be seen. Less than a month in and it seems pretty stagnant after the rush of the first few days, so it might need time to establish itself.

    I can see the appeal – yes it has elements of Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, etc., but the way it brings all the threads together is potentially attractive – but the UI really needs a heck of a lot of work, as it is very much a barrier to getting things done, rather than an aid. My first dio place took 15 minutes to set-up, but now I’ve learned more and want to tweak it, I’m finding it next to impossible, and many options are simply, “delete this and start again”. Similarly, my more involved place didn’t take that long to work out in principal, but was a major PITA trying to get all the functionality working, again because the UI is so bloody awkward in places.

    I’ve actually ceased work on my third place, as I want to see what updates (if any) are forthcoming before I opt to give up a few hours in order to get the thing built-out a little more.


    • Hi Inara,

      You are right that what dio has going for it is the way it brings together elements of other websites that people know and love.

      Elsewhere on the web a Commenter took exception to my dio article, apparently feeling I had dissed it. Actually, I didn’t. What I’m dissing is Linden Lab’s marketing of dio. In particular, I’m calling them on their hyping of it as completely different and as “an experience.” It ain’t.

      If dio had come along first and Facebook or Flickr were just coming out now, I’d be saying, “This is like dio.” It’s okay that it’s not completely different. It’s okay that it’s not “an experience.” It’s even okay for LL to claim that it is as it’s certainly not unusual for a company to hype or over-hype their new product. Just as it’s okay for me to respond that LL is full of baloney when they do.

      Other than the clunkyness of dio, I think it’s cute. Nothing wrong with cute. But that’s not enough for me to become a user. Unless it becomes a hit, then I might have to. But for now, I’m not interested but I’m probably not their target audience either.

      I can see some people doing nice things with it. Talented people like yourself. I was going to wait a bit before checking out dio but after reading your review of it, I decided to check it out right away because I knew you would do something nice with it and it sounded like it worked with the nice things you’ve done with photos on your blog. It does. I take nice pictures in SL. Other people have told me this. But you make artistic photographs which is entirely another level. Either of us – but especially you – can make good use of dio to present these photos. But either of us can also do the same with a blog – as you have shown many times – or with Flickr or Facebook or a “plain old website,” etc.

      So what it comes down to, as far as dio’s success, is whether this particular packaging of elements from other sites that people know and love becomes their favorite packaging of these elements.

      Will I go back? I have no reason to…but I might have to go back sometime to see what you’re up to, Inara. In fact, that’s probably what will do it. You’ll write a blog piece with a couple of nice photographs on what you’ve done in dio and I’ll say, “Gee, I haven’t been over there for a while…” And I’ll look at your stuff and I’ll check out a couple of other people…and then I’ll be on my merry way.


      • Inara Pey says:

        I agree on the marketing 100%.

        There has always been a lack of prowess within LL when it comes to marketing themselves and their product (now products). Why,I have no idea; perhaps the 06-08 “boom” with SL took them so by surprised, they’ve come to regard marketing as an arcane undertaking which is six parts luck, one part positive thinking and one part hoping something manages to go viral on its own – and that it is this, as you say, which is going to doom dio.

        Another aspect is that I’m not entirely sure LL know what they want dio to be – and they are simply throwing it out there in the hope that it’ll at least partially stick – and that they’ll have enough feedback to would out what it could / should be …


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