Playing the Jester is Hard Work: MOO Forum Logs

Human Costs
Gofy asks, "So, what is the human cost of a MOO?"

Kiwi says to Gofy, "Lots of hours"

Kiwi says to Gofy, "Yes, because you have to learn how it CAN be used, too, as well as HOW to use it"

Kiwi says to Gofy, "We're still exploring, still learning...."

Exploring and learning *are* research, are they not? We include here some comments from the other MOO sessions on the $question.

Where's the $$$$$ MOO1 session
Happy_Guest has strong feelings about when and whether people should be paid.

Gustavo asks Happy_Guest, "should they?"

Happy_Guest thinks people should get paid for their moo work if it directly involves theteaching mission of an existing institution, for example.

Pay: MOO2
Stainless says, "When a MOO appl. is required by users, who gets paid to setup and maintain the server and DB) will work out naturally."

Physical Resources
Kiwi says to Gofy, "Well, yes, but we also make and use MOOs for other people/universities to use...."

Kiwi has several teachers and a whole learning community at her university that will probably be coming in here to use these resources (and to get help from other seasoned players)

Kiwi says to Gofy, "One of the hard things about that though is that csun for example may not like the idea of paying admins for damoo for OTHER university's classes--at least not yet"

Gofy asks Kiwi, "Good point. So we need ways for users, institutions to pay for use of other MOOs?"

Kiwi says to Gofy, "Or...instead of paying--other ways to compensate"

Kiwi says to Jeanne, "For instance, I'm using csun's resources here, and "using" gofy and jai and max to help me teach my classes"

Kiwi says to Jeanne, "But I ALSO give time back, helping other teachers and their students"

Kiwi says to Jeanne, "Uni's probably wouldn't mind sharing resources if they see they're getting something back out of it"

Time *is* money. Working out the cost of shared resources, who is paying for what, in yet another issue where MOO challenges institutional practices.

Jeanne says, "the difference between volunteers and paid staff is that volunteers can and will leave you in the lurch. Staff has to have a very good reason for not being where theya re supposed to be."

Kiwi asks Gofy, "Is it a full-time job? Maintaining the moo?"

Gofy says to Kiwi, "It depends on what you are supposed to do.."

Gofy says to Kiwi, "Developing new features defenitly are.."

Jeanne says, "lot's of programmers have been running MOOs for years, but I hate to say this, it took ppl who were not programmers or were more than just programmers to make the leap to something else"

Max says, "the question is: is a line of moo code of any more value really than a line of descriptive text...most wizards seem to think"

Max saw a half hour interview with n negroponte on tv last night.. he was talking about the 'goodwill' on the net, and almost seemed to be attributing it to the possibility of anonymity

Eric thinks it's really psuedonymity that has the most profound effect, the ability to play with rather than hide from identity

Teaching others to MOO
Max says, "i think we were trying to estimate how many people we had helped on moos"

Max says, "but its impossible to count... if you write a help thing and have no way to know how many read it"

Max is sure players help each other much more than wizs help players tho

Max says, "but if education has value, we have to count what we have been taught as payment too ....."

Andy_guest says, "Right. I'm just past being newbie, but I have this notion that wiz's are so high up the admin ladder that I only want to bother them as last resort. So I rely on colleagues who want to sit with me and learn."

Jeanne says, "I htink it's not so much we are high up on admin laddres as we are boged down in trivia"

Starting your own MOO
Jeanne says, "I think though that everyone thinks they can run a MOO so they go start one and thus no one gets paid"

Jeanne says, "but they don't realize how much time it takes and then they get sucked in"

Bill_K says, "I think that starting a MOO is still so tech-oriented that you almost have to be a unix guru to run them, so typically, you'd have to be doing something in that area t get it into your job description."

Colega_guest says, "We worked out a proposal for Syracuse Language Systems, to buy a server and maintain it for a year, including the sysop and the folks at the university to watch over the machine and its connections."

Colega_guest exclaims, "Came to many many thousands of dollars.. for one year!"

Eric figures when demand for well-developed and maintained mud environments reaches a certain threshhold, the money will come. when faculty and admins get addicted, they'll pay us, but as jeanne notes, they aren't going to pay us to pursue our addictions

Can Do
Martian_guest was telling someone a month or so ago that there's very little that can't be done with a MOO server, so long a you put the right codde into the DB. And the few things left will be available in time.

Martian_guest nods to Bill, "Figure out what they would use it for and tell them they can do so and how."

Stainless nods a Martian, "Just saw a neat reply on moo-cows: stop inventing new protocols, just implement the existing ones in the MOO.

This attitude, which many in business would call the "can do" attitude, is prevalent among MOOers. Even as we are are concerned with how our work will be valued, how we will be paid for our work, the discussion ever and again turns to what we CAN DO with MOO -- how it can serve our purposes, how we can help others to use and experience MOO. MOO seems to appeal to the "geek" in all of us.

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Janet Cross

Kristian Fuglevik