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IMVU is 3d avatar chat; it’s also a pride-inducing piece of software engineering. (egometry.com)
35 points by Hates_ on Feb 15, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

Belittling other people's achievements is obnoxious enough. But the way Atwood chose to belittle them -- "I’d be too embarrassed to blog about it, frankly" -- is a piece of genuine douchebaggery. Of all the people to fling claims about software blog embarrassment, you'd think the king of mediocrity in the field would pick something else. Except he wouldn't, because mediocrity is smug.

Twitter is fashionable, IMVU is not, Twitter doesn't have a business model, IMVU does.

It's a shame some people choose to follow fashion rather than logic.

Most of my non-techy peers do not know what Twitter is (seriously, it's just not very big up here in the Great White North), whereas everyone has seen the IMVU ads...

The twitter exchange reads like a giant Tech Crunch comment. IMVU is making over $1 million per month [1].

While I wouldn't ever use IMVU, hundreds of thousands of other people do. How many people have created something where they can say that (even if Jeff can with Stackoverflow)? Though I am surprised that they're not profitable.

[1] http://gigaom.com/2008/06/24/fresh-look-at-imvu-mini-mmo-wit...

They have an amazing rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is quite surprising for an online product, I mean it's probably better than most chain stores.

The reason I think IMVU isn't profitable is likely because they have such a high monthly usership and such a comparatively low revenue. I mean for 600,000 monthly viewers (not even repeat views) a blog would bring in amazing profits for relatively low bandwidth usage. However IMVU has high bandwidth usage simply due to its nature, yet it only brings in $1 mil a month.

I mean adsense can bring in like $1 easy for 1,000 views, that's easy $600 for 600,000 views. If people are constantly using it, like they do IM's, even just a daily visit from each would be near $20,000 with 100% front page visits from 1 small banner.

who is Jeff Atwood and who is he to decide what is and isn't an accomplishment?

Well... he did make Stack Overflow... which, you know, cured Cancer and AIDS on the day it was made public, and has a strategic lead on solving World Hunger.

"@prestemon I'd have more respect for IMVU if it was a porn site. At least that's honest."

I'm looking forward to their worthyness badge that Jeff will be giving users of stackoverflow.

I know I wouldn't enjoy working on something like IMVU because it seems so childish. I also probably wouldn't waste my time making a deployment system or unit testing it.

I might joke about it in person over a beer, which is perhaps the analog equivalent of a casual tweet.

The funny thing is that this is coming from Jeff Atwood, who blogs with pride on his use of MS and .NET technology. In the circles I mix with that is not something to be proud about or admit publically!

I would really enjoy working on IMVU. It looks like there are some really interesting software problems to solve, and it's making real money.

Working somewhere like twitter would be horrible. They've gone the whole "hype it up into its own bubble" route.

I guess if you don't like working on things that are used by kids, then that's up to you.

Look at http://www.neopets.com also - hugely successful. When you see kids using these things it's pretty cool.

blogs with pride on his use of MS and .NET technology. In the circles I mix with that is not something to be proud about or admit publically!

What part about using a well designed language and platform with excellent tool-support should he be ashamed of?

I mean, he is obviously acting like a douche here, but if you are going to attack him for something, at least find some valid reasons.

As much as I think Jeff Atwood is a clueless writer, he's got a point. IMVU is childish (not to mention really, really ancient), and it provides essentially nothing. "Providing value" to me means "make something that other people can use to improve themselves" - IMVU isn't doing that. At best, it's entertainment, and low-brow entertainment at that.

And what do you mean by improve? Does a Doctor provide value if she extends life. What if that life is devoted to endless silly pursuits like chatting on IMVU. Or commenting here? :)

Value is subjective. If someone pays for what you are doing, you are providing them value. You do not have to worry about the others. Yes, there are probably some behaviors that might lead society towards the brink and you could say that these should be negatively valued, but then who decides whether that society must be forced away from the brink.

Low-brow entertainment is valuable in someone's world.

I have always admired Tom Clancy's response on whether he considers himself literature:

"I entertain people. It is an honest occupation."

Thank you, couldn't have said it better. Who cares if entertainment is low-brow? IMVU isn't doing anything illegal, nor immoral, and honestly, if you have 600,000 active users you are clearly doing something people want.

I define worthiness by the measure "are you doing something that benefits people?", and on all accounts IMVU is successful at it. You don't need to be curing cancer or ending hunger to be doing something worthwhile.

Well said. :-)

I'm fine with the people who provide low-brow entertainment. At the same time... I really wish they'd spend their time trying for something a bit more up-scale.

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