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LinkedIn has released a list of professional skills that companies need most in 2023.
There are 50,000 professional skills in the world, according to LinkedIn data.
The company has combed through its data to determine the hard skills and soft skills that are most valuable this year.
“These are the skills your boss and your boss’s boss find most valuable, but have a hard time finding – and the skills that’ll most help you better serve your clients and customers.”
Those who are looking to improve their skill set this year could consider this data a starting point.Most In-Demand Soft Skills
According to LinkedIn data, 57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.
Here’s what they need most and why:
Creativity: Organizations most need creative employees who can conceive the solutions of tomorrow.
Persuasion: The key to having a great product is persuading people to buy into it.
Collaboration: As projects grow increasingly more complex, effective collaboration is becoming more important.
Adaptability: An adaptable mind is an essential tool for navigating today’s ever-changing world.
Time Management: Mastering time management today will serve you the rest of your career.Most In-Demand Hard Skills
To no surprise, many of the most valuable hard skills are those that can be utilized in today’s increasingly digital world.
Here’s are the top 5 skills companies need most and why:
Cloud Computing: Companies are desperately searching for engineers who have the skills to accommodate a shift toward the cloud.
Artificial Intelligence: Data suggests that the age of AI has arrived.
Analytical Reasoning: Companies are hungry for professionals who can make smart decisions based on vast arrays of data.
People Management: Companies are shifting toward having leaders who can coach and empower others.
UX Design: This is is the key to making a digital world work for humans.
Here are the rest of the most in-demand hard skills in order:
Mobile Application Development
Natural Language Processing
Social Media Marketing
Customer Service Systems
LinkedIn measured demand by identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates. Only cities with 100,000 LinkedIn members were included.More Resources
You're reading Linkedin Reveals The Most In
No doubt the demand for and the supply of skills identified with blockchain has grown in Singapore to the point where it is ruling the market. This news comes by means of another LinkedIn report covering the Asia-Pacific region. All things considered, as per a LinkedIn report published on June 19, the most prominent new skills among Singaporeans in the course of recent years are around blockchain development, workflow automation and human-focused design, which includes improving products and services for human users, for example, visual design, product design, and customer experience. The report observed blockchain to be the fastest developing expertise in Singapore and among the top three in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. To state that blockchain is the fastest developing skills would be excessively summed up since the business encompasses a ton of territories. In any case, it essentially covers the making of a network or platform that explicitly has to do with the digital distributed ledgers, TheNextWeb reports. It is expected to ensure that transactions are done rapidly, safely, and with no ambiguity. Aside from blockchain, the other top 10 rising skills are artificial intelligence (AI), frontend web improvement, human-focused design, robotic process automation (RPA), workflow automation, social media marketing, continuous integration, and gesture recognition technology, in no specific order. The demand for specialists with these skills is multiple times that of the general skill base on LinkedIn. If we believe in this report, the demand for these skills, which are still in their nascent stages, will just increase further with wide-scale adoption of their related technologies later on. The report’s discoveries don’t actually come as an astonishment. Blockchain innovation has seen an increased enthusiasm for Asia as far back as its disassociation with digital forms of money, its first and most prominent use-case. It included that soft skills, for example, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving had grown in value because of the ascent of AI and automation, as these abilities enable experts to change in accordance with having robots in the working environment. The report anticipated that by one year from now, as practically 50% of the core aptitudes required to carry out a job would have changed. Two out of three survey respondents felt dismayed by the pace of change in their enterprises. The LinkedIn study found that Singapore experts knew about the need to upskill, with 75% of respondents conceding that the aptitudes expected to prevail at work were “evolving quickly”. Two of every three likewise considered soft skills to be a key factor in career progression. They critical thinking, flexibility and communication skills as the top three soft skills well on the way to be required later on. Governments themselves were quick to control virtual currencies, however, communicated plan to use blockchain innovation in different divisions, a likely contributing factor. Indeed, even inside the financial area, standard organizations have observed blockchain to be valuable in improving their current services. As indicated by a review directed by IT services provider Cognizant in 2023, up to 88% of financial organizations in Asia Pacific accepted blockchain to be essential to the business’ future.
Learn how to track, measure, and optimize LinkedIn data using LinkedIn analytics. Plus, we’ll show you a few extra tools to up your game.
As a marketer, understanding LinkedIn analytics is crucial to your success.
That’s because being “data-driven” isn’t just a buzzword — these days, it’s a necessity.
LinkedIn’s analytics can help you track progress, measure success, and connect with your target audience.
In this complete LinkedIn analytics guide, you’ll:
Learn how to use LinkedIn analytics
Discover the best metrics to track
Explore LinkedIn analytics tools that can simplify reporting and deliver deeper insights
Let’s learn how to get the most out of the data available on LinkedIn.
Bonus: Download a free guide that shows the 11 tactics Hootsuite’s social media team used to grow their LinkedIn audience from 0 to 278,000 followers.How to use LinkedIn analytics
There are two main ways to track metrics using LinkedIn analytics:
LinkedIn’s built-in analytics tools, or
Third-party tools, like Hootsuite’s LinkedIn analytics product
The route you take depends on your social media marketing strategy and what you want to track. Let’s look at each option in more detail.Native LinkedIn analytics tool
The native LinkedIn Analytics tool is available to all Page admins. It provides detailed insights into your page’s performance.
You can also find a quick snapshot of your last 30 days of activity on the left-hand side of your homepage.
Here’s a breakdown of metrics available in the native LinkedIn analytics tool.Visitor analytics
Visitor analytics show you people who are coming to your page but aren’t loyal followers of your brand on LinkedIn — yet!
You can use this data to spot traffic patterns and tailor your LinkedIn updates to new visitors. This can lead to visitors converting into new followers and increased social engagement.
Scheduling tools like Hootsuite can also help you convert visitors to followers. When you find out which posts are performing best, use Hootsuite to promote them as sponsored content and draw in new audiences.Update analytics
Update metrics show how effective your LinkedIn updates are. They can tell you if your followers are engaging with your updates. This data is great for helping social media managers spot trends and patterns.
For example, if your update analytics show low post engagement, start testing different variables. You can try changing the time you schedule posts or the type of content that’s published.Follower analytics
These metrics highlight who is interacting with your page content and updates. When you understand your followers, you can create content that speaks directly to them. This can help improve engagement and traffic.
LinkedIn shows you this data based on your followers’ location, job, seniority, the industry they work in, and company size.
(Find out more about important LinkedIn demographics here.)Competitor analytics
LinkedIn competitor analytics is a newer feature that’s still in development. Currently, you can compare your page followers and engagement with competitors.
This comparison helps you improve your social media strategy. Competitor analytics can tell you what you’re doing right and where there’s room to improve.Lead analytics
These numbers help LinkedIn Page admins review how employees engage with recommended content.
(Note: These numbers will be a little more useful if you have employees!)LinkedIn post analytics
This view will show you the number of impressions and engagement your post received. It can also show you the demographics of people reached.
You can also find detailed insights into post-performance using Hootsuite Analytics:LinkedIn profile analytics
Tracking profile analytics is a good idea if you offer professional services from your LinkedIn profile or act as a brand ambassador.
These stats can be found on your profile, directly under Your Dashboard.Hootsuite’s LinkedIn analytics tool
Hootsuite’s LinkedIn analytics product gives you all the information you need to track your brand’s performance on LinkedIn—in one place.
When you connect your LinkedIn account to Hootsuite, you can:
View detailed analytics for your Company Page and profile
Compare your social media stats side by side
See how your content performs over time
Download and share customized reports
Get real-time alerts when someone mentions your brand
See a complete list of Hootsuite LinkedIn metrics here.
Hootsuite is also great if you’re managing one or more LinkedIn Company pages. Your Hootsuite dashboard lets you track vital stats like page views, follower growth, and engagement levels.
Track content performance over time and compare your page stats against competitors. You can use this data to adjust your strategy on the fly to ensure you’re always getting the most out of LinkedIn.
Plus, use Hootsuite Impact’s Audience Discovery feature to measure the online behavior of LinkedIn users. This will show you how specific LinkedIn users engage with topics online. This is a great way to learn what your audience cares about so you can serve them more of the content they love.The best LinkedIn metrics to track
There are countless LinkedIn metrics available to marketers. But does that mean you should be tracking, monitoring, and reporting on them all?
Nope! That’s a lot of data.
Which LinkedIn metrics you should track depend on the marketing goals you set.
For example, if your brand is trying to engage new audiences through its published posts, keep an eye on update analytics. If you want to grow brand awareness on this platform, track followers and visitors analytics.
If you’re brand new to monitoring LinkedIn metrics, start simple. Here are some basic metrics you should be tracking.Update metrics to track
Here are the best LinkedIn update metrics to track.Impressions
This metric lets you know the total number of times your LinkedIn update is visible for at least 300 milliseconds. This tracks when the post is also, at minimum, 50% in view to a user that’s logged into LinkedIn.
You might also want to track unique impressions. This is the number of times your post displays to individual signed-in members. Unlike impressions, unique impressions won’t count when a user sees the same post multiple times.
LinkedIn Reactions are used to display different emotional responses to your content. Users can select emojis to show that they like, celebrate, support, love, find insight or feel curious about the content you share.
Shares is the number of times a user decides to share your content with their own LinkedIn following, expanding your post’s reach.Engagement rate Follower and visitor metrics to track
Here are the most important LinkedIn metrics for followers and visitors to track.Follower metrics
Followers analytics measure the number of people who would like to stay connected with your brand. Important metrics your brand should monitor include:
Number of followers over time: This shows how the number of your brand’s followers has increased (or decreased) or a set amount of time.
Total followers: The total number of current followers your business page has.
Follower demographics: This is useful for understanding how your content resonates with followers in certain industries, seniority levels, and locations.Visitor metrics
This shows key metrics about the visitors coming to your LinkedIn page, but who aren’t following you in order to see your updates regularly. Important metrics your brand should monitor include:
Page views: The total number of times your page was visited.
Unique visitors: How many individual members have visited your page. This gives you a good idea of how many people are interested in your company.
You can track:
The change in the number of recommendations.
Posts from recommendations.
Reactions to posts.
Comments on posts.
Reshares of posts.LinkedIn profile metrics to track
You can also review some LinkedIn metrics without a business profile. If you’re using the platform as a business influencer or to share thought leadership articles, try tracking these metrics:
Search appearances: The number of times your profile appeared in search results during a given period.
Premium accounts will get more in-depth information, like who those users are, what their job title is, and the keywords they used to find you.
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Start free 30-day trialHow to make a LinkedIn analytics report
Now that you know which LinkedIn LinkedIn analytics to use, it’s time to start creating reports.
You can create six types of reports using LinkedIn Analytics. These are:
We’ll explain these in more detail below.
To create a LinkedIn analytics report, follow these steps:
First, navigate to your LinkedIn page and access your Page Admin View.
Then, choose the Analytics tab and choose Updates, Followers, or Visitors from the drop-down menu.
You can export data from up to a year in the past. Data will be downloaded in an .XLS file.
Here are a few of the best LinkedIn analytics tools to help you track, measure, and optimize your LinkedIn content.Hootsuite Analytics
If your company has accounts on several social media platforms, Hootsuite Analytics can make your job a lot simpler.
Hootsuite Analytics lets you:
Track, monitor, and compare metrics for your brand’s multiple social accounts from one place.
Set performance benchmarks, making it easier to work toward your goals.
Create customizable, clear-to-read reports that are easy to share with your team.
Try Hootsuite for free. You can cancel anytime.Hootsuite Insights
Social listening tools like Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch help you monitor ongoing conversations about your brand.
This tool helps you “hear” what people say about your brand on social media. You can use Insights to track mentions, highlight trends and join important conversations.
You can even compare audience demographics across networks or look at the aggregate picture of your audience for all networks combined.
This is a tool that tells you a lot about your audience — and how they feel about you.
Request a demo of Hootsuite InsightsHootsuite Impact
Hootsuite Impact is our enterprise-level analytics tool. It lets you measure the value of your social efforts, including those on LinkedIn.
Hootsuite Impact goes beyond vanity metrics to showcase the entire customer journey.
Hootsuite Impact also integrates with other metrics tools like Google Analytics. Analyze your numbers by timeframe or campaign.
Learn more about Hootsuite Impact here:
Request a demo of Hootsuite Impact
For more information on using LinkedIn for business, check out our step-by-step guide.LinkedIn Hashtag Analytics by FILT Pod
You can even view your entire history to see which past hashtags have brought in the most traffic.
Learn more about Linkedin hashtag analytics by FILT Pod here:
Easily manage your LinkedIn Page alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single platform, you can schedule and share content—including video—and engage your network. Try it today.
Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.
20 Of The Most Expensive Steam Games In 2023 [Worth It?]
Steam is the most extensive digital gaming distribution for PCs.
You can find 50,000+ games on Steam from various developers and can see all categories of games.
Steam is the center of gaming for most users, where they can buy, play, and discuss games.
Launched back in 2003, Steam has become a behemoth. Moreover, they have a wide range of game categories for everyone, from free to some of the most expensive games on Steam.
It hosts over 50,000+ games from various developers and is unshakable in the industry.
If you ask, why is Steam simply so popular? The answer is that they have a vast library of games; they offer mod support; you can add non-steam games to your library; backup your game saves on cloud and external storage devices; and more.
Plus, Steam doesn’t only sell games; it also sells both paid and free software, like a wallpaper engine, particle effects creator program, parametric image editor, and so much more!
But the question is, what are the most expensive games on Steam? Let’s find out!What are the most expensive items on Steam?
Even though the list we compiled is nowhere near holding all of the most expensive items found on Steam, it will still provide you with helpful information.
Now that we covered the most expensive items found on Steam in 2023, let’s move on to the essential element: the most costly games found on Steam this year.What are the most expensive games on Steam in 2023?
The Ascent Free-Roaming VR Experience is undeniably the most expensive game on Steam. However, it offers one of the most immersive and premium V.R. experiences, where up to five players, including you (1+4), will have to remove the infestation from the FuriCorp research facility.
With additional hardware such as a bodysuit and an omnidirectional treadmill, you can include special effects in your gameplay by having it give haptic feedback and shake the floor.
You can play in multiplayer mode as well as a single-player mode.
This game costs $999.00, which sounds surreal, but provided the experience the game offers, it’s up to the individual to determine if they want to experience this unique experience or want to pass.
This game doesn’t provide any DLC content.
⇒ Get Ascent Free-Roaming VR Experience
Strata Spaces V.R. is an immersive V.R. game that launched in October 2023. This app is aimed at designers and modelers who are in the world of designing and are passionate about it.
Strata Spaces V.R. allows the designers and the modelers to play around with the digital world by creating structures, interior designing, and more.
Strata Spaces V.R. allows the designers and the modelers to bring their creativity to life.
This game has DLC content.
⇒ Get Strata Spaces V.R. – Professional Edition Upgrade
Sharecare YOU VR Pro is another V.R. app on today’s list. This app is a fully immersive human body simulation that allows anyone passionate about medicine and the human body to explore.
With a single button press, you can dive deeper, learn about an organ, and visualize its functioning in 360 degrees.
This application has even more features where you can learn more about the body and physiology by simulating diseases.
This V.R. application is built for medical students who aspire to be physicians or anyone in general.
This game comes with the option of DLC content.
⇒ Get Sharecare YOU VR Pro
The Super Fight is priced at almost $200, and this fighting game is popular amongst gamers for all the wrong reasons.
Firstly, the price tag! Unfortunately, most users have found that they were cheated, as this game offers only one level, and the background feels like a static jpg photo.
It is unknown why it is priced so exorbitantly, but if you are a Richie-rich and want to build a collection of owning the most expensive games on Steam, this one deserves to be on the list.
This game doesn’t come with any DLC content.
⇒ Get Super Fight
Fight is a first-person shooter (F.P.S.) game published by a Chinese company called Rongyou. It’s the only game this company has so far produced and is priced at $199.99.
There are three reviews on this game, with two users recommending it and one not suggesting it.
The game looks rather dull, and the asking price can be too much for regular folks, except if you are a collector or want to try your hands on this game.
The answer is no if you’re wondering if this game has any DLC content.
⇒ Get Fight
The Island of Dr. Yepstein is a first-person action shooter game. The story takes place on a mysterious island where you kill the enemies and solve its secrets.
A 12-year-old made this game. And the reviews on Steam are split into two camps, where a few players say it’s an excellent game, but the other half disagree.
Also, this game is a non-DLC content game priced at an exorbitant price of $199.99.
⇒ Get The Island of Dr. Yepstein
Do you have glossophobia? Meaning, are you afraid of public speaking? Or having trouble speaking correctly? Then the Virtual Orator is for you!
It creates a V.R. experience that helps people overcome their glossophobia or helps them with their speech.
You can change the crowd size, behavior, and more by adjusting the game’s settings. Start with small crowd size and gradually increase it when you think you can handle it.
This game is fantastic for people with speech challenges, but it costs a steep $199.99, and that can be expensive for most unless you genuinely want to overcome your challenges and conquer them.
This game doesn’t have any DLC content.
⇒ Get Virtual Orator
Just as the name of the game sounds, you play as a thief in the game. You steal a plot against the emperor and are on the run, hence the name Run Thief.
The entire game revolves around you avoiding all of the traps that have been set for you. It has the potential to be a fantastic game, but the graphics are inadequate for the $199.99 asking price.
The game has two reviews in total, and both are voted as not recommended; plus, this game doesn’t come with any DLC content.
⇒ Get Run Thief
W.H.A.L.E. is an educational V.R. game for Water and Hydrogeological Analysis Laboratories Enterprise, and players learn about sustainable water development in this game.
Plus, this game doesn’t have any DLC content.
⇒ Get W.H.A.L.E.
Z.L.M. Crafter is an RPG game where you are a scientist whose name is Lachlan Lawrence, but who wakes up as a robot one day.
When you wake up as a robot, your only mission is to stay alive, explore, and decode the mysteries. If you die, you can restart, but every time the details won’t be the same as the first time.
If you like games where everything is not the same as last, and the details keep changing, then this one is definitely for you.
And no, this game doesn’t have any DLC content.
⇒ Get Z.L.M. Crafter
Arcade Drift is an early access indie racing game launched in June of 2023.
Currently, three cars and five maps are available to try out, with more in the pipeline once the full version of the game launches.
This game has six reviews in total, with five positive ones, where one user said that it’s a pretty good game and the graphics are excellent for an early access game, and it doesn’t have any DLC content for the same reason.
Is the price justified? It’s on you to make the call to purchase this game or not to purchase it.
⇒ Get Arcade Drift
The Earthquake escape is a simulation game, and the gameplay is unique, where you play as a boy who is left alone at home and has to move to a safe place in case of an earthquake.
The graphics look okay for this kind of game, and there is only one review available, which is a positive review, where the user mentions that they previously bought the same game for $500 and marked the study as Recommended.
Also, this game doesn’t come with any DLC content.
⇒ Get Earthquake escape
1000 Stages: Adventure!!! It is an indie game that was launched way back in 2023.
This game nowhere looks like it’s one of the most expensive Steam games, but it surprisingly has that price tag. Also, the user reviews for this game are mostly positive.
⇒ Get 1000 Stages: Adventure!!!
Marriedbook is an early access game for all couples, and it encourages you to form an intimate bond with your spouse and promotes the idea of teamwork and its importance.
The game also offers unique couple activities to bring them closer and help them understand each other better.
This game is available for Windows users that use XP up to Windows 10, and the recommended spec to run this game is Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or higher and 4 G.B. of RAM.
⇒ Get marriedbook 💍
VR-CPR is all about providing C.P.R. in V.R. The graphics are impressive, but the price tag, which is $119.99 for this game, can be questionable for most.
When writing this article, there were no reviews for this game.
⇒ Get VR-CPR
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy is an RPG game developed and published by the Japanese company KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., L.T.D.
This game is the sequel to Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout; the story starts three years after the prequel and is about how Ryza and her friends reunite and face new challenges.
For a price of $109.99, this game comes with Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy Digital Deluxe Edition and a season pass with 12 DLCs that have been launched in stages since March 2023.
Plus, this game has DLC content that you can download.
⇒ Get ATELIER RYZA 2: LOST LEGENDS & THE SECRET FAIRY ULTIMATE EDITION
Emission V.R. is an action game where a virus leaks from a secret lab that turns people into zombies.
This is a survival horror game where you must enter the lab and destroy all the evidence while confronting the zombies.
The game mostly has a negative feedback on Steam and is downvoted as Not Recommended.
⇒ Get Emission V.R.
It is impossible to talk about games and not mention Call of Duty. The Digital Hardened Edition of Call of Duty: Ghosts offers exclusive digital content, such as a season pass, player card, official Call of Duty: Ghosts soundtrack, and more.
The Digital Hardened Edition of the Call of Duty Ghosts has mixed reviews, and it can be purchased for $99.99
⇒ Get Call of Duty: Ghosts – Digital Hardened Edition
The Dynasty Warriors are based on the Chinese novel of the same name that talks about three kingdoms called the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
It is an open-world RPG game where you and your army invade and protect other kingdoms’ invasions.
Overall, the game is okay, but it is repetitive, just like the previous Dynasty Warriors games, but the price for the complete edition is a good deal to grab, and it also has DLC content for download.
⇒ Get DYNASTY WARRIORS 9 COMPLETE EDITION
The Deluxe Edition of the game, on sale for $84.98, includes a complete game and a season pass. It also comes with DLC content.
⇒ Get DARK SOULS III DELUXE EDITION
The season pass unlocks new maps, enemies, weapons, bosses, and more.
Most of the games mentioned in today’s most expensive games on the Steam list can feel like outright rip-offs for what they offer. But there are quite a few games that can be a solid deal.
Let us know what games you will be buying from this list.
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When New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson first coined the term metaverse in his 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he set a high bar for other science fiction authors to come, including the worlds subsequently created in films like The Matrix. His immersive literary technique and attention to detail in each of his works – Seveneves, Anthem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon – have created a world that, today, we are actually working to build: this next-generation information era, dubbed Web3.
As one of the most popular sci-fi books of all time, Snow Crash’s first inception was a graphic novel undertaken by Stephenson and artist Tony Sheeder in 1988 called Dioxin Posse. However, the publisher rejected its manuscript, as the printing costs were upwards of $20,000, forcing Stephenson to write Snow Crash as a novel.
Fast forward to 2023, and Stephenson’s vision of the metaverse is finally taking shape, where questions of identity and infrastructure are finally front and center. What better way to celebrate than by looking back to where it all began? On February 27, 2023, Sotheby’s will recognize the author with Snow Crash, an auction of six physical and digital items connected to the revolutionary novel. This sale also includes Infocalypse, an open edition collection of digital art designed for, or derived from, Dioxin Posse.
Stephenson sat down with nft now to talk about this upcoming sale at Sotheby’s, in addition to how questions pertaining to identity, fashion, and metaverse infrastructures are beginning to take form.
nft now: How did the idea of auctioning off some of the original Snow Crash manuscripts come to be with Sotheby’s?
Neal Stephenson: The project started early last year and has been in the works for about a year now. We were talking about doing some NFTs, and at that point, the field was wide open in terms of where we might sell those. That led to the idea of auctioning off the original manuscripts, which is a different kind of auction, obviously, that makes you think of the classic auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Also, the owner of the original artwork for the cover of the mass-market paperback of Snow Crash approached us, wanting to auction it off, so that has also been rolled into this.
The original typesetting manuscript for Snow Crash. Credit: Neal Stephenson/Sotheby’s
nft now: One of the more unique items that will be available at Sotheby’s is a katana sword, dubbed “Sword 1” – what can you tell us about it?
NS: Since late 2023, we’ve been working on the Snowcrash sword project with Weta Workshop, the New Zealand craftsman guild that created all the props and weapons for the Lord of the Rings trilogies. The idea behind “Sword 1” and the one I own, “Sword 0,” is that it was meant to be an actual physical recreation of Hiro’s sword as described in Snow Crash.
“Sword 0” started in 2014 and finished in 2023. However, “Sword 1” is a new creation and the one that will soon be available for auction. The sword is a physical object and a work of fine art; it’s a magnificent object that deserves to be sold in a traditional auction house like Sotheby’s.
Weta is incredibly particular in that they want to know every detail of the backstory of it before they start designing and working on it. And you can see that in everything that they have made as movie props. So, for “Sword 1,” I had to supply Weta with new information about the background of the families involved and how this sword came into Hiro’s possession. As a result, it caused me to begin writing some new original story material in the Snow Crash universe during 2014-2023.
The idea that both Richard Taylor at Weta and I came up with was: why not make more of these, use some of the new story material from the Snow Crash universe that nobody knows about, and use it as the basis for creating new swords? Even more elaborate and magnificent than the one I’ve got.
“Sword 1.” Hand-Forged Tachi and Saya with Digital Twin as NFT. Credit: Sotheby’s
nft now: Let’s turn to your generative NFT art project, Infocalypse, which is also part of the Sotheby’s auction.
NS: In 1988, four years after the original Macintosh computer came out, Tony Sheeder and I started talking about a graphic novel project called Dioxin Posse, and we were going to use computers to do it.
He had never used a computer with a mouse before, so he came to my house, and I fired up MacPaint and explained to him how to use the mouse. He sat down and drew this line-drawing cartoon of a face – and we named him Elmo. I loved the image, so I saved it and preserved it. We used it as kind of like a mascot or logo for a while, but the graphic novel project ended up going nowhere as a business proposition, and I later wrote Snow Crash.
Last year, we started thinking about this auction, and we were scrambling around trying to find the original artwork we produced circa 1989 for Dioxin Posse. Tony had printed out the artwork on a color printer and pasted it up on poster boards, but those had been destroyed in a flood.
Surviving materials from the original graphic novel concept for Snow Crash titled Dioxin Posse. Credit: Neal Stephenson and Tony Sheeder/Sotheby’s
But, he was able to find ten 35 mm slides that we had shot of that artwork, so one of the lots in the Sotheby’s auction is going to be those slides and high-resolution digital scans of the slides that will also be sold as NFTs. One of those pictures was Elmo, so from that, Tony came up with the idea of doing this generative art project and using generative techniques to make thousands of unique variations of the Elmo face with different backgrounds and color palettes.
nft now: What about generative art do you feel resonates with you most?
NS: It’s a natural fit with the digital ethos of the NFT marketplace, and where I think it gets interesting is in the editorial process, where humans are involved – not just running an algorithm and spitting out a bunch of images randomly. Rather, you’re evaluating each one and asking, ‘do I like this? Is it unique? Does it stand out from the others in some way?’
Over the last month, Tony and Sterling have been sifting through the output of this algorithm and painstakingly going over all of these things. For us, it’s a way to make artwork that addresses a broader market. It’s fine to do fine art and sell one thing for a lot of money, but at the same time, you don’t want to shut out collectors who want to get in at a more reasonable price point.
Infocalpyse NFT example. Credit: Tony Sheeder, Sterling Crispin, Neal Stephenson, and Sotheby’s
nft now: Where do you think our focus should be right now in the current NFT market?
NS: My interest right now is in the legal rights of both buyers and sellers in this market because right now, they don’t have any. We use the term ‘smart contracts,’ but they’re not contracts in any sense of the word. We also talk about how supposedly the artists are going to get secondary royalties and secondary sales, but that’s completely voluntary, and buyer’s rights are also pretty nebulous.
Normally, if you sell something to someone, one of the steps in that process is having to prove that you actually own the thing that you’re selling. None of that is in place here, which is why we are doing an experiment with a company called V Copy, which is run by Josh Kramer, whose background is in entertainment law. In working with Josh, we hope it’ll be a step forward in addressing some of these issues.
nft now: Turning to Snow Crash, what was your spark for creating this “Metaverse” world that has come to define today’s “Web3” tech boom?
NS: When we were working on Dioxin Posse, I ended up writing a lot of code with image processing software that was intended for making art. I ended up buying a lot of shit, including a very expensive computer monitor. The impression I came away with was that the potential of computer graphics was incredible, particularly 3D-rendered scenes that you can interact with.
However, it was incredibly expensive and hard to use at the time, which is where the science fiction idea came in – what would be the TV of 3D computer graphics? You made the analogy to Grand Theft Auto, which obviously didn’t exist at the time, but it’s not a bad analogy. And that’s the vibe that you see. It’s that Starsky & Hutch, A-Team, and The Dukes of Hazzard style content.
The original painting used as the cover art for the 1993 mass-market paperback edition of Snow Crash. Credit: Bruce Jensen/Sotheby’s
nft now: Today’s visualization of the metaverse seems to impart that certain mechanisms or rules are made to be broken. Can you speak to that?
NS: Starting with the premise first, I think we have to have the rules, otherwise, we can’t make a coherent metaverse. And the thing that weirdly got me thinking about this was a book published by Apple in the 80s called The Apple Human Interface Guidelines.
This handbook captured the reason as to why all Mac applications had common features, including the way the buttons behaved, the menus worked, etc. And some people ignored it and did whatever they wanted, but for the most part, Apple understood that they were going to get greater uptake and reach the market better if their app looked and behaved the same as all the other apps. So, I did the science fiction thing and asked what the metaverse equivalent of that would look like – and that’s where I came up with the idea that there would have to be certain rules in this metaverse, such as gravity always in one direction.
nft now: Let’s talk about these rules as it pertains to the novel’s depiction of “avatars.”
NS: There’s some kind of general respect for the laws of physics, which must be present for a metaverse to exist at all. Since this was a cyberpunk novel, there had to be hackers who hack something, which is why we see Hiro and other characters finding ways to circumvent these rules and make their own workarounds.
nft now: With these avatars, there seemed to be an element of tangibility attached to them throughout the novel, such as the ability to go and purchase “Brandy” at the local Walmart. Does that same element of tangibility exist with today’s avatar?
NS: I think there are some things that are no longer possible today, but we do have avatars in the form of two-dimensional PFPs, and names in a Slack channel or Discord. And people care about those a lot and put a lot of effort into finding avatars they like – even if it’s just a thumbnail man in a three-dimensional environment.
When we think about avatars, we think of some crazy, non-realistic ones. However, for these people who design and sell fashion, having realistic avatars that actually looked like the owner was really important because what they want to do at the end of the day is sell clothes.
The leather jacket meant to be worn by Y.T. in the original graphic novel concept for Snow Crash, featuring the ‘Elmo’ logo used by her group, the Dioxin Posse. Credit: Sotheby’s
nft now: So, we aren’t necessarily missing the mark?
NS: I think all of that is going to happen…even the situations where people don’t want to look like themselves, whatever the underlying reason is. I think people are going to have wardrobes of different avatars that they can choose from. And from there, that’s where we get into all kinds of questions about how to implement and actually make that work.
nft now: How would you explain the current tension between IRL and digital identity?
NS: There has been tension between anonymity and the potential for abuse. We now see that bot accounts and fake accounts online have been weaponized by sophisticated, well-financed actors as a way of distributing misinformation.
We’ve also seen innovations that have happened within the last month with AI-driven systems, which make those weaponized systems much more. It’s been an ongoing source of trouble, which is probably going to get worse – and that is a clash between the original idea of the 1990s idea of the internet, which is the kind of idealistic, academic hippie who wants to improve the world, versus what happened when bad actors realized how powerful the internet could be.
nft now: With tech innovation at its highest right now, will we see a single metaverse – or will we continue to see multiple metaverses that are built “bottom-down” by decentralized infrastructures?
NS: I don’t think it’s super complicated. If our vision of the metaverse is something that millions or even billions of people use happily in a productive way, then there have to be experiences there that people enjoy. So who’s going to make those experiences? Right now, the people who know how to make experiences that are actually fun are, by and large, a group of people who work in the gaming industry – and those experiences tend to be artistically rich, nice to look at, and fun to interact with.
nft now: Does the gaming sector have it right?
NS: One major roadblock when it comes to creating VR or AR experiences is asking how to break through these markets – commercial, industrial, military, medical, and educational – and make them interesting to a vast consumer market. I think the gaming industry is just miles ahead in actually achieving that.
The #MeToo campaign has caused a disruption in the way the society thinks and functions. As on mid-October 2023, the social #MeToo India campaign has continued to grow to be covered by major media outlets and publishing houses as a topic of importance, with victims bring out their abusers in the glaring public eyes. The movement has led to massive social consequences for several of those accused, including firing or resignation from jobs, condemnation and disassociation from professional associations, and a mass unrest from their fans and/or the public at large. Additionally, accused have been the target of law actions and countersuits from the accused, and the withering away of the social and public support.Indians Score in #MeToo
Big data analytics and global media intelligence firm Meltwater reports that Indians have been the most vocal about #MeToo movement in the month of October. This massive support in India is correlated to both growing online activism and innate suffocation that is on the rise. Meltwater has pointed out that 25% of the global chats on #MeToo have come from the Indian region, topping the list of countries with netizens tagging the hashtag. India was closely followed by the US, with 22% of the conversation tagged around the subject in October. Since its beginning in October 2023 the #MeToo campaign, in the US, has reached its peak this year in October. The #MeToo movement calls for women to come out and speak out their stories of sexual harassment openly or anonymously by tagging with hashtag #MeToo on public platforms and social media.Global Repercussions
#MeToo has become a global phenomenon with top names being put as culprits under scanner. In India, dozens of politicians, journalists, actors, socialites and musicians, and very big names, have been charged with sexual harassment by women on public platforms as a part of the campaign. A junior minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet had to resign after a former junior colleague accused him of having sexually harassed her during the minister’s early days as a journalist. Meltwater reaffirms in its report that the #MeToo revolution initially had made its mark in the US-Hollywood, exposing several well-known directors, actors, agents and musicians in the entertainment industry for sexual misconduct. Subsequently, the movement extended around the world and took down, reputed names in India.Data Trends
Meltwater’s report is based on the data mined between October 1 and 30 this year which showed that while the movement was new to Indian diaspora, it found 28,900 mentions in the editorial news, 95% of which has made up the mid-month spike in the week between October 10 and 18. Meltwater data additionally asserts that with 49,000 mentions, a large number of global tags of #MeToo, India have trended alongside the terms “sexual assault” and “sexual harassment,” which were mentioned 29,000 and 27,000 times respectively.
The #MeToo campaign has caused a disruption in the way the society thinks and functions. As on mid-October 2023, the social #MeToo India campaign has continued to grow to be covered by major media outlets and publishing houses as a topic of importance, with victims bring out their abusers in the glaring public eyes. The movement has led to massive social consequences for several of those accused, including firing or resignation from jobs, condemnation and disassociation from professional associations, and a mass unrest from their fans and/or the public at large. Additionally, accused have been the target of law actions and countersuits from the accused, and the withering away of the social and public support. #MeToo is not a movement only for the urban elite. Many concerning issues like net neutrality, privacy and sexual harassment, are dismissed by a section of the public, alleging that these are questions not concerned to the “real” India. However, Google has created a visualization which helps users see who is searching for “me too” in India. As visualisation of Google Search Trends in April this year show, the top cities searching for ‘Me Too’ around India not come from the metros like Delhi or Mumbai or Bengaluru but far-flung towns of Chicalim (Goa), Bhusawal (Maharashtra), Zirakpur in Punjab, and Bhanwreli and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh indicating #MeToo India has catapulted to a national phenomenon. The national and the global change maker #MeToo has been searched for in 195 countries, or every country on the planetBig data analytics and global media intelligence firm Meltwater reports that Indians have been the most vocal about #MeToo movement in the month of October. This massive support in India is correlated to both growing online activism and innate suffocation that is on the rise. Meltwater has pointed out that 25% of the global chats on #MeToo have come from the Indian region, topping the list of countries with netizens tagging the hashtag. India was closely followed by the US, with 22% of the conversation tagged around the subject in October. Since its beginning in October 2023 the #MeToo campaign, in the US, has reached its peak this year in October. The #MeToo movement calls for women to come out and speak out their stories of sexual harassment openly or anonymously by tagging with hashtag #MeToo on public platforms and social media.#MeToo has become a global phenomenon with top names being put as culprits under scanner. In India, dozens of politicians, journalists, actors, socialites and musicians, and very big names, have been charged with sexual harassment by women on public platforms as a part of the campaign. A junior minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet had to resign after a former junior colleague accused him of having sexually harassed her during the minister’s early days as a journalist. Meltwater reaffirms in its report that the #MeToo revolution initially had made its mark in the US-Hollywood, exposing several well-known directors, actors, agents and musicians in the entertainment industry for sexual misconduct. Subsequently, the movement extended around the world and took down, reputed names in India.Meltwater’s report is based on the data mined between October 1 and 30 this year which showed that while the movement was new to Indian diaspora, it found 28,900 mentions in the editorial news, 95% of which has made up the mid-month spike in the week between October 10 and 18. Meltwater data additionally asserts that with 49,000 mentions, a large number of global tags of #MeToo, India have trended alongside the terms “sexual assault” and “sexual harassment,” which were mentioned 29,000 and 27,000 times respectively. The #MeToo campaign has spread across the globe, gone global, crossing multiple boundaries. In the current era, the phrase and hashtag #Metoo has been one of the most viral and powerful occurrences in social media history. Tracking the numbers that focus on #MeToo specifically can be overwhelming because they’re huge. Half a million people have responded to actor Alyssa Milano ‘s tweet in the first 24 hours, and by the end of November, Twitter puts the figure to over 1.7 million Tweets that have been made with the hash-tag or its translations worldwide.
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