Update, February 19th, 2014: dio was discontinued by Linden Lab on February 19th, 2014. Links to the dio website, etc., have therefore been removed from this article.
You create places by adding text, photos, videos, and interactive objects into interconnected ‘rooms’ that give spatial context to the content you share. You can keep your places private, share them with friends and family, or allow everyone to explore and enjoy them. Live and persistent chat allows you to socialize with other users as you discover and explore dio places together and see what those who came before you had to say. In the future, dio users will be able to monetize the dio places they create, enabling them to profit from their own creativity.
Here’s a look inside dio written after spending a few hours paddling around and setting things up, tearing them down and generally poking around.
dio is currently free to join, and users have a choice of doing so using either a Facebook account or e-mail address. As I avoid Facebook in much the same way as a cat avoids the Atlantic Ocean, I used the e-mail option, giving my name, e-mail and a password. Seconds later an e-mail arrived from the dio website asking me to confirm my details with a click. I did – and there I was, sitting on the log-in page, my credentials filled-out and a single remaining click needed to see me into the site. Simples!
The homepage – or Community page, as LL call it – presents you with places people have already created. Some of these have obviously been created by closed beta testers, but there are already a number of places which appear to have been created by those who, like me, have just signed-up and are playing with things.
Places are listed in terms of Most Popular (most frequently visited) and Featured (criteria unclear). Additionally, users can create “albums” of their favourite places or those belonging to their friends, while also having an “album” of their places.
A place is accessed by clicking on it. If you’re logged-in to dio, a summary page for the place is displayed. If you’re not already logged-in, you’ll be prompted to do so or to create an account (if you are completely new to the site). Clicking ENTER from the summary page will take you into the place itself. This is effectively a web page comprising a number of elements.
- Objects (In This Room): this is a list of interactive objects contained in a room. Objects can currently be any combination of:
- Photographs with descriptive text
- Videos with descriptive text
- Custom objects which can be coupled with a set of pre-defined actions to present a further element of interaction for visitors to a room. Custom objects can be examined, taken to inventory, drunk, eaten, used, locked, unlocked, opened, used to trigger other actions, and so on
- Connected Rooms: a list of additional spaces within the current place visitors can move between, each containing objects of its own and/or leading to other rooms. As with objects, custom actions can also be defined for rooms (for example, a room can be “locked” and require a key object taken from another room in order to unlock it and enter)
- Descriptive area: the main display area wherein images, videos and the results of a visitor’s interactions with objects in the room are displayed / reported here
- Comments / Chat / People: this is where the “persistent and live chat” sits – although currently it is more of a Twitter / Plurk-like comments stream than a means for engaging in conversation, and there is no instant / direct messaging capability. It also displays the people currently in the room at the, moment and can be used to access their profiles. When not required, the panel can be collapsed (HIDE). The image below provides further information on this panel.
There are three further areas to a place page:
- The Related Places panel, wherein links to similar Dio places can be added by anyone (although the creator of the place can remove links which are seen as inappropriate)
- The Google Adservice area, which is discussed later in this piece
- The inventory panel (which is not shown in images here). This is displayed beneath the Connected Rooms panel, but only if / when you have collected inventory items, which are themselves interactive objects found within a room.