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The Metaverse promises to solve roadblocks in the hybrid workplace — but is it really the silver bullet?

Recently, the CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates predicted that virtual meetings will be held in the

Why should SMBs set up a virtual office?

Remote work is becoming a trend, so holding virtual meetings on platforms like Zoom, Meet and Teams has quickly become the new normal. However, anyone who has been in any such meeting has experienced its many caveats firsthand. For example, you will usually have to take turns, you can’t see each other and there are countless distractions. Virtual reality offers the opportunity to set an immersive meeting experience with virtual workstations that are fully interactive. It’s even better because you can see body language and hear space audio, so you can talk over each other rather than alternating turns. You may use your hands to communicate, which is a big component of how we interact with one another, and then lean in to alter your attention based on posture, which is another important aspect of communication.  

Understanding the metaverse

The metaverse is often described as the next version of the internet — a shared, virtual space that is persistently online and active. So, how is that any different than an online chatroom? The term metaverse comes from Snow Crash, a 1992 science fiction novel in which human avatars and software demons inhabit a parallel 3D universe. The Metaverse promises to solve roadblocks in the hybrid workplace — but is it really the silver bullet?  

So why are companies so excited about the Metaverse?

Working in the Metaverse would permit employees to be 100% remote while still allowing for social interactions. For managers, this implies a limitless ability to pool workers from Michigan to Mozambique who can collaborate in a virtual, hyper-practical world. And for employees, this implies they get the opportunity and adaptability to work from any place. A metaverse work environment could likewise guarantee a more equitable workplace, assisting with balancing the odds between the employees’ managers who need to supervise consistently and the individuals who need to work from a distance, if they are single parents, incapacitated, or can’t afford to live near the workplace. Well-being and security also play a role. A recent survey also found that 43% of office workers, either hybrid or full-time, are more worried about exposure to and transmission of COVID than remote workers. For employees of color, 21% lose sleep over it, compared to just 11% of their white counterparts. A Metaverse office implies anybody can come in, vaccinated, unvaccinated, immunocompromised, positive or negative. And afterward, we can get to the actual offices. Envision a Metaverse office where land is less expensive, and you can set it up on top of a high rise or in the stomach of a whale (virtually) – without a high price tag. The desk area in the Metaverse is infinitely scalable. Increase or decrease size according to your needs. It’s the ultimate customizable space. Virtual meeting rooms or shared lounge areas are configured for the type of work employees do – brainwork or creative brainstorming. Metaverse real estate companies like The Sandbox are already popping up to stake their claim on this new frontier, and companies like UK media outlet VCCP and Media hub have already set up their Metaverse offices. At the end of the day, employees want flexibility, freedom, and the ability to connect and collaborate easily—and the Metaverse could potentially have it all.  

What would these metaverse meetings look like?

The metaverse can be described as a virtual universe where clients can “live” by utilizing different types of innovation like virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. The thought is that individuals can work, play, and remain associated with companions through different virtual exercises (for example meetings, concerts, events, and so forth)  

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What Is An Nft Avatar And How To Get One?

By now, you must have seen how popular the concept of the Metaverse is becoming. Combined with the power of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), this digital world and all its virtual worlds are being used for socializing, gaming, and even real estate. However, did you know that NFTs can be used for even more than that? NFT avatars are a hot topic with a lot of Metaverse users wanting one. But what exactly is an NFT avatar, what is it used for, and can you even get one? Find out answers to all these and more in this handy guide we’ve created for you. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

NFT Avatar and How to Get One

The topic of an NFT Avatar is an interesting one so I will start by talking about that. However, if you would rather skip to getting one for yourself, use the table below to jump to the step by step guide.

What Is an NFT Avatar and How to Get One?

You might have heard the term NFT avatar before. To put it simply, an NFT avatar is a digitally generated image that is made in a cartoonish or pixelated fashion. An NFT avatar is usually in a profile picture format and features imagery of the characters usually from the shoulder up of the character. However, what makes an NFT avatar stand out is that it’s usually created with very unique artistic traits. You might see NFTs of an abstract character that looks otherworldly or a familiar character with a weird design. Since no two avatars look similar, there will always be something unique to your avatar.

The market for NFT avatars has hugely accelerated in the last few years. If you read our guide on how to buy virtual land in the Metaverse, you might have seen land sell for a premium. Well, NFT avatars follow suit and actually sell for millions of dollars in the right market. Users also buy compatible avatars and display them on various platforms.

Why Are They Popular? 1. Avatars are Scarce

As mentioned above, each NFT avatar is unique to itself. While a user can copy-paste that image anywhere, the actual ownership of the avatar lies with the owner. Just like in the art world, since these avatars keep getting bought it up, it has caused a scarcity of much-wanted ones. Avatars in limited NFT collections have seen their prices skyrocket depending on how old they are. So if you’re a user who loves all this, it makes sense you would think towards getting an NFT that is rare and valuable. This in turn fuels this engine and drives the NFT avatar boom forward.

2. Community Perks

Moreover, a popular NFT collection called the Bored Ape Yacht Club has an exclusive digital community bathroom where users can draw graffiti. Depending on the type of NFT you buy, you may get other distinct benefits.

3. Investment

As in the case of virtual land, these avatars are can be a great long-term investment. A lot of users got into this business early and bought these avatars when the pricing was low. Now the same avatars can be seen being sold for triple their price and more. So if you’re someone who loves the idea of making profits off a digital asset, an NFT avatar might be the ideal investment for you.

What Are NFT Avatars Used for? 1. Collectibles

If you’re a collector by profession or even just have it as a hobby, these avatars will fit right into your life. Websites like OpenSea feature a plethora of pre-created NFT avatars that are collection-worthy. Many users buy these avatars from various collections and then store them for plenty of time. As a user, you can either keep these avatars for your collection or sell them later to a friend or third party.

2. Gaming

A lot of crypto-based games in the Metaverse have dedicated marketplaces for their own NFT items and avatars. As a gamer in this community, you can purchase these avatars and use them in the game’s ecosystem. If you go by other websites like Ready Player Me (Check out), you can even carry this NFT avatar away to a wide collection of games and experiences.

3. Social Media

If at the end of the day, all you want is a cool yet unique profile picture for your Twitter account, you can consider getting an avatar. A lot of users buy NFT avatars and use them across compatible social media. You can even don these avatars as a profile picture inside a digital wallet like Binance (Check out) for more personalization.

Popular NFT Avatar Collections

There are a lot of popular NFT collections out there that each have their own unique artistic style and principles. What’s appealing to one user maybe not be necessarily loved by another. However, some have stood out and become ever popular among everyone. Some of the most popular NFT avatar collections are:

1. CryptoPunks

Source: Larva Labs

In fact, the most expensive punk ever sold (#5822) was sold at a record-breaking price of almost $24 million so you can see why they must be rare now. Since all the initial punks are now bought up, the only way to get one is through marketplaces.

2. Bored Ape Yacht Club

Launched back in 2023, the Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 different ape avatars that were each minted on the Ethereum blockchain. These unique assets each have their own different design and no two apes are alike. The Ape Yacht Club has quickly soared in popularity and avatars of the collection have become valuable collectibles.

Moreover, users who own an ape automatically get a Yacht Club membership card and get member-only benefits. Besides getting to the community bathroom, Ape NFTs can now get a digital passport that allows them to import their apes into another play-to-earn game as their profile picture.

3. Azuki

Another set of unique avatars on the blockchain, Azuki is perhaps my personal favorite. Azuki NFT avatars have a very vivid art style that makes them even more appealing to look at. However, besides just an avatar, owners get access to the Garden.

How to Get an NFT Avatar

Do you like what you’re reading and want to get an avatar for yourself? Money aside, getting an NFT avatar is actually very possible. There are primarily two ways you can get your hands on one. These are:

1. Go Though an NFT Avatar Marketplace

The simplest and most efficient way of getting your hands on an NFT avatar is by going through a marketplace. Websites like OpenSea, Async Art, and SuperRare will provide an assortment of avatars you can get your hands on easily. You can sort through various collections and get these avatars immediately provided you have a wallet attached. I’ll be detailing this process too so keep reading if you’re interested.

2. Make One Yourself

If you don’t like what you’re seeing on the marketplace, you can always ‘mint’ an NFT of a pre-existing avatar image. For those unaware, the process of minting simply turns the digital file you have into a collectible on the Ethereum blockchain. Once done, you can either sell this avatar on a marketplace or use it. However, if you want a brand new avatar, you can always use an NFT Avatar Generator to create your own.

How to Buy an NFT Avatar?

If you’re looking to buy an NFT avatar from a marketplace this is the section for that. I will be detailing images from OpenSea to describe this process. Follow the steps below:

1. Go to your chosen NFT marketplace. If you’re going by OpenSea, follow this link to go there.

3. You’ll now be led to the collection page. Take your time to first check out the description and the linked website for more details. Once convinced by the project, scroll down.

4. You will now see a wide variety of different avatars. Take your time and choose the one you want. Depending on your budget you can use a filter to sort the price by Low to High.

If your wallet is already connected and loaded, the purchase will go through and you will be allotted your chosen NFT avatar. Congratulations on owning a unique NFT avatar. You can now use this in a lot of places and have fun with it. Depending on what you chose, you might get some other benefits so be on the lookout for them.

How to Make Your Own NFT Avatar?

If you want to build an NFT avatar from scratch you can either use an NFT avatar maker or convert a media file you already own to one. I will be displaying the former through an NFT avatar maker called 8biticon.

1. Go to your chosen NFT avatar maker. If you’re using 8Biticon too, follow the link.

Once done, the noted crypto balance will be deducted from your wallet and you will get your NFT avatar to use. And that’s how easy it is. You can check out other NFT Avatar makers online to find collections more suited to your taste. For instance – NFT Avatar Maker is an upcoming project that promises an infinite number of combinations and 1000s of traits.

You will even be able to mix and match traits from other NFT collections you may have come to love. To the site’s credit, the displayed NFT avatars do look very cool. So if 8biticon isn’t your style, feel free to wait for this one or look for even more.

Can You Sell Your Made NFTS? Represent Yourself with an NFT Avatar

I hope you find an NFT avatar that best represents you and have a lot of fun with it. However, are you confused about the term avatar in general? Then learn what is an avatar in the Metaverse before you make a purchase here. If you’re slowly stepping to the Metaverse, then begin by learning how to access the Metaverse on the Quest 2 for a nice introduction if you have an Oculus lying around.

Turn Yourself Into An Illustrated Avatar For Free

As popular as selfies are, some people just don’t like taking pictures of themselves. But in the Work-From-Home Era, your name on the screen or a colored dot with your initials just won’t cut it. An illustrated avatar may be the perfect middle ground.

Do a quick search for “avatar generator” on Google or in your phone’s app store, and you’ll find a lot of options. The problem is that most of them have the same aesthetic, and illustrated-you will probably end up looking like a character in the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game—big-eyed, plump-lipped, and highly fashionable. Here are four free alternatives you can try.

Get Avaaatars

This is a basic platform that allows you to build your own avatar by selecting the features that better reflect your face and overall vibe. Start by picking a hairstyle, then continue by changing it up with different colors, features, and clothes. You’ll end up with a stylish icon you can use on social media, your email account, and even Zoom calls.

[Related: How to make a legendary meme]

The range of skin colors is also quite limited on this platform, so if you’re looking for something more specific, you may want to try another.

Get Avaaatars is free and you can use it on its website or through its Google Chrome extension.

Avatoon

If you like the whole Bratz doll look, then Avatoon is for you. This platform allows you to create a character that can reflect your personality, even if it doesn’t look exactly like you. You can gear up your avatar with the latest fashion trends and accessories, choose costumes, and even set background decor, such as furniture and plants.

You can spend a lot of time putting different clothes on your avatar and “taking pictures” in special outfits and poses, many themed for special occasions. This aspect of the platform feels like more of a game (you can win or buy gold coins to purchase more outfits), but you can definitely stick to using the freebies and renovating your avatar for your profile pics.

When it comes to the physical features of your avatar, though, your options are pretty limited. You only have seven face shapes to choose from, and four types of noses (all rather tiny, by the way). And the 11 types of eyes all look pretty much the same, except for the ones that are winking.

If this sounds frustrating, you can skip this step altogether by submitting a selfie. Right after you open the app, tap on facial recognition, and take a pic. The app will identify your features and respond with the avatar version of what it thinks you look like. In my case, that was very far off from my actual… well, everything, but the app gave me a chance to fix it all manually.

Avatoon is free for Android.

Memojis

Memojis are everywhere and that’s probably why some people find them incredibly cringey. But Apple truly did a great job with this feature, and it’s one of the most comprehensive avatar generators out there.

The Memoji tool offers a complete range of skin colors, hairstyles, beauty marks, and accessories to reflect people from all cultures and backgrounds—including fantasy characters with green skin and elf-like ears. Some features, like noses and eyes, don’t have many variations, but each one comes with sliders to get colors and gradients just right. Apple’s tool also has other customizable fields you won’t find on other platforms, like age and hair highlights.

[Related: Make a Memoji that actually looks like you]

Memojis are built into Apple operating systems macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.

Picrew.me

When you go to the chúng tôi website, don’t get intimidated by the fact that the site is in Japanese. This might be one of the most fun and original avatar generators available.

This platform doesn’t offer just one avatar generator, but rather dozens of them created by artists all over the world. You can even make one based on your own drawings.

[Related: Emojis and reaction GIFs make Slack better. Here’s how to create them.]

Picrew is available through chúng tôi online.

Microsoft Teams Dnd When Presenting Not Working? Here’s Why

Microsoft Teams DND when presenting not working? Here’s why

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Microsoft Teams supports a plethora of collaboration options and information sharing features, including conference and presentation support

Being able to focus fully on the presentation you’re delivering is crucial for its success

If the DND option is not working in Microsoft Teams, use the solutions listed in this guide to fix it. This guide is part of our Teams troubleshooting hub

Check out our Microsoft Teams Hub for additional guides, as well tips and tricks about this platform

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Sometimes, when you are using Microsoft Teams presentation, a notification pops-up which may even include some personal message. This can be annoying if you are sharing your screen with your colleagues or clients.

By default, Microsoft Teams supports Do not disturb (DND) feature that allows the users to block notifications from appearing on their desktop and prevent any distraction. However, this feature has its shortcomings.

In this article, we show you how you can use the Do not disturb feature in Microsoft Teams and why should Microsoft Teams support the automatic DND feature provided by Skye and other software.

How do I enable do not disturb for Microsoft Teams? 1. Enable do not disturb in Microsoft Teams

Launch Microsoft Teams.

Under the user name, go to Available.

Select Do not disturb from the option.

This will disable all the notifications from appearing on your Microsoft Teams or desktop screen.

Manage priority access

If you want to receive some notifications even when do not disturb option is enabled, you can add the user to priority access settings.

Start Microsoft Teams.

In the Settings window, open the Privacy tab.

Under the Add people section, search for the contact name using the phone number of the email address.

You can add as many users you want to priority access.

This will allow Microsoft Teams to show notifications from the selected people on the screen, even when in DND mode.

However, the feature requires the users to set Microsoft Teams status to Do Not Disturb manually each time the users want to work with presentations.

If your Microsoft Teams status is stuck on Out of Office, follow the steps from this handy guide to fix it easily.

2. Use Focus assist

When the Focus Assist option is enabled, Windows will stop any notifications from appearing on your screen. You can access all the blocked notifications from the action center.

Similar to the Do not disturb option in the Microsoft Teams, the Focus Assist option also requires you to enable and disable the option manually.

Why should Microsoft Teams support the automatic DND feature?

While some people may prefer manually enabling and disabling the DND feature in Microsoft Teams, some may only want to activate the DND feature during Teams presentation.

This makes sense because the user can miss out on important notifications if they forget to reset the DND status to available in Microsoft Teams.

This issue can be resolved if Microsoft offers Teams users an option to enable DND automatically during Teams presentation. The status will change to available once the presentation is closed.

Microsoft is reportedly working on the feature for Teams; however, there is no ETA on when it will be made available. That said, you can help to expedite the implementation by upvoting this uservoice in the user feedback forum.

The Do not disturb is a handy feature in Microsoft Teams. However, having the ability to enable and disable DND based on the actions automatically can make Teams more user-friendly.

Select which parts of your screen you want to share (which programs or windows)

Can you share multiple screens on Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams allows users to utilize multiple screen configuration during conference video calls. However, the participants can only see the content on the active screen.

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Fashion As An Interdisciplinary Topic

This article offers an interdisciplinary approach to fashion theory. This study’s central claim is that the relationship between relationships, cultural practises, institutions, and production structures may be seen in the way that fashion demonstrates these relationships over time.

Along with highlighting instances of opposition, conformity, distinction, and symbolic resistance, the social meanings of the “things of culture” are continuously renegotiated in their relationships with one another and with the setting. They convey changes in societal structure, which are clearly visible in the fashion industry. Because fashion theories are still fragmented, social scientists would need to collaborate in order to fully understand the intricacies of fashion.

In order to understand various fashion ideas and the cultural relevance of self-fashioning, which includes not only clothing but also physical changes like tattoos and piercings, the article emphasises the significance of an “interdisciplinary approach” in the field of fashion. In addition to reflecting far deeper and more organised social transformations and occurrences, fashion serves as a complement. It examines particular anthropological and psychosocial theories seen as important to the growth of fashion studies.

Interdisciplinary Topics

Following are the major topics, which are related to fashion −

Economics

Fashion is frequently viewed as the antithesis of reason in the field of economics. Economists generally agree that fashion is nystrom claimed that it is comparable to “a philosophy of futility,” for lack of a better term. Veblen claimed that clothing, especially women’s clothing, is simply a reflection of the wealth of the family’s head who is wearing it. But this criticism of fashion was not only formulated by classical economists; it is also a common issue among more modern academics who speculate about scenarios in which consumers might be better off “by outlawing the use of fashion.”

Not only do economists criticise fashion, but some of them are downright cynical. The modelling of fashion phenomena by economists can be helpful to sociologists who are interested in fashion as a diffusion mechanism, even though economists, just like philosophers, frequently perceive fashion as being immoral, superficial, or irrational—a view that some sociologists may find unsatisfactory due to their expectation of value neutrality from social scientists.

Philosophy

Before adam smith turned his attention to the actual philosophical mechanisms of fashion, where he saw the outcome of an imitation process rooted in what he called “sympathy,” a feeling through which individuals relate to others, the philosophical debate on fashion—often confused with luxury—was almost exclusively on moral questions. Smith suggested that everyone might share in the grandeur and delight of the wealthy by copying their fashion choices.

Philosophers have also talked about how the idea of fashion might be used to describe social processes other than clothing and dress. In conclusion, despite the fact that philosophy is frequently mired in a “fear of fashion” and a disapproving moral assessment of this social phenomenon, it is a helpful starting point for sociologists of fashion since it offers important pathways for defining the idea.

Cultural studies

Through a number of shared concepts and references, cultural studies and sociology are historically and intellectually intertwined. However, today, they are two separate academic disciplines with their own traditions and institutions. Cultural studies’ interest in fashion is diverse and frequently overlaps with sociology’s. Below is a summary of the various topics included in the cultural studies of fashion, including ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and the body. Fashion’s ambiguity and ambivalence are major issues in cultural studies of fashion, particularly as viewed from a feminist viewpoint.

Geography

In this subject, fundamental geographic notions like locality and concentration have been combined with sociological concepts like networks and corporate economic concepts like branding. Geographers’ interest in fashion must be understood in the context of their focus on the spatial clustering of numerous cultural enterprises. The idea of a fashion brand is relatively new in economic geography, and it is a key outcome of the interaction between producers and consumers.

The geography literature has added to our understanding of how clothing is made and connected local consumption to global markets and global industrial networks. This information, which sheds light on the geographical organisation of fashion, can easily be coupled with sociological and cultural studies; in fact, economic geography and economic sociology have frequently been productively combined in research.

Conclusion

In conclusion, “fashion studies” departments and specialised academic journals like fashion theory, published since 1997 and edited by valerie steele, and critical studies in fashion and beauty, published since 2010 and edited by efrat tseelon, diana crane, and susan kaiser, have only recently begun to appear. For a long time, fashion as a social phenomenon had no particular disciplinary home.

The most important sociologically pertinent findings about fashion from other disciplines, their limitations, and the degree to which a sociological approach to fashion can and needs to distinguish itself from developments in other disciplines due to the current interdisciplinary focus of fashion research have been highlighted here. We can debate certain research topics in the examination of fashion and its connection to young subcultures, beginning with the premise put forward in the findings, which views fashion as a tool for developing one’s personality and acclimating to a new social role.

Marketing In The Metaverse

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Got NFTs, Metaverse, and web 3.0 on your marketing radar?

In a world where the digital and physical meet, metaverses offer an unprecedented opportunity to brands.

Lisa Buyer of The Buyer Group joined me on the SEJ Show to shed light on the Metaverse and what it is.

We talked about this new frontier that’s perfect for marketers who want their business in front of consumers. And it’s only getting started!

Meta is not the Metaverse. Meta is just one version of the Metaverse. We can’t say what the Metaverse will look like because we’re so early. –Lisa Buyer, 8:42

NFTs are very popular right now as art, which is excellent if you resonate with art, but the art also has to have some sort of utility, some sort of what it comes with. What are the uses and benefits I will get if I buy this NFT, or am I just buying a piece of art like I have a piece of art on my wall? –Lisa Buyer, 30:45

I see the whole web 3 movement as being decentralization. I don’t remember anything being this exciting since the internet launched in the first place. –Loren Baker, 12:00

[46:38] – Where’s a good place to learn about the Metaverse.

I see that brands are dedicating a portion of their marketing budget for the year to buying an NFT in a community that aligns with that brand’s mission and vision.

So it’s a way to embed yourself as a brand. You have to do it in the right way. It has to be authentic and transparent, and you have to be able to want to spend time in the community you’re aligning yourself with.

Forget having to launch an NFT collection. Just find an NFT collection or community that matches what your brand stands for and invest in it.–Lisa Buyer, 32:46

The most popular NFTs you see are those from people changing their avatars. Those are great from a marketing perspective because people buy into these NFT projects because of the community. –Lisa Buyer, 22:39

NFTs are just a way to really have your community invest in each other and believe in each other. So I think it’s the next generation of community building. –Lisa Buyer, 36:12

Lisa has been an early adapter of new trends and technologies, always staying ahead in the game. She brings over 20 years of experience as a publicist integrating PR, SEO, and social media for clients, including Fortune 500 companies or start-ups.

She’s also an avid user of digital life tools, so when she wrote Social PR Secrets (4th ed 2023), it was no surprise that this book would be a foreword by Guy Kawasaki.

Lisa is the go-to person for today’s digital marketers. She blends traditional fundamentals with modern-day best practices and loves to share her knowledge at conferences across America.

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