Second Life: Just say yes

Updated on December 19, 2006

Mention Second Life to some people and you open a door to skepticism and dismissive opinions. It reminds me of similar reactions about blogging just a couple of years ago.

While I strongly believe that Second Life has enormous potential as a business environment – and, thus, is something people in business ought to be paying close attention to – I’m certainly not on a mission about it to persuade all and sundry to see it my way.

Either you will or you won’t. It’s entirely your choice.

But you owe it to yourself (at least) to consider as many angles as possible before you land on one side or other of the argument.

If you Google or Technorati for Second Life, you’ll turn up a mixture of intelligent commentary and lots of hype. It’s largely the latter that plays a key role in helping some people be skeptical and dismiss the whole thing as an overrated game.

It seems to me that too much of the negative commentary focuses on here-and-now matters that are largely to do with the frustrations of today’s technology.

I’m referring to things like slow networks, unable to connect to the Second Life grid, graphics issues with the program on your PC, having to upgrade it from time to time, and so forth. And some people seem to be hung up about how many avatars are online at any one time, kind of wondering why all the 2 million registered users aren’t hanging out in world.

Clearly such issues play a significant role in your Second Life experience, but they are not the important issues!

What’s far more important is to look beyond this myopic view and focus on what people are actually doing in Second Life (almost in spite of the technology).

In a pretty thoughtful piece in Second Life Insider last weekend, Tateru Nino wrote about the virtual world nay-sayers, and why they are saying no. The post included this credible view:

[…] Not all of our naysayers are strictly on the outside, either. Some of the most vociferous are residents who can’t let go. They may not log in anymore. They may have even cancelled their accounts. You’ll still see them, however, posting on blogs and forums — presumably to try to ruin it for others, though their motives in this wise would seem to be obscure. Many people just consider that to be griefing.

Writing in GigaGamez yesterday, Wagner James Au wrote a compelling post on Second Life around the concept of “it’s too hyped– and it’s not hyped enough.” Some excellent history and detailed commentary on many of the tech-related issues I mentioned above.

But maybe the best view of all came in this comment to Tateru Nino’s post:

[…] Does all this naysaying really matter? No. At the end of the day those who are into it will be into it, those who aren’t will resist it and the public will vote with their feet – they will either grab it with both hands and it will inevitably lead to (not be) the future of the Internet, or it won’t. And if it is, a whole lot of the naysayers will be left behind.

Amen to that.

Related posts:

[Technorati: secondlife]

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Ian Green

    I hope you’re right. Over the weekend I spent a couple of hours in SL and felt like an off duty policeman in a brothel – so much online sex on offer that I had to make my excuses and leave. I’m 42 and needed the helf of my 15-year-old son to show me how to get around as I’ve never played SIMS.
    However, until SL establishes a business district (I searched and couldn’t find one and apologise now if I’ve missed something) I would struggle to convince my clients about the benefits. They get blogging, wikis etc but SL is a step too far for many. Like everything to do with social media I think it will take 18 months before the but running a business on an industrial estate in Pontefract or Crawley takes the plunge.
    Is it the future of the internet? No! Is it part of the wider conversation? Most definitely.
    Ian

  2. neville

    I can understand the frustrations, Ian.

    It’s all very well reading posts like mine that suggest you ignore such frustrations and focus on cool things people are doing, but if all you get is frustrations, you’re not going to be too convinced.

    When I first got into Second Life at the beginning of this year, I had many of those frustrations. Didn’t encounter as much sex as you, though ;) How things have moved on so quickly!

    I had some great help from a number of people who willingly showed me some places that I would undoubtedly not have easily found otherwise. That gave me a kick start and confidence to discover more as my knowledge of and experience with SL expanded.

    So I’d be happy to meet up with you on crayonville Island anytime and take you on a tour of some of the business places in Second Life.

    Leave a comment here or IM me in SL (I’m Jangles Junot) and let me know if you’d like to do that.

    (Btw, be careful with taking anyone under 18 into SL. There are consequences.)

  3. Burt Serapis

    What do you call a bank “branch office” that has no buildings, no physical location, but only exists on the internet? Why, you call it a “website”. Technically, the term may be slightly innacurate, but not compared to calling it a “branch office”. They’re glorified websites, excpt that they’re graphically bloated, and horribly inefficient

    I’ve spent about six hours “inworld”, and I don’t intend to go back there, any more than I intend to sit though “Dances with Wolves” again. I can’t imagine how anybody could get so excited about dragging a little pixilated puppet around to access information that could be more efficiently accessed some other way. I’ve been using IRC networks for years, and Second Life adds very little other than graphical excess, corporate BS, and a layer of difficulty for anyone who doesn’t have a knack for gaming.

    Of course, a lot of people find Second Life entertaining and there’s nothing wrong with that. It behooves a tech company to have a presense in Second Life, just as it behooves a cigarette company to have a presense at NASCAR events, but (except for a few very specific cases) I really don’t think that it’s going to fly as a business networking tool, because I think businesses are going to discover that large numbers of their customers and partners hate it, and it adds little to the effectiveness of networking presentations, over IRC, the net, or an integrated combination thereof. The visual element can be added in a way that doesn’t make your customer feel like a fool. There will be better interfaces to come, but they won’t necessarily be more elaborate or more complicated.

    But that doesn’t mean that Second Life isn’t here to stay, sort of like Kareoke.

  4. Prokofy Neva

    >…Not all of our naysayers are strictly on the outside, either. Some of the most vociferous are residents who can’t let go. They may not log in anymore. They may have even cancelled their accounts. You’ll still see them, however, posting on blogs and forums – presumably to try to ruin it for others, though their motives in this wise would seem to be obscure. Many people just consider that to be griefing.

    Please try to dig a little deeper on this one, please — there’s actually something rather scary and Orwellian about the comment, not “credible” or “thoughtful”.

    what is says is this: if you don’t like something about a world — even a world where you have much invested and played an active role — and it doesn’t change, and a tiny minority of people with connections to the Lindens who are in charge (Tatero is in that category) never want it to change, why, “there’s the door”.

    It posits the concept of “exit” as the only way for dissent, differing opinion, etc. to be dealt with — never protection of minorities, as in a real-life democratic, liberal country; never hearing of alternative opinion as vital, fresh air to a stultifying elite’s stuffy existence; never compromise.

    Only the ruling clique, it’s concept of what SL should be — or there’s the door.

    The idea that somebody who may have lost entire builds on their island, or be unable to get sales because the SEARCH has been broken for weeks is somehow a whiney “naysayer” unable to “let go” is such plain diabolical. People have REAL reasons for logging off and publishing their protests on blogs. I’m not one of them. I’m logged in for hours a day, active, and not whining on forums — because I’m permabanned from them : )

    And, why, if someone is critical, would this be “ruining it for others”? Huh, their pefect second lives are so easily ruined? Hello? What sort of insecurity is *that* all about?

    There is a lot more to the realities of power in SL than first meets the eye to journalists seeing it merely as endlessly open-ended and free. It’s not. So don’t be credulous about a statement like this from someone who rules the newbie realm with an iron hand as one of the chief fangirlz of Second Life.

  5. Burt Serapis

    As a dedicated naysayer, I just want to point out that when you present SL as the future, you make it my business. If SL becomes the future of the net, I’m going to really hate that. There you go: my murky, questionable motives explained.

  6. Dominic Jones

    I agree that you should never dismiss anything out of hand. It’s important to try and test and look at all sides of the argument and then ultimately go with what makes most sense to you.

    This goes for all new technologies. There is tendency by some consultants to jump on the bandwagon of every new technology or practice that comes along just for the sake of wanting to appear hip.

    Personally, I take a more measured approach. I prefer to watch and wait. I need to see if something has legs, or I need to be utterly convinced of the value proposition right out of the gate, before I will hitch my wagon to something.

    Some companies can afford to experiment and take risks. Doing so is often in keeping with their brand. I put most of the companies you’ve mentioned in your post in that group.

    However, most companies cannot afford to waste money and resources on trying every new thing that comes along. They need to pick their spots carefully.

    SL is one area where I don’t think there is a clear enough answer yet.

  7. Brace

    “Think about why …. ABN Amro Bank opened a virtual branch in Second Life.”

    Think about why Wells Fargo ran screaming out of Second Life and into Active Worlds

  8. neville

    Prokofy, I appreciate your comments but surely your interests are better served by your leaving those comments on Tateru’s post not this one. Or as a post on your own blog, which I’d be happy to link to as it is a different point of view to mine and which I think adds to the overall conversation.

    Note that I have no interest in engaging in cul-de-sac conversation about the Lindens and how they run SL, cliques, or whatever. Plenty of others, including you, do that handsomely on other blogs. I’m happy to link to those commentaries, though, if I think they’re relevant.

    Burt, describing ABN Amro’s SL presence as a branch office was my descriptor, not theirs. So probably inaccurate if you think about a typical bank branch.

    As for why they’re there (this for you, Brace), this seems to be a pretty good reason:

    Second Life is an example of a new-generation internet site that is rapidly gaining popularity and where we want to have a presence from an early stage. It adds an extra dimension to the way in which we experience the internet. It makes internet-based communication with customers more direct and personal.

    That’s a reason ABN Amro state.

    So why did Wells Fargo “run screaming out of Second Life”?

    And I know you’re a dedicated nay-sayer, Burt – I read your blog, which helps me put a lot of the hype in perspective :)

    Dominic, I agree re most companies not trying every new thing that comes along. But they should be paying attention to all sides of the argument, a point which I know you agree with.

    If any of you would like to join the crayon gang for our Christmas party tomorrow, you’re more than welcome. Especially you, Prokofy and Burt!

    Details here.

  9. Burt Serapis

    Unless I haven’t made it clear enough, already, I hate Second Life; I hate it like poison… but even I can understand why a company would want to establish a Second Life Presense. You’ve got to assume that a virtual building costs waaaaaaay less than a real building, so I can’t imagine that there’s that much risk involved. Even if the Second Life community remains limited, it’s going to be large and loyal enough enough that there could be considerable benefits from having your company associated with Second Life. I’m a Linux geek, and IBM’s association with Linux has vastly improved my emotional response to the IBM brand. Once again, the tobacco-NASCAR analogy holds.

    If I were a CEO of a company, I would certainly consider it, even if I had no intention of going there myself.

  10. Burt Serapis

    Hey, thanks for the invite! I might be tempted, but my “good” computer is in the shop right now, and my “crappy” computer can’t handle Second Life.

    By the way, comparisons to Kareoke are not intended to be demeaning. I love Kareoke. My best songs are “Beast of Burden” “96 Tears” and Snatra’s “One for my Baby (and one for the Road.”

    Thanks for reading my blog; you’re probably the first!

  11. Burt Serapis

    “We are used to, and need, 3D”

    Oh, really?
    Rodrigo, you see what you’re doing here? You’re taking your prefence and elevating it to a need, and then you’re assigning it to everyone else, including me.

    People may not intend for these statements to be confrontational, but they are. If you enjoy Second Life, that’s nice, and Lord knows, I’ve found much dumber pastimes on the internet. But whether you realize it or not, you’ve declared human interaction without a 3d visual component to be unacceptable… and to me, those are fighting words. Can’t you just enjoy it, and not make it the future?

    Many of us are quite accustomed to human interaction without a visual component. Before internet chat, it was called a telephone call. I’m totally cool with this, if you don’t mind.

    The networking interface of the future should allow us to organize, process and shape information for easy human access. Second Life does the opposite. It clutters up the interface with phoney information. An avatar is not a person, and second life is not a place. I don’t think communication is enhanced, unless you think it’s fun, and I don’t think it is.

    I learned all about linux in IRC, and I’m very much aware of the potential of real-time networking for education. I don’t want to have to drag around an avatar in order to attend a virtual classrom. Why do I want to be held to the limitations of a physical person without any real benefit? I want a virtual classroom where everybody gets a good seat.

    What I’m really trying to get at is that people keep making statements that seem to indicate that a proclivity for second life is somehow hardwired into the human species. It’s not. I don’t know how successful SL is going to be in the future, but when you speak for all of us, you compel me to speak to for myself.

    I hate Second Life. I found dragging an avatar through the virtual streets of Nowhere to be a rather dreary business. And yet, I have the amount of chromosomes you do.

  12. Burt Serapis

    Let me say it once more for emphasis:this is where the naysayers are coming from. When you claim the future, you’re claiming something that belongs to everybody, and so everybody has something to say about that.

    Second Life is a very innovative and interesting medium that a lot of people (not me) enjoy. We can pretty much generally agree on that. For some reason, people don’t want to admit that they find second life entertaining, I guess because that makes it sound like a game, and heaven forbid.

    If you enjoy it, just say so, because what will determine the success of SL is whether or not people think it’s fun..

    The future will sort itself out. It always does.

  13. Burt Serapis

    Sorry to keep post, but I’ve been reevaluating my position.

    Neville, you seem like a hell of a nice guy, and I would really like to be rooting for you to succeed with your Second Life venture. So I hope I can impress upon you, so that you can impress the community that there’s a real danger in overselling SL.

    Second Life doesn’t have to BE the future of the internet in order to HAVE a future on the internet. I can see now that SL’ers just don’t understand how confrontational their rhetoric has been. I was all set to give SL another try when I read an article about “the future of the internet” and I just freaked.

    There’s a place for SL in the future of the internet, but it’s not going to be all thngs to all people.

    And if I haven’t made that point by now, I’m never going to make that point.. Best of luck, Neville, and maybe I’ll be seeing you inworld. Sorry I had to miss the party.

  14. neville

    Many thanks, Burt, appreciate your warm words.

    You know, I think you and many pro-SL folk have a lot of views in common. For instance, nearly all of the people I know and who have similar views to mine don’t believe a) that SL is the future of the internet nor b) that SL is going to be all things to all people.

    My view on that is the classic right-in-the-middle response: It depends.

    Hope to see you in-world some time.

  15. Burt Serapis

    I got my good computer back, and spent a few minutes inworld last night. I was reminded immediately of what I don’t like about SL, and it might be useful to you for me to share my perspective.

    To me, Second life feels very socially awkward, compared to RL and also to IRC. Without much of a background in virtual world-style gaming, the avatar really gets in the way for me, and I feel like the fat girl at a high school dance.

    I think that you’ve got the right idea. Be friendly, and invite people to parties.

    One thing I love about IRC is that it’s organized into topics. At any time, I can go to a chatroom that’s devoted to something that I like to talk about. I like Linux chats. There also chats devoted to writing, dating, sobriety, and god knows what. Second Life isn’t organized into topics, it’s organized into physical location.

    The irony here is that, in some ways, Second Life uses more advanced technology to create a more primitive internet. Second Life is based on Real Life. The traditional internet is based on written language, which came AFTER Real Life, and was, in its way, a technical improvement over Real Life.

    I think that what Second Life may need is more libraries and museums, places where specific topics can be explored and discussed. I went to LUG meeting in Second Life, but in IRC the meeting is always open That’s if you want to attract people like me, but you may not attract people like me no matter what you do. But I don’t think that you’re going to need people like me.

  16. neville

    Being friendly and inviting people to parties seems a great idea to me, Burt, whether that in the real or virtual world!

    Re libraries and museums, don’t forget that the SL you see now is in a state of continuous evolution. While there may be few of those things there today, no doubt that will change tomorrow if there’s demand, if someone has a plan, and a budget.

    Just like in the real world, in fact.

  17. Tateru Nino

    I think SL is ‘a good start’. It’s got plenty of good and bad points.

    Do I think it’s the future? It’s roughly third generation in the evolution of virtual worlds (perhaps fourth – a lot depends on how you count them). History suggests that no, a later generation will probably supplant it.

    Could it evolve into that next generation? Maybe, but so could a competitor, or a successor.

    Do I feel good about the good stuff? Sure.

    Do I feel bad about the bad stuff? Sure.

    I don’t hold any extreme views or opinions about SL. It is what it is. What it is is *interesting*.

  18. neville

    “Interesting” is a good description, Tateru.

    To some people, it is the Next Big Thing. To others, just a game. To others still, a place to do business.

    I have a simplistic view as well – Second Life is whatever you want it to be.

  19. Prokofy Neva

    Tateru, if you really have that sort of laissez-faire, flexible attitude toward SL, and you imagine that it has that much of an open-ended quality — which indeed it does — then why would you posit that “some try to ruin it for others” (because they have a different concept or SL? or because they are griefers? Why are they griefers?).

    Seriously, SL can only remain open and free if you work at it, it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s going to have a very wide range of uses and it’s important that no one political camp, whether augmenters or immersionists, platformers or worlders, developers or consumers, get to run roughshod over it and seize the reins of power.

    And no, Neville, I totally agree that leaving these comments on Tatero’s blog is the answer, when *you* have found something compelling about her concept, and I’m interesting in engagin *you* on *why* you found it compelling. To look at the larger issue, it’s a comment that seems to be saying, “the naysayers on the outside in fact have their correlary — the naysayers on the inside. But hey, we know the naysayers on the inside are merely trolls and griefers so their concerns aren’t valid,” etc.

    I’m really not quite sure *what* attracted you to this quote, so I thought I’d seek an explication. While your desire not to get trapped in sectarian cul-de-sacs about SL or comment on “how the Lindens run it” is admirable — you want to stay on the broader issues, I am interested in offering you a chance to see how these *are* the larger issues.

    The way a company runs something as revolutionary as this; the decisions they make about matters affecting rights of individual or property; the friends and partners they chose — this might seem like “an internal matter” to this “country” but it has a profound impact on the shaping of the entire Metaverse, especially when it gets *this* much public attention and *this much* media hype.

    For exampe, this, “It adds an extra dimension to the way in which we experience the internet. It makes internet-based communication with customers more direct and personal.” could be pressed further to ask: but is this form of communication going to really be about all customers? Will it be about prosumers who make their own content with your product, only? Is it going to be a gated, elitist realm with even more segregation and hierarchy of a customer base? etc.

    Burt, the topics are available in SEARCH and aren’t all arranged by land, they are arranged by EVENTS and GROUPS. Working the SEARCh (which is clunky, to be sure) is the kep to getting more out of SL.

    Your challenge to SL is a very important one, “The networking interface of the future should allow us to organize, process and shape information for easy human access.”

    That means that SL as it is now will obviously have to be replaced — either by its current manufacturers with later versions of their own product, or by competitors, or by licensing bare bones that others make into something.

    The issue with SL is that your call for better information access assumes that what everyone wants out of a platform like this is better information access. But if they truly wanted that they’d be picking up the phone. What people want SL for is better *emotional* access. That may be dismissed by quite a few. That may be overcelebrated by quite a few as somehow now a *requirement* to understand information. Right now it’s all out of balance, yes.

    There is a huge emotional element of every human interaction that is often muffled in RL settings that first becomes amplified in email, then becomes a roar in SL.

    Re: “Second Life doesn’t have to BE the future of the internet in order to HAVE a future on the internet. I can see now that SL’ers just don’t understand how confrontational their rhetoric has been.”

    I think that’s a very, very astute comment, and one that both makers and users of SL should contemplate more than they do.

  20. neville

    Fair comment, Prokofy:

    I’m really not quite sure *what* attracted you to this quote, so I thought I’d seek an explication. While your desire not to get trapped in sectarian cul-de-sacs about SL or comment on “how the Lindens run it” is admirable — you want to stay on the broader issues, I am interested in offering you a chance to see how these *are* the larger issues.

    You know as well as I do that there are some strident voices in Second Life who, it seems to me, only criticise anyone who wants to do anything in SL that is contra to their rigid view of what SL is or should be.

    A good example of this would be some reactions to the launch of crayon in October, specifically relating to the ‘by the way’ comment I made in my post about crayon being the first company to launch in SL. Not the smartest of sentences I’ve written in a post, to be sure, but the hysterical reaction by some SL residents was well over the top. If the post I wrote was about that, maybe I’d understand the hysteria. But it wasn’t.

    More interesting for me were the emails I received from some long-time SL residents suggesting I ignore the xenophobia and get on with things. Plus conversations in world where I had some great opportunities to talk about crayon with people who asked about that infamous sentence.

    So Tateru’s quote resonated strongly with me as it exactly reflected some of my experience. Given that my post includes references and links to some of the outside nay-sayers, you actually described the reason why I included it:

    The naysayers on the outside in fact have their correlary — the naysayers on the inside.

    While we’re in conversation, I want to add some thoughts on one other point you make:

    SL can only remain open and free if you work at it, it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s going to have a very wide range of uses and it’s important that no one political camp, whether augmenters or immersionists, platformers or worlders, developers or consumers, get to run roughshod over it and seize the reins of power.

    Couldn’t agree more. Yet SL is not a democracy as the developer, Linden Lab, has had the reins of power since the beginning. Perhaps you should look at it and LL’s role as a benevolent dictatorship. In theory (maybe in practice), they can do whatever they want with Second Life. Even unplug the servers and shut it all down at any moment. There might be legal issues here if they did that; the point, though, is that they could.

    I don’t see how the landscape you outline can happen unless LL gives up SL. Or there’s a revolution. Or it all goes open source as I’ve read in some blogs (although I’ve not read any consistent explanation of what ‘open source’ may mean). Or something else emerges.

    Given the rapid growth in user registrations and the continuing influx of businesses into SL, I would guess that all this will be a compelling issue early in 2007.

  21. Tateru Nino

    I agree with all of that, Neville.

    As for what ‘open source’ means in this particular case, it means making the source code for the viewer (aka client) open for public modification. The server software will probably remain closed as long as there’s proprietary libraries (like Havok) involved in them.

    The viewer, on the other hand is a strong candidate to open up. There doesn’t seem to be any material in it that couldn’t be opened (although perhaps there’s some proprietary library in the network code – if there is, then the libsl project would be absolutely vital to the open sourcing the client… which would explain a lot; but I’ve got no information one way or another on that. That’s just a wild-assed guess).

    Making the viewer available as an open source item would certainly speed up adoption in some ways. It would almost immediately add possibilities for simplified user-interfaces (new users are presented with an interface that’s far more complicated than it needs to be), or custom branding (businesses love brands and branding), plus of course, the ability to crib from clever fixes and ideas. An open source viewer *does* also give people the information and testing basis to create their own grids and servers, in a limited way – although actually doing that would be a dense technical effort.

    Is that a good idea? I’m not the right person to ask about that. I don’t have an opinion on whether it is or not.

  22. Burt Serapis

    Okay, I’ve now spent enough time in Second Life that I’ve experienced some of it’s appeal first hand. As I type this, I’m earning Lindens by dancing in a sleazy club, at the rate of 1 Linden every seven minutes. I made 300 Lindens the other day from filling out surveys,. and immediately spent it on a brand new penis.

    Okay, so SL is definitely cool, but compared to IRC, I find my second life experience to be rather vacuous, and if I wanted to be a big naysayer, i could list the reasons why I believe that I am something like five to six times times as likely to have an interesting conversation in IRC… but who cares? Second Life is not for having an interesting conversation. (I’m sure they happen from time to time, of course.)

    Anyone who doesn’t think Second Life is a game (presumably because the competitive element is absent) needs to check the Dictionary. At dictionary.com, there are 15 definitions for “game”, and the very first one is simply “an amusement or pastime”. Competition isn’t mentioned until definition 3. But again, who cares? Of course, second life is a game… but games matter! Games are cultural touchstones, economic powerhouses, and when computers are involved, technical milestones. Linus Torvalds himself has expressed his admiration for gaming technology in the strongest possible terms.

    I am absolutely convinced that there are going to be uses for this technology that are yet undreamed of, but I’m equally unconvinced that Second life does any (or at least many) of the things that we’ve been using the net for any better. All this talk of “Net 2.0” and “leaving the naysayers behind” amounts to a campaign to make unnecessary technology necessary, and I’m 100 per cent opposed to that. If SL becomes the standard for networking for education and business, it’s not just the naysayers who will be left behind. People who lack the time to learn this ungainly method of communication and those who lack the money for fancy processors and high speed connections will also be left behind, and the democratic character of the internet will be compromised.

    But it is a great game. Maybe the best game ever!

  23. Burt Serapis

    P.S. Ironically, I think Second Life needs more web pages. One big disadvantage that SL has over the WWW or IRC is that an SL avatar, like a Real Life person, cannot be in two places at once, and so it would be nice to have some web pages available to learn about services, attractions, and destinations in Sl without having to actually go there. Even if teleportation was more reliable than it is, it’s inconvenient to actually uproot your”self” to investigate SL.

  24. Strategic Public Relations

    Second Life’s Ride on the Hype Cycle…

    Bloglines has brought me several pro and con Second Life (SL) posts to read recently. SL is experiencing growing pains and will continue to do so considering the media’s ebullient build-up of any topic is usually a set up for a tear down. Arrows and …

  25. Gwyn's Home

    Lies, d**n lies, and statistics…

    Clay Shirky’s blog on ValleyWag, “A story too good to check“, has raised a lot of discussion about the nature of the “hype” surrounding Second Life. Shirky’s sceptic approach to it, however, has some severe flaws —…

  26. Next steps for open source Second Life at NevilleHobson.com

    […] I’ve been following Second Life developments with keen interest for a while now, and speculating on what the future holds for this virtual world as well as for Linden Lab. Yesterday’s announcement brings to mind my post in late December and specifically this comment by Tateru Nino on December 24: […] Making the viewer available as an open source item would certainly speed up adoption in some ways. It would almost immediately add possibilities for simplified user-interfaces (new users are presented with an interface that’s far more complicated than it needs to be), or custom branding (businesses love brands and branding), plus of course, the ability to crib from clever fixes and ideas. An open source viewer *does* also give people the information and testing basis to create their own grids and servers, in a limited way – although actually doing that would be a dense technical effort. […]

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