• A free mini-guide on how to blog a conference in detail, by Ethan Zuckerman and Bruno Giussani.

Search LoIP

  • Web LoIP

Get LoIP per email

  • Enter your email address:


Books by Bruno Giussani

« Steve Ballmer, the magic of Surface computing, and the coming user experience wars | Main | links for 2007-10-08 »

October 08, 2007


Great post.

This is a good primer for just about any corporate wonk beginning to consider the impacts of social media and virtual worlds, potentially even as good first time intro to those that have not had any indoctrination.

I was among the merely curious, faintly interested in whether anything "spiritual" might be happening in SL. Found myself moved and enchanted by a prayer service in SL in which fellow worshippers from New Zealand to the UK prayed with me for personal concerns. Thanks for this post. I've shared it with my friends. I'm sure it'll make the rounds in SL -- at least among Anglicans! : )

SL is an overhyped (2006 to beginning of 2007 in mass media) failure. There won't be a lot of business activity long-term because there won't be a lot users.

People should instead study massive multi-parallel games (such as WOW or console-based online games with Avatars) or simple browser games (such as Hattrick or Flash Ganes) - these are far more successful.

SL doesn't have high long-term attachment rates (because there is no focused gaming experience) and will therefore fail in the mass market - same goes for Sony's upcoming Home.

SL is actually a drawback vs. hypertext, blogging and other w2.0 widgets whose points are to exchange a maximum of social information with a minimum of cost. SL is very "costly": search is difficult since it mimicks human world - and internet / web 2.0 was basically set up to free up more information that couldnt be exchanged in "normal life". So, as a portal/main platform of information exchange, SL has no future (and actually defeats the purpose of the internet).
As an entertainment destination, it's another story - but anecdotal evidences of high churn points to a lack of a "killer app" at this stage. I wouldnt discount it though - there might be some interesting applications in simulation training (for professional or personal reasons) and the entertainment experience might be enhanced if it was maybe a little more structured.

I forgot to add this link to my post above. It's an article aptly entitled: "How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life"


There are two things about SL web and the Internet that should be cleared up here:
"Second Life can not be looked at in isolation, or you will miss where it’s going. Our emerging future will include three separate kinds of “worlds” – the Real World, the Digital World (2D Web, Internet), and the Virtual World (3D Web)."

We can speak about three different worlds but distinction here is a bit wrong. 2D web and Internet are not the same thing. Internet is also an email, and IM's and, after all, SL. And "third world, is also digital and a part of the Internet. Also, it is not a wise move to call virtual worlds web at this moment. Web is called "web" because of all those links that interconnects it into one huge scheme of data. Unfortunately, we don't have such interconnectivity inside virtual worlds. Not yet, anyway.

Other thing is:
"SL and other virtual worlds have demonstrated the potential to become the next generation of interface for connections, content, and collaboration – effectively the post-Web platform of choice – taking the 2D internet and transforming it to a 360-degree 3D experience."

Second Life is not the next web as many love to say for marketing, hyping or any other purposes. Those two are very different by their nature and also, by their aim. Some things are just meant (and easier and more natural) to be done in two dimensions. One should be crazy to want to surf the web with an avatar looking in the computer screen rendered on the real computer screen. Those are two different worlds... two different tools. Each has its own in a way that complements each other. This issue is more discussed here: http://metaverse.acidzen.org/2008/is-the-second-life%E2%84%A2-the-next-web

I have to disagree with Marc:
"SL doesn't have high long-term attachment rates (because there is no focused gaming experience) and will therefore fail in the mass market - same goes for Sony's upcoming Home."

SL does have long term attachments rates. Actually, I know a lot of people (myself included) who spent there more than a year (which is a double of estimated attachment to regular game) and whose involvement signs they will stay for a quite more time. You are talking about focused gaming experience while SL is not a game. It can be a gaming platform but, as Susan pointed, it is more social space than a game. SL doesn't have problem with people staying once they really get into it. It has a problem to get people hooked up. There are lot of reasons for that though.

Julia, you are right that SL is a bad thing for information exchange as we got used to web and web 2.0. But there is also other way to exchange information - direct, personal one. And there SL does its job. Once again, it complements web, not fighting it.

@Susan : thanks for this comprehensive intro on Virtual Worlds. Very useful for those of us who still have to understand and/or investigate what are the possibilities offered by SL and the likes beyond their initial purpose(s). Remember Twitter ?...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Upcoming conferences