Second Life is Not Over-hyped…

David Kirkpatrick, Senior editor for Fortune, says that Second Life is not over-hyped: it’s a preview of the future of the Internet.

“That’s because what it really may represent is an alternative vision for how to interact with information and communicate over the Internet….Looking at Second Life makes me realize just how much the Web, wonderful and useful as it is, still mimics a print model.”

This May Be the Future of the Web.
I’ve been evangelizing for a while now that SecondLife offers a great platform for innovation, but I also think Kirkpatrick is on the mark when he says that the Internet of the future is more likely to look like Second Life’s 3D metaverse (my avatar: Horace McFly) where people can interact in real time, than it is to remain the one-dimensional, text-based world we’re used to.  Most of my business colleagues don’t share my enthusiasm for the medium.  They think it is a game where people who have way too much free time waste as much as they can, but as Kirkpartrick (avatar: David Liveoak) explains very well, it really is all about business. 

“We are all lathered up about the success of News Corp.’s (Charts) MySpace. But the social networks of the future will probably be much more than merely a bunch of Web-site-like collections of data, as MySpace is today. MySpace beat Friendster, the previous champion social networking site, by allowing its members much more freedom in how they created their pages.”

“Second Life goes much further. It took a radical approach to design from the beginning. It offered itself as a mere platform for the creations of its occupants. Essentially everything seen inside the software today was created by its users.”

Whether Linden Labs will be able to overcome Second Life’s shortcomings of requiring a software download that corporate servers prohibit, and requiring a level of geekiness way beyond that of most execs, remains to be seen.  But one 3D world or another is likely to achieve the scale of Google or MySpace in the Internet’s not too distant future.  My bet is that it’ll happen within five years.

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