Is Second Life about to enter its “second life?”

You probably have forgotten about Second Life (the virtual world from Linden Lab), right?

Remember, that’s that virtual world that got a TON of hype back in 2005/6. It was on the cover of magazines. On CNN and other TV shows. It looked like it was going to be THE new thing of the decade.

What happened?

Well, a few things.

1. Corporations figured out that they’d need to spend a lot of money to build an island in Second Life (Microsoft spent somewhere around $100,000 if I remember right back then) but soon they figured out that each island could only hold 100 people. Not a good ROI.

2. It had game dynamics. Games are fun for a while, but eventually people get bored of playing games. That’s what happened. People who were very excited and evangelistic about Second Life eventually moved on.

3. It lost its “new and shiny” patina. That’s most of why the press forgot about it. We only pay attention to new and cool stuff. Heck, just look at Techcrunch. Do you read about older technologies there? No.

Anyway, one thing happened that I find very interesting: it continued to grow in users, time spent on the site, and dollars spent in it.

On Friday I sat down with Mark to find out why.

First, the users remained very evangelistic. Second, corporations like IBM found other uses for its islands and kept investing (they now use these islands for training and replacements of expensive conferences). Third, the technology has been steadily improving. Fourth, the company has found new ways to bring new users in and make the experience easier to get into.

But he admitted that they had been pretty quiet and avoided doing more PR work until just recently.

Why is that changing this week? You’ll see why tomorrow morning at about 11 a.m. on building43.

But to tease a bit, I find that their new direction, the first part of which you’ll see tomorrow in the video I did with Mark, is interesting and represents a new life for Second Life and its host Linden Labs.

To wrap this up, have you used Second Life lately? Even if you haven’t, see you on building43 tomorrow morning for more.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

110 thoughts on “Is Second Life about to enter its “second life?”

  1. genius – have sent the link home to look at in it's entirety tonight – but excellent work!

    I find it pointless engaging in debate with people who dislike Second Life… I hate hip-hop but rarely engage in debate with hip-hoppers (?) to tell them their 'music' is sh1te – why would I? Who am I to critisize their meas of entertainment/expression? I am not so arrogant…

    Have fun in whatever you do people – if you don't enjoy it leave it alone ;o)

    Cat – 3 plus years in SL, content creator and good time person.

  2. genius – have sent the link home to look at in it's entirety tonight – but excellent work!

    I find it pointless engaging in debate with people who dislike Second Life… I hate hip-hop but rarely engage in debate with hip-hoppers (?) to tell them their 'music' is sh1te – why would I? Who am I to critisize their meas of entertainment/expression? I am not so arrogant…

    Have fun in whatever you do people – if you don't enjoy it leave it alone ;o)

    Cat – 3 plus years in SL, content creator and good time person.

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