Why Google Lively is good for Second Life

Google’s announcement of Lively, a 3d virtual room product, generated a few “So long Second Life” blog headlines. I’m going to take the contrarian view and claim Lively is actually GOOD for Second Life (SL’s own usability issues aside).

Why good? Because it’s all about training wheels. Power-user products such as Second Life feed off of consumers who are familiar with similar experiences and hungering for “what next.” Second Life’s original user base was trained by VRML, The Sims Online, Photoshop, Maya, etc. Basically users who are developing skills or hitting limits in other applications and looking for a place to evolve into.

So Lively can succeed on its own merits by attracting millions of users hungry to get into more immersive chat and expression, and Linden Lab benefits by a % of those users eventually graduating into Second Life, which is likely to be more freeform and open than Lively. And I bet those users are more likely to understand Second Life than folks who are completely new to virutal social environments.

[my bias here is that i work at google – although i had nothing to do with Lively – and was previously an early Second Life team member – so i’ve managed to dream up a scenario where both win. Of course, if Lively causes some company to want to buy Second Life, that’s cool with me too :)]

5 thoughts on “Why Google Lively is good for Second Life

  1. I’m with you. Lively will do more for Second Life than SL could have done on its own. As someone who works in both worlds to some degree, one of the challenges with virtual worlds is user familiarity and corporate understanding. Google will lend legitimacy to virtual worlds, first – hey, if Google’s doing it, this must be something to take a serious look at. As well, as you say, once you’ve tired of 3D chat and moving your furniture around you’re bound to ask the question “OK, this is fine, but I want to visit a real WORLD now and get out of this little room.”Which isn’t to say Lively won’t evolve and grow, although as I posted on my blog, I think it’s more of a play to monetize social networks than it is a true metaverse play. http://dusanwriter.com/?p=713If it were a true virtual world move, we’d see integration with Virtual Earth – which is, eventually I think, when the “real” Metaverse will arrive. (And who’s to say another Google 20%er isn’t working on that now – thus giving us 3D chat and a mirror world/augmented reality under one roof.)

  2. Lively is free. A little plot of land in SL will cost you $150 plus $24/mo in tier fees… I think SL users will be flocking to lively, at least the teenage crowd will.

  3. previous comment is wrong about SL land prices. many SL users own 512/1024mq plots. seehttp://secondlife.com/land/pricing.phpalso, most SL users enjoy SL without paying anything. I’m in SL since 2006 on a free account, and I don’t lack anything. I can even freely use a plot of land inside a self-managed island.also, SL users are used to important features that Lively doesn’t offer (content creation, microcurrency, scripted objects, interaction with 3rd party servers).

  4. I tried it and i think its a little bit too much of a cartoon for me. Ticket4one has a similar thing but atlaest i can see real people from the < HREF="http://ticket4one.com/chat.html" REL="nofollow">3d Virtual Chat<>

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