Second Life Choo-choo-Yahoo?

At TechCrunch40, Raph debuted Metaspace and one of the celebrity judges just yawned:

“Brad Garlinghouse [Yahoo VP] likes the peoples choice Kaltura, hates Metaplace, says that the train has already left the platform, we already have Second Life.”

Interesting – i’ve always wondered if Second Life might find a home at Yahoo in some capacity. Brad G is very bullish on SL. Bradley Horowitz has spoken of his fondness for Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale (Brad H only gets to do the <$50m acquisitions so i'm hoping SL would be out of his league 😉 )

But SL has said it’s not thinking about liquidity for investors until at least 2008

“When will there be a liquidity event? When do the investors and employees who are shareholders get some money back? There’s no timetable on that. Not this year. We’ll look at it again.” – LL Board Chairman Mitch Kapor in Davos, Jan 2007

Two for Sunday: SL in NYTimes and Doonesbury

Second Life mentioned in Doonesbury plus a nice frontpage Business section article in NYTimes about consumerism in the virtual world.

The article talks about how most of the women are spilling out of their tops and the men possess bulging muscles. Or at least the men and women who aren’t otherwise dressed as furries, dragons or robots.

The early days of Second Life saw a very distinct pattern in avatar construction. People would chose to go either representative or fantastic. The former was focused on getting as close to your real life self as possible. The latter again split into two forks: aspirational or extreme.

The aspirational usually hewed close to traditional definitions of beauty. The extreme basically wanted to go to the far end of what you could great – as tall (or short) as possible, as little or much hair, etc. Essentially moving the slider bars to the extreme.

Second Life: a backlash to the backlash

Are we seeing the start of the backlash to the backlash? Ahh, press cycles.

Second Life: over-hyped or scientifically significant? [@Cnet]

“After all, what is Second Life and others like it but a first attempt at replicating our world in virtual space? That’s huge. The implications are no different from space travel, robotics, stem cell research, or any other significant advancement in science. As such, it warrants attention and scrutiny so people can learn from other’s mistakes and become inspired to take the technology to the next level.

Think about it. Not that long ago there was no internet, now we depend on it. A scant nine years ago, Google’s founders were having trouble getting funding for a search engine company. Now its market cap is $160 billion. Who’s to say we won’t find ourselves completely immersed in virtual reality worlds in ten years?

And Second Life – even in its present form – is a potentially significant development platform, not to mention a business opportunity to drive demand for internet infrastructure, processing power, memory capacity, software, gaming, and the like. I don’t even want to consider the implications for pornography.

Not only is imitation the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also a primary mechanism for the advancement of human civilization. Second Life may have a long way to go to fulfill its hype, but as the first baby steps toward imitating the real world in cyberspace, it demands close attention. After all, that’s how we humans learn.”

"The Web does not go down for upgrades on Wednesdays"

Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale opened the third SL User Convention with a promise to improve stability of the virtual world, noting that while they had to work fast in the early days, service reliability is now a big focus:

Eventually, Rosedale said, for Second Life to fulfill his dream of becoming “bigger than the web,” even scheduled maintenances would have to be phased out. “The Web does not go down for upgrades on Wednesdays,” Rosedale said to laughter and applause. [via Reuters]

Et tu Time?

Ow! Time mag calls Second Life one of the Five Worst Websites (along with MySpace, Meez, eHarmony and eVite). They take the buggy nature of the software and difficult interface to task. No disagreement here re: those being the weaknesses of the software, but still feels a little grumpy to me.