second life and opensim worlds are social networks. you can form groups, have friends in a list, IM, chat, talk, share stuff and so on. they are very social networks, almost hyper social. most networks, like facebook, share specific media – photos, videos, wall posts, farmville invites, and offer instant messaging. but do avatars need these? i liked being in facebook and touching base with lots of people. facebook was really good for this blog because people would more readily comment on a blog post in fb (sometimes starting conversations between fb peeps). and that makes sense, you are already logged in and it’s easy to comment
on a blog, you have to enter your name, an email address, and then you can comment. it may not sound like a big deal, but additional steps lead to less participation. that’s one reason fb and twitter do so well. you can be fairly passive and still participate. in the blogosphere, in order to have a unified identity, you have to get a gravatar account, maybe have a blogger account, and possibly other accounts. then their is OpenID, disqus, or some other options to attach your identity with your comments. frankly, it can be a pain. and i am pretty much registered in every and all accounts out there – even a yahoo and google id thing
but there are too many accounts. if it does not use gravatar, i am often at a loss as to which account shows me when i comment
why does that even matter?
well, most people develop an affinity with their online identification and want to carry that forward in any social online interaction. thus the success of fb. it’s easy, it works, and it offers many ways to share your interests
since i was so rudely smacked down by fartbook, i have turned to twitter. it’s very easy and a great source of the latest news on just about anything 9even Lady Gaga) =D
but what about other networks?
like Avatars United? or any Ning groups that might be scrambling for free alternatives (wordpress with buddypress rocks) ;)
since virtual worlds are networks themselves, maybe just a few like facebook fill in any gaps (like keeping touch when not able to log into a vw)
when virtual worlds do become browser-based will there be a need for the number of choices out there? ($100 linden says opensim will connect before second life does – actually with the Unity browser plugin, you can hit a virtual world)
if you could hit your virtual world via a browser without any business firewalls, would you remain as active in other networks? networking is important to users like you and me, but they are vital to the success of any virtual world. personally, i think a strong central forum (blog) is important to any marketing efforts (inbound marketing is what everyone does now)
Linden Lab has an effective forum that allows for good two way conversations and that is key to most businesses today. i wish opensim had a strong central place, rather than a bunch of yahoos like us with blogs that are simply trying to share what we like about our choice of worlds