do avatars need more social networks


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


i flip for social networking

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written by Ener Hax

May 14th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

7 comments to 'do avatars need more social networks'

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  1. Cute pic ^^

    (Btw, your blog comment form remembers my info, so I’ve never had to enter it again.)

    Linden Lab’s “forum”, to use the term very loosely, is far from effective. Two-way screaming matches, maybe… conversations? I don’t think so. When I want to tune in to what’s being discussed, I go to SLUniverse.

    And of course you know, the reason there’s no strong central forum for OpenSim is that there are so many independent grids using it. I’m not sure if every one of them has a forum on their website… I can tell you that OSGrid’s is pretty quiet, but really, there’s not a lot of accounts.

    There’s a German startup (which is also in English) called that’s going to be open soon — my impression is that it’s trying to be a “LinkedIn” type of professional network, instead of a popularity pit like Av United. I’m on the beta list… stay tuned.

    Lalo Teling

    14 May 10 at 6:43 pm

  2. thank you on kind words for the pic, i love qavimator =) i had written, then deleted, that much of the SL forum is negative but it still holds value for Linden Lab in both metrics and in allowing their customers to vent

    the LL forum, while incredibly negative, holds more value, imo, than not offering an external 2 way conversation. LL uses it to announce their “wins” and their plans which trumps grids that do neither

    you are a power blogger and write well focused posts (as compared to my blabbering) and to me, your posts are the epitome of effective and thoughtful information – your yardstick is considerably larger than most peoples (and that is meant as a compliment)

    the majority of people probably don’t operate at that level (as observed with the success of farmville and mafia wars). they may appreciate the information, but would never be disciplined enough o contribute anything near that caliber

    so while the LL forums are full of tripe, at least they have a place for many to play out dramas, express their egos, and just be nasty – all fueled by their passion (good or bad) for Second Life

    thank you for mentioning that new community, it could play out well. i have had two job offers as avatar outside of virtual worlds but never a good way to present that avatar (i do have a LinkedIn account in french as Ener)

    Ener Hax

    14 May 10 at 10:39 pm

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