Interesting piece over on the MIT Technology Review site called “Social Networking 3.0“. Especially interesting because I see the same kinds of issues with Second Life that’s discussed in the article. From the piece:
“A year ago a lot of our users were pretty unclear about what they could do,” says Konstantin Guericke, co-founder and vice president of marketing at LinkedIn, a social network focusing on business connections. “They knew they were getting invitations to join the network, and they knew how to accept invitations, and sometimes they sent their own invitations — but they weren’t sure what else to do with that.”
Funny. That’s what so many new users say about Second Life. And if, as I’ve been told, Linden Lab is just as unsure what to do with their project as some of those companies were, perhaps they should be reading that article for ideas so they can mature and move SL beyond its current seemingly embryonic stage. I can think of a number of associated, revenue-generating services I’d tack onto SL… and they’re not much different than what sites like Friendster and iMeem are doing. I even suggested something like Friendster’s new p2p “Grouper” tool to Map-Center’s site owner several years ago as a way of encouraging donations and distributing content without chewing through bandwidth (he blew me off). Anyway, I expect we’ll see these ideas integrated into virtual worlds at some point. If not Second Life or There, then some other player in the market. Only a matter of time.