Interesting.  This reminds me of the .com mantra "Get Big or Die" -- 
which usually meant expanding quickly and burning through millions of 
dollars to try and capture 99% of a market that hasn't yet even been 
proven to be profitable.

In a couple years we'll be able to look back and figure out where Second 
Life is on launch parabola -- has it archived escape velocity and will 
be the next Amazon or Yahoo, or come crashing to earth when the fuel 
(stacks of crisp venture capital dollars) runs out?  I haven't seen much 
word-of-mouth promotion of Second Life, and what I have seen has been 
mostly negative (of course I'm biased here).  Rather there's been a lot 
of over-the-top hype and top-down marketing, rather than the sort of 
grass-roots support that suggests a sustainable platform.

They desparately want to make SL seem bigger than it is, because people 
like a winner.  But if the real numbers are right (250,000 accounts 
logged at least once in the last two months, 15,000 simultaneous users 
at peak usage) I can't help but think the user community is really, 
really small considering their multi-million dollar investment in 
hardware, software and marketing.

Also I agree that they're walking a fine line between the "natural laws 
of cyberspace" and real-world legal systems, and this could really burn 
them at some point down the road.  Whenever someone tries to bend 
cyberspace to conform to their idea of what should and shouldn't be 
allowed (as opposed to what is naturally possible or impossible) 
cyberspace ends up worse off for it.

On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 12:42:10PM -0600, Len Bullard wrote:
> Letting out the viewer is something of a SOP.  I think the server-side is
> possibly more important given that there are any number of open source
> viewers out there for 3D platforms that are just as good or better.  It is
> the management of the server farm that makes the difference, that and a big
> budget for marketing.
> Yes, I think they are looking at migrating the building market, but the only
> thing that brings in the bigCos is the site traffic.  Otherwise, to Sears,
> there is no advantage to being there.   IBM can talk a lot about boardroom
> VR but they are a services company in this market and without other
> companies willing to host on private farms, there is no market.
> There is a lot of puff in the online worlds market.  Of what value is it to
> own content that you can't move because it only works on that platform?  So
> like a Macintosh or a Mall, without a big membership that is actually going
> there often, having a presence there is largely a decorative bauble, a loss
> leader for being 'in the know'.  This market is relying on the naivete of
> the IT groups of the companies hosting there.
> The in-world economy is a fascinating experiment in waiting to see when the
> Feds will begin to look at it the same way they look at church bingo.  They
> tend to wait until the value is high enough that they can safely take their
> cut without killing the game.
> len

[   Peter Amstutz  ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ]
[Lead Programmer][Interreality Project][Virtual Reality for the Internet]
[ VOS: Next Generation Internet Communication][ ]
[ ][ pgpkey:  18C21DF7 ]

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