Thursday, June 21, 2007

Why Second Life may be more important than you (I) think

I think i have just got it. My calling in my other life.

After closing down Second Life and doing some other things - I had time to mull over what i had seen. Often when i see people using tools like Second Life i picture teens meeting and chatting about music, where they live and so on.

In fact, i actually met my wife on MSN in 2000 and we've just celebrated our fifth year of marriage, so i DO get how social enviroments such as that can be incredibly valuable! But often it is just down to chance chat and meeting and in a social (entertainment) sense i'm already pretty maxed out - i have a wife, two kids and friends i have few chances of seeing.

In a business sense though i like to network. For me, blogging, twitter and so on is a form of loosely coupled networking and although those blogs i read may not always know me, they are part of my network.

However, one frustration for me for a loooonnnnggg time has been lack of access to the various social/business networking events that happen - mostly in the US. They are too many to name, but it was that much of a frustration that i had passed the idea of amatuer meetings/conferences pass people like Howard Rheingold a few years back.

The problem is really that even though a video broadcast offers you more, you are still very isolated from the networking and community that is going on. This can be frustrating when in the hi-tech you want to be part of the epicentres of activity, but don't have a big company or a squillion dollars to travel and see these things.

So why have i suddenly got so excited. Well, if something like Second Life can become truly interactive and make you almost feel like you're there - or even better, if Second Life IS there (i.e. "Second Life Silicon Valley Mobile Monday" conference centre) then i can be part of all this. Add in some voice and maybe video and some real commitment and we're there.

Will is catch up to offline networking? Will all the top speaks that go to these offline meetings go online into Second Life? Why not? If it becomes a true social networking centre, with no barriers then why can't we have the meeting and go for a coffee in Second Life afterwards?

Is anyone doing anything on this yet? Now, this is exciting (although potentially embarrasing if this is what people have been talking about on SL for ages!).

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