I have been playing with Second Life since 2004. It’s really cool. There is this whole other level of interaction with it that you don’t get with any other aspect of the normal two dimensional World Wide Web.
I will often see geeks get very excited by it and they’re starting to lobby their companies and organizations to have large presences within the virtual world. While I think we need someone people to take the first big steps into the environment, I wouldn’t advise you going to your boss and asking for a six figure line item in your budget to build in Second Life.
Second Life just isn’t well used enough. While people may throw around the 7 million plus accounts created, its not accurate. One person could have multiple accounts. (I do.) This includes accounts that are no longer activated. Wagner James Au points out that it’d be better to look at the latest peak concurrent usage, which is around 45,000, or the active users within the last month which is around 500,000.
While these numbers are great, it’s not enough of a critical mass for it to be worth a big investment. It’d be better to start experimenting so that when virtual worlds do reach critical mass that you’re prepared and not taken off guard.
Right now, people should be getting excited about blogging. If you don’t have your own blog, open up a new tab in Firefox and go to http://www.wordpress.com and start one right now.
Tons of people blog and tons of people read blogs. I think its a more immediate and effective way of reaching and forming community with a vast audience. You’re going to get more bang for your buck.
I know as geeks its hard but we have to resist the urge to go with the newest greatest thing and do what’s going to best serve our users. Although, we do have to be ready so that when the timing is right we can jump on the opportunity of using the new technology.