I was kind of surprised when I woke up this morning, drinking coffee, and flipping through the paper to find a feature story on Second Life on the front of the Washington Post Metro section.
The story talks about how the Arlington County (VA) government has just recently opened up a virtual office in Second Life. This was done by one of the Arlington County staffer completely on his own personal time.
While I think this is cool and I really dig Second Life and what they’re trying to do with it, I think Second Life has a long long long long long way to go before it will achieve mainstream. It’s a potential picture into the future.
What worries me is that after reading this article companies who are now just starting to approach using the Web as a medium for building communities are going to turn to things like Second Life as the answer, when they should be looking else where.
If you’re looking for tools, go to things like Facebook, blogging, or Twitter. Heck… first on my list is probably e-mail because it’s still the biggest way that people share and pass around information online.
Let’s look at some of the numbers, Second Life to date has only had 16 million accounts created. Only half a million of those accounts have signed on within the last 7 days. In comparison, Facebook has around 130 million active users.
Let me say again, Second Life is awesome and I think they’re doing some incredibly innovative things. But unless you have your entire community there or your company has a lot of disposable R&D money, Second Life isn’t where I’d be investing my time and energy.
Have you used Second Life? What do you think?