Friday, February 19, 2010

Unsolicited Advice: Social Media in Virtual Worlds

Bubbles or Avatars?
Location: Talkin' to The Man

There's been a good discussion of integrating social media richly into Second Life, as Linden Lab uses Avatars United, recently acquired from Enemy Unknown AB (read Tateru Nino's account of this purchase).

Many SLers have been saying "meh" about integrating social networking and Second Life. It took me a while to see a reason for it, but I came up with one: the 25-group limit.

I understand the role that groups play--a key one--in enabling access to items and land in-world. As (I believe) Pathfinder Linden explained to us at a Roundtable meeting, every time an avatar crosses into a new parcel the server checks access rights and more. Having, say, 100 groups would create terrible lag. But a social network outside the Lindens' asset server would not induce any lag at all.

Imagine checking group notices, updates, and more on a prim-based terminal inside SL. What if I could log in with my avatar's virtual laptop to get landmarks and other information handed out not from an in-world group, but posted to Avatars United? Any Hippo Technologies Vendor can do this already.

What if..if..the assets handed out by the social network site could be used in any compatible virtual world?

Whoever figures out how to do this will deserve a great deal of credit, and will have a lot of money in the real-life bank.

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