Second Life Stories: Nov 13th, IBM, Amazon and Sun
CNN/Fortune: "No, Second Life is not over hyped"
"Yet Second Life may be more important, longterm, than even this much publicity would suggest. That's because what it really may represent is an alternative vision for how to interact with information and communicate over the Internet.
So far Second Life is way too hard to use. The people who do best there are still techie types. It requires a fairly powerful computer. You have to download a special software application to use it. It can't be used in many corporate offices (like mine at Time Inc., for instance).
But Second Life is important as much for what it represents as for what it concretely offers today. Looking at Second Life makes me realize just how much the Web, wonderful and useful as it is, still mimics a print model.
Second Life goes much further. It took a radical approach to design from the beginning. It offered itself as a mere platform for the creations of its occupants. Essentially everything seen inside the software today was created by its users."
Information Week: "IBM gets a Second Life"
"IBM is set to invest $10 million over the next twelve months to increase its presence in the market for technologies that enable so-called virtual worlds such as Second Life, a 3-D Web environment in which people from various walks doff their everyday identities to assume online alter egos, a company spokesman said Friday.
"Just as AOL and other early Internet services were early entry ways into the largely undeveloped World Wide Web, Second Life, other virtual worlds, and massive, multi-player game environments are the precursor to a 3-D Internet," says the spokesman. IBM wants to create 3-D business environments that mirror Second Life's interactivity and sense of immersion. The company envisions scenarios under which, say, a team of healthcare researchers from around the world could enter a virtual meeting room to tackle a disease outbreak.
Silicon.com: "Big Blue expands into Second Life"
"Chairman and chief executive Sam Palmisano is set to visit Second Life on Tuesday, following a "town hall" meeting with some 7,000 employees in China, and speak with the more than 250 IBM employees on one of the company's virtual islands.
The company is looking to build a private 3D intranet where it will be able to discuss sensitive business information. It is moving to champion what it calls "v-business" - short for virtual business - just as it championed "ebusiness", or electronic business, during the dot-com boom.
Sandy Kearney, IBM's director of emerging 3D internet and virtual business, said: "We always ask the question, 'if you knew 20 years ago what you know about the web today, what would you do differently? The web took decades. This will likely take half that time."
Reuters: "IBM accelerates push into 3D virtual worlds"
"Big Blue has already established the biggest Second Life presence of any Fortune 500 company. It is also looking to build a 3D intranet where its clients will be able to discuss sensitive business information.
The company’s move into virtual worlds is due in large part to the efforts of its “multiverse evangelists,” Ian Hughes (Epredator Potato) and Roo Reynolds (Algernon Spackler in-world), who said last month that IBM wanted to make “v-business” a priority just as it championed “e-business” during the dot-com boom.“The essence of ecommerce today is built around the idea of catalogs. That’s very useful, it fits with the idea of Web pages and catalog pages, but most people don’t think of shopping in terms of catalogs and pages, but in terms of stores that they go into,” said IBM chief technology strategist Irving Wladawsky-Berger (Second Life name Irving Islander).
“In addition to our desire to work more closely with Linden Labs, we’re exploring how we can work with many virtual world players, including companies like Multiverse and Bigworld Technology, as well as open source platforms like Uni-Verse.org,” the spokesman said in an email. “IBM’s ultimate aim is for inter-world integration, instead of separate islands of virtual worlds, where you cannot cross over from one to the other in a consistent way.”
Second Life Insider: "Quite achievements"
"That's got to be one heck of an island that they've got going on there, I must say. 250 on an island is quite a stretch. 250 on a four-sim corner is still a stretch. Either IBM is getting much better toys, or they're planning to do this in shifts."
Information Week: "Second Life residence build stores around Amazon.com"This one is important. Bezos is an investor in Linden and SL uses S3.
"Whether Amazon.com becomes a fixture within Second Life will be left up to its members, who build the revenue-sharing virtual stores and write the scripts needed to integrate with Amazon.com's Web services for third-party retailers. Second Life residents do a total of about $6 million worth of business a month, up from about $2 million a few months ago.
"Our strategy is to provide tools that let residents create and enhance their own experience in Second Life, and to let them decide what can be done and how to do it," says Glenn Fisher, director of marketing programs at Linden.
Life2Life (SLurl) is one of the retail projects built around Amazon.com's product services. Second Life residents Tabatha Hegel and Hugo Dalgleish, their names in the online world, are using the search and shopping tools they've created in at least four locations."
Millions of Us: "Sun and open source java Q&A"
"I’m really excited to announce that Sun’s Tim Bray and Simon Phipps alongside Mark Shuttleworth will be hosting a Q&A session in the Second Life Sun Pavilion this coming Monday, November 13th, at 1:00 PM PST. The Q&A session is to follow an announcement that morning by Sun via webcast and other media channels. We will be broadcasting the webcast at the Sun Pavilion to kick off the Q&A session.
A bit more about the hosts, as these guys have really interesting backgrounds: Tim Bray is Sun’s Director of Web Technologies and a co-inventor of XML and Simon Phipps is Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer. Joining them will be Mark Shuttleworth, the Founder of the Ubuntu project (and one of my favorite Linux distributions), and odd tidbit, the version of Linux I used to run (and test) the Second Life Linux Alpha when I worked at Linden."