There are many things to worry about on this planet, but right now I’m worried about Second Life.
Linden Lab, the company behind this liberal minded, user-generated 3D world, fired 30% of its about 330 employees and replaced CEO Mark Kingdon by founder and former CEO Philip Rosedale.
Kingdon tried to broaden the appeal of Second Life by launching a more user friendly interface, enabling easy integration of web content, offering the possibility for companies to use the world behind firewalls etc
However, Second Life failed to gain more traction. The Avatar movie had a temporary positive impact, but the world remains a niche activity, with loyal and very engaged users, but far from the mainstream.
I don’t think we can blame Kingdon for trying. The concept of a virtual environment which is open-ended (not a game) is something which seems weird to most people. Let’s not forget that even Twitter is a weird concept for the mainstream, just as social bookmarks, rss-feeds, blogs, forums and chatrooms are not yet self-evident.
I know, it’s maybe a strange thing to say, but enter an average pub and ask how many people use those tools, chances are they won’t even know what you’re talking about.
Social media adoption takes time, and proceeds by individual contacts. Sometimes we may think it goes fast (Facebook and Twitter growth numbers), but right now I just feel like it all goes so slow.