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Second Life As A 3-D Web Browser?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 31, 2006

We’ve been working on a Second Life story for IN3 but put a portion of it up online today because the demographics are different for the two platforms and, well, because the story has such great stuff in it, especially for companies joining the queue to get into SL.

Some highlights: 1- There are four small firms that are gateways to Second Life—Rivers Run Red, Electric Sheep Company, Aimee Weber Studio and Millions of US. They get you there, design your space and presentation, all of it. For a modest price, $10,000 to $200,000. That may be going up as we speak.

2- There aren’t many “people” in Second Life at any one time. A million have signed up as residents but only 13,000 were in SL on an afternoon last week. The population is growing fast, but…. And you can get only 60-90 people into one island space at one time for an event.

3- Mining intentionality has to be a big part of your reason for going to Second Life. Finding out what people really want when given opportunities is a key factor for entering.

4- Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, builder of Second Life, thinks it will grow into a 3-D Web browser. He doesn’t see it as another game, like World of Warcraft, or Spore, the uber-game coming out soon that allows players to design their own species. Rosedale sees SL as a platform, like MySpace.

Is this great, fascinating stuff or what?

Reader Comments


November 1, 2006 6:18 PM

Bruce -

it was a great article and i'm curious what you think: Will SL be able to broaden to become a generalized 3D space accessed by millions of people?

- hunter
[disclosure - i'm a former Second Life employee]

bruce nussbaum

November 2, 2006 2:25 PM

SL has a great shot at become another platform but things are moving so fast, I couldn't put any odds on it. Depends in part of whether SL evolves into something that average people can access, like YouTube. Right now it is really hard to navigate and you need expensive, fancy gear to play. If Linden can plow enough money into better technology fast enough, SL has a shot.


November 6, 2006 4:52 AM


to be honest, I see SL as closer to being 'what' rather than great & fascinating. This is not to denigrate the fantastic work these guys have done in creating this platform, its just that the web is already such a platform on a far grander scale. My shopfront is my URL. And there's no limit to the number of subscribers I can have. so, why would I need to open a store on SL?

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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