PostHeaderIcon The Shape of Things to Come

Tateru Nino wrote a fascinating article about the 'true' assets of Linden Lab. I often am just this side of stunned at the fascinating subjects she chooses to cover and the agility and depth, yet pithy way she does so.

WaveLogoIt's the kind of easy, interesting read on a subject...or rather an angle on a subject you simply haven't really considered. 'Tis why among all the blogs and news sources, even from Linden Lab themselves, Tateru is my favorite SLebrity reporter. Yes, Tateru. yes, you are.

I follow "industry" news in all the genres I am involved with in first life, which includes professional media; audio, photography, videography and cinematography as well as graphic design and publishing in print and digital forms.

So I was impressed with news that came out of the Google I/O conference this week - kind of a developers version of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for lack of a better description.

It got me to thinking that one of the 'assets' that Linden Lab also has that Tateru didn't cover, and understandably so as it's more or less subjective, is the mash-up of communication methods amongst your Second Life circle of friends and acquaintances. Certainly, a lot pf SLers also communicate "outworld" in first life via email, Skype, Yahoo; AOL; or other instant messaging and also through Twitter and Plurk, which I have written about before.

However, for those who choose to literally 'live' their "second life" even in first life — (hey, my own 'main' web site is AriBlackthorne dot com and Tateru Nino is Tateru's SL identity)— you can still remain considerably in-touch with each other.

Let's make a quick comparison:

  • Notecards can equal email

  • Instant Messaging can equal ... well, Instant Messaging

  • Instant Messages can equal Twitter or Plurk if you are offline

  • Obviously there is open chat which also equals instant messaging

  • And voice works very much like Skype, et-cetera.

Turn your preferences to forward all incoming Instant Messages to your email address and you have a basic "Twitter" or "Plurk" - and it even works if you both are offline (simply reply to the IM email you get".

Yes, I know, the 'problem' is that you can only reply to an IM from email, not initiate one. But there are tools that allow you to initiate an IM, pay someone and even deliver inventory to someone while offline. Linden Lab is even working on 'official' offline methods of communication with things like SLim.

So as a resident of Second Life, there really is kind of a mash-up of all these communication methods happening at once and most of it is at or near real time. In first life, you more or less have to juggle different applications and methods to create the same mash-up. At least, it's not as much a mash-up as it is really just multi-tasking.

Until Google (who tend to think way outside the box like Tateru) have come up with a wild and wicked true mash-up idea:


There are few effective ways to communicate within small groups, whether co-workers, friends, or family. Most of us use e-mail, just addressing a new message to a bunch of people. This starts a thread, which eventually gets twisted and fragmented into side conversations and becomes more and more confusing. The more-organized among us use tools like IM or IRC chat rooms, wikis, group blogs or web apps built for threaded communications, such as FriendFeed.


Google Wave is an attempt to replace not one but all of these methods, rolling threaded conversations, real-time chat, nested comments, media sharing, link sharing and wiki-style collaboration into a familiar interface that looks and behaves like an e-mail inbox, complete with folders for keeping things organized and a search box for digging up older threads.

[From Google Waves Goodbye to Email - Webmonkey]

Unfortunately, it is a developer preview right now and not available for public consumption just yet. In fact, that stage is a long way-off. However, Google intends to open it up, release it as open-source. So, when will Linden Lab partner-up with Google the way Apple, Inc., has - incorporating SLim into Google Wave and ... and... and...

Oman... Am I really that bad?

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