Second Life: So Near And Yet So Far

Near is preparing to release a 3D shopping area called Near London.  When I came inworld in 2006 , this kind of marketing and selling struck me as being the most optimal use of the platform for retailers. In 2006/7 there were a few token efforts at catalogue selling but the idea was never developed to anywhere near its potential.

Three years later Near have created their own version of this shopping experience

Perhaps in the end all Second Life has been is an incubator, generating the ideas that people take away and use elsewhere.  Certainly the platform has never been conducive to ease of use for product developers or consumers and Linden Research have demonstrated a committment to the key requirements of infrastructure, quality software and ease of use that are necessary for business to consider investing in another channel.

Another avenue for diversity in Second Life is now effectively replaced by something better elsewhere.  Opportunities missed seems to be the constant story of this platform.  Certainly it looks like the next 6 – 12 months are going to be critical if Second Life is to do anything more than move from stagnation to irrecoverable decline. There are interesting times ahead.



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