Not me, to answer the question in the title. As disappointed as I might be for what some virtual worlds, notably Second Life, could have been – and could still be – I didn’t run into the arms of Facebook. Where am I getting this question from? Technomarketer Matt Dickman writes:
I almost smacked somebody the other day for even mentioning Second Life. This was the big digital marketing idea a couple of years ago for many agencies. It has since been replaced by the Facebook page, followed closely by the YouTube channel and the Twitter profile. Admit it, you know I’m right. Strategy is boss now and we can do better than this.
Um, no I don’t think I can admit you are right, Matt. But you did make me curious if this is what the marketing firms out there have switched focus to: Twitter and Facebook? I think it’s a shame if that has happened. I still believe the first breakthrough virtual world, assuming you don’t buy into Second Life being that, will be one that is part of the every day browsing experience. I think any virtual world that forces running separate software that can’t be seamlessly loaded and run (like in a browser) is going to be difficult to adopt on a grand scale.
In the end for me Second Life’s biggest problem was they stopped innovating. Voice chat last year had been done by Skype years prior. The ability to have the web on a prim – something promised for years – or open sourcing the server side would pique my curiosity again, but I think the train has largely left the station for Linden Lab.
But I wonder how many others are just playing their favorite MMORPG more (that’s what I’ve been doing) or exploring some new virtual world. Facebook, Twitter, those don’t seem like very good alternatives for virtual worlds to me. What do you think?