In my Google reader today I came across a post by Greg Verdino over at Social Media Today where he proclaims ‘Twitter is This Year’s Second Life‘ and goes on to describe why he thinks that Twitter will likely succumb to become a passing fad.
I also came across a post from my friend Joel Burslem at The Future of Real Estate Marketing that really dazzled me and reminded me just how far we have to go in this area of technology. The video is called ‘World Builder’ by Bruce Branit and it really is amazing. Enjoy it!
For those who have known me over the last few years also know I am an advocate of the 3D Internet and virtual worlds. I’ve drug a number of my friends into Second Life and taken them on expeditions to upgrade their avatar. I’ve bought & sold land, had avatar relations, established several groups, staged and attended meetings, recorded event on my virtual land and have found an outlet there for volunteerism working with the American Cancer Society in the Relay for Life for Second Life. In short, there is a community there for me to participate in.
In his article Greg makes a few fair assessments of the over-zealous pronouncement made by twitter lovers and a legitimate comparison to the virtual world zealots of 2006. I’ll give him his due and recognize that he may be right, but to make a prediction like this is like making a pie-crust promise, it’s one that is easily made and easily broken.
The only real question we should ask is not if Twitter will reach a saturation, but when. It may cone after several iterations of the technology (likely) or it may come next week (not likely).
Second Life has become a tool in toolbox of firms getting real tired of shipping people from point A to point B for face-to-face meeting where the content is absorbed just as well in the immersing 3D Internet interface of Second Life. IBM recently proclaimed it saved $350K by holding a conference in Second Life, eliminating airfare, ground travel, per diem, hotel and conference facility expense. Universities are using Second Life in powerful and unique ways to deliver content and learning and innovations are still coming out of the user generated content that is Second Life.
Social media people will recognize Second Life as a huge trusted, global network of somewhere there are over 60,000 people online RIGHT NOW where you can make real friendships, create connections and run businesses that can actually help pay the mortgage in your real, or First Life.
Verdict - Greg’s a bit off base here I think. His post seems to be demanding some level of perfection and he declines to recognize that growth new technologies is never is perfect, we as a culture often get it wrong in the beginning. To make an examination of either platform at this stage and demand some level of perfection from a low-cost / free platform that can be used to connect us across ocean is ridiculous – if you need perfection in your technology, check the next planet or universe over – it just does not exist here.
We will grow into our use of social media and the post from Jeremiah Owyang sort of points the way in his post today title ‘Research Status: The Future of the Social Web, Social Media in Recession‘. All I can suggest is that we’re still in our infancy in this technology, let’s explore it together without a recrimination of the people busting their hump to get is there.