View Full Version : Second Life

07-19-2007, 09:03
Have anyone used Second Life? Pros/cons?
It's another online community with high interactive options. A foreign language professor recommended it to me, as she had interacted with students from all over the world learning Spanish. There's also business community, online classroom of all subjects, arts/crafts, and even liberation movement...basically just about anything imaginable.

07-19-2007, 10:56
My opinion on social networking sites is that there must be a strong unifying interest or a screening mechanism in place for them to be of value.

PS.com works because its leaders have passed through the SF screen and the non-SF members share their interests, values and style of interaction.

ASW, another very strong community, works because its members have interlocking offline social and business networks.

A site like the one you mention is nothing more than a virtual cafe, IMHO, and I don't place much value on random interaction with the general public. Also, to the extent that an online community is successful, its members will see their online relationships migrate to offline ones eventually. I've enjoyed that here, but would question the value of it on a less focused site.

07-19-2007, 11:25
In the past week and a half or so, I have interacted with the program off and on in an attempt to see if it had any viability as a political campaign tool (only because I am leisurely interested in the topic).

I maintain a blog and made a post concerning my initial response to Second Life which I will link to below. However, after having used the program a bit more, I have to admit that my original assessment may have been much too ambitious.

Second Life has significant downfalls. First of all, the number of people registered and logged in is totally misrepresented in relation to how many people are actively participating at any given time. A lot of people use the program to “camp” in an effort to earn virtual money that can be later converted into US dollars. For that reason, and others, it is hard to find many active participants to perform any action that may be considered enjoyable.

That being said, I have participated in a couple of discussions on Second Life via a Republican gathering that has a group in the virtual world. These conversations have been surprisingly strong and thought-provoking. Again, however, these discussions were between a maximum of maybe 15 people, so the turnout isn’t want the manufacturer may suggest.

Furthermore, the Second Life infrastructure has major weaknesses that may negate its ability to grow; namely, the inability to support large gatherings of virtual characters at any single time. This is something that I learned when I was attempting to see if the program would be viable for, say, a presidential candidate to hold a virtual “town hall” meeting of sorts.

I think it is very easy to push Second Life to the side as a luxury for the “geeks” of our society. However, I consider myself far from being a geek and am probably one of the less technologically adept persons on the web, yet I continue to participate in the program just to gain ground knowledge of a program that could be “revolutionary” in certain aspects, although I doubt it will be.

My conclusion is this: if you can find a group that is active in Second Life and maintained by responsible individuals as I have found with the Republican Group mentioned above, it has some limited entertainment value. However, to just log on in the hopes of sporadically finding any sort of amusement is false optimism in my limited assessment.

Click HERE (http://educatedsoldier.blogspot.com/2007_07_14_archive.html) for the blog post referred to above.


07-19-2007, 16:15
thank you, gents. Those are elaborate and crystal clear