Psst. Did you hear? Second Life is getting bad press. Ever since Businessweek magazine did a cover story on SL last year, there has been nothing but good buzz about the place. After all the IBM's and Coca-Colas have all established a presence there. But the question marks are beginning to appear. (Note I didn't say 'cracks').
WIRED is running a story (Lonely Planet: How Madison Avenue is wasting millions on a deserted Second Life") questioning MadAve's rush to set up islands in a "metaverse," especially when it's unmanned, feels lonely and way too cumbersome to navigate.
My take: It's way too early to pass judgment on Second Life. Critics are quick to use ROI thinking to evaluate the impact of a 3D experience on business. For now the shine is off the rose. But we've seen that happen before, haven't we? Anyone remember Friendster?
Like it or not, the web will soon incorporate features of these 3D worlds. Trends such as geocoding, mobile optimization, and our appetite for for on-demand information will create this world --with or without goofy avatars.