May 2nd, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
Virtually Blind periodically runs “quicklinks” — items that are not long enough for a full story, but are worth a click. Here’s today’s batch, slightly less “quick” than usual, all on the theme of what-comes-next:
- The Law Librarian Blog has a short piece discussing the fact that the Alliance Second Life Library was named “Library of the Future.” Good call, in my opinion — they do really good work. It also gives me the opportunity to toss out my short analysis of why Virtual Worlds matter: in essence, interfaces will inevitably converge toward reality. As computers got faster, we quickly changed from text input to clicking pictures of garbage cans and file folders. As they get faster still, we’ll “grab” 3D representations of these objects to use them (e.g. take a dictionary off a shelf to look something up in a dictionary). Life has a steep learning curve, but we’ve already climbed it, so developers will always be motivated to use tools that mimic real life as closely as possible. In other words, today’s virtual worlds are the beginning of the last major interface shift — it’s how the web of the future, Microsoft Word 2015, and Final Fantasy 23 are all going to look. And yes, my geeky friends, Roddenberry was right: your desktop will eventually be a holodeck.
- CNNMoney’s Business 2.0 is running a piece on professions in virtual worlds featuring an attorney named Stevan Lieberman (no avatar name given) who supposedly “took in $7,000 in fees in the first two weeks after hanging up his virtual shingle” because he “has taken a hybrid approach, using Second Life as a meet-and-greet area for new clients, who then take their real-world legal needs offline.” I’d love this to be true, and I’m sure there’s something to it, but I don’t really buy the implication of Business 2.0′s number. You don’t generate $7k in new, walk-in business within two weeks of opening a real office. My guess is that some Second Life-based business hired Lieberman through traditional channels, and Lieberman then set up a virtual presence in order to serve that client and find others. I’m also not sure I buy the article’s assertion that the biggest client base in Second Life is “programmers looking to patent their code” either — I think that long term, enforcing trademarks in virtual worlds has a lot more potential. In any case, VB is attempting to contact Lieberman and hopes to bring readers more information on what is clearly a Second Life success story, even if it isn’t quite what Business 2.0 makes it out to be.
- Second Life News Network has a somewhat myopic post up about Second Life job bidding sites. The article mentions My SL Project (which has about 15 listings right now) and SLBounty (which has none at the moment, though SLNN focuses most of the article on it and refers to its owner as “a keen coder,”) but it fails to mention SL Work Exchange (which has 11 listings). [Editor's note: after running this piece, I learned that SL Work Exchange has been the subject of some controversy itself. For what it's worth, an article about this, and a ton of comments, are linked here.] Though there’s no clear favorite yet, the SLNN article gives me a chance to point something out I’ve been thinking of for a while: these sites are perfect for legal projects. Current listings include scripting, event hosting, architecture, and sometimes, significant content creation projects (e.g. linked ATM networks, SL/RL video camera integration, etc.). Though I don’t see anything up for lawyers at the moment, attorneys with Second Life presences should keep an eye on these services, because writing EULAs and contracts for in-world companies seems a natural fit.
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