An article in The Economist points out that walled gardens get to the stage where walls need to come tumbling down. Drawing parallels between the mid nineties and the internet boom and services such as Second Life and Facebook they point to how proprietary services such as AOL and Compuserve were swept aside.
If Second Life is going to dream the impossible dream then there’s no doubt about it, those walls are going to have to come tumbling down. Unlike World of Warcraft and Age Of Conan (please be good) Second Life aims to be all things to all men (and women Sarah). This isn’t just a hack and slash world. This is the ruthless cutting edge of future business transactions for generations to come, boldly going where no man has ever gone before …..ok that’s a bit extreme but you get the picture.
Second Life is trying to trailblaze its way to being a standard for virtual worlds, but you can’t do that with huge walls and guards at the city gates. When Robert Scoble was kicked off (and quickly reinstated because he’s Robert Scoble) Facebook for running a data portability tool people were quick to quote the TOS, privacy breaches and such like. However whereas Scoble was wrong to break the TOS, he was in some ways right to point out that data portability is a feature users need. Continue reading “Lights Go Out, Walls Come Tumbling Down”