Lights Go Out, Walls Come Tumbling Down

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”

The Killer App

It took 116 comments on Uncle Phil’s blog before someone uttered the immortal line “Can I have your stuff”. Come on down Peasan Kuu, you saved the day 🙂

Alan Bamboo recently commented “SL needs a reason for 99.9…% of the population to even have a reason to use a virtual world.” I agree with him entirely. SL is lacking an ingredient. It’s an ingredient that Mitch Kapor is familiar with, it’s the killer app and SL doesn’t really have one.

The history of computing is littered with roads that lead to another road. An event that triggered another event with lots of people pointing to a certain point and yelling “I’m Spartacus”. However Visicalc is widely regarded as a killer app, it gave people a reason to use the Apple II. Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston are the people credited with this, it gave purpose to the Apple II and launched an industry. This allegedly led to IBM believing that people would use computers in their home and office. This in turn led to the success of the operating system marketed by Gary Kildall Bill Gates. Continue reading “The Killer App”