Virtual social software
I've heard a lot about Second Life, but I admit to being one of the uncool as I've not emersed myself in the virtual world to date.
The latest post by Jeff Barr has piqued my interest though:
"A bunch of people in the Second Life community have been interested in having what they call “HTML on a Prim.” The ubrowser has apparently been used to create a prototype of this feature but to date it has not emerged in a production release of the Second Life client."
In a nut shell, what Jeff has done is into integrate ubrowser into the Second Life environment. Now, *all* this does is allow thumbnails of webpages to render in the virtual world. But, what Jeff has planned next sounds very interesting:
"So what’s next? I am planning to get some decent land and to start selling Text and Web prims sometime soon. I still need to figure out how to embed self-updating scripts in the objects, design real APIs, and all sorts of fun things."
If understand Jeff correctly, he wants to build a system that will to allow dynamic pages to be rendered as interactive sites, allowing virtual browsing / full user interaction with those sites inside the virtual world.
If this is what Jeff means (is this what you mean Jeff?) then the implications for the Second Life world are potentially profound (and if that's not what he meant, someone should do it). Random / crazy thoughts come to mind:
- What if you could fully interact with sites and services in that kind of environment, an environment where there are others 'there' with you?
- What kind of collaboration scenario opportunities would that present?
- What new kinds of social software would emerge given that kind of context? Co-blogging? Co-tagging? Too easy...what else?
- What kinds of APIs would be built to allow Second Life 'outsiders' to play and interact with those inside?
The mind boggles....