Is Second Life ready to change name ?

What is the common point between Second Life 2008 and Second Life 2009 ? Or let's figure the question as one of those wine lovers friends, and since we are almost at the end of the year, can we assert the Second Life 2009 vintage is one that will show a definite break between the old Second Life and something that we do not know yet but which is on the way.

So much changes everyday announced on the Second Life blog, new website, adult policy, new policy for the newcomers, new premium accounts, new rules for merchants, new enterprise program, new viewer in perspective and so much more is showing a deep change and it is hard to believe Linden Lab is not onboard to announce some main change.

I am not reading the cards but I really would like to be in one of that movie where you could read the newspaper of december 2010, then come back and use that news to achieve the best position for the future.

Today I was having a closer look to Blue Mars strategy with content partners, reading about the lauching of NearLondon , listening to people talking about Eve, downloading pdf about web.Alive and finally ended by watching James Cameron talking about his movie Avatar which I am looking forward to see next wednesday with my nephews !

I celebrated my 3rd rezz day a few days ago. At the time I entered SL, blogging was the hot thing. My Space was this music thing, Facebook was a joke, microblogging was not even existing, Apple was talking about the iPod Phone and Second Life was wowwww. So much is going on with web 2.0 and time passing, we dont realize how we have ingest that change, how all that has changed us, but also shaped a whole generation coming in the ring and for whom Second Life looks not so wowwwwww.

I love Second Life and the way we were. I am working as an evangelist for 3 years, and integrated it in my personal and professionnal life but let's face it. Change we need & change the community needs to accept.

Philip Rosedale
I remember Philip Rosedale in Chicago saying " we know virtual worlds are here to stay and grow. We just don't know if Second Life will be the one..." and disappear in the boiling flow of technology as Netscape did in its time. And because I want Second Life "to be the one" (dont know why really, but this is how it is), I think we all should work to accept and manage this change and the opportunities it offers each of us.

More than this, I think nothing will really change for those who dont want to change. Second Life is just opening to other users, other needs and wishes, other type of consumers, and why would it not ? Why would we want to keep the old Second Life the way it was like a jealous lover who would ask you not to ever change ! And for this move, all of those changes make sense :
- a new viewer to simplify the first hour experience for those who are not video game oriented
- a new premium account with land and basic house to enhance that experience
- a new enterprise product to feet corporate needs
- an adult policy to run away from usual scandals that pollute the image of the world
- a change of Xstreet to enhance the shopping experience and maybe avoid crazy dumping
- Second Life Answers with Resident Help Network like the aardvark model
- an energetic solutions providers program to chart quality and extend "a B2B sales force" (affiliation program ?)
- a reorganization of the P.R. program to reinstall the real image of SL

I am sure I forget a lot of announces but what I feel for sure is that the change behind all this is leading to a swift in the economic model. More income, sure, but also more money to finance more technology and therefore more services.

More technology also means different versions of the viewer and maybe a lite SL browser based, real time, acting as a twitter inworld. Means also integration of 3D meshes, and interoperability with other social medias.

And to get back to the image of Second Life, this change would take us to a really new Second Life, a Second Life 2.0 that would certainly needs a change of name. Is a suffix enough to identify what is your Second Life, entertainment, enterprise or education ? Or is Second Life already a brand of the past that needs a total fixing with a new name ? Is Second Life ready for a change of name ? What do You think ?

My opinion is that name must be relevant to the user you are talking to, and I am sceptical on the fact that a radical change of name would carry the idea of a total new change without losing the benefits of 6 years experience and work. Except if SL would be totally integrate by a larger company, what is the point ? A suffix would be a good start so each consumer will associate it to its own interest. The first talks we had with corporates mentionning a new product called Second Life Enterprise are showing us a slight change of attitude and a positive concern.

Whatever will be chosen, wherever leads those changes, we may all agree Second Life has definitely opened the way and changed the life of millions of people all over the world, introducing the era of 3D web real time... Let's continue, let it be the one, let's move on and share !

"Life 2.0" documentary teaser from Jason Spingarn-Koff on Vimeo.
This feature length documentary follows a group of people whose lives are dramatically transformed by a virtual world, Second Life - reshaping relationships, identities, and ultimately the very notion of reality.
Premiering at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival

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1 Response to "Is Second Life ready to change name ?"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think not. A large segment of SL residents are for whatever reason, homebound. I am disabled myself. Folks in this situation use SL as a "window to the world", and prefer consistency. I personally do not like change. Why alter the name of the place we go to to escape, and visit?
    SECOND LIFE it is!

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