So here's a pet theory I'm playing with: if you want a clue what the next big Web 2.0 phenomenon is going to be, watch where the Second Life community goes. I was initially invited to Facebook by someone studying Second Life in school, got dragged into Twitter by active Residents, and come to think of it, started using YouTube before it went giant largely because so much SL machinima was being uploaded there. Thanks to the centrality of Second Life's user-created content, I find SL's active user community far more apt to adapt the latest Web 2.0 tool than most Netizens, on average. That's why, when it comes to Web 2.0, I think the avant garde are avatars.
The latest shift? Seems to be Plurk, a microblogging network like Twitter but with more functionality and a better user interface. I joined recently, invited by other Residents, and later learned Plurk's being used to organize impromptu in-world activities, like this Las Vegas in Second Life party SL Plurker Eladrienne Laval reported on recently. (That's her in full show girl regalia.) "'Most of us came to Plurk because Twitter's failwhale was getting bigger and bigger and we enjoy the conversation threads of it," she tells me. "There's a fun crazy bunch in there." She estimates there are a hundred Second Life Plurkers already, and two in-world groups associated with the network. "Some of the Plurker Euros in the UK got together for a meetup recently," she adds. "There is a SL Plurkers Flickr thread, too." In other words, avatars using one Web 2.0 system on top another one.