New Second Life Communications: Not Sure It Will Improve SL Communication, But I'd Sure Love to See It In Skype
Linden Lab recently unveiled a New Communications Hub (tutorial video above), which merges Second Life's many communication channels (in-world text chat, IM, voice, group chat, etc.) into a single menu. I'm pretty skeptical it will improve day-to-day communication on a fundamental level; this isn't necessarily the fault of the Hub, but a problem with having to juggle so many options already. It's probably one very large reason why most Second Life users hardly leave their log-in point -- they're too busy chatting, IM-ing, voice calling, etc. with their existing contacts to actually explore the world, and going to a new location will only mean another group of people to communicate with at the same time.
That said, there is a place I think the Second Life Communications Hub would work great:
Inside Skype. Seriously. I use Skype for work on a regular basis now, and I'm often overwhelmed by group calls and person-to-person calls while also trying to conduct live text chat with other Skype users. (It's difficult enough without having to also manage a whole virtual world experience at the same time.) Linden Lab used to brag that Second Life rivaled Skype itself for communication, but maybe that just helps suggest a different opportunity for Linden Lab: Start selling SL communication tools to Skype or other competing platforms.
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