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Wednesday, May 06, 2009


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Sioban McMahon

SL won't supplant the web.

If I want to read the news, it's quicker and easier on the web. Just head to cnn.com or any of a range of sites. In SL, assuming I have the LM for the proper sim, I log in then tp to the proper site, find the board showing the news items, camera around to get lined up, wait for things to rez, get bumped a few times and possibly asked to be bitten by a vampire, crash once probably, and then still the graphics quality of what I'm reading isn't quite as crisp as just going to cnn.com or another web page.

The same goes for companies or non-profits. If I want to compare the pros and cons of items before purchasing, it's quicker and easier on the web. I'm not going to a computer company's island in SL to learn about their newest machines. I'm going to their web page. If I want to learn about a non-profit to potentially contribute, I don't want to have to find their kiosk or parcel in SL and read their text in world. It's easier and more efficient to check their web page. Companies and non-profits need to make USE of the medium in SL, not just hang up posters and declare success.

Security is also an issue. I can't, and don't WANT to, check my bank balance on SL. With all the ups and downs, the web still seems more secure than SL.

SL has it's advantages. I love building and texturing. I can easily meet and communicate with people from all over (most) of the world. The live music is wonderful. SL is not, in its current form an easy place to gather information as compared to the web. If a business or non-profit wants to post information, use the web. If they want to actively engage people (and that takes work), use SL.

Seven Shikami

Even if SL ran like a dream, with no crashes, no rezzing slowness, and no spampires, it'd still be an inappropriate tool for the job of most web content.

Web content, in its purest and most useful form, is textual reading and writing. Be it a news bulletin or a community forum, it involves the storage, retrieval, and display of text content. SL is not good at that; it'd be clunky at best at delivering that sort of content due to limitations on how it can present and manipulate text.

In addition, web content when distilled is perfect for information on the go through mobile devices. If I had to log into SL from my iPhone and navigate to a news sim and then read my news through my third person perspective camera it'd just be a WEIRD fit compared to simply displaying the text on my screen.

Dedric Mauriac

VW can't replace the web unless web browsers adapt the features of virtual worlds. Most VW requires separate software download, installation, etc. Each VW is unique. Software for one will not work with the other. When it comes to the web, web browsers will work with just about every web server regardless of the software running the service. Also, every web page is generally navigated in the same way. People type addresses to go to sites, follow links to other pages, and can easily link separate servers without any programming for cross platform interoperability. Try to do that with VW.

Standard communications between all VW needs to be created/agreed. A standard way to link between VW is needed. A virtual worlds consortium is needed. Eventually, something may happen, but this is many years down the road. Each VW is a propriatary system that is closed off from other VW's. With closed systems, there isn't a way to push for standards.

Look at Instant Messaging today. You are either on one service or another. No one has opened up to clearly defined protocols. Companies have tried (and were even legally oblicated to do so at one point), but everyone has their own reason for keeping it closed, or not technically possible to do cross integration. Virtual Worlds face the same problems with their own userbase. Their isn't any governing body to enforce standard protocols to communicate effectively.

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