I was reading an article today on the BBC that was asking the question, What Happened to Second Life?
How bizarre, because it reminded me of all the hype a couple of years ago about Second Life when I was seriously thinking I was missing out and needed to get signed up to Second Life and become part of this virtual world. This was at the time when companies were opening up stores to sell their services online and this virtual world was a real place to earn revenue for businesses. People started spending all their time in their virtual world and it was all a bit bizarre. Was this going to be how we would end up living our lives in the future?
Second Life was created by Linden Lab in 2003, as a place where people could have a “second life” online by creating an avatar of themselves and making friends and joining communities. It was about 3 years ago that the media in the UK started to pick up on it and that’s when it started to take off, and by the end of 2007 it was a really popular topic of conversation with 4 million users. This was when big brand names were buying property on Second Life and trading, and people were setting up their own companies. But what has happened to it now … has the novelty worn off for the majority of people and it’s only the hardcore second lifers who remain within the community. Did it not have the legs to carry on gaining new sign ups and to keep them hooked?
Apparently the number of users grew 23% from Sept 2008 to Sept 2009, and each month there are 1 million people actively logging in, but with only 75,000 coming from the UK. I’m not sure where the other 925,000 users are from but I wonder if they are from developing nations who are just finding out about this site and trying it out, before they too will fade away and forget about it.
Is this happening to other Social sites. How often do you hear about Myspace now in the mainstream media and at one time that was massive. Facebook is slowly drifting away and I tend only to log in to Facebook these days to let the kids play on FarmTown or FishVille. Then there is Twitter which seems to be stronger than ever, but some days I just can’t be bothered with it and the more spam and fake users on it the more polluted it gets. So what is on the horizon, there must be something waiting in the wings to grab our attention so we can hop on another exciting ride.