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Business - Written by on Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:03 - 2 Comments

Don Tapscott
Second Life and IBM team up to open up

In the prosumers chapter of wikinomics we talked a lot about Second Life – the virtual world that the users continuously co-create and share with each other. In the peer pioneers chapter we talked a lot about IBM and embracing open source culture and strategy. So what happens when these two leading examples of wikinomics in action come together? Well, we’re about to find out, as Second Life and IBM have announced they are working together to create universal avatars that can travel across and between virtual worlds.

Colin Parris, IBM’s VP of Digital Convergence, summed up nicely why they are doing this:

“It is going to happen anyway.If you think you are walled and secure, somebody will create something that’s open and then people will drain themselves away as fast as possible.”

I couldn’t agree more. And where might these new virtual worlds emerge from? Well, Metaplace might be able to help with that… metawhat you ask? To quote from their website:

Metaplace! That’s what! Build a virtual apartment and put it on your website. Work with friends to make a huge MMORPG. Share your puzzle game with friends. We have a vision: to let you build anything, and play everything, from anywhere. Eventually, anyway. We have to finish first.


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Dan Herman
Oct 11, 2007 10:12

While I’m not against the hype that Second Life gets (including much from New Paradigm), I can’t help but point out Clay Shirky’s article from about a year ago that points out some of the gaps between hype and reality.


Now perhaps the IBM/SL hook-up and creation of a transnational avatar will help overcome some of the gaps Shirky’s highlights such as the difference between user driven adoption and innovation persus corporate/top-down. It all makes for an interesting debate regarding long-term value.

Denis Hancock
Oct 11, 2007 12:50

One of the problems with Second Life has always been it’s a bit intimidating/ time consuming/ etc. for a new user to figure out. You really, really have to be into it to get value -and many people just aren’t that into it.

But I could envision a scenario where virtual worlds and identities keep becoming simpler, easier to use, and more interesting… perhaps leading to a tipping point of adoption?

I bet tying it to a facebook application in some way would help.

Now available in paperback!
Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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