THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
A pitiful substitute for thought
The decline of the pub

Blogs in Virtual Worlds

I first became seriously involved in Second Life for blogging purposes. Hence my SL avatar's name; "LastDitch Writer". But while our Blogpower Awards Ceremony was a qualified success in bringing in bloggers,  there has been little scope to bring blogs themselves into the Metaverse. The latest SL software, however, has limited capabilities to feature web pages in-world (as opposed to mere links to the conventional web).

Screen_shot_001Here is yesterday's post at The Last Ditch on the screen of my avatar's in-world MacBook Pro. That is no imported screen-shot. It will change automatically as my blog updates. Given that you can only have one webpage at a time per plot of land owned and that hyperlinks (which are rather the point of the internet) don't function yet, this is all rather limited at present. Still, it's fun to be in at the beginning.

Personally, although it's easy to mock at the moment, I think SL (or something like it) is the future shape of the internet. Shopping online will make much more sense when you can "handle" your purchases in 3D, try them on for size on a true-to-scale photo-realistic avatar and so forth. Significantly, SL is the only online community where the majority of users are female. Many seem to spend much of their SL time shopping. It's a short step from buying clothes for your avatar to buying clothes for yourself (although most are going to have to be a little more honest about their avatar's shape if it comes to that!)

All other kinds of online interaction make more sense if they can be conducted in a natural human way. Although everyone there looks young (except me - I have made serious efforts to resemble my RL self) there are a lot of mature adults in SL. Most of my friends there are my age or older. Once you can move around and communicate with text or voice, there is nothing else you need to learn. How true is that of most online activity? At any rate, if we old fogeys can cope with it, anyone can.

One of the steadiest learners in SL history must be JMB of Nobody Important. She caught the tail end of the festivities last year and has occasionally returned. A friend and I gave her some tuition a couple of days ago and sent her off to explore. I hear she may be reporting her adventures and I await her post with interest.

PS: JMB's SL post is here.

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