For some time now, I've been encouraged by a pal on another social network to "join my community in Second Life". I've never had much interest in that kind of online community, but I thought I'd take a look, so a few months ago, I signed up. To begin with, I had to select a funny name, since only a limited range of surnames was on offer. All of the common names were gone, so I ended up as "AlanL Svenska", which is as close as I could get to reality (little did I know how true that thought would become).
After downloading the software, there was a bit of a learning curve. Apparently you can "fly" and "teleport" if you know how to do it. I found walking in a straight line a bit if a challenge (no change there, then).
I did eventually find the community I'd been invited to join, on a virtual island. Somewhat to my surprise, some of the people I knew in real life had decided to manifest in a different gender in this virtual world. I didn't ask. Each to their own. Suffice it to say, that, like the reporter from the News of the World, I made an excuse and left, and haven't been back.
I was reminded of this when I read about a woman who is divorcing her husband for "virtual infidelity" with a cartoon character (sorry, avatar) in Second Life. Yesterday, I read that Reuters news agency are "recalling" their reporters from Second Life since "it no longer fits our communication strategy". However, some large businesses remain in the cyberspace world.
I'm an early adopter - I love Twitter, Qype, SocialMedian, and all that stuff. But am I missing something? Is there anyone who finds SL useful for business? Frankly, I'm baffled by it.