October 18, 2009

Under the Second Life microscope

Chris AbrahamI had the coolest interview recently. The gang from Metanomics invited me to take part in the Metanomics Community Forum yesterday “in world” in Second Life, where I spent an hour in open conversation with around 35-plus folks in world: On My Mind with Chris Abraham – Community Forum.

I loved it because everyone on Second Life is bright, passionate, curious, open, and smart — fellow nerds, maybe. What made my day, however, was that I was being interviewed as though I were from an alien culture!

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September 23, 2009

The new Second Life reinvents itself

What an amazing space to have a conversation
Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon and me chatting

Second LifeChris AbrahamAt the end of this past June, I wrote a simple blog post for DigitalNext addressing why I personally believe that the current hype around Twitter will be more sustainable than the short-lived Second Life craze. Bottom line, “Twitter is light, cheap, open and permanent, whereas Second Life is heavy, expensive, closed and ephemeral.

Twenty-one comments and a series of response posts later, I was invited by Second Life royalty to return to the same virtual world that I stopped visiting back in 2007. My complaint, and the reason why I never returned, is that the client (the “viewer” in SL parlance) was too resource-intensive and quite incompatible with my executive laptop that favored lightweight and slimness over horsepower and graphics cards. Not to mention it required too much bandwidth, preferably a LAN connection instead of Wi-Fi.

Well, after visiting the site several times, nothing has changed in terms of the resource-intensity. However, this post is not going to be about the barriers to entry but rather what one finds once inside the walled garden of Second Life. Continue reading

August 18, 2009

Online communities are most authentic

Amanda in Second Life, by Cosmic Kitty

Chris Abraham“As long as the roots of relationship are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the community’s garden. There will be growth in the spring!”
Chauncey Gardiner, from Being There

Online communities are not virtual. They don’t exist only in the bits and bytes on the series of pipes known as the interwebs. To the contrary, I have found, in the 26 years that I have been online, that the relationships and bonds that people form online are not only real but in many cases are more authentic because they’re chosen by each member rather than being thrust upon them by history, family, or cultural expectations. (Via the Communispace blog)

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July 1, 2009

People with passion fuel social media

Chris AbrahamWhen I wrote Twitter Is What Second Life Wasn’t: Light, Cheap and Open I was addressing something simple, “the hype surrounding Twitter may well be hype but isn’t the same sort of hype that Second Life enjoyed 2-3 years ago, and here’s why.” Well, I forgot how passionate Second Lifers are and so it goes.  So it was delicious to discover the 20-or-so comments in response to my recent AdAge DigitalNext article.

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June 19, 2009

Twitter, Facebook Just ‘Virtual Ballrooms’

Chris AbrahamTools don’t matter, and the best ones get out of the way, allowing people to connect more easily and effectively. That was my big takeaway from last Friday’s second-annual Blog Potomac.

Obsessing about “what’s next” in online services and technology saps too much valuable attention away from what’s really important: connecting with people. We need to stop obsessing on what comes after Twitter and focus instead on how best to connect to, communicate with and relate to our clients, colleagues and consumers.

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June 1, 2009

Twitter’s hype is different than Second Life’s

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Chris AbrahamOne of my favorite clients, Fabrice Grinda, believes that Twitter is all hype. Call it Twitter Skepticism — the kind of unwarranted hype associated with Second Life. I consider this a fine challenge, so I left a comment — well, I left an entire rant, and didn’t even get into talking about organic SEO, PageRank, and the like. Tell me what you think:

Long story short, Twitter is light, cheap, open and permanent where Second Life is heavy, expensive, closed and ephemeral.

Twitter does everything right where Second Life failed.

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