In some circles I have a reputation for long posts, no… really. Whatever, I do look forward to Gwyneth’s posts on Second Life issues. Today (well… as I write, yesterday as you see this) she posts an interesting 5 page article on the integration of Second Life and Facebook. We have all heard the people complaining about SL adopting more of a social network style and fears it will be another Facebook. I have my reservations about Facebook, in spite of being somewhat addicted to Facebook’s Backyard Monsters. Gwyneth presents the integration in a new light. So, if you are interesting in reading a more positive spin about Facebook (in just 2 pages) and what may improve SL, read on.
My post here is a short and incomplete summary of Gwyneth’s ideas. I’ve touched on those things that interested me and added my thoughts. For her full article see: Facebook integration
Gwyneth points out some of the background of the founder and associates that own/run Facebook. She labels the founder, Zuckerberg, a sociopath. Some of the associates involved in Facebook are pretty shady. She basically labels then Russian Mafia and has a dim view of people giving their personal information to the Russian Mafia, which opinion makes sense.
We found questionable people participating in the Emerald Viewer Development Team and RedZone. Now that Robert Gibbs, former US Press Secretary for the Obama Administration, is rumored to be considering joining Facebook… I think one should be extremely concerned about putting any real life information into the system. While I doubt anyone can prove a direct connection between Facebook , the Russian Mafia, and identity theft, the growth rates of both are similar.
Any information you would use to open a banking account and the answers to security challenge questions should never be put into a social network. Or if one did, they should change the answers on the banking accounts and credit cards… now.
The Lab’s current CEO seems to regard privacy as important and he expects the Facebook Reveal All Mentality to change. We’ll see if he is right.
Facebook and Twitter login information is becoming a popular way to login to numerous services online. Gwyneth and I both expect to see that come to SL. She points out that much of a Facebook profile could be used to fill out an SL RL Profile. Not that all of us want that. But new people coming to SL will not understand the personality exploration possible until after they have used SL for some time. So, including RL information will likely not be an obstacle for new residents.
Finding Your Friends
In Second Life connecting with friends is difficult. Facebook integration will make this much easier and that is a big plus for many. I see no way that Linden Lab will not implement some better way to find friends. However, residents may force LL to be more security aware.
Isn’t it curious that our snapshot panel does not have a way to post photos directly to Facebook, Twitter, Photobucket, KOINUP, and other social photo sharing sites? Gwyneth and I both wonder why this hasn’t happened yet. Does anyone know if there is such a JIRA? I couldn’t find one. I opened VWR-25417. If you like the idea, visit the JIRA and add a WATCH and vote. The Watch is the more important of the two. For residents the votes give us a way to track the issues popularity. But, for some reason the Lindens discount votes and value Watches…
Profile to Fan Page
Gwyneth suggests this interesting idea, which is about having your SL Profile information automatically posted to Facebook as a Fan Page. I have not played with Fan Pages on Facebook. Apparently one does not have to reveal the RL info to create a fan page…
Did you notice my new LIKE buttons? Please click them… Gwyneth suggests this may be one of the more important integration features Linden Lab can add. I tend to agree. Gwyneth made a mock-up of what SL might look like with LIKE buttons. I tend to agree with her on this point. My reservation is in how it is done. If it is a done as disruptively as the Media Filters TPV’s have added then it is a bad idea. Otherwise, I think it would be was handy.
I’m always wanting to tell someone about something I’ve found in SL. Posting images and being able to include an SLURL in a wall post would be cool beans (as mom says).
Chat and Facebook
Gwyneth points out some of the possibilities for the coming XMPP Chat and Facebook integration. I have been wondering what is up with Linden Lab taking so long to implement XMPP Chat. Chat in itself is not complicated. Skype and other services do most of the things we need to do in SL. But, if features like sharing inventory images, note cards, groups, Facebook groups to SL, and Facebook chat to in-world SL friends is part of the development process then this is more understandable.
The link could be a big boost for SL events. I am told more and more people are managing events on Facebook. Gwyneth points out events could be announced, rsvp’d, and reminders sent easily using Facebook. It only requires the XMPP integration with Facebook.
Gwyneth sees these things as obvious… ok… I didn’t. But, I get her point and once hearing the ideas it is sort of a DUH!
Search and Advertising
Gwyneth points out some of the integration benefits to merchants that I doubt they have picked up on. I suspect few people realize how borked SL Search is. In RL when I search on a product name Google finds it. That is not true in SL. So, moving to Facebook will give merchants a better search tool. Also, more low cost opportunities to advertise.
Adding New Residents
Gwyneth portrays what a new user experience might be like once Facebook is integrated. I will point out the improvement she portrays would be a massive improvement over the current new user experience. You’ll find her portrayal on the last page (5) of the article. It is too long to copy and paste here. But, the change takes care of many of the problems I’ve had bring friends to SL.
Gwyneth has provided a positive spin on what Facebook integration may do for SL. I personally like many of the ideas and expect more and more residents to open to the idea. Just as series 2 viewers are taking over so too will the Facebook integration.
I have no doubt that some of these ideas are in the Lab management’s thinking and planning. We’ll have to wait to see how well they do. Each of us has to decide if we will swim upstream fighting Facebook integration or look at it as an opportunity. As for myself… I need to go bank resources in Backyard Monsters.