Another type of access is the ability to discover things in NGP from out on the web. Ebbe has talked about the SLURL being a rather twisted path into Second Life. I agree. And if you don’t have a viewer installed it fails, you can’t get there. So, a person finding something on the web and trying to get to it in Second Life requires a lot of steps. Presumably Ebbe is going to fix this.
I for one think this is a huge contributor the ceiling that Second Life lives under, which is limiting the maximum user count to about 1 to 2 million people.
Improved web access that would allow users to come from search engines. Such access will give content creators a way to publicize and market their creations. Think about searching for Blood Letters (a MadPea game) at Google and being able to link directly into the game. That means you click, you’re there, no viewer install, no sign up. Will they be able to do that?
We can only hope. But, for most of Second Life’s life that has been an issue discussed and lamented. We can only hope he has recognized the issue.
Access to Web Content
Ebbe has talked about building HTML 5 into the viewers, NGP and SL both. We know Oz Linden is working on HTML5 and CEF (Chrome Embedded Framework) for Second Life. So Flash and QuickTime are pretty much out of the game.
Since the Lab is working with HTML5, it suggests, to me, they have the technical expertise to be able to generate web pages from the Linden servers that will use HTML 5 to render the world, much like Cloud Party did. If that can be accomplished it will put content creators on the same level as any game creator or web marketer, at least in a marketing sense.
The other side of that access is displaying web content within NGP. In SL we have MOAP (Media On A Prim). It is limited. I expect something like MOAP in NGp for displaying web content within NGP.
A value I see as key is marketers being able to easy move people in and out of NGP via web sites. Link in and see a product or location representing a RL item or place and then link to a RL travel site, Amazon, or web store to make a purchase. NGP could realize the marking potential expected from SL in 2007-8. Such a possibility could lead to explosive growth.
As it is now, Virtual Reality (VR) and VW worlds are limited to mostly gaming. The world market for advertising is a US$516 Billion (2013). In 2013 the game industry spending was US$21 Billion. Advertising generates 25 times more spending than gaming. If NGP captures even a tiny percentage of the money, it is huge.
Ebbe says they have been thinking about why Second Life topped out at about 1+ million users. Today we have about 900,000 users. He didn’t precisely define those numbers, but I’m assuming he’s comparing apples to apples and these are unique logins over a month or some period.
This suggests there’s something inherent in Second Life that creates the ceiling in user numbers. I tend to think it is the lack of being able to get from a search engine to a place in Second Life. Too few people actually know about Second Life. Ask around in RL. How many people have a clue what SL is or even know the name?
A definite advantage that Facebook has is ease of access and placement in Bing/Google/Yahoo searches. Facebook has a billion plus users. Ask around. Most people have at least heard of FB.
It would be interesting to know what Ebbe thinks is holding Second Life back. I suspect with all the competition for the VR experience he considers that classified information. I don’t expect to hear… unless we do. I never know with Ebbe. But, I think it would tell us what direction NGP is headed.
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