Juli 4, 2007

Interview with Philip Rosedale in „Focus Online“

Focus Online, one of the biggest German magazines, ran an interview with Philip Rosedale yesterday. The main focus, of course, has been Second Life, not real much chat about child pornography, whatsoever.

Some of his points and views are:

  • from a creative point of view he’s a god. He has been creating a virtual world, which is undergoing its own evolution right now. Humans are building things, communities, are making things better. He beliefs that humans are good and that therefore SL is a good world.
  • LL is going to work with local governments, if needed, in legal cases. The best police though is the cleaning force of the community itself.
  • No news about age verification, just that’s it still on the cooker.
  • Many companies are having wrong assumptions about SL and therefore no success. Even if only 10% of all registered residents are playing regularly, that’s still a great number, because that’s the number big companies like eBay started with.
  • Second Life is often economically overrated.
  • Why should companies still go into SL? Because it is a big marketing testfield for them.
  • If someone wants to have economic success in world, he should use the multimedia features of the world and provide a valuable service for the community.
  • Voice is coming, it’s done, when it’s done. The user interface is being worked on, too.
  • The big vision behind SL is some kind of standardized 3d internet.

Well, that’s about it, not really new points in it, anyway. The question for me is, if Second Life is really some kind of community or not.

If so, generating value out of the community can be a difficult kind of beast, because often what the community wants is not always what the company wants or is allowed to do by law. For example, the success of Youtube is founded on massive copyright violations, because that’s what the community wants, easy access to video clips.

If Google for example really is starting to make Youtube lawful, the community just would find a new service to get their thing and leave Youtube behind. That’s the problem with communities.

And some of the steps that LL is going to do in the next time have the potential to alienate great parts of the community, if there is such one thing. And if the alienation is big enough, we could expect to see a big player migration to some other places. That’s why opening up their server could still make sense to them, because then people could just host their own thing and LL would not be liable for it, anymore, as it is in some countries still at the moment, and the community would like that step, too.