Category Archives: virtual world

User Centric to User Driven

July was an active month within the social computing space. Microsoft kicked things off by acquiring Powerset for $100m. Founded in October 2006 and having raised $12.5m in venture funding the San Francisco based search and natural language company are early semantic web practictioners. Apple launched its much awaited iPhone 3G with 1m units sold over its opening weekend. If you have yet to get hands on with the device we recommend watching its 30 minute guided tour video.

Google went public with Lively, one of its virtual world projects. The browser based offering joins Meez Nation and a number of other browser based virtual world offerings currently within the marketplace. IBM and Linden Lab announced the launch of their Open Grid Public Beta project. Interoperability within virtual worlds is something both companies have been working on in partnership for sometime.

Each of the above were discussed with analysts looking to understand how the third wave is taking shape. While public listed companies were mere observers of the second wave they are now positioning themselves to be active participants within the third wave. Making this transition from user centric to user driven is one of the great challenges many organisations face as we enter the Meta Age. Interesting times indeed.

Next Generation Platforms

Last weeks AOL acquisition of Bebo for $850m has triggered a numbered of conversations about next generation platforms. As with Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of MySpace for $580m back in July 2005 and Microsoft’s $240m investment in Facebook implying a post valuation of $15bn much of the initial media focus has been on the purchase price.


Debra Aho Williamson shared Comscore KPI data for each of above looking at unique visitors worldwide, US social network advertising spend and time spent on site. The growth and importance of social network platforms continues apace. With proof-of-concepts now firmly in place all eyes are on next generation platforms soon to come to market.

Some of the hybrids we are tracking from the social network and virtual worlds space show promising early signs. As development continues apace within this space each of these next generation platforms will take digital identity and attention streams to a whole new level. All of which will provide the foundations necessary for the Meta Age to become a reality.