Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Second Life Goes Open Source...

If you aren't aware of Second Life, you're missing what's increasingly proving to be a major opportunity for earning money. Its a 3D online digital world where people interact with each other through their digital personas and, occasionally, alter-egos. Membership is free, but the experience has been so engrossing and addictive for many of its users that many have demonstrated a willingness to pay extra to pimp out their Second Life life.

Read this Wired Magazine article - it will blow your mind. An entire industry has popped up to meet the demad of Second Life users who want to enhance their experience in this alternative reality. People are shelling out money to buy digital clothes, decorations for their digital homes, and memberships into exclusive social clubs. In one fascinating example, some people are quitting their jobs in the real world because they're actually making more money selling Second Life real estate. Speculators have been buying up Second Life property that's highly in demand, like beachfront condos, and renting them out to other Second Lifers, turning a profit just as landlords do in real-space and with real American dollars taboot.

And now comes an announcement that future versions of Second Life will be released as open source software. This makes a lot of sense since most Second Lifers are pretty tech-savvy and often have both a knowledge of programming and an innate desire to customize their online experience however they see fit, unshackled from the bonds of propriety code.

Let this serve as yet another lesson for open source skeptics. Linden Labs, the creator of Second Life, is undoubtedly a company interested in making a profit. Make no mistake, it is releasing the source code for Second Life, not as a benificent gift of generosity in line with a hippie-like ethos, but because doing so will lead to more users, increased loyalty, and the earning of greater profits.


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