Chip Graysmark is leaving Second Life. For those who don’t know (and from what I can tell that is probably most of you), that’s my avatar’s name in that online world. I started trying out the service about 6 months ago when everyone really started chattering about it. But I have reached the conclusion that it isn’t going somewhere I want to be.
Perhaps I never gave it enough of a chance — I stayed mostly on Crayonville Island, created by my friends at the new media marketing company headed by Joseph Jaffe. While I enjoyed the weekly “Coffee with Crayon” event for the chance to chat with fellow communicators, it felt a bit too much like web chats circa 1997. I would love to have a way to interact with these people without the platform being such an important part of the discussion and without the video game feel that Second Life has.
The folks behind Second Life may end up doing well for themselves, but the numbers so far seem disappointing, according to many observers, as far as giving the product an important role in online life in the future. Proponents argue that it is still early, but anecdotal evidence suggests companies are not reaping big rewards from participating.
Is it worth sticking with Second Life to better understand it and be prepared if it does take off? I don’t think so. It just doesn’t feel like it has the staying power or the ability to go mainstream.
I always try to avoid living within the tech bubble and put myself in the shoes of “average” users. That doesn’t mean I won’t live out on the cutting edge or even the bleeding edge, but it is important that we all never lose sight of the fact that we are an abnormal minority and not necessarily the harbinger of trends to come.
I’ll always have the memories, and maybe one day I’ll be proven wrong and have to slink back to Second Life with my tail between my legs, but for now I’m throwing in the virtual towel.