The website still looks bad. I am gradually banging it into shape. I would have preferred to have it completely wrapped up design wise before publishing stuff, but other projects and the holidays have completely thrown me off on that.
Anyway, apparently Metaversed.com is closing those doors and moving to something called CleverZebra.com. Nick Wilson, aka 57 Miles in Second Life, sent a notification out with a link to an intro Youtube video, here. Metaversed has been a very successful business blog and information service for information about businesses in virtual worlds. They have been running, and apparently will continue to, a series of talks/podcasts called Metanomics which are usually rather interesting.
From what I can tell, 45 minutes into watching, reading, and writing, is that CleverZebra is an idea to provide pre-packaged fully modifiable “open source” buildings to new businesses trying to get started in Second Life. Well, this sent my head spinning and I wrote a lengthy post in the freshly decanted forums expressing my dismay that they would be giving up Metaversed to give out free, utterly useless buildings. The last thing I want to say about that itself, is that I suspect Nick and gang have much deeper plans in mind than just free buildings. However, that is what comes across from the material they’ve put out so far.
Anyway, so one of the arguments I was making in that forum post is about investing in businesses based in Second Life, and more broadly, other virtual worlds. With venture capitalists throwing millions of dollars at fraking Facebook applications, why aren’t there VC firms and angel investors doing micro investments in virtual worlds? Not funding virtual worlds themselves, I’m talking about providing the same kinds of business loans to people running legitimate businesses in SL that they do to the clueless MBA that has a Web 2.0-social networking-pictures of cats sniffing glue-proposal for a business.
I am a successful business owner in Second Life. A good friend of mine makes quite a bit of money at hers, enough that the other day she let me in on the fact that she’s making more money doing her SL business than any other job she’s ever had.
There are roughly 50,000 people making more money in SL than they put in. This is a very sizable market of business owners, ranging from the fully self-sufficient to the extra bill money people like me. In many ways, we are not that dissimilar to eBay. Both eBay and Second Life provide a platform across which goods and services can be traded. Because of the open, democratic nature of who can use the platforms, it has primarily been small-business people who initially adopted their perspective platforms and were the first people to build entire businesses and careers around the transactions that take place there.
How many of us do we need before people will start looking at us as an opportunity, versus trying to bring in more external companies to fail and fail again at colonizing this early little sandbar of the metaverse we call Second Life?