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second_life.jpgDavid Kirkpatrick, whose Fortune columns are always on target, says that Second Life is not over-hyped: it’s a preview of the future of the Internet.

“That’s because what it really may represent is an alternative vision for how to interact with information and communicate over the Internet….Looking at Second Life makes me realize just how much the Web, wonderful and useful as it is, still mimics a print model.”

My Money’s On a 3D Web Within 5 Years.
I’ve been telling clients for a while now that the Internet of the future is more likely to look like Second Life’s 3D metaverse (my avatar: BL Wandin) where people can interact in real time, than it is to remain the one-dimensional, text-based world we’re used to. That’s the part of my presentations where executive’s eyes glaze over as they think “this has nothing to do with our business.” But, as Kirkpartrick (avatar: David Liveoak) explains very well, it surely does.
Whether Linden Labs will be able to overcome Second Life’s shortcomings of requiring a software download that corporate servers prohibit, and requiring a level of geekiness way beyond that of most execs, remains to be seen. But one 3D world or another is likely to achieve the scale of Google or MySpace in the Internet’s not too distant future. My bet is that it’ll happen within five years.