In Praise of Interoperability: Facebook finally goes to SecondLife

After the Virtual Worlds conference, the universal mantra seemed to be “we need interoperability!” Well, guess what folks? It has started. Enter Facebook in SL…although the entry in a little awkward (you have to TP in to the Facebook headquarters inworld and then verify yourself and then leave again to complete your profile, which is somewhat limited and doesn’t integrate well with your original FB profile), it is still a step in the right direction.

So, why would you want to have interoperability between virtual worlds and other online social networks and other virtual worlds? Because it would allow you to find the place location for where you want to post/interact/connect and work within that environment, without having to constantly jump around between locations to talk about it to your other existing networks.

To quote Christian Renaud, in his must-read piece, Ode to Interoperability The benefit to business of interoperability is that you have freedom of choice to pick a provider of the environment that best suits your use case (simulation, training, collaboration, etc.) without it being segregated from the benefits of the network-effect of the Internet and the many tens of thousands of active users of other virtual worlds. It doesn’t have to be an ‘either-or’ decision, with all of the risk of sunk development costs shouldered by the customer, but rather ‘and also’ as the platform you choose can interact with other virtual world platforms.

So far, the app. doesn’t do that much, IMHO. It allows you to display your avatar on your profile, which I did anyway, in my RL facebook profile, and it indicates when you’re inworld (which has done for ages). I am not really sure of the advantages of being able to see images of your friends’ avatars, since we already all know and love our friends’ avies. However, on the plus side, it also allows you to share your picks and favorite SL locations and it has SLurls embedded, so you can easily TP to the places.

Apparently, this is old-hat to some, and there are actually two applications that do this…not sure why I found out so late in the game. For more information about these two apps, check out Giving your Facebook profile a Second Life. I have asked Fire Centaur, the creator of Second Life Link that I just joined to speak at our weekly Nonprofit Commons meeting this Friday.

How could you see interoperability benefiting your work in SL?

Written by: Glitteractica_Cookie