Rating my predictions for SL over the last year

December 7, 2008 at 11:35 pm (secondlife) (, , )

Now my original post of predictions for SL and virtual worlds has had a year to incubate, its time to see how I scored… hmmmm. (I’ll address these one per post)

1) Linden Lab will experiment with other service providers:

Originally I foresaw LL creating “mini colabs” at international ISP partner locations. I pointed out Australia’s Telstra as a likely early test candidate, as it is a national ISP and telco, was throwing a lot of resources into SL, and a great test candidate on the technical front. Australia is about as far from the USA as possible, so if they could extend their current California-Texas link to Aus and make it work, they could make it work anywhere. (They have a third colab currently at another location but I don’t know anything more about it.. testing servers?)

Well I got it half right, that was their actual strategy it seems, but Telstra is still waiting, and the hosting package they had been promised is about 18 months late. Australia probably started to look like too much of a liability too along the way when it became evident that internet service was so poor that it became an election issue. Singapore is now looking like they’ll get first dibs on a local colab, and as the most broadband connected small nation on the earth they’re a good initial market.

The Lindens are currently alpha testing a “behind the firewall solution” for SL, which means they’ve packaged up the server side so it can be run elsewhere. They have two alpha testers, but of course nobody can tell us who they are for due to confidentiality of course. When it is announced I’d bet a few lindies one of them has telco or ISP interests.

So, did LL experiment with other service providers? From a business perspective yes. It seems they had already quietly laid the business foundation to work with Telstra Australia when I made this prediction. … as far as having any practical outcome from this initiative… maybe not so much. Everyone is still waiting on the tech.

Recently however LL has started making a lot more encouraging noise about the infrastructure required to support a more distributed grid so it would be unsurprising to see announcement about practical non LL hosting initiatives pretty soon.

So I’ll be charitable to myself and say I got this one right. They have obviously laid the business foundation for it, but were let down on practical implementation by the technology. They’ve been working throughout the year though to fill that technology gap so it appears to still be a strategy. Lucky I called it an “experiment” in my prediction … the experiment failed, but it appears they’re still trying 😛

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