Friday, January 9, 2009

Reflecting on Cory's Predictions for 2009...

I quote directly from the blog of Cory Ondrejka, sharing predictions for 2009:

"1) Second Life will return to steady growth and have a shockingly good 2009
By shockingly good, let's say 50% growth in concurrency and James' measure of active users. Why do I expect SL to rock 2009? A few reasons. First, world-wide recession makes SL more valuable as a source of income, cost effective collaboration tool, substitute for expensive travel, and educational resource. Second, the same recession -- combined with Lively's demise -- means competition will remain non-existent. Third, Linden has had time to adapt to the many organizational changes 2008 brought".

Read the rest of the entry as well:

collapsing geography: predictions for 2009

I have the urge to ask: What do you predict in terms of Africa and virtual worlds; and digitial divide trends? However, maybe I will venture a few predictions myself instead, later. It could be interesting to see how it plays out during 2009.

More importantly, to get back to Cory Ondrejka's prediction of Second Life, that it "will return to growth": I could not help but think about the latest blog entry by iYan Writer inSL where he states he will be busy flying internet space ships instead of bringing new clients to Second Life. I have to add that I have been having my own share of challenges trying to bring executives and professional innovators into SL, and am constantly looking at ways to make it easier.

In our case, affordability is a bigger barrier (even to companies!) than commonly understood. (This was discovered again recently in a conversation with a friend where it was news that I actually pay per 'databyte' download for the entire SL experience - much like paying by the second for mobile connectivity. For me, on one computer, the data download cost alone is 8-10 USD per day or about 300 USD a month., and that excludes telephone monthly rental for the broadband facility itself. We are going through the annual exercise now to calculate costs - in relation with benefit - for Uthango inSL). One of the exciting developments - long awaiting! - is of course the new infrastructure of ICT that is snaking along the African continent and will have a very specific impact on prices in Africa. Costs will drop substantially and accessibility for many Africans to the internet will become a long-awaited reality. I am keen to set up systems to measure impact on virtual worlds in terms of African accessing the platform and will be setting out doing this little piece of research during 2009.

Anyway, I do share the optimism of Cory Ondrejka - don't get me wrong. But I have to check myself, that I am not just of positive disposition and enthusiam, but that it is indeed grounded in real trends. These I am still anaylising....

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