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  Mitch Kapor on ‘Second Life’  
Posted 2006-08-21 by Tony Walsh
Mitch Kapor may be best known for bringing us the Lotus spreadsheet application or co-founding the EFF, but he also chairs Linden Lab's Board of Directors. Users of Linden Lab's virtual world Second Life converged on San Francisco last weekend for the Second Life Community Convention, where 3pointD's Mark Wallace transcribed Kapor's opening address. Kapor gave attendees a personal view of Second Life's history, present, and future.

I share Kapor's opinion of Second Life as a form of disruptive technology, but I was surprised to find that we share the same cautious outlook on the virtual world's current and short-term future. "[T]here's still a chasm between the power users and the clueless newbies... [Second Life is] not ready for prime time. I don't believe it's going to change overnight. It's going to change in stages. It's hard to know how long it's going to take, and how long before it's mainstream. It's not tomorrow, it's not next year, but it's coming." In addressing skepticism about Second Life's mainstream adoption, Kapor said that in 1995, people weren't comfortable with credit card transactions on Amazon, but "we got over that one." I think we're still at least 3-4 years away from a Second Life that's as easy to use as a web browser and as open as the web (if the platform survives that long). Hopefully by that point we will be able to host our own Second Life spaces as easily and cheaply as web spaces.
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