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  ‘Roam Search’ Indexes ‘Second Life’  
Posted 2005-10-07 by Tony Walsh
Searching for places and things in the virtual world of Second Life can be a daunting task, as the cyberspace's built-in tools only provide a listing of places (not things) residents have paid to index. Fortunately, enterprising resident creation team Wet Ikon have launched "Roam Search," a Second Life content index that goes one dimension further than Google. The web-based service, according to co-creator Rathe Underthorn, "provides three dimensional spatial coordinates to places and objects in cyberspace. It is a metaversal volumetric search engine." Roam Search has indexed over 4,000 places in Second Life since launching yesterday.

Roam Search is likely to become a popular Second Life tool, since it offers greater functionality than the SL client. Wet Ikon team member Rathe Underthorn is known for the success of his MetaAdverse, an advertising network that runs on virtual billboards in Second Life, measuring consumer response, and renting space on a cost per impression basis. Wet Ikon team member Francis Chung is best known for creating the "Seburo Compact eXploder" and other wildly popular virtual weapons. Given their track record, Wet Ikon's Roam Search is poised to become the Google of Second Life. Until Google gets into the game.

Update: SL resident Hank Hoodoo has launched a service dubbed "SLWebSearch," which seems to index items offered by popular web-based Second Life business services rather than in-world places and things. SLWebSearch features ads provided by Google, whereas Roam Search features ads for in-world goods and services. Given the difference in cyberspaces the two search engines are indexing, I'm not sure if they could be considered to be competing--at this point, the services appear complimentary.
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