Linden Lab announced their aquasition of Avatars Untied, a social networking service for 'avatars'. I was at first really excited about this. For a long time i have wished that my profile in the SL viewer & SL website profile dashboard, acted more like a social network. To have a shoutbox for announcments and random happenings from my friends and groups in SL. Events Calander that collects events from friends and groups. Just a small expansion on what SL groups currently offer would improve the flow of ideas and community communications.
In order to reach more people within second life i've had to promote my avatar on external sites like youtube and twitter. My home in New Babbage had a BOOM of activity because it created a group on NING. It allowed information, ideas and organisation to flow quicker. So to hear that Linden Lab had aquired the tools to build an intargrated social network within the Second Life experience was exciting.
I am definitly a sceptic when it comes to anything that Linden Lab does, and i admit that it can lead me to be unfair on the Lab at times. So what actually has happend with the aquasistion of Avatars Online? Have Linden Lab bought 'AU' and plan to have it run as a separate service with its multiple avatars with the same names and it's own currancey to pay for pro options? or do they plan to intergrate the service into the second life experience?
Thousands of people have signed up to Avatars United crashing the service a few times and lots of groups have been formed. It is fast becoming a thriving community on its own connecting thousands. All of this is fantastic, the ability for Second Life residents to connect and socialise.... but separate from the Second Life experience. Surely Linden Lab will want to intergrate all this with the Second Life experience yes?......
The AU profiles would be a great alternative to the dashboard...and of course having everything in one spot will make things much easier. And we will get to a point where you don't repeatedly have to log-in to our various properties. - M Linden
All of what im rambling inanely about is from what ive pieced together from what i have seen and read from the Linden Lab. They are either very secretive about what they have planned, or don't really have a clue what to do next. What i am worried about now is how (if they are going to) will Linden Lab integrate the quickly growing 'AU' community with Second Life without destroying the now HUGE 'AU' community.
My friend Marrianne showed me the wonderful Second Childhood group on 'Avatars United', it was awesome. But we already have a group by that name in SL. What will happen to those two groups if integration happens. Also you can sign up to any amount of same names in 'AU', in SL you have your own unique name, whats going to happen there?
Linden Lab could have this all planned out in a way i dont understand and the transition between a separate social network and one integrated with the Second Life experience will happen so smooth that we wont hardly notice. But the raging screaming sceptic in me tends to believe that they did not expect thousands would sign up to 'Avatar United' after their announcement, and we are now heading towards total social chaos at the hands of Linden Lab.
As always , ill be delighted to be proved wrong Mr M.