As I dont think the Linden blogs are very track back friendly I thought I would post my comment on the Second Life behind the firewall article here too, having had a small part in driving the demand that has led to this 🙂
I have to say that this is nothing but good news. Way back in the distant yonder when Roo and I sat there wondering how to get IBM into the industry we certainly by about day 2 realized how great it would be to also be able to run secure instances of something similar to the public grid. There was a great google video from about 4 years ago of Cory and Philip aluding to that direction.
The public SL grid has a massive role to play still, but, just as with the web, there really is no reason to have it all served out of one place. The resistance in the early days to us corporates turning up (even though it was unofficial to start off with) has in fact generated support for an industry that we can all enjoy in our own way.
Developers are able to go off and build new virtual world platforms and explore extending existing ones. Residents of SL are able to carry on being who they are and who they want to be, company employees are able to explore ways of better, richer and quite frankly more enjoyable communication at distance.
Second Life has sparked many directions, the open source movement with opensim, other providers with products to help in other sectors.
There is plenty of room for every application and every personal need for many of these ways of interacting. We often get caught by the real world analogy of a single planet working a single way but we have a chance to explore a whole new set of ways to interact, for grids to interact, to augmenting real world with virtual information. The list goes on.
SL is evolving, peoples expectations of a virtual world are evolving. We are moving from “why bother?” to “can we?”. As soon as the “can we?” deman arrives that brings change and innovation.
How this all is structured at the moment clearly is not the end of the journey. We have not solved every technical, social and philisophical puzzle, but we have opened up many people eyes.
I am really looking forward to seeing where we all take this.