I went to a summit on Second Life and virtual worlds in Hursley today, hosted by Kevin Aires, Jack Mason, and Roo Reynolds - it’s becoming obvious that there’s a big buzz about Second Life both inside and outside IBM - a primary bit of evidence being IBM’s recent announcement of a $10m investment in virtual worlds such as Second Life. For obvious reasons, I can’t relate everything that was discussed. However, the discussion did get me thinking about Second Life in a slightly different way from before: as a basis for social networking applications, rather than as a basis for any application: an example of the former being The Greater IBM Connection, an IBM alumni community. In this respect, it seems to be more analogous to, say, LinkedIn, than another application platform (Windows, the web, etc.). This scope seems realistic - as I’ve stated before, meetings and conferences seem to be the best application of Second Life that’s been demonstrated so far. The consumer impact of Second Life is still TBD.