Lively by Google: Will Lively bring death to Second Life?

Google lively is a very clever social interaction “environment” that is simple to set up and modify, and may appeal a lot to folks who like some visual feedback when chatting with others.   I don’t think this will replace the experience for hard core second life folks, but I’m fairly sure it’ll cut the number of *new registrations* at Second Life by quite a bit.      In fact I’m sure they are now discussing how to handle this major assault on what was a virtual monopoly (literally and figuratively) at Second Live.

I’m unable to embed my Google Lively rooms here, though I just tested and they work fine in blogger blogs.

It’s funny how things come back around.   About ten years ago I got my tourism board of directors to experiment with “virtual meetings” using avatars and within a simple browser framework.   I even forget the program.    The technology was fine – even it allowed chats and a way to “carry” groups of people to different URLs so you could demo new web pages and such.     However the mostly non-tech crowd simply was not comfortable interacting in this fashion and I got very limited participation.    Even now this is the case for many, but I think the growing number of technophiles combined with the current generation of young folks who are very comfortable with virtual worlds will open up this type of “conversation” to include a large segment of the population – enough to make this a significant new addition to the online communication landscape.

Niniane Wang from Google has the intro blog post:
Official Google Blog: Be who you want on the web pages you visit

The New York Times Brad calls this a “Whackier” kind of Google, which I think is a compliment.

Facebook tells me I’m overweight – this is *good* targeted advertising?

Logging into Facebook I was assaulted presented with an advertisement featuring a picture of an incredibly fit fellow’s chiseled abdomen with the caption “48 YR OLD Overweight?”….

I suppose I should be thankful this was not a picture of a shirtless Mark Zuckerberg, but ..

I’m 48 so I can’t believe this was a coincidence – obviously Facebook is using my personal information to target ads to me – using the information they said they’d keep confidential and I really don’t want shared with any old Tom, Dick, or Hairy bodybuilder advertisers.

As I’ve noted before online privacy is largely an oxymoron, and I’m really not very concerned about the privacy “violation” here.  However something about this pisses me off – I think partly because after all the hype – including from people like me – I hate to think this is the best we can do with targeted advertising.

Sure, I’m a *little* overweight but I don’t need the bogus overpriced green diet junk advertised to me here by Mr. Muscleydude.    This is the classic type of junk product “seen on TV” presented in an annoying way using information I don’t want given out to advertisers.   In my book Facebook has already pushed past the limit of advertising more than is welcome by me, and I get the strong feeling that with revenues in question we’ll see a lot more of these marginally relevant ads in the future.