Sometimes criticism helps you find the reason for some of your ideas, and a thing that you consider to be perfectly obvious becomes, all of a sudden, questionable.
The challenged belief for today was "Second Life is a web 2.0 phenomenon". I have always been adamant about this, and yet I have to recognize that it is difficult to offer a decisive argument for it. I am lucky because no mathematically constraining definition has been offered for web2.0-ness until now, so there must be some allowance around the issue…
My defence revolves around two basic characteristics, which are shared by both virtual worlds and blogs/wikis/social networks.
On one hand, the user creates a public image – an online representation – of himself. This happens in different ways, since the creation of an avatar has a strict resemblance to the way we present ourselves to the persons who surround us in the real world: being looked at. But it is nonetheless an image controlled by me, exactly like the one I build for myself by writing on this blog.
The second point is about the feeling of co-presence given by the ability to see what other users are doing or have done in an online environment. Call it the live web, or the inhabited part of the web, it can be synchronous or asynchronous, text-only or in 3D photorealism, but the sensation of sharing the environment with others is the significant part of the experience.