Second Life has a lot in common with the Internet, with open source, with me. Lots of buzz, lots of fans, not a lot of money coming in. It's a classic business model problem. (That's Larry Lessig at Second Life, from News.Com.)
Will open sourcing the servers change things?
In theory there are many ways in which Linden Labs, which runs Second Life, can benefit from this move.
- Keep doing what they're doing in competition with customers.
- Consult with companies wishing to sell through Second Life.
- Support contracts for open source users.
- Custom programming for Second Life extensions.
The question is whether Linden Labs is geared up to make money at all. Despite the enormous PR buzz, the dollars have not been flying in.
So it's probably worth a shot. What do you think about it?