October 2, 2007 at 7:32 pm (1)

I’m looking at another oddball social networking site that has elements that i think might become standards in the near future – that’s a long way of saying i think I’m looking at some element of the near future.

I haven’t joined or explored yet, so this is just a forming opinion.

Read the article at TechCrunch to get a better sense of it. Basically, Zwinky has avatars that you can dress up and accessorize like crazy – nothing new here, we’ve seen that with Gaia Online and Second Life, to name a couple.  Zwinky now also sells online money for real money – like Second Life’s Linden Dollars.  So, for a few bucks, you get some online cash to buy things for your Zwinky.  Then there’s a world where your Zwinky can interact with other avatars.

My daughter has Webkinz (a gift from a relative), so I’ve been watching that as well – similar sorts of features abound – you can accesorize your dog,  get furniture and decor for your house, go for walks, meet other webkinz, or play game.  There’s all kinds of things that you can do to get free stuff, but only at intervals – so you can only perform a certain task every six hours, blah blah blah.  The interactions with others are very structured – as far as i can tell, there’s no real chatting that goes on (if there were, my daughter wouldn’t be on the site).  Instead, participants choose from a limited menu, and say things like “Let’s be friends,” or “Let’s go play a game.”

Back to Zwinky – apparently there is a companion site that sells real clothes that match the virtual gear you can get in the game.

Very interesting… very very interesting…

Here’s my thought – the world is ripe for some kind of user-friendly, reduced tech version of Second Life – so anyone can get on.  Going a little cartoony, with avatars that don’t take up a lot of memory space, etc.  Portals to virtual store versions of real places, so you can go shopping for real or virtual versions of things you like.  And, why not a library?  Walk in, put books on hold, check out your virtual bookshelf with things you’ve read, write/read reviews.  Anything you make public, other people can come see.  Have your own space that’s open to your friends, or maybe only open to them when you’re around.

Maybe it could be an open code sort of platform, like Facebook, so that other developers could write their own apps for it – like the library, again.  That way you can get a crazy variety of things for your personal space – like a painting on the wall that cycles through your favorite works of art, or a goodreads shelf that’s 3D, or a juke box that has ten thousand songs in it, etc.

I’m just brainstorming here, but it’s just around the corner.  Maybe somebody with the wherewithal will read this, and in a couple of years we’ll see it happening out there.

Me, I’m going to keep doing what i do for a living.


1 Comment

  1. emarati_rap said,

    plz give my zwinky back pllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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