Friday, November 28, 2008
Lively is Dead
A quick death for Google's short-lived lively. After much flurry around its July launch of Lively as a "20% completed" PC-only 3D social arena technology, Google has now announced that it will end the service in December. Part of the problem may have been that porn had quickly made its way in to environments that were designed to provide a younger demographic with a circa 1996 Alpha World-like social chat experience. Looks like those in need of virtual sex will need to be satisfied with Second Life's offerings (see here for an opinion). Google says "It has been a tough decision, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business." Okay, so I guess that porn is not a business they want to be in? What I find striking here is that a company with as much intellectual and financial capital as Google could not muster anything more than poorly implemented platform-constrained retread of technologies that have been around for the past twelve years. The lessons here are that money without vision is useless and that unrestricted public spaces tend to attract a certain type of public in both the real and virtual worlds.