"The Making of Second Life" is the behind-the-scenes story of the Web 2.0 revolution's most improbable enterprise: the creation of a virtual 3D world with its own economy, culture, and political system. Now, the toast of the Internet economy and the subject of countless news articles and profiles, Linden Lab's Second Life is usually known for the wealth of real world companies (Reuters, Pontiac, Sun Microsystems) who have created 'virtual offices' within it, and the number of users ('avatars') who have become wealthy through their user-created content.What sets Second Life apart, and what has made it such a success (1 million-plus users and growing) is its simple user-centered philosophy. Instead of attempting to control the activities of those who enter it, the creators of Second Life turned them loose: users own the rights to all the intellectual content they create in-world, and the in-world currency of Linden dollars are freely exchangeable with the U.S. dollar on a floating exchange rate.
Users have responded eagerly, generating millions of dollars of economic activity through their in-world designs and purchases - currently, the site averages over US $500,000 in transactions every day.Wagner James Au explores the long, implausible road behind that success, and looks at the road ahead, where many believe that user-created worlds like Second Life will become the Net's next generation and the fulcrum for a revolution in the way we shop, work, and interact. And this book is written by the one person uniquely qualified to tell that story: tech culture writer Wagner James Au, who was contracted by Linden Labs to be Second Life's 'embedded journalist' for the world's first three years, and continues that chronicle on his own blog, New World Notes (nwn.blogs.com). Au is also co-author of the practical guidebook "Second Life: The Official Guide", which has become a bestseller since its initial publication in November 2006.