Meshverse Ecosystem Survey

I’ve had this post in draft for quite some time but wanted to do an in depth review. After commenting on Howard Sterns’s How do distributed systems work? post I realized that a list of lists might be helpful.

  • Virtual Worlds Reviews was the mother of all lists until it’s creator went to work for There.
  • Oz has a nice comparison of virtual worlds albeit somewhat dated(how can anybody keep up with this fast moving field).
  • SimTeach has a list of development tools
  • There’s a good virtual world reading list at Terra Nova.
  • Who’s on Rupert’s list:
    • Blink 3D – basically Adobe Atmosphere reloaded(don’t count Adobe out of this race yet) … a great mix of easy creation, web brower plugin, powerful Javascript API, enthusiastic developer community but collaboration is weak out of the box, it’s Windows only and proprietary
    • Croquet – everything you really need build your own and become a long term player, but an expensive roll of the dice if you want to get in the game quickly at the Second Life level, particularly when it comes to server deployment
    • Google Earth – MySpace is already in a billion dollar bed with Google so hey, why not mesh a little closer? Plus there’s Sketch-Up for user generated content(Ruby may be the real sleeper here – way more powerful than Second Life’s scripting language with a passionate, growing developer community). The downside is do you want to be assimilated by Google?
    • Kaneva – if your members don’t really want or need all the power of Google Earth, Second Life, Croquet etc. this is a really cheap solution
    • Many One – haven’t heard much about this lately but datagurliz says it’s about to launch and stranger things have happened … well on second thought, let’s call this a long shot – ok really long
    • Multiverse – an affordable, talented tech team with a decent platform, perhaps the best all around bet
    • Second Life – a safe bet since you’re not a tech development firm, plus if you get in now, it puts a lot of pressure on AOL, MSN et al, but wait, it’s open source so people might not stay in your gated community … oh my
    • Project Entropia – a risky but much more robust choice than Kaneva and further along than Multiverse
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