I'm going to play analyst again and throw out three foundational requirements I believe Linden Lab should prioritize when planning the development of their new virtual world.
- Figuring out how to get current SL users to the new world along with their existing user identities, group affiliations and community networks. There's going to be a lot of competition by the time SL2 launches in 2016 including offerings designed by both of SL's cofounders. Duplicating existing Second Life social connections is a feature no competitor can match.
- Supporting Second Life's creative community in transitioning to the new platform. Content creators and the goods they develop are Linden Lab's other main competitive advantage. Linden Lab should clarify what types of Second Life assets will be compatible with the new platform. Ideally, Linden Lab will provide an SDK, plug-ins for major 3D software creation tools and other software that makes porting non-compatible content to the new platform as simple as possible.
- Nailing UX and UI for both VR and standard screen users. Although Second Life's current users can provide the critical mass to jumpstart the new platform, the ability to attract and retain new users will make or break its ultimate success in the market. New user experience must be especially intuitive and breathtaking. New users must easily be able to find the types of experiences and communities that meet their interests. No one has figured out the ideal user interface for VR-based virtual worlds yet and there's a lot of work to be done.
So that's my three cents for the moment. What do you think?