Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meltingdots starts Weblin-based-services

Meltingdots, a Tokyo based company which specialize in virtual worlds, has supported many companies to get a Second Life presence (for example, Suruga Bank which we blogged June 2007 at MindBlizzard).

Recently they partnered with Weblin, one of the web based avatar chats, and started to offer several interesting services using Weblin. Recently they have live-streamed a video of a concert. Fans who couldn't attend the concert joined together at a website as Weblin avatars and enjoy chatting with other fans while viewing the streaming-video.

I asked Hiroshi Asaeda, CEO of Meltingdots, about Weblin and the future of Second Life.

Q:Now you're focusing in Weblin. What's the advantage of Weblin?

Easier to join, on a web browser. As we were working on Second Life, I noticed the most important part for SL wasn't 3D, but real time communication. SL still has a huge barrier to join, and I thought Weblin was one solution which could bring in more normal people (meaning computer users who are not geeks) to experience online communication. Using Weblin is just like using Skype, and is easy to download for these people. Also, Japan has a culture of not wanting to show their real identities, and prefers to use avatars. As long as people aren't desperate to use cool 3D designed offices, I thought it was good enough to communicate using a web browser.


How was the Weblin + live streaming?

The Weblin live streaming with Denpa worked out pretty well. Even though it was a daytime real club event, the people who lived away from Tokyo attended the virtual live.
Although we had some trouble in the live streaming itself, we thought there are huge opportunities to do events with Weblin.

What do you predict about Second Life or other virtual worlds in 2009?

Meltingdots still thinks Second Life to be one of the most innovative social services in the world. No one is coming even close to them, but I think they need a visionary so the users will keep believing them. What we first need to do before using Second Life is to have more people get used to using avatars as themselves. Weblin is a good way to start out, and when the users get bored with the flat interface of the 2D web, that's when the 3D virtual world business begins. We will continue SL until this day comes.


Disclosure:Meltingdots is the sponsor of Avatar Watch, which is my main blog.

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