Facebook integration

Profile-to-Fan Page

What about automatically turning your SL profile into a Facebook fan page? That way, there wouldn’t be any worries about showing your “real data” so easily — only the information on the fan page would be sync’ed with SL. This should be do-able, and probably useful, since many residents I know don’t bother to get a full FB account for their avatars, but just a fan page…

Also, this is the place to export your pick list (with images!) and your SL groups as well. Why is this important? Well, new residents might find their friends via the SL-to-Facebook integration tools — but the next step is seeing what your friends are doing in SL at all. Facebook allows groups (and games you’ve joined!) to be displayed for that reason: it’s reasonable to assume that your friends share similar tastes to you (after all, there is a reason why they are your friends, right??), so they might enjoy similar group chats and similar places to visit.

So instead of relying on a Destination Guide, assembled semi-randomly to a vast audience, each new resident would get their private, individual “destination guide”, created dynamically from everything that your friends are willing to share. Needless to say, new residents would love this feature — nothing is more frustrating than joining something new on the Internet, and having no clue on what to do — and, more importantly, not understanding why it is so appealing to your friends!

Like, like, like

Here is where I think that the most important SL-Facebook integration should be happening: Like buttons everywhere. This is not very different from Babbage ex-Linden’s old idea of an “augmented reality for SL” (SLateIT — not available any longer, but you can watch an old video to understand how it worked): basically, a simple mechanism to “rate” items and avatars you find in SL.

The twist here is to push the “Likes” to Facebook (SLateIT used an independent website managed by Babbage and some volunteers), so they’ll show up on Walls, with a SLurl directly linked to the location where it can be found, as well as an (optional) thumbnail picture of the parcel. This would be dramatic! Aye, I know that “Likes” are really very very easy to game, but that’s not the point — the point is to spam Facebook with the cool things people are finding and doing in SL, and let Facebook’s profiling engines have a go at all that data.

Profiles, landmarks, avatars — all of those should be “Like”-able. Let’s flood Facebook with what we consider fun and enjoyable in SL 🙂

Chat integration

Allegedly, Linden Lab is already using XMPP (the Jabber protocol) for Group Chats, and my friend SignpostMarv Martiun reports some success in connecting to SL’s XMPP service with a third-party, external XMPP client (there are tons… even iChat can do it). Well, for over a year, Facebook supports XMPP chatting too. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that the effort in linking both is not overly hard. What that means is that you could log in to Facebook and chat with your SL friends and vice-versa; what could be cooler than that? 🙂

Of course, inventory transfers would be harder to do 🙂 but I can imagine that at least landmarks should be very easy; images (textures) are simple to implement as an URL to LL’s cloud servers (if the texture is full perm); and perhaps even notecards could somehow be “transferred” as well. The advantages to all that are so obvious that it’s a crime that it doesn’t work yet like that 🙂

Also imagine the power of creating Facebook-based “announcement groups” that would regularly keep residents informed of new fashion releases, upcoming events, and so forth — so that when they log in to SL, they would get all those messages like regular group announcements.

Event announcements

Remember Eventful? They were one of the first websites implementing “Second Life” as a “country”, and SL events are pushed to Eventful regularly, which can be a bliss for anyone tired of wasting time searching in-world for something interesting to happen.

But Eventful is, well, pre-Facebook. These days, people manage events — even SL events! — on Facebook. So what would be more natural to bridge across both platforms? Create an event in SL, and it will be posted to Facebook; click on the “Yes” button for attending the event, and it will automatically notify you in SL when the event is due and give you a SLURL to teleport. Again, it’s so obvious…

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