Almost two weeks after its launch, and I finally got around to having a look at Google’s Lively yesterday. Overall: Currently unimpressed, although the idea has potential.
Whilst it may be considered a ‘virtual world’ by some, in reality it is more of a personalised virtual chatroom, and comparisons with the likes of Second Life soon become foolish.
-Whereas Second Life is a huge integrated world, Lively is a collection of individual rooms (even if some of those rooms are islands).
-Whereas Second Life can be filled with whatever the mind can imagine (and script), Lively can currently only be filled with the limited selection of objects you are given.
-Whereas Second Life has a thriving economy, Lively has none.
However the limitations give Lively an important advantage over Second Life, it is easy to install and takes far less processing power. And most importantly for the customer, it is FREE.
Rather than competing directly with Second Life or Meebo, Lively is staking a claim for the ground half way between the two, and I can imagine it being very successful once it becomes more customisable, which it undoubtedly will. Most organisations will be far more comfortable with the creation of an organisational-specific room/world rather than setting up shop only to have the island next door turned into a sex-shop or filled with neo-nazis. However, until it does become customisable its uses are fairly limited.