20. November 2008 · Comments Off on Google kills Lively · Categories: Technologies · Tags: , ,

Google’s foray into 3 D chat – Google Lively – is going to be shut down at the end of this year http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/lively-no-more.html

Is Google the McDonald’s of the internet in that if they pull out of a neighbourhood it is time to sell up?  I don’t think so.

Does she know? Hard to tell, she was ALWAYS pouting.

Does she know? Hard to tell, she was ALWAYS pouting.

For me, Lively has never had the ingredients that would have made me feel a connection.  It was contrived, I didn’t have enough control over my avatar or environment and — this is the most important — my friends and colleagues weren’t using it.

I gave it a go — even embedding it into its own page on my blog to see what comments, feedback, invitations I got.

So I’ll be farewelling the pouty teenaged me in Lively and exploring other browser-based 3D chat tools in the near future.

10. July 2008 · Comments Off on Google Lively – browser-based chat goes 3-D · Categories: Second Life, Technologies, Web sites · Tags:

Being the Second Life officianado I am, I was looking forward to trying out Google Lively – http://www.lively.com.  Everyone seems to be looking for the “SL killer” — so I wondered, was this it?

I was able to create an account fairly easily and within minutes was styling my new avatar. Hairstyle, haircolour, and a few different outfits to get me started.  Next, off to look at the popular “rooms”.  One I went into had a YouTube video playing.  Over and over and over.  The quality was great.  The repetition and volume made me want to scream. And the dance animation wouldn’t turn off.

The next room I visited had a winter theme with sound effects.  It was really nice – until a male avatar started punching a female avatar repeatedly while laughing.  I left.

Two more rooms and people much like myself wandering around getting a feel for the interface.  Some Second Lifers, some World of Warcraft gamers — all with a wait and see attitude, but thinking it was more of a lightweight chatroom interface.

The last room I visited reminded me of the ewok tree city in the third Star Wars (or is it the 6th?). The people there were saying they felt Lively had elements of the Sims (in terms of the controls), Everquest and World of Warcraft in terms of looks — but didn’t seem to offer that much to actually interact with or to have a clear purpose.

At this point I don’t think this is a Second Life replacement.  For me it lacks control — in Lively, the automatic animations like my avatar screeching Hi-yeee when I type the word Hi or laughing hysterically when I type LOL (see video) really irritated me. The range of avatars and styles was annoying for me – a cartoon piggy, a realistic woman, a stereotyped 1970s fro-wearing dude – they seemed out of place and made the experience jarring for me.  I haven’t tried building as yet so don’t know if I can build or just pick pre-built items from inventory.

I’ve never been a chat room fan – the lack of control over whom I have to interact with has always turned me off, so don’t see where making it 3-D makes it better.  If that’s all Second Life were to me, I wouldn’t have gotten involved.

So, I’ve got an avatar, I might create a room — but don’t think I’ll invest a lot more time in Lively just yet.

Here is the short video I spliced together from the last room I visited: