Help Us Test the SL Web Viewer Beta
As we explore ways to make the Second Life experience faster, easier, and more fun, we are testing a number of approaches to bring new users closer to the richness of our virtual world. Yesterday, we quietly launched a beta test of a new technology that opens up Second Life to new users like never before: Second Life on the Web! The SL Web Viewer allows new users to become Second Life "guests" through the Web and enjoy basic SL functionality while exploring exciting destinations in Second Life -- all without downloading a Viewer. We need your help to test the SL Web Viewer!
Just follow these simple steps:
1. Visit the SL Web Viewer Beta.
2. There is a 45-second video that will run while the system loads and then you'll either be offered an "Explore Now" button -- which means that you have successfully qualified -- or a "Join Now" button -- which means that you do not qualify for the test at this time*.
3. If you qualify, you'll be asked to share your email address to create a temporary guest account to use the SL Web Viewer.
We'll be running tests like this from time to time, and we may ultimately choose to further pursue some or none of these approaches, depending on what we learn from our testing, but we're very excited to make SL an easier experience for guests and look forward to hearing what you think.
VP of Marketing
*Note: We're in the early stages of testing this technology, and not everyone who navigates to the link will be able to access the SL Web Viewer.
So, I went there. Waited through the overwhelmingly human-heavy "music video", only to discover I was being shown the "Join Now" button. This does not surprise me; to be fair, my system is on the lower end of the lower end of old systems. To give you an idea how old? There's a sticker on the front of the case that says "Protected from viruses, spam & spyware out oft he box with Norton Internet Security 2007."
What did surprise me was hearing from a friend who did get into the beta: apparently, there is no way to access SL from your existing account; this is purely a 'demo', more or less. You don't have inventory, Lindens, your own avatar or your own name, but rather a string of numbers plus "Guest". You can't change your clothes, your skin, your hair, your eyes; you can't buy anything, rez anything...it would be pure hell for creative sorts, but maybe they have other ideas in mind.
Even stranger, you can't port anywhere, but you can access a list of specially chosen destinations, and that list is both intriguing and mystifying.
Solace Beach is on it, for instance. So is Winterfell. But Caledon isn't, though Steelhead Port Harbor is. And Toxia's in there--which rather flies in the face of the new "Sex life? What sex life?" policies of the Labs. I'd love to have a full list of the specially-chosen places, and see if there's anything that links them.
Alicia Chenaux says you can access anywhere that's on the official "Destination Guide", so maybe the places will rotate in and out. And that's also the link--whatever's on the Destination Guide page is what the web client has access to. And nothing else.
To me, it's worthless, but I can actually see tossing a link to people in future and saying, "Well here, check it out, it's not as bad as you think." Because this seems to be what they wanted Viewer 2.0 to be in the first place: web-enabled, everything within whatever browser we use, not in its own client, and no one's carting around a ton of prims or a ton of inventory items. I guess that's a good thing, in terms of speed. But again, they're losing sight of the lower-end models (like mine), and it does offer a thread of unease up my spine that this may be the first stage introduction of the concept of inventory limitations, to match script and prim limitations (which are slowly but surely limping their way to a client near you).