Google has unveiled a new offering entitled Lively. This application allows users to chat in a virtual world, eerily similar to Second Life. Though it is still in early development, one can see the appeal of something fairly new to the chat world. Having Google behind this product may attract users addicted to all things Google.
At this point the ability to create items, as in Second Life, hasn’t been implemented. But there is some speculation that their other tool Sketchup, might be used to facilitate such an endeavor. At this point you can stream your photos and videos to those joining you in a room. I haven’t tried the software yet so I won’t speculate on what may be possible, but will say that for all you might want to do in such a room the options seem fairly adequate.
One aspect that I find interesting is the ability to “embed” your room onto your website or blog. It would be fun to see a library create a virtual reference desk room and allow users to chat away. This may be more interesting for public libraries, but it never hurts to experiment with new concepts such as this.