The View From 32



Headline of PD article about Cleveland 2.0Oh no, not again!

Without getting into a discussion about whether a virtual Rock Hall makes the world a better place, I'm both excited and depressed by the article in today's Plain Dealer.

The project to create online versions of Cleveland landmarks like the Rock Hall, Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University sounds great. It's both technically interesting and a good way to introduce the city to visitors.

But the fact that this is being done via is the problem. SecondLife—along with MySpace, Wallop, and a number of other community-oriented websites—represent more things I should be involved in but have so far avoided.

I mean, when the U.S. Army has a MySpace page and I don't, there's something wrong. The web is supposed to be my "thing," yet the bizarre Burger King guy has 135,000 Friends on MySpace and I don't have any.

Why? Oh, the usual reasons: no time, too many other things to do, etc., etc. But truth be known, I just can't get enthused about these online communities. They seem to be filled with 1) teenagers rambling on about things that frankly aren't that interesting to me and 2) people who have nothing better to do than write lots of short and generally dumb comments.

I've had very limited experience with MySpace and Wallop ("the exclusive social experience where it's easy to be yourself and connect with the friends you choose"), so maybe I'm totally off-base. But Second Life ("Your World. Your Imagination.") seems more promising. This is the one I'm going to try. Soon. Maybe I'll see you in Cleveland 2.0.