The virtual world blogging community at Thumdar.com.
As some of you may have seen listed in the forums or even on facebook, there was an article posted recently about how Facebook killed the Virtual World. I personally don't see that as a fair comparison, the two are rather opposite and are very different in many many ways.
I replied to the topic with this comment:
"Saying facebook killed the virtual world is rather bold. No matter what facebook offers now or in the future, in some ways it will never be able to compare to the virtual world, and will never fully fill the craving for more personal interaction that the average VW supporter has. Sure it gives a fast and easy outlet to connect to a friend, but a virtual world allows even more than that, it gives them a way to remotely interact with them in a 3D environment more like the real world. It allows them to travel, play, talk, and even more. It gives them a "body" not just a picture or profile. It gives them a person and not just a page.
I personally feel that the much of the reason virtual worlds are lacking is because of a lack of knowledge - Many people don't know about virtual worlds, ENOUGH about virtual worlds or the amazing things they offer. Some try out one virtual world, find it doesn't suit their tastes and leave not knowing there are MANY MANY more out there and one could surely suit them. They miss out, and so does the virtual world. Without customers they unfortunately can't thrive or grow. Virtual worlds also offer a diversity that facebook doesn't offer. Everyone gets the same profile layout. Everyone has the same features. Everything is ultimately the same. I think if more people were able to learn about and find their way into a virtual world that suits their taste, the numbers would begin to rise. There's a VW out there for everyone in some form or another, from graphically intense to more family oriented worlds. Ones where there's a little more to do activity wise and others that are purely social.
Also, you mentioned There.com closing, but didn't mention that There.com reopened it's doors in November 2011. There.com's members that had been left "homeless" when it shut it's doors flocked back 'home' as soon as they could, and perhaps unlike some of the other virtual worlds on the decline, There is now thriving and growing. Facebook helped us stay in contact and helped us rally when the news came, but ultimately it's now just a place for us to share VW news or events or pictures we've taken in-world where we want to be.
After interacting in a virtual world and finding one that suits your tastes and houses your friends from all over the world, facebook just feels very impersonal. Virtual Worlds feel more like home."
That's of course just my opinion, but I thought maybe some of you would relate to that opinion as well. It's clearly not just my own opinion either, as many people agree. If you haven't heard of it or haven't read it yet, I recommend the book "Ready Player One" by Ernie Cline. He believes virtual worlds are where our future is heading, the place people will go to to seek comfort and refuge from the ever growing pressures of daily life. He wrote a fictional future-based book around his idea of a future VW called "The Oasis" - It's definitely an interesting read and a very good book.
Also, any comments you leave on the article itself could be useful... Free advertising folks!