Sunday, January 14, 2007

Zweitgeist - Meet Anywhere On The Web

A myriad of new virtual world communities besieges us to join the holy ranks of virtual knights or just lead a shiny new second life if you don't want to cope with the onerous exercise that reality imposes on us humble human beings any more.

Today I encountered a refreshingly new concept: Zweitgeist. The name of the service is a somewhat weird combination of words, literally meaning "second ghost", and at the same time a corny word transformation joke that is derived from the word "Zeitgeist", which seems to be a normal English word after all.

Zweitgeist is basically nothing more that the inverse function of Swarm which empowers the seeking web wanderer to find her hopefully like-minded information freak. Zeitgeist now utilizes the good old web as well established basis for it's virtual world - the web is the world, and you can meet people on web pages just like you would meet them at the bus stop or in your favorite movie theater. The virtual world experience is just another plug-in to your favorite web-browser that displays some cute little avatar pictures at the bottom of the pages you're visiting at the moment.

Normally all this would be filtered out by my "yet another noble business idea" low-pass pop-up-pop-down business filter. But if enough people manage to ignore the penetrating skirl of their George Orwell alarm this may become an interesting plug-in to your typical web experience. While I'd really like to know how they plan to scale up for a web site like (a thousand little avatar pictures at the bottom of my web browser doesn't seem too appealing) perhaps meeting a few people on Joel On Software that share my obscure interest in good software might be a juicy change.

In the end the most interesting thing about this service will probably be if they manage to beat Metcalfe's Law, regardless of whether the specifics are right or wrong when you happily apply the law to Web 2.0 (I just couldn't resist) personality stripper networks.

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