Amazon Web Services Opens Second Life Site
I checked into the virtual world of Second Life tonight for a sneak peek at two islands that were just opened by Amazon Web Services as a community-building effort for AWS developers. According to SL resident Jeffronius Batra (aka Jeff Barr, Amazon’s senior Web services evangelist), »the islands« — which are an official Amazon project — will not only provide resources for developers but also link to and show off what the AWS development community has created inside Second Life. (Jeff mentioned Jnana as an example. You can read more about what they’re doing in SL on the AWS blog, or just visit »Jnana in Second Life«.)
The virtual architecture, by Joshua Culdesac (who lives in France), is very handsome, though some of it was too tight for my camera. Jeff did the terraforming. Amazon took delivery of the islands in December, Jeff said, though planning had been going on before then. Amazon’s virtual estate is near an IBM island (and not by accident; Jeff invited them to buddy up), but there’s a mysterious island named Innovation that intervenes. Jeff hasn’t been able to get into it yet to find out what’s going on there. The Amazon islands aren’t quite done yet, Jeff says, but from what I could glean in my visit, they seem to have succeeded in being “very SL-friendly, not overly corporate,” as Jeff says they were intended. Amazon has been poking around in Second Life for something like a year now. Nice to see them finally get something going on an official level.
Among the features of the islands — all layed out in a very cool scale model at one corner of the main island — are a Museum of Web Services, a conference center, a gift shop or bookstore of some sort that wasn’t finished yet when I was there, and a place where you can create an Amazon Web Services account.
The company is still considering how staffing of the island will work, but Jeff said he’ll be spending more time there in future, between trips. The island has been a part-time effort for him over the last several months, in part because he travels so much from Seattle.
One cool thing about the Museum of Web Services, which will showcase SL projects as well as Web-based ones, is that it is built to be expandable by snapping on new modules. Plus it just looks cool: