I have been less than enthusiastic about Second Life, and this article captures some of the reasons why. In fairness, here are some responses to O'Donnell's criticisms. To me, though, there are two major problems with Second Life. First, it's a single company, which means there's no democracy, no user rights, and therefore, none of the freedoms people online have come to expect. Corporations like it, sure, so it gets a lot of press. But it ends there. Second, though it appears because it is a visual web (as opposed to the more mainstream text-based web) it is only one way a visual web could work, and a rather boring one at that. There will be a visual and multidimensional environment that goes mainstream, but it won't be owned by some company and it won't simply be an online version of the real world. Think about it - all the ways people could learn in a multidimensional visual world and they recreate a lecture theatre? Sheesh.