Or, where we want them to be?
I don’t think a lot of our users are Second Life users. Some may be involved in online worlds, such as WoW. But I’m not sure they’d want us to pop up there 😉
We do need to have some understanding of the environments our users spend time in, and perhaps bring some of that atmosphere into our services. But we also need to be aware that those environments are not homogenous, nor are they necessarily the ones we should be emulating. Or at least, they should not be the only ones.
My concern- and that of others- is that a disproportionate amount of time is spent investigating one sub-set of environments, on the assumption that all users will one day want to use them. I’m all for exploration, so long as adequate time is given to all user environments- however old school those may be.
As hinted in my last post, I can certainly see a time when virtual environments are a predominant way of providing and accessing resources. But right now there are still many people who value physical services and spaces- and they are users too.