Linden Bets on the Desire for Virtual Things

Virtual worlds have had some real problems. Google (GOOG), for instance, recently shut down an animated environment called Lively only five months after it was announced. And Linden Lab, whose Second Life online community was once front-page news, has neither reached many mainstream consumers nor created an important meeting place for corporate users.

But the San Francisco company is far from backing away. The latest bet: that users will pay real money for things that only exist “in world,” as Second Life fans call it.

Linden Tuesday night announced that it has purchased two small companies–Xstreet SL and OnRez–that act a bit like (AMZN) in providing one-stop shopping for virtual goods from other merchants. One component of their strategy has been to make it easier to buy goods through the Web, not requiring users to enter Second Life to acquire the items they may use there. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

Read the rest of this post

Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »