Web Work for Real

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Oh, you call yourself a web worker, but in reality you’re probably still just spending your day in front of a computer screen and working in an office or coffee shop with all of the technological comforts we take for granted: cell phone, laptop, backups, and an ever-growing array of fancy desktop and web applications to help you manage information.

You know, the stuff that we write about here at WWD. Well, have you ever thought about what it would be like to actually work in the web?

That’s what Second Life entrepreneur Sue Stonebender writes about in a recent blog entry on the hassles of running a business in a virtual universe. Imagine having no tools for customer service other than instant messages, and a filing system consisting of virtual cardboard boxes in a big virtual room.

Of course, on the positive side Second Lifers can do things that we meatspace types can’t, like build smart file folders that back up their contents to a first life web server. Still, it’s a distinctly different set of challenges, and one that obviously doesn’t have easy answers yet.

As Second Life (and other virtual economies) continue to grow, I expect we’ll see the first wave of direct entrepreneurs followed by a second wave of executive assistants, efficiency experts, and smart people who can build the support systems to enable these virtual businesses to grow and function. Who knows, maybe your next business lies in helping solve some of the problems that Sue and her peers are running up against right now.

More about Second Life on GigaGamez

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Sci-Fi writer William Gibson launched the theory that the fancier a company look in cyberspace, the smaller and crappier its first world headquarters. Hence, it follows logically that one day there inevitably had to be companies with such fancy web sites that they wouldn’t really exist at all in the physical world. Call it progress if you like…

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