Virtual Malls – Take Two
Richard at Read/Write wrote on the return of Virtual Malls (the stuff of the mid-late 90s), see “Virtual Shopping Malls Making a Comeback?“:
So I have to admit it is surprising that the virtual shopping mall, as a concept, is alive and well in 2006. Lately we’ve heard that Boo.com, an infamous 3D shopping website of the late 90’s, is making a comeback later this year. But one that has actually launched already is The Mall Plus, where users navigate a virtual shopping mall in a 3D environment. All of the shops are a part of the The Mall Plus, rather than being external sites. Geekzone quotes The Mall Plus CEO Nigel Kirkpatrick as saying it’s “the next generation of retail, through a virtual environment”.
Indeed, I find this as surprising as well. I’ve never appreciated Virtual Malls, they seemed to be clunky, long and tedious – very much like the worst aspects of brick-and-mortar shopping.
Virtual Malls in Second Life
(Via FreshTakes) Adding to Boo.com and The Mall Plus, B3
has built a virtual mall in Second Life (Correction: It is not part of Second Life. See Comments) (shown above), creating affiliate stores involving the likes of Amazon.com, eBay, Old Navy, Delia’s and Barnes & Nobles. Beyond shopping, 3B has created virtual worlds for top Shopping, Travel, Entertainment, Kids and Female-related websites. They also offer service to “Virtualize” webpages like MySpace profiles.
Linda Zimmer noted:
While the display of web information in 3B is essentially still 2D, it allows content to be positioned or juxtaposed in ways we cannot do within the single-page-at-a-time format of a web browser. For example, browsing through book titles is much more similar to walking down store aisles then browsing via clicks on Amazon.
Applications like 3B â€“ and Second Life – are at the very least beginning to inform the discussions about better ways to interact with content, and more immersive ways to share it.
Again, not sure how well people will adopt and use this, but its good to see people are willing to give 3-D web a try.