Caleb Booker has a pretty good point with regard to Second Life and how it is perceived. No, not by the hilariously uninformed so-called "journalists" employed by the "legitimate media". Not even by the "regular" SL user. But rather by the "power users" and potential "corporate" users.

Firstly, not all power-users are of the ridiculous mindset that their own opinion of how things should be applies to the rest of the universe. I like to think of myself as an SL "power-user" - but I don't subscribe to a lot of the laughable demands of the most vocal found most often at the official Second Life blogs or worse: the cesspools called SLUniverse and to a slightly lesser extent: Shopping Cart Disco and Alphaville Herald.

As someone who works in the "education" field (commercial B2B training) - I can seriously relate to the comments and concerns of first life "professionals" with regard to the very usability of the Second Life platform as a means for immersive meeting, much less as a venue for actual training or educational efforts.
Real Names: Face it: the naming convention was a cute idea in the beginning, but it just seems idiotic to corporate users. Let us use our own names over our heads.
This has always been a complaint of professionals evaluating SL as a means to carry-out business. Yes, yes, yes, we know: Any one can have a custom "last name". For $500 a month. Are you serious?

What is needed is the ability for people to option their real names. Of course this presents a problem as there are actually a lot of real life people whose names are "John Smith". So one alternative is to have your account as it is now: "Ari Blackthone" - but be able to add to (or actually replace - visually) "John Smith" - so those I interact with on the grid will know I am really "John Smith". As for all you immersion-is-king idiots who shoot-down this idea can go crawl under the rock you came from. Note how I emphasized "option" above. Your ideas, wants and desires apply to you and it is not your place to force those ideas, wants and desires onto the entire grid.

Other items of note that Caleb mentions, which I admit I haven't thought-of (because even though I have approached my company president about SL, have NOT actually pushed hard enough to give it a go for training purposes) - would be practical requirements for any business to be able to hold any kind of meaningful meeting and cannot do without for training purposes:
  • A Whiteboard. Functionally-speaking. That works like the first life ones do.
  • A Public Address system. No, not the chat-shouters we see so often. This is in reference to voice.
  • The "Second Floor" - ability to segregate audio streams to separate channels or something. So that voice used in one primroom is actually separate from voice used in the very next primroom above the first only 10-meters away.
  • Simple ways to transfer files from one user to another user without having to upload the file into the grid first - and without blasting open a third-party application. Though even that would be a highly acceptable first step (for example: I drag a text document onto your avatar and my email application already opens, addressed to you with file attached and all I have to do is click "send").
Yes, yes, the loudmouth detractors who scream at the top of their lungs to Linden Lab on their blogs about how "no one uses voice! It's a complete failure and a completely stupid idea, so remove it permanently now!" again can go crawl back under their rock. Why do you insist that what you don't like should also be off-limits to everyone else?

The fun part of Caleb's post is this, though:
When this list was originally published on my blog, I received a few passionate emails from the power user base that reinforced my perception of the problem. Their comments break down as follows:
  • Second Life was built by nerds for nerds, and shouldn’t accommodate anyone else ever.
  • Anonymity is more important than oxygen, and should be absolutely force-fed to people.
Absolutely hilarious! There are three more laughable comments he highlights and it really goes to speak to the mindset of those so-called "power-users" and why the first comment about Second Life being built by nerds for nerds is not only appropriate, but so, so true.