I like the comparison Amazon's Jeff Barr makes between the potential of AJAX technologies six years ago and Second Life's scripting language today. From the Reuters interview:
"Reuters: It seems like going to shop on Amazon.com is still easier at this point than shopping in Second Life.
Jeff Barr: Ease of use is only one way you’d look at it, integration is a really important thing. You can imagine a Second Life build where you have a concert or a musician that’s just done a live performance, or maybe an author who has done a book reading. Just as you’d walk out of a venue in real life and buy a book or a T-shirt or a CD, now you have the same ability in the virtual world — it’s contextual commerce.
People love to do things that stay within the metaphor. So if you can say in character and if you’re essentially doing your shopping in avatar scale, that seems to maintain the quality of the experience.
Reuters: Are there still constraints in Second Life you find frustrating?
Jeff Barr: If you think back to the Web browsers of five or six years ago, we had all the capabilities to do AJAX and it was just a matter of time before people got clever enough and had enough experience. It just took developers a long time, and being absolute masters of the existing technology before they pushed it to the next level.
If you look at Second Life and the scripting language, you realise we’re just at the very very beginning of how people can use this."