So finally, after a long wait, the creators of Blue Mars announced the live beta testing. It requires that you apply for it and then, for Mac users like myself, it requires setting up 'bootcamp' and upgrading and installing Windows. I am waiting for my registration and for the software updates that I need. When I am finally in their world, I will be documenting and reporting on my experiences there.
So what can Blue Mars do that is 'new'? That's a tough one. The newness will undoubtedly be the high definition graphics and hopefully they will have address the lag that we all experience in other virtual worlds. I assume that the 3d building will be far more advanced than Second Life and that in itself will allow more development for the creative sector. Above all, Blue Mars needs to be an environment that people are proud to be part of in order for them to constructively get involved in its future. Cyberspace is full of places for avatars to just hang out.
Second Life originally claimed to be what Blue Mars aspires to - and they will need to study the history of Linden Labs behaviour very closely. Linden Labs made a fundamental mistake of naming their users as a 'community' and then ignoring them when making decisions that affected all of that community. That was the start of its demise.
"We are committed to creating a place where you, our colonists can explore the farthest reaches of your imaginations, building a virtual society that reflects your desires and your ideals."