As you know I keep up with most trends. This one showed up in several places today from different "in the know" folk.
I am an explorer by nature so I thought, "Hey, why not?"
After all, Web 2.0 is heading towards Web 3D running with scissors, right?
Rating on a 1-10 scale for Lively so far is a solid 7.
It is interesting, easy to figure out without reading pages of instruction, however,it did crash my computer after install trying to generate the changes on the fly.
It is meant for XP and Vista only--sorry Safari.
Is it a viable alternative to Second Life? No, not really. It lacks the power, scope, and breadth of application that Second Life has as a tool for education.
It is a "Second Life for Dummies" alternative for instructors who merely wish to meet with their students and talk or lecture. Students or instructors with very little techno savvy can adopt this technology in about 15-45 minutes. It beats Second Life in that respect, but remember that more complicated tools with higher applications will take more time to learn than these small one purpose Web 2.0 tools. This has one application, chatting in a "pretty" room.
They will eventually get the bugs worked out I am sure. Google has the money for programmers after all.
Me, I am amused by it, I may even recommend it to faculty for alternative meeting or chat spaces. For real solid learning objective work, complex lecture delivery, or PBL (Problem Based Learning) I will continue to reccommend Second Life exploration.
KitKatBailey (See you in SL)