It was about 1 year ago, during the Second Life hype, when a new virtual world named StageSpace entered the scene. It was intended to be a white label solution for companies who want to have their own controlled virtual worlds environment for their community. Sort of a white label solution for walled gardens. I reported back then about it.
This virtual world was meant to be easy installable and all that and came actually not as a download but as a Java application via Java WebStart (which of course theoretically means that you have to download it each time you want to run it. But it was supposed to be a small download so that’s ok).
It consisted of rooms to which you can teleport via some map. I remember it all as rather rough and somewhat shaky. But it was a beta anyway.
Then out of a sudden the world called StageSpace was closed with some mysterious sounding emails about something new called maquari. This apparently was based on the technology used for the first world but compared to that actually had some theme/meaning/setting. It was some sort of of community maybe similar to Kaneva in that it bridges the web and the virtual space. On the website it says:
maquari combines 2D community profiles, websites, blogs with 3D virtual reality. You can create 3D spaces and personalized avatars according to your own style. Funky, flashy, shinny, plain – everthing’s allowed and you can export it all to all the web’s big community websites. Copy & Paste it to make your friends jealous whenever they check your pages at MySpace, Facebook, your Blog or any other website.
So far so good but now I suddenly get an email where it says that maquari is going to be closed and instead, TADA, a new world will be born, again with a strange name: Bailamo.
They claim it to be a next generation platform based on all the feedback of maquari users. Looking at the website it says that it’s about flirting and partying, in sexy 3D.
Now what is the meaning of all this? Why closing a community and not running two next to each other as you can only lose loyal users by doing this? Is the community maybe not running that well? Is Bailamo another showcase of this white label solution? Is the white label product actually still the business model (the StageSpace website says so at least)?
So what actually is happening here? And did they actually sell some solution to some company or agency so far? To me this looks like the search for a business model for the technology they created.
And interestingly enough, the company homepage does not mention Bailamo but still claims maquari as being the next cool thing.
So I signed up for a bailamo closed beta account and will report as soon as I have it. I must admit though that flirt and party in 3D sounds not really that interesting to me. But then again I am not the mass market ;-) Besides that I am looking forward to the next incarnation ;-)