It was only a matter of time.
Google has announced today that Lively is no more.
Hardly a shocker, they were having a sod of a job policing it and it was pretty much empty, but a shame prior to the integration of some of the other Google fringe services.
It had rapidly fallen into the same camp as IMVU (which essentially looks the same, but they don't mind you bonking the furniture) and they were spending much of their time trying to sort out how it'd appear in search rather than improving usability or granting rating access to keep the cybersex lot out of the public eye (which is hardly Google policy, lets face it).
This whole policing issue is one Sony are going to have to face too, if there's any 'PlayStation Eye' integration in Home (good luck to 'em). After chatting with Ninian at Virtual Worlds London I was looking forward to getting GMail voice and video chat, maybe Sketch-up/Google Earth, Google docs (for collaborative working) etc., but alas integration denied.
Back to core search projects for you guys, sorry. You users better start taking some screen shots, make some of those Facebook groups about how unfair it is and have a good moan on your blogs (but tough titty, that's just how it goes).
It was hard for us, here. We set stuff up, then the 2 project managers we set it up for just simply couldn't access it with there Google accounts, even from home, so initial positive ideas just went by the wayside. It was exciting, for a week.
What's the bet the popular press, this being Google, sees this as some sort of negative indictment of Virtual Worlds. Like we don't have enough problems...