Search within Virtual Worlds is reaching the next level in post from Technology Review on searching more effectively and socially within Second Life. Tagging is useful but fallable. Long term, objects in virtual worlds will in my view be recognized just like in (Mobile) Augmented Reality.
"In addition to being able to search for objects, residents can now look
for information--about hobbies, for example--in each other's profiles.
Dzwigalski says she expects that being able to search profile
information will improve Second Life's social features.
Before Linden Lab announced its new tool, third-party companies, such as Electric Sheep, were working on their own to improve search in Second Life and other virtual worlds. "The search capability in the worlds has been historically quite basic," says Giff Constable, who leads the Electric Sheep's software business unit. Constable says that his company was sending bots into Second Life to pick up virtual objects and extract data from them in order to compile search results. "The analogy would be to Alta Vista in the early days of the Web, before Google came around and became able to rank things for popularity," Constable says. He adds that his company hopes to take advantage of the new search tool from Linden Lab and will focus on providing additional tools for social networking and e-commerce."