There are a great many bloggers at the moment who have chosen this random date-based event to make predictions about 2011. Some have simply repeated everything LL has said and are thus likely to be proved ‘right’, others have seen what a nonsense it is and mocked the whole exercise.
Jung always loved those that speculated about the unknown because they simply manifest their own unconscious in their predictions.
Some of what 2011 has in store for us is not pure speculation though, it is based on visible trends and stated intent, like the stuff LL has ‘promised’ to deliver.
Now, we don’t know for certain that LL has decided to go for The 100 Million Users, but from all their recent moves and changes it seems fair to assume that they want as many people as possible in SL, even at the expense of SL losing it’s lead as the foremost VW.... even if these people are to dim to download a viewer.
Argumentum ad populum is the fallacy that the majority must be right. .... wikipedia gives the following examples...
"The fallacy is [also] common in marketing:
▪ Brand X vacuum cleaners are the country's leading brand; so buy Brand X vacuum cleaners.
▪ Watch Show X - the #1 watched show on television!
▪ Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong.
▪ All of my friends are doing it.
▪ In a court of law, the jury vote by majority, therefore they will always make the correct decision.
▪ Google gives more hits when this spelling is applied, therefore this has to be the correct spelling.
▪ Most analysts consider Enron Corporation a well-run company with excellent management, so its common stock is a good investment."
etc... there are more...here
Now, whether it is the desire to conform that makes this fallacy so popular is open to debate, but LL has decided, it seems, that because so many people play StupidVille, then the way to be A More Successful Business is to copy them. Jump on the bandwagon, even if the bandwagon is being driven by fools, even if it may disappear as quickly as it appeared.
So....the browser-based, dumbed down SL is on the cards, we all “know” this as a possible future for SL.
There is another business model which they could have used. If you come to a prominent position in the market but decide that you are a little ahead of the mainstream, you do not have to dumb down to attract more people. LL could have used their lead to consolidate their position and driven full steam ahead to create an untouchable platform where tools, facilities, customer care, etc etc were just so far ahead of the competition that they were ready for when the mainstream caught up (for I fully believe they will one day). Educating the mainstream is a constructive use of an advertising budget.
As it is, it seems to me, based on my experience of 2010, that a large proportion of SL users will become more and more mobile.
SL is not the only game in town, and when the new physics engine is in place in InWorldz, SL will no longer be the best. It will be the biggest for a good while still, but... this preoccupation with numbers is a bit daft.
It is the way of ‘keeping score’.. how many “followers” you have, how many “friends”... these are game rules for the new social media.
Social Media is a false name anyway, there is not much social about Twitter (which is a bulletin board), or Facebook (which is crap), not when you compare the experience to sitting watching the sunset with two or three friends in SL, your feet dangling in a splashing fountain, chatting at length about nothing much.... I am There, and so are my friends.... the number of people on my “friends list” is totally irrelevant, as is concurrency.
This Keeping Score is so Male, anyway..."How many pigs did you kill today?"....yukkk...
So, if I have any prediction for 2011, apart from mesh falling flat and browser-based SL being a flop, it is that IWz slowly jogs past SL while it is asleep (or farming bunnies), like the tortoise and the hare.
Time will tell.