Things are exciting right now, many Second Lifers are coming over to Cloud Party to kick the tires: uploading mesh and materials, creating clothing, testing out the physics engine, making waving tentacles.... basically putting the platform through its paces. Overall word is positive, although there has been some kvetching about whether this is truly a "beta" or an "alpha". What is striking is how many people, the vast majority of whom have spent less than 48 hours in-world, say the same thing: this is a warning shot across the bow of Second Life, and they had better pay attention.
I take the point of view of Desmond Shang of Caledon, who stated his opinion on the SLUniverse forums thusly:
"...Cloud Party is, perhaps accidentally, the best thing that could ever happen to the Second Life platform.
Walter Knott expected to see his business (Knott's Berry Farm) devastated when Disneyland opened in 1955. He was wrong. Instead, the day Disneyland opened, there were record crowds at Knott's. And Knott's is still open today, 57 years later.
Knock-on effects. Nothing could popularise and show off the strengths of the main grid, better than an inferior Facebook version of same."
I also think that a little competition in the virtual world marketplace will be a good thing. Second Life has been the 300-pound gorilla in the room for so long now, we know nothing else. But with Facebook behind it, Cloud Party has the potential to become another 300-pound gorilla. This may prove to be an interesting time for virtual worlds, and consumers can only benefit from the competition.
Wrapping up for today with a picture I took late yesterday evening at Lilli's Homeworld island. Liili Thompson, the creator (who is also the wife of Cloud Party CEO Sam Thompson), told me she spent a couple of months working on this island, and it shows. It's got great atmosphere. Look for Lilli's homeworld, called "Party Pad", on your next visit into Cloud Party.