Eric Schonfeld interviews Phillip Rosedale of Second Life for TechCrunch asking “Will browser-based virtual worlds challenge the client-based Second Life?” Rosedale on video has no fears; SL will prevail. But commentors on the article are less sure.

For my part, I was there at the Fortune conference when Rosedale claimed from the stage that SL was simpler to operate than moving a mouse and clicking on a web page. I may have misheard, but I didn’t mis-see when I watched Vint Cerf’s jaw drop in concert with my own.

Rosedale was on stage with Joi Ito and Larry Lessig and their response to “2018: Life on the Net” was very different — a whole world apart from SL — which made the whole digression even odder and somewhat out of context. Perhaps Rosedale was on message from marketing as others including Eric are noticing.

Office is safe from Google Docs, err no. Neither is SL safe from a more agile competitor unless SL too becomes agile and in fact lighter on the client side. We still may be waiting on that competitor.

One wag in our office says “Second Life is the Gopher of virtual worlds; it looks so good because there is so little else to look at.” That will not remain true; there is no doubt a WWW for virtual worlds out there.

On other Second Life fronts, I went to visit the ibiblio homestead on SL today. It was gone. We must have had a subsubsubsubprime morgage the invisible second hand of SL economics moved swiftly and our building was no more.