What is Lively?

Lively is a 3D virtual experience that is the newest addition to Google labs. It is available through a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer. It is Windows only for now. Lively does not feature one coherent world like Second Life but splits worlds up into different rooms. Lively was originally developed as a 20% project by Niniane Wang.

Google Lively is billed as a “chat experience” using avatars. Google says, “You’re about to embark on a chat experience in which you can communicate and express yourself using avatars in your very own space. Choose an avatar and use it to make friends and chat. Create rooms, decorate them to your liking, and make sure to invite your friends over.”
Choose a Google Lively room

What all does it offer
Lively runs completely in the browser and you use your Google account to log in and create your own avatars.

What all can you do on lively

Within the world, you can interact with other users, very much like you would do in Second Life. You can also watch YouTube clips on virtual TVs and share your own photos.

Users can choose from a number of preset animations for their characters, ranging from shaking hands with others, to applauding, crying, etc. By double clicking on certain items in the virtual world, users can also often activate some preset animations such as sitting down on a chair or jumping off a dive board.

Setting the plugin up and creating an avatar is a very simple process. Creating rooms, too, seems quite easy, as you can quickly import a number of templates to get started. Currently, all virtual items for Lively are for free, but chances are that Google will start charging for premium items in the future.

For now, the content in Lively is being created only by Google, though over time, they are planning to allow users to start creating their own content as well.

Rooms can be easily embedded into any webpage and worlds often launch with a basic skeleton of the room within just a few seconds.

Here’s how it works

Choose a Google Lively room

• From the Room List, click the title of the room you’d like to visit first.
• Use the tabs at the top of the page to sort rooms by most popular, most visitors, or newest.
• Once you’ve added friends or created a room, the My Rooms and Friends’ Rooms tabs will also be handy.

                     
Choose your Google Lively avatar

• Click My Avatar on the right sidebar.
• Click the avatar you like and choose Select Avatar (your avatar changes instantly).
• Once you’ve chosen the one you want, click the X to hide the menu.

 

Change your Google Lively avatar’s clothing

To change your outfit, check out the styles available in the wardrobe picker. Here’s how:

• Click My Wardrobe on the right sidebar to open your wardrobe.
• Browse or search the options in your wardrobe inventory and select items to wear. When you double-click an item, it’ll appear on your avatar instantly. You don’t have to close the window to find out if you like the look.

If you don’t like how something looks on your avatar, go back to your wardrobe, left-click on the item, and choose Remove Item.

If you want more wardrobe options, add new stuff to your inventory by o quickly change your entire outfit, click my avatar and choose I’m Feeling Lucky. You’ll see the new duds on your avatar instantly.

                        
Create your own Google Lively room

• Click new room and choose Create New Room to start the process.
• Look over each tab and choose what you want your room to look like, the permissions you want to grant visitors, and whether you’d like to play music in your room.

Conclusion

Lively lets you have the world available where you want it, rather than forcing you to go to a certain space. Or, as Google puts it: “It’s integrated with the Internet. It’s not an alternate destination. Our intention is to add to your existing life.”

 

Resources
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/lively_google_launches_virtual.php

http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/archives/003432.html
www.lively.com

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/be-who-you-want-on-web-pages-you-visit.html

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080708-181651