Ah, Second Life, the ultimate virtual world where you can have a unique personality, fly through the sky and gracefully land on an island designed by an artistic genius where everything is paradise. This was also briefly touted as the new step in the virtual classroom...
Well, that was the idea sold by the press and Linden Labs, the owners of Second Life. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are not that many active users in Second Life and the majority that are in there aren't interested in anything educational!
I originally created a University of Bedfordshire island within Second Life to allow a virtual walk through of some of our campus buildings and also to display a gallery of our pieces from our media graduates. Although the initial traffic was reasonably good with around 600 visitors a month this has now declined to under 200 sometimes even under 100... So, with a slight wheeze and a cough it's time to retire the Second Life island and not renew the contract for next year.
Another 'next best thing' is resigned to the archives! It's only a matter of time to see if the decline in Second Life's usage and appeal will eventually mean the closure of the Second Life world as a whole!