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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Where for the web?
Breakfast's Julia George - in Second Life
A virtual Julia George steps into Second Life
Many of us long for a jet set lifestyle, but don't quite have the looks or income of your average film-star.

But now, it seems, more and more of us are opting to fulfil our dreams on the internet.

You may not believe it, but the picture to the right is of Breakfast's Julia George.

At least it's a computer generated image of Julia as she appears in the online world of Second Life.

It's a virtual world where you can build property, buy and sell things and even change the appearance of your alter ego.

It's just one example of how technology, and in particular the worldwide web are changing, and it's the theme for our first of three reports as we ask: "Where for the web?"

The internet is changing, and some technology buffs are now referring to 'Web 2.0' - it's just a catchphrase, but it refers to the growing number of websites that allow users to interact much more.

As well as Second Life, other examples of the new second generation of internet services include Wikipedia the online encyclopaedia that users edit, YouTube - a website that hosts users' video clips - and MySpace.

Where for the Web? day-by-day

Tuesday 12 September: Jules enters Second Life

Breakfast's Julia George - in Second Life
Your own character in Second Life is known as an Avatar

Second Life is known as a massive multiplayer online role playing game.

But is it just a game - or can virtual worlds such as the one in Second Life become a powerful marketing tool?

To find out more, we created an online Avatar of our reporter Julia George.

And we discovered that people are not just leading a life online, they're also making real money by buying and selling virtual commodities, from real estate to shoes.


Wednesday 13 September: making music on the web

Breakfast's serial Where for the Web?
Users interact by uploading their videos to YouTube

The availability and growing popularity of websites such as YouTube and MySpace, have enabled singers, bands and DJs to take control of their work and showcase it to a worldwide audience.

That means they're not so reliant on record labels, and can publish and promote their work, and gain a following.

But are the music industry's marketing men muscling in on the technology? We talked to the lead singer of the band Shimura Curves, which has four tracks on the website Myspace.

From the website, they've built up a small but loyal fan base, who can be e-mailed about forthcoming gigs.


Thursday 14 September: viewing television in the future

Breakfast's serial Where for the Web?
The owl channel: television provided over the web

In the third part of our series, our new business reporter Richard Westcott looks at how television might look in the future.

Sites like YouTube and special interest channels have proved people are willing to turn to the web when mainstream telly isn't providing what they want.

How is the industry responding and what might this mean for our TV viewing in the future?


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    SEE ALSO
    Breakfast launches video podcast
    17 Sep 06 |  Breakfast
    The evolution of the web
    12 Sep 06 |  Technology
    Security breach hits online world
    11 Sep 06 |  Technology
    Do avatars dream of electric racoons?
    05 Jan 06 |  Newsnight Home

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