Over the last couple of months I have been corresponding with Fred Parnon, CEO of Jnana. Fred's company has built a software platform targeted at domain experts who don't happen to be software developers. Using this platform, domain experts can built sophisticated rule-based systems to make "intelligent" decisions, check large data sets against complex sets of rules, and to guide people through complex decision making processes.
For example, one Jnana customer uses this system to check hundreds of thousands of stock positions to assess the "value at risk" each night, using a plethora of rules which represent legal and governmental regulations spanning multiple countries and jurisdictions, business arrangements and practices, and so forth.
This technology is now available from within Second Life, and you can use it to build stores which incorporate your own knowledge of a particular subject area! You can start by visiting the Jnana Island:
Do you know everything about travel books? Are you the world's expert on Beatles albums? If so, you can encode this expertise using the Jnana system, create a customized store on the new Jnana Island in Second Life, and make money using the Amazon Associates program.
The Jnana island is now open for business and you can get started today by sending an in-world IM to Fred's virtual counterpart, Lex Lardner.
Jnana has set up several example stores to show what can be done with their technology. I paid a visit to the cookware store and started to buy a wok:
The dialog box at the top left is the first question that I need to answer to start shopping. Here's what it looks like:
From here the system walks me through the variables that I should consider before purchasing a wok, and helps me to make a good selection. After it has helped me to narrow down my choices, it vectors me over to the Amazon.com site so that I can make my purchase.
This is some pretty powerful technology, and I look forward to seeing what kinds of stores will emerge. Surprise and impress me, and your store can show up in this blog!