There is a very interesting article published today in Hypergrid Business on how to scale Second Life and make it much larger.
Although I am not sure I agree with the conclusions about moving Second Life Infrastructure to Cloud Computing, which I believe is overhyped technology right now, there is one very interesting assertion that has me thinking- that Second Life failed to meet initial expectation of rapid Facebook-style growth because it was under capitalized - and not because it is too complicated to master for an "average" Facebook user.
If venture capitalists and other investors begin the see life in the Virtual World concept, acquisition talk will again take hold for Linden Lab-- a development I see happening after the end of 2012 when Second Life will be reevaluated as a successful testbed for next-generation social networking. I think this article may indicate the start of a new "hype cycle" for Second Life. Experienced Second Life residents should anticipate becoming "cool" again if this is the case.