While the idea of having to “login” as a virtual person to walk around from website to website seems very odd to me, it is an idea that IBM sees as huge with a lot of practical application, in all aspects of the Internet:
IBM and Linden Labs today announced they will work with a broad community of partners to drive open standards and interoperability to enable avatars -- the online persona of visitors to these online worlds -- to move from one virtual world to another with ease, much like you can move from one website to another on the Internet today.
They have established a list of particular things they want to offer as standard, such as “universal” avatars to travel between servers, which would retain information like identity information and “digital assets” (hint: DRM). They also are looking for tight integration with existing businesses and their websites, and a set of open protocols that many people can use.
It's definitely a huge undertaking. I can't really picture donning goggles, wandering around a virtual park to visit a virtual company and have a virtual lunch with a virtual sales rep, but obviously other people can. Who knows, it might just be fun. You can read more about the endeavor in the full press release at IBM's site.