I've been a big fan of the work of Aleks Krotoski from SocialSim (aka Mynci Gorky of the Social Simulation Research Lab on Hyperborea [slurl]) for a while now. When other folks do good well presented work it makes my life a hell of a lot easier. I was chuffed to find a video of her very good presentation (at the Massively Multi-Learner event in Paisley back in March) on Social Networks in Virtual Worlds. This discusses interactions in cyberspace, collaboration, friendship, trust and social learning theory plus general social network principles within online/virtual communities.
Also worth checking, at the same site, is a great presentation by my old RL mucker AB, on Integrating SL into Education. Essentially, using Second Life to directly support or simulate art and design plus the progression of skills and professionalism in a 3 year degree program. She also chats a bit from her perspective as a long-standing practising artist in the metaverse.
While entirely educationally based, I also enjoyed the potential in the one by Jeremy Kemp on Sloodle (an integration of SL and Moodle which Gabbi R put me on to a while ago) a mashup of the two systems. The video is watchable here.