We haven’t spoken much (okay at all) about “Second Life”:http://www.secondlife.com/ the virtual online space that is getting lots of attention.
While Second Life may look like a game, it is much more than that. You can chat with others in the virtual space, create your own space and objects, buy stuff, and bring parts of the “outside world” (such as sound, video, feeds, etc.) into SL(Second Life).
In fact, “American Apparel has a store”:http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/06/retailer_opens_.html (that’s me buying a track jacket up there) and “Starwood has a hotel”:http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/aug2006/id20060823_925270.htm?chan=innovation_innovation+%2B+design_innovation+and+design+lead in SL. Others are following.
This is of course all very experimental but I’m finding it very interesting. When I bought my American Apparel gear I was helped by a _real_ American Apparel staffer who ran around the store looking for something for me and complemented me on how it looked once I’d tried it on. Note that I _really paid for my virtual jacket_ using Linden Dollars that I bought with really Loonies. Yes, American Apparel made real money selling me virtual clothes.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Second Life because the gang at “Tucows”:http://www.tucows.com/ is thinking about if and how it might prove to be a good communication and community building tool for us.
I’d be interested in hearing from others that have experimented with Second Life as a marketing tool as well as those who’ve taken a look and rejected the idea.
Feel free to add your thoughts (and questions – I know this is a bit weird) below…