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Thinking About Second Life

We haven’t spoken much (okay at all) about “Second Life”: 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”: (that’s me buying a track jacket up there) and “Starwood has a hotel”: 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”: 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…


  1. Dougal Bichan
    Dougal Bichan October 18, 2006

    Very interesting.
    I, at first, also dismissed Second Life as something of a game. What changed my mind was talking to a musician friend of mine recently who begged off coming to a jam on Friday night because he had a gig on Second Life.
    That floored me. Then I realized that Second Life was not just an escapist fantasy as I had thought. It is truly another way to relate to people.
    For a musician, for instance, you can go out to a local club and get up on a real stage in front of a real live audience. You can also set up a website with your photograph and music on it and rarely interact with the people who visit it. Somewhere in the middle of these two is the gig on Second Life.
    It will be interesting to see how it develops as a marketing and communications tool. Then there is Habbo Hotel…

  2. Mircea
    Mircea October 18, 2006

    IMHO, SL is still an “enhanced chat” service, the hype around it being exagerated. For the time being, I don’t see a real benefit in buying something virtual paying real dollars – obviously besides buying a domain name. 🙂
    If you could get a bigger crowd together (I think the current maximum is 50 users for a given event), that can be a real buzz maker. Anybody got tickets for a Duran Duran virtual concert?

  3. Rick
    Rick October 18, 2006

    I tried 2nd Life. IMHO, a colossal waste of time. It reminds me of the old “King’s Quest” games from Sierra, but you are stuck in exploration mode. As far as chat goes, everybody was chatting about “how to do X function on Second Life” What a bore…. Please kill me if my life ever gets so uninteresting that I have to resort to having a fake life online.
    I don’t get it and I don’t want to.

  4. Randy
    Randy October 19, 2006

    The comments on both sides of the argument remind me of 1994 conversations about the web… blah, blah, it’s fantastic, it’ll change the world… or blah, blah, blah, it’s a complete waste of time. Second Life is not where virtual environments will end – it just happens to be one that has caught the imagination of people who can see the possibilities… linked open source virtual environments are coming… get used to it. I want my holodeck!!

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