Metaverses for the masses
Of all the things I am bullish about in terms of digital, I am certainly a bear when it comes to Second Life
There are signs of where things are going in terms of 3D environments, virtual worlds and immersive experiences (PS3’s “Home
” and the game “World of Warcraft
” are good examples), but sites like Second Life (and many places like it) are still in their infancy.
Marketers, of course, are free to do what they will, and if you're one of them and want in, then so be it ...
All I can say is that you should proceed with caution and temper your enthusiasm when it comes to expectations of ROI from this type of activity.
Given that there are only around 30K people per day using Second Life as opposed to the well-hyped and oft-mentioned 5 million registered users, any expectation of “success” from within the Second Life community should be seriously challenged.
I feel that at present, the main/only benefit of doing stuff on Second Life is the PR and hype that is generated from mainstream media and blogs.
There is also a high percentage of Second Life “residents” vehemently opposed to brand/commercial involvement in “their” space. (There were some great stats from a recent study discussed By Ruth Mortimer at last week's UTI
The BusinessWeek article The Coming Virtual Web
is a nice intro to the subject of the metaverse and/or follow-up to the sessions in the Progress Bar last week.
Some of what is said is valuable and will help get folks up to speed on the “metaverse” (ie: virtual worlds, gaming environments and other 3D networks). Some is complete rubbish (ie: "Virtual worlds will be bigger in five years for shopping than the Web").
In addition, here’s what Brand Week had to say last month: Are Marketers Dying on Second Life?
Wagner James Au over on GigaOM also spelled it out quite well: 3 Reasons Why Marketing in Second Life Doesn’t Work
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