Shopping For Virtual Worlds

Although Second Life clearly isn’t fading away any time soon, corporate interest is broadening. Analysts such as Joe Laszlo of JupiterResearch predict virtual worlds are poised to become the next hot Web acquisitions for big media companies.

BusinessWeek: Beyond Second Life

I think corporations – especially media entities need to keep in mind that the meshverse is more than media. There are a few history lessons worth considering that I’ve mentioned previously

  1. Virtual venues as marketing gimmicks won’t really work – they need to have deeper integration with business processes.
  2. The economic upside isn’t in selling more records, tshirts or other stuff, but rather in creating the compelling, thriving locations for user-generated content.
  3. There are important relationships between real world locations and those in virtual space

Virtual Venues Reloaded

Shopping is important because the meshverse has a very strong inherent sense of time and place which influences experiences in ways that simply don’t exist with the web. You really have to go to locations at different times and under varying conditions to get a feel for how the local virtual community fits with your objectives – events at or nearby can have a huge impact.

There are some helpful websites – Virtual Worlds Review is not being maintained but is still a worthwhile resource. Alternatives To Second Life – Uber Edition « Second Life Games has videos of many different virtual worlds and some valuable though hotly debated criteria for judging them. When you visit a virtual world, shop within it to see what variety exists.

It’s still early in this paradigm so nobody has to figure it all out right away, but as always the focus should be on the bottom line.

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1 Comment »

  1. csven said

    I assume you read my take on the BusinessWeek article ( http://blog.rebang.com/?p=1288 ). If not, the short of it was that I found it poorly researched; with conclusions seemingly predetermined and a report that twisted the facts to arrive at those conclusions.

    That said, I do believe that Second Life is losing its relevance… but exactly *because* it’s becoming more of a controlled media channel than an opportunity to prepare for what I believe is actually on the horizon.

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