How to understand Second Life’s potential

More on the Second Life conference that took place on Friday:

The transcript is very much worth reading to get a good sense of the thinking about the potential of a virtual place like Second Life from a business and marketing point of view.

American Apparel  – the retailer who opened a store in Second Life a week or so ago – is offering a 15% discount on their products during the next few days if you visit their online store (in the real world) and enter a special discount code. Details here. That should appeal to Jeremy Pepper in particular. There’s also another discount offer: “AA will do a discount in July off any item purchased SL… on that same item in RL.”

(SL=Second Life. RL=real life. New acronyms to get to know.)

One very good discussion point that happened at the end of the session, after I’d logged out, is on how do you explain the potential of Second Life to someone who has no real idea of what it is.

Suggestions included showing people screenshots and videos. All good tools and undoubtedly helpful. A better way, though, is if you don’t know what Second Life is about, just sign up and try it out. Explore, look around to get a sense of the virtual world. Chat to people, engage, see what’s going on. (If you would like, I’d be happy to join you there and take a tour with you. Just let me know.)

That’s what I did when I first signed up last February. I’m still basically in explore mode although I’ve made my first foray into establishing a physical, er, virtual, presence in Second Life.

AA’s Raz Schionning has a good take on it:

What a potential customer really wants to see and hear is a group of users around the computer who have never seen it before. The excitement it produces is amazing. As I sit here people have been gathering around with slack-jaws.

That was my reaction on Friday, too.

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