How to understand Second Life’s potential

Updated on June 29, 2006

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.

[Technorati: Berkman, Second Life]

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Mitch Joel

    I left an audio comment on the FIR comment line a few moments ago regarding the implications of PR versus what we’re seeing for marketing in Second Life. I hope you’ll get a chance to respond.

    My guess is this sort of stuff will open up much more acronyms – well beyond just SL and RL :) and even more debate.

  2. David Phillips

    Organisations have a digital presence that is in part, their making and in part the making of Internet technologies, other web sites and social media extending well beyond just blogs (I give some idea of the Madonna eFootprint in my online lecture ePR here). This means that the online persona of many companies is in virtual world and the virtual world is affecting companies and what they do. Companies already have one foot in a form of virtual world.

    Your experiments in Second Life are an extension and should be part of what we experiment with now.

    Rock on

  3. Jeremy Pepper

    Thanks, Neville.

    I actually am doing a follow-up post on how other companies can learn from American Apparel. They were very proactive and reached out to me, after I wrote my post.

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