Eric Kintz, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence for HP, has made a very cogent argument that supports all of the gut instincts I’ve had about Second Life, the Linden Labs “metaverse” where people get to create avatars for themselves that might or might not be human. A lot of people are REALLY passionate about Second Life, including some folks in the PR community.
Lots of computer companies have invested tons of capital to create a presence there. Car companies have showrooms that look beautiful, but are not staffed with salespeople 24/7. The result is a very creepy feeling world that seems a lot like EPCOT after the park closes. All the lights are on and the eery new age music is still playing, but there’s no one there, most of the time.
And when there is a meeting, there are a lot of people walking around barely clothed (free membership doesn’t include Linden dollars to buy wardrobe, you have to pay to play there!). And these people communicate by “air typing” on keyboards that they can’t afford to buy. No one talks, they just type.
But there’s a mad rush among some PR people to convince their clients that they simply MUST launch that new product or have that executive press briefing in Second Life to demonstrate how “with it” they are. I’ve been involved in technology in some form or another since the 1970s. That must be why I still don’t get this one.
Take a look at Eric’s 10 reasons and decide if you need to be there.
Top 10 Reasons as to why I still need to be convinced about marketing on Second Life
I think you have some slight misconceptions about SL. First of all, on SL, nakedness is a choice. Everyone has clothes when they start and there are plenty of freebies out there – warehouses full – to change clothes at will. Second, airtyping is not like an SL version of airguitar. As of now, there is no way to voice communicate and so typing is the way its done. When an avatar types, it indicates to others on SL that the person is about to “say” something, not that the avatar is too poor to buy a keyboard. Nobody in SL hauls around a keyboard. Further, regarding eerie feeling/epcott center analogy, these places are empty because they are public spaces, not private,anyone can go there anytime, but often it is events that bring people in, not just the place itself. Just because it is empty doesn’t mean it is bad or eerie. Groups are really the way to stay in touch in SL. And there are certain public spaces that are always busy – these usually are social places where people can connect with others. I don’t care if you post this or not. I just thought you should know that your information is not accurate about the SL experience.