Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, recently posted his reservations about the commercial potential of Linden Lab’s metaverse, Second Life. (Check out the many comments, by the way. I praise him for his willingness to stir a hornet’s nest.) The main reason for Anderson’s pessimism: Lack of traffic to the virtual storefronts and office spaces. Does this mean we should all forget the Second Life “land rush” ever happened? I don’t think so.
Yesterday I heard Steve Ennen, VP, Digital Business Strategies at American Business Media, speak at an online marketing summit. He pointed out that we should look at the potential for marketers in a “Third Life, Fourth Life or even Fifth Life.” I would agree. Especially if the next platform can be one that doesn’t require special plug-ins or players. Online, experiential marketing is here to stay. And a whole generation is growing up having spent a significant portion of their young lives on gaming platforms very similar to Second Life.
In the future, favorite online communities may well become these consumers’ first lives.