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.
You’ll find more information on Second Life in this and associated entries.