Second life- it’s not just about the numbers
January 6, 2007
There’s considerable debate swirling around the internet about the validity of Second Life’s numbers and how a bit of analysis has shown that only a small percentage of total registrants have spent time in the virtual world over the past 30 days.
People have the feeling that they’ve been duped and that Linden hasn’t been entirely transparent in its disclosure.
Influx doesn’t believe the debate should be about numbers alone. The future of Second Life doesn’t and should’t be dependent on millions of people spending their lives in SL, this is always going to be a relatively niche experience, the bigger win for SL, is “partial immersion”.
Brands already in SL need to quickly move beyond the PR fixation: the realization that they could generate high awareness for a low dollar investment and develop a long-term strategy for SL.
This strategy should be about providing consumers with opportunities to “dip their toes” into the world. Brands and other familiar properties will use their websites and micro sites as access points to SL, to teleport consumers into the world and make SL a permanent part of the media plan.
When this happens, millions more people will go to SL, because it will be easy, interesting and fun and the more creativity that brands can bring to their experiences, the greater the likelehood that people will want to check them out. However, like everything, you need to build and promote!
Importantly, this is not about expecting consumers to sign up and subscribe to a new lifestyle, instead it needs to be easy, accessible.
Should they even have to register?
The SL story needs to move on from a desperate attempt to legitimize a geeky virtual world through quantitative validation and instead, concentrate on the opportunity the richness of the experience provides.
When this story is widely understood, the numbers will follow.
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