Corporate spending on Second Life keeps growing

As I’ve freely admitted, I do not like Second Life, Sam I Am–with green eggs or otherwise. But as I noted previously, it’s clear that many businesses see it as an important new frontier in digital evolution.

That being said, I was still blown away by a deal wrap-up posted today on Virtual Worlds News.  Among other initiatives,  Dell (DELL) has decided to expand its use of SL to simulcast its CES release, micro-lending site Kiva is opening new offices there, UK pharmacy Boots has begun selling its No.7 cosmetics line on SL and lighting company OSRAM is running a contest regarding ideas regarding light, VWN says.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that SL could go from being a playground to an office park and a strip mall and a convention center–frequented by pretty much all big brands–within 2008.  Which brings up intriguing side question: what happens to Google (GOOG) and other search engine players if someday, it becomes more important to optimize for SL or other virtual environments than it does for search?  For heaven’s sake, how DOES one optimize for a virtual world?  If you’re a consumer marketer, you may want to figure that out ASAP.

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3 responses to “Corporate spending on Second Life keeps growing

  1. I think we are a long way off need to optimise for SL and any other virtual environment. The big question facing SL and brands, such as ours, in those worlds, is how you get people past that first log in, that first experience. Right now, with the population of regulars plateauing, it would seem that the initial SL experience is just not working for a wider, more diverse proportion of the population than the early adopters, and this is the problem to solve first. Then we can be thankful when we have to worry about optimisation!

  2. I agree with helenonishi that SL is still only in the early adopters phase and I believe that it will be a huge barrier for companies to break the barrier into the main market and start making a profit – my guess would be that Amazon.com could possibly be the first to do this – because that seem to have successfully pioneered e-commerce in so many other areas, however always on their own platform.

  3. In contrast to you I like Second Life and I’m very excited about how the virtual world will develop over the time to use it for commercial purposes. But I don’t believe that virtual worlds are going to replace the existing internet, it will be a part of it (the question is, how big this part will be). I’m pretty sure that we’ll have to optimize our websites for search engines in the future and additionally running campaigns in virtual worlds.

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