More Second Life losers

Two people seen at once in Second Life shock (both work for agency)

PSFK highlights once again that while the hype around Second Life is alive and well, the community itself certainly isn’t. And in even worse health are the advertisers who are flailing away with their empty Second Life spaces. As Wired points out, users simply aren’t finding the virtual reality world interesting enough: 85% of avatars are abandoned (I left mine in AKQA’s reception). And of those 15% that do hang around, they’re definitely not there for Visa’s Island (Visa couldn’t even come up with a good reason to go there) or Coke’s ‘Virtual Thirst Pavillion’.

Wired quotes stats where ‘Sexy Beach’, a popular area with sex shops, dancing and ‘no-strings hookups’ scores a metric of 133,000. Coke gets 27. 

Joseph Jaffe, author of ‘Life after the 30 second spot’ is responsible for Coke’s presence. Despite terrible traffic figures, he says:

“The learning is now. You are a pioneer, and with that comes first-mover advantage”

Wow, I think I’ve just been teleported myself. This time back to 1999. It may not be about ‘exposure’ any more, perhaps ‘engagement’ is more important. But that’s still got to be with more than 20 people. Perhaps the 30 second spot isn’t all that dead after all.

Of course, the empty warehouses of Second Life (a little reminiscent of Canary Wharf at the weekend as Antony points out) are a sign of brand managers desperate not to be left behind like they were with Social networks and the rest.

But of course, with virtually infinite space, it’s about what you’re saying not how loud you can shout. “My Island is bigger than yours” doesn’t really cut it.

And now we must brace ourselves for the ill-thought-through Facebook invasion.

Form an orderly queue


As we potentially watch Scotland sail away into the uncharted waters of the devolved EU nation state, there seems to be other traditionally tightly controlled territories being set adrift with little direction. Or rhyme or reason.

One of the most impressive examples of straight-forward directionlessness must be this story about Visa which caught my eye today in a back issue of New Media Age. The credit card company has decided to buy some “land” in second life but as reported here, they wouldn’t want to be so ostentatious as to actually do anything so are asking users or their views on how the land should be used.

Sandra Alzetta, senior VP  of innovation at Visa says: “Visa has approached Second Life in the interactive manner of the world itself. What we have created is very much a work in progress which we are hoping to see grow through user participation, we are looking for visitors to our island and our member banks to input into our presence in their world”.

While the consultants count their pennies, members of the virtual reality game are asked to form an orderly queue:

Visa in Second Life; please form an orderly queue
(picture of Visa’s empty space in Second Life).