Sunday, August 26, 2007

Brief thoughts on Second Life & The Media

I was just reading an article on ABC News about the SLCC. I find it amusing the constant "well only x people made a lot of money in Second Life".

What percentage of Internet users make real money on the internet. Is it even 1%? What use is the Internet then? was started as a way to exchange ideas between scientists, educators, and inventors? People use it just to share with others and connect to family far away? Where's the worth in that? Could it be the communication and connection and creativity has its own worth?

SL is just a new medium that is still growing. It's also different. When companies first came to the internet few made much money or had more than a few brochures online. It took time to learn the new medium and now many businesses exist only on the web. Given time SL, or other virtual worlds like it will develop in to a new medium for business and yet still be a medium for play - not unlike the internet, but at the same time in a different way than the internet.

And for those who ask why would you spend money on virtual objects - what does your movie ticket buy you? 2 hours in the theater and a memory? How is that any more tangible than a virtual outfit that may be "worn" many times and is used to impress someone who might become a business partner?

Hype is hype, but given time and the development of more pervasive bandwidth and better computers virtual worlds will become as common as instant messaging and email.


Becky McCray said...

Very well put, Goldie. Glad you took time to share it.

Michael Bailey said...

I liked your perspective. It is good to keep an open mind, since nobody really knows where things are heading.

We're all just generally meandering down the same winding path of life.

Nobody Fugazi said...

Oddly, I found that one of the more grounded articles on Second Life. As you say, it is not just about the money - and right within the first few paragraphs they said just that:

"...Though business and pleasure coexist, it became clear that Second Life means different things to people depending on whether they live primarily in the business or social side of things. Both groups wanted to communicate, but the goal of that communication differed sharply.

For those looking to network business connections and spread their business cards, Second Life is about connecting people with consumer products, whether real or virtual, and about creating communities of consumers that can stir hype for a product.

But for those who seek the social experience -- the captive audience for the businessmen and businesswomen here -- talked of their second life as a way to expand on their real-world hobbies or, more likely, a way to lead an alternate life, to be and do what they cannot or will not in the real world..."

I think it is important that realistic expectations are set for those interested in business in Second Life... and reading that article, I thought it was a step in the right direction.

Goldie Katsu said...

You are right, it is one of the better articles. I think it was more a matter of it provoked me to write the comment than its egregiousness irked me. I think the ones that are super hype or anti-hype are often so off-base that I don't even want to comment and leave that to better writers.