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Are Marketers Abandoning Second Life? 252

Posted by kdawson
from the peaked-too-soon dept.
Vary writes "The LA Times is running a story today saying that marketers are pulling out of Second Life, primarily because — surprise, surprise — the 'more than 8 million residents' figure on the game's Web site is grossly inflated. Also, as it turns out, the virtual world's regular visitors — at most 40,000 of them online at any time — are not only disinterested in in-world marketing, but actively hostile to it, staging attacks on corporate presences such as the Reebok and American Apparel stores. The companies aren't giving up on virtual worlds altogether, though, but moving on to games like There, Gaia Online and Entropia Universe. The article also contains some commentary from a marketing executive who conducted an informal survey of the game and discovered that 'One of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.' What company wouldn't want to be in on that action?"
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Are Marketers Abandoning Second Life?

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  • by niceone (992278) * on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:39PM (#19861139) Journal
    One of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia

    I am pretty sure if they weren't supplied for free, that would also be the case in real life.
  • by tronicum (617382) * on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:40PM (#19861153)
    Maybe are marketers moving to make campaings on this greate game called First Life [getafirstlife.com].


    Total Residents: 6,553,628,382
    Born Today: 364,936
    Died Today: 152,029
    Pants Purchased: 27,021
    TV Hours Watched: 82,124,102,305

    • Yeah, gamespot did a review [gamespot.com] of that one. (I guess it goes under a couple different names)
    • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:34PM (#19861521) Homepage
      First Life has absolutely amazing photorealistic graphics, but the game is as boring as hell- you have to spend roughly 5 out of 7 days doing gold-farming-style activities just to get enough money to buy the more interesting stuff; sometimes even just to get by.

      And that's after spending years doing training in the random (usually boring) place you started the game in and being stuck with a load of boorish cretins. Supposedly this is to teach you how the game works, but after you complete it, you realise it's not that useful at all.

      The one bit of good news is that you don't have to buy your own genitalia- the bad news is that it's hard, if not impossible, to upgrade...
    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:04PM (#19861785)
      No, they started there. Now, an interesting question is this: users of second life were hostile to marketing and the marketers pulled out. What if we tried the same thing in first life?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Unoti (731964)
        I don't think Second Life people are any more hostile to marketing than the general population of the real world. But it's way easier to be naughty and get away with it and avoid jail in Second Life. So the "attacks" mentioned are more like griefing and should not be likened to what it'd mean in real life if someone firebombed a business.
        • by ceoyoyo (59147)
          So what you're saying is that real world people's hostility to advertising is just too subtle?

          Not that the hostility is towards advertising, not towards business. Wasn't there an incident somewhere where Sony painted a bunch of graffiti advertising the PSP and locals modified it to show their displeasure?
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:41PM (#19861157) Homepage Journal
    I think defacing a commercial virtual presense is just as immature as a real one, even if the damage done really isn't. I know people get childish on the Internet, but that's pretty lame.
    • I agree, but it is a kind of comeuppance insofar as Second Life is still promoted, breathlessly, both as a utopian experimental community and a commercial opportunity. When you try to exploit generally contradictory aspirations and values, you really set yourself up for just this sort of thing.
      • I don't think commerce and an idea of utopia are necessarily contradictory. I know everyone has somewhat different ideas of utopia, but a utopia that doesn't have some form of trading doesn't really make much sense to me.
        • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:02PM (#19861759) Homepage
          There's definitely a gap between a utopia based on complete non-scarcity, individual personality, and play, and corporate-scale commerce that involves appealing to (and producing) (real-world) needs, creating scarcity, leveraging differences and aspirations. The latter obviously means more money for Linden Labs. The former is what attracts the market, which Linden wants to deliver to the latter.

          When commerce is about relative equals using their own skills and resources to meet each others' needs, it is not in conflict with many utopian ideals. When it is about large institutions existing at an entirely different scale than those of its market, it's another story.

          The small-scale, individual entrepreneurial providers of services are not what are getting attacked in SL. It is the influx of commercial institutions.
          • Ironically, Second Life actually has artificial scarcity, so you have to put in work as a 3D artist, exotic dancer, prostitute....
      • Step one completed; capitalist pigs kicked out. Now for step two, Revolution!

        Forget the Paris Commune, let's take second life for the people

  • by log0n (18224) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:44PM (#19861183)
    I've never quite understood the point of SL and these other listed sites. What do you do on them? Are they like some merging of ICQ/Myspace/Facebook into a 3d game (or some approximation)?

    Maybe I'm just not nerd enough anymore..
    • That's exactly what it is. And no nerd would be caught dead in SL, so don't worry about that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by solios (53048)
      SL, There, WoW, Everquest, etc. are all modern versions of MUD [wikipedia.org]s or MUSHes - the "point" is to muck about, explore the game world, make friends and so forth. They are, ultimately, all timesinks - which is why those of us with to-do lists longer than our lifespans either don't get them or don't use them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kidbro (80868)
        They are, ultimately, all timesinks - which is why those of us with to-do lists longer than our lifespans either don't get them or don't use them.

        Nah. People's To-Do lists are probably of similar length. The difference is that some prioritize the "Have fun" entry higher than others.

    • Somewhat like IRC, but in 3D.

      There are places to see, games, streaming music, etc. You can use scripted weapons and try to kill each other Quake style in designated areas.

      My personal usage is chat, and working on the SL source
    • by notthepainter (759494) <oblique@nOSPam.alum.mit.edu> on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:44PM (#19862121) Homepage
      Second Life is a place where you can do things that, for whatever reason, you cannot or are unwilling to do, in Real Life.

      For me it is sculpture. A friend of mine used to race sailboats. He was bed ridden with a neurological disorder, but in Second Life few knew this. He is dead now, from the disease, but for his last few years he was able bodied as you and I.

      PleaseWakeMeUp Idler in Second Life
  • Surprise surprise! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SamP2 (1097897) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:45PM (#19861193)
    I guess it has become a mystic revelation to certain marketers that there is more than gross audience numbers to the success of a marketing campaign.

    And that maybe marketing sportsware or fashionware to geeks playing Second Life all day, instead of going outside and doing some sports or going to real life parties, may just not be the most cost-effective idea?

    One of the prime reasons people are playing second life is because they are so damn fed up with First Life! And advertisers are a big thing that you can be fed up in the first place. Guess what, if you import to Second Life things that were what you hate in First Life already, people are going to be hostile to them?

    Go back marketing soap to soccer moms, marketers. Do a favor to yourself and the rest of society.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Unoti (731964)
      maybe marketing sportsware or fashionware to geeks playing Second Life all day, instead of going outside and doing some sports or going to real life parties, may just not be the most cost-effective idea?

      Certainly you're correct. But Second Life is an excellent way to reach all kinds of demographics. For example, if I were selling a gorean roleplay/vampire roleplaying tabletop game, I can't think of a better place to get super cost-effective targeted advertising that goes directly to my target demographic

  • heh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:45PM (#19861195)
    and somewhere, a bear shits in the woods.
  • The article also contains some commentary from a marketing executive who conducted an informal survey of the game and discovered that 'One of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.'

    Yes, it makes a lot more sense to do such a survey now, rather than before you wasted a bunch of money putting your company presence on this POS "game."

    I swear, if the average corporate marketing division was a person, he'd have an IQ roughly between that of a flying penis and that of the jizz on a furry's suit, both of which are common themes in Second Life.

    Rob
    • Yes, it makes a lot more sense to do such a survey now, rather than before you wasted a bunch of money putting your company presence on this POS "game."

      I swear, if the average corporate marketing division was a person, he'd have an IQ roughly between that of a flying penis and that of the jizz on a furry's suit.

      As the article states

      [Ludlow] said most firms were more interested in the publicity they received from their ties with Second Life than in the digital world itself. "It was a way to brand themselves as being leading-edge," he said.

      In other words, they want cyber-credibility by association, the type that Wired deals in. Though I'm guessing that Second Life is probably considered passé at Wired itself by now. After all, it's basically a coffee-table mag for tech-hipsters, can't be seen being behind the curve now, can they?

  • by InfiniteSingularity (1095799) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:52PM (#19861255)

    'One of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.'

    I wonder what their return policy is?
  • by rewinn (647614) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @02:59PM (#19861299) Homepage

    Near the end of the article: "Consulting firms that were set up to bring brands into Second Life are busy helping clients explore other worlds."

    The best way to profit from a gold rush is to sell tools to the miners ... as Seattle discovered in 1897 [nps.gov]

  • Second Life? (Score:2, Informative)

    by axia777 (1060818)
    WORST ON-LINE GAME EVER Looks like crap, plays like crap, the Linden company is run like crap. Let them go bankrupt and disappear in the nothingness from where it came.....
    • by thethibs (882667)

      WORST ON-LINE GAME EVER

      That would be a relevant comment if SL were a game. It isn't. It's a really big VR chat room.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by notthepainter (759494)
        If you think that Second Life is a chat room you may be missing out on a lot.

        I'm a sculptor in Second Life, one of some note actually. In Real Life, I'm not. Why? Hard to say. The difference in the media is one thing, but what I found most freeing is that anonminity. Since nobody knows who I am, I was free to make mistakes.

        I've wanted to paint in RL but "the terror of the blank canvas" is real. My paints, brushes etc all sit unused.

        For me at least, it is far more than a chat room.

        PleaseWakeMeUp Idler in Se
        • Have you considered therapy?
        • 1) If you can turn out pretty sculpture using the SL building tools, you are indeed an artist. Kudos.
          2) I *never* chat. I usually end up walking(flying) around and checking out the cool stuff people like (parent poster) do.
          3) Frankly, I can't understand how anyone can't find SL intrinsically f*cking cool. Metaverse, people? Hello???
          4) If you don't like SL, better you stay out, than you come in and grief. Much better.
          • Not only are some of my sculptures pretty (and the pretty one sell well), one has brought a resident to tears of happiness, and one has pissed people off.

            All in all, success. Art should cause a reaction.

        • I've wanted to paint in RL but "the terror of the blank canvas" is real. My paints, brushes etc all sit unused.

          You could paint one of your SL sculptures in RL. ;)

          Seriously, though, I hope you find some time to use the RL paint!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by thethibs (882667)

          Compared to a game, it's a chat room. What I'm saying is that SL's distant ancestor is a BBS, not Pong. Games are about the destination—winning or losing. SL is about the trip.

          As you've discovered, VR worlds allow a great deal of creativity, not least because you can do things that would violate the laws of physics in RL. But if someone wants an adrenalin rush, they should join WoW—that's a game.

  • by freyyr890 (1019088) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:13PM (#19861411) Homepage
    I never understood Second Life. Here's my experience with it.

    Being underage, I loaded up the teen edition, logged in, and got started.

    Or not.

    For one thing, the load times are terrible. Because pretty much all the content is user-created, it must be loaded when you enter the area. Rather than have users wait for six hours at the load screen, the world loads and renders around you. This effect looks terrible. First the mesh of an object comes in - slowly and jerkily - and then remains gray until its texture loads.

    After the area has rendered around me, I try to make my way around, stuttering with lag. It turns out the best way to get around in second life is to fly. So I try it, fly high up, only to see - surprise! - more buildings slowly coming into view.

    I tried to give it a chance - I really did - but after about five minutes of graphical glitches and lag, I left the game and uninstalled it. I think I'm just fine with my first life, thanks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I tried to give it a chance - I really did - but after about five minutes of graphical glitches and lag, I left the game and uninstalled it.

      They really need a warning: "this will look like crap and be slow at first". It uses quite a bit of client-side caching, so although it takes a while to load at first, that delay falls rapidly afterward. Given how many people use the same popular textures, chances are good once you've been running for a while that you'll have 90% of the textures in a new region the first time you visit it. Unfortunately, you gave up just as it was probably getting ready to pay off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zariok (470553)
      Calling SL a game is like calling myspace a "first person shooter".

      SL is a 3d social environment that gives the "residents" the ability to interact and create anything they choose.

    • by Derander (1128187) <andy@andymo.org> on Saturday July 14, 2007 @10:45PM (#19864301) Homepage
      Also being underage recently, and not afraid of committing fraud, I borrowed my fathers credit card to join Second Life's main grid. (yes, I have had a brief experience with the teen grid *shudder*)

      The first thing I did in world was stutter around at aprx. 4FPS. Even though the world was lagging like crazy, and everyone I saw was wearing the uniform purple/blue shirt, I was intrigued by the possibilities. I finished the tutorial and started messing around with LSL.

      After a few minutes, I had a hello world program up and working. A few hours later, I made 10 bucks by writing a blackjack program for my first in-world friend, the owner of a small casino. I hung out with him for awhile, and invented a few new gambling devices, and then I decided to become a premium member.

      At this point I was earning enough money to pay for the subscription cost, and I also purchased my first plot of land.. a 512. I built a small house on my land and started modding it... for instance I could change the alpha value of the windows, lock doors and such.

      I became a scripting teacher at TUI, a school for the basics/advanced parts of Second Life.

      I still have many friends in Second Life that I would never have met otherwise, and came out of Second Life much better at writing finished scripts and the confidence of having run a small scripting business.

      Once you get past the sometimes ugly graphics of Second Life (not as ugly once your upgrade your graphics card), you can understand why 40,000 people spend hours and hours a day in their Second Lives. It is a welcome escape from the monotonous first life. Where else can you decide to be a bunny one moment, and a 10 foot robot the next?

  • Hype (Score:3, Funny)

    by tsa (15680) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:18PM (#19861445) Homepage
    Finally the hype is over and we can turn our attention to more important things. Now where did I put my iPhone?
  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:28PM (#19861493) Homepage Journal
    I think this is another case of bad marketing. While I don't quite understand these games, I do understand the typical role playing games, and the people who tend to play them. These are people who can pay for role playing book, for figures, and have the free time and income to play and pay. I don't see much difference in the likes of Second Life. Even only 40,000 people, most with a credit card and leisure time, is a good market. People pay good money to reach less.

    So to me the question to ask is why does the model not work, and why do people attack the brands. Perhaps because second life is supposed to free to develop it own 'economy', and people do not want established brands interfering with their enterprise. Perhaps this is yet another artifact of a world in which the conventional rules and consequences do not exist, and if a major brand wants to exist, it must truly compete, and not depend on the vagaries of regulation to make it succesful.

    • by dircha (893383)
      "Even only 40,000 people, most with a credit card and leisure time, is a good market."

      You mean a market of people most of whom aren't willing to spend more than $9.95/month on their primary leisure time pursuit, and judging by their average play times are almost certainly either students, underemployed, or outright unemployed?

      Not to mention who are hostile to your brand and have more interest in simulating sexual intercourse with anthropomorphic wolves than they do in your product line?

      Greaaaaat idea, bud.
    • Even only 40,000 people, most with a credit card and leisure time, is a good market. People pay good money to reach less.

      That's not their market. Potential market, perhaps. But like real life, only a small percentage will actually visit the store or event at any given time.

      Unlike newspaper and magazine ads, Second Life requires someone to be paid to be there. For a full-time presence, they might pay some marketer say $50,000/year, or $25/hr, 8 hours a day. For that they get somewhere between 100-1000 visito

    • by Unoti (731964)
      So to me the question to ask is why does the model not work, and why do people attack the brands.

      The model works fine. People attack brands in SL because griefers attack everything online that they can, generally speaking. From Forums to wiki's to you name it, griefers attack it, for whatever reason.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr. Hankey (95668)
      I think the problem is that companies have a tendency to view people strictly as consumers, which I suppose is what they have to do if they want to survive. These "consumers" have portions of their lives that don't involve spending money though, and that's just as true in second life. Unless the company's product enhances the social aspect of SL somehow, or provides something actually useful in the gameplay, I don't see people wanting to view what is effectively a dull marketing campaign unless they're alre
  • by zantolak (701554)
    When corporations invade a community's environment for the purpose of marketing, of course they aren't going to elicit a positive reaction. How could any reasonable person expect that?
    • When corporations invade a community's environment for the purpose of marketing, of course they aren't going to elicit a positive reaction. How could any reasonable person expect that?

      "invade" is a bit of a strong word and likely not even accurate. it's not as if second life was happy just humming along losing money providing this virtual world at their own cost and for no benefit. second life is a contrived "game" basically created to sell ad space to its captive users. it's no different really than faceb

      • "invade" is a bit of a strong word and likely not even accurate. it's not as if second life was happy just humming along losing money providing this virtual world at their own cost and for no benefit.

        Haha, you think they were providing it for free?

        Initially SL had paid accounts. Now it's free, but: If you want to own land you need pay for it, no way to get out of that one. And you can buy an "island" which are "priced at US$1,675 for 65,536 square meters (about 16 acres). Monthly land fees for maintenance a

  • So can we stop posting stories about it already?

    The fact that its few members have nothing better to do than to flood the Slashdot story queue about it, grasping for some small, twisted glimpse of relevance, indicates just that: Second Life is popular with a small group of 40,000 people who have nothing better to do with their time than to flood the Slashdot story queue.

    Seriously. Small websites have more visitors a day than that.

    In fact, if you want to post stories that accurately reflect its accomplishmen
    • Um, there are quite a bit more than 40K users.

      The 40K is the number of people logged in right now. People generally don't stay connected to SL 24/7.

      I don't get what's the obsession with the numbers -- there's no way to count it properly anyway. There's no exact way to decide how many users it has. Some people will use it every day. Some only on weekends. Some will go on holidays, not log in for a month, then come back.
      • You could always just take a look at the population statistics [secondlife.com], which list the number of people logging on over the previous week, fortnight, month and 2 month periods.

        Quick breakdown: About half a million weekly users. About half a million more who logged on over the previous month. About another half million who log on bi-monthly. The last two are obviously going to represent a much larger chunk of people who showed up once or twice and then decided it wasn't for them, but it's not a bad measure all th

    • 40000 is the number of people logged in at one time, it's not the total number of "Residents" which is much higher, or the number of "active residents, which is less but still high

      And I don't know why /. has an obsession with the furries of SL. They're there, but they're easily outnumbered by the human avatars. Less than 10% of the population I'd guess.

    • In fact, if you want to post stories that accurately reflect its accomplishments, try headlines like: "Second Life: Publisher Creates Sexually Explicit Virtual Meeting Place for Furries and Other Fetishists."
      Such a place has existed for over a decade now. [wikipedia.org]
  • by wjamesau (221905) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:55PM (#19861701)
    The Times story regurgitated most of the errors a recent Forbes story made. Specifically:

    http://gigaom.com/2007/07/12/debunking-5-business- myths-about-second-life/ [gigaom.com]

    - [S]ome reporters glance at the front page's "Online Now" stat- currently around 40-48,000 at peak times- and assume that's a more accurate tally of total active users... A better reference is posted monthly by the company's demographer on their blog, and includes an industry standard of unique monthly active users. As of June, that number was closer to 500,000.

    - While it's true that "homegrown" content generates far more enthusiasm, traffic to the top real world promotional sites [in SL] are actually competitive with other forms of Internet advertising. During June, about 400,000 Residents logged in each week. In a typical seven day span that month, according to my Second Life blog's demographer, the five most popular locales generated anywhere from roughly 1200 to 10,000 visits. (The top ten earned over total 40,000 visits.) Therefore, each of the top five sites garnered a .8 to 2% visit rate. Typical click through for a traditional banner ad on the Web is generally estimated at .5 to 1%.

    - Much as a conflict between idealists and exploitative capitalists in the metaverse would be an exciting story, that hasn't observably happened to mass effect since 2004, when the world was vastly smaller.

    - In terms of land mass, Linden Lab reports that just 18% of the world has been designated to have "Mature" content; explicit sexual activity is relegated to a subset of that percentage.

    Full links and background at the GigaOM article [gigaom.com]

    .
    • Thank the grid somebody who actually knows something about SL is posting.
  • Our government has funded an embassy somewhere in there. :-S

    If there's any hyped game lately based on media buzz due to clueless journalists thinking a MMO where you build your stuff is "new and cool", then this is it.
  • TFA seems interesting enough, but someone tell me one thing. What is this second life thing ? Is it an upgrade from the first one? Doesn't quite seem worth it to get the expansion before I figure out the original to put it that way... ;-)
  • gb2gaia If you get it, you'll shit bricks.
  • by kinglink (195330) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:09PM (#19862259)
    Overinflated numbers, hostile fans, just regular stupidity?

    Second life is real life with anonymity. Don't you think that breeds a culture that is more interested in sexual exploits and penal attacks (I mean the flying penises, not a second sexual action) than wholesome family fun where people can buy items.

    The biggest problem is Second life tries to build an economy based off of real world money. It just doesn't work, people don't want to pay money to get virtual money. On the other hand World of Warcraft has an economy based off of fake money earned from doing spending time in the game. This way advertising in WoW could work (it shouldn't be done but could be there).

    So someone please explain how advertisers would even start to invest in this idea with out looking before they leaped. It's an obvious bait and switch deal (high amounts of users, low amounts of ACTIVE users).

    Sony's trying to get into the Second life front with Playstation Home, then expecting people to buy all sorts of virtual wares? I can't imagine that's going to turn out good for them too. That doesn't mean the virtual world idea is horrible. The problem is the cost of the virtual world has to be floated somewhere, and consumers are NOT the place to get it in a Second Life style enviroment. SL had a good idea at one point of charging people for land, and that could work, but nickle and diming them for everything or expecting people to spend huge amounts of time designing objects doesn't make a online experience for any company.

    Instead give a monthly stipend so people can do stuff with it, have a couple LARGE add ons (more room/s) and charge the advertisers pay for the servers. There needs to be a reason for people to log on other than random hookups and spending there money. That's what the mall is for, though I still can't find the random hook up store.
  • Around the same time political bloggers caught "Bush '08"-tag-wearing vandals defacing former senator John Edwards' Second Life headquarters with excrement and covering his photo in blackface.

    What actually happened?

    What does it mean?

    When you buy an "island" (a server) from Linden Labs, what you get is configured to only allow *you* to create objects on it. In addition, unless you deliberately set out to make it happen, nothing in Second Life can be damaged, destroyed, defaced, or in any way modified except by the owner. Even if you do allow people to create objects, you get to set a time limit beyond which they vanish. THe only think you can effect are objects marked as being as being subject to normal physics, which has to be done deliberately, and pretty much the only "physical" objects in most places in SL are the avatars themselves.

    If the people who built the Kerry site mistakenly turned on building for other people without setting a time limit, and didn't keep someone there to monitor it, then they did the equivalent of renting space in a mall, putting up posters, setting out leaflets, and walking away with the doors unlocked... and they were a lot safer doing that than they'd have been in RL.

    There's no feces to smear on things. You can create a picture of them and post them on top, like a second layer of posters. There's no way to remove anything anyone put there, or break it.

    So... someone came along and put up new posters, with *pictures* of feces on them. Which (if they had any sense) the Kerry people would have removed, permanently, as soon as they returned. After making sure they had some pictures to show everyone what jerks Bush supporters were.

    If they'd done the same thing in RL they'd have been lucky if they didn't get everything movable stolen as well. And canned from the campaign. No, there's much less chance of anything seriously unpleasant happening to your marketing campaign in SL than in RL.

    The biggest problem I've seen with people marketing in SL is simply not understanding what they're doing.

    For example, objects in SL are infinitely and freely replicable by the creator. If you set up a website online, advertising your product, you typically let people download screen savers and branded games and things for free. If you're a car company, you don't charge people money for the driving game and desktop wallpaper and AOL icons... you want people to walk out with them and keep them around. At car shows you give people freebies, you don't charge money for the toy cars and tee-shirts with your logo on them.

    So I went to this auto maker's island. They wanted you to pay the equivalent of a dollar to buy a "car" in SL. That's a bunch of painted boxes configured to use the "driving" code built into SL. A car, mind you, that costs them no more than the wallpaper and mini driving game you could download at their website... and cost less to create than the model cars in that driving game. No thanks, I'll save that buck for an iTunes download. So their thousands of dollars for renting that island in SL is all thrown away because they tried to recover the costs by charging the people they're advertising to for what they'd be giving away as a freebie online or at the auto show.

    You see this again and again. One electronics store wanted you to buy "computers" and "iPods" from them... all of which are just boxes with photos pasted on the sides. Another company was charging money for a logo T-shirt. What this kind of product is, is basically an uploaded copy of their logo, positioned so that when you "wore" it it showed up on your chest... they didn't even bother creating a "cloth" texture, stitches, folds, or any of the baked-in lighting effects that hobbyists making levels and skins for video games are used to doing. The T-shirts they give away at trade shows cost approximately infinity times as much to reproduce.

    Meanwhile, the average person selling clothes in-game with a monthly budget that *might* pay for the typical
  • The article also contains some commentary from a marketing executive who conducted an informal survey of the game and discovered that 'One of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.'

    I would toil away the hours, and mingle with the others, if I only had a groin.

  • are in 2nd Life. Those who choose to spend their time in the cardboard cut-out of 2ndL are either living with their mom or have never heard of Europe - or both. You don't need to buy a knob here.
  • by judd (3212) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:53PM (#19862535) Homepage
    the virtual world's regular visitors -- at most 40,000 of them online at any time -- are not only disinterested in in-world marketing, but actively hostile to it, staging attacks on corporate presences such as the Reebok and American Apparel stores.

    Quelle surprise. Marketers in the real world always and everywhere have to pay for the ability to get their message out because at bottom people are reluctant to host it and reluctant to see it. People do not like advertising.

    This is exactly what you would expect if there are no consequences to acting on that dislike, unless you are a marketer whose self-esteem depends on fooling yourself that people like what you do for a living.

    Bill Hicks:

    By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself.

    No, no, no it's just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they'll take root - I don't know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.

    Seriously though, if you are, do.

    Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers. Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you're going, "there's going to be a joke coming," there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

    Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, "he's doing a joke..." there's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend - I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking makinations. Machi... Whatever, you know what I mean.

    I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, "Oh, you know what Bill's doing, he's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart."

    Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags!

  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:56PM (#19862555) Homepage
    In my experience, the corporate developed content is sterile, mundane, uninteresting.

    Meanwhile, content generated by residents tends to be interesting, innovative, and lots of fun to experience. Drop by Luskwood sometime and you can see the raw creativity in some of the avatars there. Check out Svarga and admire the amazing natural looking landscape, produced entirely by one resident.

    Real life big business just can't compete with individual expression in Second Life. I won't be the only one happy to see them gone. Perhaps Linden Labs will start to cater to us, the residents again, and implement some basic necessities like user validation to keep out the net.riffraff.

    -Z (Zorin Frobozz on SL)
  • Being a LONG TERM Resident of Second Life I think I can shine some more light on this subject then the LA Times is able to.

    Yes, it's true, the Resident Numbers shown on the Website are over-inflated, by about 7.5 million I would say, and even then I would consider it suspicious. Linden Lab began allowing FREE ACCT's over a year ago, and many of the regular Residents of course decided they wanted a FREE Alternate Acct to mess with. Since there is not active way to track these FREE ACCT's, (LL doesn't track

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