Eric Rice explains it all for you (Chris and Owen)

Posted on September 11, 2006 3:48 pm by | Marketing | Second Life | Social Networking

Episode two of the new “Second Life Podcast” features an interview with new-media wizard Eric Rice that makes it easy to understand why Second Life is worth paying attention to. In Rice’s view, it’s not about a “second” life at all, but just an extension of this one, along the same lines as instant messaging. Chris Clarke and Owen Lystrup in particular ought to give this a serious listen.

Meanwhile, Eric Kintz, VP of global marketing strategy and excellence for Hewlett Packard, has produced an excellent post on the need for marketers to understand the notion of “disassociative identity marketing.” Avatars in Second Life-like environments (which Kintz appropriately identifies as a social network) are just part of the picture:

In medical terms, ???dissociative identity??? refers to the existence in an individual of two or more distinct identities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. ???Dissociative identity marketing??? would refer to the relationship a brand establishes with the various personas of a consumer, from the blogging persona, to the social network persona or the gaming persona.

Finally, PRWeek is recognizing Second Life as an opportunity for communicators (subscription required).

More solid thinking about why communicators need to stop making excuses or simply dismissing these new environments where people and brands are interacting. If we can’t provide counsel on communicating with our audiences when they happen to be in these environments, somebody else will, and we will become that much less relevant to our employers and clients.



  • 1.Research has found that many of the peculiarities and unwritten 'rules' of real-world interpersonal interaction are mirrored in virtual worlds. Nick Yee and his team found similarities in how women-women, women-men and men-men behave, especially around the concepts of 'personal space' and 'eye contact' -- and can read his paper (pdf) to find out more. This is leading a number of academics to cons...

  • 2.I had a listen. Nothing I haven't heard before, Shel. I will say that the interviewer needs to brush up on his skills, though. "Um..... so......" at least three times before most of his questions.

    Chris Clarke | September 2006 | Toronto

  • 3.Yep, the interviewer/podcaster is new to all this, but I thought Eric was very articulate despite that.

    Shel Holtz | September 2006 | Concord, CA

  • 4.It's never been the value, just the nature of the place.

    It's like porn. I see the value. It's largely lucrative for many people...I just opt to stay away.

    Thanks much.

    Owen Lystrup | September 2006

  • 5.Sorry to say it, Owen, but you sound very much like the naysayers I encountered who dismissed the World Wide Web back in 1995 and 1996 -- with much the same rationale. Again, I don't find SL particularly invigorating personally. I just find that, as a communicator and given mounting evidence, I would be foolish to ignore it.

    Shel Holtz | September 2006 | Concord, CA

  • 6.As I'm starting to say more and more, and pardon the arrogance of the statement--I have no problem if folks want to write it off--- more for the rest of us.

    After seeing how many PR folks showed up at the event yesterday in SL, I'm curious if naysayers worry that their peers will be more than happy to take away revenue streams.

    Diversity, baby.

    Eric Rice | September 2006 | Silicon Valley

  • 7.Shel,

    I'm going to say this again. I think it's the fourth time now. You keep making the same point, as do I.

    I've never said I'll ignore it. I recognize it for what it is. I understand there's potential there. It's just not for me. It's too early.

    Owen Lystrup | September 2006

  • 8.My apologies, Owen, if I gave you the impression that I didn't understand your point the FIRST time! I did.

    My retorts are aimed at other readers, not you, since I believe they should not follow your example! As I said, I heard people 10 years ago say, "The Web is not for me, it's too early." I have no problem if that's the aproach you want to take to SL (as Eric says, there are plenty of PR practitioners who will be happy to take work you don't want), but I think others would be ill-advised to emulate it. It's a point I'll continue to make.

    Shel Holtz | September 2006 | Concord, CA

  • 9.Shel,
    I agree with the premise that it should be monitored. I just don't happen to think it'll make the cut. I have a hard time seeing how anyone could monetize Second Life in a business communications context.

    It's too weird to play in and with...but we'll see how it plays out.

    Dee Rambeau | September 2006 | Denver, CO

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