FIR Interview: Forrester Principal Analyst Erica Driver on Virtual Worlds - January 16, 2008

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are often dismissed as venues for business, but a recent study by Forrester—“Getting Real Work Done in Virtual Worlds”—paints a different picture. Instead of focusing on the marketing efforts that have occupied most media coverage of virtual worlds, the report delves into the role these three-dimensional environments can play in workplace collaboration, simulations, and other day-to-day business activities that generally require face-to-face engagement. Principal Analyst Erica Driver, the lead author of the study, joined Shel Holtz for a 30-minute discussion about the report’s findings.

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Alcatel-Lucent turns to Second Life competition for crowdsourcing effort

Marketers have been piling on Second Life, decrying its uselessness as a marketing channel. In general, they’re responding to their own efforts, or those of others that have generated some attention, usually characterized by the purchase of an island on which a building is constructed that nobody occupies and where nothing happens. When the investment fails to produce huge results, the marketers proclaim the 3D virtual world a barren venue.

(Related: Joe Jaffe has listed 10 reasons why marketers hate Second Life.)

While these marketers and their allies in the media dismiss Second Life, some companies have figured out that the virtual… Read More »

Cancer Society blows away goal in Second Life fundraiser

Don’t you dare tell me that marketing cannot be effective in Second Life.

The American Cancer Society raised $115,000, which eclipsed the organization’s event goal of $75,000. The July 28-29 event attracted nearly 1,700 participants (that is, 1,700 avatars) who pledged money and walked a virtual track. According to a press release, volunteer organizers interacted with in-world residents and had already raised $90,000 before the event even began.

“It is only through our extraordinary volunteers, who dedicated months to raising funds and awareness in Second Life, were we able to have such a successful event,??? said Randal Moss, the…

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For some Second Life critics, conclusion is based on faulty assumption

I’ve just gotten around to reading some of the many blog posts that gleefully point to about real-world businesses failing in Second Life and proclaiming, “I told you so.”

A lot of what Rose writes is true; companies are, indeed, blowing it in Second Life. I have long maintained that the goal of getting into Second Life is to figure out how a company can engage with avatar communities since it’ll only be a few more years before the World Wide Web is pretty much one big avatar community. Plenty of mainstream business publications and analysts have agreed over the last several months that the Web is destined to… Read More »

IBM sets rules for employees in virtual worlds

IBM’s guidelines for employee bloggers are fairly well known among people who pay attention to such things. Now, IBM has become (as far as I know) the first company to establish a policy for employees who venture into Second Life and other virtual words.

According to an AP article, some critics are blasting the move, suggesting that avatars can’t be controlled by policies. For its part, IBM asserts that “having a code of conduct is akin to a corporate stamp of approval, encouraging workers to explore more than 100 worlds IBM collectively calls the ‘3D Internet.’”

IBM already has several islands in Second Life, many for strictly… Read More »

Third annual Virtual Relay for Life set for July 27-28

Another organization finding success in Second Life—at least, enough success to repeat its fundraising events from last the last two years—is the American Cancer Society. I just received the press release announcing the third annual Virtual Relay for Life. The event will be held in-world on July 27-28. From the press release:

This year’s event, supported by the Society’s Futuring and Innovation Center, is expected to attract nearly 2,500 global participants. Volunteer organizers have already shattered their goal of raising $75,000 by raising nearly $90,000 (or $24 million Linden dollars, the official Second Life currency) to support…

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