Friday, 11 August 2006

Second Life

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by 396,651 people from around the globe.

From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.

The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world currency, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online currency exchanges.

To find out more check out the Wikipedia article about it.

From's Monkey Bites:

Heather Hopkins, an internet trends analyst at Hitwise, has discovered an interesting bit of news. It seems that traffic to Second Life's website has more than doubled among U.K. web surfers in the last two months. Here is Heather's chart:

While the spike could be the result of any number of news items -- such as Business Week's May cover story -- I think it's an accurate reflection of how buzz works in the social networking sphere. The fact that the traffic spike is centered in a specific location speaks to my belief that interest in particular social networking sites is propagated via word of mouth more than anything else.

People are far less willing to invest time in a community site if they see it mentioned somewhere on the web than if they hear about it from a friend, a colleague, fellow student or some other "trustworthy," local source that they personally know. Hearing "Oh, you're not on MySpace?" from a co-worker in the lunchroom makes a lot more people go to MySpace and set up a profile than some news article talking about how people are really into MySpace. Online communities are just extensions of our real world lives, anyway. At any rate, it's interesting to consider the ways in which our personal interactions serve as catalysts for our online actions.

To get a feel for what it's like inside Second Life have a look at this video, or better still download the game and get involved.

Brands are beginning to catch on to Second Life's potential. I just stumbled across this U2 video that is set in Second Life. As is often the case music bands/brands lead the way with new media.


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