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Are Marketers Abandoning Second Life?

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the peaked-too-soon dept.

Businesses 252

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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252 comments

Iran Might Claim Second Life Too! (-1, Troll)

ReidMaynard (161608) | about 7 years ago | (#19861133)

Read more at Globaltics [globaltics.net]

Re:Iran Might Claim Second Life Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861285)

Read more at Glaboltics [glaboltics.net]
Yeah, because we all know how good and trustworthy a site run by someone who spam-advertises it via an offtopic first post is likely to be.

One of the most frequently purchased items... (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | about 7 years ago | (#19861139)

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.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#19861321)

I am pretty sure if they weren't supplied for free, that would also be the case in real life.
Yea, but like cigarettes, you wouldn't be able to buy one until you're 18.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#19861339)

19 in the state of Alabama

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861731)

Not at all in Utah.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | about 7 years ago | (#19861349)

Genitalia is traded in real life all the time. The only thing novel about this trading in second life is that you are purchasing your own.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | about 7 years ago | (#19861389)

Genitalia is traded in real life all the time. The only thing novel about this trading in second life is that you are purchasing your own.

Umm, remind me not to go shopping with you.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 years ago | (#19861417)

Not known as the oldest profession for nothing.
Now, is politics the second oldest profession, or merely a variation on the first?

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#19861573)

Fluids might be exchanged, but I believe the genitalia stay with the original owner. Though John Wayne Bobbit might disagree.

Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861369)

I have my newly purchased dick in hand. Please advise.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

arivanov (12034) | about 7 years ago | (#19861397)

AFAIK in both cases the basic package is supplied for free. It is the "enhancement" and "extension" which is bought.

The difference is that Second Life is being more honest. It calls the "enhancement" and "extension" for what it is - an enhancement, replacement and extension of genitalia. If you are discontent with your basic armament you go and buy it.

If you are similarly discontent with your basic armament in real life you go and buy an M3, Q8, S4 4.4L or a 550 AMG. Same function - penile deficiency compensator, just slightly less honest marketing.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

STrinity (723872) | about 7 years ago | (#19862407)

No, SL avatars start with no genitalia -- you can choose your sex, but that only affects body shape.

Re:One of the most frequently purchased items... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | about 7 years ago | (#19862483)

However, you can still get free (basic) genitals from certain places.

They are moving to FirstLive (5, Funny)

tronicum (617382) | about 7 years ago | (#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

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 7 years ago | (#19861475)

Yeah, gamespot did a review [gamespot.com] of that one. (I guess it goes under a couple different names)

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 7 years ago | (#19861521)

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...

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861995)

Just buy some acid. That'll make you change levels at will (sometimes against your will, if you're not skilfull enough).

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (4, Funny)

Have Blue (616) | about 7 years ago | (#19862247)

I don't know about that, I keep getting emails promising me that feature can be unlocked.

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862309)

1991 called. They want their joke bI WILL FUCKING KILL YOU I am so fuckinng sick of this joke Get the fuck off my internet now AAAAAAAAAAAAA I am going to fucking bury that guy

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (-1, Redundant)

Knuckles (8964) | about 7 years ago | (#19861613)

http://getafirstlife.com/ [getafirstlife.com]

Re:They are moving to FirstLive (4, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 7 years ago | (#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:They are moving to FirstLive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862103)

Can Someone Mod Parent Interesting? Thank You.

Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 7 years ago | (#19861157)

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.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (2, Insightful)

ProdigySim (817093) | about 7 years ago | (#19861219)

Advertising to a bunch of people leading fake lives is pretty lame. I don't really see any defending either side in a fight like this. It looks like a bad idea all around. It's profiteering off of purely virtual content. You pay for nothing. You pay for your advertising as virtually nothing

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | about 7 years ago | (#19861359)

Why would people lead fake lives? Because they can't get what they want out of real life. Take for example the NeoVictorian/Steampunk SecondLife town of Babbage. The people who have the interest and put in the work to make the place doubtfully have the resources (read $$$) to make a sustainable real life town with a Victorian asthetic both in architecture and social etiquette. So they made their fanatasy in a video game. Why would they stand for having that fantasy marred by the very aspects of real life they are seeking to escape from? Sure you might view them as lame, but why does that excuse the disruption of a fantasy they go to such lengths to pursue?

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (1)

dircha (893383) | about 7 years ago | (#19861769)

"Sure you might view them as lame, but why does that excuse the disruption of a fantasy they go to such lengths to pursue?"

Because it isn't *their* anything? It's a commercial web service for which they pay $9.95/month to access, run by a very real business that wants to make real money.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861893)

... and if that business doesn't deliver what those users want, they will take both their $9.95 and their eyeballs elsewhere. Capitalism is a bitch, eh?

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 7 years ago | (#19861831)

"Why would they stand for having that fantasy marred by the very aspects of real life..."

That's an excellent point. Nothing says more than "real life" than Nissan cars or Reebok shoes. If the companies going into this fantasy world would have been BMW, Harley Davidson, or Victoria Secrets -- at least they would have had a fighting chance.

I'm sorry to say, the only fantasy that was entertained here was the fantasy of Nissan's and Reebok's clueless upper management. May be those guys should pay for their own Second Life subscriptions, and play during their own time -- wile they wait for their first unemployment check to come in through the mail.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 7 years ago | (#19861267)

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.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 7 years ago | (#19861377)

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.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 7 years ago | (#19861759)

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.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861635)

It's a video game. Regardless of how much Linden Labs and associated shills want it to be something more, SL is, structurally and as far as the attitudes of most of its users are concerned, a game. You get to do immature things in games. That's how they're different from First Life... over which SL would add zero value whatsoever if it were in fact as "real" as Linden wants corporations to think it is.

Re:Defacing virtual commercial presenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862043)

I think defacing a commercial virtual presense is just as immature as a real one, even if the damage done really isn't.

  I don't know about that. I know the owners of various commercial enterprises like you to think that, and such entities own the media which shapes public opinion, but vandalism and sabotage have a long and storied history as a means of resistance against any encroachments on the public's rights and space.

  The black-bloc tactics of anarchists at the Seattle WTO protests got a lot of negative coverage, but try looking at it from a different angle... The WTO is a group of people who decide the economic fate of entire countries and pursue agendas that can cause harm to millions, and yet they are unelected and answerable to no-one. There's no sitting down and talking to them, they simply won't listen to people like you.

  There were tons of peaceful protesters, but what did they actually accomplish, besides a little wacky theater for the eight o'clock news?

  Now contrast that with the anarchists, whose acts of destruction were carefully planned and specifically targeted at companies that were either WTO members and supporters. (A fact left out in most media reports) They may have gotten even worse press than the peaceful protestors, but they managed to cause a number of those targeted companies to withdraw their support of the WTO, which meant they were actually effective at harming this anti-democratic, and arguably evil, organization.
  No wonder the media conglomerates want to paint them as crazy children -- they only tolerate opposition that's incapable of accomplishing anything.

What exactly is SL, There, et al? (3, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | about 7 years ago | (#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..

Re:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 7 years ago | (#19861221)

That's exactly what it is. And no nerd would be caught dead in SL, so don't worry about that.

Re:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (1)

YouCanCallMeAl (773817) | about 7 years ago | (#19861331)

It's basically a "game" with relatively poor graphics in which you can move around, talk to people, and get bombarded with constant requests for payment. Everything in there is about buying and selling virtual goods. You're really not missing out on anything.

Re:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (2, Informative)

solios (53048) | about 7 years ago | (#19861375)

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:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (2, Insightful)

Kidbro (80868) | about 7 years ago | (#19862165)

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.

Re:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | about 7 years ago | (#19861873)

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

Re:What exactly is SL, There, et al? (5, Interesting)

notthepainter (759494) | about 7 years ago | (#19862121)

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! (5, Insightful)

SamP2 (1097897) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

heh. (2, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | about 7 years ago | (#19861195)

and somewhere, a bear shits in the woods.

Also, (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 years ago | (#19861203)

spotty bedroom boys who live with their parents don't have a great deal of money to spend on the pointless, tacky and oddly expensive consumer tat which our shops and advertisements are full of.

Re:Also, (1)

mcpkaaos (449561) | about 7 years ago | (#19861587)

That might be. However, spotty bedroom men earning 6 figures in software most certainly do.

Re:Also, (1)

dircha (893383) | about 7 years ago | (#19861807)

"That might be. However, spotty bedroom men earning 6 figures in software most certainly do."

That may be, but if they want to reach that corner of the second life market, why don't they just send those 3 guys direct marketing literature rather than wasting their resources trolling through the other 39,997 furries and vampires?

Re:Also, (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 years ago | (#19861885)

> That might be. However, spotty bedroom men earning 6 figures in software most certainly do.

Yeah, because Second Life is just full of extremely rich people looking for ways to spend money...

Oh look, marketing realizes what we knew years ago (3, Interesting)

Pluvius (734915) | about 7 years ago | (#19861211)

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

Re:Oh look, marketing realizes what we knew years (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 7 years ago | (#19861479)

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?

Spelling notes from a disinterested party... (1)

VidEdit (703021) | about 7 years ago | (#19861243)

"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, "

You mean **uninterested**.

"disinterested |dis?int??restid; -tristid| adjective 1 not influenced by considerations of personal advantage : a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice. 2 having or feeling no interest in something : her father was so disinterested in her progress that he only visited the school once."

"USAGE A common source of confusion is the difference between disinterested and uninterested. Disinterested means 'not having a personal interest, impartial':: a juror must be disinterested in the case being tried. Uninterested means 'not interested, indifferent': | on the other hand, a juror must not be uninterested."

More Importantly.. (5, Funny)

InfiniteSingularity (1095799) | about 7 years ago | (#19861255)

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

I wonder what their return policy is?

Re:More Importantly.. (5, Funny)

Source Quench (857046) | about 7 years ago | (#19861333)

Consider this - would *you* want to buy second-hand genitalia?

Re:More Importantly.. (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#19861387)

no returns once removed from the wrapper?

Re:More Importantly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861403)

You break it you buy it.

Re:More Importantly.. (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | about 7 years ago | (#19861427)

Unfortunately, I am consistently unable to reach the manufacturer.

Re:More Importantly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861607)

In most cases the items are setup to allow you to modify and copy them but not to redistribute. Meaning most of the time the creators wont offer any refund.
I know it was a joke but :P

Re:More Importantly.. (1)

kmankmankman2001 (567212) | about 7 years ago | (#19862219)

I don't know about the return rate but I'll bet they have a VERY favorable response rate to the question "Would you like to SuperSize that?"

Kinda Like the Klondike Gold Rush.... (2, Insightful)

rewinn (647614) | about 7 years ago | (#19861299)

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? (2, Informative)

axia777 (1060818) | about 7 years ago | (#19861337)

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.....

Re:Second Life? (1)

Baron von Pilsner (1115373) | about 7 years ago | (#19861591)

I always thought of it as more of a chat room w/pictures than a game...

Re:Second Life? (1)

thethibs (882667) | about 7 years ago | (#19861649)

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:Second Life? (2, Interesting)

notthepainter (759494) | about 7 years ago | (#19862079)

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 Second Life

Re:Second Life? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862271)

So, basically, you're just a talentless loser? Instead of actually doing stuff, you decided to pretend to do stuff in a big VR chatroom because you're too scared to make mistakes?

Re:Second Life? (1)

dzurn (62738) | about 7 years ago | (#19862391)

All artists make mistakes.

The great artists just don't let anyone see them...

"Anything becomes Art when you 'cheat' for the sake of beauty."

Re:Second Life? (1)

retrogameguy (1096733) | about 7 years ago | (#19862153)

I have to admit it does run and look lke crap. Who came up with the stupid idea of streaming everything down in real time, so the whole thing looks worse than the barren flight sim I remember playing nearly 20 years ago on my Amiga 500?? The concept is great however - total freedom to build, sell and profit from your designs. If the basic structure wasn't so crap and the was a point to the game (no just a huge chat room) I would probably play (to make things and profit from them).

Stay away from SL Sex (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861347)

I myself am a User of Secondlife, and do not partake in the "Mature" aspects of the game. And I enjoy myself a lot. The truth about SL is that it's a very small, 3 Dimensional Mirror of the internet. Gambling, Pornography, and worse are in SL. But I don't believe in any greater proportion than elsewhere on the internet. There are a lot of great places to hold intelligent conversation, be silly, or be creative with the scripting language or primitive building tools. The first thing I recommend to anyone when joining SL is to stay far away from the popular "clubs" as I think that's what drives most people away and results in the VASTLY inflated user-count. One new resource that I recommend people check out with some ACTUAL INTERESTING LOCATIONS (Rather than the stupid clubs that are shoved at us constantly via spamvertisement) is the Corsa Guide at http://www.corsaguide.co.uk/ [corsaguide.co.uk] (flash warning)

It took that long... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861363)

...to realize that people would rather have sex than see advertising in their fantasy lives?

What's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861379)

I already have to pay to use people's genitalia in my first life. This "Second Life" sounds like a ripoff.

And... what was the point originally, anyway? (5, Informative)

freyyr890 (1019088) | about 7 years ago | (#19861411)

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:And... what was the point originally, anyway? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862415)

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.

Hype (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | about 7 years ago | (#19861445)

Finally the hype is over and we can turn our attention to more important things. Now where did I put my iPhone?

Or are they? (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | about 7 years ago | (#19861451)

"Are Marketers Abandoning Second Life?" I don't know, does your premium for posting second life 'news' suddenly seem a little lower than before? Whatever it is, it still gets on the front page pretty frequently despite the fact that it's had nothing but ridicule from the /. community, so i'd suggest it's still doing quite well for itself.

PK'd? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | about 7 years ago | (#19861461)

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.

Just because you get PK'd, doesn't mean they don't like you. It's one of the new challenges on the internet. It comes as a direct result of resurrection.

Stay in second life, dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861481)

I've been in Gaia online for a while now. Recently, it's become a haven for tweens, trolls and spammers. If that wasn't bad enough, now big companies are starting to advertise in the form of events, causing the market to become so inflated it has hardly any use, unless one gives real money. Thankfully, the gaia administrators haven't fully embraced big companies in order to keep it friendly, but it's headed that way. Those companies already left behind a trashed second life, and instead of cleaning it up, they move on to other sites to devour.

DON'T GIVE UP ON second LIFE (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 7 years ago | (#19861493)

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.

Re:DON'T GIVE UP ON second LIFE (1)

dircha (893383) | about 7 years ago | (#19861721)

"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. We'll get back to you on that Sales Manager position. Don't call us, we'll call you.

This is surprising? (2, Insightful)

zantolak (701554) | about 7 years ago | (#19861513)

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?

Re:This is surprising? (1)

admactanium (670209) | about 7 years ago | (#19861585)

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 facebook or myspace or any other number of social networking sites. they're all created for someone's financial gain. otherwise why deal with the bandwidth expenses?

your comment to more accurately read "how could any reasonable person expect that a corporation would run a community environment at their own great expense without the expectation of some marketing dollars being made somewhere down the line?" i seriously doubt lindencorp just decided to blow wads of cash so people can fly around as gigantic penises.

Re:This is surprising? (1)

zantolak (701554) | about 7 years ago | (#19861773)

If that's the case, they've managed to back themselves into a hell of a corner, because they've accumulated a userbase that's actively opposed to their advertising ambitions. In case they haven't noticed, the internet positively hates being marketed to, and they're not afraid to express this. When it's nothing but virtual material, people have no problem with bombing a company simply for existing.

Re:This is surprising? (1)

admactanium (670209) | about 7 years ago | (#19861835)

well, that's the pickle isn't it? i wouldn't say that "the internet hates being marketed to..." first off, you can't even come close to homogenizing all the users of the internet. at best you could say the people who would participate in something like second life don't like being marketed to badly. there have been many many viral marketing sites that have done very well and become extremely popular. marketing is not a single entity. if it's done right and it uses the advantages of the medium in an interesting way, then people will like it fully knowing that they're being marketed to (i.e. subservient chicken). if it sucks, then people will be more likely to be hateful towards marketing materials than user-created content that sucks equally as much.

Re:This is surprising? (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | about 7 years ago | (#19862107)

"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 are US$295."

From the statistics [secondlife.com] , you can see there were 8336 of those in June, with 928 added during the month.

IMO, it doesn't seem like LL is in such a desperate needs of marketers. Most of those are from normal users.

Linking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861549)

Could someoone please exlain to me why "there.com" is directly linked while the other twos go over google?

I guess its optimisation, but to not count the last two or to boost them?

Hate to state the obvious, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19861561)

...it takes a lot of balls to sell genitalia on SL.

LA Times Confirms It: Second Life isn't Popular (1, Interesting)

dircha (893383) | about 7 years ago | (#19861593)

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 accomplishments, try headlines like: "Second Life: Publisher Creates Sexually Explicit Virtual Meeting Place for Furries and Other Fetishists."

Re:LA Times Confirms It: Second Life isn't Popular (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | about 7 years ago | (#19861929)

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.

Re:LA Times Confirms It: Second Life isn't Popular (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 years ago | (#19861931)

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.

LAT repeats 4 out of 5 common myths about SL (5, Informative)

wjamesau (221905) | about 7 years ago | (#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]

.

Re:LAT repeats 4 out of 5 common myths about SL (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 years ago | (#19862051)

Thank the grid somebody who actually knows something about SL is posting.

Even more embarrassing... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 7 years ago | (#19861849)

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.

Second Life? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 7 years ago | (#19862075)

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... ;-)

The way I'd like ingame marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19862125)

Thats the way ingame marketing should be:
A Shadowrun style MMO where McDonalds pays you for a run on a Burger King restaurant to poison their soy burgers...
Now THAT would be entertaining and I wouldn't mind any McDonalds and Burger King logos/commercials in the game ('caus it should be there and isn't out of place).

oh guys (1)

Mikachu (972457) | about 7 years ago | (#19862185)

gb2gaia If you get it, you'll shit bricks.

Re:oh guys (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | about 7 years ago | (#19862385)

/. has enough shitty memes. Last thing we need is 4chan ones too

Not really suprising. Any of it. (2, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

Which? Disinterested or Hostile? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 7 years ago | (#19862275)

You cannot be both "disinterested" in something *and* "actively hostile" to it. Disinterested means you don't take a side, and have no stake in an issue. If someone expresses hostility, he's taking a side.

Dangers and marketing: SL vs RL... (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 7 years ago | (#19862297)

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 advertiser's business lunch is happy to give away free clothes, in the hopes that you'll come back and buy something that's different from what everyone else is wearing.

What's American Apparel doing to promote their products in SL? Are they treating it as advertising for their real-world products, or are they trying to make video-game clothes a full scale business unit? I haven't had much time to go clothes shopping (or anything else) in SL lately, but based on what I've seen other companies do I'll bet I can guess the answer...

Re:Dangers and marketing: SL vs RL... (1)

SubliminalVortex (942332) | about 7 years ago | (#19862485)

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.

Yeah, and hope that the server isn't running in someone's "bargain basement" and is protected from such things as power outages, hard-drive failures and 3rd party tampering. I wonder how much a hard drive that survives would go for on e-bay after the company folds.

Apologies to the Wizard of Oz... (1)

Cytlid (95255) | about 7 years ago | (#19862349)

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.

Those who are tired of life... (1)

vorlich (972710) | about 7 years ago | (#19862491)

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.
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