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Second Life for marketers

SL logo.gifAny time I bring up Second Life when I am speaking or talking to clients I get this look like "What the hell are you smoking dude?". Do you know the look I am talking about? Well, this blog along with video are perfect to show you what Second Life is and what some of the do's and don'ts are.

Basically, Second Life is a virtual world enhabited by the avatar version of each community members. Avatars can ber completely customized to look like you or to look like a supermodel. It's up to you. The power of the medium comes from the level of personal interaction you can have with the population. Everything in Second Life has the ability to be connected to a web page, so if you want somebody to purchase something you can link them right to that page in the shopping cart.

Check out the video:

(I geeked out a bit at the end, but you can always tell a Bruckheimer movie/show if there is a spinning helicopter shot.)


  • Think before you enter this space and do your research
  • Start small and build up as you learn
  • Keep the momentum moving, don't let it stagnate
  • Engage the community
  • ALWAYS provide value! Ask yourself "does this provide value" and if it does not, scrap it
  • Build something remarkable
  • Remember you are in a virtual world, create something that you couldn't do in the real world
  • Keep in mind this is ONE channel for your marketing message not THE channel
  • Use video, audio and links to the web for content integration
  • Engage, engage, engage. You will learn more by listening than anything else and you have to be there to do that


  • Pump all of your marketing efforts here, this is just one channel
  • Jump in without looking
  • Start with a massive build
  • Abandon your area once built, have it staffed during certain hours (nothing is worse to a user than seeing a ghost town)
  • Put yourself before the users
  • Forget this is a community, it is people powered and they can make or break you
  • Lose control of your brand and message. This different and think smart
  • Forget video and audio to complete the experience to the user


Special thanks to Doug Meacham for walking me through his Second Life adventure and to Greg Verdino who has served as a guiding light for any marketer looking to enter this community. You guys rock!

One thing that Doug and I discussed is how in a couple of years you can expect more and more shopping to happen through virtual mall experiences where you can walk in to a store, try on clothing and buy it on the spot. Your avatar will have your measurements and clothing can be tailored to your build.

The low end of engagement with Second Life is about 30 minutes per session. What other way can you actively communicate with your customers one-to-one for 30 minutes? Let me know your feedback on this. The population is a little geeky and certainly early adopters, but it can be a powerful tool if you use it right.

More resources:

[Update: CC Chapman has a really great review of the new voice feature in Second Life. Check it out.]

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