Second Life in the Enterprise
Remember Second Life, the virtual world that was supposed to dominate the Web 2.0 landscape? If not, don't feel bad - I hardly remember it either, despite the fact that Website Magazine covered the virtual network repeatedly, a few years back. Check out these search results - http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/search/SearchResults.aspx?q=Second+Life.
You may be asking yourself why any serious business would consider doing business on an entertainment platform - I often ask myself this very same question. Linden Lab as a powerful multimedia platform for sensitive corporate communications and teamwork.
Second Life was touted as the new marketplace for businesses looking to expand market share and differentiate themselves from the competition. The key to SecondLife was to use the network as an extension of your website - as a place to expose consumers to your brand and foster a communal familiarity. The thinking of the day was that if you give them some Second Life functionality (fun or freebies in the virtual world), they will be more likely to remember it and drive traffic to your Internet location. Unfortanetely, this virtual utopia was not immune from the very problems of the Web iteself, and was innectibably run over by a select few with the capacity to develop "life" in Second Life. That may have created a new virtual economy, but it also generated a fair amount of dissention in the eyes of serious citizens of Second Life.
There are actually many real life companies currently in Second Life, the problem is they often don't make the best use of their space. This may be a result of not fully understanding the channel or how to use it, but there remain some unique worlds in Second Life and as such this slow maturation has forced many big brands to reconsider how they live, work and play in Second Life.