Here is an interesting article called Virtual World Marketing: Lots of Companies, Few Vistors (So Far). One of the most interesting things about the aricle was that it stated "despite entering Second Life to much mainstream media fanfare, companies like Sears, Sun Microsystems, Dell, Coca Cola, Reebok, and Calvin Klein have so far failed to attract even 500 weekly visitors." So are these ventures failures? I think it depends on your perspective.
The real value of being in Second Life or any 3D synchronous learning environment now is, as one comment stated:
Companies aren’t getting into Second Life because of what it is today but what it will become in the very near future….and because of the head start/lessons learned they are betting they will be in a position to benefit from getting involved now.As learning and development professionals, we need to be in this space as well even if an immediate payoff is not seen. I really believe it is like the early days of the web...or even the blogosphere. All of the sudden, one day the new technology makes sense...are you going to be part of that or left out in the cold? The time to make the decision is now...if you wait until the fad has "caught on" it will be too late.
Plus a problem is that some of these stores do not have any one with whom a visitor can interact. Hey, it's a social software...store owners need to have people in the stores to speak with the visitors--to socialize...empty stores are not attractive to people in virtual spaces. And neither are empty training rooms or other empty spaces. People like to be with other people.
Well, you can't believe everything you read. As I posted about a certain company that was listed in the article as not getting many visitors, a person from that company corrected me (I have removed the error from my post but it is still in the original article). He then pointed me to another source showing how popular the site is. It just goes to show that with the internet one has to continually be vigilant about sources of information. Here is a link to a chart of the 25 Brand Dwells in Second Life. I thank Dave for the correction. At least the internet allows for fast corrections and updates...as opposed to waiting until tomorrow for a newspaper to print a retraction (where nobody sees it.)
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