Second Life: Now for iPad, but not for Tameside …

Ah, Second Life. Unfortunately, it ain’t what she used to be. The brands all left, there have been more than a few virtual scandals in recent years, user numbers have fallen off (as have staff numbers, after a 30% staff layoff) and the newest official Linden Labs viewer software didn’t exactly get rave reviews. However, there is still a relatively large and loyal SL contingent that is eager to access their digitized world wherever and whenever they can. Enter the Pocket Metaverse iPad App for  Second Life. Some people have been begging and pleading for a reliable Second Life viewer for the iPhone since day one. Those same people really began clamoring for something more mobile when the iPad came on the scene. Pocket Metaverse Pro ($2.99) is just that app. With versions for the iPad and iPhone (and free versions to boot), Pocket Metaverse is more than adequate for accessing Second Life and other similar Open Grid virtual worlds while on the go.

Not everyone’s a fan of SL though, notably the good people of Tameside, whose Council just scrapped a £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life. Tameside Council, in Greater Manchester, ‘rented’ an island in the virtual world of Second Life and built a computerised town hall, hoping it would encourage users to access local authority services. But the project has been abandoned after council chiefs admitted they could not justify the cost.

IT council chiefs ditch Sadville after splurging £36k (go.theregister.com)
Council scraps £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life (telegraph.co.uk)
Council’s £36,000 on ‘virtual’ HQ (thesun.co.uk)
Linden Lab guns for service-based Second Life viewers (massively.com)
Linden Lab Fail. (rcaston.com)
Second Life Owner Linden Lab to Lay Off 30% of Its Workers (dailyfinance.com)

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Metaverse: Virtual World vs Real Goods, Second Life vs Counterfeit

An interesting juxtaposition in the metaverse today. Real-life goods are being showcased in Roiworld (nothing new there … American Apparel did this in 2006) … and at the same time a virtual Chinatown has grown up in Second Life … and resident Stroker Serpentine is suing the Lindens for allowing copyright infringement.
Norma Kamali is marketing her Wal-Mart collection through Roiworld.com, a virtual space where users can try on Kamali’s clothes on their avatars and click through to purchase them. The Web site owned by Lifetime says it’s a first for the company, and it’s one of the few cases in which retailers are using virtual worlds to sell real-life goods.
roiworld karen namali

Second Life slapped with counterfeit suit
A pair of Second Life entrepreneurs are suing the game’s creator, Linden Lab, for allowing other players to sell “knockoffs” of their virtual sex organs, erotic poses, designer clothing, and other trademarked items. Kevin Alderman (known in Second Life as “Stroker Serpentine”) alleges that Linden facilitates and profits from in-game pirates copying his IP-protected line of adult-themed virtual goods. Alderman claims his SexGen branded items and animations are among the most popular virtual products sold within Second Life, making his US trademark a valuable resource to distinguish himself amongst competitors selling alternative methods of bumping ugly online.

second life chinatown

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Social Ideas Not Social Media

Gareth Kay is a very clever bloke (and not just coz he wears glasses). He just wrote a nice piece entitled “Social Ideas not Social Media”. The mighty Gaz opines: “So, let’s stop obsessing about social media and worry instead about what’s important. While social media channels fade in and out of social significance (was it only two or three years ago that Second Life was the channel we were all talking about), social ideas are timeless in their power. There’s two types of ideas in the world – social ideas and anti-social ideas. And it’s plain to me that those ideas that contribute positively culture are the ones that are going to help build business.”

gareth_kay

I have been harping on about “adding value” through brand communications for some time now, and its always good to see someone smart articulating the same thoughts … albeit in a rather more thoughtful and articulate way than yours truly!

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