Anomaly Leaves Second Life

Yes, I can announce that the Anomaly avatars have left the building … their “Company HQ” in the Tenjin sim has been vacated. Unbeknownst to many (they didn’t talk about it much) Anomaly were actually fairly early adopters of Second Life. They bought a plot (near to PSFK Island, as it ‘appens) back in 2005 I think. If they called themselves an Ad Agency, they could probably claim to be the first to have built an office in this part of the metaverse. I discussed it briefly with Anomaly partner Johnny Vulkan, who by that stage was fairly dismissive of the opportunities the virtual world offered marketers. Their only client to venture in to Second Life was Enviga (against Anomaly’s advice). Enviga eventually built a large green Enviga-drinking robot in Anomaly HQ and left it at that.

anomaly

Purple pundit Piers Fawkes of PSFK (indulge me in my aliteration) was also eventually underwhelmed by Second Life. Anomaly neighbour and virtual pioneer Piers at one stage referred to himself as a “big time property developer” and “marketing consultant” in Second Life. He was quoted some time later as saying that “Second Life [wasn’t] much good for marketers“, presumably something he had learnt from experience. That said, his (rather ramshackle looking, slightly vandalised) virtual island HQ remains.

psfk-second-life

Who else is left? Crayon’s slightly stalinist-looking and underpopulated sim (traffic count: 32) remains. Crayon claimed to be the first agency to launch in Second Life (and indeed, the launch itself was actually held there). To my knowledge Crayon’s only Second Life client engagement was Coke’s Virtual Thirst, an effort which received mixed reviews at best.

crayonville

Leo Burnett at one stage built a giant tree (replete with caged birds and apples) but they have now also departed. Their space was apparently envisioned as a place for international collaboration.

burnett-sl

BBH built a (rather bland looking) office back in 2006 – also claiming to be the “first” – and said office for the moment is still there. It actually looks fairly well maintained, if unevolved and sterile. The only evidence of client involvement is a rather large Levi’s poster.

bbh-second-life

My views on marketing through Second Life? Well, I’d start by saying “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. There seems to be a dichotomy between those who piled in to Second Life without thinking it through particularly well (net result: lots of money spent and little to show) and those who rejected it out of hand (net result: nothing spent and nothing learned).

As with any marketing experience, success depends on objectives. Want to reach a lot of people quickly? Second Life probably isn’t for you. Want to reach and connect with tech-savvy 30-something virtual world enthusiasts (hey, someone might) then it might make sense.

Thoughts?

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Social Media: World Map of Social Nets, Blogs are Over, Craigslist Crime, Qik, Tribesmart

World map of social networks around the world

This month’s map shows the most popular social networks around the world. Facebook continues to make noises around the World but it’s clear that Asia is a no go area for it so it looks as if it’s going for the Caribbean.

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004
Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug. Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

blogcover1

Bank robber hires decoys on Craigslist, fools cops
In an elaborate robbery scheme that’s one part The Thomas Crowne Affair and one part Pineapple Express, a crook robbed an armored truck outside a Bank of America branch in Monroe, Wash., by hiring decoys through Craigslist to deter authorities. It gets better: He then escaped in a creek headed for the Skykomish River in an inner tube, and the cops are still looking for him. “A great amount of money” was taken, Monroe police said, but did not provide a dollar value.

Christ … hello Harold Pinter! “Share your moments” via your mobile phone.

Tribesmart
With a lot of categories on offer, and large amounts of products to display, homepages on shopping comparison websites can often be very cluttered and potentially confusing for users. Tribesmart manages to avoid this trap though, and has created an attractive homepage with clear navigation options. There is one issue here though: the four-step instructions for registering and getting started may be useful for first time visitors, but once you have logged in and learned how the site works, this space would be more useful for navigation or product promotion.

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Election 2.0(08)

This site has pulled together a fantastic dashboard to monitor the election. Not only does it have all the key metrics, above, but it also has the latest Tweets, recent blog posts and recent news.
The simulator “is NOT a prediction of the outcome of the election. It merely takes representative state polls (or averages of multiple polls where appropriate) and answers the question: IF the election were today, what is the range of likely outcomes?”
FiveThityEight methodology differs from other poll compilations: 1. They assign each poll a weighting based on that pollster’s historical track record, sample size, and recentness. 2. They include a regression estimate based on the demographics in each state among their ‘polls’. 3. They use an inferential process to compute a rolling trendline that allows us to adjust results in states that have not been polled recently. 4. They simulate the election 10,000 times for each site update in order to provide a probabilistic assessment of electoral outcomes.
A nice example of volume of news references, displayed in a dynamic way.

Off v On, Post It Jag v 3M, Twitter v Scottsdale PD, Hannah Montana v Gummy Penises

  • More and more, the offline world (a.k.a. the real world, meatspace or atom-arena) is adjusting to and mirroring the increasingly dominant online world, from tone of voice to product development to business processes to customer relationships. Get ready to truly cater to an ONLINE OXYGEN generation even if you’re in ancient sectors like automotive or fast moving consumer goods.
  • Photobucket

  • Sadly, there have been a few too many examples of brands co-opting the work of others for their own financial gain. Here’s another. In December 2006, Scott Ableman and his co-workers decided to play a practical joke on another co-worker who drove a Jaguar and was one of those people who would park his car in a very remote spot so as to avoid scratches and dings. Ableman and friends plastered the co-worker’s car with Post-It notes, took pictures of the resulting colorful design and posted them on Flickr. The whole thing turned into somewhat of a viral sensation. (Note, they are not overjoyed at 3M “copying” the idea…)
  • Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what’s happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.
  • “Why in hell do people still try to make candy in potentially phallic-looking shapes? You’d think they would have learned by now…..” It’s definitely a mystery worth pondering. Adrants reader Candace sent over this rawkin’ shot of Hannah Montana’s Concert Candy. The packaging features our Lolita du jour holding a mic up to her mouth while a giant gummy guitar comes at her from the left. “Guitar and microphone shapes!” the package boasts, but that guitar doesn’t look all that guitar-like, and I don’t think the gummy mics will help either.

Links for 2008-04-04: Honda Mac, Ted Baker Friends, Fallon Social, Apple Sued, Bacardi Schu

Links for 2008-04-01 : Digital Billboards, Creativity, My Starbucks Idea, 3-D Internet

Links for 2008-03-31 : Amazon On Demand, Zero House, Huffington, Digital