- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Second Life Archive
I am not an expert in virtual worlds but on the news tonight there was a segment on Second Life which I thought was worth sharing. The NBC news anchor starts by saying, "The Dark Side of the Web…is Second Life". The segment discusses how parents should keep their teenagers away from Second Life because of all of the sex, porn, drugs, and suicide that occurs in the virtual world. I don’t know about you, but growing up in Brooklyn, most of those things happened on a near-daily basis. The doctor in the segment explains that if teenagers participate in an activity online, they are more likely to want to do it in real life.
Again, while I don’t use Second Life, my guess is that you can find these things anywhere online even outside this "dark side" virtual world.
(apologies for the poor video quality)
Vivaty is announcing this morning that they are exiting the private beta stage and moving into a wide open public beta of their Vivaty Scenes product. Eric Eldon has an indepth review of the Vivaty product when they launched the private beta back in April. He also notes that the company has raised $9.4 million in venture capital funding.
It’s basically like Second Life meets social networking. The CEO says it’s targeted towards the 15-35 audience. I am in that audience and probably will never create one of these scenes, not even on a dare. But I could see how the kids will eat this up. Will it be as addictive as the Spore Creature game that’s hot right now?
The application can be installed within Facebook or AIM currently and the company says more social networking platforms are coming soon.
Vivaty sent over the following bullet points on what can be accomplished using a Vivaty Scene:
Choose a scene to share with AIM and Facebook friends
Personalize it with hundreds of objects and make it uniquely yours
Share your photos from the web, Flickr, and Facebook on your walls
Invite friends to watch your favorite YouTube videos on virtual TVs
Chat or leave notes for friends
Have a virtual party!
It looks like at least part of their business model will be around sponsored scenes. We received a few of these sponsored scenes but were asked not to post them yet. For their younger demo, the sponsored scenes could do very well.
Update: Robert Scoble interviewed the Vivaty CEO:
Here’s an example Vivaty Scene inside of Facebook:
MTV, Nickelodeon and Family World have announced plans to build a variety of virtual worlds over the next year. The initial worlds will include SpongeBob SquarePants along with new worlds MonkeyWorld and World of Neopia. The company noted that the new worlds will be developed out of Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group’s Virtual World Studios with the goal of launching new worlds each year.
The World of Neopia will build on the Neopets brand and game. The Neopets brand will also launch an Adobe AIR desktop application called PetPetPet Habitats.
The Nickelodeon brand currently has more than 5,000 games in their portfolio and comScore reports more than 20 million monthly game players.
This past week I participated in a session at BlogPhiladelphia called, "Virtual Worlds and Second Life." Don Bain from the electric sheep company (makers of corporate virtual worlds) discussed mainly Second Life and how companies are using the tool.
We spent most of the session on the "Ben & Jerry's" island. During the session, we were able to fly around, look at a wall of the history of B&J, and chat with other people. Wait, that was one person during the entire 30 minute session. I asked what it cost to create the island and Don nodded when I suggested $50k.
Don also noted that we are only in the first inning of virtual worlds. I agree with his statement. It reminds me a bit of when the Web first started to commercialize. "Who would use the Web to buy insurance" is a statement I heard several times from an executive at an insurance company.
Alana Semuels has a column in the LATimes today discussing marketers backing out of Second Life.
Some interesting quotes include:
"There's not a compelling reason to stay," said Brian McGuinness, vice president of Aloft, a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. that is closing its Second Life shop and donating its virtual land to the nonprofit social-networking group TakingITGlobal. McGuinness said Starwood's venture into Second Life did accomplish something. Feedback from denizens gave Aloft ideas for its physical hotels.
Between May and June, the population of active avatars declined 2.5%, and the volume of U.S. money exchanged within the world fell from a high of $7.3 million in March to $6.8 million in June.
Wagner James Au discusses 5 business myths about Second Life. Duncan then provides a cost summary for creating a business in Second Life. He notes, "the CPM cost for businesses on Second Life is insane: simply even for the very best, the figures don’t add up." But Duncan misses the point, these first movers into SL don't care about the CPM, they care about the buzz of being first.
It seems many companies tried Second Life and have moved on. As virtual worlds move forward into the later innings, more trial and success/failure will take place. In my opinion, Second Life is nothing more than a pretty IRC/Mud but some think it's the next version of the Web. I don't get it, but clearly some do.