“The first rule of blog club is: You Do Not…. oh.”

Gartner research – 80% of active internet users will have a “Second Life” in the virtual world by 2012

Interesting stat from Gartner – in their research they go on to explain how companies should participate in virtual worlds:

First Law: Virtual worlds are not games, but neither are they a parallel universe (yet)
Second Law: Behind every avatar is a real person.
Third Law: Be relevant and add value.
Fourth Law: Understand and contain the downside.
Fifth Law: This is a long haul.

Link to full press release

Jonny Bentwood’s take on this is slightly more cynical and pragmatic…

Virtual worlds, communities and nations are here to stay. Whilst emerging media is exploring new ways for companies to interact with their target audience, businesses must be careful not see this as another outlet where they aggressively sell.

Users go these sites often as a form of escapism and would probably take a negative reaction where vendors try and conflict with this. However, this can be done well – take Toyota selling their cars on Second Life as a great example of complementing a virtual world rather than fighting it.

Even though Gartner do suggest this is a “long haul”, there is a lot to be said for being early entrants into a market. My advice would be to start now but passively.

Also – don’t get hung up on the main avenues. Technology is changing fast – who knows what new scenario will be the best place to virtually hang-out in a few years time. Have a plan that is flexible and go for it. Nevertheless, Gartner have made some sound suggestions that would be foolish for any would-be vendor in the virtual world not to follow… but perhaps they should use mine too.


One Response to ““The first rule of blog club is: You Do Not…. oh.””

  1. justinwestcott Says:

    Nice post, and good points.

    Thought it would be worth flagging that the Gartner report coincided with a report from big blue that also took a visionary look at the role of tech on society: http://thelastman.wordpress.com/2007/05/01/techno-nirvana/

    Of note was their prediction that within 5 years there will be a 3D internet which they explain by:

    The popular online immersive destinations, such as Second Life and the World of Warcraft, will evolve into the 3-D Internet, much like the early work by the likes of Darpa, AOL and Prodigy evolved into the World Wide Web.

    “In this immersive online world, you will walk the aisles of supermarkets, bookstores and DVD shops, where you’ll encounter experts you’d rarely find in your local store. The 3-D Internet will enable new kinds of education, remote medicine and consumer experiences, transforming how we interact with our friends, family, doctors, teachers, favourite stores, et cetera.”

    Personally i have to agree with the blue, not sure it will be within 5 years but certainly how i see things like SL/WOWC evolving i.e. this is how the internet may evolve so our avitars will become the method by which we roam the internet, choosing products and sites to visit in a graphical 3-dimensional way as as opposed to the text and 2-D incarnation we see today.

    We shall see…

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