Friday, November 17, 2006

A New Day, A New Life

So I’ve done it! I’ve been reborn. No, I’m not a member of some wacky, fundamentalist cult, it’s so much better than that. I’m an avatar (my mother would be so proud, cue the banally supportive, “That’s great, dear”).

Yes, I have entered Second Life. I’m still very new to this digital world but I’m beginning to get my bearings. I can walk, talk, jump, teleport and fly. I encourage anyone who has ever dreamed of being Superman or dressed up as the Man of Steel (such as myself) to logon now.

My first session in Life Part Deux ended with me stuck on some Venus flytrap of an island, or as I referred to it in my digital disdain, Alcatraz. My second session, though, began with my great escape and further exploration of The New World.

One thing I noticed was a surprising level of anti-social behavior, especially considering this is a social networking site! Not one of the people I attempted to “speak with” would respond. The repeated brush-off was vexing. Were these people just as new to SL as I am or was it something worse? What earned me this computational cold-shoulder? Did I commit a pixilated faux pas? Does my avatar suffer from an ungodly case of halitosis? At least the parrot on the Survivor-ish titled “Orientation Island” spoke to me – even if it was in a mockingly repetitive way.

Marooning and lampooning aside, my first two sessions in Second Life have proven interesting. There are some amazing “structures” that undoubtedly took many an hour, if not days to create, special events abound, and if your bubble burst in the real life real estate market you can get in on the Second Life racket.

I will report back should I experience a marketing-related, Second Life epiphany. In the meantime, if you venture into this server-hosted society look me up, my avatar is Wordsmith Maverick.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Get A(nother) Life

What’s the deal with Second Life? I have been looking into this realm and I’m still not completely sure. For those of you who have less of an idea about this online arena than I do, allow me to somewhat explain.

The tech-wizards of the West have created an online community call Second Life In this online community you have the technology to build yourself…yes, smarter and faster…but honestly in any way you would like. Have you wondered if blonds really have more fun? Are you in the midst of an identity crisis? Did you always want an alter-ego? Well my friends, here is your opportunity. You can create your own online “self” – known in Second Life as an avatar – in any way you would like.

Beyond creating a digital representation of your physical self, you can create a business, own an island and purchase goods using actual money. Each day Second Life reports the astounding amounts of REAL money exchanged each day - $531,471 in the 24 hours preceding this post.

How does this happen? I’m really not sure – hence the reason I don’t live in Silicon Valley. But people are taking notice. Companies are opening businesses, artists are staging concerts and politicians are holding interviews in the digital domain. Also of interest, Congress is trying to figure out if it should regulate, track and tax the exchange of money in this virtual community.

How does Second Life benefit marketers? I’m really not sure – but I intend to find out! Keep your eyes open for the Arketi avatar and our office in Second Life. And for you die-hard readers of this blog, yes, I intend to bring my mustard-yellow wall with me to the virtual world!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Rise of Democrats...Will It Impact The Marketing Industry?

Well, who knows...some say "yes, and the first 100 hours will be painful"...others suggest it will be "more of the same." It could mean more oversight of some industries (i.e., pharma and energy) and it might bring discussions of the ad tax or media ownership (and let's be honest discussion on topics is not bad, if it's fair and balanced -- yes Brian I used those words just to make you read this twice).

I am not willing or able to make any predictions regarding the impact of the Democrats' sweep, but here are what other are saying:

Democrats Set Sights on Drug Ads and Media Ownership (Ad Age)
Election Day Post-Mortem For Marketers (MediaPost)
Election FalloutAt-A-Glance (MediaPost)