WeEveWorld Online

Alternative title: Wee’s in Space

What the heck! WeeWorld and Eve Online! Maybe they’ve been reading this post

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Brands in virtual worlds. A definitive list (virtually)

A little while ago we started tracking brands in virtual worlds. Here’s our latest take on this activity – screenshots of brands and companies inside virtual worlds. Of course, Second Life plays a major role here, but we’ve now got some more recent examples from WeeWorld, Playstation Home, Football Superstars, Stardoll and a few more (and we’ll be adding in some more examples pretty soon). Click-away…

Second Life rings the changes with Avaline

Linden Labannounced mid-week that its AvaLine: Dial an Avatar service completed its beta program (launched in May) and is now available for subscriptions online. It claims that use of the AvaLine application “makes it easier than ever to connect with the real world.” For 1,200 Linden Dollars per month, a Resident can sign-up for the service to call and receive calls from anyone in the world, given that the Resident is inworld. The application will also be offering a voicemail service (price to be announced) to subscribers.

Taka Linden, SL’s new product and business manager of communication services, explains that the service allows SL Residents to take calls while staying immersed in the virtual world without having to manage an independent application – it’s built directly into SL. Taka clarified how the AvaLine works in his blog:

“To talk with a Resident, a caller simply dials a nearby local access number (available in more than 40 international cities), and enters the Resident’s personal connection code. If the Resident is online and accepts the call, the two parties can begin talking immediately, just as on a regular phone call or inworld voice chat. If the Resident is not inworld or declines the call, the caller may leave a voicemail message that the Resident will receive as an email attachment. The caller pays only what’s required to connect to the local number, and the Resident pays only the flat-rate AvaLine subscription fee, regardless of the geographic distance between the parties, the number of calls received, or the number of minutes used.”

Sounds like Linden Lab is working hard to address the alternatives of inworld communication platforms. Will it work given the global popularity of Skype? Maybe not, but it might be a solution to chopped off IM messages commonly noted in community forums.

More Avaline discussion over on Massively.

Intel Labs and Fashion Research Institute Collaborate

Intel Labs and the Fashion Research Institute (FRI) have entered into a new research collaboration that will help fashion designers make more efficient usage of virtual worlds.

The Fashion Research Institute is providing visual content to aid Intel’s 3D Internet research, while Intel supplies the technology. Shenlei Winker, CEO of FRI, explains in his blog that “this collaboration is currently scheduled to run for a year, during which time FRI will provide increasingly complex, highly detailed, large scale (beautiful) designs which will be showcased in Science Sim with hosting and hardware provided by Intel Corporation.”

FRI is interested in virtual worlds because the fashion industry, which uses soft consumer goods, does not use 3D computer aided design tools used in the durable goods industry. Designing clothing and fashion accessories, real-life 3D objects, are more accurately displayed with 3D sketches rather than 2D sketches. The advantage of using a 3D environment, such as a virtual world, in design concepts will reduce errors when replicating, manufacturing, and producing the design.

Furthermore, fashion designers and manufacturers can greatly reduce environmental waste as well as time by designing and re-creating prototypes in virtual worlds. One example is that designs can be reviewed simultaneously by designers and manufactures on different sides of the globe.

Updated Kids, Tweens and Teens in Virtual Worlds report

32 pages of virtual goodness are contained within our latest report on Kids, Tweens and Teens (KT&T) in virtual worlds.

Included in the report are overviews of many worlds in the sector as well as strategies for success for both marketers wishing to take their brands in-world as well as companies considering developing worlds for these demographics.

Order the case study here. Continue reading “Updated Kids, Tweens and Teens in Virtual Worlds report” »

Where in the world is everyone?

Just a little map showing the head office locations of companies operating virtual worlds. Here’s the direct link for the map URL.

100 Rules of Second Life

This made me smile. Prad Prathivi over on the Metaversally Speaking blog has a list of 100 Rules of Second Life. Here’s the first 50 and second 50. Arguably NSFW.

My favourites:

2. If her breasts are bigger than your head, shes a man in RL.

17. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers.

37. If youve been DJing to an empty room for over an hour, its probably time to go home. Continue reading “100 Rules of Second Life” »

Predictions for 2009: Real world brands

The success of real world brands such as Mattel, Buildabearville and Disney creating virtual worlds coupled with pending launches from Lego and others confirms our believe in high growth potential for this category. Here’s a link to a press release from Mattel specifically about their digital plans in 2009.

Companies with strong real-world brands and of course existing brand awareness and customer bases have a major advantage over pure-play virtual worlds in the KT&T space.

Continue reading “Predictions for 2009: Real world brands” »

The Mattel Digital Network

Mattel announced today at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Kids@Play Summit that it will be transforming the companys online strategy from brand Web site platform to interactive programming and content provider. The aggressive initiative is called the Mattel Digital Network, a new online destination for kids and families that is being driven by the companys experience and observations about how kids play today. The Network is a gateway to a world of open-ended online play ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú it will be user-focused and will become the portal to Mattels powerhouse brands, such as Barbie?ǬÆ, Hot Wheels?ǬÆ, Matchbox?Ç¬Æ and Radica?ǬÆ.

Todays kids don’t recognize technology, they recognize magic that engaging play experiences deliver, said Chuck Scothon, General Manager and Senior Vice President Mattel Digital Network. Mattel is known for providing magical play experiences through traditional toys, and now with the launch of the Mattel Digital Network, we extend our great play experiences into the digital space for kids of all ages.

The network is being created with a simple, defining touchstone – that it will be the place where the kid in all of us comes to play. Even its name, the Mattel Digital Network, was thoroughly dissected. More specifically, it is truly an all-brand initiative (Mattel), ensures a continued focus specifically on the space (Digital), and requires an ongoing commitment to keeping both the content and each target audience – from kids to tweens and teens to adults and collectors ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú in mind when building their online experience (Network).

Continue reading “The Mattel Digital Network” »

November marketing news

Come on in. Digital Dollhouse opens the door to a brand-new ?¢‚ǨÀúold type of fun. Offering a brand new world of fun, charm and creativity, Digital Dollhouse will open its doors today. Aimed at girls of all ages, Digital Dollhouse is an online ?¢‚ǨÀúPlayspace enabling children to combine the traditional dollhouse play with the latest technologies associated with immersive communities and creativity.

Habbo Global Youth Survey – Tri-country analysis.So, the full Habbo report is here and shown below is comparative data for the UK, Spain and Germany.

GAXs Working Worlds 3.0?¢‚Ǩ¬? VWs Job Fair.Most subscribers to our K Zero blog, virtual worlds residents and professionals alike, will know something of the challenges facing agencies in implementing successful in-world campaigns for real world clients, even when brand and product line seem optimally suited.

Black holes in the VW universe.In the virtual worlds universe we see new planets created all the time, but not so many disappearing. Following this analogy, black holes (closed/closing VWs) are now shown in the K Zero universe chart.

Clan shopping with Far Cry 2.Gaming isnt really a sector we cover here (although Im a gamer, well, a COD nut), but every once and while something creative hits the inbox.

Metanomics show video.Heres the link to the Metanomics show (Unpredictable Spaces) from earlier this week.

Running the numbers: Habbo UK.As part of the Global Habbo Youth Survey, 58,500 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 18 from 31 countries were questioned in terms of their profiles and usage patterns. The research examines the interests, values, attitudes and media habits. These reports are compiled into a report that helps build understanding both for Habbo and for potential brands considering entrance.

IMVU goes musical.Not content with having the worlds largest set of virtual items, IMVU has decided to up the ante and introduce a social music aspect to their virtual world.

Revolution Magazine features K Zero.The November edition of Revolution Magazine carries a three page article this month on marketing in virtual worlds. Part of the Masterclass series, Im one of the panel along with Ian Hughes (IBM / Eightbar) and Alistair Williams (Habbo UK).

Digital Dollhouse media pack now available.For brands and organisations interested in developing revenue streams and brand marketing campaigns from virtual goods, K Zero has developed a media pack explaining the benefits of Digital Dollhouse.

Socnet data.Its all about networking right!

Running the numbers: Habbo Spain.Following on from this post showing the Global Habbo Youth Survey for UK members, below is Spain. Some interesting nuances are coming out. And on a related note, heres some insight into Spanish Second Life residents from last year.

Looking back to look forward: 20 trends defining virtual worlds in 2007. Just over a year ago Techdigest did a great job of live-blogging the Virtual Worlds Forum event in London. They also came up with a list of 20 trends defining virtual worlds in 2007. Now then, a year is a long long time in the virtual worlds space so lets go back and look at these predictions and see whats happened a year later.

K Zero in The Guardian.The rise and rise of virtual worlds. From virtual cities to virtual conferences and football matches, online worlds are the way of the future.

K Zero in The Guardian

The rise and rise of virtual worlds. From virtual cities to virtual conferences and football matches, online worlds are the way of the future. Nov 14, 2008.

Full article here.

Socnet data

It’s all about networking right!

Here’s some of my socnet data:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Slideshare

Flickr

Mycosm beta screenshots

Here’s some screenshots from Mycosm for anyone who didn’t see the demo’s in LA and London recently.

Continue reading “Mycosm beta screenshots” »

October marketing news

Published a little early but I’mtravelingfor the next two weeks.

Introducing the Myrl Index:Since entering open beta about a month ago, Myrl is going from strength to strength, now with 19 different virtual worlds integrated.Part of the product roadmap here is to include registration APIs for all worlds within the Myrl framework. In the meantime, visitors to Myrl wanting to join new virtual worlds can click through directly to the respective registration pages….

Twinity on the Beeb:A nice overview video plus some excellent coverage of Twinity, from the BBC News Technology site…

Growing Virtual Worlds. The race is on and heres the track:Over the last few months the focus has been primarily on the volume of new virtual worlds being launched into the marketplace. Of course, this is great for competition and provides choices for the consumers/users, but it makes the challenge of acquiring sign-ups just that ?¢‚ǨÀúlittle bit harder…

Myrl featured by the BBC:Awareness of K Zero client Myrl continues to grow. The BBC caught up with CEO Francesco DOrazio at the VWF Unconference yesterday to get an insight into the social gateway for avatars. …

Recent/current project round-up:?¢‚ǨÀúAh K Zero, the people that do they graphs is how were usually greeted when we meet people around the virtual worlds space. Sure, we do graphs and interesting stuff like that, but I thought it would be useful to go into a little detail on some of the projects weve been working on lately to demonstrate the breadth of our services….

Establishing metrics – key performance measurement for virtual worlds and MMOs:The establishing metrics workshop is ideal for marketers considering entrance in the virtual worlds space as well as those building and operating VW. The session will lay out the current VW universe from a demographic and target market perspective to provide a framework for discussion….

Presentation from Virtual Worlds London:Fresh from the stage, heres the presentation Ive just delivered in the Numbers and Growth panel from Virtual Worlds London. Ill be expanding on all of these points (for age-segmented growth areas and market issues) in posts this week….

Avatart:Sticking with the Italian theme, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Florence is running a Festival of Creativity from Oct 21 – Jan 7…

Cross-world gaming explained:K Zero client Myrl has a plan – to create a cross-world gaming platform enabling multiple VWs, avatars, mobile devices and even brands to come together to create the next phase of metaverse entertainment….

Forbes says: A ?¢‚ǨÀúVirtual Escape From Economic Pain:The Dow plummeted below 9,000 points to a five-year low Thursday. Worldwide, economies are slowing and consumers are worried sick about their future. Despite all the doom and gloom, one tiny sector is offering a glimmer of hope: virtual worlds?¢‚ǨÀú, says Forbes in a recent article….

The FT says: Virtual goods networks could rival ads:Nice little article from the FT about how virtual goods revenues could offset online advertising. My view is that it isnt about offsetting revenues in turbulent times – virtual goods will in time be a dominant income stream for brands and companies regardless of the economic situation. A view shared Im sure by Viximo, referenced in the article….

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 5 to 15:Following the Virtual Worlds London Expo earlier this week, as promised Im going into greater detail in terms of offering my thoughts on growth areas….

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 15 to 25:The 15 to 25 year old segment is nowhere near as hectic as the 5 to 15 space in terms of virtual worlds but nevertheless contains companies with impressive user numbers – IMVU and Gaia being great examples…

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 25+:Rounding off this series of expanding on the points from the VW London presentation, heres the potential growth areas in the 25+ age group. ….

Virtual worlds logos:After a long week of presenting, discussing and predicting, on a much lighter note, here are the logos for a range of virtual worlds….

Flashback – the Second Life brand map:Remember the days when brands were rushing into Second Life? Seems like a very long time ago.and of course, we tracked it…

Augmented reality video round-up:Frosties with added calcium and adverts….

Mobile devices: the red herring or the diamond in the rough?:Using mobile devices to access virtual worlds pops up every now and again on the radar. For example companies like Vollee and Sun have developed applications allowing Second Life on a phone. Thats all well and good but.

Avatart

Sticking with the Italian theme, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Florence is running a Festival of Creativity from Oct 21 – Jan 7.

What’s interesting here is that part of this festival is focussing on art created in, or using imagery from virtual worlds for their Virtual Renaissance section.

‘The exhibit, organized by Fondazione Sistema Toscana, is the brainchild of curator Mario Gerosa, a journalist and author of books on virtual realitiesVirtual Renaissance seeks to create a cultural contrast between the ethnography, anthropology and creative artifacts of primordiality, and the contemporary, artistic avantgarde active in social media and the virtual world.

The aim is to bring these virtual/digital experiences into the real world, identifying the more significant examples of artistic expression in Second Life. Florence is an ideal location for an exhibit of this new Renaissance, considering its role as the birthplace of the first, great Renaissance and the staging ground of some of the most important revolutions in the history of art.’.

More info here.

Twinity on the Beeb

A nice overview video plus some excellent coverage of Twinity, from the BBC News Technology site. Read more about Mirror Worlds here.

VWF London Cancelled! : Meetings

Anyone who was planning to attend VWF London probably knows by now that the event has been cancelled.

I’ll still be in London Monday and Tuesday so (if you’ve come in from out of town) let me know if you’d like to meet up. nic @ kzero .co .uk

?جø¬?

September marketing news

The updated Universe graph for Q3 2008.Weve updated the Universe graph showing total registered accounts for the virtual worlds sector. New data included relates to Q3 2008.

Evolving Business Models in MMOs.An extract from a post published on Free to Play – related to MMOs but nevertheless relevant to virtual worlds and this post about Premium Subscriptions.

Lowering the Premium Subscription barrier.The majority of virtual worlds in the KT&T space rely on the premium subscription model. A straightforward enough concept – offer a basic experience of the platform for free and then incentivise members to ?¢‚ǨÀúpay for more.

Weve been Wordled.Wordle is a simple little app that pulls out popular keywords from websites and documents. Paste it in and bang – a neat visualisation that gets the ?¢‚ǨÀúgist across.

Parental email confirmations..an important earth-shatteringly vital part of the sign-up process for KT virtual worlds.

Things that make you go ?¢‚ǨÀúM.This can be filed under ?¢‚ǨÀúmore interesting than actually useful, unless that is, youre currently developing a new brand name for a virtual world. The graph below shows the first letter of the brand name for 155 virtual worlds.

The future of gaming – PS9.Hitting the shelves senses in 2020? Home might have launched by then as well.

AR in-car videogame.Not so good in the dark, but definitely one for the kids on a long journey.

The Relevance of Relevance. Winners and losers in the kids VW space.As the dust settles on the LA expo, Im thinking back to many of the discussions I had about the kids and tween virtual worlds space. The crux of these discussions, as they usually tend to, boiled down to….

The updated Radar graph for Q3 2008.Today weve released the updated graphs showing virtual worlds by sector. Of course, theres some overlap between sectors but its our best attempt to categorise worlds into groups. The usage policy is the same as for the Universe analysis.

Young and old drive gaming growth for females.A recent study released by comScore reveals some interesting trends in the online gaming sector. Specifically looking at females, growth by age band grew most in the 12-17 and 55-64 groups. Overall growth was up 27% year on year from August 2007, representing almost 43m visitors to gaming sites.

Philip Rosedale: Mainstreaming Virtual Worlds and Positioning Linden Lab.Robert Bloomfield from Metanomics recently sat down with Philip Rosedale to chew the cud over several of the live issues facing both Linden Lab and the virtual worlds sector as a whole. Robert has asked me to comment on a specific extract from the interview relating to Mainstreaming Virtual Worlds and Positioning Linden Lab. Heres the extract with my thoughts/comments in stages:

Linden Lab: Investor strategies and profitability.Another thread from Robert Bloomfields interview with Philip Rosedale covered the investment side of things – interesting insight for operators who have recently embarked on their own virtual journeys.

You must be having a graph.Its amazing what you can do with lines and circles.

Metabrand for auction on eBay.Ive talked before about Phat Cats, the highly popular Jazz club in Second Life. Its popularity highlights the role of music and socialising in virtual worlds as well as the importance and relevance of genre-based locations.

Superstruct – alternative reality forecasting.Created by the Institute for the Future (such a cool name), Superstruct is a MMO-type alternative reality forecasting game. The real and virtual worlds are tied together, meshed together by a narrative and sequence of events. Orders and instructions are given online but players have to execute them in the real world.

Linden Lab: Investor strategies and profitability

Another thread from Robert Bloomfield’s interview with Philip Rosedale covered the investment side of things – interesting insight for operators who have recently embarked on their own virtual journeys. An extract is below (with the full piece here) and Christian Renaud’s thoughts over on the Technology Intelligence Group blog are just a click away here.

PHILIP ROSEDALE: for all the excitement around Second Life, this has been a company thats been well financed. Everythings been done in a simple straightforward way. Interests have been well aligned all the way along. In other words, all the investors have had a very similar view of what we were doing, what the longevity of the project was, what kind of metrics and outcomes we were looking for. You know, its been a pretty comfortable process. As a technology entrepreneur, actually I hadnt been on any other technology company boards in a startup sense. But I think the process weve gone through over the last… Well, we raised our first round of venture investment in March of 2001, and I think from then to now it has really been a pretty friendly environment. Weve had our ups and down, but…

Continue reading “Linden Lab: Investor strategies and profitability” »

We’ve been Wordled

Wordle is a simple little app that pulls out popular keywords from websites and documents. Paste it in and bang – a neat visualisation that gets the ‘gist’ across.

Here’s what comes out after throwing the 7 Point Plan for Marketing in Virtual Worlds into Wordle.

And here’s the same for the Kids, Tweens and Teens case study.

Things that make you go ‘M’

This can be filed under ‘more interesting than actually useful’, unless that is, you’re currently developing a new brand name for a virtual world. The graph below shows the first letter of the brand name for 155 virtual worlds.

August marketing news

Managing your brand in virtual worlds:How do brand managers and marketers manage their brands in virtual worlds?

And heres the parody for Surface:Inevitable, but still funny.

Microsoft Surface in action:It must be cool gadget today and they dont come much larger than the Micosoft Surface – a touch sensitive ?¢‚ǨÀútable integrating multi-media applications and well, anything you can think of. Heres some videos.

Great (and simple) examples of Augmented Reality:Over on thepetitinventionblog, theres exactly that – some great visuals of simple (I use that termcomparatively) AR in action. If youre interested in AR, head over to the site,here. AR is actually quite a difficult subject to explain using words alone, and you know us, we like pictures.

Metanomically speaking:Ive been asked to appear in the last session (is that the end of season finale?) of Metanomics

Flamed and Shamed: Kim Hart, a Washington Post writer has written aninteresting articleabout moderation in virtual worlds – a crucial element to manage for KT&T worlds, but applicable to all ages.

Thematistico! Second Life:In the first of this series we looked at the search term Virtual Worlds. Now its time to focus in onto specific virtual worlds and the best place to start is probably Second Life.

The interactive virtual music video:The Radiohead song ?¢‚ǨÀúHouse of Cards directed by James Frost is rather interesting. Basically, in an image driven entirely by data..

Mapping the Virtual Worlds. Thematistico!:Thematic maps are lovely tools for showing data in an easy fashion – and you know us K Zero folks lovepretty graphs.

It would cost a billion to take on WoW:Monumental Gamesis the developer company working withCybersportsto create Football Superstars. GamesIndustry.biz iscarrying a storytodayquoting Monumental CEO Rik Alexander explaining the strategic move away from fantasy-led MMOs and towards a football-themed ?¢‚ǨÀúvertical world.

Marketing strategies in virtual worlds: The 7 Points:Back in 2006 K Zero released the first ever strategic framework for companies wishing to deploy marketing into virtual worlds – The 7 Point Plan.

Latest Football Superstars video:Football Superstarsis currently in closed beta. Heres the latest video. The latest marketing news for FS ishere.

42 worlds. 7 minutes. The 2008 Metaverse Tour:Gary Hayes over onPersonalizedMedia.comhas put together a nice video showing a selection of virtual worlds (and MMOs) in the market.

The Explorers updated. Marketing across different virtual worlds:Over the next few months were going to an uplift in brands and companies marketing across a range of virtual worlds. Were seeing a rise in companies allocating marketing budgets into the virtual worlds space primarily from brands who have been watching the space for a while and deciding nows (or pretty soon) the time to engage.

VW Forum podcast:Yesterday I was interviewed by Huw Leslie fromVW Worlds Forumin the first of a series of podcasts leading up to their conference. The discussion focused on the marketingopportunitiesavailablein virtual worlds and an assessment of the ever evolving sector. Ill also be running aworkshopon metrics and ROI at the conference in October.

Photosynth – a fast track to creating mirror worlds?:Photosynth, from Microsoft is an emerging application that stitches together individual photographs to create anavigabledigitalenvironment. It was demod first at the TED conference last year using Flickr photos of Notre Dame cathedral.

Hints of the (augmented reality) future: HP TV ads:Heres a near complete set of the recentish ?¢‚ǨÀúThe Computer is Personal Again TV ads from HP. A glimpse into the potential of augmented reality.

Virtual pets on your real world desktop:Sony EyePet is a toy 2.0 application recently showcased at theLeipzig Game Conference in Germany. Its scheduled for release towards the back-end of 2009.

Connecting virtual worlds with Myrl:Myrl is now open beta and accepting new member registrations.Taking and leveragin a social-networking approach to linking up the users of virtual worlds, London-basedMyrl(a K Zero client) allows people to link their various virtual world avatar profiles and activities together. Myrl members can also vote (or Myrl) for their favourite places in virtual worlds as well as events, news and other items.

SL just about to hit 15m reg accounts:But more than likely has broken through 15m due to this snapshot being pulled from the 3rd.

Can you see me now?:Augmented reality gaming hits the streets.For nowthey may be considered geeks, but theyrefitgeeks.

A third life for marketing in virtual worlds:?¢‚ǨÀúThe Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) is an opportunity for people of all interests to learn about the many activities within the metaverse. The SLCC is a volunteer ran and managed convention, headed by the members of The Future United, Inc, a volunteer, non-profit 501.c.3 organization aimed at presenting avenues for people to discuss, explore, and learn about the technologies of virtual worlds.

Managing your brand in virtual worlds

How do brand managers and marketers manage their brands in virtual worlds? The updated K Zero report, ‘The 5 Rules of Virtual Brand Management’ explains the options available to marketers when faced with virtual environments allowing user generated content. It’s free and available here.

The case study includes the following companies:

Adidas, Oakley, Von Dutch, F1, Apple, Mercedes Benz, Coca-Cola, Pontiac, NBA, Premier League.

Thematistico! Second Life

In the first of this series we looked at the search term “Virtual Worlds“. Now it’s time to focus in onto specific virtual worlds and the best place to start is probably Second Life.

The graph shown right presents the Google Insights evaluation of geographical interest in this search time, and it tells an interesting (if not completely unsurprising) story.

A slow and steady gradual increase in searches from 2004 through to 2006 then basically an explosion in searches coming into 2007. The two peaks in early/mid 2007 correspond to a time period which saw the most brands enter Second Life. And, the overall shape is not a million miles away from the Gartner Hype Curve – dovetailing into the media frenzy witnessed over this period. But, with every rise comes a fall , as shown in the graph from mid 2007 onwards.

From a geographical perspective, the graph left shows search popularity in 2006. The Netherlands comes out on top, followed closely by Ireland. Dutch brands and companies were one of the quickest to move into Second Life and the resident population also moved in quickly. On an overall basis, every continent apart from Africa was getting interested in SL in 2006.

Continue reading “Thematistico! Second Life” »

“It would cost a billion to take on WoW”

Monumental Games is the developer company working with Cybersports to create Football Superstars. GamesIndustry.biz is carrying a storytodayquoting Monumental CEO Rik Alexander explaining the strategic move away from fantasy-led MMO’s and towards a football-themed ‘vertical world’.

Extract:

Continue reading ““It would cost a billion to take on WoW”” »

July marketing news: part 2

…Which is actually June marketing news, which I forgot to post a month ago.

LEGO uses UGC for new Universe logo:LEGOuniverse isscheduledfor release sometime late 2009 but planning for the upcoming MMOG (Legos positioning, rather than a virtual world) appears well thought-out and geared well towards raising awareness.

Virtual world feature-sets and positioning: new report coming soon:A new K Zero report will be available shortly. Covering existing virtual worlds and those in development, this report will explain and assess…

Twinity – What is it good for? Asks the Metaverse Journal:Australian-based virtual worlds news siteThe Metaverse Journalhas taken a look at German-based virtual worldTwinityand doesnt really like what it sees.

Augmented reality and dynamic contextualisation:Folks from the Departments of Advertising and Computer Science at Michigan State University have recently published apaperrelating to augmented reality (learn about theMETLAB). The paper titled ?¢‚ǨÀúIncreasing Sales in Supermarkets via Real-Time Information explains a leading-edge idea conceptualised by Wei Zhu, Charles Owen, Hairong Li and Joo-Hyun Lee, called the PromoPad.

Geotagging the real-world:As seen on Google Maps

H&M brings a metabrand to life:Fashion retail companyH&Mhas brought virtual clothing in the real-world via a campaign deployed intoThe Sims 2. This metabrand move was prompted byThe Sims 2 H&M Fashion Runwaycompetition conducted over the summer of 2007.

And speaking of Mirror Worlds, heres Moondus:Moondusis a mirror world platform created by the folks behind Virtual Italian Themeparks. Seems theyve switched focus a little away from Second Life. FAQs are always a good way to understand how companys view their proposition.

Near intro video and background:Targeting an older audience than most virtual worlds at present, London-basedNearis prepping for launch. Near can be classified as a mirror world – a digital space modeled on real world places, in the first instance, surprise surprise, London.

Beg, Borrow or Steal? What can brands do in virtual worlds?:To the casual observer, during 2007, there was only one option for brands wanting to move into virtual worlds – Second Life. It still amazes me today how many totally unsuitable companies (based on product/service offering and target markets) actually set-up there.

Adweek: Movie Studios Expand Into Virtual Web Worlds:With fewer bodies in movie theaters and consumers migrating en masse to digital formats, Hollywood studios are understandably keen to reach their market in new, hopefully more effective ways. Although virtual worlds have a spotty record so far, some studios clearly see great potential in these environments for both promotion and distribution of their output.

Sports sector intel:Sports virtual worlds (examples of ?¢‚ǨÀúVertical Worlds?¢‚ǨÀú) are a niche I believe will becomeincreasinglypopular. Why? Two main reasons – relevance and gaming. Heres the latest intel in this sector.

Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds with Virtual Greats:The virtual goods sector is primed for major growth due to the increased attention given by real world brands and of course the uplift in virtual world populations. – recent estimates value the virtual goods sector at $1.5bn.

No brand is an island:No brand is an island. In metaphoric terms in the real world, of course, no brand or organisation can afford to be an island.

Some things are better left 2D:One thing I learned pretty quickly by observing some of the marketing and tech-led tactics in Second Life was that some things are better left on websites rather than put into virtual world.

The World is Not Enough:Ive been to Niagara Falls. It was great for about 20 minutes. Then Ileft.

2009, the year of the.:But what about 2009? The great thing about virtual worlds is that its so hard to figure out whats going to happen next. So what will 2009 be the year of? Heres a few ideas on where the VC funding will be directed.

Incentivising P2P virtual worlds

I don’t tend to stray too far into the technical or back-end aspects of virtual worlds because, well, I’m not that clever, but reading about developments in peer-to-peer virtual worlds got me thinking.

P2P virtual worlds make a lot of sense. After all, a major direct cost associated with managing a base of active virtual world members is server costs. These ‘farms’ are typically centralised close to the HQ’s of the operators and rise in attributing cost as the overall base of active grows.

So, the problem for virtual world operators in this scenario is that they have to pay to allow non-paying members to access the world. Now sure, this comes with the territory of running any type of online business model focused on user bases but it should really focus the operators on developing CRM programmes to convert non-paying into paying subs. Easy said that done of course.

Continue reading “Incentivising P2P virtual worlds” »

Vizwoz: 60k reg accounts and some movie deals

NMA reports today that Vizwoz has signed content partnership deals with 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Disney and Universal.

Continue reading “Vizwoz: 60k reg accounts and some movie deals” »

10 things you need in a desert

10 things you need in a desert‘ was strangely a search engine referral to the K Zero website recently – probably a combination of the posts ‘10 things you need to know about Google Lively‘ and a reference to branded desert islands in the post ‘No brand is an island‘. I think water, air conditioning and a helicopter would be useful personally.

This got me thinking about drilling down into some of the more interesting searches people made which resulted in visiting the K Zero website. Here’s a small selection……

augmented reality toy‘: Now that’s a nice idea – bring real world toys to life by applying overlaid augmentation.

free teen virtual worlds games no download‘: Which sums up virtually all the offerings in the market. It needs to be free and easy to join. Continue reading “10 things you need in a desert” »

10 things you need to know about Google Lively

1. Google Lively is browser-based

Lively is accessed via a downloadable plug-in and then runs in the browser. It’s currently PC only with plans for a Mac version soon.


2. It’s a lot like IMVU

The virtual environment is consisted of rooms (max 20 people per room) with a supportingcatalogueof related accessories for avatars and furnishings, similar to IMVU. Interestingly, Google’s Head of 3D Operations (Mel Guymon) was actually the fifth co-founder of IMVU and then left to join Google.


3. You can embed rooms into webpages

Which is a nice feature and starting to be a feature in other worlds. This importantly is a key bridge into social networks.

Continue reading “10 things you need to know about Google Lively” »

Google launches Lively virtual world

Google has launched an open beta virtual world called Lively.

It’s a small downloadable client linked to the browser targeting (as per the avatar design) mid to late teens and has a feel of IMVU about it. The world is comprised of rooms and there’s an existing inventory of avatar accessories.

Casual gaming plays a role to as is common in most new virtual worlds. Here’s some screenshots and further commentary on VWN.

Continue reading “Google launches Lively virtual world” »

Avacars

Another day, another new virtual world pops up, or drives up in this instance.

Coming this Autumn is a virtual world calledRevnjenz, promising a virtual community of street racing. Taking a note from Barbie Girl’s original business model of entrance via a real-world purchase,Revnjenz is accessible only via a secret code obtained by buying a real-world toy car.

Continue reading “Avacars” »

Twinity – What is it good for? Asks the Metaverse Journal

Australian-based virtual worlds news site The Metaverse Journal has taken a look at German-based virtual world Twinity and doesn’t really like what it sees….

Twinity ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú the virtual world that mashes up the real with the virtual world, proclaims their website. However, Twinity is no more of a mashup of the real and virtual worlds than any other virtual world. Its a world of real people meeting other real people, filled with real digital content, all set against a backdrop of digital representations of real places and places that could exist in real life. Whats new here, if anything, and where might Twinity fit in the greater scheme of things?

The article goes on to say… Continue reading “Twinity – What is it good for? Asks the Metaverse Journal” »

Adweek: Movie Studios Expand Into Virtual Web Worlds

The pennies are starting to drop…..

With fewer bodies in movie theaters and consumers migrating en masse to digital formats, Hollywood studios are understandably keen to reach their market in new, hopefully more effective ways. Although virtual worlds have a spotty record so far, some studios clearly see great potential in these environments for both promotion and distribution of their output.

In April, Viacom’s Paramount Digital Entertainment signed a partnership agreement with Makena Technologies, making thousands of movie clips from the Paramount movie library available on There.com, an online virtual world. Visitors who purchase the clips can use them to communicate with others by having their avatar “speak” lines from movies while the actual clip plays in a small window. Links allow users to purchase DVDs of the featured movies.

Sony and Warner Bros. have both struck deals with Gaia Online, a hybrid virtual world and social network. The deals make available selected television programs from Sony’s library and films from the Warner Bros. archive. The agreements also saw Sony and Warner Bros. put some money into Gaia. A representative from Time Warner, the parent of Warner Bros., said the move falls in line with company strategy: to invest in companies with “great potential.”..

Full article over on Adweek, here.

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Lesson 3: No brand is an island

No brand is an island. In metaphoric terms in the real world, of course, no brand or organisation can afford to be an island.

In other words, almost by definition, brands in any market place have to have an outward personality in tune with their customers and prospects as opposed to having an isolationist character. Why? Because companies want relationships with their customers and to have a relationship, the attitude and tone of a brand combined with the levels of service and touchpoint experiences combine together to form an opinion and perception in the minds of their stakeholders.

So how does this translate into a metaverse environment?

On a literal basis, 84.3% of the real world brands in Second Life decided to start their virtual world existence on a dedicated island as opposed to locating on the mainland or third-party venue.

Continue reading “Lesson 3: No brand is an island” »

Lesson 2: Some things are better left 2D

Or in other words, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

One thing I learned pretty quickly by observing some of the marketing and tech-led tactics in Second Life was that some things are better left on websites rather than put into virtual worlds.

There was an assumption that taking an image created initially for a webpage and placing it into a 3D space would magically create an engaging feature, a 2 plus 2 equals 5 scenario. Unfortunately not.

Forays into virtual shopping have proved this point. What’s easier? Navigated an avatar down a narrow shopping aisle and then attempting to zoom into a book cover on a shelf and get the right angle and perspective to actually read it OR viewing a tiled arrangement of the same book covers on a webpage?

Why put Twitter feeds into an object in SL when it’s quicker and easier just to go to Twitter?

Don’t build a virtual showroom for your products and then import the pages of your supporting brochure. If someone really wants to read more then give them the option to go to the webpage.

Some things just don’t translate from 2D into 3D.

Lesson 3: No brand is an island

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Lesson 1: The World is Not Enough

I’ve been to Niagara Falls. It was great for about 20 minutes. Then I left.

I left because I got it – I took in and admired the scenery and then left because there was nothing else to do.

I think this applies to a lot of the virtual worlds I’ve visited. Sure, they might have looked great but once I’d got a handle on the visual elements of the environment I got bored and left. And this probably explained why there were not many other people there whilst I was – because they thought the same thing.

This may be an explanation why Playstation Home has been in beta so long – it looks great but there’s nothing to do. And this probably explains why Sony is working hard to add in more experience and functionality.

But what sorts of things keep people retained and engaged in virtual worlds?

Well, people tend to attract people (crowd effect) but that’s more of an output than an input. Stimulation is important I think – things to do in-world that interest or stimulate people. This might be games for certain demographics, entertainment for some and even education for others. But fundamentally there needs to be relevance and a shared interest. This relevance comes from defining the wants and needs from the target market that world is going after – no single world can appeal to everyone.

Lesson 2: Some things are better left 2D

Connected London

Om Malik over on Gigaom is referencing a recent Ofcom report(The Nations & Regions Communications Market 2008 May) in the story, ‘In London, a Glimpse of a Broadband Future’.It’sabout the state of connectivity in London and the UK. Full article is here.

Snapshot:

In London:

* 40 percent of people watch TV or video content online.

* 20 percent make VoIP calls.

* 32 percent are using their mobile phones to access the Internet.

* 19 percent listen to audio content on their mobiles.

What’s next? Maybe a virtual London.

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Global Kids Inc brings worlds together

Taken from the press release:

On March 20, 2008, spearheaded by Global Kids, Inc., a unique collaboration amongst virtual worlds, which combined report audiences of over 10 million users, streamed live from the Waldorf Astoria where Kofi Annan received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations first award for international justice. While Annan spoke before a live audience of 1,200 people inNew York City, hundreds more watched and discussed the live speech across four virtual world communities, creating the largest massively multiworld simulcast to date.

At events coordinated by Global Kids, Inc. within There.com, Whyville, Second Life and Teen Second Life,virtual world residents, both teens and adults, viewed the MacArthur Foundation awards ceremony in which Mr. Kofi Annan received the first MacArthur International Justice Award of $500,000 to be distributed to a non-profit of his choice. During the live presentation, the virtual audiences, led by Global Kids staff with support from the virtual worlds companies Makena (There.com), Numedeon (Whyville), and Linden Lab (Second Life), engaged in vigorous discussion and debate.

A demonstration video can be viewed at:http://youtube.com/watch?v=tEtDEdyf3bMand samples of the teen responses can be read at:http://tinyurl.com/6bn62x.

This unique collaboration among some of the largest teen-oriented virtual worlds emphasizes the importance of using virtual worlds for education and civic engagement, said Global Kids Online Leadership Director, Barry Joseph. It was inspiring to be part of such a unique collaboration with such amazing partners.

Virtual worlds continue to be used for commercial purposes and the platform must not be overlooked for education as well, said Michael Wilson, CEO of Makena Technologies. We are proud to support Global Kids and help to promote the work they are doing to make a difference for urban youth throughout the country.

We are continually amazed at the energy and enthusiasm our kids bring to the live events we host in Whyville, said Jen Sun, President of Numedeon. For many of them, this was the first time theyve heard about Kofi Annan. We had a lively and inspiring discussion around international justice and civic awareness.

This is exactly the type of use I envisioned when we developed what would become Second Life almost nine years ago, said Philip Rosedale, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Linden Lab. I believe virtual worlds have a responsibility to not just enhance the lives of its users but make a tangible difference in their communities and the larger society. Global Kids innovative work in Second Life, and this event in particular, serves to demonstrate how virtual worlds can be used to address real world concerns.

In April, Global Kids did it again, this time with a simulcast of a presentation by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (http://youtube.com/watch?v=iKRmP1wvsnA). These events exemplify Global Kidsrole asthe foremost nonprofit in virtual world education. Since 2005, Global Kids has leveraged the educational potential of virtual worlds to inform and involve people in pressing international and public policy issues. Global Kids brings students from its New York-based programs into the virtual worlds and conducts youth leadership programming and streams audio and video of major international events into the worlds, as well. This work is conducted in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, UNICEF, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Youth Venture, and the International Criminal Court, among others.

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Unofficial machinima: Mercedes Benz

Part of theOfficial and Unofficial machinima series

Ikea to sell virtual furniture in The Sims

The Guardian reports that Electronic Arts, producers of The Sims has announced a partnership with Ikea to allow virtual furniture to be bought in game (an example of Dynamic Retailing). From June 27, European players of Sims 2 will be able to decorate their homes with a virtual Malm Bed, Leksvik coffee table and Ektorp sofa. They’re even going as far as offering business related items as well.

Extract:

“The success of The Sims has generated a number of online communities committed to the game and eager to share content they have created inside the game,” said Nancy Smith, the EA global president for The Sims label.

“As a result, we know not only players’ passion for creating their own content but their desire to interact with brands. It’s an environment in which players like to blur the line between the digital and real world.”

The Ikea UK marketing manager, Anna Crona, added that the Sims tie-up fitted neatly with the brand’s current marketing line, that home is the most important place in the world.

“For Ikea, The Sims 2 represents a media channel. This is a great channel for us to reach young and young at heart,” Crona said.

Real world brands selling virtual versions of their products! It’ll never catch on! ;)

Best read more about Virtual Retailing here.

Other references:

Kotaku

Wired

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Ambling in Ambling: Boats, power, cars and speakers

Alesiter Kronos continues his relentless quest of finding the latest companies in SL on the Ambling in Second Life blog. Here’s the latest from Al.

Korea International Boat Show:TheKorea International Boat Showwill be held in the atomic world in mid-June at Jeonggok Marina in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province. It will be one of the largest marine festivals of its kind in Asia and will provide a focus for the rapidly emerging consumer base in Korea, as well as nearby China and Japan.In April Gyeonggi Province opened a sim in Second Life -Gyeonggido- to promote the boat show and to help develop the local marine leisure industry.Second Life residents can visit facilities such as a floating dock, as well as indoor and outdoor exhibition halls, an auditorium and an event zone featuring various boats and yachts that are at their disposal. They can then try their hand at yacht racing, remote controlled speedboat racing and scuba diving.After the show and Cup are over, the island will become a themed resort allowing residents to experience marine leisure sports, such as yachting, scuba diving and so on – and promote the region.

Union Fenosa:The Second Life island is not the normal corporate showcase. Indeed, on arrival it is hard to find any indication of the company or its business. In fact, you are most likely to pitch up in the Virtual Forest, which is the dominant motif here.

Actually there are 3 forests – evergreen, deciduous and tropical. Rivers separate the forests, and at their confluence there is an island with a small wooden structure that houses the company office. Continue reading “Ambling in Ambling: Boats, power, cars and speakers” »

Sunday Times covers BDO Second Life launch

UK-based Accountancy firm BDO launched into Second Life recently (I think – more on that to follow). The Sunday TImes Business section ran the following story:

‘It’s nice to see BDO Stoy Hayward – Britain’s sixth-largest accountancy firm – taking the plunge into Second Life, the virtual world where users can soclalise, learn new skills and even start a business. Okay, most other firms set up their virtual shops over a year ago (when Second Life was still exciting) but this is an accountancy practice and we hear they can be a little conversative.

So, what delights does BDO have for you on Second Life? On BDO’s “island” you can watch three short films about, er, tex investigations. The firm’s Daniel Dover said: “These films bring humour to a serious area, demonstrating different situations where people would have benefitted from taking professional advice”. The idea, you see, is to encourage tax dodgers to call BDO before the Revenue comes a-knockin’. Has there been much interest yet? “No phone calls yet‘, a spokesperson said, “but we’re certainly hopeful.”

There’s been a launch event at the BDO venue but the biggest problem here is actually finding the location. Searching for BDO yields the following result (which probably explains the lack of phone calls):

But never fear, all you tax dodgers need to do is click on this SLurl (kindly supplied by Depo Consulting). On a serious note though, brands have a hard enough time attracting visitors when they have dedicated islands – at least tag the island with the company name – make the path as easy as possible.

Continue reading “Sunday Times covers BDO Second Life launch” »

April marketing news

I’m getting slightly better at getting this out in time, but there’s still room for improvement.

Lottaworlds: Those lucky lucky boys and girls:Over the last couple of weeks weve seen several new virtual worlds for kids and tweens make announcements about pending launches. And, factoring these into the already high number of existing worlds means its exciting time for kids and tweens.

Re-visiting tourism in virtual worlds. Where are we going?:Re-visiting tourism in virtual worlds. Where are we going?Ive long been an advocate of travel and tourism marketing applications in virtual worlds. This is based on the ability of virtual spaces to educate and immerse people into real world places theyve never been to before. In this context, using VWs is a great example of the evolution from 2D (webpages) to 3D (environments) – moving from ?¢‚ǨÀúPages to Places.

Visit Mexico (again). The best yet?:Back in June 2007, Visit Mexico joined the growing ranks of tourism marketing companies in SL.The projectfocused on archeological site Chichen Itza and was integrated into other activities supporting their nomination for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Natasha Bedingfield ?¢‚ǨÀúUnpluggs into Habbo:Music works well in virtual worlds.

Garnier joins the club with vMTV:Im going to write a dedicated post about the role of real world brands and avatar customisation soon, but in the meantime, heres the latest company to go virtual -Garnier(Fructis).Theyve done a deal withvMTVto sponsor the ?¢‚ǨÀúRock Your Style Lounge in-world – the ?¢‚ǨÀúultimate destination in Virtual MTV for fans to mingle with the finalists and watch their music videos.

The virtual Streets of Philadelphia and real-time geo-tagging:GeoSimPHILLYis the first real world city to be created by GeoSim Systems, an Isreali-based company. Their objective – to create virtual cities looking as realistic as possible. And, as they put it…

New kids on the block. Whirled video:A video ofWhirled! The latest tween virtual world!

Interoperability, virtual goods and forced migration:The idea of avatars being able to move freely between different virtual worlds (known as Interoperability) is a topic always near the top of technology-led discussions about the ?¢‚ǨÀúmetaverse.

The role of UGC in Home:GamesIndustry.biz iscarrying a storyabout Playstation Homes possible plans for introducing User Generated Content. The article explains that although Sony is keen to allow UGC, there are concerns over quality and moderation. Heres an extract.

Vizwoz: Early stats and new features:Teen virtual worldVizwozis already launching new features in-world following their launch a few weeks ago. Following their (primarily) UK-based launch, heres some early stats…

Slicing and dicing the new Linden Lab CEO:Last month Linden Lab annouced their search for a new CEO – read what the various world blogs said thathere.

vBusiness Expo: Day One:The Clever ZebravBusiness Expostarts today with what promises to be a feature-packed four days of panels and presentations.

Campaign results for LOr?ɬ©al Paris phase one:Several weeks ago we finished phase one of theLOr?ɬ©alParis campaign in SL. Today as part of my presentation at the vBusiness Expo I gave a background to this campaign as well as released the campaign data. The relevant metrics and data are in this post.

vBusiness Expo: Day Two:Day one of the vBusiness Expo kicked-off yesterday and whilst its always little strange delivering a presentation to a group of people from the comfort of your home office, nevertheless it was a good session. And, there was some fantastic feedback from my presentation.

Pimp my Peugeot:Back in Sep 07 Peugeot followed the auto-pack and set-up an island in SL. The venue followed the usual checklist for car brands in SL – read more about the islandhere.

User generated content? Legos been in the game for years:Noise is slowly starting to come from Lego about their planned virtual world Lego Universe, led byMark Hansen, director of Business Development. Now, its not difficult to imagine the basis for Lego Universe not to mention the likely popularity, after all, everyone knows Lego and understands what their proposition is – user generated content.

Latest Football Superstars imagery:Sports metamogg Football Superstars reached ?¢‚ǨÀúfeature-complete status a few weeks ago and is currently in closed-beta stage. In the meantime footy-fans, heres some new and exclusive assets of one of the stadiums as well as some internal areas in-world.

Puma and Reebok sign-up for Football Superstars:September is the latest date for the public launch of Football Superstars, the soccer-themed vertical world coming from the UK.The benefits for clothing/fashion, sports and luxury brands are pretty obvious for FS and the first two major companies taking part in Football Superstars viaIGA, hot off the press, are Puma and Reebok.

?¢‚ǨÀúThe folks down at Disney, they have plans for your children:Fast Company contributor and co-author of the Naked Conversations blog,Shel Israelhas posted a video interview he conducted with senior personnel from Disney, including Mike Goslin, VP Virtual Reality Studio. Mike uses a ?¢‚ǨÀúthemepark analogy to explain the Disney strategy of having different worlds for different age ranges and interest groups.

Taking brands into virtual worlds. vBusiness Expo presentation:Shown below is the K Zero presentation delivered on day one of the vBusiness Expo. ?¢‚ǨÀúTaking brands into virtual worlds uses the Seven Point Plan as a strategic framework to outline the marketing steps required by brands and companies considering metaverse activity.

The Five Rules of Virtual Brand Management:Along with the Seven Point Plan for Marketing in Virtual Worlds, K Zero also has a dedicated strategic framework for brand management in virtual worldsAs the number of virtual worlds allowing content creation increases, this concept becomes more and more important for real world brand owners.

Woogi World claims 100% safety for kids:Woogi World claims 100% safety for kids.Education and internetsafety-based kids virtual worldWoogi Worldis storming out of the bunker with a new press release and statement. The company has been working with online verification companyeGuardianto create ?¢‚ǨÀúThe only kids virtual world that is not only 100% safe but is also benefiting society by helping our children be better kids.

Stardoll – Fame, fashion and friendsand Mothers?:In Feb of this yearStardollcarried out some in-depth research into their membership base, with some interesting findings.

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A 70-year-old’s Take on GTA IV

A story about Donkey Kong, Second Life, Grand Theft Auto IV and life……via Kotaku

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Pimp my Peugeot

Back in Sep 07 Peugeot followed the auto-pack and set-up an island in SL. The venue followed the usual checklist for car brands in SL – read more about the island here.

Refreshingly, Peugeot is now running a competition on their island to encourage residents to customise one of their vehicles. Whilst again this is not a new concept (Pontiac and Toyota have run similar successful custom-build projects) nevertheless it’s a good sign that the company is keen to harvest some NPD output from SL.

Throughout May, visitors to the island can participate in the ‘Peugeot Virtual Challenge’. What this means is people can change the exterior styling (basically the colours) and submit them to the competition. Cash is king, and there’s three L$ rewards up for grabs, including L$70,000 for the winner.

Here’s the supporting microsite mon amies.

Cars and Second Life. A popular little segment. Here’s some imagery of official brands and unofficial versions.

vBusiness Expo: Day One

The Clever Zebra vBusiness Expo starts today with what promises to be a feature-packed four days of panels and presentations.

Although this is primarily a B2B event focusing on how corporates can benefit from virtual activity, I’m adding a little consumer (B2C) flavour, closing day one with a session on taking brands into virtual worlds. Here’s the full run-down for Thurs 24 (all times PST).

7am: vBusiness orientation, help center and Second Life demonstrations – Rockcliffe

9am: University staff.Day 1 keynote: Breathing Second Life into your brand. David Fenech, Sr Director of eBusiness at Kelly Services

10am: Mixed reality panel: 3D Internet: Ecosystem, enterprise and the economics of a sensory web – Sandra Kearney IBM, Chair — Tammy Johns, Manpower – David Kralik, Americas Solutions – Randy Hinrichs, 2b3b – Marty Schleiff, Boeing – Rita King, Dancing Ink – Nick Wilson, Clever Zebra

11am: Selling the idea of virtual worlds to stakeholders. Chris Collins, IT Analyst in the UCit Instructional & Research Computing department at the University of Cincinnati. Continue reading “vBusiness Expo: Day One” »

Slicing and dicing the new Linden Lab CEO

Last month Linden Lab annouced their search for a new CEO – read what the various world blogs said that here.

One month later the new arrival has been announced. Here’s how this story has been sliced and diced.

Announcing our NewCEO!: Linden Lab

Linden Lab picks online marketing executive as CEO: Reuters

Linden Lab Names Former Organic Head as New CEO: VWN’s

Linden Installs Mark Kingdon as New CEO: Worlds in Motion

Continue reading “Slicing and dicing the new Linden Lab CEO” »

Visit Mexico (again). The best yet?

Back in June 2007, Visit Mexico joined the growing ranks of tourism marketing companies in SL. The project focused on archeological site Chichen Itza and was integrated into other activities supporting their nomination for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Well, the Mexicans are back with the second phase of activity and this could be the best ‘build-driven’ corporate marketing location in Second Life.

mex_009.jpg

It’s taken over three months to construct and has just opened to the public. Here’s part of the press release:

Experience Mexico in Second Life (SL) like never before. Thrill to the exciting zip line ride through the rainforest canopy. Soar over the beautiful Misol Ha Falls and view the ruins of Palenque by hang glider. Marvel at the Olmec heads in La Venta Park. Explore Tulums beaches and ruins by horseback. Shop for beautiful Mexican artifacts in the colorful city of Campeche. Everywhere you look there is something new and exciting to do and see when you Visit Mexico!

The wonders of Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Campeche and Tabasco, the other four states that make up Visit Mexico Second Life, were added on to Chichen Itza, which was inaugurated in 2007 and has been visited by thousands of virtual tourists.

The inclusion of these four states in Second Life, and the opening of the two Sims in which they are located (Visit Mexico 2 and Visit Mexico 3), will enable visitors to become familiar with the major attractions of southeastern Mexico, and enjoy a special tour that goes beyond the imagination.

This is a big build spanning several islands and what’s really impressive is how the space has actually been filled. Visiting the venue, you get a real sense of being immersed into the environment.

Continue reading “Visit Mexico (again). The best yet?” »