Second Life: the business opportunity explained

Following my BT/Unilever story about businesses exploring Second Life, and interview with Second Life creator Philip Rosedale, I have spoken to a Fortune 500 company who said that “event orientated” applications are more suited for business looking to exploit virtual world technology.

For example; the launching of a book, a music performance, or an “ongoing event” to drive customer feedback about the changes you’d like to see at your local Starbucks store would work best for business applications.

The challenge is understanding how the unique characteristics of Web3D map to your business. This is something that is a long way-off, as most companies haven’t even got Web 2.0 right as yet.

Even on the Web 1.0 front, there are some companies out there who still think that sticking a company brochure on a website constitutes “a strategy”.

The company I spoke to also said that the next wave of customers will have been brought up on video games, not traditional print media and not movies.

So learning how best to engage and collaborate with this group of customers through the mediums they are more apt to use – and learning the sensibilities of that medium – is the real challenge and opportunity for businesses.

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