Thursday, August 02, 2007

Get a (Second) Life

I'm not a huge fan of online, "virtual" worlds. Yes, it's cool to make an avatar of yourself. Yes, it's cool to "teleport" to different lands, and "meet" new people. And go to the Gap and buy clothes. And have a Coke. And, wait for it... do online searches at the Yahoo Pavilion.

People have even made some serious (real world) money by buying "real estate", then "developing" it and renting it out to others or flipping it to another owner for a profit.

You can pimp your avatar with designer clothes, and modify your look and feel, and even go to a nude beach and engage in virtual sex with complete strangers. I have a feeling that this is what 95% of people do in virtual worlds.

Just like the "real" world - there are cottage industries of people creating bling, clothes, accessories and more that they offer for sale to others. It's a little like having a mini eBay inside.

Which is JUST what we need - since the "real" eBay isn't annoying enough...

Then there are the corporate sponsors. Since the article in BusinessWeek they have been setting up shops, kiosks, even entire islands of corporate-branded goodness. Do people really go into these shops. Probably. Are they making any money on it. Nope.

I think that corporate folks are scared sh**less because they don't want to "miss out" on the "next big thing" like they (probably) did on the MySpace phenomenon - so it's easier to throw a few hundred grand at a service provider to setup a "presence."

Corporate Folks HOT TIP: spend your money on your own site instead. The whole reason that virtual worlds work is because people are fed up with the "real" world and want to go somewhere to engage in their fantasies and having a Burger King there reminds them too much of the "real" world - so they'll avoid it like the plague.

OK - I know that there are a lot of people out there that have LOADS of time and have nothing better to do than sit inside, at their computer, and then linger in online "virtual" worlds.

Virtual World User HOT TIP: turn off the f**cking computer, open the door, and get out in the REAL world. Meet some "real" people, drink "real" soft drinks, go to a "real" hotel or island, buy some "real" real estate, have some "real" sex - it's a lot more fun than "virtual" anything.


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