I was having dinner with my fellow mesh organizers the other night, and I half-jokingly suggested that our next conference on Web 2.0 topics should be held in Second Life, the virtual world/game that some are calling “the new golf.” There have been book signings (Cory Doctorow’s) and talk shows in the online world, and several companies have set up shop there — including the hip T-shirt maker American Apparel, which is going to sell clothing to avatars for $1 each.
That was a few days ago, and now I read on Steve Rubel’s blog that someone has stolen my idea. A virtual panel discussion on marketing to avatars will be held in Second Life with Paul Hemp, who wrote a recent piece in the Harvard Business Review all about… yes, marketing to avatars. Among the other panelists are Tony Walsh of Clickable Culture.
This is a fascinating area, I think. I haven’t played around much with Second Life, but I’ve checked out There.com and done some looking around a few other virtual worlds such as Project Entropia, and the whole idea of marketing to avatars is an interesting one. And let’s face it — if companies such as Adidas don’t get in there and do their own marketing, they are likely to find someone else doing it for them.
The BBC has also hosted a music festival of sorts within Second Life, and there is more about that here — the network says it wants to do more similar events, including virtual band interviews, etc.