Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 13, 2009 9:32 PM

In World

When was the last time you thought about virtual worlds? Do you have an avatar? When was the last time you were in Second Life?

It became amazingly apparent that we have switched from talking about Second Life to Twitter without missing a beat. So much so, that after reading the AdWeek article, Second Life Attempts to Stage a Rebirth, I wondered who is still popping "in world" for a little virtual existence? It doesn't seem like such a bad idea given what's been going on in the real world as of late. Aren't you just a wee bit curious to know how those Linden dollars are stacking up against the real world currencies?

"...the venue is seeking to reach a wider audience through enhanced usability, helping new visitors quickly learn the ropes and enticing them to probe more deeply once they've become acclimated. Second Life's first attempt to accomplish these goals is a new home page that's already generated big bumps in exploration once users are 'in world,' according to the company."

While many of the big name brands that drove the popularity of the virtual world have now moved on to other digital channels (like, err... Twitter), there is still a vast community doing, building, hanging, connecting and - yes - even making money.

"To be sure, Second Life is still notching growth by some measures. The virtual world reports the time residents spent 'in world' in 2008 rose 61 percent from 2007. And it made a 31 percent gain in peak concurrent users over the previous year."

Admittedly, I can't remember the last time I was "Mitch Till". I don't even have the Second Life software downloaded on to the new laptop yet, but after reading the article in AdWeek and thinking about how much of an impact virtual worlds had on me, I'm thinking of giving it another shot. The AdWeek article focuses on how Linden Lab (the owners of Second Life) knew that there were huge usability and technological challenges with getting newer users (beyond the early adopters) and keeping them.

If Second Life becomes easier to use, simpler to navigate and more useful to more people, we may just see a resurgence in people looking to lead the life they were meant to lead.

What would bring you back or get you into Second Life or another online virtual world?

By Mitch Joel