The other day I did my very first virtual presentation at Second Life. Well. Was supposed to. But a backbone cable was digged up and therefore I couldn´t give my presentation. But anyway. As research to the presentation I visited a lot of the companies in Second Life. And today – a couple of days after this endless walk through empty and boring places it dawns on me: SL is not driven by places. We just think so because you buy and sell land in there.
Ok, I know I didn´t invent the deep water or the hot dishes here. It´s obvious that every medium, 2- or 3D, is driven by people and their relations. But somehow I have looked at Second Life as a place to be. Not a place to be me. And there is a real difference.
So what did change my perception? Two things. A story about Danish Red Cross. Who have the obligatory island in SL. But only one bored visitor when I visited the island, namely me. But on the other hand they have send out avatars that sell hugs for money. Brilliant idea I thought, and then suddenly I understood. They go to where people are – they don´t expect them to come to their place. Aha. Silly me.
And then I remembered Marshal McLuhan, who said that every new media is perceived as a new version of and old medium. F.e. did films start with the capturing of theater. And only later did we evolve something we could call films own language, with cross cutting and third pictures. SL is not a 3D web. It´s something else. Something new. Aha. Stupid me.
We got to find the beef in Second Life. And it is not to build big islands and wait for people to come – it is to go where the people are, and mingle. Just as you do in normal advertising. Just as you do in real life.