Corporations trying to Avoid Obscene Protests while Capitalizing on SecondLife

If there is money they will come .

SecondLife is creating for virtual economy made up of real money with real paying customers.  These customers purchase things in virtual reality and oftentimes take those things back out to the real world with them or are just the real items in the real world.  In this way SecondLife can sometimes be used as a staging area.

However doing business in SecondLife is not easy.  At least it's not easy to do business in SecondLife in a way that you would do business in real life.  In real life it's very unlikely that your customers will break out into an orgy in your retail store.  When protests happen in real life, they can cause real damage and sometimes even heard people.  In SecondLife, they caused virtual damage intend to embarrass people and corporations.

Forbes recently covered an article on SecondLife to talk about some of the pranks that occur there.  For example, a virtual helicopter crashed into a virtual Nissan Corp. building.  The crash erupted into a fire at Nissan, but no workers were armed.

A separate incident involved American Apparel which was bombed within SecondLife.  Bombing a virtual reality retail store fortunately will not harm any shoppers.  It can be embarrassing for corporate image managers.

Many corporations hope to make big bucks fast in SecondLife.  Many are not having much success with this for a couple different reasons.  There are only so many things that lend itself to purchases in SecondLife today, music videos or music might be good examples.  Many other things don't lend themselves to a virtual shopping experience unless you're purchasing those items just to enhance your virtual experience.

Corporations are also somewhat stymied by the lower than expected numbers of people actively participating in SecondLife at any given time.  That number seems to hover around 30,000 people logged in and doing something in SecondLife throughout the day or night.  There are millions of registered users, but that's different than millions of people showing up every day.

It's likely that corporations will continue to dabble in SecondLife until somebody finds a way to make it work.  At that point in time more people will come for the SecondLife experience and the shopping and the corporations will be there to take their money.

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