Sweden opens embassy in Second Life

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http://www.thelocal.se/6219/. This article says Second Life is approaching 3 million users, a third of them having joined in the last 60 days. A lot of companies are jumping on the Second Life bandwagon, but this is even more interesting.

Imagine being an embassy employee assigned to interact with people in Second Life. Embassies are so large, imposing, and intimidating–they don’t welcome visitors to come in and just chat. This virtual Swedish embassy may be the best opportunity in world history for an embassy to “get to know its customer” through casual conversations with potentially hundreds or thousands of people each day.

Next headline to look for: 2008 Presidential Campaign for _________ opens office in Second Life, welcomes all visitors to come and meet the candidate.

Google is rumored to be building their own immersive world and may be buying AdScape to become a player in in-game advertising.

I’m not a fan of Second Life yet (although Jeff Barr is helping me realize how real business can actually be conducted in the virtual world, not by just wandering around, but by planning events or attending planned events). But as these kinds of online worlds start attracting businesses and governments and millions of new users, there will definitely be business opportunities opening up left and right for savvy entrepreneurs.

As a former Dungeons & Dragons player (I quit cold turkey at age 13 or 14 after a full year addiction) I can see the appeal of games like World of Warcraft, Everquest, and now SecondLife, which some people don’t call a game, but which certainly has a lot of appeal for gamers. As an entrepreneur, I see huge opportunities emerging here. In business, you need to go where the eyeballs are, and if million join immersive 3D worlds, then you better find a way to play there.

I think a Google immersive world built on Google Earth will be far more interesting than Second Life, and I hope the rumors are true.

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3 Responses

  1. Jon Noring

    I’ve commented here before the future of access to online content where instead of visiting a boring and impersonal 2-D web page, one visits a 3-D interactive environment, like we see in Second Life.

    The most interesting thing is this allows human-to-human interaction, such as visitor to host, and visitor with another visitor. In the “real world”, when we visit the grocery store, it is a personal experience — we interact with the store employees, and at our choosing may interact with other customers visiting the store, maybe asking for their advice or recommendations.

  2. Colleen

    Actually David – there is a genealogy location in Second Life. It is on Info Island 1 alongside the Second Life Library.

    Universities, businesses, and more are into Second Life. And no, it is not a game – its a virtual world.

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