Saturday, October 28, 2006

Virtual Reality In SecondLife and Beyond

In the months ahead, many new types of business models will join the global marketplace. Some will be new kiosks in the same old places, like malls, airports, and train stations. In the virtual world supported by SecondLife, car dealerships such as Nissan's latest and news bureaus, including Reuters, are already up and running.

Does anyone remember how long it took many major corporations to establish useful web sites in the 1990s? Marketing executives dismissed the Internet as a passing fad or niche market. Those days are long gone.

According to the latest internet traffic report compiled by ComScore Networks, September 2006 site traffic to alone was 81 MILLION VISITORS. Whew!

The SecondLife virtual world population is over 1 million now, with about 500,000 people having visited in sometime in the past 6 months.


Mesa Verde National Park

Here are a few examples of businesses likely to debut in the near future:

Virtual Investment Houses - stock brokers and on-line trading houses buying and selling real equities, not virtual real estate but actual funds, stocks, and bonds.
Virtual TV Game Shows - along the lines of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune
Virtual Real Estate - selling property out in the real world, actual homes and condos.
Virtual Travel Agencies - selling tours and cruises that go to actual destinations.
Virtual Consultations - make appointments to see real doctors and other specialists
Virtual _____________ - you fill in the blank this time!

1 comment:

Taran Rampersad said...

Worth clarifying - the 'one million' also includes 'alternate accounts' - accounts which one user created for various purposes. So to say 1 million accounts is one million people is to perpetuate a myth.

Around a million? When the accounts reach 1.5 million, then I will consider that there are 1 million users. But still, your point is made. It's a lot of people, with an increase of approximately 30% a month expected (conservatively) by the Lindens.

The trick, of course, is getting people to be interested in whatever is there. I checked out the Nissan place in SL, and it was interesting - but it doesn't mean I will buy a Nissan. However, due to the low cost of a simulator, and depending on how much Nissan paid, it could be profitable advertising... for maybe 10 cars a year.

I realize the automotive market is competitive, but I don't know that 10 cars a year will make the difference for Nissan. So while it's interesting, it's hard to say that a company such as Nissan will see dividends on their investment on the order of what their company could practically use.

Certainly, it is a new canvas. It should be looked at, but the Dot Com boom should be remembered. 300 failed businesses to one success. ;-)