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What Brands Are Successful on Second Life? Those Who Build Community.

Blog Mania--How To Do A Really Great Blog. |


| Why Is IBM One of The World's Most Innovative Companies?

May 08, 2007

What Brands Are Successful on Second Life? Those Who Build Community.

Bruce Nussbaum

Greg Verdino has an interesting post on which brands on Second Life are doing well and why. BigPond, Pontiac, IBM and Showtime have great "dwell" or traffic on Second Life, but BMW, AOL, American Apparel and Starwood do not.

That's surprising--unless you think of community. Those brands that build community, get the avatars who want to hang out. Those that do one-offs, or try to simply sell product, do not.

According to Greg, IBM is successful because it uses Second Life to promote interaction within its own corporate community (employees, customers, business partners) regardless of geographic and organizational boundaries. IBM also uses SL to "engage in-world builders and scripters through their more recently launched IBM Codestation, which serves as a forum where users can access shared resident-created chunks of code." Greg says IBM's "dwell measure eclipses that of technology competitors Dell, Sun, Cisco and Intel-- all of whom seem more focused on using SL as a platform to promote products and services."

To succeed in SL, as with blogs and all social media, build community.

10:55 PM


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GV Sighting: BusinessWeek points here from Greg Verdino's Marketing Blog

Nice pick-up by Bruce Nussbaum at BusinessWeek. Cool. [Read More]

Tracked on May 9, 2007 10:26 PM

Thanks so much for the pick-up, Bruce! G

Posted by: Greg Verdino at May 9, 2007 01:42 AM

Although you'll probably censor this, it's worth pointing out to you that you're inappropriately skewing Verdino's comments. He doesn't say "build community". He says "build relationships". Not the same thing.

One of the most successful brands in SL does not have a discernible "community" which gathers around to be counted and charted. Fact is, customers likely *never* return to the distribution point/store. Nor do they regularly gather together in groups. Thus, you're comment, "To succeed in SL, as with blogs and all social media, build community", is effectively incorrect.

By the way, the metric being measured, "dwell", is of seriously questionable worth. Second Life is a *virtual* world. Real world limitations and methodologies don't necessarily apply, and straitjacketing real world in-the-box methods onto virtual worlds is sometimes a mistake.

Posted by: csven at May 9, 2007 04:57 PM

It's not enough to just 'build' in Second Life. You need to actively promote it.

If you build it & promote it = they will come

Posted by: Darren Herman at May 10, 2007 04:08 AM

Please define "successful".Does it mean "avatars who want to hang out" ? Is that success ? Does it bring in more money ? Does it increase siginificant overall brand awareness ?

Before telling us what to do to be "successful" in Second Life i think you really should elaborate on what "successful" really means in your point of view and why.

Posted by: Frank at May 11, 2007 02:52 PM


I think you're aiming your request at Greg but I'll give it a shot. The definition here of "successful" is building a regular community of people who continue to interract with the island, not just come once or twice. I think that is what "dwell" is about, dwelling about.



Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum at May 11, 2007 02:58 PM


actually the request was aimed at you so thanks for responding; however i still fail to see why building a community of "people" in SL to interact with the island should neccessarily be considered a "success".

Again, does the fact you have some sort of community in SL mean more sales/leads/profits for your real world business ? Neccessarily? Or just maybe? Or even not at all? Does it mean increased brand awareness that results in measurable sales?

My point is, you can be successful in all kinds of activities - like tennis, world of warcraft, origami, and what not.But does it actually help your real world business in *any way* ?

So where is being "successful" in SL by your definitions different from being successful in say playing an instrument or whatever your hobby is in regards of your BUSINESS ?

Posted by: Frank at May 11, 2007 03:16 PM


i stand corrected in that my initial post should have indeed been directed at Greg rather than you. I just realized :)

Posted by: Frank at May 11, 2007 03:23 PM

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