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Alan Kelley

Good points. This reminds me of the Gartner hype cycle where a lot of buzz is generated around a new technology or application. At some point it's clear that hype is ahead of true user need or interest. The hype falls, but often the technology or application eventually moves more mainstream. I'll be interested to see if all of that imagination generated by thousands of Second Life residents creates extremely attractive experiences. Perhaps at that point Second Life will get a second wind.

Doug Krugman

I have yet to explore Second Life, but what is so amazing is that $15M a month of real money is spent inside it. One reason to get in there is to have a presence in that virtual market and generate virtual dollars, which can be converted into real dollars. It's not just about reaching consumers who will buy products in the real world.

A company like Toyota can create a whole new market for virtual Toyotas that only exist in Second Life. You'd think it would be a niche, techno-geek, science fiction crowd, but I don't think that's what it's turning out to be. Most of us are spending an awful lot of time sitting in front of computers interacting with other people sitting in front of computers. Certainly it is not a very big market/economy right now, but it's already way bigger than almost anyone predicted.

Right now there is a 33 year-old real estate "developer" in Second Life who is making six figures selling virtual real estate in Second Life.

So the question becomes how to create buzz within Second Life, both for making virtual dollars, and for the traditional exposure to consumers who are just passing through (in-game advertising) or reading about it in the NYT. If Reuters, with it's 150-years of experience, can't figure out how to do that in Second Life, some upstart will. And that seems like a good enough reason to be there now.

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