Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 PEOPLE: BIZ: Ebbe gets it! The key to Second Life lies in its communities

Ebbe gets it!  The key to Second Life 
lies in its communities
Scroll down for News and Notes (including articles about new TOS)
"I like to drop in and meet with a lot of different groups, trying to do it as often as possible to learn more about the communities in Second Life and the use cases of Second Life".-- EbbeAltberg at Non-Profit Consortium meeting.
"give the creators the tools to attract and retain users to their experiences is a little bit of how we think about it."--EbbeAltberg at Non-Profit Consortium meeting.

Executive Summary: What could Linden Lab do to "give the creators the tools to attract and retain users..."

  • Identify large communities in Second LIfe
  • Establish liaison with each large community.
  • Get advice from the community on what is needed to improve the community experience.
  • Get advice from the community on how to market the community experience to the outworld.
  • Work with the community to develop an effective community onboarding experience.
  • (Onboarding applies to communities, too.  It is just that communities don't budget for it.)
  • Plan cooperative marketing efforts with the community. 


People, Communities, and Communication

Marketing by communities

"give the creators the tools to attract and retain users to their experiences is a little bit of how we think about it."  -- EbbeAltberg at Non-Profit Consortium

Here is an idea:  The communities in Second Life offer something attractive to their members.  That is why they have members.  The communities also offer something attractive to non-members in the outworld, people who are not in Second Life.  But those people are not going to be attracted to something they know nothing about.  
Suppose you (a community or Linden Lab) want to market to those outworld people.  How would you do it?  Let's take an example, the SL Sailing Community.  

Sailing, boating

The sailing community of Second Life has websites and produces videos about its adventures. Those activities are promoting to the outworld.  This is already free advertising for SL.  But is that advertising reaching the right target audience?  Perhaps the right target audience is the real water sailing community.  

Targeting the real water sailing community

What could LL do to "give the creators the tools to attract..."

  • Place ads in media that targets the outworld community
  • Disseminate ads and other content from the inworld community
  • Work with the inworld community to create a Sailing Entry Portal
  • Use ads to send interested people to the Sailing Entry Portal
  • Pay some of the costs of the entry portal out of the ad budget   

What is LL advertising doing now to promote communities?

All I know about that is what I see in the media.  I see ads for the vampire community: "Be a vampire"   I only see them in media that targets virtual worlds (preaching to the choir).  Maybe these ads are going out to the vampire community, too.  I don't see any mention of a vampire  entry portal.  But I don't follow the vampire community (Vampire Community News, Facebook), so maybe LL has an intense campaign there.  
I do wonder about the choice of communities to promote.  I don't know the demographics of vampires and since they are supposed to be immortal, they might be good for long term retention.  On the other hand,  if you are already vampiring all night, how long would a little virtual vampiring hold your interest?  Maybe that's part of the retention problem--LL is bringing in too many people with fleeting interests in being vampires, zombies,  and the like.   
People often seem to come into Second Life with expectations that are bound to be disappointed.  "How do you play this game?"  That is a common question at the newcomer welcome places.  Maybe they also come in with questions like "Where are all the vampires?"  If so, do they actually find enough vampires to keep them interested?   
That is where a vampire entry portal could help.  You come in to be a vampire, you probably want to find some vampires pretty fast.   You run into a place full of people in sailboats, you are going to figure you are in the wrong place.  There goes the retention rate, and we never even got to the part about the steep learning curve.    
I am not in either of these communities.   I know LL set up a liaison person with the sailing community some years ago and, I think, arranged for some sailing waters.  I don't know how this is working out now.  I know nothing at all about the vampire community, not even where it is located or how big it is.  Nor do I intend to put emphasis on these communities except as examples.   There are many large and active communities in Second Life and any of them could become a marketing asset.  If they get the cooperation of Linden Lab.


    News and Notes

    Events in the virtual worlds  

    Triolet Short Poetry Workshop- Tue-8/12, 7pm SLT
    This week the Short Poetry Workshop revisits the Triolet, which is a medieval French poetry form dating back to the 13th century. It is an 8 line poem with two rhymes and two lines repeated throughout the poem.


        Contests and dated calls/invitations

        The Journal of Virtual Studies currently has a call for papers open.  The journal is peer reviewed and focuses on the use of virtual spaces for knowledge immersion.  Do you work or research in Second Life,  OpenSim or any other virtual platform?  Have you been engaged in research, exploration or reflection when using MMPORG’s?  Have you discovered a virtual space with knowledge immersion possibilities or have you engaged in a fascinating new way to explore the virtual through any number of immersive online applications?    
        These and many other questions are explored by the JoVS.  The Fall 2014 issue is expected to publish in September.  For details, see here: Journal of Virtual Studies 
        The theme is 'TRANSCENDING BORDERS.' Artists & filmmakers can interpret the theme as they see fit. Whether transcending borders between time and space, past and present, one nation and another, one language and another, a culture or civilisation or any other of the innumerable borders that present themselves as we navigate our lives. You the artist... You the machinimatographer...You decide.
        Entries Close at Midnight SLT 31st October 2014. Winner will be announced in December 2014.   First entries 

        Newcomer Help in Virtual Worlds. 



        Video-Machinima in virtual worlds

        1 comment:

        1. This is a great group of links about community in virtual worlds. Thanks, Selby!