Home > 2.0, 2.0 or Something, eWorld, Society, technology and us.. > Everything’s real in virtual worlds..

Everything’s real in virtual worlds..

Every now and then (in Internet time that’s the time in between lunch and dinner..) virtual worlds are coming back (never went away, mind you…) with rejuvenated energy and a bunch of titanium-like statement, pretty much like the one Paul Twomey, CEO of ICANN, made at the Influence Forum 2007 in Australia (here).

Mr Twomey argues the virtual world will most definitely be the future of global commerce, nevermind ecommerce.. One of the most interesting factors would be, seemingly, the migration of “gaming experience” into much more commercial interactions, as thus to maximise an already established “virtual experience” into a real life problem-solver tool.

And, since SecondLife is the current champion, that is the springboard for future thinking..

Now, despite SL keeps on producing nice bits of activity, such as auctions of virtual goods (for real money, to come to that, again!!), there are few issues to be sorted out before ever thinking about having virtual worlds as the solution for troubled consumer spending patterns and new industrial value network..

Again, it is a cultural approach in the first place, do not forget that most of the people interacting at a decent level of complexity over the Web are a well defined tribe and, by no means, a proxy for a more society-wide assumption of what interactions would look like in the near future.

Then, there is a matter of the technology involved or, better, the ease of the virtual experience that would be required to transform it from a game-like system to a more business-effective ecosystem (data flow, control, identity match, data storage, retrieval, regulatory and compliance…).

Then, the “cui prodest”. In a business environment, at least up until today, anything entering the door downstairs should produce a business enhancement in some form, being that strategic positioning, operation streamlining, pure and simple profit, whatever you may consider “enhancement” but, I trust after the Internet bubble of circa 2000, companies would not, and should not do something just because “it is cool”.. What you consider cool and must-have may not be seen likewise by your value network, that meaning a problem in coherent supply strategy, co-marketing, awareness building policies and lots of other nice edgy things..

As already stated by some press, large corporation are reconsidering the SL presence, since early results were not as expected. Which is, per se, a massive blunder… expecting what???? Selling what??? In a place where most people go and interact with others, have fun and live the experience of being there… guess they may be little concern about buying “real” goods (or marketing message) and rather going for fun things such as angel wings to fly around (or gather for discussing issues, as in a large instant messaging platform…at least for now, then we will see….!!!).

They are all missing the point. Virtual worlds are in the first place a nice corporate training ground for alternative positioning strategy and tactics, it is also a nice laboratory to experiment tribe clustering (customer segmentation, to use a paleolithic definition), and to prove the ability to listen instead of pestering with information… virtual worlds are places where the “power of referral” is fundamental, but you should get the referral in the first place, and what you did in a “PreviousLife” is not a guarantee to find one in a byte-based world.

So, culture, technology, strategy, communication. In a world, the entire corporate structure. Get to work, soon. Otherwise don’t bother talking.

Mr Twomey may be right, but he needs convincing a hell of a lot of people, first…

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s