Will Immersive Workspaces Work? Rivers Makes The Case

Immersive_workspacesDusan Writer has a long and info-rich interview with Justin Bovington of UK development studio Rivers Run Red, which recently partnered with Linden Lab to provide "Immersive Workspaces" for enterprise use.  Known as Fizik Baskville in SL, and someone I've known through Second Life since early 2004, Justin argues for their usefulness in today's fallow corporate climate, where executives are looking to save money on travel costs.  Here's an interesting example he gives:

"[O]ne of my classic stories is the guy who turned around and said I found out that I was going to be on the same problem as the guy was three floors below us [IRL], and by combining our efforts through the virtual space, by meeting there, we actually saved x amount of time and problems."

Be sure to scroll down to read the post's comments, which include Justin in dialog with Wikitecture co-creator Keystone Bouchard and Rezzable CEO (and NWN partner) Rightasrain Rimbaud, who have some questions about how this might work, and how Linden Lab implemented it.

Success Metrics: Metaverse Advertiser Claims 34,000 Engagements In Three Months For L’Oréal Paris Campaign

Loreal_in_sl_2 The virtual copies of L'Oreal products which appeared last year in Rezzable's popular giant living room/kitchen play space were actually part of a larger advertising campaign in Second Life for the cosmetics giant orchestrated by UK-based metaverse agency KZero.  Last week, Nic Miltham published the firm's final results, in Rezzable's Greenies (above), and four SL fashion boutiques.  (There, KZero distributed several L’Oréal-branded "skins" which simulated make-up styles associated with the company's products.)  Over the campaign's three months, 34,000 of the four branded items were picked up by Residents; as a percentage of the 550,000 monthly active user base, that's a 1.6-6.2% virtual item clickthrough rate.  (The spread based on how many of the four L’Oréal skins each Resident took.) Quite impressive, compared to traditional web ads, which are lucky to get even half of one percent. (Even as a percentage of the 1.1 million 60 day user base, that's somewhere on either side of 3%.)

Those are top numbers for Second Life-based advertising, but The Electric Sheep's Giff Constable wonders how good they are, when compared to other virtual worlds:

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Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

Gossip_girl_site_2

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Last week, we started counting Gossip Girl - the Second Life site of the television series of the teen novel series. The television series doesn't air where I am, but a quick walk through online resources tell me that it's a drama/romance/comedy about teen girls, targeted at adults.  "Gossip Girl on TV is basically about teens having lots of sex and being mean and wealthy at each other," a friend informs me. "It's basically written as if it's for 12 year olds."  I quote her anonymously, because she then added that she didn't want to admit to knowing anything about the show.

The Second Life game is undeniably popular - incorporating gossip, gossiping, forming cliques, and playing personal reputations off against one another, through a graphically slick HUD that represents an integrated mobile phone/PDA.  (And disclosure: Gossip Girl is produced by Millions of Us, a sponsoring partner of this blog.)

Gossip Girl is pulling pulling in interested people who are keeping the game hopping. The site remains relatively busy at all hours. After the fold, we'll see how it stacks up against our other ranked sites, including IBM, Playboy, and I am Legend.

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Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10* Corporate Sites in Second Life

I_am_legend_entrance

I Am Legend enters high, likely to go higher; Gossip Girl self-reports over 20K weekly visits

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

I Am Legend in Second Life takes place one year before the upcoming Warner Brothers film. Players choose either the Infected or Uninfected faction, choose one of several classes, and stage pitched battles over resources and control points - with a little ambushing here and there for good measure.

What makes the game so strong? From a design perspective, the basic layout is a tensioned series of nodes designed for the control of space, while still allowing for exploration and surprise. The overall design of obstacles and open spaces alternately fosters the line-of-sight of each participant, and the restriction of it by turns. Players are tantalized with risk/reward scenarios spaced at a comfortable average of 20 seconds or so between decision nodes.

The combination of environment-based play and hunting individuals and groups maintains both high levels of tactical and visceral engagement through frequent, though not tiresomely constant decision-making. People are more effective than any programmed intelligence, and the people you meet on Manhattan's dark streets will challenge and surprise you.

How did it actually fare in the charts, though - and what's the deal with Gossip Girl? We'll be back with the site rankings and more, after the fold.

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Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10* Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 65 32 10,920 (stable)
IBM 43 48 7,272 (up 10.58%)
The L Word 29 33 4,944 (down 4.41%)
Pontiac 27 23 4,656 (up 9.30%)
Greenies Home 25 31 4,344 (stable)
Playboy 21 32 3,684 (up 35.24%)
Virtual Holland 21 37 3,648 (up 41.40%)
The Weather Channel 17 21 2,976 (up 5.08%)
Nissan 15 12 2,652 (up 6.76%)
Sun Microsystems 11 15 2,004 (down 10.22%)

CSI:NY crime scene attracts thousands of investigators; Armani deemed unfashionable

With all the recent fuss about CBS' CSI:NY and their huge commitment to Second Life, as produced by the Electric Sheep Company, you might wonder if you're going to see them on the charts. The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that they have over 100 regions, and the counting process at the moment is manual. It's just impractical to tally them.  However, keen observers report that maximum concurrency for the CSI sims for their opening day was somewhere around 1,200, during East coast peak times. (The number was obtained by eyeballing CSI simulators, so is only approximate.) We're waiting on the final official tally, but considering there's at least 55 CSI game sims and assuming hour long visits each a day in those regions, it could potentially be up to 52,800 visits a day.  But probably much less.

Why?  Well, Second Life registrations as much as doubled from CSI's opening day on Wednesday through to Sunday with an extra 107,000 or so signups, but given past history, we only expect that 15-20% of those will make it through orientation, and into CSI's game sims. Not all of that 107K bump is attributable to CSI, by the way: there's been extra Second Life publicity in the New York Post (lawsuits), and other media tie-ins in the same period (The Office). Coupled with some grid problems and service outages after the CSI episode aired, the whole picture muddies considerably. In any case, we'll be contacting the Sheep and CBS to see if we can obtain more specific numbers. Smart money says they've been keeping a close eye on actual attendance.

Armaniiris

Armani is synonymous with quality craftsmanship, fashion and style. Except in Second Life, anyway, where it's being eclipsed by the work of ordinary people. Compared to fashion emporiums created by average Residents, Armani's Second Life presence and Second Life products look positively pedestrian. New World Notes contributor Iris Ophelia turned a withering gaze on the Armani offering, and I wasn't much kinder myself-- nor were others it seems.

Consequently, Armani's Second Life presence attracted just 168 estimated visits this week; not rock bottom, saved only by Comcast which scored a mere 96. Even British sports apparel brand Reebok at 288 visits managed better. It's a long, long way to the top ten. I'm not sure Armani can even see it from down there.

Coming up - one of our corporates is closing their Second Life presence; Playboy still on the bounce.

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10* Corporate Sites in Second Life" »

Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 64 34 10,824 (down 7.68%)
IBM 39 37 6,576 (down 8.05%)
The L Word 30 35 5,172 (up 4.61%)
Greenies Home 26 45 4,416 (down 4.91%)
Pontiac 25 28 4,260 (up 7.90%)
The Weather Channel 16 14 2,832 (down 3.67%)
Playboy 16 16 2,724 (down 8.84%)
Virtual Holland 15 18 2,580 (up 27.22%)
Nissan 14 9.71 2,484 (down 4.61%)
Sun Microsystems 13 14 2,232 (up 43.08%)

Sun surprises - storms the top ten; NBA not apparently anyone's draft pick

As predicted last week, Sun Microsystems has taken tenth place, displacing ABC Island and leaving Microsoft in the dust.

This isn't Sun's first appearance in the top ten, but this time, the industry giant has considerably  more lead this time over the nearest competitor (ABC Island, with 1,536 visits). Microsoft dipped a little, managing 1,440 visits for the week.

Whether or not Sun can hang on remains to be seen. Sudden surges can have this nasty habit of evaporating unless you can hold visitors' interests. The smart money would see Sun Microsystems dip to around the 2,000 mark next week - still well ahead of rivals for tenth place.

After the fold, the NBA teaches us a valuable lesson about the bidirectional nature of attention, and The Pond battles a decline in national activity.

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life" »

Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 69 43 11,724 (stable)
IBM 42 42 7,152 (stable)
The L Word 29 36 4,944 (up 19.77%)
Greenies Home 27 38 4,644 (up 8.10%)
Pontiac 23 21 3,948 (up 2.17%)
Playboy 17 33 2,988 (up 19.71%)
The Weather Channel 17 22 2,940 (up 4.70%)
Nissan 15 12 2,604 (up 7.43%)
Virtual Holland 12 8.86 2,028 (up 3.05%)
ABC Island 10 10 1,752 (up 7.35%)

Playboy continues to get a rise; Sun sets

Playboy's hedonistic and relaxing atmosphere, staff and events are apparently bringing around more repeat visitors. I'm seeing familiar names and faces there more frequently as I travel around. After some time of looking very much like a long-tail phenomenon, Playboy's long-game strategy seems to be paying off in visitors and repeat visitors. Playboy's site is up nearly 20% this week with nearly 3,000 estimated visits.

Bunny_review Many of Second Life's most popular places are relaxing, staffed, social spaces that bind strongly to a theme. Playboy's certainly got all that going for it. The biggest problem the bunny brand seems to have is overcoming its own popular brand perception.

Coming up - The battle for tenth place: Sun, Microsoft and Australian Broadcasting; Will the NBA have the balls for the new season?

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life" »

Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 68 33 11,568 (stable)
IBM 42 42 7,104 (up 2.07%)
Greenies Home (Rezzables Inc.) 25 36 4,296 (down 2.19%)
The L Word 24 23 4,128 (down 21.46%)
Pontiac 23 20 3,864 (stable)
The Weather Channel 16 17 2,808 (up 2.63%)
Playboy 14 25 2,496 (up 10.05%)
Nissan 14 12 2,424 (up 2.54%)
Virtual Holland 11 8.0 1,968 (down 7.34%)
Sun Microsystems 10 18 1,764 (up 24.58%)

Greenies gains; Sun eclipses ABC; L Word's lipstick loses sheen

View_from_the_ironing_board Greenies Home - the brobdignagian build from diminutive developers Rezzable - has gained the number three spot this week, despite a fall in visits of slightly over two percent. The previous third place holder, Showtime's popular media property The L Word dropped slightly more than 21 percent this week, though it is too early to predict a trend from the slight fall.

That lost ground could be regained in the coming week. Greenies Home itself remains relatively stable week after week, with only comparatively small variations in overall weekly visits. Greenies Home still caps the maximum number of avatars who may visit the site at once, but the site is almost always busy, around the clock.

Coming up - Sun Microsystems still on the rise, ABC Island gains from Melbourne Laneways, and Ratepoint Island vanishes, without a trace.

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life" »

Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 68 28 11,436 (down 3.15%)
IBM 41 43 6,960 (down 5.54%)
The L Word 31 38 5,256 (up 6.57%)
Greenies Home 26 40 4,392 (up 3.10%)
Pontiac 23 19 3,912 (stable)
The Weather Channel 16 16 2,736 (down 18.28%)
Nissan 14 11 2,364 (down 9.22%)
Playboy 13 21 2,268 (down 3.08%)
Virtual Holland 12 10 2,124 (stable)
ABC Island 8.71 7.43 1,464 (down 10.29%)

IBM labor protest keeps staff/visitors away; Sun rising over Microsoft

The big labor protest that took place at IBM's site on Wednesday, though it was supposed to have lasted twelve hours, caused no noticeable increase at the sample times (four samples per day, six hours apart). From looking at the number of people at the IBM site at those times, there's nothing to indicate that it even happened. The peak sample for the IBM regions that day was 30.

It's quite possible that (outside of the sampling times) the protesters had the claimed 1,850 avatars, bananas and geometric shapes, but they've done little to disturb the overall IBM site traffic this week other than likely being responsible for the overall reduction in visits across the whole week.

Coming up - SUN, surf, and STA Travel, and what's missing from the chart this week.

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life" »

Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Site (* = Popular native reality sites for comparison)

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

* Phat Cat's Jazzy Blue Lounge 141 153 23,772 (stable)
* Lost Gardens of Apollo 81 100 13,692 (down 5.00%)
* City of Lost Angels 76 73 12,828 (stable)
The Pond 70 34 11,808 (down 3.62%)
IBM 43 45 7,368 (down 2.38%)
The L Word 29 30 4,932 (stable)
Greenies Home 25 38 4,260 (down 4.57%)
Pontiac 23 20 3,912 (down 31.80%)
The Weather Channel 19 21 3,348 (up 7.31%)
Nissan 15 9.14 2,604 (down 7.26%)
Playboy 13 14 2,340 (down 5.34%)
Virtual Holland 12 10 2,148 (down 11.39%)
ABC Island 9.71 13 1,632 (up 37.37

Aussie TV clobbers Microsoft, Pontiac plummets; Ailing Adidas goes AWOL; AOL: A.O.K. after all?

America Online's much neglected site AOL Pointe has had some unexpected gains in the last three weeks, gaining a further 18%, bringing it up to 1,008 visits last week-- but not enough to make my Top 10.  AOL trailed just behind Microsoft, but well ahead of the next nearest competitor, Cisco Systems. Cisco only totaled 684 visits (and that's with a 38% gain.)  Surprisingly, after plummeting last week, Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Island shouldered back into the top ten, with a startling 37% gain, shouldering Redmond behemoth Microsoft (1,284) back off the top ten. A lot of other slips in traffic this week, with Pontiac's sharp fall (after last week's equally sudden rise) causing Rezzable Inc's Greenies Home to rise from fifth to fourth.

After the break, I check in with the recently discontinued Adidas, and a slew of other top corporations (Dell, NBA, Comcast, etc.) that have been performing poorly.

Continue reading "Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life" »