« Music For The Mexican Metaverse: Ambient Soundtrack Custom-Made For A Second Life Locale | Main | Glitter's Revenge: Non-Profit Activists Reply To Daily Show »

Monday, April 14, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Marianne McCann

I also started working for one of the "unnamed" on the list. There is definitely work to be had out there, even if the sheep, rivers, and millions are playing on different pastures.

Eggy Lippmann

Hamlet, depending on how you count, at Beta Technologies we have 20-30 people in total, thank you very much ;)

Beta Technologies is a joint venture between a 10 year old web development company in Lisbon and a 25 year old video studio in New York.

We do *lots* of projects, man, up to 5 a month sometimes, we have business all over europe, england, denmark, slovenia, lithuania. I guess we're not on the international media a lot, but in Portugal I have been interviewed over 50 times, newspapers, magazines, TV, I got a book in the works, i've had speaking engagements in just about every university and lots of other events.
The "problem" is that we're not marketing people, our projects aren't all glamorous and hype-y, so they're not in the media a lot.

We do business-logic projects, movies, recreation of monuments, mixed-reality conferences, physical simulation, scientific visualisation, everything. Marketing is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can be done with Second Life!

Some of our largest projects (over 20 sims!) are confidential, or at least for internal use only.
Our beautiful office is located in the building that used to house IBM, dude :)
Come visit!

Hamlet Au

Cool background, Eggy, thanks. How many full-timers? I had the impression of under a half dozen, but it's been awhile since I checked.

Giff Constable

I think Eggy has a great line: "We do business-logic projects, movies, recreation of monuments, mixed-reality conferences, physical simulation, scientific visualisation, everything. Marketing is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can be done with Second Life!"

Projects that require large numbers of people or scale, or that need to bring in outside communities from the Web, or that want to run more-than-simple games, are probably not best suited for SL right now.

However, projects that need an inexpensive prototyping platform, or flexible scripting capability, or a world that offers a first level of integration to systems outside of the virtual world, or want to experiment with how avatar communication can improve human learning or interaction -- all this SL can be very good for. Even marketing projects can be effective if design and budget is managed appropriately to the size of the existing community.

Still, outside of kids worlds, I think in general our whole industry is trying to emerge out of the learning/pilot stage, and that means ROI is still being discovered. We know that the user behavior and engagement fundamentals are good and important. Those fundamentals tell us that this isn't a fad but an important movement for online behavior.

While ESC is largely shifting away from SL for our particular client needs and goals, we by no means consider it unviable for all virtual world initiatives. I think it is fantastic that there is a thriving ecosystem around Second Life -- if SL stands a chance at breaking into the mainstream, this ecosystem will be an essential part of that success.

RightAsRain Rimbaud

Hamlet hit the key point-- SL is not delivering the number of eyeballs needed to sustain large-scale development costs. It's that simple.

Our sims have growing traffic each month, but our marketing and promotions efforts are very high as we are in effect fighting a lot of noise to reach a fairly small active audience.

SL shows 350,000 or so people each month spending inworld. This is flatish for last 8-9 months already. Active users still 500,000 by Linden definition. So, this is not the big uplift at all that we had hoped to see after the rush in 2007.

What happened...? Couple of observations from our little mousehole in the metaverse:

* Early adopters arrived in early 2007 (many still inworld btw) but SL NEVER hit meaningful maintstream adoption. Why? Could be that mainstream users don't want a "Second Life" they want an virtual world experience, but not the alternative RP. Linden has no marketing effort to reach this group.

* Corporate sponsors got burned. They spent the money on builds, but never got the good PR or monetization. We hear lot of stories from unhappy corporate buyers, many of whom will not come back to SL. Lot of 2006/2007 corporate builds are empty or gone. So little positive referenceability for new entrants.

* Linden has a broken registration and welcome process. Maybe that is ok, because in fact it seems the platform cannot handle more than current loading. But nonetheless, newbies are not being converted to engage users at all. Worse even, LL cannot even give companies like Rezzable a stable Registration API so we can do it ourselves.

Our feeling now is that SL is still best virtual world online now. Tech stack is great and many fixes seem possible to get SL out of the self-inflicted rut it is in now. But communication is weak/non-existent and even now early adopters are losing patience. Yet, worst problem for SL is that LL is not marketing the positive, exciting story about the virtual world. They seem to be fixated with real estate specualtion and alternative lifestyle, neither of which is bad btw!

Seems LL is too techy to get into marketing. Our feeling is that another virtual world will get the marketing right this year, even if the tech is weaker or earlier stage and that will be the platform that grabs mainstream users. We can just wait for ESC to tell us which one it is gonna be!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Bad-Unicorn SL builds holdables HUD
Dutchie Evergreen Slideshow 2024
Juicybomb_EEP ad
My book on Goodreads!
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
my site ... ... ...
PC for SL
Recommended PC for SL
Macbook Second Life
Recommended Mac for SL

Classic New World Notes stories:

Woman With Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching (2013)

We're Not Ready For An Era Where People Prefer Virtual Experiences To Real Ones -- But That Era Seems To Be Here (2012)

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog