Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Two months later, upon my return to the UK, I received as promised 2 phones for a month long trial.
The silver ring around the Skype button is borderline bling but overall the phone is sleek and elegant in its simplicity. And it has a really nice feel when you hold it. I guess Three must have spend weeks with focus groups just to get the right weight, not too heavy, not too light resulting in this smooth feeling handset that fits nicely in the hand.
Decent colour screen, 2MB camera, takes pictures, videos and many other things that I could not be possibly bothered to mention, as I am not that geeky. Specs are there if you are interested (select a phone and click on "Mobile details").
Among the phones I used, Motorola consistently ranked worst in terms of clunky, non-intuitive user interface. Nokia is doing a pretty good job but I always had a soft spot for Sony-Ericksson. I am adding to my favourites Three’s interface which is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. Good job for people like me who would rather never use a functionality than opening a user manual.
This is the crux of the matter. You can call and receive calls on Skype using Three’s network, which means you don’t rely on finding a wifi connection. Finally, I could talk to my Skype friends without being glued to my laptop. Because I am using Three’s network , voice quality was much better than my normal Skype calls. When logged-in to Skype (just press the “Skype” button), you will see your contacts and their status. To call, just select a contact and you are on. You can use Skype chat as well but the Three Skypephone does not support Skype Out or Skype In.
The picture quality of live TV is impressive. Sharp and good streaming. On offer: BBC1, BBC3, BBC News, National Geographic, FHM, MTV…
Facebook, MSN, eBay and the likes
It has all that if you need it. There is a handy shortcut to Google Search on Three’s launcher (like a “Start menu on Windows). There is a direct link to Youtube as well so instead of spending too much money on video calls, post your clip on your Youtube channel for your friends to watch and reciprocate.
Finally, the price…
Now this is where it gets complicated, there are lots of information on rates and plans but it is a bit all over the place on Three’s website, and the small print is hard to find.
Pay As You Go (no contract)
You can buy a handset for £59.99 that includes a £10 top-up. You can use Skype for 30 days with a “fair use” policy (4,000 Skype minutes and 10,000 chat messages per month) but you need to top-up again with a minimum of £10 every 30 days.
Contracts are 18 months, which is far too long to consider for someone like me who spend months abroad. The cheapest plan is £12 a month and gives you 100 minutes or text messages. The phone comes free with the same “fair use” policy for Skype.
Live TV is £5 a month and add another £5 for unlimited web surfing. This will go on top of PAYG or contracts.
I showed the phone to a couple of friends and they all agreed that it is a looker with great functionality, with Skype, Live TV an mobile web among their favourite features (in order). As far as I understand, rates are competitive but my hunch is that you need to spend lots of time on Skype at time when you don't want to be at home to make it worthwhile. Otherwise you may be better off sticking to Skype on your laptop and a cheap call plan for calls/texts. The 18 months contract is a no go for me but I may look into the PAYG option after I speak to Three’s sales reps to clarify call rates for that option.
Overall, the Skype Phone is on top of my 2008 must-have list and I am glad I tried it.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"The Story of Stuff:
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. (...) It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."
Friday, December 14, 2007
Back to how much Facebook has replaced blogging now...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"Now we also want to share the benefits of our work by enabling other social sites to use our platform architecture as a model. In fact, we’ll even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags to other platforms. Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we’ve learned, everyone wins -- users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences, and social sites get more applications."
Bebo already announced that it will focus its efforts on applications compatibility with Facebook (while continuing to support Open Social).
Are we heading towards a format war between Google and Facebook?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
I told you so.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Full article on Washington Post
Friday, November 30, 2007
Story on BBC.
Facebook’s official reaction:
Facebook Update on Changes to Beacon
No stories will be published without users proactively consenting
We appreciate feedback from all Facebook users and made some changes to Beacon in the past day. Users now have more control over the stories that get published to their Mini-Feed and potentially to their friends' News Feeds.
Here's how the Beacon changes work:
- Stories about actions users take on external websites will continue to be presented to users at the top of their News Feed the next time they return to Facebook. These stories will now always be expanded on their home page so they can see and read them clearly.
- Users must click on "OK" in a new initial notification on their Facebook home page before the first Beacon story is published to their friends from each participating site. We recognize that users need to clearly understand Beacon before they first have a story published, and we will continue to refine this approach to give users choice.
- If a user does nothing with the initial notification on Facebook, it will hide after some duration without a story being published. When a user takes a future action on a Beacon site, it will reappear and display all the potential stories along with the opportunity to click "OK" to publish or click "remove" to not publish.
- Users will have clear options in ongoing notifications to either delete or publish. No stories will be published if users navigate away from their home page. If they delay in making this decision, the notification will hide and they can make a decision at a later time.
- Clicking the "Help" link next to the story will take users to a full tutorial that explains exactly how Beacon works, with screenshots showing each step in the process.
These changes are in addition to those made earlier to improve the notifications on partner sites as follows
- Users were sometimes moving away from a page before a notification could be fully displayed. We changed the process so that we confirm the full display of the notification before any information can be sent back to a user's Facebook account.
- The notification appears more rapidly and is more clearly displayed.
There has been misinformation in the market about some key aspects of how Beacon works:
- Participation in Beacon is free for all partner sites.
- Beacon only allows for the sharing of specific actions on the specific sites participating in Beacon.
- Beacon only has the potential to display actions to a selection of a user's friends through News Feed and on a user's Mini-Feed.
- Facebook is not sharing user information with participating sites and never sells user information.
As with all its products, Facebook will continue to iterate quickly and listen to feedback from its users
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Whenever you befriend an innocent fruit juice, be it honeyed mango or crushed strawberry, your Facebook "friends" will be automatically notified:
Note that Facebook added two icons on the right of each mini-feed story. Whenever you are privy to such privileged information, click on the little cross. That should stop the pain, at least temporarily.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
- Amp'd Mobile
- Caspian Networks
- DeNovis Inc
- PointCast Inc
- Vanguarde Media Inc
- Bolt Media Inc
Read more on InsideCRM
Thanks to the new El Blogador.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Chris Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook, said the ads are a “representation” of the action users have taken: choosing to link themselves to a product thus it would be difficult for someone to object because that person had already chosen to publicly identify themselves with the brand doing the advertising.
Full article in the NY Times.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Article on NY Times.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
As I am typing this, sipping a Cabernet Sauvignon, watching a rerun of Star Wars' "Attack of the clones"on HBOFW and laying-out a user journey for Karmony's Facebook app (to be released this week), I cannot help thinking how much Google has become the default "site" for much of my web needs. I only search on Google, Gmail is my primary personal email address, Google News is my first point of call to see what's going on in the world, I welcomed OpenSocial as it will make our job easier as developers (for Karmony) and I cannot wait to get a phone where I can play with Google Maps (which is not an overpriced/over hyped iPhone)... It all becomes a bit scary how much a single company wields power over the web...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I reckon that Facebook should join in.
Chris then publishes a list of about 300 banned email addresses, a real who's who of public relations practitioners. Comments to the post are entertaining, mostly supportive of the initiative. There are some PR guys whining in the lot (the entertaining part).
Personally, I hope that this will be a wake-up call for lazy PR execs who spam bloggers with press releases or who infringe editors/journalists' personal space. I do receive about 2 emails a week, nothing like what Chris Anderson must be dealing with. I rarely follow-up as they often consists of a copied and pasted press release about some topics I couldn't care less about (some company won an award in Oregon...). Sometimes there is a short note offering me an interview with some executives I never heard of (to talk about awards won in Oregon...).
When I was working with Hill & Knowlton, we went to great length to build relationships with bloggers. It takes a lot of time and efforts but the end result is that you don't end up in a banned list like Chris Anderson's, for all to see and to spam you in return.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Best analysis of what it means is on ZDNet.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The Fall season kicked off September 24 with guest blogger Peter A. Gloor of MIT's Sloan School of Management, who blogged about analyzing workplace communications. The season continues Oct 15 with computer communications expert Dave Taylor answering that menacing question: Is it okay to get paid to blog?
The blog show features a different guest blogger each week. Our guests are renowned professionals, educators and authors in the field of online communication.
Here is the Fall lineup:
October 15-19, 2007
GUEST: Dave Taylor, Blogsmart, Ask Dave Taylor
TOPIC: Is It Okay to Get Paid to Blog?
October 22-26, 2007
GUEST: Ted Demopoulos, Blogging for Business
TOPIC: Should CEOs Blog?
October 29-November 2, 2007
GUEST: Dianna Huff, Marcom Writer Blog
TOPIC: Writing Search Engine Friendly Copy
November 5-9, 2007
GUEST: Lois Kelly, Foghound
TOPIC: Conversational Marketing: Mood over Matter?
November 13-16, 2007
(Nov. 12 is Veteran's Day)
GUEST: Shel Horowitz, Ethical Marketing Expert
TOPIC: Blogger's Code of Ethics: News or Ruse?
"This Week on IAOCblog.com" takes place at http://www.iaocblog.com/. For more information, please visit this site or contact email@example.com.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Myspace was sold two years ago for $580 million and claims 100 million users.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Most pharma companies still build "Web 1.0" brochureware websites with limited user information. I agree that the regulatory framework doesn't help.
However, Lisa Phillips names some exceptions such as Rozerem where visitors to the website can see a "video featuring the characters from its TV spots--Abraham Lincoln, a talking beaver and a sleep-deprived young man--with each imploring users to click on his individual section to learn more about the drug".
It's abit more creative but really, how web 2.0 is that??? It's just a layer on a brochureware website...
From Online Media Daily EMarketer report is there.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Article on Evening Standard.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
- Young Cheng (Shaftsbury avenue) for quick lunch
- China China in Chinatown for mixed meat takeaways when I feel lazy and skint
- Royal China (Bayswater or Baker Street branch)
- Four Seasons in Bayswater for duck noodles
- The Hare & Tortoise on High Street Kensington for their soft shell crabs
- Pearl Liang (hidden gem in Paddington for posher meals - lobster noodles is recommended)
- Kiasu on Bayswater for authentic Singaporean fares
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
- "It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down".
- "In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon."
- "In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk"
- "In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed."
- "In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset."
- "In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow."
Friday, August 24, 2007
- Create a folder and copy the file "skype.exe" into it.
- Create another folder inside your folder and call it "data". Inside, create a text file called "skype.bat" with the following text: skype.exe /datapath:"Data" /removable.
- Copy to your USB key. Done.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
- "almost 77 percent said the labeled fries tasted best while only 13 percent preferred the others".
- "54% percent preferred McDonald's-wrapped carrots versus 23 percent who liked the plain-wrapped sample".
- "29 kids chose McDonald's-wrapped burgers and 22 chose the unmarked ones" (not clear cut).
- "Fewer than one-fourth of the children said both samples of all foods tasted the same".
Article on CNN
Friday, August 03, 2007
1- I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2- Borrow money from pessimists - they don't expect it back.
3- Half the people you know are below average.
4- 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5- 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6- A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8- If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
9- All those who believe in psycho-kinesis, raise my hand.
10- The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11- I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
12- OK, so what's the speed of dark?
13- How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
14- If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15- Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16- When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
17- Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18- Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
19- I intend to live forever - so far, so good.
20- If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21- Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
22- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23- My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24- Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
25- If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
28- The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30- The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31- The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
32- The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33- Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film!
Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
European internet users spend 14.3 hours a week online, compared with 11.3 hours watching TV, and 4.4 hours reading newspapers or magazines, the research group said. 36% of people who go online said they spent less time looking at the television as a result.
Friday, July 06, 2007
I've been on Linked-In for a few years and signed-up to Facebook recently, as most people I know in the
Networking is not about collecting “connections” but getting to know people beyond what’s written on their business cards. Too many Linked-In users treat the network as a customer database. Facebook, at least for the moment is indeed a better tool than Linked-In for quality of relationships, which determines a personal network's value.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Think about it, we can still read 5,000 years old Egyptian hieroglyphs or medieval manuscripts but we can't access a file on a floppy disk, read a Betamax tape or a Philips CD-I... There is a danger of loosing our collective memory because we record it on highly perishable media. And the pace of change drives the cost of re-recording it again and again for national archives, who are often poorly funded.
I reckon that in 10 years time, it will be fashionable to handwrite letters again, just because it involves efforts and makes the recipient feel special. And your letter will be preserved for hundred years for posterity, unlike that "reply all" email.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
If the case is successful, any search engine accessible in the UK could be liable for defamation suits.
From VNUNET.com and Tech.blorge.com
Friday, June 29, 2007
Jason Lloyd, Head of Broadband at the survey commissioner: "I urge all people to check what deal they are on and then ask their broadband provider for a free upgrade".
I will follow that advice as my own broadband provider delivers me speed of up to 20Kbps at present...
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
French blogueurs vocabulary:
- A blogger = un blogueur. Plural: blogueurs
- A blog post = un billet. Plural: billets
- A comment = un commentaire. Plural: commentaires
- A trackback link = un retrolien. retroliens
- RSS feed = fil des billets
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Via Guy who saw it on The Register
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Via an email from El Blogador.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
What's even more entertaining is to read comments to that simple physics experiment: "it's magic!", "it's a fake!". This is a nice segway to this article that compares science curriculum for 14 years old students in the
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I am encouraged that Sarkozy won what is probably the highest score for a "RPR now UMP"* candidate in the first round for the last 20 years. I am concerned about what Bayrou's supporters will do next with their votes, given that they didn't really think that through in the first round. Many socialists voted Bayrou believing he would have a better chance to beat Sarkozy in the second round...
Royal, since she has no program that any decent economist would support is building an "all but Sarkozy" coalition. I watched the live BBC 24 coverage of the elections and apparently, French people now understand that they need to change if they want to survive in the 21st century. Royal is positioning herself as the agent of "gentle change" as opposed to Sarkozy's more "brutal" methods.
Mathematically, if Sarkozy does not win Bayrou's voters, he will lose to Royal. Now imagine France as a car whose handbrake has been released, sliding slowly downhill towards a cliff. Voting Royal is like pressing the accelerator with both feet.
* Let's compare UK and French political parties: the UMP, which is "right wing" in France would be at the left of "New Labour". That's how liberal we are. Royal's supporters would be speaking standing on a box in Hyde Park corner.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
George Walden thinks that
Not sure I understand what his program is about. I know he likes horses and wants a government of consensus with the left and the right. Not a recipe for change to me. But French people love that: more of the same. Likely to be in the second round. Out.
I knew many people like him when I was in high school. They spent their days sitting down in cafes, smoking cigarettes, wearing black turtle necks and talking about how great the communist revolution was. I guess most work for the French post office now. Out.
He has been consistent for a few decades: boot all immigrants outside
Made his political career out of smashing McDonald’s windows. Out.
Mainstream communist party. Out.
Famously said that CEOs of companies that made profits yet fired employees should be jailed. She is a “French Trotskyist communist politician”. There are not enough goulags in
Never heard of him before. Hunting party (people who like to kill other forms of life for fun). Out.
Another Trostkyist … Out.
The French revolution abolished the monarchy 218 years ago. Out.
Green candidate. Don’t know what her program is. Out.
She definitely campaigns for change: Turning the clock back to 1970’s style of French socialism with a bloated state, massive handouts, more taxes and protection from the “evils of liberalism”. Wrong analysis of the problems and wrong solutions. Since she is one of the top three candidates likely to go into the second round, it is fair to say that her election would probably be the worst thing that could happen to
I have being contaminated by the evils of liberalism therefore only Sarkosy’s program seems to make some sense to me (and I stress “some”). Yet I don’t think
Et voila, I did all the hard work for you so that you don’t have to think too much when voting this weekend. I’ll watch the results live with the French club at my school. I’ll comment on Monday.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By answering regular polls (such as helping choose future packaging or a model for a poster campaign), registered users become "advisers" and earn points to spend on discounted products in an exclusive online boutique. There is a blog too and comments are enabled, albeit vetted by an editor.
The press release talks about "web 2.0" but the site lacks tools for users to actually express themselves or connect with each other. This means that the site is falling short of being a true community and viral growth will be driven by the availability of discounts more than anything else.
Nonetheless, it's a good step forward for a FMCG brand in engaging with consumers in co-creation. Why not push it slightly further and ask consumers to suggest packaging ideas of their own too?
Thank you Gaylene for the tip.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Following from Kathy Sierra's encounter with the "dark side" of the blogosphere, Tim O'Reilly (Web 2.0TM) proposed a "blogger’s code of conduct" which is getting a lot of media attention and a lot of flak from bloggers. I don’t have time to go at length as to why I think this is daft or even a dangerous idea as I am struggling to finish my MBA thesis (I shouldn’t be blogging but I could not resist on that one). I am pointing you instead to two bloggers who best encapsulate what I would have written: Tristan Louis who does a great job at explaining how unworkable this proposal is and Jeff Jarvis who shows the flipside of it.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
The Onion News Network has set the standard for globe-encompassing 24-hour television news since it was founded in December, 1892. The network boasts channels in 171 languages and can be viewed in 4.2 billion households in 811 countries.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
On my list of things that annoys me is why everything funded by the European Union as to have "Euro" something in the name? My take: it is the lowest common denominator that everyone can agree on so we will be stuck with dull names and creative decisions run by committees for the next 50 years.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Via PR Week, UK edition.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Via New Media Age, 15th of March 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
How much do you use online consumer reviews? Do you find them useful? Tell us all in a short survey, help a final year MBA student complete his report, do a good deed and win a $20 Amazon gift certificate. All for 10 minutes of your time only!
Click on the link or paste it in your browser:
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Via IT Wire.
Second Life article. More articles on Ampersand.
A Second look @ Second Life
The Second Life tidal wave has finally crossed the Atlantic and is leaping on European shores. By in large, communication professionals are perplexed about whether they should surf the hype or not. But to their credit, they recognise a “PR opportunity” when they see one: over the last 6 months media coverage related to Second Life (SL) increased by nearly 150% while SL blog mentions increased by 260%.
This begs the question: How long will the Second-Life media frenzy lasts? And if not for PR, what is the value of investing time and money with avatars when marketing budgets are under renewed pressure to deliver real dollar returns from real consumers?
While a reality check is overdue, I would argue that there is more than meets the eye in SL and there is genuine value to be extracted for brands that are willing to learn the dynamics of the ‘metaverse’ and play by its rules.
Second Life is a land of plenty, not of many
There are over 2.9 million registered users in SL however most reports talk of about 300,000 active users and it is estimated that concurrent users are only around 20,000 (there are about twenty thousands users on average at the same time in SL). Marketers are interested in knowing their audience. Reliable estimates on SL demographics are hard to come by but it is thought that 25% to 45% of users come from outside the U.S, mostly from Canada, UK, Australia and Western Europe. SL is developing fast outside North-America and local European enclaves such as a virtual Dublin or Parioli, a replica of a Roman street (the city, not the era…) are flourishing. The average SL user has a median age of 32 years old, with equal gender split.
Residents are marketing savvy and patriotic
Second Life residents have been busy shaping their “little” world since 2003 and it is only since last year than big corporations have discovered this vast untouched land, and decided to plant their flags on it. Some think that Second Life could turn into another ad funded Myspace. I won’t bet on that. The flood of announcements about companies being the first “fill in the blanks” in SL has triggered a growing backlash from residents against brands who are perceived to be invading their turf. In addition, it is fair to say that the PR value of setting up a presence in SL follows the law of diminishing returns.
When corporations occupy virtual land, they often go unnoticed. The most popular places in SL are grassroots and resident -run (mostly in the casinos/nightclubs/ adult entertainment arena…). None of the corporate outposts is achieving decent traffic in comparison. According to New World Notes, the only corporate venue that gets decent traffic is Thomson who offers educational content, i.e. something of value. A lesson to all?
The right rewards beckon companies with the right expectations
Despite the hype, SL is growing fast. And it is not alone: World of Warcraft passed 8 millions players in January while the BBC is launching its own virtual world for children. Consumers are moving away from watching TV commercials, magazines and online banners to places where they can be their own director and actor. If consumers are spending more time into virtual worlds it makes sense for their favourite brands to follow them in their virtual life. Toyota, Pontiac, American Apparel, Starwood Hotels are among those already established. Philips, ABN Amro and AOL have made announcement for 2007. Even the French socialist party has set-up an outpost in SL. Anecdotally; it is the only place where I saw avatars smoking…
To set expectations right, buying an island in SL or commissioning an avatar of your CEO will not terraform your brand into an epitome of coolness. The value is not in being present but in being active. Most companies in SL think about their presence from an advertising standpoint. That is a place for people to “experience the brand”. A visitor to such experiential venues (think agencies’ virtual offices or trendy company showrooms…) will quickly notice more often than less that these places are devoid of any life forms. SL is a platform for interaction and if there is no one to interact with, the fun of wandering up and down designer glass stairways quickly wane. Why stay or come back? Think about sustaining your investment: spend less in building a fancy shop and more in manning the shop floor!
Think co-creative marketing and immersive learning not clickable billboards
There are countless creative opportunities to promote your brand in SL, besides virtual billboards and showrooms. The only constraints are of the platform itself. Talking of which, it is worth mentioning that when more than 40 people/avatars are confined in one place, SL slows down considerably. When organising events it is therefore advised to prioritise quality over quantity as the inability to achieve the latter is seriously detrimental to the former. Technology blog Tech Crunch has another useful insight: holding SL only media announcements irritates time poor and technology challenged journalists (who often writes about Second Life from their experience watching the corporate video on the website…)
SL residents like to create. Unless they are provided with tools to contribute to the “brand experience” there will treat your efforts the way you treat an ad poster: pretty to look at once, nothing more. Spending time with the SL natives and enrolling them to develop your SL footprint will increase the chance of successfully “blending in”. For example, you could launch a competition for SL residents to design your building or hire brand supporters to engage with visitors. If you stuck for ideas, just ask the natives. Could you sponsor local fashion designers or inviting a SL virtual car designer to your real design studio? How about limited digital versions of your products offered or sold underground to trendsetters to create some buzz? Or publishing a guide to the coolest venues?
The whole of SL is user generated, the very same trend driven by hard to reach Gen Y and Gen X consumers. What better place to gather first hand consumer insights or indulge in a bit of consumer ethnography? Your SL venue could be a perfect way to train your marketing staff across the world on social media, consumer trends and conduct workshops ; providing you with an opportunity to practice what you teach and to reduce your company’s carbon emissions.
By engaging with the virtual community and offering something of value, you will turn every interaction into a genuine understanding of what makes consumers want to create and converse. This is happening now, in virtual worlds, in Myspace or in Youtube. Stepping in Second Life is not about PR or showering avatars with ads. It provides an opportunity to understand the mindset of today’s connected consumers. This will turn your investment in Second Life into a real competitive advantage in First Life and deliver real dollar returns on your marketing investment.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Factiva. Percentage increase comparisons between months of August 2006 and January 2007.
 Blogpulse. Keyword mentions “Second Life” over last 6 months as of 25th of January 2007.
 http://secondlife.com/ as of 25th of January 2007.
 http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/conten t/oct2006/id20061030_869611.htm
 http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/11/pr_flacks _banne.html
Monday, March 05, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Apparently, 12.73% of the SL population is French. Don't ask me how this figure was calculated...