Virtual World Strategy
Second Life has been the focus of corporate and educational virtual world strategy for many notable users since its early days on the web. SL has been a leader in experimenting with such corporate and educational giants as IBM and Notre Dame University to provide online work spaces and classrooms. For business use, SL is an ideal venue for offices which are geographically distant, even located across the world from one another, to host online meetings and virtual training sessions. For educational purposes, SL provides tools for distance educators to teach in virtual classrooms and areas for students to study together in groups even while they live in different cities or countries.
Virtual worlds for businesses
Targeting children in order to create consumer brand loyalty is a popular virtual world strategy being successfully used by individual businesses like DaimlerChrysler, which hosts
is a virtual world that is promoted as a youth panel where kids and young adults aged 7 to 24 can earn money and prizes in exchange for being a test market for ads from businesses such as Nintendo, Apple, Puma and Adidas. Not only are these businesses creating brand identity and brand loyalty using a virtual world, they are doing their market testing there as well. Companies like IBM, which produces more products and services for businesses rather than consumers, are focusing their strategy in venues like Second Life, which provides enterprise-level private areas for meeting and training space.
Second Life for colleges and universities
The world of higher education has enthusiastically expanded its virtual world strategy into Second Life to the extent that there is now a
Twitter stream dedicated to educational institutions
that use Second Life in their curriculums. Students and faculty can tweet about ideas, articles, experimental programs and campus news. They can share not only with populations from their own college or university, but with students from any university, anywhere whether they are currently using the SL platform or not.
New ways to use Second Life
Fundraising projects can connect the virtual and real worlds as students create inworld objects like virtual Christmas wreaths and market them on Twitter to their classmates and friends. Users can tweet about new ways that they are using Second Life to improve interaction between faculty and students. For example,
Penn State has a virtual campus in SL
that not only holds classes and social events, but requires advisors to be available to students for weekly inworld academic counseling sessions. It seems that new ways to use Second Life are emerging on an ongoing basis.
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