Arrows and accolades aside, let’s apply SL against Gartner’s Hype Cycle. Tom Murphy (my second favorite Irishman ;-) conducted a similar, pragmatic exercise in September of 2005 to gauge the evolution of an array of PR tactics. Was SL even on our radar at the time?
DISCLAIMER: Second Life was humming along for quite some time before mainstream marketers joined the grid. And while most veteran residents consider this entrance ham-fisted at best, this exercise does not take early SL history into account.
We’ve passed the peak of inflated expectations—during which SL brought us a virtual millionaire and even helped determine TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” But IMHO it’s still early and we’re not in the trough of disillusionment.
If When SL reaches “the slope and the plateau,” I think marketers that created an SL presence as a stunt for short term awareness will be gone.
The remaining brands will more closely align with residents’ real world demographics. They’ll also understand the opportunity with SL is not to simply mirror brands from real life, but to take advantage of SL and extend brands in ways they cannot in the real world.
SL residents help illustrate my point. How many real world folks can fly, teleport and completely alter their physical appearance with a few clicks and keystrokes?
What's your take on
marketing's flavor of the month, er, Second Life? Where do you think Second Life is on this chart?