A few weeks back I was Blogging on SecondLife http://secondlife.com and admitted after some interaction with my colleague Ron Tolido on his entries on the www.capgemini.com/ctoblog that I wasn’t personally turned on by the need for a fantasy world. Well new evidence has come to light that makes me think again, or at least is in tune with my original questioning as to whether this represents second generation Blogging, a new form of public meeting or even a place for business pilots. This new development in a matter of weeks illustrates just how fast change is going as people experiment with new technology and new ideas.

Its further evidence that the Web 1.0 model of relatively static content can handle mature, slow to change, situations, but as the population at large seems to have moved on line, and found how to use the interactivity of Web 2.0, then the whole idea of how business uses Web sites for ‘catalogues’ fails. Fast! So what might have changed my mind? Simple, a visit to http://freshtakes.typepad.com/sl_communicators/2007/01/second_life_wha.html which as the opening of the URL says is just that: a fresh take on using Second Life for business purposes.
How did I get to know of this site? Back to Web 2.0, a colleague tagged it, and the interactivity of people, rather than the reactivity of search engines did the rest. This illustrates the changing situation rather nicely, as more content on topics that interest me is made available via a network of people with whom I share the interest, and/or trust to have good judgement. Can I ‘google’ it? Well it doesn’t come up so far as I can see under ‘second life fresh take’, but it does come up on ‘second life business’ after a page or so, however this assume that I will sit down and make searches diligently on a series of topics.
Well this is okay if I know about a specific topic (by some means!) and choose to take time out to research it, but what happens if I don’t know? Let’s take the example of Peugeot, I do know they make cars, so it’s easy to search for their offerings when I want to buy a car, but suppose I want to take up biking, do I know that they make bikes? The assumption of Peugeot marketing is that I will find them by searching on ‘Bikes’, but have you tried this? No. Of course you won’t. It’s too vague and you will be lost in all the returns, so you will narrow the search to what you know. More likely to what you hear from friends etc. in your social circle, or in the new Web 2.0 world by a larger community that you have joined and is into ‘bikes’. Would they include Peugeot, maybe but a lot depends on how they perceive the ability to interact around Peugeot.
At this point I should make it clear that I am not into bikes and really have no idea how Peugeot is doing with reaching the cycling community, but I do know what Toyota is doing. Go to www.scion.com and see a whole new side to Toyota built around communities with shared interests in a wide range of topics. What do the communities have in common? They are all about outgoing social events that make car ownership necessary, and the site allows that car to be in tune with the community in question. Same story is occurring with a number of well known brands, particularly if they are trying to reposition the brand to get into a new market where they are not known as a player. In other words where buyers would not be searching for them by existing brands, names, whatever.
It’s really just the next stage in a migration that Marketing has had to learn to live with as each new media has eclipsed the last; newspapers, radio, television, phone, Web 1.0 and now to Web 2.0. It’s just the speed of the change that is getting to them! No sooner had they mastered getting content on the Web 1.0 site to look good then along comes Web 2.0 making new demands! And that brings me back to the ‘Fresh Look’ site, it’s well worth a look to understand exactly what and how Web 2.0 and SecondLife can be used for business.