Where are you Second Life?

Second Life

Second LifeWhat's going on with Second Life? I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything. But literally, I have not heard anyone talk about Second Life in months … maybe even a year. For those not in the know, Second Life is the Internet-based virtual world that enables its residents to explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and trade goods and services. Several years ago, Second Life was all the rage. Everyone (particularly in the marketing community), was talking about Second Life and its applications for clients. People were convening meetings there, launching campaigns there, and even cheating on their spouses (imagine that conversation with your partner: “Honey, my avatar has been unfaithful to you!”). It was out of control. Fearful that Second Life marked the beginning of a downward spiral into all-things-virtual, I submitted a post to the popular philanthropy-facing blog, Philantopic, about the pros and cons of using Second Life as a communications vehicle. The piece was titled, 'Second Life', What About Our First Life?!  The post quickly evolved into a dialogue about childhood obesity; nevertheless I felt that I had been heard.

So what happened? Either Second Life has since become such a ubiquitous tool that its novelty has worn and it no longer commands the same attention that it once did. Or, it was a passing fad – no doubt a harbinger of things to come – but still a fad in and of itself. I’m not sure.

A quick search for “Second Life” on Google News would indicate that it’s just as strong as ever. Tons of activity, announcements, coverage in the NY Times this week alone. But something has changed. To be clear, I in no way claim to be the barometer of what is hot and what is not in our society, which is why I’m putting this out there as a question more than anything else. Curious to know if anyone has used Second Life recently and if it’s still considered the powerful marketing tool that it once was.

-Rich