Kicking off IMC Day 2 – Was it OK to ignore Second Life?


Welcome to IMC Integrate Day 2, which for me is starting with Prof. Susan Jones (@sjones9200) discussing E-Commerce to V-Commerce. I took Direct Marketing with Susan earlier this year and think that she is awesome at facilitating conversations on the online discussion boards, so I’m interested to see her work in person.

We start off by watching one of her XtraNormal movies. If you haven’t heard of XtraNormal, it allows you to type a script and have it automatically converted into an animated cartoon, complete with characters who read your script.

Two of my favorite XtraNormals were actually the first ones that I saw – comparing the iPhone to the HTC Evo. If you don’t mind rough language, then these are pretty hilarious.

Her session this morning is going to focus on virtual worlds and Web 3.0 – I know Web 2.0 through and through, but haven’t seen a definition of 3.0 yet, so this should be good

Oh, turns out she’s going to take a look at why companies and marketers have been abandoning Second Life and My Virtual Model

Taking a look at three four definitions of virtual worlds. It boils down to virtual worlds=spatially-based worlds or computerized places populated by avatars. And yes, the Wii counts! Next, Web 3.0 is defined as the Semantic Web, which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to provide customized recommendations.

Susan recommends Donna Hoffman, Sloan School as the guru of this technology for marketers

In an interesting twist, Susan talks about Tivo and its Recommendations features as an example of the predictive technology that will become commonplace with Web 3.0. My wife and I have a Tivo and it does recommend shows for us, but it’s usually the evening news – makes me think that we are really boring people!

I’ve never used Second Life and it turns out that I’m not the only one (and probably wasn’t missing too much). The platform began to be abandoned in 2007 due to low engagement and usage, plus the fact that brand strategy was never translated to virtual worlds. @MicheleBartram gets a shout out for identifying the key reasons that My Virtual Model needed to go back for retooling – too much complexity and cost to create clothing for each avatar.

Talking about virtual trade shows, with conversation extending to virtual college campuses, virtual shopping, and even a virtual tour of the Fred (aka Mr.) Rogers Center in Pennsylvania.

Now learning about Jellyvision, which uses actors to answer common customer questions. Feels like an eLearning course, but with more personality and a less “corporate” feel.

Closing out with some more XtraNormal videos. Looks like the best use of this technology is in targeted applications for specific audiences, such as trade shows and virtual tours of actual facilities or products. Virtual worlds and shopping malls have too much of a creep factor, if there’s anyone there at all.

That’s my take, anyway. What do you think about the possibilities for V-Commerce?

Back with another session after the break.

One Response to “Kicking off IMC Day 2 – Was it OK to ignore Second Life?”

  1. Ann Keaton Says:

    I heard this was a great breakout session. Sorry I missed it. Will have to watch it online. 🙂 Ann

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