Friday, March 30, 2007

Hello… My Name Is WWW

Thank goodness Coldwell Banker has decided to sell real estate in virtual world Second Life. I guess I can cancel that benefit concert for avatar homelessness.
Coldwell’s virtual properties will sell for about $20 U.S., but they aren’t looking to make money on it. Like most businesses venturing in to Second Life, they are hoping to get attention online from a new market segment that can be converted to real world customers.

Are we becoming a society that is online first, real world second? Many companies have made big names for themselves through ecommerce (think Amazon, eBay, Expedia), and the past few years have seen a surge in online socialization (think MySpace, Facebook, Second Life).

Most actions that would have previously caused us to interact face-to-face are now being automated online. Highly targeted online advertising is all the rage.
As our real and virtual lives become more intertwined, will we still be active in the real world? Likewise, as electronic advertising takes over, will the real world be less cluttered with “clever” messaging? I, for one, would just like to be human again.