Saturday, March 17, 2007

Media Loves Second Life

I admit it. I’m obsessed with Second Life. Not as a participant, mind you. I’ve spent very little time in its virtual world. Rather I am boggled by the concept and its media attention. Here are just a few of the latest headlines:

Second Life's looming tax threat

Does Your Business Need a Second Life?

How I Did It: Philip Rosedale, CEO, Linden Lab

In a virtual world, an actual job may be waiting (see my post entitled Job Seekers Need Not Leave Second Life)

New Portal to Second Life: Your Phone

That’s quite a buzz. The first article, Second Life's looming tax threat, discusses the possibility of government taxing on money earned in Second Life, which has quite a bustling economy. Among the ideas for taxing is leaving Linden dollars untaxed, but taxing the U.S. dollars equivalent when cashed out. I have little doubt that taxation will occur in the future. Income earned on the Internet is still income. Earnings from eBay must be reported to the government; Second Life will follow.

Visitors are doing more than just socializing in Second Life, or at least businesses hope they are. Companies are setting up virtual shops, including Second Life as part of their marketing strategy. An auto company lets avatars test drive cars. Recruiting firms are conducting virtual job interviews. These businesses are hoping to create enough buzz in the virtual world to increase their reach in the real world.

What is it about Second Life that has made it so popular and, for some, lucrative? What is the draw for consumers to spend time in Second Life?