SXSW Interactive – Second Life Takeaways

I attended the Second Life session in hopes of finding out where this platform is heading. Is this a space we should be pursuing?

The session wasn’t what I had hoped for as they focused mostly on games and the more “fun” aspects of Second Life rather than from the “do good” in Second Life perspective.

It was pretty technical and a bit over my head. Also a bit boring.

I was sad and disappointed when I left. None of my questions had been answered.

I really wanted to know – does Second Life work?

I found a new friend I made the day prior, Cathryn, who works for US Travel up in Alaska, and told her my predicament.

It turns out she and US Travel used Second Life for one of their “convention” gatherings.

She said it didn’t work out as well as they had hoped.

The overall cost / benefit analysis was not worth it.

To make it private (so you don’t have random naked avatars walking around) and to create the right “atmosphere” you need to invest in a developer who has the time to make it right.

Her next question was: How tech savy will your attendees be?

Getting set up, downloading the correct software, creating an avatar can take a lot of time. Then, they need to be trained how to use Second Life.

When looking at Second Life stats – their traffic is mostly international.

It’s very niche based.

Her suggestions:

  • Focus on create “Tweet-ups”
  • Promote via Twitter using a Hashtag
  • Consider using UStream to live video the event – which pulls in the Twitter stream – creating a mashup of the event

Lastly, her final question really made sense to me…

Is there Second Life at SXSW? This is the most tech savy event – they are not using it. They actually have a session: Second Life – where are they now?

Hmm. Makes you think.

by: Stephanie Ross, e-Project Specialist