Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Secondary Second Life Value

Wagner James Au has an interesting post about how Second Life marketing may need to take into account the secondary marketing effects of repurposed media from SL. He gives the example of Chris Anderson's SL YouTube video getting lots of hits... probably WAY more hits than people in-game visiting the Wired HQ. Chris is, of course, editor of Wired, and their current issue has an article on the failure of SL from a corporate standpoint. Chris blogged about it, and posted Au's response here.

It's an interesting question/debate. If you go to YouTube and search for "Second Life" videos, and rank them by view count, you'll find that the top video has more than 4 million views. Now, it wasn't made with SL, but with other VW tools like The Sims. But the 2nd most popular is the U2 concert in SL, with almost 700,000 views.

700,000 views ain't nothin' to sneeze at. According to SL stats, about 656,000 people logged onto the service in the last 14-days. So more people have viewed one MySpace video, of a 6 minute event, than actually used the thing in two weeks.

This is really pinging around in my head, now. Google (and the Web at large) are involved in aggregating our Long Tail interests... pulling many disparate sources of content together based on individual requirements. When it comes to text, we don't really think to ourselves, "Yeah... that guy's keyboard must be fantastic," because there is a basic equality in how we generate letters; the technical source of written content -- a keyboard and maybe a word processor or blog engine -- is invisible, essentially.

Second Life, however, doesn't just create content for the folks who are inside. 700,000 people saw the U2 YouTube SL video. For them, SL was the content creation engine. And it can do some stuff that's not possible elsewhere.

So maybe one of the things we should be thinking about in our online lives is: How do we measure the opportunities for repurposing what we're doing? Could all the comments on my blog, for example, be collected into a blog of their own? Could my Flickr pics be a coffee-table book? Could I (should I...) splice my favorite YouTube videos into my home movies? Could my live book club discussions be recorded and podcast (podcasted?)?

I don't know... but I hadn't thought about the repurposeability of online activities as a measurement until today.  

By way of: Infocult

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