Marketers Live in Alternate Realities, erm, Second Life

I’m a pretty well known guy. I like that. It’s odd, at times, particularly at conferences or meetups where people I don’t know introduce themselves, “Hey, aren’t you that Technosailor guy?” Despite being known in tech and the social media scene, I never claimed to be PR-oriented, despite Geoff Livingstone calling this blog the top blog of that type in the DC Area. I still give Geoff the business for that. :-)

Unfortunately for Geoff, yet very fortunate to me – in my eyes – I am no rock star in the PR and Marketing communities. I do my own PR. I do my own Marketing. I do okay, but I’m not a rock star. In terms of that industry, I am but a nobody, a peon. I am guessing most everyone else falls into the same category.

Photo by Danilo “Maso” Masotti

I’m guessing that most people also don’t know about or pay attention to Second Life, the alternate reality digital world that marketers have obsessed over for several years now. Second Life is a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Users create “avatars” that represent themselves or an alternate reality, purchase land and goods, build things and generally follow whatever path they want that might or might not reflect real lives in “first life”.

Marketers have swooned over this as it allows them to build virtual representations of their companies, events and people. It’s supposedly a great way to market in an alternate life to a subculture that is the Second Life group.

But that’s the kicker. It’s a subculture of reality. Yet hours and hours are spent along with immeasurable dollar values to market in this arena and I question the ROI. I have no issue with a moderate use of Second Life. But if you attend Ad Tech or any of the marketing groups in the DC area, and I venture elsewhere as well, you’ll find that Second Life is the only thing being talked about. Way too much is being invested in this thing.

I’m telling you folks, reality calls!