Articles of Interest

I’m not even going to try distilling the E3 news; check out Next-Gen, Joystiq, etc for coverage. I’ll just point out two of my favorite videos: Super Mario Galaxy (I love how a 2nd player can help the primary player in simple but significant ways) and LittleBigPlanet (which continues to look awesome!)

Ever since I wrote about reverse product placement I’ve been getting pinged by people interested in the concept — the latest from Ad Age, which quoted me in an article about the current 7-Eleven/Simpsons promo taking place. (A bunch of 7-Eleven’s are being converted into Quik-E-Marts and selling goods from the Simpsons universe… like Squishees!) Really, really interesting! (Too bad that Duff Beer didn’t make the leap; I’d personally love to drink one.) ….and speaking of the Simpsons, the upcoming game from EA is sounding pretty cool. 🙂

LA Times has posted an article about the difficulties that companies are experiencing with their Second Life islands. Not much new in there aside from admissions by companies that are disenchanted and pulling out. Wagner James Au (author of the fantastic blog New World Notes) fires back with some statistics, most of which are compelling, but two of which are simply misleading. First: “Each of the top five [commercial] sites garnered a .8 to 2% visit rate. Typical click through for a traditional banner ad on the Web is generally estimated at .5 to 1%.” Well, yeah, but what’s the cost of acquiring that .8 to 2% visit rate relative to banner advertising? Pretty darn high from what I hear. Next: “Just 18% of the world has been designated to have ‘Mature’ content.” Fine, but how much visitor time is spent in that 18% of the world? More than 18%, I’ll bet.

Second Life is pretty cool, but its defenders need to think of new ways to talk about it. (Btw, I’m not advocating that companies ignore SL — but as I’ve said before, they do need to completely rethink their relationship to it.)

3 responses to “Articles of Interest

  1. hey David

    Great idea on reverse product placement. I could see the potential for it in this world of ours. I saw one of the 7-Eleven/Simpsons stores the other day and it was cool.

  2. > what’s the cost of acquiring that .8 to 2% visit rate relative to
    > banner advertising? Pretty darn high from what I hear.

    Fairly steep, but that\’s a separate question. Forbes and other mainstream outlets have been claiming that no one visits corporate sites, but the fact remains that the top corporate sites bring in a proportionally substantial number of visitors. MS Island isn\’t doing too bad, actually. 🙂

    > how much visitor time is spent in that 18% of the world? More than 18%, I’ll bet.

    The thing is, no one knows. I honestly don\’t know. My strong guess is that Residents who go into SL primarily for sex are noobies who have a high churn rate– i.e., go in, have sex at a free orgy site, shrug, leave. I do know many of the popular Mature sites have a strong sexual component– but integrated into other entertainment. In any case, I do take exception for example to Forbes quoting a VP at Lenovo who claims that the only thing to do in SL is get laid– and then when I ask him how he came to that conclusion, admits he\’s barely been in-world.

    Thanks for the props, though.

  3. @WJA – Agreed; it’s quite silly to depict SL as nothing more than a sex shop. And you’re probably right about new users gravitating to those parts of the world (moreso than established users.) Nevertheless, if you add up time spent on gambling and sexuality, I’d imagine those two things account for a whopping percentage of total user activity (again, including new users, not necessarily those who have invested heavily in SL.)

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