New subscriptions on SL dwindling, but current users are spending more time and money on the server. Apparently the Second Life ‘world economy’ is growing at a rate of 15%/yr, and with a GDP of US$300 million achieved a total higher than some real-world nations.
IBM to host private SL regions where IBM employees can move and interact outside of the public SL sphere. This will make possible private discussions as the data is processed by IBM’s own servers and not those of Linden Lab. Apparently more than 6,000 IBM employees have already set up Second Life avatars. Looks like corporations are testing out the benefits of SL. Cisco has a presence as well.
“Virtual-World Executives”. Sounds like a joke, but apparently some CEs are to testify before the US House of Reps Committee on Energy and Commerce. Some real money is being transferred around in the virtual online worlds. Users maybe laundering money? Government wants to tax these online transactions? We’ll see…
Nickelodeon is exploring the creation of virtual worlds. Seems clever considering that kids are increasingly savvy internet users. Nick will attempt to use these worlds as a marketing platform and also as a separate business entity that creates revenue through subscriptions and the like.
A Charity raises funds through SL? I’m impressed with the charity’s ingenuity, as they successfully found a method of publicizing their cause. Through the internet they reached a much broader base than they could’ve through any other means. Although the money taken in was hardly a grand sum ($30), the idea was a clever one. And looks like Red Cross managed to raise a substantial sum, some $40,000 in their ‘Relay for (Second) Life’.
Just as a side note I thought it was interesting that, towards the bottom of the Reuters SL main page, the Reuters Bureau Chief for SL and a Reuters Reporter on SL both have images of their SL avatars instead of their faces. Do what degree can a ‘second life’ impose on one’s true life?