I just finished giving my Keynote at Outsell's Signature event in the lovely Kiawah resort in South Carolina. My presentation was titled, "Enterprise 2.0" and I talked about crayon, and some of the things we're doing or hope to be able to do in the future.
I used the Second Life case study i.e. how we launched and the publicity/pick-up we received in the process. I also covered Virtual Thirst.
Unbeknownst to me, the day before the subject of SL came up and there were the usual bashers. Irrespective I gave my consistent POV, namely....you got to be in it, to win it. In other words, if you want to understand Second Life, try it out yourself (either personally or on behalf of your company/brand) I also made mention of the fact that it is less about Second Life and more about Virtual Worlds on one hand, and Second Life as a metaphor for experimentation and innovation on the other hand.
I also mentioned my post on Top 10 reasons why marketers hate SL (but in reality just hate themselves)
And then a thought struck me when it comes to the number 1 criticism leveled at Second Life i.e. "the lack of reach" (which itself is linked to the Ghost Town observation) Now of course, I have my standard response to the whole notion of qualitative reach, combined with the comparison between SL and NBC on one hand or SL and Amazon.com on the other.
BUT, this is the thought that I wanted to share with you today: who is exactly responsible for the lack of reach in Second Life? Linden Labs? Millions of Us? Electric Sheep? Me? Or YOU?!
As marketers, we've been gifted "A New World" so to speak. We've been given a blank canvas to jointly explore and co-develop, alongside with the installed residents. We are Christopher Columbus. We are Vasco da Gama. We are Magellan. Or are we instead a frightened bunch of sniveling, pathetic fraidicats.
My point is this: are we not the pioneers; the explorers; the ones crazy enough to think we can change the virtual world? Why have we not embraced the creative platform and panacea of limitless expression and imagination?
If [insert Fortune 500 brand here] really wanted to, they could create a 30-second spot inviting people to their otherwise desolate island, with or without tour guides or Sherpas to help navigate there.
Is it possible that we are to blame for the lack of imagination, creativity, expression, reach, and critical mass in nascent worlds like Second Life or platforms like podcasting? At what point should we take responsibility or accountability for flogging the worn out and tired cash cow, and neglecting or discarding the next potential one(s)?
...and by we, of course I mean, "you"