SECOND LIFE, ANYONE? Random Thoughts on the Digital “Revolution”

Doesn’t it seem like so much digital content today is produced for nothing more than the sake of just producing it? Is “ready, fire, aim” the way most people surf the web? Digital is everywhere, and yet nowhere. It is the Emperor’s New Clothes. Put someone in a room to talk about Twitter and neophytes are sure to follow. Social Media? Sure. I’m a believer. Yes. Media has become social. 95% of what people call “social media” is Facebook. 3% is LinkedIn, the other 2% is Twitter. Pardon the rough estimates, but it just seems that way to me. Why do you think Facebook is so popular? BECAUSE IT’S FREE! Good luck monetizing it. “The web is dead”…I mean a dead experience when it comes to memorable content. I’ve been online 10 hours a day for 15 years and I can’t remember one ad I’ve seen there. I can’t even remember sitting all the way through one. And I’m a good target — I buy all kinds of stuff: Golf stuff, cigars, guitars, Scotch Whisky.

Whenever I hear about a new digital revolutionary gimmick, I think about the Second Life (that was just 3 years ago, but seems so “last decade”).

From my friend Clason:

“I was reading an article in Wired magazine about the colossal failure that was Second Life … according to the article, many brands had spent millions of dollars developing branded properties in this alternate world that at the time was reported to have a “population” of several million. Upon closer examination, it was discovered that these numbers had been grossly overstated as the majority of registered users had as many as four accounts. Even more users had signed in once or twice and never returned. The number of regular users was quite low … in North America, something like 10,000. Digging deeper, they discovered that “members” in the regular visitor population were not visiting the extravagant properties that the brands had built for them … they were all going to the same place … a lollapalooza-sized orgy at a nude beach. The total brand investment exceeded something like $100 million. The brands that had blindly jumped on the Second Life bandwagon had basically spent roughly $10K per interaction collectively to market themselves to what was, for lack of a better term … a cyber pervert convention.”

Maybe our industry as a whole needs to concentrate less on producing “digital content”, and focus more on creating content that people won’t delete on contact. It’s troubling that something like “Second Life” can even happen — like some Madoff Pyramid scheme. I remember (just 3 years ago) — digital “prophets” were telling everyone that life without “Second Life” was not worth living. They’re the same folks who are preoccupied with the next “big thing” in Social Media. It reminds me of Robert Preston in “The Music Man”.

As Clason reminds me, this business is and always has been about one thing … great ideas that generate sales. Granted with the advent of the digital age we now have an overwhelming number of entry points into consumers’ lives but the basic fundamentals have not changed.

michael palma

841 inman village pkwy
atlanta, ga 30307

5 thoughts on “SECOND LIFE, ANYONE? Random Thoughts on the Digital “Revolution”

  1. Doug Oakes

    Great blog. This is the blog that all of us who love advertising should be writing, posting, espousing, and cramming down the throats of anyone who will listen. But like most social media, it would probably just get ignored.

    I am over the whole facebook schtick, I’d rather concentrate on building brands.

  2. Marco Mugnatto

    Second Life will have it’s turn. It will be back. Maybe with another name, but sure virtual worlds are part of the future.

    The same happened to tablets for more than a decade, and they are now finally successful.

  3. karmannghiamcginnis

    So much of the digital information that is posted is “gone” or “forgotten” in mere seconds after it’s published, which simply fuels the whole notion of publishing quantity vs quality. With this in mind, I think that many would prefer to just keep their name/brand in the public eye rather than share something meaningful. Nothing wrong with promoting older posts occasionally if they truly have some value…..


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