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  VW2007 Notes:  “ Virtual World Consumer Behaviors and The Evolution of Social Networking”  
Posted 2007-03-28 by Tony Walsh
I arrived slightly late for this afternoon panel, and couldn't find a place to set down my laptop, therefore I present a transcription of my chicken-scratched notes. Abridged. Caveat emptor. My occasional notes in [square brackets].

Teemu Huuhtanen, President, North America & EVP Business Development, Sulake Corp. Ltd.:

Habbo's audience is split 50/50 between male/female, average age is 15. Ease of use if the most important aspect of virtual worlds. Habbo is moderated 24/7 across 28 regional sites. There are 74M registered users, with 22M in North America. Habbo receives 7M unique visitors [monthly, I think], with 1.7M in North America.

Jeska Dzwigalski, Community Developer, Linden Lab:

Second Life received 12M usage hours in February, with 7B Linden Dollars in transactions. 45% of users are from the USA, 55% international. Brands in Second Life need to "figure out something playful and fun."

Betsy Book, Director of Product Management, Makena Technologies:

We don't allow people to cash out [yet I swear they endorsed a 3rd party currency exchange via their official web site]. "You'll never find a [product] knockoff in There." Gender split 50/50, 69% of users aged 13-26, average age of users is 22. The number one activity in There is shopping [how does content creation rank?].

3-4 years ago, users showed they loved branded items. Today, they still trade them. Rare branded items have more value. There will introduce selected brands moving forward.

People in There project their real selves rather than an ideal self [see my recent post related to this]. Users are projecting their identities through brands [same as real life, isn't it?]

Linda Zimmer, President & CEO, MarCom:interactive:

Virtual worlds are "third places" (see paper entitled "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"). Brand planners and marketers have to seriously engage the virtual world before seriously engaging virtual-world residents. We are using virtual worlds to retribalize. [Presents lots of juicy data on two studies of Second Life users, one is available at

[Hearing some interesting overtones here today: Open = scary, Controlled adverworlds = safety; stay away from Second Life, start your own Virtual Laguna Beach]
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Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
March 29, 2007 @ 7:31 pm
"[Hearing some interesting overtones here today: Open = scary, Controlled adverworlds = safety; stay away from Second Life, start your own Virtual Laguna Beach]"

Yes, that's something I'm picking up from other commentators as well, either explicitly or implictly. "You don't get to screw with our advertisers."

Has anyone (apart from LL obviously) given the idea that they're interested in serious, persistent, user content creation? Beyond the "you can upload your photos and put them on your wall" sort of thing.
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