By B.L. Ochman
Although I’m more of an 8 PM type, than an 8 AM type, I got up before the sun this morning to go to the first NYC Social Media Breakfast. It was organized by Bryan Person and Paull Young. The event was sponsored this morning by Converseon and Text100 (who paid for breakfast. Thanks!) at Big Daddy’s Diner near Union Square.
I learned of the breakfast on Twitter, and was glad to see old friends and meet some people I only know from Twitter. I love blogging and Twitter, but nothing beats a face-to-face. Nick Denton, Heath Row, Paull Young, Constantin Basturea (finally we meet!), Rob Key, Aaron Uhrmacher, and David Bradfield were among the people I got to talk to at some length.
It was hopefully the first of many such breakfasts which welcome marketers, PR people, entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters, new media fanatics, and online social networkers. You’ll find the events schedule here.
Reuters Second Life
bureau chief reporter Eric Krangel (aka Eric Reuters) spoke about virtual worlds, the changing media landscape and Second Life opportunities for marketers.
Back in 1997, he pointed out The Well, was among the first virtual communities. It had a strong face-to-face element, like the ones developing in Twitter and other social networks. Like most people, he noted that he’s more likely to pay attention to someone he’s met in person than someone he only knows as an avatar or sender of emails.
Highlights of Reuters’ talk:
“Don’t ignore Second Life,” he said. “Don’t write it off. There is a tremendous untapped market, he said, that can be reached with savvy marketing.
While there’s been a lot of SL bashing lately, and 9 out of 10 accounts are inactive; the metaverse has, he says, approximately 1.2 million active members (who log in at least once a month) who are a very passionate and engaged group of early adopters.
SL isn’t perfect, but the category is here to stay.
SL has got some strong competitors including there.com and IMVU. There also are persistent rumors that Google will soon launch a virtual world, which could be a category changer. Yahoo! announced recently that it is not interested in virtual worlds.
Reuters mission in SL? Tracking the in-world economy, focusing on the entrepreneurs and their successes ad failures.
“Second Life, once you get past the metaphor, is about meeting people.” He pointed out that having your avatar pitch him a story is a definite way to get his attention in Second Life.
Noting that there have been some major big brand marketing failures in SL, Reuters said the way to be successful is to embrace SL on its own terms.
He cited Pontiac as one of the most successful SL marketers. (Computer World calls Pontiac second only to IBM among the top eight corporate sites in Second Life “If you’re into cars and SL,” he said, “Pontiac is where you go.”
In 10 years, Reuters said when I asked him, virtual worlds could be as pervasive as email today, and in 15 years he says he would not be at all surprised if everyone had an avatar.
Given the climate and velocity of change online, that could happen a lot sooner.