Thursday, November 15, 2007

Travolution@PhoCusWright 07 - Real Life of Second Life

Similar to the Travolution conference earlier this year, an entire session devoted to Second Life.

On the panel are Scott Hyden (STA Travel), Daniele Mancini (Costa Cruises) and Burt Rosen (Starwood Hotels), all of which have dabbled/are dabbling in the virtual world.

Rosen makes a good point in that in the early days of Second Life, when the business press (us included) gushed about its potential, many articles contained a reference to its experiment with the Aloft hotel - good PR, in other words.

But over the summer this year there were a series of scathing pieces in the media about Second Life, criticising brands that have wasted spent a fair deal of money in the virtual world, but often find themselves with embarrasingly empty buildings or land.

[Wired's article]

There is a critical point to consider over these sporadic forays into Second Life by travel brands. With a potentially tougher market looming (especially here in the US), companies are probably NOT going to R&D or marketing budgets in virtual words.

The wind in the sails of Second Life earlier this year suddenly feels like little more than a gentle breeze.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

No comments: