The Root of All Evil — Bad Communications?

Back in 2005, a group of residents were a bit tired about Second Life®’s homepage. It advertised Second Life as a game and was clearly targeted to the market of young creative geeks. Second Life was a MMOG back then, and Linden Lab® did not do much to make people think otherwise. But even then, it was quite clear that SL was being used for far different things — like it is today.

This group had a surprising proposal to Linden Lab. Since the world was all created by SL’s residents, why shouldn’t the homepage for “Our World” not be created by us, too? At least, we suggested to launch a second website for SL — one addressing people interested in the business and social aspects of SL, not the youngsters. The major reasoning, of course, was that SL was not captivating many users in the 18-25 range — even then, the average resident was much older than that — and clearly LL was targeting the wrong people with their website.

A lot of groups, organisations, and companies never even linked to SL’s main webpage when talking about Second Life as a technology product allowing innovative uses. They preferred to use their own websites to talk as Second Life as they saw it being used. But none were “official”.

Crowdsourced Marketing vs. Viral Marketing

Of course Linden Lab wouldn’t listen to this. They were used to an innovative concept — one that will make Philip Rosedale probably even more famous than his ideas of the “Tao of Linden” or the “Love Machine” (an internal tool used by LL to send colleagues “love points” when they’re happy about their work). People have recently called this crowdsourced marketing, with a twist: Linden Lab is not paying for it.

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