Has Second Life peaked?

Gartner analyst Steve Prentice recently predicted a drop-off in Second Life hype, followed by a stablization and eventual trend toward sustainable growth in this burgeoning metaverse. Meanwhile, bloggers and other social media sorts have been debating whether Second Life is so... well, 2006.

Greg Verdino admits that he might have contributed to some extent to the "outing" of Second Life. Verdino earns his chow advising Digitas clients on how to best leverage emerging media and technologies to meet their marketing goals, and he's also leading a virtual tour of Second Life for marketers this week. So lately he's been spending a lot of time leading... well, a second life as a metaverse drifter.

Here, the refreshingly honest Greg offers a balanced view of the opportunities and the risks of doing business in Second Life.

Q: So—Wow. What buzz Second Life is generating these days, both good and bad, on the MarketingProfs blog, on your blog, and around the blogosphere and in the press. Why now?

A: Well, there is certainly some basis to the buzz. Second Life's population has grown tenfold in the past six months or so. Real money is changing hands in-world every day. And some big brands are spending their money to get in there.

On top of that, for better or worse, buzz begets more buzz. But I think we've turned the corner and people are starting to look beyond the hype, weigh the realities, and question whether there is a "there" there. That's what you're seeing now on the MP blog and on a number of other blogs as well.

Q: And what's your take? Is there a "there" there?

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Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, keynote speaker, dog person, and writer.