Second Life Case Study

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Is Second Life Ready for Business?
1. How can Second Life provide value to businesses that use it?
Second Life can provide value to businesses in four ways: by offering support to essential business functions, offering a low-cost platform to conduct meetings of workers and customers, increasing brand image, and as a recruiting platform for new employees. The program can offer support to important business functions like customer service, product development, training and marketing. For all these functions it provides a “3D space in which a user can interact with visual and auditory content; custom content that can be altered and animated; a persistent presence that remains intact for future work even when users log off; and a community where like-minded people can gather to pursue activities of mutual interest”. These are all important attributes that can improve competitive advantage and provide value for a company. Secondly, by utilizing Second Life a company can conduct meetings online thereby decreasing travel expenses and building expenses. Third, a firm can increase or improve their brand image by advertising through goods that residents can buy or by creating their own storefront. The advantage of this is that the firm can create an online presence where they can reach viewers they may not be able to reach by other means. Lastly, they can use the platform to attract qualified candidates at a lower cost. All of these benefits add to a company’s competitive advantage and as a result make Second Life a valuable tool to companies.
2. What kinds of businesses are most likely to benefit from a presence on Second Life? Why?
Marketing firms, design firms, technology firms and education institutions stand to benefit the most from a presence on Second Life. This is because the basis of Second Life is foremost a virtual social site. Marketing firms can stream advertisements of their clients on the website and offer low cost advertising to their subscribers.

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