IBM et al in Second Life


It has been widely reported that IBM has entered Second Life in a reasonably big way by starting a business unit focused on it. Tim O’Reilly passes on some speculation as to why.

Coincidentally I stopped by their first island a few days ago to try to figure out what they were doing with it. Unlike most of the corporate sites I’ve visited, there was actually a steady trickle of curious traffic there. Conversations with some of the IBM’ers present indicate a lot of building but I can’t tell if they intend to build any traffic as a destination site, view it as a marketing presence, an opportunity to test technology, or what.

Kind of smells like 1997 where corporations and SL are concerned. “Hey, I heard about this Web thing, shouldn’t we get a site?”

Maybe “getting a site” isn’t a completely bad plan. Getting a site in 1997 didn’t do much for quite a few companies, but it did at least help them begin to understand the medium and I’m guessing for at least some that’s the point.

Hmmm…. this is one big theater… given the 100 person limit per sim… I wonder what they think would draw this big of a crowd. I’ll be looking forward to finding out. Maybe they have a Lou Reed concert planned?? 😉


One weird thing though is that as companies create these foray’s into SL many of them still view it as not quite worth staffing. Here I am at the receptionist desk at Cisco. Hello, I have a question…


And at the web services developer’s hang out (Ok, not quite fair, this is an unofficial hangout)…


And just for fun here I am at the Toyota Scion dealership… Well, in this case the emptiness is a godsend. I’m at a car dealership without being mobbed by sales people.


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