John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Second ’Verse, Same as the First

ibm_furry_meeting.jpgTurns out that building a business in Second Life is a lot like building one in the first–at least when it comes to failure rate. According to new research from Gartner (IT), nine out of 10 businesses launched in the so-called metaverse fail within 18 months or less.

“Businesses have learned some hard lessons,” said Gartner analyst Steve Prentice. “They need to realize that virtual worlds mark the transition from Web pages to Web places and a successful virtual presence starts with people, not physics. Realistic graphics and physical behavior count for little unless the presence is valued by and engaging to a large audience.”

A bit of a truism, that. A collaborative virtual world isn’t much of a world at all without, you know, collaborators. That said, Gartner is quite bullish on the potential of virtual worlds in the years ahead. By 2012, it estimates that 70% of organizations will have established their own private virtual worlds. “Companies need to start thinking what their virtual-world strategy is, incorporate it into their Internet strategy, and merge their two-dimensional Web pages to support a 3-D Web place,” Prentice said. “Virtual world presence is not to replace the 2-D world but to supplement it.”