No more gambling in Second Life

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The fun is over. Uncle Sam has found us and together with Big Brother has forbidden all gambling activities in Second Life. If you don’t comply to the new rule, you run the risk that all your personal information is handed over to the respective authorities (in real life, that is). It also came to light that several FBI agents were already wandering around to check things out.

Some casino owners on SL were furious (which I can understand), since they completely lost their business. Other people claimed that SL is finally growing up, since it’s not only banning gambling, also virtual sex will be controlled. Age control is one of the methods Linden Labs will use.

DigiRedo take: Growing up or not, fact is that the internet became (and still is) so big because -let’s face it- sex and gambling. For sure these new rules will not work in favor of SL, which is already losing customers. Less customers means less corporate investments. I have the feeling that SL is one of the things we proclaim later of having been a hype. Mind you, I truly believe in the concept, I think that the execution was pretty lousy. Yes, I have been on SL, walked and flew around, chatted with some hot chicks (digitally anyway), danced. But the speed was slow and the graphics sooo nineties. Let’s try again in 5 years, shall we?

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YouTube and the President

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“In 2004, YouTube didn’t exist. Three years later, politicians have learned to fear and revere the video-sharing Web site that has become a vital part of the campaign for the 2008 U.S. presidential election”, writes Reuters in an article about the significance of YouTube during the race for the presidential elections.

Not only candidates are posting their thoughts on the future of the world, of course also ‘normal people’ use it to post questions, rant or just have fun of the potantial new President.

Phil Noble from PoliticsOnline states that during the previous elections New Media was just starting to appear and candidates were getting ‘their feet wet’. Now it is a fundamental element of all campaigns and the combination with Old Media provides a powerful way to help convincing people to put the red dot next to their future president.

Read more here.

To blog or not to blog…

First song ever about blogging is published on YouTube. And I kinda like it…

Maurits Fondse (NL) wrote it. Let’s wait and see how fast this song will spread around the globe. Counter is on 664…

The iPod Revolution

Found an interesting Discovery documentary on YouTube about the way the iPod revolutionized an entiry industry. Lots of great examples of brand building, communities and marketing. My favorite: Duke University decided that all freshmen were given iPods as an educational tool. The students in higher classes of course disliked that idea, since they were not given these iPods. It became obvious that you were a freshman since you were wearing the white ear buds. So what happens when you are a senior and you’re wearing white ear buds (from your own iPod)? Exactly, people might think you’re a freshman. And that is certainly something you don’t want. Collectively all students in highre classes decided (or were forced) to buy other color ear buds…

See the documentary here (part 1 of 5):

Media advice

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In a recent article in the Dutch magazine ‘Communicatie’ 8 statements on New Media are being commented by 6 media experts. These are their answers:

1. Organizations must start blogs which employees can use

Only start a blog if you have something interesting to tell, and if you are able to share some info. Some companies are just not very ‘sexy’, or don’t want to share anyway. Start internally first and if that’s successful you can go outside. And send your bloggers to a writing course…

2. To put much time and resources in Second Life is stupid

Some of the experts think ‘Second Hype’ is a waste of many. Others are less pronounced. ABN AMRO used it as a marketing stunt; they were the first bank in SL. This effect however will wear off. For educational purposes it might be a different story and SL can have an added value right now.

3. A wiki is nice for internal use, but certainly not for external

Public wikis can be extremely useful for customer-intimacy and customer-bonding. By letting customers for example create your product support page you create an enormous amount of good will.

4. Making podcasts and short movies for the internet is useless, the range is too short

Very useful for niche marketing, but therefore not less important. Also from an informative point of view -a kind of online instruction video- can be very cost efficient. Attention point however is the quality. Most quality is very poor and it is difficult to find talent inside the company to make something nice and engaging. Also search possibilities within a video must be improved.

5. PR and Corporate Communication Department must react on blogs and fora if people write about their companies

Everybody agrees: avoid the most annoying commentors. Only react on people who write obviously non-informed bull shit, and not on the ‘trollers’, people who complain just for the sake of it. And do it transparant, say who you are and stick with the facts.

6. PR and Corporate Communication Department must place PR material on sites with user generated content or other social networks

Prefarably not. These sites are made by people who are very enthusiastic about the content of the site. In many cases (if not all) authenticity is key. If you don’t ‘connect’ with the inhabitants of the site it can back fire. Most press releases are not very creative and thus not appealing to this public.

7. A webcast is a very good alternative for a press conference

It’s a very valuable addition, but not a replacement. Webcasts should be there for archiving.

8. Personally inform sites and blogs about company news is more effective than sending around press releases

Specify your news and segment the market. Send this targeted news to the relevant group and don’t overkill them with -for them- non information. Don’t try to ‘bribe’ bloggers. Microsoft did that once by sending a laptop with Vista to influential bloggers and aksed an Australian blogger to change a wiki in favor of Vista. Microsoft was eaten alive when this came out.

Some more advice for Communication Officers:

– Learn the new media search techniques. Still many communication people don’t know the tools for this: technoratti, RSS-feeds, Google News Alert and Google Blog Search

– Transparancy wins, and you’ll loose control. Get over it and get used to it.

Internet is the test to see if you want to change: if you feel okay now, it’s even getting better. Experiencing bad times now? Time to find another job. I can assure you, it’s getting worse…

Source: will follow

Live Earth live at this moment

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As I write this post I’m watching Live Earth, the glogal event for the fight against lobal warming. From the website:

“Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on 7/7/07 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.

Live Earth will reach this worldwide audience through an unprecedented global media architecture covering all media platforms – TV, radio, Internet and wireless channels.”

The concerts will take place in New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Hamburg. It is believed that 2 billion (yes, billion) people will watch the events. MSN has a exclusive deal to cover the event globally through the internet.

An interesting article in Reuters explains the intention with the events on the internet. Social networks are becoming increasingly popular and the organization understands the power of it. Clips of the congresses will be put on line for easy sharing on blogs. Also, short clips of the artist will be made available and paid downloads of the songs will benefit green good causes.

One week post launch

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$ 1.5 billion in buzzvertising. Was it all worth? What happened with the iPhone in the first week of its infancy. A short wrap-up.

  • Apple sold about 500,000 iPhones during launch day. Mind you, that is approx. $250 million in just one day (give or take a few million $). Clearly this has been the biggest launch in the US history, value-wise. Some analysts even think they go beyond 700,000 units.
  • There have been some glitches with the activation of the iPhone (which happens at home through iTunes) but that was mainly with people who wanted to transfer their existing number. Seems to be resolved now.
  • At this moment all iPhones are sold out.
  • AT&T has confirmed that 1,000,000 iPhones were activated in one week.
  • The reviews have been raving. CBS News says that it is a ‘truly remarkable accomplishment, innovative, inspired’, TIME says: ‘the best phone anybody has ever made, ever’, the Philidelphia inquirer wrote that the ‘iPhone rocks’. BusinessWeek gives the iPhone 4.5 stars out of 5.
  • One point of citicism was that you could not change the battery. Apple has released a battery replacement program. For $85.95 per unit you can change your battery out of warranty.
  • Stock of Apple have soared to an all time high (as we write it’s $132.14)
  • iPhone buyers in the queue waiting for their iPhone: 95% bought the 8GB, 75% were Mac users, 68% said to continue using their iPod, 48% was already customer of AT&T (that means that AT&T got 500,000 customers in one week)

Walt Mossberg, the famous Wall Street Journal hi-tech reporter has posted his first findings on YouTube:

There are even some unhidden features which were unlocked by some customers:

Engagdet has put one of the best reviews of the new device on the net. Of course there were also some critical notes. Ten things you should know about the iPhone before you bu can be found here.

Well, here in Europe we have to wait for a few months anyway. By then we hope most early ‘problems’ will be solved. We’re already putting some money aside.

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