September 26, 2006

Noticing my De-Evangelizing about BAU in Virtual Worlds

Ed Kohler was kind enough to notice and note some (what I thought were) keen observations (and a hell of a headline) that I made the other day about PR pros implying that they have the key to second life, and that the key is replicating first life, except shinier. Ed's article asks an important question: "Should businesses in Second Life mirror the real world?" I don't think so--because doing so is recreating an avataresque version of business as usual (BAU) that will repel human beings in these new worlds just like it did the first time around.

The push toward private relations--social relations among individuals and coops of individuals as organizations--isn't going to disappear inside of virtual worlds; it's going to strengthen. Like never before, the demand is for outsiders coming in to these micronets to adapt to the culture, to interact in context with those who are already there.

Businesses, you are entering a land of people who have already pushed westward and settled vast territories in a quest to be freer. What are you going to do--set up Parliament all over again? And think that they'll LIKE you?

Think again.

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