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Inc. Magazine On Second Life: Empty Calories

Inc. magazine’s February cover story is an interview Philip Rosedale, CEO of Second Life.

The article is essentially a puff piece — “the coolest new marketplace in the world”, “7000 SL businesses are profitable”, “SL is a haven for entrepreneurs, with thousands of businesses”, “Linden dollars can be cashed out for cold, hard cash”, “the SL economy is clipping along at $10mil USD per month.”

I wish Inc. had asked hard questions about disputed user figures (as per Clay Shirky), about the true ROI of SL marketing, about the claims SL is a ponzi scheme. I’d hoped the article would have provided some insight into Linden Lab’s financials and financing.

Readers would have been better served if Inc. had treated the SL story like a real business article, rather than a social phenomenon piece.

Second Life is clearly overhyped, indeed. But even if the reality is but one tenth of the spin, there’s also an important real story underneath, something new and interesting.

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
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