Second life

My week for discussion was performing identities on the social web and I found it extremely interesting once I actually read more into it. It is crazy to think how much social media evolves over the years and how fast it changes.  I can remember when I was younger the way to communicate with friends was through chat such as AOL or yahoo messenger. You add your friends and when they were online you could chat with them or leave a message that they would receive when they logged on. With chat programs it was easy to become whoever you wanted to be. If you were a shy person in public you can voice your opinions you had through social media easily.  This also created problems with people not saying who they said they were. It is very easy to make up a fake name, take a picture of someone that looks nothing like you and pretend to be that person. Some social media sites make it possible to create an avatar of someone who represents you online. Second life is an online world in which you can connect with other avatars, join groups and communicate through chat. When I first heard of this online world I thought it was an intense version of the Sims. To start off you can buy and sell things with real money and also make real money.  With your money you can buy clothes, shoes, accessories, houses and even cell phones. Because they try to make this seem as real as possible advertisers of course use this advantage as product placement. Most of the stores in second life are stores in real life and companies such as Toyota have even put their cars in this virtual world. Professional designers and architects use this space to display their work and to get their name out there. With the graphics so good that it seems like something in the real world, companies have taken it to the point of building a hotel to get feedback from people in the game. Once they got the feedback they then opened the hotel in real life. This gives companies a way to test their products and also market them to many different people. Gamers in second life made a game called Slingo and the game was such a hit that the game was licensed to a company in real life. The film world of course had to get involved and Warner Brothers sponsored a loft for a Regina Spektor character to get her music out there.   This virtual world spread so much that even Harvard Law School has a room in the virtual world where people can go and have debates and discussions. This virtual world is open for people who know each other and also people who already have friends on the site. Even though I don’t see myself personally using this site I think it is really interesting what this site has done for companies and individuals.  I got my information from this YouTube video which I encourage everyone to watch.

Has anyone ever used this site or would you ever use this site? If you have already used it what do you think about it ?

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