Caught quite a few posts this week about Second Life.
And Jeremy has a great post about trademark issues in the virtual world.
For an environment that only has around 250,000 users (and how many of these are like me in that they have an account but do not use it that often?) there is a lot of marketing activity taking place. This is increasingly moving away from the selling of in-world artifacts to the use of it to supplement and develop the metspace activity. Companies are looking for the next big thing that is not MySpace and Second Life is getting the press. For those lucky enough to have the bandwidth to run it, it offers fantastic opportunities to interact with brands and companies of choice. This is reliant on these companies having the manpower to provide the interaction, which is always going to be a problem for anything corporate. The BBC, focusing on event driven activity, can manage the resource requirements (but how do they manage the licence payer issue as there appears to be no banning of IP addresses going on there).
The boom in companies moving into Second Life is likely to happen faster than the growth in inhabitants – at least whilst the PR of having a presence outweighs the fact there’s not a lot of people necessary going to see the virtual estate.
In the meantime though, the focus and increased press will bring in the lawyers looking at the IP issues as Jeremy suggests. It won’t be hidden away so easily and it can be easy picking for a lawyer in the future.