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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Connecting Consumers Virtual Lives with Their Real World Needs

Joining the rush of companies and advertisers into Second Life, Dell announced that they would be setting up shop an unveiled Dell Island. The island will have a factory, museum, a virtual conference room where focus groups and executive meetings will be held, and even a replica of the dorm room where Michael Dell crafted his plans for the computer industry.

Not a particularly stunning move as Dell is joining the ranks of big corporations entering SL, but I thought the quote (title of this post) was a good way to sum up why all these companies are getting into this virtual world. In addition to trying to up their "cool factor" and be more relevant in the eyes of the first-movers and early-tech adopters, the reality is they want to make money. Investing all of this time and resources into opening up a virtual facade of the company should accomplish more than just getting people to think you're "cool": the hope is its also going to have a positive affect on the bottom line.

In the case of Dell, Second Life residents can go to the virtual factory, customize their Dell and purchase, and their PC arrives at their real-life door. "It connects virtual reality with real world commerce" as one Dell senior VP states.

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