Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
11/7/2007
02:46 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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'Dilbert' Creator Scott Adams Comes To Second Life To Get Kicked In The 'Nads

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams made the trek to Second Life recently, where he encouraged audience members to step up and kick him in a sensitive private place. "This is what you call being customer focused. I think Nordstrom could learn a thing or two from my example," Adams said on his blog.

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams made the trek to Second Life recently, where he encouraged audience members to step up and kick him in a sensitive private place. "This is what you call being customer focused. I think Nordstrom could learn a thing or two from my example," Adams said on his blog.

Adams explained: "This idea was born of the old marketing truism, 'Your customers tell you what business you are in.' In my case, this blog has evolved to a forum where I say unpopular things and my readers abuse me in the comments. I'm just extending that to the virtual world where you can take out your frustration at my stubborn refusal to recognize the truth and beauty of your opinions, by kicking me in the 'nads."

Afterward, Adams described the event and linked to a video,where you can watch Adams's avatar get repeatedly assaulted in the produce section by fans. The soundtrack on the clip: Dean Martin singing "That's Amore."

Adams' example provides several serious lessons about marketing in virtual worlds, which I'll be happy to pass on to you just as soon as you stop giggling.

You can still get real-world publicity for virtual worlds marketing -- if you're clever enough.

A year or two ago, a company could get attention simply for going into Second Life. "Company XXX Launches In Second Life" was sufficient to generate buzz. Now, a sufficient number of companies are in Second Life that just opening shop doesn't get attention anymore. But if you do something clever and original, people will pay attention.

The Dilbert event got a write-up in Valleywag,, the 36th most popular blog on the Internet.

Provide a way for people not in the virtual world to participate.

That YouTube video got 18,668 views as I write this -- about 2,500 in the past day or so alone.

Let your community of interest spread the word.

The video wasn't created by Adams or his team -- it was created by a fan. A more control-minded business might have ordered the video taken down; Adams made it the subject of a follow-up blog post.

Multiply the impact of your event in a virtual world by publicizing it elsewhere.

Very few people can attend events in Second Life -- about 150 people if you use a lot of tricks to maximize capacity of Second Life venues. But Adams was smart. He wrote about the event on his blog, the 96th most popular blog on the Internet.

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