InformationWeek shut down its office in Second Life. We're still committed to Second Life coverage. I'm still spending a couple of hours a day in Second Life. I'm still writing lots of blogs and articles out of SL. But the office just wasn't doing anything for us, so we gave it the ax.
We haven't been making much use of the office. I do interviews and chat with people either at their location, or at the Life 2.0 Club at Dr. Dobb's Island, which is owned by our sister publication, Dr. Dobb's Journal.
We don't have merchandise to sell, and we don't host events -- not yet. So we didn't have much use for our own dedicated location. When our landlord, who goes by the Second Life name Russell Iniss, said he was planning to tear down our office building so he could do something else with the land, and wanted to know if that was a problem, I told him no problem at all. I stopped by the office, collected up our furniture and knicknacks, and told him he could swing the wrecking ball when ready.
Moving out of an office is considerably easier in Second Life than it is in real life. It took about a minute. I teleported in, right-clicked on each of our furniture items and other possessions, and selected "take," which moves the items from the world to my inventory. As my colleague John Jainschigg at DDJ says: You can carry a cathedral in your pocket in Second Life.
What's the financial impact? We were paying L$500 per month for rent. That's about US$2.
There actually is a bigger significance here: Doing business in Second Life is all about engagement. You have to have people in-world, interacting with other people. Spending a lot of money on a flashy island (or even a few cents on some cheap office space) is far, far less important than engagement.
In other news: I bought land, not for InformationWeek, but for myself, for my Second Life home. I'll talk about that in another post.
Here's where I wrote about setting up the office, along with a photo.