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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dirty Virtual Business. How do you see virtual world business? Part One- Do the survey! Lanai Jarrico Reporting...

Back in 2005 when I rezzed into Second Life©, it was a relatively new frontier for “Noobs” to explore. Many avatars fresh out of beta testing spread out across the grid finding their own creative outlets and building businesses. The fact that there was an in world currency (Lindens) with real monetary value and ability to convert and transfer into electronic banking accounts like PayPal, it became an obsession for many that dreamed of making an actual living in a virtual world.

It is not an impossible goal to have because Second Life did made some Millionaires but it wasn’t without their preexisting knowledge and skills along with the time, patience and persistence to succeed.

Early on, the market consisted of everything from skins, hair, eyes, animations, gestures, clothes, accessories, buildings, furnishings, gadgets and more. Those small businesses quickly spread to every corner of Second Life© and saturated the markets.

I remember when I first began hearing about Second Life and was invited to this virtual world. I wasn’t totally enthusiastic at first because the reputation it had was that it was a “Porn” type of game, until I  learned more about the creative capabilities. That is when I caved and created Lanai Jarrico.

The Sex industry seemed to be getting the most attention as venues were littered with strippers, escorts, vampires, mafias and Furries mixing role play with business. It was almost as if the community as a whole was going through some weird virtual puberty phase.

When I got here, there where smut and freebie shops on just about every corner and things seemed to be getting out of control, especially with child avatar RP. The Lindens had to step in and administer a virtual smack down and do the great smut sweep; revising the (TOS).

  That was a great step forward for me to get more involved with the community and explore the many positive and creative things Second Life had to offer.

I watched as the competitive virtual world markets grew with resources like linden exchange websites, more media sources, in world magazines, marketplaces and even a new virtual world called Avination, which actually allows Second Life currency and content exchanges between worlds.

These virtual avenues are spawning more virtual world business competition including an increase in business owners with a lack of business knowledge, experience, marketing strategies or customer service skills. These four essentials are where the majority of problems occur and why the rate of failing virtual businesses is so high.

I’m not quite sure why some like to stick around even if they are losing money due to lack of sales and not being able to cover tiers and business expenses that do not help generate at least the overhead.

But from a different perspective, some businesses are a success because they stuck around and endured many changes and obstacles along the way.

From the current top builders, scriptors, fashion designers, musicians, venue owners to real estate moguls, machinima-makers, media sources and more have structured a custom foundation that works for them and built their reputations with their skills and the quality of service they provide. These are the main building blocks of leadership in the virtual world markets we need today.

The downside to virtual world business can be very gloomy and many avatars are becoming outraged by the lack of professionalism and business ethics in Second Life© today. It is understandable that virtual world business is a new type of endeavor in the age of online global business and mass communication. There are many obstacles that one can be confronted with by being involved in virtual ventures.

Mistakes had to be made to figure out what works best in business for those that are successful. New tactics in marketing, upgrading products and streamlining excellent customer service is key.

Unfortunately, some business owners do not care who they step on or what dirty business moves they have to make to get ahead. Some of their mentality is, “Sorry, this is business”.

Does it really have to be that way? I think one can have the same amount of success using a positive and friendly approach.

I have had my fair share unpleasant encounters with virtual “business people” that look out for their own best interest while yanking the rug out from under me or kicking over my sandcastles. It is very frustrating to be uprooted or have your ideas shot down. Many times this is where people give up or lose interest in this virtual world and don’t take it seriously.

Why do some business people act so unprofessional in a virtual world? Could it be that most people are here for fun, while others like to take what they can from others.

 Is it possible to take a virtual world business seriously enough to care enough about reputation and provide quality customer service to those generating that Linden income?

The only way to avoid those types of people that give Second Life a bad reputation is to cut them off and surround yourself with like minded virtual world professionals.

I’m interested to know your perspective, If you wish to participate in this survey, here are some virtual world business question you can answer and submit to ,

1.       How many business attempts have you made since being in Second Life?

2.       What seemed to be the biggest obstacle you had in Virtual World Business?

3.       Do you think it is worth it trying to make a real living in Second Life?

4.       Have you ever encountered bad customer service? What was your reaction?

5.       What are some of the things you look for when shopping for clothes and other things in Second Life?

6.       What businesses would you recommend to others and why?

7. Got any advice for someone interested in starting a virtual world business?

Be sure to check back next week for Part 2- The SLE Business Survey Results


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