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Second Life mirrors First Life, say psychologists
Research has found that many of the peculiarities and unwritten 'rules' of real-world interpersonal interaction are mirrored in virtual worlds.
Nick Yee and his team found similarities in how women-women, women-men and men-men behave, especially around the concepts of 'personal space' and 'eye contact' -- and can read his paper (pdf) to find out more.
This is leading a number of academics to consider using the virtual worlds, like Second Life, to conduct research into human 'real world' behaviour. Not just psychologists but also economists are buying property and experimenting, according to Cory Ondrejka, Linden Lab's chief technologist (Linden Lab is the company that created and hosts Second Life).
Already Second Life has been an experimental site for studies into learning, and simulations of the hallucinations suffered by schizophrenics.
More solid thinking about why communicators need to stop making excuses or simply dismissing these new environments where people and brands are interacting. If we can't provide counsel on communicating with our audiences when they happen to be in these environments, somebody else will, and we will become that much less relevant to our employers and clients.
Which is why I spend so much energy being involved and trying to understand Second Life. We may be 5+ years away in Australia from any major business involvement, but Australia is a land full of innovators and early adopters, and like the many companies I have helped to understand the intricacies of web marketing, they are going to want someone to hold their hand when they first market their offerings in the virtual world.
I'm meeting up with Kami Huyse and a few PR friends of ours tomorrow at the Second Life CommsCafe; Kami is likewise finding her way around a virtual environment that is a fascinating mirror of the 'real' world, complete with its opportunities for creativity, its opportunity to create a business that generates real, 'first world' money, its virtual educational establishments, its virtual retail establishments and its virtual sex establishments.
Reports I have written:
Measuring the impact and ROI of social media - for Ark Group
Making Social Media work for your business - for Ark Group
Social Media: The New Business Communication Landscape - for Ark Group
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to communicate with hard-to-reach employees - for Melcrum Publishing
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Social Media White Paper
Trevor Cook and I wrote a booklet to help our clients and friends come to grips with this new online phenomenon called 'Social Media' or 'Web2.0'. Now in its third edition, it is still being widely cited and is receiving lots of favourable comments.
Find out more about it (opens new window)
Vodburner is my tool of choice for recording skype video calls, either for later podcasting or simply for my own record. Now that video is becoming more and more important, I can't imagine online life without it.
More about Vodburner...
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View many of the presentations I have given over at Slideshare
Why does employee communication matter?
Download a presentation I gave to a group of PR students on slideshare
For your consideration:
Writing for a web audience