MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Second Life

Experiencing Second Life for the first time, but not virtual realities, has given me some reservations regarding using software and applications such as these for professional use. Second Life has been used for professionals meeting for quite some time now, and I had heard of it being quite useful in the past. However, applications such as IMVU have been used for non-professional applications for years as well. Being associated with programs such as these give me reservations as a future PR practitioner because A) it is impossible to use your real name, and need to have a pseudonym. Additionally, you are able to create characters that look nothing like your real life self.

Why does this matter? Well as PR practitioners, don’t we continually and strongly promote honest two-way communication? It seems that without the transparency of a one-on-one meeting, this application seems almost fake.

However, I feel that with certian guidelines or an understanding of these limitations, Second Life can be used to benefit PR practioners, and ultimately, organizations as a whole. Multi-nationals that have satellite offices who spend thousands of dollars on expensive plane tickets for meetings could utilize this program and save money in a hard-hit economy. As long as there are rules, and guidelines in place for using Second Life, I feel there is much potential for utilizing it in an organization.


May 31, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Good points Heather.

    I definitely agree that Second Life feels fake. While speading a couple hours on it (which, lets be honest, was more or less a crash course in how to actually use it, create your avatar, navigate, etc) I felt a little strange, like it was more of a fun game then a tool to be used professionally.

    Your reservations are totally understandable. The fake name requirement was not only weird, but also frustrating because so many names are unavailable. The creation of the avatar was always strange because for the most part we want our avatar to represent us, however, we as humans also tend to give in to how we think we should look, or how we ideally want to look. This may or may not be how we actually are in real life.

    As a professional tool, I feel tools such as skype and conference calling would be far more effective. With Skype and similar tools, you can actually see the real life person. You can observe their quirks, pick up on communicative tones, and see all the things that make that person who they are. This I feel would be far more effective then meeting on second life.

    Comment by sarahmacl | June 1, 2009 | Reply

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