Business in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, Virtual World Platforms

Linden Lab Takes the Stand: Getting Engaged About Virtual Goods

Linden Lab on Virtual Goods at Metanomics

Philip Rosedale, founder and Chair of Linden Lab, and Tom Hale, Chief Product Officer will be mixing realities next week on the season opener of Metanomics, talking about virtual goods alongside Second Life Residents and superstars in their own rights, Harper Beresford and JeanieSing Trilling.

I’m really excited about the show. As far as I know, it’s the only mixed reality event happening at an Expo focused on virtual worlds and other engaging stuff. We’ll be broadcasting as usual from the Metanomics Main Stage where Harper and JeanieSing will provide insight into what the ‘virtual goods’ industry means to the creators, while Pip n’Hale will be live at the venue in San Jose. The whole thing will be cross-piped and very possibly deeply recursive, as residents in Second Life watch a video of San Jose which will be watching a video of the folks in Second Life, with all the cross chat you can handle as we link in people who are ALSO viewing from the Web or our event partners via Chatbridge.

And if that isn’t enough to make your head spin there’s the topic itself: Linden Lab as the largest virtual goods platform, their lessons learned, why they’re different than other virtual goods markets (like those, um, Facebook gifts say, which I never really think of as virtual goods, more like buying a blinking banner ad for a friend).

With the ever cheerful probing of host and facilitator Robert Bloomfield (Beyers Sellers) we can expect a few wonky tangents, probably stuff to do with, um, I dunno, revenue accruals or something. But as usual, we can expect a vigorous discussion, lots of audience participation, and the odd sensation of watching atomic people giving a shout out to the avatars sitting, well, beside them kind of.

The Enage Expo site describes the panel as follows:

Last year, Residents of the immersive 3D world of Second Life spent more than $360 million on countless items of virtual goods – from land to designer shoes to lavish homes. The virtual economy almost doubled in size in the past year, and at nearly $50 million per month in user-to-user transactions, the Second Life economy is now on an annual run rate of more than half a billion US dollars, making Second Life the largest virtual economy in the industry.

Join Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, Linden Lab Chief Product Officer Tom Hale, and Cornell University Economist Robert Bloomfield to discuss where virtual goods are headed, what makes Second Life’s virtual goods economy different, the challenges and opportunities of an economy based on user-generated content, and the success stories of Second Life entrepreneurs making real profits from their virtual goods.

The topic is notable. Linden Lab has been increasingly talking about itself using venture capital buzzwords like social media and virtual goods. Being slotted into a virtual goods panel at Engage is a shift away from Second Life as a technology and clearly plays up the significant amount of coin changing hands for virtual goods. Whether Bloomfield asks questions about their content protection road map and related sundry issues will keep us all in suspense, I suppose.

What topics do YOU hope get discussed by Pip n’Hale and the Second Life entrepreneurs?


speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

*Required Fields

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.