So, I picked up the Official Guide to Second Life in Barnes&Noble the other day and I highly recommend it. I like the tips and the tours, plus I can catch up on the history of Second Life. I'm even more impressed now than I was when I bought the book. I plan on taking the Chapter 3 tour any minute now. In the meantime between the Guide and my own personal experience, I've learned the following which should help any marketer if you consider an SL location.
- There is no such thing as unofficial location; either you are in all the way or you disavow it
- If it is official, never, ever build anything on public land; drop some dollars down and build your own island
- Make sure people can not run scripts or create anything in your location without your permission
- Creating your island has the added benefit of not having any bad neighbors
- Don't just create a place for people to meet and chat - try creating something that will cause them to want to return.
Recently Linden Labs shut off first land acquisitions and at first I was upset, but now I don't mind so much. Sure I sold my First Land for L$6,000 turning a nice profit from the L$512 I paid for it, but the area was completely cheezy and didn't really enhance my experience. Now I have a place on the beach with sea gulls, waves, ocean sounds, and a wind-surfer. Believe it or not, I find it relaxing, about the equivalent of watching a fish tank.
If you ever considered a SL account or location, I highly recommend the book. If you are planning on building a corporate place remember this important point - build a destination that entertains people so that they return often. Building a spot that avatars show up once in a while or requires them to stay for Linden dollars is a waste - you need to build places that people want to show up and interact with.