Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Second Places - Real Virtual Worlds

Its been a while, not cause I didn't want to blog but what I wanted to blog about was maybe a bit over the top and a bit radical.

Second Places has been going over 2 years now. Each year doubling turnover however what we are getting is larger projects but the actually number of new customers remains constant.

This is always a concern but over the past 3 months I've been too busy to find out why (will be blogging on these projects as well real soon). However as the build cycle is coming to an end I've been talking to prospective clients and trying to get them to sign on the dotted line.

Some, are keen but don't have the budget, some are just not interested. However some companies can see the benefits but are put off from virtual worlds!

Its these people I want to talk about. I'm not going to name names or companies as I really don't want to go down the blame game (unless I'm actually being nice about them) so I will be as open as I dare.

Virtual World Guru's / Technical Evangelists

There are many, many people out there who claim to be Evangelists. These people usually have contacts in a certain industry and they setup a club in Second Life.

So they quit their job and start out a career as an Evangelist. I just watched "click" on Sky news where they interviewed an "Evangelist" and a "Video Blogger" and they were talking about Google and the death of the internet.

I cast my mind back to the Banking Crisis.

When all the banks were not lending they never got the bloke from the Halifax adverts to debate with some pensioner who uses a bank for their savings. That is the equivalent in my eyes to the Evangelist and Blogger. (Yeah I can see the irony I'm blogging but that's the thing.. ANYONE CAN I'm not pretending to be an expert).

When the banks were going down it was the "Head of Financial Services" from Barclay's or some other title. A title I could see and say to my self... "Oh he's done well in banks, I think I'll listen to him".

With the internet its anyone who says they are good, and the media believe them. Where is the proof! "I have had 2 Million hits on my youtube channel!", well bully for you old chap, but most of the people's comments are something to do with spherical objects! And I'm still not convinced Rick Astley sings the best song ever, but it gets a LOT of hits (thanks 4Chan).

The problem is business people are not computer geeks. They listen to these no bodies. They pay them to come in, they come in, sprout some rubbish and the company spends a fortune on it, all for it to land flat bang and out the window.

The business person has learned his lesson and will avoid that technology for a LONG time. However the next thing comes out and low and behold the dance repeats.

So I BEG companies, business people ask the question .. "What have you done lately?". And get names and figures, a company or person can have the BEST web site in the world but is just wee Joe sitting in his moms basement and you've just given them 10k 2 week project during the second week he gets bored rushes the job and you get something not worth 1 pence.

Everyone has to start somewhere so I know new companies have to break through, but do what I did, start small, get larger and don't talk about something you know nothing about!

If your looking for a virtual world company, look at the portfolio, see if they have case studies. Don't fall for the "Worked for a fortune 500 company", yeah worked so well you haven't even the guys to name them!

Come on Business stop wasting money. Talk to a good company (I will even name competitor Reaction Grid but mostly us at Second Places) get something that will work, give you a return and spend more money in virtual worlds in the future.


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