Our main concern: can a virtual presence serve as a lead generation tool in the real world?
Now, Business Week is reporting the first of what may be the Second Life backlash: "Beyond Second Life: Companies thinking twice about the popular virtual world are finding more security and flexibility in alternatives." http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_24/b4038417.htm.
As Business Week points out, there may be some real value to virtual worlds -- for education purposes (
But not necessarily for lead generation, making the upfront investment difficult to justify for B2B companies. Adidas and GM sell digital versions of Reeboks and Pontiacs, according to the article; I wonder if they post their virtual earnings each virtual quarter. Even some consumer companies -- like Coke and Starwood Hotels, have found Second Life gives them a virtual headache.
On the other hand, participating in online communities and networks may certainly serve as a worthwhile lead generation tool.