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Monday, July 02, 2007

I'm back...

And no, I haven't been on vacation (can't even think of going on one of those anytime soon). I've been "away" taking care of business. Second Life business, specifically. For those of you who haven't read my previous entries, Second Life is a virtual community (not a game) where avatars meet, hang, do business and yes, sometimes fall in love, or at least lust.

Inspired by recent articles like this one, I've decided to test my entrepreneurial skills in the virtual world. I am also taking a page from author Kassia Kroszer of Booksquare, who recently wrote a post for RTB about her experiences in SL and how she uses it to promote her books. So, I've already set up a shop (there are primitives - "prims" - and textures to create anything and instructions onsite and on the web to guide you) where I have my book covers, which, when touched, gives a notecard with steamy excerpts. (It may be my imagination, but I've seen some spiking on Amazon for both books since I set up; previously, they had been seriously lagging). And another bit of good luck: I sought out author Diana Hunter who had commented on Kassia's post about her own experience in SL. Diana's online avi is named Diana Allandale, and has five bookstores, one of which will now be featuring my books also.

I initially joined SL as a "reporter" for a new publication about MMOG worlds. The ongoing assignment required that I familiarize myself with "the world" and find new and interesting topics to post. But the more I became acclimated, the longer I wanted to stay. And since I was hanging around anyway, why not buy land and open a store? Not only will I be promoting my books, but I hope to use my 3D art skills to parlay into selling articles like art and jewelry.

As for the other businesses on Second Life, I'm talking about the kind that generates real income. The online currency is called a linden; 268 lindens is equivalent to one U. S. dollar - and yes, that money can be moved into real life. The exchange may seem paltry, but if you read the linked article above, one woman who designs hair, clothes and skin textures for SL avatars began making about four times her salary (which was probably modest) within months, enough for her to quit her job. The opportunities in SL have brought in real life businesses, including Toyota, Wells Fargo, IBM and many more.

In SL, you'll find a little bit of everything. I found some churches, tabernacles even, where real services are broadcast. There are clubs looking for singers. Yes, online businesses are looking to hire real folk. Musicians and singers have given SL concerts, their avatars (modeled to look just like them) jumping around on real-looking stages. And authors like Dean Koontz have given readings.

Which leads me to this article. Authors are looking for new venues to market their books. For you authors out there looking to promote and find new readers, why not give it a try. If you just want to hang out, you don't have to be a member. In order to own land though, you can have a membership for about $9.90 plus $5.00 (land fees) monthly. Within hours, you can be up and running a new SL business where you can set up readings or talk to curious customers. There are ads you can place, and forums where you can advertise, too. And then, this world is all about networking. Hanging out in clubs (u can dance the night away), you can talk up your books with new friends.

And another perk: you can look like a million bucks. The clothes are slamming and always fit your perfect body. Also, you can get hair textures that mimic dreads and other Af-Am styles. Furnishings rival anything you'll find in real life. There are museums, art galleries, amusement parks. And yes, sex clubs (but I'll talk about those later - and note, there's much more going on than mere adventurous chat).

In other words, there is much to do in this second life, the least of which is earning some bucks. Not a bad thing, nosiree.

UPDATE: My latest look:

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Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 7/02/2007 06:38:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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