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Interview with the Avatar

# 1: ABN AMRO

By Global Merlin

This is the first in a series of interviews conducted in virtual worlds like Second Life, the “3D online digital world imagined and created by its residents”.

Second Life has about 11-million registered “residents”, but only about 780,000 logging on in the past month. Despite this, numerous companies, such as Adidas, IBM, and Mazda, have a significant presence in Second Life, ranging from offices and stores to creating concept cars and holding corporate meetings. Individuals interact through 3D figures known as avatars, which can be adapted or customised to the fullest extent of residents’ imaginations or abilities.ABN AMRO Second Life HQ

They do not use their own names, and are limited in their choice of names by a pre-defined list of first names and surnames. Our interviewer goes by the name of Global Merlin.

The business use of Second Life is still in its infancy, and this blog will explore the approaches taken by both corporations and small enterprises to their presence in virtual worlds.

The interviews are, by their nature, “found interviews”, in that they are not set up in advance, and are the result of encounters with avatars of people who are able to talk on behalf of organisations that have a Second Life existence.
The first company selected was ABN AMBRO, the Dutch banking giant, which also has one of the most imposing business presences in Second Life.

During the early days of that presence, in the first half of 2007, I had never encountered anyone from the organisation when visiting their Second Life site. Finally, in November 2007 I came across a company representative.


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Posted in the category: Insight, Strategy, Technology, Trends

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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