I presented on Crucipod at an AIIA lunch a few months ago so apologies if it’s getting boring but I will keep coming back to user generated *humour*, how you set up Purpose, and how you define Rules within your social network.
For those of you who didn’t attend: Apple didn’t find this manipulation of their iconic brand image funny.
Today in Second Life I saw this (you can see the ABC logo in the background). Be warned, the preceding link is a SLurl and takes you in-world, not to the website:

That’s my beautifully coiffered head and gorgeous wings you can see in the foreground. 🙂 And the ABC logo in the background.

Grey areas are challenging – I saw these crucifictions and thought they were funny. But not every single one of Aunties fans shares my humour. If this user generated *art* appeared on your companies installation in Second Life, you’d probably ignore it, wouldn’t you? Or would you get a lot of complaints and have to ‘handle’ it?? Pendulum is swinging – it’s getting harder and harder to police political correctness. And if your company uses the ‘net to push the edge of censorship through viral video, you can’t get pissy if your consumers create content around your brand that mimics that. Not that Auntie ABC would ever have a naughty content. Yeah, right. Anyway, it depends how heavily you are promoting the ‘company for the whole family’ concept, and how much of your brand you are willing to hand over.

Back to Social Networks. Define your purpose clearly. “This is an online community for families” is one thing, but follow it up with a fluffy bunny and pink carnations look-and-feel. Or as a very smart cookie (hi Sarah!) muttered the other day, don’t use a Gaming Fan Site style sheet on your website. Mixed messages have to be eliminated. Remember, we the consumer are stupid, or at least, we will go with the message that suits our purpose. Also, keep layering your rules and regulations. Its part of the social texture. In this case, ABC have a Newcomer Welcome Rules Board AND a more indepth terms of service. Always a good idea.

Here’s the full rules for your perusal -and I love it when I see apparent dichotomies like points 1.2 and 1.3 together. 🙂

Terms and conditions for use of ABC Sandbox

The ABC expects and welcomes contributions that stimulate debate and discussion. While encouraging vigorous debate, we expect all participants to treat each other with respect and courtesy.
While the ABC aims to provide balanced coverage of issues, contributions to interactive features reflect the views of its participants. From time to time, one particular side of the debate may dominate views expressed. This simply reflects the natural flow of contributions we receive.
You may contribute to ABC Online Community and interactive features subject to the following terms and conditions. These conditions apply to any content contributed in any format to any platforms hosted or facilitated by the ABC.
1. General
1.1 Children’s contributions should be supervised by an adult.
1.2 You may be held legally responsible for the content you submit to ABC Online.
1.3 All material published on ABC Online is at the ABC’s sole discretion.
1.4 Your contribution may be edited, removed or not published if the ABC considers it to be:
1.4.1 defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or that it violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, privacy or contempt;
1.4.2 intentionally false or misleading;
1.4.3 an infringement of intellectual property rights or copyright. See below for further information on copyright;
1.4.4 abusive or offensive, including obscenity, blasphemy and racial vilification;
1.4.5 of nuisance value, inappropriate, off topic or vexatious. For example the ABC reserves the right to reject contributions that have been widely canvassed in the forum. It also reserves the right to reject contributions from participants who seek to dominate the discussion;
1.4.6 compromising the privacy of yourself, other contributors or of ABC staff, or containing inappropriate personal information;
1.4.7 seeking to endorse commercial products or activities or to solicit business;
1.4.8 deliberate provocation of other community members;
1.4.9 a posting on behalf of a suspended member. This may lead to you also having your membership locked.
1.5 The ABC reserves the right to archive and republish all contributions to its interactive features across all platforms.
1.6 The ABC reserves the right to use contributions for internal training purposes.
1.7 Participation conditions may vary across ABC interactive features. Specific guidelines can be found on the front page of each.
1.8 Repeated breaches of these Conditions of Use may cause the ABC to complain to the Internet Service Provider of the person responsible, and in very serious cases, initiate legal action.
2. Copyright
2.1 Material published on the internet is protected by the same laws of copyright which apply to books, videos and music.
2.2 The right to “copy” always remains with the owner of the material. Unless expressly stated otherwise, you are not permitted to copy or republish anything you find on the internet without the copyright owner’s permission.
2.3 If you wish to refer to material on someone else’s website we recommend you include an attribution in your message. The ABC publishes links to other websites at its sole discretion. Unless otherwise advised the ABC will not publish external links in its guestbooks or forums.
2.4 Under Australian copyright law, limited quotation is permissible in the context of genuine review and criticism. However this does not permit extensive quoting of song lyrics etc.
Note:You are welcome to quote content from other ABC Online sites within your contributions, however we ask that you attribute the URL of the ABC page where you found the quote or picture or sound.
2.5 When you submit content, in any format, you acknowledge that you have all necessary rights, including copyright, in the material that you are contributing to ABC Online. You agree that the ABC may use the material online and in whatever other ways the ABC chooses, now and in the future.
3. Comments and Complaints
3.1 Contributions made to interactive features will not be treated as program or service complaints. The ABC has a variety of complaint handling mechanisms available to members of the audience who wish to complain about ABC programming material. Details about how to lodge a complaint can be found at http://abc.net.au/corp/audience/complaints_how.htm.
3.2 Complaints or comments about the content and management of particular interactive features can be made via the email contact form at http://abc.net.au/contact by selecting ‘ABC Online’ as the recipient.
4. Registration and Login Names
4.1 The ABC recommends that applicants register online using a pen name or pseudonym as their login name (not their real name). Applicants must not intentionally use the name of another living person.
4.2 The ABC may refuse registration of visitors whose suggested login names are considered inappropriate. Grounds for refusal may include:
4.2.1 offensive content;
4.2.2 obscenity;
4.2.3 abuse;
4.2.4 defamatory content;
4.2.5 contempt;
4.2.6 incitement;
4.2.7 copyright infringement;
4.2.8 brand names or registered trademarks;
4.2.9 company or organisation names;
4.2.10 names of high-profile or public figures; or
4.2.11 names promoting political, religious, social or economic issues.
4.3 The ABC reserves the right to refuse suggested login names at its sole discretion.
4.4 The ABC will not accept any registration that the ABC suspects is being made by or on behalf of a member who has been suspended for repeated violation of these conditions of use.
4.5 Repeated breaches of these Conditions of Use may cause the ABC to lock and/or delete member registrations.
5. Event Diaries
5.1 When you submit an event you must include a contact point such as an email address or a phone number that will be published with the event details. This is to provide the public with a source of further information and the ABC with a way of confirming listing details. Events submitted without a genuine contact email address or phone number will not be published.
5.2 The ABC reserves the right to publish or delete items in event diaries at its sole discretion.
Changes to these Conditions of Use will be posted on this page.
This page last updated: 16/8/06
For further information about this document contact us.

Second Life is not a stayer in my opinion. It’s simply not got the attibutes – and I’ve been involved with as many dud virtual worlds (lucky me!) as successful ones – it’s materialistic, focussed on image, sex and corporate installations. But it’s a great testing ground for seeing how this stuff works and doesn’t work. Think of it as a focus group – in February there was only 3000 Australians on there. (Ngaire, do you have more recent stats??)

But keep an eye on Coke and World of Warcraft. They are doing some really really interesting campaigns. So are Habbo – can’t find their stats but I think they have several hundred thousand Aussie teens signed up. There were around a 1000 on this morning (9am Sunday). Incidentally, ABC and Second Life list the members that have been banned from the site. Not something I recommend (not sure if Linden Labs allows ABC to turn that option off), but that’s a story for another time. 🙂