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Second Life: Click to Call – virtually


If that’s my avatar on the phone, tell ’em I’m not in.

Vodafone in Second Life:

Vodafone has launched a mobile operation in Second Life enabling users to connect real life with the virtual world. Vodafone Inside Out, which launched yesterday in beta, will only be advertised in the virtual world through Second Life newspapers The AvaStar and Metaverse Messenger. The service will enable users to call other Second Life avatars and connect the call to mobile phones in the real world.
The service will enable Second Life friends to speak to each other offline when one is online. Users can also send messages to friends in the virtual world when they’re offline and can send and receive texts using their own virtual identity on their real life mobile. Users will receive unique numbers for calls and texts and will be offered free handsets which can be collected from the Vodafone InsideOut vending machine.
The service within Second Life will be free until 30 November 2007. Justin Bovington, CEO of London-based virtual world agency Rivers Run Red, said: “The link between the first world and second world is coming together. This is what we’re calling the ‘second wave’ of projects coming into Second Life – a move towards brands developing compelling, relevant and immersive technology applications for the virtual worlds.” This project was developed by agencies BBH, Dare and Rivers Run Red, the agency responsible for Vodafone’s Second Life activities. (NMA)

Business application – talk to customer service/sales ‘inworld’, and if you need a “real” voice, do a click-to-call out to the service centre.

I used to think that there could be nothing worse than voice in a virtual world, because it ‘destroys’ the immersive experience but I have got used to it. And I understand that for many participants, it’s a critical service – I was astonished at the number of Ventrilo and Teamspeak server channels set up to run in world events. Me? I just want an SMS message of when my uber-wand has sold in the World of Warcraft auction house. Or a notification system of when my friends are in-world, so I can stop whatever I’m doing and stalk them join them there.

What is this thing called real world??? Since when did communication over a device (mobile) constitute “real” and communication over a device (PC/Virtual) constitute “not real”? Surely the only real world communication is face to face? Or is everything real world? Second Life has voice now – catching up with other virtual worlds that have integrated TeamSpeak and Ventrilo – does voice mean “real” and text not? I’m guessing years ago, face to face was “real” and the telephone “unreal“. And so it is, but we just take it for granted now. So next time you yell at a teen for texting instead of calling, remember, somewhere in the past, teens got yelled at for calling instead of visiting. Bring back letter writing and fountain pens I say! Oh ok, maybe not.

For those of you that are interested, here’s my presentation from WebDirections at the Sydney Convention Centre last week. Death by powerpoint awaits. 😛

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

2 thoughts on “Second Life: Click to Call – virtually

  1. so if I loose my phone I can pick one up in a virtual world? or try out ones like the Prada phone?

    it’s all a bit corporate/ aspirational then.. phones and now Giorgio Armani clothes are in Second Life.

  2. Have you guys been back in Second Life? Well, Philip Linden updated his old 2005 look but he still looks creepy though. Mesh import is coming and group limit may be increased to 40.

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