For about a day, people cared about someone opening a virtual 'Bucharest downtown' in Second Life.
Not much involvement from people mentioning it - even Zoso casually copied and pasted press release I think (BTW to person wondering how pro bono could cost 30k, it means they only had to pay for the land in SL, and did the building pro bono).
Anyway, y'all know I was a bit of a SL fan a while back and, by virtue of that, I have been pondering this Bucharest in SL thingie. Truth be told my first gutt instinct was "what a rubbish, stupid ass idea". But then, I decided to act grown-up and ponder.
So far no conclusion, just some things:
1. Is this a PR stunt? Because it would make sense insofar as they simply wanted to get some exposure. BUT then, it's a bit late since SL is fading fast in Europe mainly because of its sheer lack of "detail+interaction" value which kindof supports no. 2...
2. Is this a branding initiative? In which case, they do not know what branding is and how it's done plus it's rubbish because SL does not allow you to beautify a lot but rather to schematize.
3. Were they trying to present this as a traveller's resource? If so, why SL again. What's wrong with photographs or movies? And if someone decided to visit Bucharest would they do it based on pixellated images of downtown Bucharest? which brings me to
4. Why now? SL has been old news for a while. Most relevant thingies happened about a year ago and since then a lot of people have withdrawn from it.
5. Is this meant to be a gathering place for Romanians in SL? Well, maybe i'm just getting the wrong vibes but not a lot of Romanians are enthralled with SL. Oh, Romanians from other countries, then. But why? It's so much easier to joint a forum and, beleive you me, forums tend not to freeze on you as fast as SL does.
Don't get me wrong, all in all, I think it's a decent idea, only a bit too late, a bit wrongly targeted, a bit with the wrong objectives (the release said something about events...okay, give me more details on that)
My two cents: don't make downtown Bucharest a visiting place (SL will NEVER beat a decent photograph, unless you are really interested in the angles at which streets bend University Circle) make it a place where stuff happens: like Romanian-driven lectures, concerts with Romanian bands, exhibitions, meetings with Romanian VIPs, virtual events, releases, and press stuff. This would maintain traffic and work as a "branding" tool.
Someone please help me reach a conclusion on this one. what do you think?
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.