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If you were asked to promote SL to the outside world


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What would your ideas be? SL's public image could use a bit of a spit 'n' polish, frankly. AmIright?

Learning Island, I think, could use a little muscle with some form of 'policing', like insta-perma-bans for those who enjoy haranguing and threatening new arrivals. Yes, I know, those who keep making alts solely for that purpose would be a pain, but perhaps they'd give up after 50,000 perma bans.

Just as an example: for victims of violent rl rape coming in for the first time, being confronted by a moron with a giant placard that reads, "I'm going to rape you to death" is not only horrifying and disorienting, but it's very the last thing they'd expect to see. Imagine what a film crew would think of that if it was their first intro to SL :(

$20m was a lot to splash out on Sansar - good thing business decisions aren't left to me, or I'd have chosen to spend it on a pro external advertising crew coming in for three to six months, given all the benefits of premium membership and shown around.

First stop: show them some of SL's stunning mesh avatars and then give them a complete mesh makeover so they can experience the process for themselves.

Introduce them to the biggest and smallest creators in SL; the land barons, the countless beautiful sims created just for the joy of virtual photographers, the clubs, the breeders, the Builder's Brewery etc, etc.

Really give them as complete a feel for what SL is about as possible. Let them interview the biggest commercial successes in SL - the mesh head, body and fashion designers/creators, club owners, etc etc. There's just so much to SL that the general public is sadly clueless about. There's squillions of people out there who've never even heard of SL. I'd be wanting to reach them.

After all that, I'd love to see them create a lengthy tv docu-promo thingy; first scene, a beginner male and female avi looking oh-so sad after coming across a stunningly gorgeous full mesh avi couple living on their gorgeous sim/half sim/quarter sim or new Bellawhatsit home and community, having quit their rl jobs because they're too busy now working their full time SL jobs (oh, per chance to dream! haha).

It would all end, of course, with beginner couple being completely transformed, earning bucket loads of cash (total fantasy unless you're very clever, I know) living happily - and busily - ever after.

Or something like that - but you catch my drift, right?

If I was one of those rl people who scoffed at the very mention of SL as being  'just a sex game' without any first hand knowledge to base my opinion on, watching something along those lines would make me think twice and draw me in like a fly to honey. But what do I know? I'm just a lowly female.

And now I shall return to whistling Dixie...

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I think a few nicely made videos posted on social media sites would generate interest. But, instead of targeting a mainstream audience (save that for Sansar) we should be targeting  niche groups like vampires, flurries and even goreans. Make SL known as a roleplay destination where you can become a cyberpunk a little mermaid, or a cyberpunk mermaid. Point out to people that SL is a place where you can buy or create any fringe interest you desire.

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I think it's an interesting consideration that you can "target" such a wide variety of people in order to showcase the power and potential of Second Life. Machinima artists. Mesh creators. Live music performers. Animation specialists. Scriptors and coders.  Virtual reality enthusiasts. Roleplayers and fantasy enthusiasts. Educators and sharers.  Community reach-outs.  Land acquisitions. Or solitary pursuits of private getaway.  And the ability to inhabit one dream one day and a whole different dream the next day.  The platform is a heck of a powerful platform; it is so easy to showcase and yet so challenging (and limiting) to try to quantify.

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I'd suggest a marketing campaign based around all the different things you can do. "Come for the creativity" - showing clothes, buildings, landscapes, avatars and some of the more weird and wonderful things that are available, as being created by a person sitting at their computer. "Come for the property" - scenes of beautiful homes. "Come for the community" - scenes of people enjoying themselves in their residential areas, maybe a barbecue or restaurant or something (I don't know, I've never had a home or land). "Come for the roleplaying" - scenes of fairies, Orcs, steampunks, historical re-enactors, Arabian Nights and so on. "Come for the exploration" - an eclectic mix of all the different sims one gets here and so on.

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16 minutes ago, greek Wingtips said:

First I promote on trying to keep people in sl than trying to promote more,

No reason two birds couldn't be killed with one stone (what a horrid expression, come to think of it!)

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14 hours ago, Clarrellae said:

I think it's an interesting consideration that you can "target" such a wide variety of people in order to showcase the power and potential of Second Life. Machinima artists. Mesh creators. Live music performers. Animation specialists. Scriptors and coders.  Virtual reality enthusiasts. Roleplayers and fantasy enthusiasts. Educators and sharers.  Community reach-outs.  Land acquisitions. Or solitary pursuits of private getaway.  And the ability to inhabit one dream one day and a whole different dream the next day.  The platform is a heck of a powerful platform; it is so easy to showcase and yet so challenging (and limiting) to try to quantify.

This. Though as to HOW... not so sure.

I guess the trick is first finding your "target audience" and then targeting your marketing strategy in a way that fits or attracts them. The only issue is that with so many facets to promote that's still an awfully big landscape and a lot of proverbial fingers to have in a lot of proverbial pies. 

LL's previous marketing strategy has, I think, been deliberately vague. "Your world. Your imagination" doesn't exclude anyone or set limitations. They've basically outlined that "this world can be whatever you want, go for it!" The only problem with that is that it is TOO big. It's a fantastic concept, but doesn't really coincide with our human need to categorize and label. What is it? Well... it's different things for different people. Okay, well who's it for? Anyone! Okay, what kind of things can people do there? Anything! See the problem? Hard to categorize = hard to market = hard to sell. Not impossible, just... hard. Harder than something that can be easily defined, like... WoW, RLD, or a shoot-'em-up game for instance. The issue with restriction is that it starts setting boundaries on what people feel they can do. Restriction in a world defined by the user's own imagination can lead to frustration. Or a sense of exclusion. Or oppression. Or lack of freedom, which is the opposite of what SL has been all this time (Terms of Service and Local Laws notwithstanding).

I think for SL to really get anywhere it would have to define itself more as one thing above all others. Right now it doesn't even say it is a creative platform that allows for social interactivity with opportunity to role play and explore. It doesn't say anything (plus let's face it, that's just not catchy enough XD). It's left for the curious to take a leap of faith and join up and hope they get inspired enough after the very steep learning curve of movement, User Interface, Inventory, Group management and Friend's List, plus Local chat and Instant Message system (before you even enter into avatar appearance, Marketplace purchases, Linden purchases, or Land acquisition). And that's the other thing LL counts on: They hope more will because WE did; those of us here in the forums now.

Depending on your notion of success a business would consider a percentage of failure; for every five viewers statistically you might hook at least one. If that's a number that works for your business model and you're happy with that, so be it. But I think there's opportunity to increase the ratio if LL really wanted. But to do so they have to change the current model that has worked for them for sixteen years. By anyone's standards that's a long time, and longer than people have been giving them credit for from the start (and especially since it's heyday years ago). Why would they consider changing anything with that kind of staying power? 

On top of that, any time they do change something, it's almost always met with negativity and panic. The "I'm quitting!" posts, and "you've lost me after X years here!", and "you've signed your own death warrant as a game" kind of feedback. It's rare any change has been met with any positivity. Faced with very likely severe backlash or cruising along at the same pace of the last 16 years with few speedbumps, I know which I'd prefer. So while people are throwing out suggestions that LL adapt a more up-to-date marketing strategy, consider that aspect too; they're upsetting the majority with mandatory changes just to bring things up to local regulation and technical standard (though some will argue the need for those points too), so a change many will see as optional just won't sit well either. They're damned either way whether they update or stay the same.

As for the how, if there was to be a how, consideration needs to be made in terms of online marketing. Get some good OFFICIAL PR. Officially dismiss the previous claims that have dogged SL for so long, or at least downplay to benefit (after all this time the Chinese Whispers of debauchery have been left to grow into gospel). Run regular print adverts in gaming magazines. Millennials won't agree with print so much as the older generations perhaps, but if you want to catch a wider demographic you need to allow some compensation accordingly. As wary as I am leaning too much on one platform (digital media), that is the way society is headed. With more people invested on their smart phones and computers, that's where the action is and will likely continue to be as years progress. 

A video advert that pops up as a different video is loading. We've all seen those; they're still there catching our eyes for a few seconds until we're allowed to skip them. Even a TV advert would do it. Something more along the lines of "Second Life: Imagine. Create. Socialize. Write." Or "Second Life: Be. Do. Have. Dream." From Be: show a variety of avatars; human, fantasy, sci-fi, animal, child, elderly, zombie, etc. Do: Avatars running or walking or exploring various regions. Some engaging in combat RP. Or clubbing, or driving or riding horses, or sailing, or holding children, or getting married, or decorating a house, etc. Have: Show various houses. Islands. Boats. Cars. Clothes/fashion. Fantasy selections, etc. Dream: bigger scenes; couples together. Large families. The socializing aspect. The building aspect. Bringing all the other parts together. I know it's pretty sh***y and probably dated, or even too predictable, but honestly THAT gives more of an impression of something I would expect to find or eventually do in SL that I didn't know as a new member who had no idea what SL was all about. And as someone looking for any one of those things is going to find and latch onto to draw them in. At least more so than a blank canvas and that's literally so big I don't even know where to start much less how.

Promotion is one thing. Once you've gotten them through the door; learning island and the website BOTH need streamlining so you don't scare them away again. Even as an old member creating an alt and running back through the initial sign-up process, the learning curve is too steep, too confusing, too patchwork, and partially irrelevant. More important topics that should be covered (and mentioned five paragraphs above), aren't. But they're other topics for other times. :) 

TL:DR (for those that skim or ignore long posts); Advertise. Define/categorize. Streamline.

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@RaeLeeH Really good points. It is a big canvas to cover and Learning Island really does need an official clean up.  If only 'vague' was an effective selling point.

When it comes to creative imagination, I seem to know more people without a hint of it than those blessed with an overabundance of it; most need to be hit over the head with something like that before they even see it, let alone visualize the 'possibilities'. Perhaps it was a marketing strategy that worked 16 years ago but could use some fine tuning in 2019?

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5 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

I can easily promote SL outside of SL,  but I do live in a certain state that contains a certain religion that ride bikes, just being a furry goes over badly here lol.

Oh my! What strange creatures live in your neck of the woods that can't appreciate a good furry? Never mind - let's not open that can of worms ;)

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2 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

at this moment i'd promote nothing but wait till long term promesses get implemented and released first.
 

Yes, but those long term processes will still be there whether SL receives a fresh burst of publicity or not - and my mother always says irritating things like, 'there's no time like the present' and 'why wait til tomorrow to do what can be done today?'.

This is just an exercise in sharing ideas about how we'd each promote SL if we had a $20m budget - whether Tilia and Sansar exist or not.

Go on, Alwin - be a daredevil and have a go...

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10 minutes ago, AnyaJurelle said:

Go on, Alwin - be a daredevil and have a go...

no :)

next to the points i mentioned... also the constant fuzz about the linden homes and the recent price raise has to calm down a bit more. New players dropping in the middle of these discussions will get totally discouraged and confused what's happening here.
I think it's not the right time to start a promo, it's the LL things that have to attrackt in the first place, and at the moment that's not really something to promote yet. Perhaps at the end of the year when there's a more fluctuating market for new homes and a few other things are in place would be a better time.

I don't mean these remarks as negative, i do love SL, and no plans to quit :) ( sorry for my non fans)

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19 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

no :)

next to the points i mentioned... also the constant fuzz about the linden homes and the recent price raise has to calm down a bit more. New players dropping in the middle of these discussions will get totally discouraged and confused what's happening here.
I think it's not the right time to start a promo, it's the LL things that have to attrackt in the first place, and at the moment that's not really something to promote yet. Perhaps at the end of the year when there's a more fluctuating market for new homes and a few other things are in place would be a better time.

I don't mean these remarks as negative, i do love SL, and no plans to quit :) ( sorry for my non fans)

Oh, now - don't be such an old poop! haha

Nothing's going to happen anyway - we're only imagining what we'd do if we had the resources to do it. Nothing more. 

*hands Alwin an oxygen mask* Breathe, Alwin. Just breathe.

 

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1 minute ago, Alwin Alcott said:

i'm Dutch.... only with a little touch of pot or nitrous oxide!

A major step forward would be buying Alwin a new pair of socks. I know for a fact that those ones are at least three days old and, frankly, they're getting a bit ripe.

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