Sky News launches a remarkably good rendition of its Osterley newsroom inside Second Life tomorrow, during Adam Boulton’s Sunday programme. Writing on the Sky News editors’ blog, Simon Bucks says:
It’s a new and exciting way to communicate, and as many universities have discovered, it’s a useful vehicle for education. But most of all it’s fun. It allows you to do stuff you can’t do in real life. And from Sunday that will include coming inside our newsroom and studio, roaming around, and taking a look at what we do and how we do it.
Frankly, I never warmed to Second Life. Tried it a couple of times, seemed like a waste of time, never went back. Statistics I found back in January seemed to suggest I wasn’t alone. The latest, as reported by the Reuters Second Life correspondent, is that ‘growth in unique Second Life users has been steadily slowing since October 2006’. Data at Alexa and Blogpulse now seem to suggest it’s on a downward trend in terms of ‘buzz’.
I’m sure they’ll learn some interesting lessons from this exercise, but in terms of hard business value, I doubt it’ll actually deliver anything. A few months ago, it would at least have made a much bigger PR splash than it has – which would have been something. But is a Second Life presence going to made the brand – or indeed, Adam Boulton – relevant to the cool set? And will they even be watching at 11am on a Sunday morning?