Monday, August 31, 2009

SLeconomic Recovery

 

Jerremy and I were discussing the current SLeconomic crisis. The world-wide woes seem to have impacted our virtual world as well. Massive layoffs, in the form of a ban on camping chairs, have hit hard. Why, we even heard that LL started to put together a massive $100,000,000L bailout program for the banks...until someone at the Lab remembered that they had shut them all down over a year ago.

Jerremy & I recently had to cut back on our vacation plans. Instead of TPing to a fancy-schmancy resort, we built a plywood RV and drove to the sim next door to camp on the beach when the owners were not logged in.

While we were huddled around the campfire, we put our heads together and made a list of tips to help you weather the financial storm!

  •  Take advantage of LL's new Moolah-for-Mains trade in program! Trade in your tired, old drama-ridden avatar for a fresh new alt with a squeaky clean reputation!  
  •  Reuse your old prims instead of rezzing brand new ones. Just look in your inventory for anything things called 'object' (if you're like me, you have a hundred or so of these) and mod it into something brand new.  
  •  SLayoffs are no laughing matter. When you are trying to find that replacement virtual escorting job network, network, network!
  • You know how everyone is always trying to spoil camping by saying that it costs more to power your computer than you can earn? Ha! Foil the naysayers by powering off your PC while your avatar camps!
  •  One area you won;t have to cut back on?  Prim food! Jerremy and I have been barbecuing and eating the same hamburgers and hotdogs for well over a year now and they still taste as fresh as the day we rezzed them. 
  •  Clip coupons to SLave! ...errrr, I mean...for big SLavings!
  •  Be sure to pay a visit to Zindra, the adult content continent. I hear there are some interesting stimulus packages over there!
Always remember that a Linden saved is a Linden earned! Good luck out there!

[ETA: Jerremy really did brainstorm with me -- so I want to give him credit for helping me with this post!]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Girl Wonder Speaks about Marketing: Brand Associations

This is a quick post -- I promise to expand on the topic more later, though. 
I will say that one of the things I love best about SL is the creativity of the residents. But there should be a well thought out strategy behind the creative ideas used in business situations.
Tip 1: It is best to try to associate your brand with concepts and things that appeal to your target market.
Tip 1b: Associating your brand with generally distasteful items and concepts - female hygiene products, excrement, genitalia (unless you make adult products) may not have the effects that you are seeking. (Note here that there are exceptions to this that depend on the audience you are trying to reach.)
This means thinking hard about the brand names, locations, spokespeople and promotions (including hunts, advertising images, logos, etc.) you use. Even if a concept appeals to a certain segment of the population be aware that there are others to whom it does not appeal (or even offends). As a business person, you need to determine which segment is more valuable to your bottom line.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New blog for Starting Point New Resident Dorms!

I set up a blog for the Starting Point new resident dormitory! Find it at http://startingpointsl.blogspot.com/.
I am trying to fill in the links for helpful blogs - free items, newbie guides, etc. If you know of a site you think might be good, please give me a heads up about it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Girl Wonder speaks about Marketing: And you are...?

I was glancing through the fashion feeds a day or so ago when I spotted an item about a new store opening. I love finding new shops so my interest was piqued. I read and then reread. Apart from one odd phrase that was linked, there was no mention of a store name. Nor was there a description of what this store would sell – it was just a couple of paragraphs of gushing about being so happy to open the shop. I examined the picture that accompanied the story only to see a pastel building and an impossible to read scripted sign.

Now, if I had been logged in to SL at the time I could have clicked the linked phrase and hoped that it would turn out to be a SLURL. But at the time I was not.

So, there is a new shop out there and I would love to visit it but I have no idea what it is called.

That, my friends, is a marketing FAIL.

These are thoughts from my typist (who happens to be a marketing professional in RL):

  • Your business' name is gold. Remember that and you are way ahead of the game. And I mean both in reputation as well as recognition.
  • Say your name, use your name, put your name on everything, repeat your name, and never send a Plurk or Twitter about your shop without the store name in the first sentence!
  • Put signs on your store -- especially the outside! Do not assume someone knows what store they are in. I cannot count the number of times I have had to click on a wall or piece of merchandise just to find out where I am.
  • Think long and hard about changing your brand name. Change it and you could see all of the goodwill you have built up with customers disappear. (I will write about this more later -- it can be done in such a way as to minimize the damage.)
  • Put the name of your business on your profile. Make sure you have your employees put it on their profiles too. Put it in the 'about' section on the 2nd Life tab and make a pick (preferably the first one) for it.
  • Label your merchandise so when it gets into someone's inventory they know exactly what store it is from so they can come back to buy more or tell others where they bought the item.
I hope this gives you some ideas. IM me with questions.

And now I have linked a little ditty to help you remember the importance of your business' name. (I couldn't embed this, sorry...grrrrrr.)

That's not my name!

I am going to start writing little marketing advice pieces every once in a while to give back to the creators in SL who make the things I love to buy. (I will think of a clever name for this feature.)

I hope this starts your week out well!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ava-Whine

[sound of phone ringing]

[muffled voice]
Hi! It's me. Guess what?
[muffled voice]
I am calling you from Second Life!
[muffled voice]
That online virtual world game.
[muffled voice]
Because I can.
[muffled voice]
I do log off every once in a while.
[muffled voice]
I did go outside this week.
[muffled voice]
Don’t you want my Ava-Line code?
[muffled voice]
So you can call my avatar.
[muffled voice]
I don’t know. Maybe if I'm away from home.
[muffled voice]
And my cell phone is dead.
[muffled voice]
And Google Talk doesn’t work anymore.
[muffled voice]
And I forgot my password to all of my email accounts.
[muffled voice]
And the post office is on strike.
[muffled voice]
You, um, dial an 800 number and then put in my code.
[muffled voice]
Oh yea, you have to have a code, too.
[muffled voice]
Well, the fee is not that much…
[muffled voice]
And I got a Hula Bear.
[muffled voice]
No. A virtual one.
[muffled voice]
Look, if you loved me you would sign up for the service!
[muffled voice]
You know I am kidding, Mom.
[muffled voice]
By the way, can I come over for dinner?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pre-Rez Day Rhymes

Crap! I am late! Last Tuesday was Bad Poetry Day. I thought I would celebrate by writing and sharing one, but what I was writing was so utterly awful...Oh, wait.

This week is full of celebration for me - my typist has several family birthdays and my own Rez Day is tomorrow. That is correct - almost exactly 24 months ago I was knocking back coffee, bleary eyed and seemingly unable to log off. Hooked. And today, I see no reason to end the party. With new projects, new social activities and this blog to keep things fresh and challenging, I see a lot of fun ahead as well.

I don't want to ignore Bad Poetry Day completely so I thought I would combine it with a little Rez Day Gift from me to you:

Here's a terrible but short limerick:

I'm turning TWO!
How old are you?
Appreciate SL youth!
I'm telling the truth.
Hang onto your noob point of view!

Keep seeing the wonder!

Talk to folks from Down Under!
See lots of sights!
Use your modify rights!
And turn off your PC when there's thunder.

How about a terrible haiku? Ahem...

Unless you live twice,
second birthdays come just once.
Avatars know this.


There! You're welcome! :-P

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Snark Week

ZOMG - I hate to disappoint you right out of the chute, but this post is not particularly snarky. I just thought the title was a cute play on words since the entire civilized world seemed to be caught up in the Discovery Channel's Shark Week recently. I mean I’ll *try* but there are no guarantees. (I used to be a frequent snarker on the site Television Without Pity before I discovered SL.)

My typist actually caught a bit of the actual Shark Week programming while on a business trip and too tired to fire up her shiny new laptop (purchased specifically for accessing SL on the road). Watching TV was terribly weird since we do not watch television beyond morning news anymore. I stopped watching television when I began my SLife and I can never get my TV’s in-world to work properly. Is this better? I think so. I am much more creative with my SLactivities than passively watching America’s Next Top Bachelor’s Intervention or whatever the heck I used to watch.

Yea, yea, obviously SL is still an addiction for me. But there are worse ones I am sure. For example, unlike a nice meth addiction, Second Life will not make you itch and your teeth fall out. I have only blacked out once or twice from a SL session.

Due to my addiction, I am seething with jealousy of the people who got to go to SLCC this year. They are all in one place all rubbing up against each other. I am really going to shoot for going next year. Note to organizers - please hold the conference in my typist’s home city of Denver, CO. The extreme lack of oxygen at this altitude will help everyone save tons of cash on alcohol. That is cash they can spend on "I TP'd to the Mile High City and all I got was this lousy T-SLirt" souvenirs.

Just the other day, I was thinking about the future of virtual worlds as my typist's Tween-aged Niece begged her to buy a Webkinz® stuffed animal. Apparently, Webkinz® has a starter-Second Life thing going on. Kids can log in and have virtual pets, and they can buy homes, furniture, food, toys and clothing for them. (You earn money by playing games on the site.) The pets need food and attention and they can get sick -- like Sion chickens. But they will NOT mate -- unlike Sion chickens. This struck me as possibly being way more fun than Teen SL...and you can start as soon as you turn 6.

You know, it might be good that this is a picture-less post since I am going to talk about my husband's propensity to be naked for days on end. This is a combination of our ...ummmm....love for skinny dipping and our schedules. As Jerremy likes to say, the Girl Scouts don't come around anymore, but Avon likes to stop by.
What does amaze me is that he has not, to my knowledge, ever been forced to log into a place other than our house. He has never been subject to the humiliation of logging in at a welcome center or infohub. This is a cruel LL joke. Only women have to rez naked in public apparently.

Also, do you use Plurk? I do. If you do, add me as a friend -- I never decline other SLers. Someday I will even change my page from the default orange and powder blue background. I think it is a fabu way of keeping up with the drama in SLife. Yes! I admit it - I SLove to observe drama! Without controversy, rumor, conflict and crazies, I would have to go back to watching television.

And ZOMG guess what? I will be TWO next week - August 20 is my Rez Day. I will have to think of something profound and witty to tell you about reaching this milestone when the day gets closer. But since this is just a keeping-up-with-Tymmerie post, I will wrap this up.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ssssshhhhhhhh!

Every Sunday a very popular SL blog features anonymous secrets about people in Second Life. Hmmm...I wonder what kind of anonymous secrets would be posted to my blog if I did that? [Insert television dream sequence music here.]

1)

2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

Wow. That was just like I imagined it would be.

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