November 12, 2007
Looking back at FoE: Not the Real World Anymore

The final panel at last year's Futures of Entertainment 2, like the mobile media panel this year, focused on a particular media outlet, in this case virtual worlds. The discussion included John Lester from Linden Labs, Ron Meiners from, and Todd Cunningham from MTV Networks, who we work with closely, as well as Eric Gruber from MTVN.

Todd will be able to join us again this year as a conference attendee, and we're glad to have Alice Kim from MTVN on our panel discussing mobile media.

The panel, called "Not the Real World Anymore," is available in audio here and in video here.

We live-blogged the panel here.

Here is a portion of that coverage:

Joshua Green: There's an issue of whether there are benefits of marketing to avatars, if they're based on who we are, or who we want to be?

Todd Cunningham: What's the motivation behind the choice of avatars? If you can understand that, then you can understand how to market to them in a understandable way.

Ron Meiners: It's all in flux. There won't ever be a solution that will work across the board.

John Lester: There's a region in Second Life called Dublin, where there's a fairly faithful recreation of Dublin, Ireland, and you walk into a traditional Irish bar and there's a giant robot. You give people the tools to create whatever they want, and it's interesting -- it's not completely bizarre, but it's not completely mundane. It's somewhere smack in the middle. People create bars that look like bars and streets that look like streets, but people also introduce this "through the looking glass" element.

Todd Cunningham: I think in Laguna Beach, we learned more by starting from scratch. We made the front page of the Wall Street Journal because no other major media company was doing this kind of thing.

Ron Meiners: I think a young audience is much more receptive, much more media-savvy. They can play with brands in much wilder ways and still be appreciative.


On November 12, 2007 at 10:12 PM, Mauricio Mota said:

I think that we all (researchers, marketers and brands) learned a lot with the do's and dont's of the virtual world and the limits and benefits od projects as SL. Now with mobile and the integration with social networks we have a broader territory to change, to drive and learn. It's the new run to the West.


I think you are right, Mauricio, that the learning phase can be quite rich and valuable, even if a lot of mistakes were made...if we learn from those mistakes and have a more nuanced approach moving forward.