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The fairyland of Second Life: Virtual social worlds and how to use them

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  • Kaplan, Andreas M.
  • Haenlein, Michael
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    Abstract

    Virtual social worlds, such as the Internet site Second Life, have acquired a high degree of popularity in the popular and business press. In this article we address the increasing importance of virtual social worlds, and discuss how companies can make use of their potential. We first present how virtual social worlds evolved historically, how they fit into the postmodern paradigm of our time, and how they differ from other social media, such as content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking sites and blogs (e.g., Facebook), collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia), and virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft). We subsequently present how firms can make use of virtual social worlds in the areas of advertising/communication, virtual product sales (v-Commerce), marketing research, human resources, and internal process management. We also highlight the points companies should pay particular attention to in their activities, the 5Cs of success in virtual social worlds, and the future evolutions that we expect to shape this sector over the next 5-10 years: a trend toward standardization and interoperability, improvements in software usability, increasing interconnection between reality and virtual worlds, establishment of law and order, and the transformation of virtual social worlds to business hubs of the future.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W45-4WYCT71-1/2/99dfc2117a597959e35eb68676e4ba35
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Business Horizons.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 6 (November)
    Pages: 563-572

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:52:y:2009:i:6:p:563-572

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/bushor

    Related research

    Keywords: Social media Virtual worlds Virtual social worlds Second Life;

    References

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    1. Schlosser, Ann E, 2003. " Experiencing Products in the Virtual World: The Role of Goal and Imagery in Influencing Attitudes versus Purchase Intentions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 184-98, September.
    2. Ralph L. Keeney, 1999. "The Value of Internet Commerce to the Customer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 533-542, April.
    3. Ann E. Schlosser, 2006. "Learning through Virtual Product Experience: The Role of Imagery on True versus False Memories," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 377-383, October.
    4. Eric J. Arnould & Craig J. Thompson, 2005. "Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 868-882, 03.
    5. Randall L. Rose & Stacy L. Wood, 2005. "Paradox and the Consumption of Authenticity through Reality Television," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 284-296, 09.
    6. Cova, Bernard, 1996. "The postmodern explained to managers: Implications for marketing," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 15-23.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kaplan, Andreas M., 2012. "If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media 4x4," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 129-139.
    2. Kevin Kane & Codrin Chiru & Stela Georgiana Ciuchete, 2012. "Exploring the Eco-attitudes and Buying Behaviour of Facebook Users," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(31), pages 157-171, February.

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