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

Author

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  • Kaplan, Andreas M.
  • Haenlein, Michael

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2009. "The fairyland of Second Life: Virtual social worlds and how to use them," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 563-572, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:52:y:2009:i:6:p:563-572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ralph L. Keeney, 1999. "The Value of Internet Commerce to the Customer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 533-542, April.
    2. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 184-198, September.
    3. Glen L. Urban & Eric von Hippel, 1988. "Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(5), pages 569-582, May.
    4. Cova, Bernard, 1996. "The postmodern explained to managers: Implications for marketing," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 15-23.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wu He & Feng-Kwei Wang & Yong Chen & Shenghua Zha, 0. "An exploratory investigation of social media adoption by small businesses," Information Technology and Management, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-12.
    2. repec:rom:rmcimn:v:18:y:2017:i:3:p:274-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:joinma:v:26:y:2012:i:1:p:4-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:7:p:366-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:15-:d:123921 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2177-:d:120414 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:infotm:v:18:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10799-015-0243-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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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