“Online divorcee jailed after killing virtual hubby…”

Posted by Mike Dwyer on October 28, 2008

True story. What do they say, “Truth is stranger than fiction?”  Obviously, a bit of an extreme but it’s what marketers are facing today as they struggle with these social media and nontraditional marketing tools the global consumer is using.  People (and specifically non-techies) have taken control of the online conversation. I am neither the first nor the hundredth person to blog or twitter about these phenomena. It’s an exciting (but scary) time to be a marketer while new technology and mass consumer adoption is occurring we are seemingly stepping into an economic downturn. Cover your ears if you don’t want to hear it but Recession (with capital R) typically is felt by marketers right in their ad budgets so as to keep companies’ “profit generating centers” alive. Entering from stage left – cheaper and potentially more effective social media strategies.

In reference to the title of this blog, virtual worlds are making a comeback in the US and across the globe:

http://digg.com/odd_stuff/Online_divorcee_jailed_after_killing_virtual_hubby_Yahoo

Life has been up and then down in the world of “Early adopters”. I have worked with several clients in the past who have virtual islands they own in a 3-D virtual world called Second Life created by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the global medium used for laypeople’s expressions of fantasy, including wished-for spouses, regions of living, etc. This interactive online game is used for information, recruiting and even B2B sales. The recently hired CMO of Second Life has started breathing some new energy into this emerging media:

http://digg.com/tech_news/The_Second_Life_of_Second_Life

As we continue to be bombarded by messages from companies and in turn become numb to their outreach, new challenges emerge. How can we separate ourselves from the fire hose of media? The belief that social media is used only by teenagers or those who can’t hack it in the real world is a fallacy.  Marketers must come to terms with this.  Maybe not to the extent of the online divorcee/virtual murderer, but to the point where marketers recognize that failing to master these powerful tools can be a career killer.  If that doesn’t spook you…..

Happy Halloween, All.

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