Telstra and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will announce shortly that they have established, separately, a presence in the cult virtual world of Second Life.
They will join a growing throng of international companies – including Dell, Toyota, Adidas, IBM, and Intel – who have built a base within the virtual world, seeking to test its worthiness as a promotional and commercial tool.
Another local company, interactive TV provider Two Way TV Australia, also has advanced plans to open a shop front in the 3-D world.
Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton said the telco’s Second Life home would be called The Pond, and offer similar features to its website.
“Visitors will be able to do pretty much what they can at BigPond.com – buy songs, watch movies and so on – as well as explore the fascinating online presence we are creating,”
Mr Middleton would not give further details on what Telstra was planning, but said all would be revealed when The Pond opened to the public next month.
There are few details about the ABC venture beyond the fact that the corporation has purchased an island in Second Life. Access to the region is restricted, but the island – in the shape of the ABC logo – is clearly visible from an overhead view of the area.
Over 3 million people from around the world have signed up for a (free) Second Life account. However, it is widely accepted that as few as 10 per cent of those members are active, making this a niche community in the universe of virtual world.
Related Links: Second Life
, Linden Lab: Makers of Second LIfe