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Does second life need to get a life?

I had a chance today to speak to the Internet Strategy Forum Summit West (Conference 2.0, Pro). In addition to being the conference with the longest name, it has a great roster of speakers—and me. You can look at my slides on Internet Marketing by the Numbers, but you really missed a great event. Charlene Li kicked off the morning, galvanizing the audience with excerpts from Groundswell, which I will be reviewing soon. We also heard from Disney, Intel, and Nike, but Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer stole the show with a romp through Web statistics, including a puncturing look at Second Life.
Internet Strategy Forum Summit

Geoff had the audience in stitches when he showed the Second Life statistics of millions of registrants vs. the number that had actually logged on in the last month. He showed that Second Life had fewer monthly residents than the city of Portland, where the conference was being held. He carefully noted that Second Life monthly residents are lower than Portland monthly residents. “At least I assume that Portland residents are here each month,” he cracked.
His advice to marketers on Second Life parallels mine. Experiment if you must, but do it cheaply. Don’t spend tens of thousands on something speculative. I’ve been a big fan of private virtual worlds, which provide the same glitz of Second Life with an easy to calculate return on investment.
Do it wrong quickly, yes, but also do it cheaply. The pace of iteration in Internet marketing depends on each decision being not just fast, but almost free. Otherwise you start taking huge risks, just like with traditional marketing, and being wrong is not an option.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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