BigPond enters new waters through Second life

Telstra launches Second Life presence, offers unmetered usage

Not to be left behind in the recent corporate uptake of Second Life, BigPond has launched a group of 11 in-game islands, and is now offering its users un-metered access to content in its virtual headquarters, as well as selected Linden Lab downloads.

Dubbed "The Pond", BigPond claims it to be Australia's first major corporate presence in the online virtual world. The cluster of islands is estimated to cost in excess of $20,000 in real estate alone, according to fixed island prices currently listed by Linden Lab.

Jason Romney, BigPond's national manager of commercial strategy, called the virtual expansion a strategic experiment that is expected to enhance the ISP's brand, while providing potentially valuable experience in community and content management in the virtual space.

"Second Life is relevant to us because it represents the intersection of some key media trends, for example, user-generated content, the creation of communities, the strong growth of games, and so forth," he said.

"We see this as something we should experiment in ... and there's a good fit with our real-world media activities, because we can both bring those [real-world] things into the virtual world, and we can take things from the virtual world out to those [real-world] activities."

While he did not think it possible to put a dollar-value on the business potential of virtual worlds, Romney expects Second Life to offer opportunities in distributing content, liasing with customers, conducting meetings among a globally located workforce, and trialing prototype products.

On the other hand, the as-yet unpolished nature of Linden Lab's metaverse has given rise to issues from virtual terrorism, to recruiting suitable developers, to negotiating licenses for audio and video content.

Owing to its status as an incumbent Australian ISP, BigPond is meticulous in obtaining licenses for all content and trademarks appearing on its islands - and the licensing process can be tedious.

"This is a wild west without any inhibitors or fetters - unless your virtual presence has an effect on your reputation in the real world," Romney explained. "Unlike other places that stream pirated music, we have to obtain licences for all music, which takes ages because we have to negotiate with content owners and explain what a virtual world is."

Similarly, initial negotiations with executives to enter into the virtual world proved to be a challenge, Romney recalled.

"It was a challenge to explain the nature of virtual worlds, because clearly we're talking about something that is on the cutting edge of innovation and something which perhaps for people who weren't brought up on games, is more of a stretch to understand," he said. "But the proof is in the pudding."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?