Sam Landman of the Electric Sheep Company (who, as you know, sponsor this blog), just got in touch to let me know that NBC managed to get around 1,000 avatars into the 18 sims they’d mustered for the virtual tree lighting event they put on earlier this evening in Second Life to match the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. NBC, as well, counted the event a success. Does that make it the largest single event in SL history? It very well might. Though if you know of a larger one, I’d love to hear about it — especially how it was pulled off. The Sheep had a last-minute scramble on their hands to pull off this one, due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts with the Wednesday update of SL’s software, which threatened to close the entire thing down, and the fact that Linden Lab has been unable to meet demand for new regions, forcing the Sheep to go to land baron, “business girl,” and virrtual millionaire (in US dollar terms, note) Anshe Chung to rent a bunch of sims. Look for more such events in future. “We were very impressed with how forward-thinking NBC was in using this medium,” Sam says. “They really get it. It would be great to see them leverage this to further build their digital media brand.”
It would also be interesting to see Anshe, or someone like her, leverage their capacity to meet demand LL just can’t, for whatever reason. That’s what’s been happening with SL land barony for a long time, just on a slightly smaller scale. Brokers of multiple sims for events like NBC’s tree lighting could clean up, and create a brand new virtual industry along the way. But Linden Lab will still have to bring service for new customers up to a higher standard if they expect to continue to see sustainable growth.