iVillage to Launch Girls Night Out in Second Life

iVillage, an online community for women established in 1995, is coming to the virtual world of Second Life in the form of a bi-weekly Girls Night Out that will seek to showcase existing content rather than draw people to a branded location, according to Marc Schiller, CEO of digital brand strategy firm Electric Artists, which is launching the initiative in partnership with the Electric Sheep Company (who are, of course, sponsors of this blog). Every two weeks, according to Schiller, a different curator will lead a group of iVillage members on a short tour of interesting locations around Second Life. Tours will take in things like tutorials, music, interesting builds and many other subjects, and will also seek to “highlight the great women who are doing amazing things in Second Life,” he said. The first tour, led by Electric Sheep Cory Edo, will kick off on Thursday, December 14th.

iVillage, which was bought by NBC earlier this year, is one of the earliest surviving Web-based communities, and has grown since its inception to encompass an online audience of 14 million and a handful of offline outlets.

Linden Lab, the company that runs Second Life, has pointed out in the past that although women make up less than half the population of SL, they account for a majority of the time spent in-world. “Second Life has an incredibly rich community of women. I didn’t really see that the brands coming into Second Life were addressing these women at all,” Schiller said in an interview with 3pointD. “What’s needed in Second Life are not more branded islands, but letting people know what the great things in Second Life already are. This is about iVillage extending what they already are on the Web, a place to bring women together.”

The tours will use a branded HUD which will be available to anyone at the iVillage loft on Sheep Island. The HUDs will be updated after each tour to give information about the upcoming night out.

Electric Artists previously worked with the Electric Sheep to bring Starwood Hotels’ Aloft brand to Second Life .

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  • Comments (3)
    • brian
    • December 7th, 2006

    Gender roleplay is so pervasive in the Second Life culture, how will they know they are actually promoting women?

  1. Hey Brian,
    Its a good point and one I brought up early in the planning stages for the project. In a place where you can swap your gender by clicking a checkbox, how can you KNOW someone’s female? Answer is, of course, you can’t, and I wanted to make sure Ivillage knew about that aspect before we got too deep into it.

    The way we’ve chosen to address it takes a few different approaches – gearing the topic/tour discussions towards interests to women is one, but I’m personally not a fan of the strict line between genders overriding good topics and good conversation. While the project is geared towards women, we’re inviting everyone, male, female, or neutral, to participate, and all are welcome. In fact, the topic of gender identity in SL is a topic I’d like to personally hit on during one of the tours, but someone else may beat me to it!

    • brian
    • December 7th, 2006

    Hey Cory

    I appreciate the candor in your reply. I suspect this event may open up a much larger conversation that they are expecting (and that isn’t a bad thing!)

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