sears in second life: as boring as the real store.

Sears just launched their joint in Second Life. And the press has been rejoicing in the news that there's a place where you can explore custom kitchens, and design your own kitchen.

I've used Second Life as a reference tool, in this way. Showing a virtual property (the W Hotel) as an example of interior design that I was looking to refer to in the real world. It works. So I was pretty stoked to check out the new Second Life Sears, and try their custom kitchen maker.

Well, let me save you some time. It sucks. You can choose from about three kitchen styles, and from three different cabinet styles. Oooh - and two different countertops. Picture what a Flash developer might have created back in 1997, for the internet. It's almost that good. That's my "custom" kitchen, pictured above. (And yes, my pants are pretty badass. Thanks for noticing.)

Lots of brands are entering Second Life, and getting real world press for it. Obviously, the people who are writing the articles about Sears in Second Life, and the people who are reading the articles about Sears in Second Life, will never actually go into Sears in Second Life. If they did, they'd be pissed.

Imagine sending a press release out that you've produced a website where users can choose from THREE different door styles, and see what they look like on a stock kitchen? Think any media would pick that story up?

Marketers need to make sure what they're doing in Second Life actually provides some value. To an audience IN Second Life. Stop thinking about what users might expect on a website, and attempting to translate that to Second Life. It's a different media, altogether, and deserves a different approach.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my pants and I have a meeting at the W Hotel.

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