My Avatar is Pressuring Me to Switch Phone Companies

[Lawrence Lessig Does A Virtual
Book Tour in Second Life]

Regina at we-make-money-not-art does a nice condensation of an article that recently appeared in Harvard Business Review on Marketing to Avatars. She quotes:

“The strong involvement of Second Life (and other virtual worlds)’s residents with their virtual environment (from personalized avatars to virtual businesses, scheduled celebrity book signings, etc.) constitutes a dream marketing venue. Commerce is already an integral part of the game. Residents spend—in Linden dollars—the equivalent of $5 million a month on transactions for in-world products and services. Introducing real-world brands is just a logical step.

“Whom do marketing efforts target? The members who gave their credit card numbers to register for the game—or their avatars? If the real-world human controls the real-world wallet, the avatar represents a different “shadow” consumer, one able to influence its creator’s purchase of real-world products and conceivably make its own real-world purchases in the virtual world.”

Read her condensed version.

Read the full HBR piece.

Your Parents’ TeamAmerica

If you’re Jurassic like me, you probably grew up marveling at the work of Gerry Anderson and the “Supermarionation” magic he worked on shows like Supercar, Fireball XL-5, Thunderbirds, and Stingray. I’m sure these shows went a long way to rope-starting my lifelong fascination with space, science, gadgets, miniatures, and puppet sex (wait, scratch that last one). Andrew over at PuppetVision (I can’t vouch for him on the puppet sex thing), has posted a link to a vid for “The Making of Thunderbirds,” a short promo piece, done for UK TV, in 1964.

Just Drop Me Off Over DC and I’ll Glide To Phillie

Parachuting out of a plane is a good way to get someplace on the ground, but you tend to end up not too far from where you jumped. Doesn’t give you too much flexibility, if you’re say, James Bond, and you want to travel a couple hundred klicks from where the plane….ah dropped you off. Enter the carbon-fiber wing, a lightweight system that allows a paratrooper to travel up to 124 miles from the drop point. Of course, to get that kinda glide time, the troopers have to bail out at 30,000 feet. The German company developing the wing is working on a small turbo-jet drive so the same range can be had without the extreme altitude.