Monday, April 25, 2011

Eye on the Blog: "Dash Deals," bargins on SL Marketplace Through Facebook and Twitter

Last week, Brooke Linden announced on the Official Blog that Second Life Marketplace was introducing an experimental program they called “Dash Deals.”

Everyone loves a great deal, right? So, we’re introducing a new test program called “Dash Deals.” During this test, we will be running one Dash Deal per week, for the next five weeks. Dash Deals will provide Second Life Marketplace shoppers with the opportunity to purchase a specific virtual item for 24 hours at a 50% discount or more. Hand-picked by the Linden team from Merchant submissions, these products highlight the creativity and variety of products available to Marketplace shoppers. We hope that you enjoy our selections and take advantage of the deals! And, if the test goes well, then you can expect to see more Dash Deals beyond the test period. Here’s How to Score a Dash Deal: We’ll alert Second Life shoppers when the Dash Deal is available on Facebook, Twitter, and in a weekly email. Just click on the SL Marketplace link provided, take a look at the Dash Deal item, and snap it up while it’s still available.

This is the latest in a number of ways Second Life has been trying to use the highly popular social media sites of Facebook and Twitter. In this case, using it to encourage the use of its SL Marketplace site (and buy more Lindens to use in purchasing items there. In my opinion, it has potential. Taking a look at the “Dash Deal” thread on the forums, some of the posters expresed skepticism about it, saying the email option would be no good to some as the first Dash Deal was good only for 24 hours, and some people didn’t get emails from Linden Labs until more time than that expired.

One poster, Shockwave Yareach, brought up this might do nothing more than annoy some residents, “Do most customers Like, Dislike, or have no opinion about being prodded over and over about sales, new products and the like? I personally do not have any sort of advertising for the simple reason that I'm in SL to get away from things like that which permeate every second of RL. I thus assume my customers likewise don't want to be bothered -- just sell them their gizmodo and let them have fun with it.”

In New World Notes, Hamlet Au had his own opinion, calling it a “Groupon-style offer (a deal-of-the day website)” that reflected “the current Silicon Valley craze for anything which looks even remotely Grouponic. It's a good move to better monetize Second Life's ecommerce site as the company moves away from its unsustainable land revenue model, but I definitely think it could be improved.” His idea of improvement, have people contact a number of friends to reach a minimum number set before the deal becomes active.

This reminds me of something I’ve seen in Second Life for a while. Many Residents have seen those boards in stores (the name escapes me) which promise a free item if a set number of people (one common number is 25, though may be more at popular places) click on it. I myself have been asked by a few lady friends to port over to one of these boards to click on it so they can get an item of clothing they feel is must-have. A tad annoying at times when you don't want to be bothered, but no arguing it draws shoppers, and money, to stores. I can see Linden Labs doing something similar, but on Facebook and/or Twittter instead of Inworld.

Sources: Second Life Blog, Second Life Forums, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

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