Here's a trend some people are already tired of hearing about: Second Life.
Michael Stoner blogged about Second Life the other day and gave the latest "virtual world" craze a real life thumbs down as an investment option for over-burdened alumni offices. In a post titled Second Thoughts on Second Life, Michael commented on its potential value to higher ed advancement:
...much of the current wave of activity in Second Life is based on the media hype around it....I think advancement offices and recruiters have more important things to do than think about Second Life right now....While a lot of people have heard about Second Life and visit it to find out what it’s all about, the number who return - and return often - is much, much smaller.
For the moment, I’d follow what’s happening in this virtual world while keeping well-grounded IRL [in real life].
I agree. But I can easily picture a dedicated and enthusiastic group of alumni volunteers working to create an institutional presence for their alma mater in Second Life. Here are some resources for those pondering this:
- Three non-profits describe their use of Second Life
- TechSoup's FAQ for non-profits in Second Life
- A simple list of organizations present in Second Life
Meanwhile, check out SL so you know what all the buzz is about, canvass your most likely alumni volunteers for ideas and approaches, then upgrade your graphics card and sit back and wait for the next virtual world...it's right around the corner anyway.