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Value of Second Life to law firms is over

Second Life for Law FirmsI questioned last fall the value of Second Life in law firm marketing. If you’re not familiar with it, Second Life is an Internet-based virtual world with various social networking features including commerce between users.

From Marshall Kirkpatrick’s post today at ReadWriteWeb, it looks like the end may be near for Second Life.

Second Life’s user numbers are stagnating. SL expert Wagner James Au writes at Gigaom that the population in-world has plateaued at just over a half million active users and new user retention is stuck at 10%.

The company’s founding CEO is stepping into a new role, making room for someone not yet selected, with more managerial experience.

Service interruptions are rampant, reading the company blog is disheartening and reader comments on the BrandCenter post return again and again to the basic problems that even dedicated residents have to deal with.

In December, the leader of its vaunted platform for outside commercial designer/developers, the Electric Sheep Company, laid-off one third of its workforce and announced that it will move into other Virtual World platforms.

There’s always going to be a lot of buzz about what’s new. Legal publications and reporters get paid to cover stuff like Second Life. Such coverage got unknowing law firm marketing professionals thinking they need to study the use of Second Life for their law firms.

But on the list of the top ten things law firms should be considering in the area of innovative marketing and networking, Second Life is about number 47.