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Title: Significance of communication and business opportunities in virtual environment : second life
Authors: Sharma, Gajendra
Keywords: Second life
Virtual world
Business opportunities
Social networking
Online games
Issue Date: 24-Dec-2018
Abstract: Second Life is an online, 3D virtual world imagined and created by its residents. The residents can explore, meet people, participate in social activities, create and trade virtual properties and services. Virtual world is a computer based simulated environment where avatars can communicate each other through different communication media. Second Life in this connection, is a latest innovation of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Second Life technology provides one of the major contributions in Information System (IS). The aim of the current study is to investigate why people communicate in Second Life and opportunities of business in Second Life. Communication establishes social networking and provides collaboration between producers and consumers. The most common communication media used in Second Life are text and voice, instant messaging, blogs, email and video conferencing. The intention of residents entering Second Life is to interact with each other, make friends and have fun and entertainment. Some people trade virtual goods and services to earn real currency. Most of the well renowned real world companies entered Second Life to promote their products and services. The major theoretical background used in this study was the communication theory and social systems, theory of intrinsic motivation and word of mouth communication. Online survey from residents in the form of questionnaires was performed to collect quantitative data. A case study from Second Life players, business practitioners and company representatives was also performed to study communication behavior of residents and online business experiences. Success history of some real world companies in Second Life was also included in this study. The result was focused on the effectiveness and superiority of communication in Second Life among other social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube and its significance on real world business. Second Life was the best choice for individual and real world companies to perform e-business and promote real world commerce. Residents above 30 years old were found permanent residents or lifers of Second Life and actual business professional. Avatars below 30 years old are casuals and focused on entertainment and social networking. Gender effect was found in Second Life as in real life. Instant messaging was more popular for general users. Video conferencing was the choice of real world companies to conduct online business events. Some real world companies are unsuccessful in Second Life due to lack of initial investment and enough time engagement. Initial capital investment, sufficient time engagement and quality of products were equally important in Second Life as in real world. Moreover, advertising, customer relation, after sales service and consumer traffic are mandatory for e-business promotion. Second Life was found favorable for technological development, brand promotion, resource management, business strategy and prototyping. Communication in virtual environment plays a crucial role for social networking and has direct influence to raise real world economy. The environment is virtual but the communication behavior and business strategies are almost similar with real world. The communication in real world has significance to policy makers, managers and leaders for information sharing and decision making.
Description: A thesis submitted to School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Management Science and Engineering, 2011.
Appears in Collections:000 Computer science, information & general works

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