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Thread: Project Second-Life - Promote eBid for peanuts!

  1. #1
    Forum Diehard rupert691's Avatar
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    Default Project Second-Life - Promote eBid for peanuts!

    Evening all! : )

    Sorry this is long-winded, but please have a read, and bear with me.

    For the last few weeks, I've been investigating the potential for another, and somewhat novel method of helping to promote both eBid in general, and also our own sales. (Hence my lower-than-usual presence on the Forums ).

    Many of us, myself included, have now set-up MySpace and Facebook accounts to help promote our sales, and after giving these sites some serious thought, I was reminded of my first 'journey' to 'Second Life' towards the beginning of this year.

    For those who haven't come across 'Second Life', it is a massive online 'virtual world' that has around 1,500,000 members worldwide, and approximately 45,000 members online at any given time. Anything that can be done in the real world, can be carried out within 'Second Life'. There are virtual concerts (by real-life musicians), and Land, Properties, Businesses and Commodities are bought and sold using ‘virtual money’ (the Linden Dollar) which can be exchanged for real money. Before anyone gets too excited, a single Linden Dollar, is virtually worthless, - the exchange rate is around $1 USD, for approximately $285 Linden Dollars (L$). Second Life is free to join, (you just download the SL Client Programme from http://secondlife.com/, create an account and log on), and L$ can be earned in various ways, though it is not essential to have much money in SL (but it helps! LOL!)

    Bearing in mind that Gazza is looking for ‘alternative’ ways to advertise eBid, I am convinced there is a lot of great potential for reasonably inexpensive (and if you are crafty, free!) advertising on Second Life. Many large, real-life Corporations, have realized this potential and have set up ‘virtual’ offices in which they hold ‘virtual meetings’, and ‘chat’ and ‘interact’ in real time, as it has proven to be more cost effective than organizing real-life meetings. For example, ‘Dell’ have an island in SL, and are selling their real-life computers from their ‘virtual’ shops. IBM and other large Companies have ‘Billboard-style’ adverts. Although I’m sure FeePay must have some adverts on there somewhere, I honestly have yet to see any in all my SL travels, so if they do have some SL exposure, it seems to be limited. (‘Virtual’ land is for sale on FeePay though). One of my favourite SL haunts, is a Bar, which is sponsored by real-life ‘N*****/Coffee’, who have large adverts there. It is run/owned by two, real-life Business people. One runs a ‘Real-life to SL’ marketing Company, and by all accounts has helped many Businesses have a SL presence. There are virtual shopping malls, and a small virtual shop, can be rented for around L$150 per week in some places, (about 50p per week), with potential for 1000’s of people seeing any adverts you put in your shop. I haven’t done this so far, but it’s something I’m looking to do in the near future.

    I mentioned ‘free’ advertising in SL. SL enables you to quickly and easily customise your avatar (your ‘virtual-self’). One of the very first things I did upon my return to SL, was to create an eBid T-Shirt with the phrase ‘Zero-Fee Auctions’ on the front and back, and just walk around SL wearing it. I’m guessing that I’m the first one with a ‘virtual’ eBid T-Shirt, and think it must be one of the most unusual ways to advertise eBid. It’s been quite an eye-opener, and I’ve been asked what eBid is, a number of times now. There has been interest in the site from SL'ers, especially when I’ve told them it doesn’t have listing fees!

    One of the easiest ways to promote your eBid listings on SL, is to use your Avatar’s ‘Profile’, which is easily set-up, so that anyone can call it up and see whatever information you wish to share (interests etc.). What I’ve done, is put that I’m addicted to eBid.net Fee-Free Listings etc. etc., stated the sort of things I sell, and then put a link to my listings, and another one to join eBid. I’m also considering putting something like “Deduct 10% from any of my items, by quoting my SL User Name” (which can be virtually anything you choose). Another possibility, is offering a prize for anyone ‘Spotting the eBid T-Shirt’, but I’m not sure how this would work, as it’s quite easy to ‘search’ for anyone on SL.

    ‘Notecards’ can also be ‘given’ out with any information you want someone to have. For example, those that show an interest in eBid, could be given a ‘Notecard’ with info about eBid and your listings link on. All of this is very easy to do, and very inexpensive, it just takes a little time to set up, and with worldwide exposure, I think it’s worth the effort. You can also organise ‘virtual newsletters’ too, - though I haven’t got to grips with how you do this yet.

    There are many other ways that SL could be utilised to promote eBid, and is only limited by imagination. You can take ‘virtual’ photos, (in fact one of the ways I earn L$ in SL, is as a Photographer), and these can be emailed to friends as ‘Postcards’, or with requests to join SL. The ones I’ve mailed out, all show my avatar in the eBid Shirt, so again, more promotion.

    There are also ‘Groups’ on SL, in order to promote various interests. If there's enough interest, I’m intending to start an eBid group very soon, which will enable my avatar, (and anyone else who joins), to have ‘eBid Zero-Fee Auction Member’ (or similar) above the avatar, again free promotion for anyone on SL, who joins the group. The Group will be open to non-eBidders on SL too, in order to promote awareness of eBid, and hopefully pick up a few Buyers along the way. The only criteria to get the Group up and running, is that it needs a minimum of four members to be kept running, otherwise it gets closed down. There are no obligations other than simply joining the SL eBid Group at sometime. Groups enable messages to be sent quickly to all members, so it would be great for announcing new lines, discounts etc.

    Second Life can be great fun in it’s own right, and I’ve met lots of interesting people over there, from all over the world. A couple of weeks ago, I even earned L$1000 in 45mins, being a Model for a Photoshoot, to promote a ‘virtual’ version of a real-life Hotel and Beach Party.

    Update (15th December) re. proposed eBid Group Meeting for tomorrow. Due to the logistics involved in getting everyone online at the same time and in the same virtual location, and also 'concerns' from a Manager of the 'Bar' earlier this evening, that a few of us meeting there, and discussing eBid, could 'undermine the Bar and their own advertising', I feel that the best way to handle the eBid SL Group is to Invite members to join individually. (If you'd like to join, just let me know your SL User Name and I'll add it to the Group like that). While I fully appreciate that the 'Bar' is paid for by N*****, I simply cannot see how a few of us informally discussing an eBid Group, can be a threat to their advertising, (in fact it would be promoting 'Coffee' at some level, because we'd see the advert during the meeting). eBid and N***** are not in the same business either, so the whole thing just doesn't add up. Residents talk about many aspects of Business there, (and wear t-shirts, Group titles etc.). I suspect it has more to do with the fact that '*******************' (who handled the N*****/Coffee contract), want to deal with any eBid advertising themselves, rather than let it's users do it, inexpensively and legitimately. (Interestingly, I was also informed that the 'Bar' cost about the equivalent of £160 per month in advertising, which is split eight ways. This is comparatively small, when compared to eBid's budget.).

    If anyone needs any help, with the SL Client Programme, or any aspect of this project, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.


    I’d really appreciate any feedback regarding this idea for the promotion and advertising of eBid and our listings, and welcome any ideas for fine tuning.

    All the best, Simon.
    Last edited by rupert691; 1st May 2009 at 01:34 AM.
    Promote your eBid Sales with us on 'Second-Life'. If you'd like to join the SL eBid Group, please PM me for an Invite to help Promote your eBid Store/Listings!



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  2. #2

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    Just checking this out - will let you know whayt I think!

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    Forum Diehard rupert691's Avatar
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    Hi Jo,

    Thank you for reading it! (Sorry it's so long , but didn't think I could do the Project justice, if I didn't go the whole hog! LOL!).

    Let me know if you have any questions about SL or the Project.

    Best wishes, Simon.
    Promote your eBid Sales with us on 'Second-Life'. If you'd like to join the SL eBid Group, please PM me for an Invite to help Promote your eBid Store/Listings!



    'Rupert's Books' for Unusual used books!

  4. #4

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    Oh dear! It has crashed on me three times! I think I'll call it quits for tonight and look around at another time! Perhaps my PC isn't man enough for it?
    Last edited by CrowlasCrafts; 14th December 2007 at 01:18 AM.

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    Forum Saint Armstrongs's Avatar
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    Hi Simon

    I've got it installed....but not sure which community I should be joining?

    & i'll be wonderin why all my chores don't get done in time for Christmas! pmsl

    Yvonne x

    added

    D y think I dare register as Aunty Ebid? pmsl........nev mind, second thoughts that could read as "anti" omg!
    Last edited by OnlyTheVeryBest; 14th December 2007 at 01:18 AM.

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  6. #6
    Forum Diehard rupert691's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowlasCrafts View Post
    Oh dear! It has crashed on me three times! I think I'll call it quits for tonight and look around at another time! Perhaps my PC isn't man enough for it?
    Hi Jo,

    SL can be a bit PC intensive at times. I did have a few problems with setting it up initially, but soon got it running successfully.

    Most strangely of all, I had to set the 'compatibility' of SL to 'Windows 95' and this stopped mine from crashing. (This is done by right-clicking the SL Prog Shortcut - or prog itself, then 'Properties', 'Compatibility' Tab, and 'Windows 95' Compatibility Mode from the pull-down menu. ('Check' the box, too)

    SL needs quite a bit of FREE RAM (not so much a LOT of RAM, but just FREE, so if I'm going on SL for anything 'serious', or which may take some time 'over there', I always reboot, and more or less just run my internet connection prog., SL and a Firewall/Anti-Virus. (I leave all the 'background' processes running on the whole, but if there's anything I don't need that's memory hungry, it gets closed down).

    Another thing, is to check your Video Drivers are up to date, and if you get 'jerky' frames in SL, make the window a bit smaller.

    I also had to set up my Firewall, to accept connections to 'Linden Labs' (SL Inventors).

    Hope this helps ,

    All the best, Simon.
    Promote your eBid Sales with us on 'Second-Life'. If you'd like to join the SL eBid Group, please PM me for an Invite to help Promote your eBid Store/Listings!



    'Rupert's Books' for Unusual used books!

  7. #7
    Forum Diehard rupert691's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnlyTheVeryBest View Post
    Hi Simon

    I've got it installed....but not sure which community I should be joining?

    & i'll be wonderin why all my chores don't get done in time for Christmas! pmsl

    Yvonne x

    added

    D y think I dare register as Aunty Ebid? pmsl........nev mind, second thoughts that could read as "anti" omg!
    Hi Yvonne,

    (Sorry I didn't answer your post, in my last one. I'm still not sure how to quote two people in one post )

    Great that you've installed SL . Excellent!

    Assuming there is enough interest in a Group and I manage to get it up-and-running, just log on, and search for the eBid Group in the SL search box, and join-up like that.

    Re. Chores and Christmas. ROFLMOO! I know exactly what you mean! SL is so addictive, isn't it? I went on for 'a few moments' last night to check one or two details out, and was on three hours!

    'Aunty Ebid' sounds great! LOL! Nice and catchy, and 'unusual' enough for SL! Some of the User names I've seen recently over there, make your hair curl! LOL. (Let me know, do I search on SL for Aunty Ebid? LOL!)

    All the best, Simon.
    Last edited by rupert691; 16th December 2007 at 04:18 PM.
    Promote your eBid Sales with us on 'Second-Life'. If you'd like to join the SL eBid Group, please PM me for an Invite to help Promote your eBid Store/Listings!



    'Rupert's Books' for Unusual used books!

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    Forum Master ropegg's Avatar
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    Hi Simon,

    I think that sounds like it might be a good idea but I am wondering if it is basically a forum with graphics.

    I am considering joining and being in the eBid group but I have no idea what I am doing or if I will really be of help on there but I like eBid.

    I would like to have an idea of what the actual RL costs are involved with this.

    I live in the US and I think you are talking about UK time for your after 7pm evening get together on the 16th.

    I have not tried to set SL up yet but would like to know a little of what I am getting into.

    Regards,
    Peggy
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  9. #9
    Forum Diehard rupert691's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropegg View Post
    Hi Simon,

    I think that sounds like it might be a good idea but I am wondering if it is basically a forum with graphics.

    I am considering joining and being in the eBid group but I have no idea what I am doing or if I will really be of help on there but I like eBid.

    I would like to have an idea of what the actual RL costs are involved with this.

    I live in the US and I think you are talking about UK time for your after 7pm evening get together on the 16th.

    I have not tried to set SL up yet but would like to know a little of what I am getting into.

    Regards,
    Peggy
    Hi Peggy,

    It's quite difficult to describe SL really. It's best to experience it. It's like a very-highly detailed virtual world, with 'virtual' versions of many real-life cities, and lots of advertising potential. Essentially you control a 'virtual' version of yourself (and can edit your appearance easily, so it appears how you want it to, and wears what you want it to), and does anything that you do in real-life.

    There are many advantages over a Forum, but I think the single-most important point is that there are around 1,500,000 SL Residents, most of which haven't heard of eBid, and by just wandering around wearing an eBid shirt for half-an-hour a week (or more, because it's very addictive), and handing out 'Notecards' about your listings etc. may help bring in new Customers both for your own listisngs, and eBid in general.

    The best thing to do is give SL a try, and see if you like it, and join the Group if you can. If you don't like SL, you really haven't lost anything, because it's completely free for a Basic Account (and that's what most of us have on SL). So just joining the Group, would help promote eBid and your listings. In fact there's the potential to sell 'virtual' versions of your items. Now this is where it could get really interesting. Just for the sake of argument, supposing like me, you sell Posters on eBid. You can sell small 'virtual' versions (which are essentially a graphic file) on SL. You get paid in Linden Dollars, but the amount you charge, is for the Real-life Poster (Say £3.40, but converted into Linden Dollars). Now, the 'virtual' Buyer in SL gets the 'graphic' to hang on the wall of their 'virtual' house (believe me, many have their own houses! And Fish Tanks too LOL!), but I'll also send them a Real Poster (of the one they bought the virtual one of), to their real address. You don't have to do this, but it's an idea, and many are doing this already, with suitable items like Artwork, Photographs etc.

    There aren't really any costs for SL. The Programme is free to download, and the basic account is free. You just download SL, open a free account, and log on. Then the fun begins, you can edit your Avatar, and explore. SL is huge, and is getting bigger all the time, as new land is added.

    LOL you are quite correct about UK time. Sorry, in my enthusiasm I forgot to take into account the US time zones. I'll PM you an 'Invite' link, which you can past in your browser, if/when you get started on SL. In fact you would have a real advantage on SL, because a lot of the 'events' that take place there, are at three in the morning UK time, so you'd be fine .

    As I say, it's quite difficult to do SL justice by description, you really need to give it a go. Have a look at http://secondlife.com/ because this will give you more info too.

    Regarding advertising for eBid itself, I think it would be great for them to get a foot in the door, so to speak, and have the potential to gain lots of new Members for very little cost, if any.

    Thanks for your interest Peggy. Let me know if you have any questions, but as I say, there are absolutely no obligations involved in joining a SL eBid Group, it'll just help promote eBid and everyone's sales.

    All the best, Simon.
    Last edited by rupert691; 29th April 2009 at 08:54 PM.
    Promote your eBid Sales with us on 'Second-Life'. If you'd like to join the SL eBid Group, please PM me for an Invite to help Promote your eBid Store/Listings!



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  10. #10
    Forum Saint HannaHolly's Avatar
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    Thanks Simon, This looks interesting
    Here's a youtube link which explains it all a bit more.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=b72CvvMuD6Q
    I've just signed up for a basic free account under my hannaholly name.

    I see premium membership can be obtained for $85 a year. EBID could set up their own premium account, and we could make an ebid youtube video about it!

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