This guy at Motley Fool is an idiot. Oops, I meant "fool". The Linden $ has remained remarkably consistent in value given its relation to the usd. Then to conclude the piece at the end of the article he loses all credibility by stating "Corporate usage is also up." Maybe for educators, which is a great thing. But everyone, even fools, know about the mass exodus of Corporate America and Enterprise Europe from SL.
Most of this is simply because of the wrong Lindens running the business side, arrogance, lack of focus, maybe even a little laziness - whatever ... Clearly the Linden strategy of not engaging enterprises directly that wanted to learn about leveraging SL for various business purposes but instead opting to refer them to any SL developer-du-jour was completely stupid. This strategy proved especially ridiculous when many of these SL developers started making more money than Linden itself and used SL-project cash to fund initiatives employing competitive virtual platforms.
See what Christian Renaud says about his interaction, or lack thereof with Linden. It is unbelievable to hear but when Renaud was planning and launching amazing ground-breaking initiatives for CISCO in SL, there was nary the slightest interest or engagement from the "Business Affairs" Lindens;
"In particular, Linden Lab needs to start paying more attention to its big customers. Prior to founding TIG this year, Renaud headed up Cisco Systems' Second Life effort. They have six islands and 1,000 employees in Second Life. But despite the size of the investment, Renaud said he found it difficult to get support from Linden Lab or find someone to talk to." http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/virtualworlds/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210602194&pgno=2&queryText=&isPrev=
Fortunately for Linden and its investors, with new CEO Mark Kingdon, Linden is acting more like a business than a Lab now. Linden actually seems to think having a Fortune 50 Giant like CISCO pushing 1000 employees into its virtual world is a pretty good thing worth paying attention too and maybe even helping out with! See PG's related post http://paymentguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/ginsu-yoon-says-kids-and-games-are-just.html
Who knows if Linden will ever regain its credibility with business. They certainly pissed off a lot of Corporate USA. Will big business give Linden another chance?
It should. With perfect VOIP, the communication and collaboration potential of the Linden technology is awesome. And the ROI from enterprise use of SL especially for a globally dispersed corporation composed of remote employees encouraged not to travel is virtually impossible to argue against. Linden needs to immediately offer a secure behind the firewall run on your own servers version of SL for Big Business. If it does, PG hopes Big Business gives Second Life a second chance.
Anyway, one of the examples of corporate usage cited by Motley Fool, Starwood Hotels, is especially lame given the Hotel Chain left SL a over a year ago http://blog.relactions.com/2007/07/starwood-aloft-leaves-second-life.html
Here is the fool's article;