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March 27, 2007


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I posted your comment so other Force for Good readers could check out the story from Hio Xu's perspective.

He says, "It is absolutely a misunderstanding of the virtual world if people think HiPiHi is a copycat of SecondLife. The virtual world is not just a 3D environment, but a complicate social system including the property policy, financial policy etc. HiPiHi is born in China, we really hope it can embrace our own culture.”

To which I say: "It is so totally a rip-off of Second Life."

Hey Jon,

If you are interested, you can find more info about HiPiHi here: http://www.mobinode.com/index.php?s=hipihi




Avatars allow people to navigate a virtual world and interact with things and people there. Second Life is becoming increasingly popular with businesses. For example, global PR agency Text 100 uses Second Life's interactive conference facilities to allow their people all over the world to participate in somethng close to face-to-face meetings. Each person in the meeting is represented by an avatar. It takes a little getting used to sitting next to an eight-foot tall man with a rooster head in an important business meeting and so most corporate cultures really aren't ready for it yet. We'll have to see if it catches on...

Another PR/Marketing implication is to expose consumers (by way of their avatars) to your products. However, you have to find some unique way for customers to experience your products in this interactive world or what's the point? For example, Toyota has a virtual dealership which enables you to see and test drive their cars in Second Life. But it is much clumsier than a good video game and doesn't really allow you to do or see anything you couldn't do on their website, so it seems at this point like a waste of a lot of money.

Plus there is the problem of fitting into a Camry as an eight-foot tall rooster man.

So I'm hearing alot about the exploding world of avatars. Are there any PR implications with avatars?

I had my first experience with business, specifically, public relations in China while as a Navy Public Affairs Officer. A group of five PAOs were assigned in 1987 to handle the first U.S. ship visit to mainland China since 1949. I returned in a new capacity (still a Navy PAO) in 1994. What I saw on both visits were transparent attempts to copy the West, all the while denying they were doing so. They've been doing that for a lot longer, I'm sure. The fact is, they get away with it because of their economy. Business, especially U.S. business, wants to break into that market so badly, they'd sell their souls to make it happen. We should be careful. Once they surpass the economy of the U.S. - and they will one day - they'll be calling the shots.

I got informed about the Chinese site from you. Thanks for this.
Congratulations for you being accessible from China.
I tested for my blog too. It's AVAILABLE there! (But I hardly have seen any visitor from mainland China)

With regards

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