Thematistico! Second Life

In the first of this series we looked at the search term “Virtual Worlds“. Now it’s time to focus in onto specific virtual worlds and the best place to start is probably Second Life.

The graph shown right presents the Google Insights evaluation of geographical interest in this search time, and it tells an interesting (if not completely unsurprising) story.

A slow and steady gradual increase in searches from 2004 through to 2006 then basically an explosion in searches coming into 2007. The two peaks in early/mid 2007 correspond to a time period which saw the most brands enter Second Life. And, the overall shape is not a million miles away from the Gartner Hype Curve – dovetailing into the media frenzy witnessed over this period. But, with every rise comes a fall , as shown in the graph from mid 2007 onwards.

From a geographical perspective, the graph left shows search popularity in 2006. The Netherlands comes out on top, followed closely by Ireland. Dutch brands and companies were one of the quickest to move into Second Life and the resident population also moved in quickly. On an overall basis, every continent apart from Africa was getting interested in SL in 2006.

A year later, here’s the picture. Italy, Portgual, Germany, France, Belgium – the top 10 countries in 2007 are dominated by Europeans – even to the extent of pushing the UK out of the hit list, let alone the US. Second Life really seemed to resonate with Europeans, with Brazil holding the flag for the Americas.

Lastly, 2008 to date. Italy retains first place with the UK and US popping back into the top 10. The emergence of Asia can be seen for the first time in this map with Singapore coming in at 7th place.