Second Life Relay for Life event set to top US$100,000


As mentioned last week, the third annual Second Life Relay for Life was held in the virtual world of Second Life this weekend on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

The great news is that, according to the Second Life Insider blog, the event looks set to raise over US$100,000 – more than double that achieved last year.

As promised in my earlier post, I’ve put a selection of snapshots I took at the event here on Scribd (a site like YouTube, but for documents) to try to give a feel for it. Although, to be honest these really don’t do justice to just how amazingly well designed and implemented the whole event was.

Coming just a couple of weeks after the Guardian and Intel sponsored Secondfest Second Life music and arts festival, this is another great example of the type of international event that is now possible in the virtual world.

However, the big difference between the two – which for me makes the Relay for Life event stand-out head and shoulders above the commercial Secondfest – is that Second Life Relay for Life was begun by a group of Second Life residents working with the charity to re-create its ‘real world’ Relay for Life event.

These ‘grass roots’ community origins have led to the whole event being significantly richer and more engaging than the commercially sponsored Secondfest, as well as appearing (to me) to be better designed and run.

This is something that other charities looking to become active in Second Life could do well to learn from – working with the in-world community to develop something that works for them is undoubtedly the best way to develop an effective Second Life presence.

Like any big event, the great success of the Second Life Relay for Life is down to an incredible amount of hard work by a team of highly talented and dedicated people. It’s certainly no easier to pull-off, just because it’s ‘virtual’. Infact in many ways it’s far harder. I certainly felt for the organisers when I spotted a group of walkers who had got stuck at one point on the route because a temporary technical glitch had caused the road ahead of them to cease to exist. That’s not something you see happening on the London Marathon!

For anyone inspired to consider the possibilities for promoting their own charity in Second Life, I’d suggest you take a look at the Nonprofits in Second Life site and then just get yourself in-world and spend some time travelling around and talking to people. If you’d like some ideas of interesting places to visit, then let me know and I can give you some pointers.

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