"Economics 2.0? A Business Primer on Virtual Worlds"
Financial Times Online,
Publication type: Newspaper article
Research Archive Topic: Media and Technology
In August 2007, the digital world experienced a first: a genuine run on a bank located on the "virtual world" Second Life. As depositors rushed to withdraw their funds from the shadowy Ginko Financial, their predicament drew much attention. But far from identifying it as a calamity, to many commentators it confirmed the faithfulness of the computer simulation: after all, the real world had long experienced insolvencies, too.
But one can also see this collapse as a test of the economic reality behind the booming "Web 2.0", the trendy but vaguely defined set of digital operations centred on interactive and collaborative activities. Web 2.0 has brought a new lease on life to the gold rush wing of the digital economy. It is easy to accept that the new activities are exciting sociologically, aesthetically, and culturally. But are they, this time around, also a business?
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