Second Life Link Accessed: 2008-04-08.

Contributor: Sarah Farmer

Keywords: social network, virtual world, avatar

Abstract: A networking site that surpasses all the others in originality and capability. Very appropriately named, Second Life is a virtual world created solely by its user base. It puts the user in control of his or her own virtual life. An avatar, or a user-created simulation of themselves, is used to interact inside this world. Within this virtual world, the user can do anything from auction off virtual land bases on eBay, browse the night life, or in the case of Massachusetts’ Democratic Congressman Ed Markey, even hold real-time congressional hearings. The kicker?—Users can generate an actual income by playing on the site and creating virtual goods and services, which are then sold back to others for a real profit. Second Life holds this virtual economy, providing users with business opportunities, marketing data, and economic graphs and statistics. Basic accounts are free, but Second Life offers Additional Basic and Premium memberships as well, which offer bonuses and extra opportunities to the user.