Friday, 2 November 2007

BBC World

I must have blinked and missed the announcement of this one, since I stumbled across the BBC World island, unsurprisingly called BBC World, completely by accident. BBC World is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel, and boasts the biggest audience of any BBC channel. It broadcasts worldwide, 24 hours a day. If you've stayed in any hotel room outside the UK, the chances are this has been one of the channels on offer. It also seems to be the first Beeb channel to set up a permantent residence in Second Life, though the Beeb has dallied with the virtual world in the past for specific events.

I gather this site has been in Second Life for about a month, as I found a press announcement dated 5th October that declared: "BBC World holds its first ever Second Life press conference and introduces The Internationalists." It then went on to explain: "The Internationalist campaign is a global advertising and direct marketing campaign, created to introduce [BBC World]’s unique audience to the media trade. The Internationalists are the conscientious consumers, big spenders and opinion leaders populating the world, who are committed to global issues and life-long learning."

So let's take a look at it...

Broadly, the island is divided into a number of areas corresponding to the main subjects covered by the channel: finance; travel; luxury & lifestyle; technology and business & international. There is also a large outdoor meeting area, the World Plaza, that can be used for hosting events. The site is strongly branded, and nicely built.

While here you can also visit a pirate island, that is currently a lot less entertaining than it might sound, and the BBC tower transmitter, which is surprisingly rather more entertaining than it might sound. Why? Well it seems that aliens have a peculiar fondness for the transmitter tower. So much so, in fact, that they are trying to dismantle it and take it home.

The map also shows a jetski ride, but I failed to find it.

But what about the freebies? I found a couple of things, though there may be more. First off, there is a small Buddhist meditation area on the island, where you can help yourself to some freen Buddhist robes. However, if bling is more your thing, you can also find his'n'hers watches, with adjustable blinky bling.

One odd thing, the island is immediately adjacent to Conference Island, despite having no connection with it that I am aware of. Conference Island provides facilities for companies without a Second Life presence to arrange meetings and presentations. Its main feature is a rather good Scope Cleaver bespoke building.

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