As Rik mentioned a few days ago, this weekend saw the third annual Second Life Relay for Life organised on behalf of the American Cancer Society, with a walkathon route across 32 sims – making it what the charity described as “the largest contiguous event Second Life has ever seen”.
The great news is that the event is reported as exceeding its US$75,000 target, with total income expected to be over US$100,000 – more than double the amount raised last year.
I popped in-world for the opening ceremony and have posted a selection of snapshots here on Scribd to give you a feeling for the event.
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 possible in Second Life.
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 ‘real life’ brands looking to become active in Second Life could do well to learn from. Whether charity or commercial, working with the in-world community to develop something that works for them is undoubtedly the best way to develop an effective Second Life brand presence.