Spending on Second Life
Bill Schrier comments on Missouri’s Second Life presence. He thinks spending time on Second Life is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Even though Second Life activities don’t cost much in terms of dollars, they’re a drain on state employees’ time.
Schrier has an interesting idea about the potential benefits of Second Life for consumers. If people buy things on Second Life instead of in the real world, that could reduce conspicuous consumption and free up resources for more important uses.
I’m not sure I agree that Second Life spending is a substitute for real-life spending. Many companies are on Second Life, presumably because they believe it helps their real sales. Trying out a product on Second Life might lead people to buy it when they’re offline. (Uh oh, advertising. Don’t tell Consumers International.)
But if Schrier is right about that, then Second Life activity by Missouri state employees is better than I originally thought. I’ll be happy if Missouri spends on Second Life for a fraction of the cost, and takes it easy in the real world.