A key strategy for raising the visibility of your non-profit in Second
Life is organizing in-world events. There are hundreds and hundreds of
events occurring on a given day competing for avatars’ attention and
attendance. So learning how to publicize your non-profit’s fundraisers, meetings, lectures, concerts, contests and other in-world activities is an essential skill to develop.
Here are four quick tips to getting the word out on your non-profit activities…
[Also posted to SL Non-Profit blog]
1. Use the SL Calendar
The first action to consider is publishing your event on the official SL events calendar. This listing is available both in-world under "search" and on the web at http://www.secondlife.com/events . While there is a lot of crap in there, the official event listings are still the easiest way for all SL residents to find out about what events are happening on a given day. Be as clear and concise and eye-catching as you can possibly be — without resorting to "FREE LINDENS" and other annoying gimmicks.
2. Draw on Your Own Community
Your promotion activities only begin with the official SL calendar. Obviously if you have your own website and land, post notices about the event well ahead of time. Use your group’s (you do have an in-world group set up for your non-profit, don’t you?) announcement feature to inform your own constituents and supporters about the event. Make sure each of your supporters and members is encouraged to invite their friends and colleagues. That’s the power of social networking and the "Kevin Bacon" effect.
3. The SL Media / Blogosphere
Beyond that, get the word out to as many different news sources as you can. The SL blogosphere is huge and expanding, as are the number of SL media outlets. The biggies include the SL Herald, the SL Insider, New World Notes, Avastar, the Reuters SL bureau, and the Metaverse Messenger. See the awesome SL blog aggregator created by Tao Takashi, http://planet.worldofsl.com, for other news sources to reach out to.
4. Real World Press
And don’t forget real world press. If your event has a unique angle to it that might be of interest to a specialized news source, draft up a press release and send it out to them. If you can get some advance press, you can drive new people to register for SL just to attend it. SL is still quite a powerful media-magnet, so take advantage while you can.
While we are talking about events, let me point out the sweet social calendaring website http://Eventful.com, which takes the official SL events feed and repackages it in a really cool and useful way.
Using Eventful.com you can set "Second Life" as one of your home locations, search for events by keyword, tick-off the events that you want to track or attend, create custom calendars and groups, and export those calendars to Outlook, iCal or Google Calendar. You can see the feed from the Eventful group as a widget on the right side of this post. You can add a similar widget to your own website or blog super-easily. Check it out!
With a bit of effort and creativity, you can go from "preaching to the converted" to maxing out your sim. Good luck.