Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Second Life’s real-life potential


H&R Block's SL island

OK, CPAs, take note: H&R Block has joined the ranks of businesses that are applying real-life business strategy to Second Life's virtual economy.

I attended an "in-world" (that's SL-speak for "within Second Life") meeting of a group called Second Life Business Communicators, which was invited to hear exclusive details about H&R Block's new Second Life initiative. Also attending were MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood and various other members of the Second Life Association of CPAs, the MACPA's virtual counterpart. The meeting took place on H&R Block Island and featured Paula Drum, the company's vice president of marketing, who announced the release of a new online tax preparation product called "Tango."

The interesting thing about this announcement wasn't so much the product as the way it is being released. H&R Block is offering Tango as part of an SL-exclusive product bundle that includes the software, some apparel for your avatar, and the ability for SL residents to "earn Linden Dollars by helping to market H&R Block's Tango product bundle on their own virtual property."

Look, I know the profession has had some issues in recent years with H&R Block's tax-season advertising. But you have to admit this is a pretty innovative use of Second Life. It's also further proof that businesses are increasingly including Second Life in their strategic plans, and a perfect example of why the MACPA decided to build a presence for CPAs in Second Life. As our inspiration, KAWG&F's Byron Patrick, said, "We realized there is a real economy growing in (Second Life), and every good economy needs CPAs."

And by the way, we're expanding the profession's SL presence with the addition of CPA Island. We'll keep you updated about our plans for the island as they progress.

Do you have plans to jump into Second Life?


Bill Sheridan