Virtual World governance is a topic which has been reappearing with increasing frequency of late. Taxation in the UK, US and Australia, global trademark infringements, family values watchdog groups in France and proposed regulation of user-created content in Korea are but a sample of external governance stories making headlines worldwide.
Legislators around the world are currently looking at Linden Lab and its creation Second Life to establish precedents. Todate Lewis PR has done a wonderful job positioning Second Life as the media poster child for Virtual Worlds. It now needs to switch gears and better educate local authorities before they begin regulating Virtual Worlds. Education before regulation.
Programs such as the recent BBC Money Programme special on Virtual Worlds and the upcoming CNN Future Summit on June 13th are all steps in the right direction. Tuning into the topics raised over on the accompanying CNN Future Summit Forums gives a taste for some of the social changes being heralded by the third wave of the Web. The Living Web is already making its presence felt.
Likewise internal governance issues within World of Warcraft, Eve and Second Life are receiving increasing mainstream media attention. Roles such as the current Resident Community Manager vacancy at Linden Lab are now key hires. Virtual Worlds seeking to become winners over the coming years need to significantly improve communications within their respective ecosystems.