Canada Post delivers (part 1)
Canada Post Corporation (French: Société canadienne des postes) is the Canadian postal operator operated as a crown corporation. The Post Office Department of the Government of Canada was founded in 1867 and was rebranded Canada Post in the late 1960s though it officially remained the Post Office Department until October 16, 1981 when the Canada Post Corporation Act came into force. The Act set a new direction for the postal service, creating more reliable service and ensuring the postal service's financial security and independence. [Wikipedia]
Or maybe it is, in a positive way. The Canada Post presence in Second Life is one of the second wave corporations to explore the metaverse, and like the German Volksbank, they have a different approach to things than most of the first wave explorers had. Like the Volksbank they don't have a dedicated sim which is destined to lay bare once the 'grand opening festivities' are over, they bring a variety of shops on their sim.
The Canadian Post venture is called "Maple Grove" but won't be found on the island called maplegrove but on one called Solar. The sim is a heavily built urban sim which makes it rather slow to render, especially if you use 'ultra detail' settings like me to take some nice pictures for you folks. Once immersed at the center of the sim you'll find yourself amidst a variety of builds, one of which, obviously is the Canadian Post postoffice.
Welcome to Canada Post's Maple Grove!
Canada Post is proud to showcase its 2008 partner retailers. Explore Maple Grove and discover the largest collection of real-life retailers sharing one sim in Second Life.
In the city centre, you can visit Toys R Us, Sky Mall, The Shopping Channel and Canada Post. New this year, we are introducing the Bright Spark Lab. The Lab is a virtual marketing agency designed to assist Second Life entrepreneurs. You will find free tools to make you Second Life business more successful. You will also find valuable information for creating a direct mail campaign in real life!
On Maple Street, we have a busy schedule of live music events at the Telus Theater. Be sure to check out Brookstone and Red Canoe. Don't forget to stop in the Green Cafe which has information about keeping your mail "green". Blackberry Lane is home to Sears and the Canada Post garage where you can get your own free mail truck.
On Hudson Avenue, you will find the Everything Olive store next to the Tower.
Thank you for visiting Maple Grove and be sure to leave us some feedback at the Canada Post office in the city centre.
I won't go into a detailed description of these companies in this post, that will have to wait untill later, but here's a few piccies to get an idea of the entire build
Most shops present on the sim put on a showcase of a number of items you can buy in their webshops and have the items delivered to you by Canada Post at home in the real world. I think this type of presence will work better than a sim dedicated to one brand only, as it kind of works like the old fashioned way: You go downtown to visit one store, you walk past another one and walk in on impulse.
I can understand Canadian Post offering this selection of shops, as they are real world partners in shipping, but I wonder how many virtual shoppers this particular combination will draw. Perhaps it would have been better to mix the real life companies with popular inworld shops.
There is a downside to this type of presence though, as it is quite a heavy urban build, it is very slow to render if you use a higher graphics setting. I don't think you can blame Canadian Post for this, but rather an unavoidable feat if you're working in Second Life. If corporations slowly start to work out their act in the Metaverse and start doing sensible business, companies and customers alike would like (and rightly so) a better performance from MSP's (Metaverse Service Providers) like Second Life. If performance can't be boosted to have a decent shopping experience, then maybe Second Life isn't the place to be for shops.
- Caleb Booker: Business in Virtual Worlds News Roundup - Dec 8-14 2008
- Media in Canada: Canada Post hosts holiday retail on Second Life