Design Principles for Doing Business on Second Life: an immersive ethnographic study


  • Reza Azeharie Nanyang Technological University
  • Ravi Shankar Sharma Nanyang Technological University



digital economy, business models, value analysis, virtual goods.


This paper addresses the question of designing a virtual world business. A popular and economically thriving community - namely Second Life ( - was selected for the research investigation. From an extensive literature review, a conceptual framework was developed in order to model the four most thriving industries on Second Life: (1) Real Estate, (2) Building, (3) Fashion, and (4) Entertainment. A six-month immersive ethnographic study was conducted using two primary research techniques of participant observations and in-depth interviews. For each industry, the results are summarized according to the business areas that were deemed critical.

Author Biographies

  • Reza Azeharie, Nanyang Technological University

    Post-Graduate Student in

  • Ravi Shankar Sharma, Nanyang Technological University

    Associate Professor