Seller activity in a virtual marketplace

David A. Huffaker, Matthew Simmons, Eytan Bakshy, Lada A. Adamic


As virtual goods continue to proliferate in online worlds, understanding their production, consumption and distribution remains exciting for scholars, technology companies and policy makers alike. We present a descriptive study of the activities of successful sellers in Second Life, a 3D virtual world that allows users to create their content and even to make money by selling it to other users. We combine user log analysis, network analysis and content analysis to examine cycles in trading volume, market segmentation and specialization, geographic concentration and the impact of social capital on economic success, revealing important insights regarding virtual markets, as well as differences between the very top sellers and those making a more modest income.


virtual worlds; virtual markets; social networks;

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