Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: email@example.com
It's taken months and months since Missouri did it, but another government has landed in Second Life, the online virtual world. And, get this, the Washington Post has called it a "surreal inhabitant." The nerve!
Arlington County, Virginia, is the second government, at least that I know of, that has arrived in the avatar-filled parallel universe. (Anybody else out there?)
The county has a down-to-earth reason for doing so, according to a Washington Post story: economic development. Business executives can get market research. County officials can do presentations to promote the region. And people can join a confab later this month on how to launch a business in Arlington. All in that other world.
The person creating the online presence on Second Life hopes it will give Arlington a good way to promote itself to tech-smart businesses.The county also is thinking about running a job fair on Second Life, as Missouri did.
For now, Arlington officials are working on their Second Life presence on their own time and with their own dime. That could change, I'd imagine, if the county's presence ends up bringing in economic development or qualified candidates for county jobs.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.