Seller activity in a virtual marketplace

  • David A. Huffaker University of Michigan
  • Matthew Simmons
  • Eytan Bakshy
  • Lada A. Adamic
Keywords: virtual worlds, virtual markets, social networks,

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

David A. Huffaker, University of Michigan
David Huffaker (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is a Research Fellow in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.
Matthew Simmons
PhD student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.
Eytan Bakshy
PhD student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.
Lada A. Adamic
Associate Professor in the School of Information and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan.
Published
2010-06-26
How to Cite
Huffaker, D. A., Simmons, M., Bakshy, E., & Adamic, L. A. (2010). Seller activity in a virtual marketplace. First Monday, 15(7). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v15i7.2977