Practical Marketing 101 From Panty Hog

by prokofy on 03/02/07 at 8:28 pm

By Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Virtual Estate, Simulated Entrepreneurs, Seamy Underbellies, and Commodification of All That You Once Held Dear, NOW WITH CAPTIONS FOR THE ATTENTION-DEFICITED!

Prim Prim-Primer and Prime Prim-a Dona Tateru Nino is telling us over at the Blingsider that Practical RL marketing just can’t exist in Second Life.

There’s only image enhancement, she says, in corporate marketing campaigns. “Face it, you can’t really practically market a physical world product or physical world service in Second Life. Attempts to do so haven’t really worked out all that well and end up damaging the image of the marketer or the brand,” says Nino confidently.

I guess she hasn’t ever been to Panty Hog.

I discovered this newcomer to Second Life the other day, on an errand of mercy, trying to see why a Japanese Zen garden in Bongwhang, which had been donated to our SL Public Land Preserve, wasn’t getting much traffic. When I had last left the sim, after selling my own land there, which had suffered from blighty and intrusive neighbours, the sim was on the way down — but I hadn’t seen how low.

Still, if you just hold your nose a bit at the nature of this subject matter, and keep in mind that we are a very long way from Mark Wallace’s high-minded obsession with lacy underthings, you’ll be impressed with how female entrepreneurs can monetarize their time online in Second Life in ways that Tateru and her fanboyz just aren’t admitting…(NSFW)

Cindy, one of the famous princesses of Panty Hog in RL.


See, the Lindens, in their California hippie utopian bliss, fantasize about modest third-world women in long, native costumes, supervised by protective patriarchal men, finding an outlet for their weaving and other colourful pots and such. The picture them hooking up to Second Life, the way some of them have hooked up credit cards to the Internet even in villages that barely have running water, let alone flush toilets. But…we’re probably still aways from that idyllic scene, what with the problem of broadband, graphics cards, and grasping and greedy local bureaucracies who try to control the Internet and the telephone systems. So, what the Lindens are getting instead of their third-world bliss is a bit of mediocre Middle America, but hey, it pays the bills.


But if you are willing to give up your hippie dreams, and look at what people really use SL for, you can’t overlook the successes of a thing like Panty Hog. Here’s a business, that like ebay, brings together a willing buyer and a willing seller at exactly the right price and place — the anonymous Internet and the even more anonymous Second Life. Panty Hog on the Internet appears to be a successful portal for used underthings that enable many women to make money literally just by sitting at their computers and doing nothing more stressful that soiling their panties. Great for them, and great for their apparent ready supply of admirers. SL is a match made in heaven.

The enormous wealth of diversity, interplay, and entrepreneurial spirit that human beings bring to such an enterprise is impressive, once you overlook the seamy subject matter. Like ebay, they’ve developed a kind of “Good-Housekeeping Seal of Approval” and a ratings system to reward the honest and productive, and discourage the scammer and the illegitimate. They seem to police their own, and create incentives to have the good drive out the bad.

There’s even something called “Panty Trust” which styles itself as “the official verification and dispute resolution service for the used panty community”. I mean, these are serious, dedicated entrepreneurs we’re talking about, who are WAY head of the big toads in the small pond called Second Life. They have auctions, parties, RL/Sl mashups, and it’s only natural they found Second Life!



At Panty Hog in the suggestively-named Bongwhang, there are stalls that the girls can rent and you can pick the RL pictures and see the RL connections. Some of them are sad, of course, in the BDSM vein. But this is adult activity in an M sim and nobody will likely bother them — they seem to have an efficient system for keeping security high and lag low.

Panty Hog fits right in with the entire Second Life sex-trade ethos, of course, and Tatero and friends couldn’t be more wrong when they think there’s no RL/SL trade possible in SL. Do they get out much? With an interface that allows adults to find each other an mutually masturbate successfully, without danger, and at a ridiculously low cost? Hello?? There’s the porn pictures, the porn movies, the links to external Internet porn, and RL meet-ups of all kinds, some of the decidedly scary — huge money-making opportunities in SL.

Ok, so we get it about THAT subject. What else is there?



Books, I was thinking, given that is so popular. I know that Amazon is poking around in SL, and they were working on some sort of thingie, but have you heard about them lately? I began poking around to see what ever became of the Jnana guy. Traffic: 15. Not tumbleweeds, but freebie prims.

Well, unless the guy decided to borrow a page from the PH people, I don’t think his intention was to have the cubes providing “free pubic hair and nipples” so prominently displayed at his lot. I understand a RL loss may have forced him from SL, and we’ll have to see in the coming months, but I wonder about the whole concept, having gone to their roll-out months ago and been skeptical back then. Jnana stores was going to be about using this software for enabling people to run through menus to compose the elements of their dream thing…but will people sit still for it?


The problem is what I call Second Life’s “blue screen of death”. Tekkies don’t seem to get it, but those baby-blue, drop-down, clunky, slow, stupid command screens that drop down in your face, reminding you of Lee Linden telling you on Wednesday mornings to “get out of the pools for the update,” are just plain ANNOYING. Yeah, I get it. They either are meant to link you to an Internet site since we don’t have web-on-a-prim yet, or are meant to dance you through menus on scripted objects. But they’re just show-stoppers. Some people never get through them. Others never want to bother. I find even playing a trivia game or exploring something that looks fun and innovating like the Jnana stores is just annoying after awhile with those stupid blue things. The way they drop down like a guillotine, and keep repeating, requiring you to hit “ignore” (they lag, and hitting them twice makes them repeat obviously) — I hate it. So do many others. You have to be a hardcore, die-hard IRC channelly nerdball to think there isn’t something wrong with these things. Can’t somebody CHANGE that interface???



OK, but look, books are really a going thing for the RL/SL practical marketer, no? They offer chances not only to make books come alive with 3-D representation, and enable anybody to make a bookstore for peanuts and put out their niche line, they make it possible for people to meet, discuss books, put up criticism, share links, build scenes, act out scenes, etc. Given how popular book clubs have become with Oprah and the book-club movement in schools and RL neighbourhoods, SL might prove a natural for this sort of activity. It will require some patience and dedication, as it does in RL.

I found such a lovely little bookshop in Yurim named Coelacanthus. . They made some use of skin, too, but you could also find serious offerings. Still, traffic: 60, despite A for effort. It just isn’t catching on–yet.



Philip of course, has this dream of serfing the Internet and finding 30 other people looking with you at the same book and being so thrilled that you will want to descend down from the Internet and chat with them. Well, I personally found that I kinda got “done” with this sort of instant intimacy with strangers back in high school gym class in the locker room, but for others that enjoy such sweaty proximity, virtually anyway, it might work. Unfortunately, while Biz Week was giddy about it some months ago, nobody is really doing this yet. I’m not sure I *want* my book browsing experience to be “shared” with my “long tail” friends-of-the-moment, especially if three of them are there by accident, three are fucktards, and three of them want to crash the page. The chances of plucking out the actual interesting readers becomes a harder-to-grasp thing, best served by events, groups, and chatting — the longer, more patience-requiring features of SL. It might work.


What else? Well, here’s my list:


o ebay items — why doesn’t ebay have a thousand links already to SL given the obvious connection of Pierre Omidyar? My bet is that mass taste is something he’s willing to harness to make money, but not something he’s willing to foster as a cultural matter in SL. Fortunately, people who need to buy things will walk around that robot and hawk collectibles able to be visualized easily in SL.

o stuff ebay won’t allow — game loot — we are likely to see WoW and other salons spring up, no? to trade loot that ebay won’t allow.

o education — not just fancy Harvard or NMC stuff, but community college and extension stuff, and user training especially for balky stuff like computers, especially for SL — when someone can figure out how to set up a low-cost and trusty fixer station for SL problems and people’s computers to compete with indifferent or busy Lindens, they will make a FORTUNE.

o charity — more visualizations of things beyond the big American Cancer Society, littler things like St. Nicholas’ Church

o localization — language training, escort interpreting, conferencing, etc.

o time-shares and niche real estate, i.e. condos

o tourism — repros of the RL place and buildings and prototyping

o blogging — 3-D meetings and machinima or video watching adds the enhancement that podcasting does

o political campaigns — but not by meet-and-greet with the principle, more likely networking for supporters to chat, share t-shirt designs, plans for demonstrations or happenings, like Meet-up

o Mail-Order brides — a cleaner version that porn sites, these are prone to rip-offs but in fact make many people very happy on both sides of the ocean, and it’s only a matter of time

o Psychic Friends — I advertised to help a Psychic Friend get set up in SL on Craig’s List and the Village Voice — didn’t find any takers but it’s only a matter of time. Imagine if your Psychic Friend is someone you sit with in an exotic, immersive setting who helps you more anonymously than with a credit card on a RL telephone that no one can see.


o illegal drugs, legal drugs like Viagra that become a spammers dream — we’re already seeing this

o more extreme sex — MySpace stories are just waiting to happen

o scams or rip-offs — more and more surveys, earn money at home, blah blah blah

o Nigerian letters — these will pose as charities and may even have especially compelling avatars and builds now

o rigged gambling — we already have this!

In other words, if you need to figure out the RL Practical Marketing — look for what people ALREADY sell on the Internet! No need to get clever about it!

The combination of free accounts, anonymity, lower-cost transactions in game currency, removal of time and travel barriers, exposure to large asynchronous multinational audiences and significant synchronous audiences, an active blogosphere and engaged RL media, the presence of big corporations, and the use of even group tools and the events calendar, as ricketedy as they can be, are great factors for entrepreneurism in SL.

If anybody thinks that the sleaze of Second Life will ruin a marketing image, I think they’ve underestimated the ability of SL sleaze to co-opt and subvert even a staid, corporate image like Pontiac. When a half-century-old automobile company can feature Gideon Television as their mascot for games and fun on their corporate island in SL, you have to realize something more than the technology is disruptive: this is not your father’s automobile company.

16 Responses to “Practical Marketing 101 From Panty Hog”

  1. urizenus

    Feb 3rd, 2007

    Pantyhog. My first thought was, Prok, you need to explain that in more detail. And then my second though was, no, that would be *way* too much information.

  2. Tateru Nino

    Feb 3rd, 2007

    Hah. Good effort. Missed the whole point though.

  3. Urizenus

    Feb 4th, 2007

    I think the real questions are (i) what are the Pany Hog Golden Pany Awards and (ii) why we didn’t cover them whatever they are?

  4. otakup0pe Neumann

    Feb 4th, 2007

    You hit one point on target Prokofy. I’m not sure if these “blue screens of death” you speak of are the same as my experience of them. I have a dirty little secret in Second Life, I love flying. When the weather (read: sim crossings) allow it. Last week before the update (most sim crossings fail miserably for me, and I have updated my mouse driver) I was flying around in the southern continent and something horrible happened.

    I started getting “popups”. After flying by some seedy billboards I was getting the blue pop-ups to open an external URL. To a porn site. After leaving the sim, they did not stop. After teleporting home, they did not stop. I had to relog to make them stop.

    But hey – it’s not as bad as the GriefPornSpamBot.

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 4th, 2007

    Tateru, I realize you missed the point, yes, satire isn’t your strong suit.

    Uri, I think these awards only exist out on the Internet now, but surely these gals at PH in the Second Life form will now have inworld contests and such, and likely provide fodder for many fascinating Herald stories to come!

  6. Nobody Fugazi

    Feb 4th, 2007

    Actually, Prok, I would have to say that satire isn’t *your* strong suit. Way too many loose ends here, but loose ends *are* your strong suit.

    Dear me. Everyone’s a critic. :-)

  7. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 4th, 2007

    Hardly any loose ends. They are all pretty straight-forward themes; I’ve bolded up the headings in case you missed the due to adult-onset ADD. You’re just annoyed that you didn’t figure out something yourself to write on this topic that was new and exciting.

  8. Economic Mip

    Feb 4th, 2007

    I would like to thank you so much for calling the Lindens on claims of wealth for Africans on Second Life. (So sorry, Shona Speaker, English quite poor.) Recently did an article stating that Zimbabweans needed to “get the second life”. Big problem of course being that best connection in country (government’s) is currently around 2 mbps if that. (Try any .zw website and wait at least ten minutes in other words, it is that slow.) Still with a Linden being worth 22 Zimbabwean dollars (on parallel market.) it would be nice for us to cash in on SL. Of course loaf of bread is 11,000 Lindens, College school Fees are 15.5 million lindens, so unlikely to help us that much…

  9. Economic Mip

    Feb 4th, 2007

    Erm, School Fees 1.5 million Lindens, little better still whole lot of camping…

  10. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 4th, 2007

    Oh, I am so interested to get the link to this article, and hear from a real person from Zimbabwe. I heard this apocryphal story about “Second Life Wealth for Zimbabwe” the other day from a Linden, and I must say, I arched an eyebrow in disbelief, since many set-ups I’m familiar in Africa, as they do in Central Asia, have the Internet set to “Dial-up: 1 out of 99 tries”. The copper phone lines, etc. etc. — this is not going to work as they say instantly.

    That is, it will be great if Soros or Bill Gates or somebody pays for all this broadband and such, but then we’d have to see — would these kleptocratic governments charge a bunch for access to it? Would they control it politically? What if every kid got that $100 laptop that Ben Linden and Scoble and other Cali dreamers are talking about these days as if it is the Salvation of Humankind? I mean, I won’t even go into how some people would rather just have clean water or AIDS medications, there’s no need to set up artificial appositions here, but I do want to know: what is this kid going to DO with this laptop? Seriously. Could we hear from the real people involved instead of their northern handlers and benefactors?

  11. Economic Mip

    Feb 4th, 2007
    Is direct link.
    If you want to talk about these cheap computers, IM me in this second life world, and we can interview sometime, it is far too complex to discuss in blog. (Also, if Linden is aware of people in Zimbabwe using Second Life, they had best keep their mouths shut about it, it is a platform for peaceful opposition Mugabe has yet to squash brutally…)

  12. PK

    Feb 6th, 2007

    As a reader of the Second Life Herald, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article featuring Panty Hog. We’re pleased as can be in finding Second Life, and with having the opportunity to bring our real life offerings to the Second Life community. Aside from the occasional person dropping in to accuse us of being “degenerates” (what are these people doing in a mature sim anyway?), we’ve had a nice welcome.

    The biggest obstacle we’ve encountered so far in bringing real life sales to Second Life is the fact that most Second Lifers are accustomed to paying relatively small amounts of Lindens for items in-world. One of our store owners was once offered the US Dollar equivalent of about thirty-five cents in Lindens for a pair of her lovingly prepared used panties. Obviously, this doesn’t even begin to cover the postage for having the item delivered to the buyer’s door step in real life or the cost of the actual item. We’ve installed signs in our sales area alerting people to the fact that in most cases they are purchasing real life items at Panty Hog. Overall, most people “get it” once they take a few moments to read what we are all about.

    As for the question regarding the annual Golden Panty Awards, if someone is genuinely interested in knowing more about them there is much information available on our web site. Unfortunately, we hadn’t opened yet in Second Life when the awards were planned for this year. We certainly do plan to expand the awards with a Second Life component for future years.

  13. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 6th, 2007

    Hi, PK, thanks for the insights. It’s true that a big obstacle is getting people from the fantasy world where $1000 feels like big bucks and makes people feel like big spends, but is only worth $3.70 US and as you say, not even enough for the postage to send a book or a widget or whatever.

    I suppose this will change in time, but then there will be more pressure on the Lindens to stop artificially controlling the economy and keeping wages artificially low.

  14. Coelacanth Seurat

    Feb 16th, 2007

    Thanks for the plug & pix, although I must corect you on both the name and location of my bookstore – it is Coelacanth Books and it’s located in Changmi (the SLURL you gave is to the Jnana bookstore). Also, my traffic is currently 284 — I set up the bookstore back in September and it’s grown steadily, even though I have been off SL for the past month due to a family illness. (I hope to be back to work on my pet project soon.)

    I’m not sure what you mean by having “skin” — I carry a range of SL magazines (some are fashion, maybe that’s where you saw the skin, as I don’t carry porn), links to new RL books I think are interesting (with “display” copies for people’s SL homes), and various links and displays about RL & SL books by SL authors.

    The purpose of my bookstore is not to make money, but since I’m a PT rare book seller in RL, I wanted to experiment with how bookselling or book marketing might translate to a 3D platform, and at the same time support the SL literary & journalism community. I’ve met a lot of people interested in books & writing, and there is a small but growing network of bookstores that feature both RL & SL books, as well as locations (such as Verum’s Place) that host author readings, book discussion, etc.

    In particular SL seems to be a good way for independent publishers and writers to showcase their work. I’m not terribly interested in book clubs myself, just how SL might support people in finding & sharing information on books that is different from what they can get on the Internet, whether SL can create a better “experience” in this regard. And I look forward to seeing whether some of the new SL technologies might push the concept of “reading” in entirely new directions, whether it be HUDs like Penguin’s for Snow Crash, podiobooks, or being able to combine a holodeck with an audio book for an all-around experience.

  15. Knowsalot

    Nov 2nd, 2007

    Panty Hog is not what it seems. It protects those who scam their customers in real life. You’d think they would do this for those that are panty verified but, they do it for anyone.
    Just a scam site. I know what happened and I was told I had no business there. They have an area where they want to know who the fakes are.(tofu and cheese and old women claiming to be in their 20′s)I was married to one who practiced these scams. Even helped her.
    Food for thought…

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