Reuters' Latest 'Scoop': The First News Service In Second Life
from the dateline:-who-caresville dept
Add the venerable news service Reuters to the ever-growing list of companies trying to look cool by setting up shop inside the virtual world Second Life. The company has put up the requisite building in the game, but has gone a set further by assigning a reporter to cover it full time. Under the nickname "Adam Reuters", a London-based reporter will cover the in-game business of Second Life, just as if it were any other growing economy in which Reuters has a bureau, and posting the stories on a dedicated site. SL users can also go to the Reuters building to read stories, or meet up with the reporter during his posted "office hours". The first story he's written -- which even features a "Second Life" dateline -- is on the leading in-game bank, which some have alleged is little more than a Ponzi scheme. Reuters' interest in Second Life seems to have been pushed by the company's CEO, who claims in The New York Times to have been playing in it for a long time. There are undoubtedly some interesting stories to be told about the in-game economy -- like when in-game banks fail and cause people to lose real-world money -- but this really seems secondary to the publicity aims of this move. In real life, Reuters competes furiously with other newswires like Dow Jones and Bloomberg to get its stories out to its financial-industry subscribers the quickest. While it may have beaten its rivals on this scoop, somehow we doubt they're too bothered -- particularly when Second Life has a population of just 850,000 (most of which isn't in the game at any given time), and its economy remains small, with user-to-user transactions worth just $7.1 million in September.