by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
reporting, second life

linden lab, reuters

Reuters Bails On Second Life After Figuring Out It's Really Not That Interesting

from the if-a-tree-falls-in-a-forest... dept

One of the sillier attempts by businesses to look cool by setting up shop in Second Life was that of Reuters, which assigned a reporter to hang out in the virtual world full-time and report on it as if it were any other economy. While we noted at the time there might be some interesting stories in Second Life, that seemed to be taking a back seat to the publicity value of the stunt. It was surprising to learn that the Reuters reporter was still there until recently, when he finally gave up the beat, calling it "about as fun as watching paint dry." With 9 out of 10 efforts by businesses going into Second Life ending in failure, perhaps there wasn't much for a business reporter to cover any longer. For what it's worth, the reporter says Linden Labs should give up on the idea that Second Life is a business application -- not because of its shaky in-game economics, or because there's no value for there for most businesses, but because of technical problems. While those may be easier to solve for the company, they pale in comparison to the sheer pointlessness of real-world businesses establishing themselves in Second Life.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    PhillD, 25 Nov 2008 @ 10:22pm

    How astute!

    "about as fun as watching paint dry."

    Wow that's exactly what I thought about PLAYING in second life...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2008 @ 11:33pm

    According to their ex-reporter, he moved on. Then it seems that there just wasn't enough sturm, drang and hype to keep Reuters interested in filling the role.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PhilD, 25 Nov 2008 @ 11:54pm

    If he couldn't find the sturm and drang he was looking in all the wrong places.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2008 @ 12:36am


      I meant Reuters and not him. SL's getting harder for the media to work with. You've got to work even harder to pull freaks out of the woodwork than if you were just covering (say) Comicon.

      Too much ordinary business and people things going on, and those just don't sell column inches, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Blatant Coward, 26 Nov 2008 @ 2:41am

    "Um, yah, the Lich King is a new psuedo political force in the Second life community. He is working to form a real life political panglobal force called the Death knights. I've infiltrted their orginization to level 60."

    "Yes it is laid out a lot like Scientology..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Martyburns, 26 Nov 2008 @ 4:47am

    Terrorism, war, famine and a credit crunch what SL needs if it is ever to be news worthy.

    oh, and piracy (of the ocean going tanker kind) of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sigmund Leominster, 26 Nov 2008 @ 7:09am

    Newsflash: Life - even Second - Can Be Mundane

    Tragically, the title of this post is probably true. One of the general issues with "news," in both real life and Second, it that for 99.9% of the time, life is dull, mundane, trivial, and simply not interesting. After all, "drama is life with the dull bits cut out." And there are certainly dull things that need to be cut out of Second Life existence.

    Take a peek at many of the blogs dedicated to Second Life(TM) and you'll read about how Cutiepie Wishmaker bought a divine new scarf that matches her awesome Armidi jacket, and how her boyfriend, Lovemuscle Hunkeyman, is such a sweetie and loves to take her dancing at Frank's. Honestly, how interesting is that?

    News of a meatier variety has to be chased and investigated just like in real life. The 0.9% of the time when shit DOES happen depends on the SL journalist pounding the beat, making connections, and gathering data. Then the text has to be turned into something interesting, something that beats "watching paint dry."

    Second Life reportage has to be a blend of topics because the audience is small and varied. You're writing for a niche, in the same way that the editor of "Quilter's Weekly" is - although the target audience is larger than that in Second Life.

    The daily "sturm und drang" of Second Life cannot reach the level of real life. Nobody gives a monkey's toss what happens in the virtual world unless it involves kinky sex and real life divorce.

    So Reuters left SL for the oldest reason in the world - a small market that provided little return on investment. I work as an SL freelancer because I don't need to earn a large ROI: big real world companies do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.