Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Backlash Begins?

Okay, from time to time SL gets some flack.

Usually this is reporters who've never even been into the metaverse. People with deadlines to meet, just hopping on the media bandwagon and riding it for a quick disposal article in the 'look at the funny geeks playing at foxes with willies' vein. I even read an introduction once, called 'Becoming a Reporter in Second Life', from a bloke who rang up The
AvaStar for an interview but had never been on the grid in his live.

On the whole, the press love it. SL has been made by the media. In many ways SL is the media. Most people who are heavily involved in content creation are broadly definable as 'geeks and media types'. We tell you it's ace and you go try it, if your an arty geeky media type you love it, you blog it, write about it, froth around the net, tell people it's ace, default goto 0.

I want to show you this oddly biased bit of statistical reporting. This is great. Look at this.

To back up the Time Magazine special report on '
50 Best Websites 2007' they have listed a 'Top 5 Worst Websites' and guess who's at number 5? Yes I know, technically Second Life's not a website but lets not quibble on the first line.

So we're not the next big thing any more then? Finished riding us for news? Now, are you sure you checked this is the company line before you published? Build em up, knock em down? Times Warner v's Linden Labs (the sceptic in me says "Maybe they are planning on releasing their own branded metaverse"). This has come out of left field for me. I'm a bit surprised (and journalists rarely surprise me these day).

I'm all in favour of constructive criticism but come on, "...here are crazy people around every corner - disruptive types that spread graffiti and get in your way and throw you off your groove...". There is? Not in Caledon old man, that wouldn't be cricket. Maybe if you go looking for it, but with new Lindonslation you'll need a passport to find that soon.

I bet his grid savvy pals at the watercooler were having a laugh with this one. "Oh, you wanna go to Baku mate, if you want to see a good neutral cross section of SL life". "Yeah, and wear that big hat I sent you that says reporter". "Nah, you'll be fine with a default avatar, no need to customise it or spend any time on it, folks are really helpful to noobs".

I mean, some comments are standards and justified. Yes, we know it's slow. It's not a computer game. It's a flexible environment and your just going to have to swallow it. Yes it's a bit laggy, turn off some fx mate it's not 'World of Warcraft'.

I mean, the very words "...chat and buy sneakers and real estate (that's fake stuff for real money) and dance..." just reek of a person who 'didn't get it'. To me, technically, it's not 'fake'. Dismissive is an interesting style, but cheap and doesn't lend itself well to accuracy. It's server space or someones creative time and skill your buying, for micro- payments, thought one of the most advanced virtual economies ever created. Am I wrong here?

Still, they might be right, I'm not a journalist. I'm just a long term resident who uses SL to create, interact with real friends, engage in social research, work, and as a creative and role-play outlet in a celibate tech-savvy environment of equals. What do I know?

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