PostHeaderIcon Why Reuters Left Second Life,And How Linden Lab Can Fix It

Reuters Second LifeThis is kind of old news. I picked it up a few days ago, but wanted to wait for the talk-backs to start on the original blog I am referring to. It's a very, very good read because it give some serious insight into how commercial entities view Second Life and Linden Lab in general.

Eric Krangel, formerly of Reuters and in Second Life as an embedded Reuters reporter by the name of Eric Reuters sheds some light on why Reuters news agency pulled out of Second Life.

As with any commercial entity that jumps into Second Life, a pull-out is often quite covert and discreet. The main reason is they don't want embarrassment at being failures.

But when a commercial organization in SL pulls-out, is it really a failure? I'm not so sure that is always the appropriate word. For American Apparel, yes, it was indeed a failure. They jumped-in and had no idea what they were doing. It was the 'build it and they will come' attitude.

The problem is they actually thought their brand meant anything at all. But then there are those other companies who come in and do well. IBM, Cisco, even Microsoft have persistent presence in Second Life.

I have always been fascinated that Reuters was there. Not only were they 'there' inside Second Life with a presence, they also had two embedded reporters who reported on Second Life happenings all over the grid. One of those reporters is Eric Reuters, in real life: Eric Krangel, the other being Adam Reuters (Adam Pasick).

I read the Reuters Second Life news pages every day. I suppose I should have taken a hint when the reporting began to slow to a small stream, then a trickle, then at the speed of molasses.

Reuters was the only other source news from with in the Second Life grid and Linden Lab I ever took with any serious consideration besides Tateru Nino over at Massively. And when Massively went silent for a couple weeks a while ago, I figured all good, legitimate and authentic news coming out of Second Life and Linden lab would be more or less blah and totally spin-based hype.

So Eric Krangel has moved on and he speaks-up about the pseudo-mystery of Reuters departure from Second Life:

Exclusive: Why Reuters Left Second Life, And How Linden Lab Can Fix It: "So what happened? Is Second Life dying? No, but the buzz is gone. For all the sound and fury over recent price hikes and layoffs at Linden Lab, Second Life has a community of fanatically loyal users. Since Linden Lab derives its revenue from user fees, not advertisements, Second Life is much more likely to survive the Web 2.0 shakeout than most other startups.

It's hard to say what, if anything, Linden Lab can do to make Second Life appeal to a general audience. The very things that most appeal to Second Life's hardcore enthusiasts are either boring or creepy for most people: Spending hundreds of hours of effort to make insignificant amounts of money selling virtual clothes, experimenting with changing your gender or species, getting into random conversations with strangers from around the world, or having pseudo-nonymous sex (and let's not kid ourselves, sex is a huge draw into Second Life). As part of walking my 'beat,' I'd get invited by sources to virtual nightclubs, where I'd right-click the dancefloor to send my avatar gyrating as I sat at home at my computer. It was about as fun as watching paint dry."

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