Nov 23, 2008

Eric Reuters Speaks: Sort Of...

The closure of Reuters' Second Life operations, along with the closure of Bild's Avastar, both in the past two months, is taken by some as a "sign of the times" or even a sign of the End Times. And after suitable period of mourning, Eric Reuters, real world Eric Krangel, has posted his thoughts on what he believes Linden Lab needs to do.

But he doesn't actually explain WHY Reuters pulled out. All he says is "So what happened? Is Second Life dying? No, but the buzz is gone." That's it. He does outline a list of four points that he thinks Linden Lab should address in order to improve, but these are, in fairness, not new.

It's also clear that postings to the Reuters site had been tailing off for a long time. Was this because corporate Reuters wasn't interested or that Eric Reuters wasn't? After all, he says things like, "As part of walking my "beat," I'd get invited by sources to virtual nightclubs, where I'd right-click the dance floor to send my avatar gyrating as I sat at home at my computer. It was about as fun as watching paint dry" and "I didn't find it compelling."

We could speculate that Reuters Second Life was always a "side project" that Eric was allowed to do as-and-when, so long as it didn't interfere with real work. Google's Lively was a "20% project" - Google employees can spend 20% of their time on speculative projects that may, or may not, come to fruition.

I have to point out that the Second Life Herald has been around for five years, so the closure of Reuters isn't because there is no "market" for SL news. Other SL newspapers continue too.

Maybe we will hear the full story at a later date.

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