Nov 29, 2008

Reuters' Pull-out is NOT the End of Second Life

I'm on the offensive against all the bloggers and journalists who have read the posting by Eric Krangel about his noon-story of why Reuters left Second Life. For some reason, folks who have never commented on Second Life, or who comment irregularly, have crawled out of the woodwork to pontificate about how this event presages the end of Second Life. But let's get the facts straight.

1. This is a posting by ONE guy, who has left his employment with Reuters so speak for himself.

2. The article does NOT say why Reuters left - it says how Krangel found it become increasingly boring and what HE things LL should be doing.

3. Reports on the Reuters Second Life site have been decreasing in frequency for six months prior to Krangel leaving - does that not suggest something?

4. Reuters is NOT the only press organ in Second Life and never was.

But here's the irritation: folks are taking this article as if it were the revealed word of the Lord. The writers have completely ignored the rest of the SL media - the media that is SL born and SL orientated.

Here's my response to one of the critics who wrote Reuters Pull Out Of Second Life:

I hate to point out the obvious - again - but what we see here is ONE person's experience of Second Life being treated as if it were the Voice of God. Furthermore, Krangel's "suggestions" have been made before by many Second Life residents and, yet again, are HIS ideas. The Reuters' "pull-out" is partly due to the obvious fact that Krangel - who was the only Reuters person covering the beat - has actually changed job and now works for Silicon Alley Insider, and that if you look at the paucity of coverage that he has produced for Reuters Second Life, it is hardly surprising they have decided not to re-appoint. That's a reflection of return-on-investment, not an indicator of the death of Second Life.

News of Reuters pulling out seems to have caught media attention, but that's because Reuters has a much larger platform than other news organizations. The Second Life Herald celebrated its fifth anniversary last month yet THAT piece of news never made the mass media. Why? Because it is focused on SL and virtual worlds so doesn't have the "pull" of a Reuters. Nevertheless, it continues to provide comments and observations on items of interest to Second Life residents. The SL Enquirer is four years old and the SL-Newspaper has been publishing since 2005. None of these long-lasting publications have been touted as successful - we simply hear about Reuters, as if Reuters ALONE was the SL Press."

There IS an independent Second Life press, some good, some bad. But the real world doesn't see it, doesn't read it, and so believes anything it reads in the real world press.

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