Jan 18, 2009

The Second Life Press and the Paradox of Choice

Setting up a blog is easy. Very easy. It's so easy that some individuals end up creating more blogs than actual blog postings. That being said, it is no surprise that the number of Second Life-related blogs appears to outnumber the number of residents who actually inhabit the virtual world.

Here's a wonderful quote from an article by Bruce Arnold of Caslon Analytics:

"Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.

"The 'average blog' thus has the lifespan of a fruit-fly. One cruel reader of this page commented that the average blog also has the intelligence of a fly."

Keeping up with Second Life activities via the blogs is now impossible. And my that I mean no-one can read and comment on these unless that is their life's work. The problem is that the proliferation of information has created an unfeasible amount of choice. In the world of data, there really is such a thing as "too much!"

Barry Schwarz wrote The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less back in 2004, but it is as true today as it was then. He uses the phrase "the tyranny of choice" to describe the phenomenon whereby too many options creates anxiety and paralysis: We can't decide.

The ease of creating a blog is now being paralleled by the ease of creating an online magazine. Sites such as Issuu and Scribd make is relatively simple to become your own publisher, an opportunity not lost on some Second Life residents.

For freelancers such as yours truly, there is now another paradox of choice: for which should I be aiming to write? And how much time could/should I spend researching this?

Clearly I want those that (a) pay well, (b) are read by many, and (c) suit my writing desires. The potential for longevity is probably also important - although if someones goes out of business, as long as they have paid my bill for the most recent article I guess I needn't worry. Mercenary, but true.

With so many choices of reading material for the Second Life resident, how can anyone make a decision on how to spend their time? And more importantly, how much time does anyone have to do this?

So what to do, what to so? So many choices, so little time. Sigh.

1 comment:

Jordyn Carnell said...

This is such a tru posting.. And one I've taken to heart more and more lately. I'm one of those with multiple blogs and a strong feeling that they are drawing time away from more interesting and fun things (both for me and my readers.. yes I apparently have readers.. go figure)

I started a blog: 1. because I could. 2. To learn a few things about them that I figured I could only learn by doing.

I accomplished the goal. heh.

Figuring out.. or rather REfiguring out what I want to do, if anything, with my blogging NOW is my next challenge.

In the mean time I'm still enjoying coming across people who are better than me and pointing other people to their work.

btw.. like your writing.