Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Media Leave SL

Self Portrait, late 2007
Location: On Pins and Needles

This is, to be honest, a fearful placeholder.

It's a time when Reuters, CNN, and for all I know, other mainstream media outlets have stopped, or greatly scaled back, covering Second Life.

When SL does appear in the news, it's for fluff such as the recent story of a massively overweight, housebound and unemployed UK couple whose avatars (and owners) divorced over a case of in-world infidelity. Such SL residents are too often depicted, explicitly or implicitly, as the norm.

My current "In a Strange Land" at Media General may not survive the industry-wide downsizing of Second Life Coverage or the latest redo of the Times Dispatch's Web portal. In the blogs list, there are the usual ones for mainstream topics: pets, parenting, popular culture, post-election sour grapes by a conservative blogger.

No mention of Iggy, Pappy, Second Life, or virtual worlds. While my Media General blog has not been yanked, it is currently buried. Is that accidental? I've written my editor.

Stay tuned. Before you all (if there are any of you :) fire back with tirades against corporate media, let me be clear: writing for the mainstream is important, be it in a blog or print publication. 3D virtual worlds will one day be as common a part of our Internet usage as Web browsers are today. We pioneers in these strange lands need to set the tone for the masses who will join us on this side of the screen.

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