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Monday, February 23, 2009


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Doubledown Tandino

Starred and signed.

GoSpeed Racer

Hamlet, you hit the nail on the head.

Dedric Mauriac

There are still many businesses working in the virtual environment feeling it out to determine how it can be used. I recently reported on one about HeatSaver Thermal Shades this past weekend. They have a showroom that demonstrates how their products work. The vio group that they are a part of has many small businesses doing similar ventures into the virtual world.

Veeyawn Spoonhammer

I'm glad you called them out on this. Reuters failed to dig into the world as I think they expected it to operate more like RL. Clearly, it doesn't and it won't. As far as I could tell they focused solely on businesses coming into SL and almost never covered businesses originating in or operating only in SL. A poor effort on their part.

Kyle G

Microsoft continues to train developers in Second Life, conduct community events and more as they do in ReactionGrid now too. Second Life's user generated content in our opinion continues to be the best too overall for virtual world applications and events. Rueters often twisted my own words & I am not sad to see them go.


oh no you DIDN'T! Snap.

Nicely played, sir.

Just watch any Metanomics show or Draxtor Despres' dispatches from SL to see how much amazing stuff happened over the past year that was underreported.

Crap Mariner

"To me that seems a bit like hiring a guy who hates watching Hollywood movies to cover the film industry."

Well, considering how Reuters has a habit of hiring Israel-haters and the relatives of terrorists to cover Israel news, I guess it was only a matter of time for them to extend that policy into virtual worlds coverage.


Raul Crimson

Good point, Hamlet. I was worried when Reuters left SL, and well, for their comments they seem to push others to go away too.
But possibly they just didn't understand SL at all.

QueenKellee Kuu

Totally agree, Hamlet.

Reuters was trying to apply old style news reporting to a new style world. In my opinion the only thing that signaled a failure when Reuters left was that their experiment of trying to take that objective, hands off, "un-biased" approach to news in a virtual world was a failure, not that the world was a failure. In a place with no mass media, it sure does require, as you say, a lot more shoe leather and being a part of the community. And funny, that's how news reporting used to be done back in the good old days before the internet and 300 cable stations, or even television at all.

But of course it's much easier to lay the blame outside of themselves than it is to see that maybe their approach was all wrong.


Huh. I thought Eric said "I am creepy and boring," not "SL is creepy and boring." I guess I don't agree with him after all!

Hamlet Au

I don't know about that, though I only just noticed that Eric would "right-click the dance floor". That doesn't usually start a dance animation, that opens up the pie menu. Maybe he thought the pie menu was a dance move?

Drew Stein

Its really quite simple if you dig deep enough and think hard enough. They were here for the PR hit, the came they made a small sensation and then when it was time to do some real work, they got bored and they left. End of story. There being in SL signified nothing, there leaving signified less.


Maggie Darwin

It's hard to fault Reuters too much for not using people who grok SL as reporters considering that it seems like there's more than a few Lindens who are in the same space these days..

Sigmund Leominster

The MediaShift article is very good. Judging the state of the virtual world based on the exit of a few players is silly. Reuters probably left for one of the oldest reasons in the world - it was costing too much to keep an embedded reporter in a world of just a few thousand readers. And maybe, just maybe, the business models used by larger news organizations are different from the ones needed to sustain a presence in the virtual worlds.

The virtual world press model is, I suggest, more one that devolves reporting to the "citizen journalist" - the blogger or the "real" journalist who is more at home with the fragmented world of internet-based reportage. This is a shift of focus that is very different from the "selling print" model and is, as we know, a challenge for the traditional press who are seeing newspaper and magazine sales - and readership - declining.

Kudos for pointing out that the SL Fourth Estate is doing just fine.

Georgianna Blackburn

Thank you Hamlet. Glad someone pointed out specifics.


Hamlet, I am going to serve this story on a silver platter to each person I see twittering or blogging Eric Krangel's (formerly Eric Reuters) article. Well done.

Nasus Dumart

Great point! Certainly DID hit the nail on the head. Thanks for posting this.

Marx Dudek

It would have been quite interesting if Reuters would have left the work of reporting to volunteers who actually "got it", and then these two could have spent their part time sifting through submitted material and approving stories for publication.

I think you described precisely the visuals as an anchor for personal interaction - and sometimes, inaction. (Sitting side by side on a beach, silently watching the sunrise for example.)

I think the Reuters "experiment" needed to fail. Their focus was far too narrow, and the reporters far too myopic. For them, SL was a little like being put on the dog-show beat. But even dog show reporting can be engaging, if the reporter is genuinely enthusiastic about it.

Toxic Menges

This si exactly what was needed off the back of the valleywag article - which I am not going to link to..

Will Eric come to this discussion and put his opinion here? No, because he doesn't care - and that's why Reuters only ever had a few thousand readers to his reports.

Your comments on immersion are spot on - imagine if Torley were the reporter for reuters?


I contacted the Reuters Bureau about an SL based business that was crossing over to real life outreach, which is the reverse of what most businesses do and they totally ignored me. So much for wanting to report cutting edge news!

Not being interested in what they were doing was a major failure. Why didn't they take more interest to connect and network with this fascinating global mix of people? I can't believe their boss didn't want to know why they were only marginally involved. You're right, it's like a person who doesn't watch tv or movies write reviews on the medium.


In the grand scheme of things, the SL news listed by Hamlet which Reuters allegedly missed to report about all are of very minor importance, both in terms of people involved and $ involved.
It makes as much sense for Reuters to keep a permanent presence in SL as it'd make sense for them to send some permanent reporter to the island of Trinidad and Tobago.
I give CNN 9 months to come up to the very same conclusion, now that they have poured money in a ill-designed island.

Hamlet Au

Vince, 5 of those 10 stories were subsequently picked up by Reuters' SL office after they were broken. Two of the ten were published in the New York Times, generally accepted as the paper of record.

CNN just re-upped their commitment to an SL presence a couple weeks ago, in fact expanded it and had their publicist send me a press release announcing that. So your prediction is probably ill-timed.

Crap Mariner

Actually, Vince, the island appears to be designed so that you can use any of the sets at 64m draw distance and not get another set's interference. Other sets in use will be in the Av Impostors range, reducing client impact. A good variety of sets there... haven't gone vertical to see if there's skyborne sets.

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