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Monday, November 23, 2009


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Pavig Lok

There's nothing glaringly bad about the BBC article that we wouldn't expect out of mainstream media in general.... apart from the fact that they've made the same mistakes the rest of the mainstream media made two years late. :)

Wolfie Rankin

BBC did have an island in secondlife, but as far as I know, was never opened to the public... they'd apparently "chickened out".

Wolfie! @Wolfie_Rankin


You should read all comments from that article... there's one that uhm... made me laugh SO LOUD!
"It was a real pain. You have to learn how to control things and read manuals on how to get to islands and get off. Half the time you're just wandering around talking to weirdos."
Who need to read manuals to TP? Really... duh duh duh!

Wizard Gynoid

I, for one, would like to have a no-nonsense explanation of how many SL users there actually are. I hear a lot of gobbledeegook from all sides. Obviously, registrations isn't a valuable number. Any idiot can look through the "People" tab of the Search function and find that the vast, overwhelming majority of profile names are empty, indicating that someone may have managed to log in one time, but never ventured back. M Linden recently used the number of 250,000 active users. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Hamlet, can you do a blog devoted to that topic?

Tinsel Silvera

The only virtual world I have found for the iphone is Bobba. It shows potential for those craving their vw's when away from the pc. You can get it for free at the itunes store.

BTW, whatever happened to Vollee? I had that on an earlier phone. It was laggy but it worked. And another btw, if Vollee could compress the SL software to work on a phone, why can't/hasn't LL done so? I'm sure most residents would use it when away from their pc's.

Katherine's Ajax Life also works as well as the Sparkle on the iphone from what I've read. Haven't tried it yet though.

Crap Mariner

Fire up the Dusansignal!



The BBC web news is always badly written, everything is to be read with a pinch of salt.


I guess it must have been a slow week for them? Or it was something designed to fire us up.
I think lots of us have had to deal with this sort of challenge to what we are all doing. I still yet to have had a good reason from anyone why any of the virtual worlds are not a worth while avenue to pursue for human communication.
They will not be everything to everyone every time for every occasion. Last time I checked nothing meets that :)
Nice facts and cross referencing BTW


What I find remarkable is that the article lacks proper follow-up from their own earlier publications.

On June 11, 2007, they claim it has "some seven million users"


Then, on August 2, 2007, they claim it has "over 25 million users worldwide"


8,5 million residents (August 14, 2007)


How does this weigh up to

"The number of people joining the site jumped from 450,000 to four million in 2007."????


Sloppy homework.


BBC radio had an island in early 2007 IIRC and BBC News had one attached to Conference Island (In This World's base) during 2008. Both were open to the public at some point but subsequently restricted.


Getting your Second Life facts from the BBC is as idiotic as... well, getting your Israel facts from the BBC.

Crap Mariner

Baldur -

I thought they stopped using that word in favor of their editors', audience's, and sponsors' choice of "Zionist enemy."


-ls/cm, am ysrael chai!

Elrik Merlin

Excellent analysis of the article. I must say that I am a big supporter of the BBC, and as a result I find it all the more upsetting when they get it so badly wrong.

And while one could argue that this piece is no worse than the usual sensationalist mainstream coverage, the BBC can, and should, do much better. They have access to a bunch of very talented technology journalists, including some with actual in-world accounts - Bill Thompson for example - who could have done a much better job.

Failing that, I'll happily cover SL for them.

Arcadia Codesmith

If the BBC doesn't "get" Second Life, it's easy, satisfying, and largely accurate to blame the BBC. But is it helpful? Or is it that maybe, just maybe, Linden Labs should be spending fewer resources on punative XStreet 'reforms' and behind-the-firewall elite projects and more resources on making sure that all people (including reporters) who log in for the first time have an easy-to-learn and engaging experience that seamlessly links them into active and dynamic communities of users with shared interests?

Skate Foss

Where was the cheating spouses having torrid cyber sex paragraph? The Beeb loves to throw that in whenever they discuss Second Life.

Gary Hayes

Yes Hamlet the second life bashing by trad media tends to come in cycles and particularly on slow news days. I covered almost exactly the same inaccuracies and downright misrepresentation in one press item just over a year ago - http://www.personalizemedia.com/a-few-lives-left-for-traditional-journalism/ - I would also say part of this is the fault of Linden PR who should really be doing a lot more to sing the praises of its changes or plans for the future and invest at least some of its profits in positive PR, even try some social media marketing itself?!


you can turn it any way you want but they did get one thing right, SL is dying.

Deltango Vale

Living in London and long familiar with the BBC website, I will suggest that 1) the quality of reporting and presentation has fallen significantly over the past few years and 2) the comments section seems 'dodgy', meaning that reader comments are rarely posted and those that are posted seem to be selected internally to reflect the mood of the editor. In my opinion, the BBC is now more like "The Sun" than "The Economist". For an American audience, think "National Enquirer" instead of "The Wall Street Journal".

White Lebed

Lauren Hansen, the author of the article in question, is a soon-to-be graduate of the Medill School of Journalism. She is just an intern at BBC. I don't think her opinion deserves that much commotion and public outcry. The fact that BBC considered publishing a pretty sizable material about Second Life contradicts many of Lauren's thoughts anyway...

Kitty O'Toole

It was a shoddy article in a lot of ways, and I think I made my feelings pretty clear in the comments that were published underneath. It struck me that the article just wasn't researched or thought through properly and felt rather rushed to completion, which makes me suspicious that it was a 'filler' article. It annoyed me because there is so much to celebrate about SL and the mainstream news organisations really don't have the capacity to deal with that thought at all...I despair, I really do. I get defensive about the virtual world that I call home, and my goodness it is FULL of faults, but at the very core of Second Life remains that intrinsic vision to create a metaverse where we can explore, create and ultimately enjoy ourselves in a virtual world. despite the BBC's claims to the contrary, that is indeed to be celebrated. (On a further note, I firmly believe that the Journalistic standards of the BBC have slipped dramatically in recent years)

Kitty =^..^=

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Excellent analysis, Hamlet! :) At least it's nice to see that you bothered to look up BBC's own factoids, publish them here, and explain why they are so wrongly interpreted by Lauren Hansen,

Sure, I believe she might just be an intern at BBC, but I'm amused by Digistar's comment :) So, don't BBC journalists read their own published media? :)

Anyway, I hope that at least BBC has the courage to publish M Linden's comment.

Hamlet Au


My sense is that Jonathan Duffy is the culprit behind the story, and pushed Hansen through the editorial process. He definitely takes the main responsibility for putting the BBC's brand in the hazard like this.

Paisley Beebe

They go for the headline first then try to write something to justify using it. And yes its sorely time for L.L to promote us the users and we are actually doing in here that is great and extraordinary. Enterprise ect...is all well and good for dry business columns but for excitement and inspiration you can't beat the talent in SL. There must be something in SL just as exiting as cheating partners and BDSM to write about? done that move on!

HVX Silverstar

Thank you, Hamlet!

I wonder who is reading the BBC's Editorial Guidelines... most obviously not the reporter nor editor of this BBC "piece"

"We aim to achieve accuracy by:
- the accurate gathering of material using first hand sources wherever possible.
- checking and cross checking the facts.
- validating the authenticity of documentary evidence and digital material.
- corroborating claims and allegations made by contributors wherever possible."

They should be fined for every time they neglect to use the ® symbol.

HVX Silverstar

So wonderful that they give the phone numbers /textphone and email addresses for complaints.

"Your complaint is important to us..."

Quoting from their page:
"Make a complaint
Phone: 03700 100 222*
Textphone: 03700 100 212*
Email: Send your complaint
Cymru: Cwyno
Write: BBC Complaints,
PO Box 1922
G2 3WT
*UK-wide rate charged at no more than 01/02 geographic numbers; calls may be recorded for training."

Kwame Oh

For me the fact the BBC a public service, paid for in part by our licence fee posts such a small percent of comments sent in on any! of their stories is what gets my goat.

I must say though creators of SL Linden Lab must take some flack for lack of outreach work, specifically marketing, as this leaves a vacuum for the frankly flailing in the wind journalists to fill with half baked ideas of what virtual worlds on the whole is and will be.

Julius Sowu Virtually-Linked London

Josue Habana

I just blogged on this same topic.... the BBC article made me laugh. So so misinformed.The BBC (or rather Ben whatever his name was, who they quoted) also fails to understand that businesses who have failed have done so because of their own shortcomings....

"You could go and open these stores and no-one would turn up. They would have 20 to 30 people there when it opened, and after that no-one would bother going in there again. It just wasn't worth the spend."

That is exactly the problem. They came, turned up and expected that the whole of Second Life should be eternally in debt to them for doing us the great "honour" of turning up. Throw out the marketing text books when it comes to SL - different rules apply. These guys turned up offering free t-shirts and expecting us to visit their stores based on their big RL company name. Well excuse me, Mr. Fortune500, but this is Second Life... we are too busy flying space ships and travelling through time to come along to your store. And who wants a shirt? It's Second Life... use your imagination, give me a wearable firework blaster or something.

The point is that the businesses who failed did just expect people to turn up. They did not research the market right and they did not promote in world in the right way.

Their problem, not ours... and the (second) world continues to spin!!

Sasy Scarborough

I wish just once we could see articles about all the charity events that take place in SL annually. The art exhibitions, the live music.

The talent that has come into world, and been acquired in world, such as many hundreds of designers etc, that have actually come in expecting another chat community, and ended up going to school, or learning from others in world, and gone on to run successful businesses. How about just looking at sites such as flickr and snapzilla to see the incredible photography that takes place in world.

I am tired of only ever seeing the negative about SL or just about the number crunching, who makes how much etc...I don't care how much money they make, I care about what drives them, the passion behind them, and how SL has kept them logging in each and every day.

In my time here I have been on in world tv shows for Charity events, I was voted Miss Philanthropic 2008, I got to sit in on a press conference with Bruce Willis as PRESS. I have met the most incredible people, worked for amazing talent, and am privileged to call some of the most amazing people I will ever know my friends.

All the outside press seem to get it wrong, and honestly as it was suggested up top, the Lindens really need to do something about it, because seriously if I see one more ad for IMVU where I should see one for Second Life, I will pitch a fit.

sorry Hamlet, I am a bit passionate about our world ♥


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