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Monday, February 22, 2010

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Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Just wondering if we SLers do more harm than good in how we defend our work and play in-world?

Every time there's a negative or, in this case, positive story outside our (mostly) closed circle, the SL-bashers jump in. Then the defenders rally, showing that we indeed are "evangelistic" about SL.

This just happened over at the Chronicle of Higher Ed, where a story about SL's apparent lack of potential for education appeared, and how OpenSim may not be a replacement. The flames were hot and fierce. The hot-button link "RIP Second Life?" didn't help.

Caveat: I slammed the Chronicle's reportage myself for ignoring the NMC research you noted here in NWN.

Ciaran Laval

I find the whole dismissing SL as "Creepy" aspect extremely frustrating, there's more porn, more creepiness, in the internet at large, but Ignatius makes a good point, maybe we do get too defensive, I found the chronicle of higher ed article annoying too, but didn't register to comment.

It will be interesting to see what Robert Scoble's video reveals.

Adric Antfarm

Ignatius has a great point. There are too many blogs that attack like a group of crazed Apple fanboys even when an article brings up legitimate points.

Yes, there are negative things about Second Life and when they (and some do so chronically) circle the wagons it just paints all of us as knee-jerk traffic whores.

The inability to self-examine or accept comments only lets issues grow in darkness.

Hamlet Au

The problem, in my opinion, are defenses of Second Life which don't appreciate the critical person's point of view. Yes, it's true that there's way more weird stuff that creeps most people out on the web than there is in Second Life. However, most people already know how to avoid that stuff on the web. They don't necessarily know how to avoid it in SL, so it feels way more invasive and threatening when they accidentally encounter it. That reaction needs to be understood and respected, not ridiculed. For similar reasons, many people find the idea of having to choose a whole new name for their avatar (with a strange list of surnames no less) to be weird and creepy, and that perspective also needs to be respected. And so on.

Fogwoman Gray

I have to say that I am less evangelical than frustrated. When people initially show up at a Gateway, you get several reactions - some are from a gaming background and want a quest, or a goal of some sort so they can "win" SL. Some have read the poor reportage and want to make lots of money, some are looking for sex. Top questions are how to customize av and "what is there to do?"
What we do is try to find their interests - we are a Steampunk Victorian theme so a lot are already where they want to be - and direct them to a community where they can find others with whom they have common interests.
Ultimately, coming to Second Life is like moving to a new community. It takes time to make friends and figure out where everything is and how things are done. If people want to put in the time and find people they want to hang out with, then they become a part of that community. If they don't then they will probably move on - or do a blog post on how passe and dead SL is :)
I just get tickled because in my SL community we have too much going on all the time for any person to be able to do it all, and I need another 12 hours in my day just for my projects and committments. I met my husband there, and treasure the friendships I have made. But if it is not your cup of tea, great! Go find something that speaks to you.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

@Adric, good comparison to the Applevangelists.

I admit to being a part of Pope Steve's Cult of the One-button Mouse, though I am a bit of a heretic...when I dissed Apple's @me.com services as limited and slow, compared to the bluehost.com services I purchased for far less money annually, some die-hard Apple heads got really mad at me.

Every system, even my beloved Mac OS, has its flaws. As for SL, I still consider it to be the best virtual world for what I do in teaching and building content, but that may change.

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