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Monday, October 16, 2006

New Media: Reuters Reports in Second Life

Adrian sent me an article this morning on Reuters new virtual news bureau within Second Life. The growth of this virtual world still continues to amaze me, I never thought I would be so intrigued by something like this (never even liked the Sims that much), but the level of interest it has generated in pop culture is really impressive. We've now got ad agencies, mega brands, banks, news bureaus and user-created brands among many others all popping up and attempting to operate similarly to their real world counterparts (I'm still curious to see if these virtual moves translate into real-world $$). In regards to those user-created brands, the most visible seems to be Anshe Chung, a virtual world real estate company where you can make deals on property, buy Linden dollars ('Linden' being the name of the SL world), and get involved in the virtual community.

In regards to Reuters' venture, Adam Pasick, a media correspondent, will be the chief/head honcho of the virtual news bureau, taking on the moniker of "Adam Reuters". Reuters is the first real-world news source to open up shop within Second Life, though their big media competitors are quickly following suit, such as Wired Magazine.

"As strange as it might seem, it's not that different from being a reporter in the real world," Pasick said. "Once you get used to it -- it becomes very much like the job I have been doing for years."

Given the real-world media's penchant for "if it bleeds it leads" and breeding a culture of fear, it'll be interesting to see the stance of news bureaus "in-world" and how (or if) their reporting style influences society and culture in SL. Makes me wonder whether avatars (ie your virtual likeness within Second Life) can commit crimes...

I was talking with Aki this morning and he brought up a good point: perhaps it would be worthwhile for me to join and do blog reports on some virtual world activity, and maybe even have some sort of trend event here at the agency. I haven't really gauged the level of interest, but with all these big names getting into the virtual game, SL is shaping up to be a big deal. Particularly when it's looked at as part of the larger New Media and user-created trends, I think its even more interesting for our industry.

via Reuters

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