Wiz Nordberg

Can I blame the media? Why not! They still don’t seem to get the virtual world.

Believing what you read

I was scouring my Google news alerts this morning and came across The Top 8 Second Life Virtual Businesses in PC Advisor. This is a great example of the kind of confusing messages people are getting from the press. Anybody who lives in a virtual world knows what a virtual business is.

Unfortunately, PC Advisor doesn’t seem to. Half the companies it lists are technology companies: Sun, Cisco, IBM, and Dell. It didn’t even mention a virtual business, such as Anshe Chung, the top “virtual business” by anyone’s measure.

I don’t know how anyone curious about Second Life can possibly figure out what’s what with such press stories abounding. It’s not just PC Advisor. I’m sure it meant well and tries its best. But my guess is that the journalist who wrote the story doesn’t even have a virtual life. That’s the problem. Until you live in Second Life for a while, and discover what’s virtual and what’s not, it’s hard to have a good perspective.

We have a small virtual business. Last night, I had a great meeting with Paisley Beebe. I met her team of producers and designers working on her new show, which will air on SLCN later this month. It was a great meeting, even if I put my foot in my mouth a few times, as I usually do.

Paisley set up a great office on the SLCN Studio back-lot. It’s cozy but professional, and I am impressed with her team. It’s a virtual team, with virtual people working at creating virtual content on a virtual cable network.

Afterwards we went out dancing to some club Ember (one of the team members) suggested. I don’t dance in real life, but I am a great dancer in Second Life. Dancing is the virtual equivalent of “going out for drinks after work”. But no hangover, just pure enjoyment.

People often ask me what Second Life is all about and why anybody would bother. I try to provide explanations, examples, analogies. Maybe the answer is simpler: Try dancing.


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