M is for Myg

Live your god damned dream

Archive for the 'business' Category

I had to stop the bleeding

Last night during TMI Tuesdays, I was around the corner in the Mainline shopping area, trying to finally get my Reaction Affiliate store set up. Seesh. Window displays, vendor placement, trying to make the area look enticing to passersby who want to own cool surf/streetwear. I do nothing of the sort in RL so my GOD this is a pain in my ass. For over a week I’ve been trying to get this shit finished. I’m a shopper, not a window dresser. Clearly. I got so frustrated again last night I gave up and went dancing. Typical Myg!

In SL I’ve been a writer, a part-time DJ, a landlord, a shopowner, a builder, a shape maker. Man, I can’t fucking focus! There’s so much I want to do, and the whole retail affiliate thing is to help offset some of the hefty sums Alex and I pay out every month in tier and stream rental fees. But so far, RL supports our SL and not the other way around, like it is for some.

I want it to be that way for us! Too bad, as in RL, Alex and I have talents that aren’t exactly the money making kind.

I am all kinds of curious to know how the entrepreneurs of SL make it happen. While I doubt SL is big-business friendly when it comes to meaningful profits, more and more I hear of people who buy islands or sims and set up rental districts, retail, design stuff, open clubs and add meaningfully to their RL income. I want to be them!

Alas, I am Myg. And that means the thing I am actually good at is not the kind of thing that makes money.

Story of all my lives.

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What the world needs now

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Second Life is a strange new world, isn’t it? Sexy enough that big corporations have tried jumping in to dominate its culture, strange enough that even some of the most powerful marketing teams on earth haven’t been able to crack its code.

The media controversy over Second Life’s value to the mainstream has always pissed me off. I was thinking about it after reading Phil Linden’s blog post the other day. He said:

There has been lots of speculation and skepticism in the media regarding the success that businesses are having in-world. I’d like to point out that most of the most visible media coverage has focused narrowly on attempts to use SL for brand marketing.

It’s true, a lot of mainstream writing about Second Life has criticized it from the perspective of big business without understanding it, sorta like criticizing an exotic country after spending an afternoon there. I mean jeez, if you spent some actual time in Second Life, I’d think its limitations as a mass-marketing platform for big corporations would be damned obvious.

Useful criticism of Second Life, I think, targets the things that inhibit growth. For example, most people I know don’t own computers that can run SL well enough to make their time in world not suck. This is especially true for teenagers, who are the natural inheritors of this world. The teens I know salivate when I describe the social and creative possibilities of Second Life – but they can’t get in because their machines won’t run it. Sure, there are some kids who own amazing gaming computers, but the vast majority of young AIM/Myspace junkies are running entry to mid-level machines.

I’m speculating that people who do own high end gaming computers want to spend time in high end games. Since Second Life isn’t a game in any traditional sense there’s probably a huge gulf between Second Life’s tech requirements for users and its natural audience, who I’m guessing are not hard core gamers as much as hard core artistic/creative types and web 2.0 users who are motivated by the social aspects.

Then there’s that whole noob experience. Once you’re in the world, it takes a long time to figure out and a lot of us won’t be bothered to stick around for it. (See rant on ugliness as a barrier here.) And of course, stability issues, which certainly piss everyone off, but will drive away those who aren’t addicted.

My hope for Second Life is that the gap starts to close between the natural audience and the computer power required for a decent time in-world. And that Linden figures out how to make the new user experience not suck so bad (I think the portals are a decent idea, but when I created my Morrisey alt, I was NOT impressed with the portal I chose…).

All that said, you know I love Second Life. And there are of course great things to talk about here. That’s why so many of us blog, flickr, and twitter it. I’m going to start featuring the good stuff here, especially for the uninitiated to get a sense of why they should bother to suffer the learning curve. I’m talking about things like music, small business, socializing, making stuff, gratuitous violence, sex and the like. So if you’ve got some ideas of what’s good about Second Life, drop me a comment or an IM (Mygdala March) and I’ll add it to my list.

Out.

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I want to know – do Second Life Designers make real money?

Do people who make clothes, skin, animations, poses and shapes and other gadgets actually make real money doing these things?

I get, and believe, that for huge corporations, there are questions about how much money there is to be made or what the payoff is for investing thousands of dollars into Second Life. But fuck those people for now.

What about the rest of us?

Can we supplement our incomes by making stuff in Second Life? I was trying to look all over the web for anecdotes on this in an attempt to pique the curiosity of a close RL designer friend of mine. And I know it’s true for some big designers, but *how* true is it? How much do these people make? What are the pros and cons of doing it?

If you know where I can dig up answers, please leave a comment!

gratis,

Myg

11 comments

Noob reporter hatin’ on Second Life because we get laid

Did any of you read that New World Notes article Forbes Flunks School of Second Life? JW Hamlet Au tore apart a crappy article by Allison Fass over at Forbes, pretty much summed up with this quote:

It turns out that avatars seem more interested in having sex and hatching pranks than spending time warming up to real-world brands. “There is nothing to do in Second Life except, pardon my bluntness, try to get laid,” blogged David Charbuck, Web-marketing vice president for computer maker Lenovo.

You know, it’s always the noobs who don’t know what else to do but walk around with their genitals talking in virtual public.

Ruth2.pngToo bad there’s no picture of Allison Fass’ avatar, but if there were, I’m sure she’d look a hell of a lot like Ruth (and by the way, that’s just a random Ruth shot, not Fass’s avatar…not that I know of anyway…). There were so many inaccuracies in the woman’s report, as NWN well documented, it’s clear the woman knew not of what she bashed.

And it would appear that corporate hacks desperate to make inroads to Second Life are similarly in the dark. Like we all were when we first got here.

There are legitimate criticisms that Charbuck makes in this original article about Second Life as a game or a marketing platform. I similarly agree that as a game or as a marketing vehicle, Second Life falls short in many ways.

But hey, asshats, that’s because Second Life isn’t a game, and it isn’t a marketing vehicle. It’s an environment with its own culture and its own social norms. It’s a virtual location where many creative people hang out and contribute.

I understand that the impatient, the harried, the green will not be able to comprehend what makes us so invested in Second Life. It takes time to understand this place. But you should at least try to understand it before you go on and dismiss it and its user base.

And if you want to understand the culture here, you need to connect with people who know the territory–not other noobs at the Bondage Ranch or wherever the hell these folks do their “research.” The best way to learn about Second Life, and the way most people get hooked on it, is by connecting with veteran residents who can teach you what’s cool about it.

In other words, like anything in life, it’s all about the relationship. But here we don’t relate to some corporate brand. We relate to each other.

So to all curious newcomers (you too, Allison), come on out of the free sex areas for awhile and start talking to some avatars who look like they’ve been here for awhile (if you have any graphics capability at all, it’s obvious who they are). Then try reading the numerous blogs where there are communities of Second Life residents discussing this environment. (Start with Second Life Insider or my blogroll.) This way you can actually learn what the world is really about before you trash it so.

And one last thing. I’m going tell you all, nobody “tries” to get laid in Second Life. We just do it. For god’s sake, virtual sex is one of the easiest things to get in Second Life if you have any social skills at all. So heed my advice. If you are still “trying” as David says above, then try appearance mode awhile before hitting those free sex zones again…

And PS: Given the choice, I’d much rather get laid or hatch pranks than buy Coca Cola products, in real or second life…is this a no brainer to anyone else here?

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