Almost Famous

This blog has been getting a steady trickle of hits, most of them via Google searches featuring the words “second” and “life” somewhere (like “second life adverse events” or “how to find adult club in second life” – that guy must have been disappointed). Hardly anyone ever leaves a comment, so I’ve no idea what visitors think of the site, but I suspect most of them click away again pretty quickly.

Since it’s clear that there is no way that I’ll make money from Second Life by any means other than writing about it, I’m going to have to do something to improve the stickiness of this column.

Writing stuff that’s vaguely interesting would be a start I guess. I can see two ways that this column might develop an audience.

The first option would be a gonzo-journalism style travelogue, where I dot around the grid like a virtual Hunter S. Thompson, cataloguing the collision between the established order and the emerging counter-culture. The problem is that Second Life hasn’t been around long enough for a dominant culture to develop, so nobody is really pushing the boundaries, because there are no boundaries to push against. I guess I could contrast SL with real life, but my feeling is that SL is more of a complement to the existing social order than a threat to it, so there’s none of the sense of danger that would give the column some edge. It’s possible that I’m underestimating how liberating the SL experience can be for people though, and it might be more revolutionary than I think. There is probably some mileage in exploring that further.

The alternative model for the blog would be a character-based episodic narrative, something like “Tales of the City”. To make that work I’d have to find some sort of vibrant SL social scene and immerse myself in it, and I’m not sure that I have the patience for that, if such communities even exist. I don’t think my writing skills are up to it anyway.

Even if I do build up a readership, there would still be the problem of turning hits into revenue, something that has defeated smarter business brains than mine. Advertising perhaps, or syndication, particularly to non-internet media. Maybe Rolling Stone would bankroll me while I did some in-depth research, like John Travolta in “Perfect”. They printed a big article on Second Life just a few months ago though, and anyway it’s not like I’m Lester Bangs or anything, so maybe not.

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