Hey! Journos! Bored of writing news? Kick SL instead.

Warning: This post contains a lot of swearing. Do not read if you don’t like that sort of stuff. Normal service from a once more calm Burro will be resumed soon.

Flicking through the BBC’s inline Magazine (something I never do – it’s about as interesting as Heat except minus the gossip and pictures of starlets with there norks flopping out) I saw a headline about Second Life, specifically “What happened to Second Life?” and I made the mistake of reading it (1).

Well, what a big old bag of toss that was. I’ll boil it down for you.

    1) SL hit the headlines in 2006 and you suddenly couldn’t shit or have sex if you didn’t have an account.
    2) Some businesses came in, riding the wave of hype and hoping to make money and not get left behind in something they knew nothing about.
    3) They left after finding SL wasn’t the place for them to, oooo lemme think, sell cars.
    4) SL is not facebook and is therefore doomed.
    5) Oh, some stuff about new people joining still rising, bah, who cares – read 4) again!

There you go. That’s your lot. Some bored fuckface pretend journalist tippytypes that lot of piss on her airbook and shoves it up the ever hungry bunghole of the 24-hour news whore until the slutty she-beast vomits up pure shit and teeth for us to wallow in. News she-whore craps out some shinny pennies so pretend journalist can pay her rent for another week. The end.

Still, as I have just turned three and my love for my second life is still fresh and warm in my mind (like a French loaf, freshly baked, shoved betwixt my lugholes), I wanted to disagree with the piece in a nice grown up and constructive way and this is the comment I left – fek knows if they’ll use it, but I’d urge you to go along and leave your thoughts too – keep ‘em clean and constructive and don’t sink to the pretend jouro’s level of nonsense.

I’ve just had my third “birthday” in Second Life and fully intend to have many more there. I attribute my happiness there to four simple rules I follow, three DON’Ts and one DO:

1) I don’t run a business – I have enough of that in real life. Second Life is a hobby and I’m willing to pay for my hobby.

2) I don’t get into relationships – far too dangerous as I’m a happily married family man. My friends in Second Life are just that, friends, and not ‘friends with benefits’.

3) I don’t get involved in arguments and fighting – again, enough of that in real life. A hobby should be fun, not a slog.

4) I do have a reason to go there – like real life, Second Life is not Facebook, which is simply about keeping in touch with people in your network. Second Life is a world where you can do and create anything so going there expecting it to be a Facebook network won’t work. You have find something to do – explore, build, write, create. You’ll get back only as much as you put in. It’s very much like real life like that. I was lost at first, but quickly found new friends and new things to do. These days, amongst other things, I help run a travelling vaudeville theatre group and write & perform comedy acts – something I’d never have thought of doing in real life. In fact my second life is as busy and involved as my first.

Second Life will never be for every one – hell, I have no interest in Facebook and can’t stand football, yet no one predicts their demise because I don’t like them. Second Life has a healthy and growing population that doesn’t need hype and counter-hype to continue to grow and enjoy it.

Oh, and by the way, don’t you just love Social Media Marketers, whatever it is they are? (2) Here’s an extract from one such poor, lost, scared soul who is hurt and confused by the whole thing, despite having a totally made up job title that means he’s a brave soldier battling the darkness of “selling stuff to people”, only without actually selling the stuff. Or making it. Or handling it. Basically he tells people that things exist they don’t understand but other people do and therefore they must fear them unless he is paid to use them to allow them to sell their stuff to the other people. Like I say, brave lad and lasses all. Go the future.

“[Mr X], a 23-year-old freelance social media marketer, believed the hype in 2007. He signed on, created an avatar with a shock of red hair that vaguely resembled him, and jumped into what he found to be a lacklustre experience. “It was a real pain. You have to learn how to control things and read manuals on how to get to islands and get off. Half the time you’re just wandering around talking to weirdos.” After three months [Mr X] became bored and left.”

Fuck me! You have to learn a new skill? A whole new skill? You don’t just turn on the PC and know how to do it like you do with every other bit of software ever invented? And you say there’s a manual to read? No fucker gave me a manual to read! I want my manual! Especially if it tells you how to get off – something I was pretty sure the media thought we Second Lifers could do quite well anyway. Now, for a 23 year old self-proclaimed social media marketer (3) to admit he spent three months in SL and couldn’t use it where I, a mere mortal with no social media skills or powers, picked it up in a few hours would lead me to think twice about ever employing him to do whatever the fuck it is he does. You don’t hire a dog to guard your house if all it does it is wank over pictures of iPhone apps and complain the house isn’t the type of house it normally guards and therefore is can’t possible be expected to guard it. No, that’s the kind of dog you take to an Eastern European bear fight and throw in the ring for a laugh.

Hell, after 3 months *I* was bored, but I simply put in the time and effort to find something to make me not bored. But then that would mean ‘doing’ somthing and ‘doing’ might not be Mr X’s strong point given his *cough* ‘job’.

Anyway, fuck it. Fuck the article and fuck something else as well. SL isn’t Facebook and if you can’t handle and understand that then frankly I’m glad you fucked off. Don’t come back.

Yours with hugs n love,
HeadBurro Antfarm.

    (1) Dio, if the piece about the Web killing reading made you piss blood, this will cause you to shit your spine out.

    (2) Me either. I’m sure some are lovely and useful but I’ll bet they are the ones we never hear about – instead the whining pissbags who can’t be arsed to do a real job float to the surface like week-dead corpses farting their vapid guts out for all to hear. The good ones should form a posse and shoot the others in their stupid flapping mouths. For fuck’s sake, get a real job if you can’t handle a made up one you twats.

    (3) I like the mouseketeers better – at least they were useful and I’ll bet they could kick the limp little arses of Mr X and his Marketeering Posse of Doom.

    (4) I know I don’t swear a lot in this blog, but I’d say the above is a fair representation of my normal speech. I do swear like a fucker.


  1. It’s a bit like a question we got when a new management team took over.

    “Where do you see yourself in five years”

    Everyone knows you are supposed to say something about your goals and rise to the top. I of course said I planned to be right where I was doing what I do now.

    People don’t like those answers and the press hates them as well. They do not make very interesting stories to read so existence is translated to something less impressive.

    Second Life is still here. That is what happened to it and for a lot of us that is fine.

  2. “Half the time you’re just wandering around talking to weirdos”
    On behalf of myself and the other weirdos, good riddance!
    And for future I suggest conacting Xcite directly for customer service, the manual is far too confusing and difficult to manage with one hand 😉

  3. @Crap – Exactly! Bloody waste of space, the lot of em!

    @Adric – Mighty fine point very well put. I’ve calmed down since 🙂

    @Fogwoman – Bwahahahaha! I want a new manual, not the one he’s ‘used’ ;-D

  4. Very witty post! I agree, the people who get bored and can’t be bothered to learn the skills that would keep them interested are better off quitting and spending all their time leaving each other messages on Facebook. And good riddance as well to all those big corporations who thought SL would be a trendy new way of marketing their products!

    I never got a manual either– I’m starting to feel cheated! Where do we get these so-called manuals, I want one too! 😀

    I think Mr. X needs to be slapped. ‘It was a real pain. You have to learn how to control things…’ OMG, you have to learn things!? To quote My Cousin Vinny, what a f**king nightmare! 😀

  5. I was amused, actually–I’d managed to miss this one first time around and William Gibson pointed it my way–and I had to giggle when I caught your comment at the end.

    Ah, for ethics, and a modicum of responsibility, I too could have a paycheck writing…wait…no, because *I* could have written a better article! I mean, what was the point?

    “SL is dying. Except for IBM. And all the new accounts. But it’s utterly dead. Facebook is better. And it’s a lousy place to do business.”

    Well, at least on that last point we’re in agreement…save for all the successful businesses in SL.

    And IBM.

  6. Damn good point I never saw – Facebook is obviously soooooooo good for companies, obviously – christ, that makes me detest that journo even more, useless spunk bubble.

  7. It’s not just the BBC either, I read a very similar piece in one of the PC Magazines (PCPro I think ) this month.

    How long do you think until they start bashing on Twitter ???

  8. this was such a good post about SL that i sent the link to a buncha peeps. they must not like to leave comments, but here’s what they said so far:
    1.I really really liked this. Give him my compliments. Hoorah.

  9. Ha, but tell us how you really feel! Good points… I was bored, too btw, until finding my weirdo friends inworld and learning some new things to do (roleplay and building) .

    I understand the poor lad’s difficulty, as I had to use my brain, and that’s so difficult …

  10. Re the learning curve, I think SL draws you in or doesn’t. You’re kind of already there or you’re not. Skills are easier for those that already have a future place “waiting” for them. I don’t think it has as much to do with technical skills. Ask yourself: why *are* you in SL? Do you or did you have preconceived ideas going in?

    Do you know, for example, that you are going to write an article about SL in a publication that would sell more copies if you bashed it around a bit?

    For me it was a bee to honey situation. But I also think it’s a good habit to fight or, um, monitor may be a better word here. As are all computer addictions, most likely.

    I see my WordPress blog as a tool for both standing back, and also seeing the innards of SL in sharper contrast — more clearly. I do not have a monetary stake in my SL experiences; I have no reason but to write from the truth and my experiences there. I wouldn’t log into SL if I wasn’t having fun at it.

    I have a better idea now of RL priorities thanks to SL. I have a number of things I want to keep working on, but most involve RL-SL interactions.

    What does SL augment in RL?, what does it take away from?

    Of course blogging itself can be another addiction. 🙂

    Re points 1, 2, and 3 in your reply quoted above, I don’t have any quibbles. Well done, as is the whole reply. I think at one point I had the idea of covering the cost of my premium account with some kind of art oriented business, but that’s long up in smoke.

    To me, this is just a training wheels virtual reality, collectively speaking.

    Re social networking (Facebook vs. Second Lyfe, etc.), that’s a difficult one. My SL interactions mostly are one off affairs, which is fine w/ me in the main. That is, I chat once w/someone, usually have a very interesting discussion, at that’s it. Personally I find social gatherings in SL mostly a waste of time I could be doing other things with. Like finding what’s out there over that far, virtual mountain range.

    Blogs like this might be a better tool for social interactions.

    HBA, I don’t like Facebook either.

    Gotta run… RL calls as they say.

    1. Hi Baker – I so agree about blogs being both addictive and a better (for me) place for some types of social interaction. I tend to want my in-world time to be about fun and photography and setting up stories and making the show happen – anything else I generally don’t have time for and apart from parades or Steelhead Townhall meetings, I’m not one for gatherings such as dances and the like – it’s nice to see friends, but an hour watching my av dance is an hour I could be setting up a new tale ;-D

      Mind you, I have been to some fun dances… damn I’m hard to please!

  11. I was wondering today if the Uncanny Valley could affect people’s reactions to SL in some tangible way; found there was a SL expo on the subject



    Especially since skins — correct me if I’m wrong — are becoming more realistic overall.



    Of course, you can also bring in here Stewart’s famously scathingly ake on SL. Really puts things in perspective, IMO…



    Uncanny Valley and 4th wall…



    Just more random thoughts… maybe food for…

    1. Cheers for the links Baker – I usually follow the NWN Uncanny thing every year and some of the phots are nice, but as real as SL can make skins and things look (which I emphatically think is a Good Thing – the more real the better for me, it’s why I can’t stand the Sims and Habbo and stuff – they look like a game) SL has a HUUUUUUGE way to go to bridge that valley. Christ, when hands have 2 settings and no more, then the basic avatar can’t fool me.

      I really hope they redesign the damn thing from the group up – full puppeteering, infinite attachment points, infinite clothing layers, collision detection for materials and hair. I realise this would be a major task (I’ve no idea how big other than BIG) but so what, I’m dreaming and I want my SL to look and work like a real world.

      Sigh, ever a dreamer 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s