'Blogging is the way the common citizen elevates themselves to celebrity status through little more than wit and regular updating. And sometimes not even the latter. If you haven't heard of a web log, or 'blog for short, you're living under a rock. It was Merriam Webster's word of the year in 2004 after the impact it had over coverage of the US Presidential Elections. (So much that the US Federal Election Commission is debating changing rules on political advertising to include 'blogs.)
Sometimes it's ego, for some it's influence, for others it's a need to reach out and communicate, but for many it's the sheer need to express oneself. I guess when it comes to Second Life, all of them apply to one degree or another for different people. I've already stated my intentions.
It's really not a question of if 'blogging will be popular in SL, but how it will be integrated. Props to Adam Zaius for creating a free 'blogging tool for SLrs. Adam is one of the people who clearly foresees how cool HTML will be once implemented in SL.
Personally, I moved to 'blogging as a way to get away from the drama in the forums and express myself with a set focus. (in my case, the technology and future of the Metaverse as SL) I think a lot of SLrs are following suit; they want to be heard without their posts being buried in an ever deepening bowl of mixed nuts. *grin*
'Blogging is a way people can stay connected with SL even if they're not online. If I were to have conversations with as many people as I'd like to about the topics I write about here, that's the only thing I would be doing. Likewise, whether it's someone's personal life or their projects or their ideas, they can put it down and share without having to repeat themselves endlessly; consequently, conversations turn to discussing the finer points.
I attended a great presentation last week hosted by SL Future Salon, the second speaker whom was video 'blogger Amanda Congdon. While I won't rehash the speech, I will say that I believe that video blogging has the potential to be big in SL. (You can read it on the SL Future Salon site ... or will very soon.)
It seems natural. Second Life provides an immersive environment for exploration, creation, and interaction. In turn, SDL promotes that 3-D aspect in things associated with SL. Hence, while 'blogs like mine may be sufficient to communicate, a video could escalate a 'blog into a phenomenon.
Compare the number of people who watch news compared to people who read the newspaper. I can say from experience running a weekly paper and helping to run a weekly college TV news program: People skim newspapers. People watch newscasts.
I laugh, too, at what I've heard so far. Many panicked, whined, and droned on how video in SL v1.6 would bring an advent of porn streams and SL residents doing their own webcam steaming. So far, this has been far from reality. What I do see are possibilities like:
- Linden Lab presentations & Town Halls live via webcam
- Video Linden - already broadcasting live feed from SL
- In-world meetings where avatars sit by video screens with RL video
- SL News blogs going video
- More Machinema
- A growing market of providing easy-to-setup video broadcasting
Fame & Fortune
The advent of inexpensive video 'blogging leads me to think about how SLrs will react to the whole RL/SL issue. Many SLrs aren't comfortable making transparent their Real Lives to the SL community. As it's protected by SL Community Standards and Terms of Service, many opt to just make their identity private. Now, I'm fairly private with my RL details, though anyone who's worked with me on a project has probably found out my real name.
Some SLrs have embraced it. Anshe Chung and Nephilaine Protagonist* have both had their RL identities revealed in national news stories. But is this simply a consequence of fame and fortune in SL? Certainly, I know other developers who have the cash flow but choose to avoid the fame; perhaps that's a sign that people do have some level of choice when it comes to whether they want to be known. So how does that bode for video 'blogging in SL? Very well.
*Note: Yes, that's correct. I just linked to my competitor. To be "fair and balanced" I'll mention that my Ronin Weapons line of guns is releasing very, very soon and blows my competitor out of the water in quality and features.