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  ‘Second Life’ Web TV Network Planned  
Posted 2005-08-15 by Tony Walsh
Linden Lab, developers of virtual world Second Life, plan to launch a streaming video network at that will feature "compelling program content" created by residents. In an open call for network development proposals from Second Life users, Linden Lab explained that its upcoming Second Life TV will be used as a marketing tool and as a means for residents to broadcast their events to the inside and outside world. Linden Lab would like the network to serve as a publishing point for resident-submitted video: "By making video streaming tools accessible to the community and providing technical support," said Jesse Linden, "our hope is that there would be many 'Video Lindens' covering a wide variety of activities in-world. We will provide the bandwidth, domain hosting, and an affiliate bonus program."

Required features of the planned video network include two streaming video "channels," an interactive program guide, 4 hours of live programming per day, and a "Nielsen" style ratings system. While the network seems technically feasible, the scope of the core feature set is vast. In my estimation, hundreds of thousands of dollars vast (frankly, this has "nightmare project" written all over it).

Logistics aside, it remains to be seen if Second Life's residents can generate 4 hours of compelling live video content daily, given:
1) The proportionately low number of resident creative geniuses.
2) The even smaller percentage of resident creative geniuses who can make interesting "television."
3) The low cultural standards of Second Life residents: Tringo uber alles.
4) The uncontrollable, unpredictable nature of user-created content.

My prediction for how this is going to play out: An enterprising, skilled, but inexperienced resident (or resident group) will win the development bid for the network. The network will be built on a zillion hours of labour to be completed early in 2006. The project will be launched at a live event in San Francisco, and will receive much attention from the press as the "first virtual world television network." Two weeks of live content and media-buzz follow before the public begins to realize that watching Tringo isn't really all that exciting. SLTV rots slowly, dying alone and forgotten by the end of 2006.
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Comment posted by jesse linden
August 16, 2005 @ 1:57 pm
aww, that sounds like such a sad fate. have faith, friends...
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
August 16, 2005 @ 8:20 pm
I admit, I'm a downer--the best way for residents to take my cynicism might be as a challenge. I'd be happy to be proven wrong about my SLTV naysaying.
Comment posted by jesse linden
August 16, 2005 @ 8:55 pm
check out The Super Fox show weekdays at 4pm on the video feed @, funny funny stuff. shows off some of the potential of good resident generated shows.
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