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  This Week’s SL TV Tidbits [Corrected]  
 
 
Posted 2006-12-20 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
SLNN.com reports that virtual-world branding firm Rivers Run Red soft-launched its awaited VirtualLife.tv earlier this week, screening a SciFi Channel movie before an audience of 20 avatars. According to the report, Rivers Run red plans to roll out 100 always-on channels by the end of 2007, possibly including a Second Life news channel. Such a channel would compete directly with The Grid Review, a service established by rival metaverse-services firm The Electric Sheep Company in partnership with PR giant Edelman.

The Grid Review launched December 12, 2006, and is operated by two Second Life machinimators. So far, a handful of topical videos have been posted by the pair, and while an offer stands to post short videos submitted by citizen journalists, no such "amateur" works have been published. I haven't been aware of much buzz around the channel, and given the initial lack of outside submissions as well as the scarcity of comments and trackbacks to The Grid Review's video segments, I'm guessing it hasn't yet caught on [update: Hank Hoodoo points out that there are outside submissions. I wasn't looking closely enough. Sorry, Grid Review].

The Electric Sheep Company is staging a event tonight in NBC Universal's 10 duplicate regions, each of which can hold roughly 50 avatars. Warner Bros. recording artists Marc Roberge and Robert Randolph will be performing live in a real-world studio while their avatars appear in one of the NBC regions--the performance will be broadcast across all 10 regions and to the web at www.VirtualNBC.com. A rep for the Sheep tells me "We will be interspersing live Q&A with Second Life residents via text chat. Residents can join the group NBC Universal to participate in the chat and receive updates."
 
     
 
   
 
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  6 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Hank Hoodoo
December 21, 2006 @ 1:32 am
     
 
Tony, The Grid Review is still very much in its early stages, no question about that, but it isn't true that no pieces from citizen journalists have been published yet. See this piece by Trent Hedges about the Sarah Mac band, this one by Amulius Lioncourt about the 'sonic rings' grid attack, and finally Dedric Mauriac's clip about the Dell islands. It is a bit confusing, I know, since all are *posted* by Moo, but they're there :).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
December 21, 2006 @ 10:44 am
     
 
Hank, thanks for pointing that out, I was confused because the author titles were all Moo and Nylon. I didn't look closely enough. I'm going to update the post so it's accurate, thanks again.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
December 21, 2006 @ 1:23 pm
     
 
It's not that they're posted by Moo; it's that they come from that very tight inner circle I call "the FIC" -- it's Moo's friendship card list or whatever. It's not any YouTube site of Second Life. So Tony may have been correct in spirit if not in letter.

It's Moo's and Nylon's thing. Both of them do very competent and even artistic machinima at times, but I'm still puzzled why they aren't just calling this a fansite of themselves and their pals to put up their works, a kind of studio, if you will, but are presenting it as some kind of "news and reviews" service that has some kind of public role that is going around critically covering the world in a broad kind of way, not just the little inside jokes and politics of this little ingroup (the lame interview with Copybot which completely ignores the serious concerns about the *social* and *political* issues of this topic, making a caricature out of people's concerns as if the only issue were *technical* -- which it is not. We all know a) Copybot didn't ever copy much, didn't copy very well, wasn't a threat and b) was broken by the next patch but c) indicates several political things about the Lindens and their pets who feel they can reverse engineer what they please without attention to consequences.

If you're expecting some kind of CBS or BBC -- this is not it. It's a kind of fan show. That's good -- and let's hope there will be loads of them in Second Life. But let's not overstate what it is.

I find this group often has trouble distinguishing between their experiences as a little hothouse ingroup, and the experiences of the broader public -- and they take on projects they claim are to "serve the community" but only serve their own self-interests. Of course, the media standards charged with these same offenses in RL -- but in the age of "Me" as the "Person of the Year," we expect a lot more plurality than we get.

A good example of this problem is the raging debate on my site about the question of which individual FIC or feted company will take over the search functions to their advantage in SL

http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2006/12/cristiano_pwns_.html

I have to say, having gone to yet another one of these hypervents last night, this one at NBC, that there's a small group of people, usually around ESC or MOU, who are what you might call "show people". They are like the actors' troupes and musicians on Broadway. The put on the shows.

The difference is that there isn't any crowd in the theater. It's just their friendship card lists, who they tp in. And if they have a journalist like Adam Reuters or GreeterDan Godel to cover their ingroup's event, suddenly it becomes "the fashion" or "the news" in ways that the lives of the elite never do in quite the same facile and accelerated way in RL.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by moo Money
December 22, 2006 @ 3:58 am
     
 
Prokofy,

2 out of the 3 people ARE on my friendship list, but for a good reason. I sought them out after I saw their machinima work and encouraged them to continue with it. I also encouraged them to submit to the Take5 and The Grid Review. Through machinima, I got to know them and become friends with them. I meet a lot of people like that. I would hardly call it an inner circle, but as I've said before, you're entitled to your opinion.

As for TGR topics, I'm working on a piece right now about Creative Commons and have plans to cover more in-depth pieces. I just got a new computer and am having microphone issues with Skype where it feeds audio back into the other person's end, so I can't do interviews yet. When I get a new headset, or figure out how to solve the problem another way, maybe we can have a chat. :D

~moo
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
December 22, 2006 @ 4:52 am
     
 
Moo, as I said, there's nothing wrong with having your own studio with your own friends and friends of friends and a website. That's what the cover of Time is all about. It's a circuit -- but that's how it is. I just object to styling the exercise as somehow covering "the community" which I think has to be understood as being a broader context.

I guess Creative Commons is one of those stories I associate with the tried-and-true stockpile of Hamlet Au, and I wouldn't think of that as a world-burner for a new news show, but hey, that's just me.

There's no need to try to balance the saddle bags by having some token interview with someone like me (Second Cast did that too early on but it didn't change the profile from being basically one of the "elite meet to greet").

When you can start reviewing the Grid beyond the few squares where you live and tread the circuit, I can start perceiving this as something like "TV".
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by moo Money
December 22, 2006 @ 5:00 am
     
 
The thing is that I want it to go beyond people I know. I've been receiving compliments about TGR from people I've never met and I don't hesitate to let them know that they can submit too. I can only hope that some of them do.

As for Creative Commons, it's something that affects machinima, so I feel it's important. If you have a story you'd like me to investigate, by all means IM me and we'll discuss it.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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