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Philip was recently interviewed by NPR's Laura Sydell, who was interested in discussing how science fiction relates to technological innovation. If you saw Philip's keynote at SLCC, you may have noticed he mentioned that it was his wife who gave him Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash as gift, and this journalist was interested in discussing how books like that influenced Philip's thinking about Second Life. Tomorrow morning on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, you'll be able to hear their discussion.

Air times for specific stations across the US are available here. If you miss it live, the piece should be available online after it airs here.

There's been quite a bit of Second Life coverage in the press over the past couple of weeks, so we wanted to share a few highlights.

  • The LA Times wrote a great article about live music inworld. Titled, "Second Life's Thriving Music Scene," the article focuses largely on Craig Lyons, a professional musician who performs inworld as well as offline.
  • Flavorwire also covered music inworld, looking at the indie rock scene and suggesting some clubs to check out.
  • In the UK, The Guardian carried an article about the Open University, following the writer's visit to Second Life.
  • The Colorado Springs Gazette reported on a Colorado Technical University professor's award for his entry in the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge - an expedition to Mars, via Second Life.
  • CNN Money published a video interview with Philip Rosedale, as part of a series on innovators.

As always, you can find more Second Life press highlights in the archive, and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter. If you'd like to be kept in the loop on our calls for press sources, please also join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld or on Avatars United.

The Linden Lab PR team is again seeking Residents who would be willing to speak with journalists about their use of Second Life. For this call, we’re seeking Residents based in the US (especially in the New York area). In particular, we’re looking to find Residents who fit the following profiles:

  • Menswear fashion designers – if you’re a successful menswear designer, we’d love to hear from you (I swear, not just for my own inworld wardrobe). Please email using the subject line: Source: Menswear Fashion –
  • Wedding planners – thanks to everyone who responded to our recent call for sources, we have amazing love stories to tell to press. Now, we’d like to find Residents who have businesses helping plan inworld nuptuals. Please email using the subject line: Source: Wedding Planner–
  • Interior designers/decorators – do you have the most stylish home inworld? Do you advise others (for free or for a fee) on furnishing their Second Life homes? Has SL ever inspired your real life home decorating, or have you ever used it to virtually test out a design for your offline home? Please email using the subject line: Source: Interior Design –
  • Power shoppers – do you do a ton of shopping inworld and/or on Xstreet? Does your inventory dwarf your offline closet? Please email using the subject line: Source: Power Shopper–
  • Travelers / explorers – are you an intrepid grid explorer or a virtual vacationer? Do you ‘travel’ inworld when you may not be able to offline? Has Second Life ever impacted real life travel for you? For example, has it helped you learn or practice a foreign language, learn more about a culture before experiencing it offline, meet new friends you’ve then visited, etc.? Please email using the subject line: Source: Traveler

Thank you for all those who have already volunteered themselves as potential sources for press, and thank you in advance to those who write in for the above. We’re always seeking to expand the pool stories and sources that can help to tell the world about Second Life, and we’ll continue to put out calls for sources. If you’d like to be considered as a source for press and tell your Second Life story, please join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld and/or on Avatars United.

Call for French Residents

by Honored Resident Catherine Linden on ‎06-14-2010 10:52 AM

Chers Résidents Second Life,

Nous recherchons des témoignages de Résidents correspondant à l’une de ces quatre expériences, afin de les proposer à la presse française :

Votre histoire d’amour

Vous avez rencontré l'âme sœur sur Second Life et votre amour s'est concrétisé dans la vraie vie ? Vous vous êtes mariés sur Second Life ? Vous avez vécu une histoire d'amour hors du commun sur Second Life ? Votre histoire nous intéresse ! Venez témoigner auprès de la presse féminine de votre histoire d'amour exceptionnelle.

Votre carrière professionnelle

Vous avez monté un business original sur Second Life ? Vous gagnez de l'argent grâce à Second Life ? Votre business sur Second Life est votre première ressource financière ? Votre histoire nous intéresse !


Vous avez une activité artistique à la fois sur Second Life et dans la vraie vie ? Second Life vous a aidé à émerger dans la vraie vie ? Votre histoire nous intéresse ! Faites-vous connaître auprès des medias en répondant à ce questionnaire.

La musique

Vous êtes chanteur, musicien, DJ dans second life ? Vous exercez également dans la vraie vie ? Vous vous êtes fait connaître grâce à Second Life ? Votre histoire nous intéresse !

Si vous souhaitez participer et témoigner de votre expérience, merci d’envoyer un email à MichaelPOINTBorgesATEdelmanPOINTcom. Merci de préciser dans l’objet du mail, le thème de l’expérience que vous souhaitez partager (amour, carrière, art ou musique).

Nous vous renverrons un questionnaire et organiserons éventuellement un entretien pour en discuter avec vous.

Nous attendons vos témoignages avec impatience !

L’équipe chargée des Relations Presse de Second Life en France.

This week's Second Life press highlights include a range of topics, from art to enterprise use to the Linden Prize. Highlight stories included:

  • ARTINFO published a review of artwork created by Eva and Franco Mattes using Second Life.
  • Massively and BetterVerse covered The Tech Virtual's winning of this year's Linden Prize.
  • Germany's featured a 60-minute program about Second Life.
  • New World Notes reported on the US Department of Energy's presence inworld and the department's use of Second Life in the search for a CIO.

As always, you can find more Second Life press highlights in the archive, and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter. If you'd like to be kept in the loop on our calls for press sources, please also join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld or on Avatars United.

This week, Second Life press coverage highlights included:

As always, you can find more Second Life press highlights in the archive, and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter. If you'd like to be kept in the loop on our calls for press sources, please also join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld or on Avatars United.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!

This week's Second Life press coverage highlights included:

  • an article in the Irish Times about the recent Metameets event, at which both M and Philip spoke
  • an eSchool News article, about the West Virginia Department of Education's use of Second Life for teacher training. Virtual Worlds News also reported the news.
  • MedCity News wrote about how the Mayo Clinic is using Second Life

Additionally this week, ABC News in LA (KABC-TV) broadcast a segment that told the Second Life love story of Heart Wishbringer and Joe Stravinsky. It's not the first time that the media has paid attention to this couple's story (in fact, about a year ago, I blogged about another piece of press coverage they received), but it remains a great example of the positive role Second Life plays in some relationships.

Over the years, we've heard some wonderful stories, like Heart's and Joe's, from people whose inworld romances have had a positive role in meaningful offline relationships. Recently, we sought out Residents in their twenties who use Second Life in long-distance relationships for a particular press opportunity, and received a number of great stories in response. Now, we'd like to hear more cross-reality love stories!

Call for Sources: Second Life Love Stories

Did you meet your significant other in Second Life? Do you meet up for inworld dates, while apart from each other in the physical world? If so, and you'd be open to sharing your story (and some RL info - press generally need some RL info about their sources) with journalists, we'd love to hear from you! To volunteer to share your story, please email for a brief questionnaire, using your Second Life name in the following subject line: Subject: Source: Second Life Love Story -

Thank you to those who have written in to share your stories, and thank you in advance if you plan to - we're looking forward to hearing from you!

As always, you can find more Second Life press highlights in the archive, and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter. If you want to be kept in the loop on our calls for press sources, please join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld or on Avatars United. Thanks!

First, some Second Life press coverage highlights from the week:

As always, you can find Second Life press highlights in the online archive and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter.

We were also busy this week meeting with Residents involved with music inworld. As I mentioned in a post last week, we recently put out a call for Residents involved in the music scene inworld so that we could learn from their insights, hear their personal stories, and identify some potential sources to speak with press about the world of music in Second Life.

The response was overwhelming: we received emails from so many Residents involved in music inworld - from live performers to DJs, venue owners to managers - that our original plan for a single roundtable evolved into three separate events instead. Time flew by in the discussions; we could have easily spent a week with each group and still had more to get to, but they were enormously helpful for us, and we're excited to try to bring more stories about music in Second Life to the mainstream media. Thank you again to all who responded to the original call, and in particular to those who were able to attend the roundtables!

We're going to hold similar roundtables on other topics as well, so if you'd be open to sharing your story with press, please join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld and on Avatars United, and keep an eye on our Facebook page, as we'll use all three to put out calls for sources and stories.

As always, you can find complete Second Life press coverage highlights in the archive and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter, but here are a few standout pieces from this week:

I also wanted to again say thank you to everyone who replied to the call for sources that we put out using the new Second Life Press Sources groups (inworld and on Avatars United) and via Facebook. Thank you all  involved in music inworld who wrote in! I'm still sifting through a wonderfully large number of emails from Residents, but I'm looking forward to hearing more from you and to using a similar approach to learn more and find sources on other topics as well. If you'd be open to sharing your stories and potentially speaking to journalists, please join the groups!

There's been quite a bit of press coverage of Second Life over the past two weeks, so I'll dive right into the highlights:

  • T Linden blogged about how the Second Life economy fared in Q1, and the announcement received coverage from a number of outlets, including Virtual Worlds News and ReadWriteWeb. The results were also included in an article on VentureBeat, which followed on a recent interview with M Linden.
  • There were several good stories out of the UK as well: the BBC wrote about an inworld museum featuring a virtual version of a medieval ship, as part of an initiative from the University of South Wales, Newport. NE Business reported on Vector76's inworld recreation of Newcastle Gateshead, and the Shields Gazette wrote about another project from the same company, which has created a virtual version of a school that students can walk through before it opens next year.

Newcastle Gateshead

  • There were a couple of military-related articles as well. The Department of Defense (via the American Forces Press Service) described the Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS) - a project using Second Life to provide support to amputees. The full article is certainly worth a read, as are Dusan Writer's notes. Additionally, National Defense Magazine wrote about the US Air Force's vision for giving all recruits avatars as part of its MyBase initiative.
  • Lastly, some cool machinima news: New World Notes shared a beautiful machinima music video, and also reported that the Second Life machinima work of several artists will be featured at World Expo Shanghai 2010 - in case you missed it, Niko Linden's blog post has SLURLs for the regions in Second Life where the works were filmed.

As always, you can find more Second Life press highlights in the archive and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter.

Finally, a quick reminder: if you'd be open to speaking to journalists about your experiences in Second Life, please join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld and/or on Avatars United - as I blogged about, we'll use these groups to periodically put out calls for stories and volunteers when seeking sources for journalists.

New Group: Second Life Press Sources

Interested in sharing your experiences and helping to tell the world about Second Life? Ever see media coverage about Second Life and think, “my story’s much better!” Dying to see your avatar, build, project, business, or just your perspective about Second Life in the press?

On the PR team, we’re always looking for Residents open to speaking with the press about their experiences in Second Life and how the virtual world has positively impacted their lives.

If you are interested in becoming a potential source for journalists, please join the Second Life Press Sources group inworld and/or on Avatars United. We’ll use these groups to periodically send out specific calls for sources.

We’re interested in building a diverse pool of Residents, so however you spend your time in Second Life – whether you’re an artist, merchant, educator, role-player, scripter, builder, explorer, fashionista, filmmaker, someone who just likes to hang out with friends, or anything in between – we’d be very pleased to meet you!

New Group: Second Life Press Corps

Also today, we’re introducing a new group for inworld press: Second Life Press Corps. We’ll use this group to share Linden Lab announcements and send invitations to inworld press events. This group replaces the “Second Life Media Consortium” group, which will be closed soon, as it was woefully outdated.

If you are an inworld journalist and would like to be invited to the group, please email me ( a request with the following:

  • Your Second Life name
  • The outlet (blog, magazine, TV show, etc.) that you work for - please provide the name, URL, and a brief description

Please note: if the outlet you work for is in violation of our trademark guidelines, we will not be able to admit you to the group.

Hi everyone! Here are this week's Second Life press highlights:

  • Today, ABC News has a segment looking generally at virtual worlds. While the piece includes a less than positive take on life online, it also includes some thoughtful commentary from Edward Castronova. Comments are open on the piece, and I encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts, so viewers/readers unfamiliar with Second Life can benefit from your insights.
  • Internet Evolution posted a summary of some enterprise applications of Second Life - including training, conferencing, collaboration, and recruiting.
  • In France, Ecrans covered Agnes de Cayeux's project at Jeu de Paume in which users interact with a Second Life bot named Alissa.

Agnes de Cayeux's 'Alissa,' via Ecrans.

  • In Germany, described a German church, St. George's, that has been recreated in Second Life to broaden its reach.
  • Over at The Imagination Age, you can read about the new Murrow Center 3D Newsroom (here's the press release, with video), which uses Shared Media inworld. You can check it out for yourself inworld here.
  • On Tuesday, the Wall St. Journal featured a great article, titled "Avatar II: The Hospital," which looked at the use of Second Life for training in healthcare facilities. In addition to the print spread, the online version of the piece was accompanied by a video illustrating medical training inworld. Today, the paper's website also published the recent SmartMoney article, "Doing Business by Avatar."

As always, you can find Second Life press highlights in the online archive, and stay up to date by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter.

This week, two articles focusing on enterprise use of Second Life were published online: Computerworld published 'Avatars Rising in the Workplace', including input from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and ThinkBalm, and the Smart Money article mentioned in a previous post became available online as well. Both of these were in the works for some time, and it's great to be able to share the end results.

There were also several stories this week looking at different methods of interacting with virtual objects and avatars - not all were Second Life-specific, but certainly interesting nonetheless:

  • In the UK, the Telegraph wrote about a 'wearable robot' developed by scientists in Japan that enables users to feel physical sensations from virtual interactions; the device was demonstrated by having two avatars in Second Life give and receive hugs, which were felt by the people controlling them.
  • This video on YouTube showed someone controlling facial expressions on an avatar through his webcam (think I found this thanks to someone's tweet or blog post, but I'm having trouble finding it - if it was through you, please let me know so I can update with credit!).
  • Also in the UK, the New Scientist wrote about how avatar eye movements impact trust.
  • On New World Notes, Hamlet Au shared two interesting developments. First, a mixed-reality project that uses RFID-tagged physical objects to create and manipulate objects in Second Life. Then, a demonstration of controlling objects inworld remotely, with an iPhone.

If you follow @SLBallyhoo on Twitter (and you should!), you may have already seen the final highlight I'd like to share. BoingBoing (on a tip from Hamlet Au) wrote about Nemo - a very cool steampunk build inspired by Jules Verne. The post caught the eye of Drew Carey, who tweeted a link to it with the comment, "Things like this are why I still LOVE Second Life."Nemo1_004.png

Checking out Nemo

On Wednesday this week, we put out a press release to announce Viewer 2 and changes to the initial Second Life experiences for new users (which T Linden wrote about in a blog post). The news was covered by a number of outlets, including Massively, New World Notes, and Virtual Worlds News, as well as ZDNet in Germany. On the day of the announcement, T Linden was interviewed by Beyers Sellers on Metanomics as well as Mitch Wagner on Copper Robot.


Speaking of the new user experience - there's a very good piece on Canada's describing a journalist's own experiences as a new Second Life Resident, concluding with this realization:

And after an evening spent exploring, chatting and dancing (making moves I could never have achieved in real life, even in my teens) with a charming and intelligent companion, I lost my final concern; that an online friendship could never approach real world interaction.

But it can — all you have to do is let your imagination run free again.

Also this week, The Australian published an article titled, Virtual Worlds the Real Deal, introducing readers to the concept of virtual worlds and some of the uses of Second Life (focusing mainly on academic and business uses).

Finally, yesterday was April Fool's Day, and there were some fun Second Life-related fake news stories floating around: one announced that the country of Zimbabwe would be switching to Linden dollars, while another claimed that Linden Lab was being acquired by News Corp. There were many more of course, and if you're looking for a 'techy' smile this weekend, you might want to check out TechCrunch's long list of April Fool's Day jokes from tech companies.

As always, you can find Second Life press coverage highlights in the archive and follow us on Twitter at @SLBallyhoo.

UPDATE: New World Notes just posted a fantastic video by two veteran Second Life developers. Hamlet Au describes it as 'compelling' and 'must-watch,' and I certainly agree. Go check it out here.

Compared to the recent deluges of media attention we've enjoyed, this week has seen a little less Second Life press coverage, but there are still some interesting highlights we wanted share with you all.

This week Smart Money magazine's April issue features an article by Dyan Machan about enterprise uses of Second Life, called 'Business by Avatar.' Unfortunately, the article isn't available online (if it becomes available, we'll add it to the archive), but if you spot a copy of the print edition, it's worth a read and includes input from Linden Lab as well as Remedy Communications and Little Wonder Studios.

The Rebel Yell from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, featured an article this week from a student taking a class that studies Second Life from a social sciences perspective. Also on the education topic, San Diego 6 briefly covered San Diego State University's Aztlan Island in Second Life - a comment on the story provides some interesting additional details about how the University is using its space.


San Diego State University's Aztlan Island, via San Diego 6

As you may have seen, the Metaverse Journal reported this week on M Linden's first inworld art show, which opens tomorrow.

Speaking of openings - have you heard of the movie Hot Tub Time Machine? The comedy opens today in the US, and if you've kept a close eye on reviews, you may have spotted (as Hamlet Au did) that one of the movie's characters is an avid Second Life Resident.

While not really press coverage, this tweet about an 88-year-old being brought to giggles by Second Life is too good not to share.

Looking forward to next week, it's a busy one. Next Wednesday, T Linden will be on both Metanomics and Copper Robot - I hope to see you there! In the meantime, you can check out our online press archive for more coverage highlights and follow @SLBallyhoo on Twitter to be kept up to date with the latest.

European Press Tour Recap

by Honored Resident Catherine Linden on ‎03-19-2010 03:56 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm back in San Francisco briefly after joining M in Europe for a jam-packed 4-city media tour that included a keynote presentation at CeBit, meetings with the German, Dutch and French press, the official Amsterdam office opening and multiple Solution Provider and Resident get-togethers.  Read on for more details on the trip.

We had multiple objectives for this visit which started with M's keynote address at CeBit on the Future of Work (see Malburn's comment and link below to download a stream of M's talk):

1.  First and foremost, our goal was to bring the perception of Second Life and Linden Lab more closely in line with reality - while the European press has had a tendency to focus on the Hype phase of 2007, we've moved onward.  This trip we talked about Second Life Enterprise, the Viewer 2 Beta, Shared Media, the growth of the economy and user-to-user transactions, the power of the virtual goods market, the recent acquisitions of Avatar's United and XStreet SL, M's thoughts about the future of Second Life, and, in fact, how the movie Avatar has affected the world's understanding of what we do.

2.  Get to know our international Residents.  We'll be doing alot more of this in various venues inworld and out.  Meeting Residents and hearing their stories is always a highlight - this trip I met a solution provider whose entire family including his sister and mother are inworld building and selling content, a lawyer by day who runs a community inworld at night and a young woman who's about to give up her real job to become a fashion designer in Second Life fulltime.

Now on with the details....

March 5th - Hannover, Germany - CeBit  M's Friday morning's keynote on "The Future of Work" was well received.  The auditorium filled up for Mark's portion of the presentation and the audience was audibly pleased with the company's growth stats, our new TUV NORD case study and the videos we created showing what an office of the future and media displays (promoting shared media!) might look like.  Afterwards there were more questions then could be answered in the timeslot allowed.  At 12N we headed downstairs for an informal roundtable with German academics and business leaders.  Interesting conversation followed with questions about everything from our growth strategy to what's the balance between a user made world and LL oversight.


Following the roundtable Mark did an interview with the UK pub IT Pro and then sat for an on-camera interview with FDZ TV for a documentary on the "History of the Internet."  We'll post more information about it when we learn when it's going to air.

March 7th - Amsterdam  About 40 Dutch and Belgium Residents came to our opening party in our fab new office in the Jordaan.  Machinima maker Chantal Harvey was there and took this video of Mark's welcome speech.  We had a great cross-section of Second Life Residents and Amsterdam creatives in attendance including a large land owner from Belgium, digital artists from Amsterdam, a virtual world guru from IBM, the head editor of the trend watching magazine Second Sight, Dutch Solution Providers and marketers, educators and innovators.  And it was fun to show off our funky new office at Westerhuis.


March 8th - Amsterdam  Interviews with the Dutch press resulted in positive interviews in 2 daily newspapers Het Parool and De Pers, with similar coverage online  in 10 online pubs.  The daily newspaper NRC Next took a more skeptical approach and proclaimed Second Life was only interesting as a "niche, a very active niche."   Oh well, we'll get him next time.

March 9th - Munich  In Munich we hosted a Roundtable for the press featuring Second Life Solution Providers Markus Bokowsky and Hanno Tietgens and Hanno's client Frank Boerger of TUV NORD.  TUV NORD is a German organization that provides consulting and inspection services for clients that require complex safety solutions and has been working in Second Life since 2007.  To learn more, download the German and English case studies.  In Germany the reporters focused on the health of Linden Lab and were particularly interested in how businesses are using Second Life for meetings and training.  3 online stories published including Computerwoche, ZDNet, so far and 2 are in process.

March 10th - Paris  Great press meetings in Paris with Les Echos, Le Figaro, LaCroix, L'Expansion and TF1 News.  The French press were very engaged, even a bit rowdy and asked interesting questions about the economy, the future of SL and whether or not the movie Avatar has had an impact on our business.

March 11th - Paris  Met with a group French Residents at La Cantine for lunch and wine (so civilized!) and conversation - topics ranged from what Linden Lab is doing to support the arts inworld to why more localized images for the French webpage might be more effective for the French audience. We also heard about new projects in the works, the various ways people are using Second Life everyday and what their challenges are.  All in all, a great get-together.


Here's a quick update on some of the significant press that came out over the last two weeks.  In case you missed it., Virtual Gifts: Online Cupcakes, Teddies Generate Real Cash, March 15, 2010 Dalia Fahmy takes a look at virtual gifting and why it’s becoming a social norm, includes quotes from Pink and interviews with Facebook, IMVU and Farmville.

DealFlow, My Avatar Experiences, March 16, 2010 The reporter discusses his interest and fascination with virtual worlds calling Second Life the best of the all of the virtual platforms he has used., Second Life’s Real Estate Barons, March 18, 2010 An interview with Residents who own successful real estate business Beach Front Reality, Inc.

Cinematical, SXSW Review: Life 2.0, March 18, 2010  A review of “Life 2.0,” commending the director for humanizing and making SL more real to the viewer.

The Washington Post, Second Life’s virtual money can become real-life cash, March 8, 2010 Michael Rosenwald captures the growth of Second Life economy through interviews with successful SL entrepreneurs, includes 2009 economy stats.

NBC 9 News (Denver), Holocaust survivor works to preserve history, March 8, 2010 The Colorado NBC affiliate interviews one Resident’s use of Second Life to give educational talks recollecting the horrors of the Holocaust.

The Washington Post blog Story Lab, Teleporting to reality: Reporting in Second Life, March 9, 2010 Michael Rosenwald found interviewing Residents inworld, in their virtual homes, refreshing.

Pete will be back to update next week!

This week, Second Life press highlights repeat some of the themes we've seen recently - virtual goods, enterprise and educational uses of the virtual world, relationships in Second Life, and... Viewer 2! Let's start there.

On Wednesday, Amanda and Esbee Linden were guests on Metanomics, where they spoke with Dusan Writer and Beyers Sellers about the beta launch of Viewer 2.

M Linden travelled to Europe this week, and this morning, gave a keynote at the CeBIT conference in Hannover, Germany (LapisLazuli Tomorrow has some nice pics from M's keynote in her Flickr stream, including the one posted here, with her permission). M also spoke with the UK's IT Pro while there, for a Q&A about enterprise use of Second Life.

M Linden giving a keynote presentation at CeBIT, picture by LapisLazuli Tomorrow

Also in Germany, Second Life was the cover story of this month's PR Report(subscription required). I'm afraid I can't read German myself, but the article titled 'Zurück aus der Zukunft' ('Back from the Future')  been described as 'awesome' by those who do, and it looks like the the piece includes input from an interview with Tobias Neisecke from Gold Solution Provider YOUin3D GmbH as well.

Several outlets reported that BP will again hold an inworld graduation for executives who have completed a management program at The University of Manchester (with another Gold Solution Provider, Corporation Pop). Among others, the UK's HR Magazine and People Management covered the story.

Educational use of Second LIfe was in the news this week, with several papers publishing pieces on the topic, including the Penn Current, The Buffalo News, and The East Texan.

The topic of virtual goods and currency, with Second Life as an example, was explored in an article in OMMA and a broadcast on ABC Radio National's FutureTense in Australia.

Finally in this week's highlights (and into next) - love. The BBC posted a teaser for an upcoming program that will feature a great story of a couple who first met in Second Life while living thousands of miles apart in the physical world, and now have started a family together - Randoym Randt and her husband (there's a great family picture over on the BBC site). They're certainly not the only couple to have found each other in Second Life, and there was also a story this week in the UK's Coventry Telegraph of an entrepreneur who has created a business to help bring couples together with first dates in Second Life.

There's a lot to look forward to, including the coming BBC piece, but also other high-profile press hits in the works, so keep an eye on this blog, the press archives and @SLBallyhoo on Twitter!

It's been quite a week for Second Life press! The press archive page has been updated with more Second Life press coverage, and below are some highlights from the week.

Viewer 2 launched in beta on Tuesday, with some great press attention. One of my favorite pieces was Robert Scoble's video interview with M Linden, which you can watch over at Building 43. Robert took the time to visit the Lab on Battery Street here in San Francisco last Friday to film the interview, and he and M had a great conversation. Mitch Wagner (aka the Copper Robot) also published a thoughtful review of Viewer 2 (and a follow-up) for Computerworld after having interviewed T Linden inworld. There's so much more good stuff on this topic - including great posts from well-known Second Life bloggers, so please do check out the archive for more. Next week, you can check out Amanda Linden and Esbee Linden on Wednesday's episode of Metanomics, where they'll be talking more about Viewer 2 and the beta launch.SecondLifeBetaViewer2.jpg

If you're following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter, you may already seen a great CNN Money segment about Second Life DJ Doubledown Tandino as part of their 'Best Job's series. Congratulations on the great coverage, Doubledown!

Buddhist magazine the Shambhala Sun carried an article sharing one Buddhist's experience exploring Second Life. In it, the author (pictured right, from the site) writes that he joined a discussion with about 20 other avatars and says, "For me this was great: I hadn’t met many Buddhists in the real world so it had been hard to discuss things I was curious about." This gets at one of the great things about Second Life - the opportunity to connect with (and learn from) others in a meaningful way that you may not have the chance to in the physical world.

Not Second Life-specific, but interesting nonetheless: this week, the AFP covered research from Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, exploring the impact that having an avatar can have on the rest of our lives. You can find the AFP piece over at France24, and check out Stanford University News' coverage of it as well.

Also this week, Ethical Corporation published a post about a new book called The Responsibility Revolution, which will be released on March 15. Linden Lab is among the companies profiled in the book, and some of our internal tools like the Love Machine are presented.

As always, check out the press archive and follow @SLBallyhoo on Twitter for more Second Life coverage highlights - there's more coming!

Our press archive page is experiencing a few 'technical difficulties' at the moment - Lindens smarter than me are fixing that shortly, but in the meantime, I thought I'd highlight some Second Life press coverage from this week.

Virtual goods were again a popular topic. Forbes published an article looking at 'why sales of virtual goods are soaring,' including input from a recent interview with T Linden, who also commented on the piece.

The Chicago Tribune also wrote about virtual goods, specifically, virtual Valentine's Day gifts. The journalist also spoke with T Linden about the phenomena of virtual goods, and the article ran on the cover of the print edition's business section.

Continuing on the Valentine's Day theme, MSNBC included Second Life in an article about how couples are using technology (beyond the telephone) to stay close while far away in the physical world. The piece brought to mind the wonderful stories of inworld romance that many of you shared in the comments on this blog post from last April, and the stories some of you have shared with me directly - please keep 'em coming!

We also saw some great enterprise coverage this week. Back at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco, M Linden was interviewed on camera by CIO Zone, and the two-part interview is now available online.

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Mashup maps of San Francisco and Second Life from J. Simone Riccardi, via New World Notes

You might have seen that a while ago, PC Pro in the UK published an article that presented a disappointing view of Second Life. That piece brought about an impassioned reaction from Residents, and the journalist decided to interview M Linden for a follow-up. Today, that follow-up piece has been published online here, with many direct quotes from their conversation. We're grateful that the reporter took the time to speak with M and very much appreciate his follow-up article.

Finally, see that picture up there? It's a mashup of maps of San Francisco and Second Life, from J. Simone Riccardi's blog, which I learned about on New World Notes. Not really a press story about Second Life, but too cool not to share - go check out the original size at that link.

There were also a few exciting interviews this week, and more slated next week - I can't share more info now, but keep an eye on this blog, follow our @SLBallyhoo account on Twitter, and check out the online press archive (it'll be fixed soon) for the latest.

It's Thursday afternoon, so I thought I'd again highlight some recent Second Life press - as always, you can find press coverage of Second Life in the online archives here, but here are a few pieces that caught my eye this week:

Texas' Lubbock Online wrote an article titled, New virtual world could revolutionize education, about Texas Tech's use of Second Life Enterprise for education.

The Yale Daily News published a piece describing the university's projects in Second Life, including a virtual paper mill and a recreation of a library that's slated for demolition in the physical world.

Also on the education front, the Journal of Medical Internet Research published a paper about the efficacy of using Second Life for medical education - the Metaverse Journal has a nice summary, titled, Medical education in Second Life: it works.

Over on PBS' MediaShift blog, Chris O'Brien explores whether people's willingness to pay for virtual goods may hold lessons for media seeking to get readers to pay for news. Chris met with M Linden some months ago, and notes in the piece that their discussion helped shift his understanding of the value of virtual goods.

I also wanted to share an article in a French publication, L'Atelier, which this week featured an interview with Hélène Zuili of MakeMyWorlds, about the benefits of Second Life Enterprise for businesses.

There have been several press interviews this week on a range of topics, and we hope start to see the coverage resulting from those soon - looking forward to sharing more highlights next week!

Hard to believe it’s already February, but the month has kicked off with some exciting media coverage of Second Life. As always, you can find highlight press coverage in our online archive here, and by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter.

This week, Frontline’s Digital Nation aired in the US on PBS (as Catherine Linden blogged about here). The 90-minute program looked at a range of ways that digital technology is impacting lives around the world – including in entertainment, education, business, warfare, and healthcare. In addition to a segment around IBM’s use of Second Life, the piece features a couple of interviews with Philip (including one while flying a plane…). The program can be found online in full here.

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A screengrab from 'Digital Nation'

Last Friday’s announcement that Linden Lab has acquired Avatars United also received some press coverage this week, including pieces on, Digital Media Wire, and Virtual Worlds News. (You can find me there too).

In other news, Ars Technica published, What Second Life can teach your datacenter about scaling Web apps, an article by Ian Wilkes, sharing lessons from his years as a Linden. VizWorld continued its Second Life series, with a post titled, Second Life: Why does it work? And finally, Humana Military Healthcare Services issued a press release announcing TRIWORLD, a private space in Second Life for US military families – I expect we’ll likely see more press coverage of this use of Second Life, so keep an eye on the archives!

We wanted to remind everyone the 90-minute documentary "Digital Nation" will be airing on PBS on Tuesday (February 2) at 9 PM EST (check your local PBS listing).

This unprecedented FRONTLINE project tackles what it means to be human in the digital age, from the way we think, work, interact and connect to the way we fight wars. The documentary visits lots of places -- labs performing fMRIs on heavy multitaskers to a wired middle school in the south Bronx; an internet addiction boot camp in Korea to a massive American corporation holding meetings via avatars; a controversial Army recruiting center outside Philly to an Air Force base in the Nevada desert where pilots fly planes remotely.

The Digital Nation team has an extremely rich and robust website, full of content they've been gathering over the past eighteen months as well tons of videos sent in by people across the globe. It's unlike any FRONTLINE website before, and we hope you can check it out after the broadcast. Douglas Rushkoff, one of our correspondents, will be hosting an online roundtable with many of the people you'll see in the documentary. We'll also continue to update the site with fresh video, and as always we invite any and all comments about any part of the site or the documentary.

The doc is up against Lost on Tuesday night, so they need the eyeballs more than ever! Please tune in, and share your thoughts directly afterward at
The documentary is also available here.
Thanks, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about the piece.


Over the past few weeks, Second Life has received some nice press coverage and recognition for our virtual goods market stemming from T Linden's 2009 SL economy wrap up.  Virtual goods have been a hot topic in the press over the last year.  However, most of the articles feature the amount of revenue made by platform companies that sell virtual goods to their users, not on a true economy fueled by user-generated content and the exchange of virtual goods ON the platform, like we have in Second Life. 

The PR team is happy to highlight the recent virtual goods coverage.. in case you missed it:

... and for more great coverage, be sure to check out our press archive.  Recent stories include:

    Hi everyone,

    I'm back in San Francisco for the next month since moving to Amsterdam in November (see Massively's interview for more info) to open a new office for the Lab.  Now that I'm beginning to regroup, I wanted to point out some stories that appeared last week that you might have missed:

    We've seen two great stories from VizWorld following their pickup of the PCPro story that came out on 1/4/09.  Your feedback led the reporter to take another look at Second Life, getting tours from Residents including Pooky Amsterdam, Draxtor Despres and Paisley Beebe (and I'm certain many many more). Thanks to everyone who helped Randall Hand get a much more balanced view of Second Life.  You guys rock!

    January 11, 2010 - State of the Second Union:  VizWorld on Second Life

    January 14, 2010 - Second Life:  Video Production and Machinima

    Pathfinder Linden pointed me to this essay by Lori Landay in e-media studies - Virtual KinoEye:  Kinetic Camera, Machinima and Virtual Subjectivity in Second Life - a detailed academic and artistic of exploration of virtual subjectivity in Second Life.

    Second Life Residents organize to raise money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.  Want to learn more about efforts underway?

    Finally, Wallace Linden introduces himself as the newest member of the Linden Lab Communications Team.  Wallace will be thinking about and blogging on topics such as the value of virtual goods and the role of one's virtual identity, etc to introduce the rest of the world to what goes on in Second Life.  We hired Mark Wallace for his depth of knowledge of our space, his perspective, his experience and his ability to push back against our own preconceived notions.  He has a strong background in journalism and, I think, will be a great addition to the comm team.  He's also going to help us ALL do a better job of carrying on the conversation with both Residents and the outside world.

    Stay tuned for some big announcements this week!   

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    Did you know that we keep an archive of highlight press coverage about Second Life? You can find it online here, and we update it weekly (generally on Fridays). You can also find some interesting press related to Second Life by following @SLBallyhoo on Twitter.

    PR Island Lagoon2.jpg

    There’s been a lot happening related to Second Life in the press this first week of 2010, and I thought I’d use this space to share a few of the pieces that caught my eye this week. There’s a lot more out there worth reading, of course, but here are a few highlight pieces of press coverage worth checking out:

    • TIME Magazine wrote about the positive impact that virtual environments can have on the real world. The piece includes the story of KallfuNahuel Matador, a Resident working for relief efforts in Africa after first getting involved inworld.
    • USA Today wrote about the rise of virtual tradeshows, including a quote from an interview with Logan Linden. (The same paper recently featured an article about virtual goods, following an interview with M Linden, which is also worth a read).
    • Tateru Nino at Massively published an interview with Catherine Linden, discussing PR and marketing, and our plans in Amsterdam.
    • Art:21 – a blog dedicated to the PBS series – featured artist Cao Fei’s thoughts about avatars and behavior in Second Life.
    • The Edmonton Sun published a brief article about healing and Second Life. The journalist interviewed Pathfinder Linden for the piece, which looks at two Residents whose experiences inworld have had a positive impact on their lives.

    Normal.dotm 0 0 1 316 1805 Linden Lab 15 3 2216 12.0

    The holiday season is here, and we’d love to hear how you’re celebrating it in Second Life. We’re always looking for stories to share with the press, so please drop us (Pete Linden or Melissa Linden) a notecard inworld or comment below to let us know your holiday Second Life stories!

    (pic via Torley Linden's Flickr)

    Here are a few questions to get you started:

    • Are you unable to travel in real life this year, but connecting with your friends and family inworld instead?
    • Are you celebrating the holidays in the real world this year with friends or a loved one you met in Second Life?
    • Are you attending religious services inworld this year?
    • What’s the best holiday gift you’ve given or received inworld? What made it so special?
    • Is the income from your inworld business helping to pay for real world gifts or holiday travel?
    • Planning to impress your in-laws with the language you learned in Second Life this year?

    We love hearing your stories about how Second Life can positively impact your life offline, and the more stories and sources we have, the more we can share with the press – so please let us know!

    Yesterday evening, Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group interviewed Mark Kingdon (M Linden) on his radio program, The CEO Show. The program airs live on Silicon Valley’s KLIV and features hour-long interviews with CEOs from local companies.

    Mark and Carl had a great and wide-ranging discussion about Second Life and Linden Lab, but also about Mark personally – including mentors that have influenced his perspective, careers he might pursue if he weren’t a CEO, and even his favorite books.

    The interview was recorded and is now available in The CEO Show archives on KLIV’s website here. Have a listen!

    M Linden’s Interview with the BBC

    by Community Manager on ‎11-20-2009 01:45 PM

    M Linden was recently interviewed via email by a reporter for the BBC who was working on a story that would be “a look at Second Life today - what's it up to, where's it going, why so quiet in the media after such great press a few years ago, etc.”

    The article was published today, and for us, it was disappointing to see that the piece was less a look at Second Life today and more a focus on the experience some organizations had with their Second Life experiments several years ago. We hope that in the future, we might interest the journalist in taking a closer look at some of what’s happening in Second Life today – we’d love to bring her inworld so she can see firsthand that there’s much more to the virtual world.

    In the meantime, we thought we’d share the full text of M’s recent interview (below) to provide the full context of the information we shared. We encourage you to have a read of the interview below and the resulting article here, and to add your comments to the discussion on the BBC piece to share your perspective about Second Life today.

    UPDATE: M submitted a comment to the BBC article on the day it published, linking back to this blog post to share the full interview. His comment hasn't yet been posted on the article (it may be still pending moderator approval), so we wanted to use this space to share it with you in the meantime. The text can be found below.


    M's Submitted Comment:

    Thank you again for the opportunity to be interviewed by e-mail for this article.

    Today’s Second Life reflects a healthy, flourishing, growing user base.  As I noted in our interview, every month, approximately one million people from around the world log-in to Second Life, where they spend about 40 million hours inworld, and participate in a virtual economy that will exceed USD500 million this year.

    Second Life is a destination for communication, work, play, creation, interaction, collaboration – and everything between. There’s something in the virtual world for everyone, whether that’s visiting virtual recreations of real world locations (like this Scottish castle the BBC reported on in April), shopping and socializing with friends, learning new languages, attending concerts, or even going to work.

    It’s worth noting that corporate use of Second Life has evolved from the marketing experiments popular in 2006/2007, and today, more than 1,400 organizations around the world, including universities, nonprofits, and large companies (including a number of the Fortune 500) are using Second Life for collaboration and prototyping, learning and training, and meetings and events. As an example, the University of Texas just began a system wide roll-out of Second Life for their entire student population.  Second Life allows organizations to meet and collaborate virtually without the cash and carbon cost of real world travel, and organizations like IBM, Imperial College London, Northrop Grumman, and Open University are seeing real world benefits from using the virtual world.

    Second Life is a powerful platform with a vibrant community and I welcome consumers, corporations, universities and governments around the world to join me there. For my complete answers to the interview questions posed by Lauren Hansen for this article, click here.

    M Linden
    Mark Kingdon, CEO, Linden Lab

    The interview:

    What do you make of the media hype that surrounded Second Life (the next big thing) in 06/07? What do you make of the drop off of Second Life mentions in the press since (for UK press - in 2007 there were nearly 200 mentions and in 2009 up until today there were barely 60).

    At the time, the social Web was evolving in ways people couldn’t imagine and the massive popular interest in Second Life was evidence of the power of the experience. The idea of an online virtual world, connecting people globally, offering an open-ended experience, where users can create whatever they can dream, and even make money doing it is a world-changing concept.  In 06/07 it really resonated with the press and fueled rampant interest in Second Life.  People (and press) are naturally attracted to exciting, transformative new technologies, which we can see from the invention of the television 80 years ago to today with the invention of Twitter and the iPhone.

    If you look at Gartner’s Hype Cycle for emerging technologies, Second Life is a case-study example – we enjoyed an unprecedented level of media attention during the peak of the ‘hype’ and then suffered through some negative press when that died down, but now we’re coming through the other side of that. The press came and some of them left, but our users stayed and our user base grew.  Every month, about a million people from around the world log-in to Second Life, where they spend about 40 million hours inworld, and participate in a virtual economy that will exceed USD500 million this year.

    I am aware of the new business venture Enterprise that was announced two weeks ago, so prior to Enterprise did you find that Second Life was struggling to keep corporate business presence considering quite a few of them joined and then left one year -to- two years later (Reuters, American Apparel, Coca Cola, etc).  Has social media sites like Facebook and Twitter had anything to do with that?

    Actually, it hasn’t been a struggle to keep corporate presence in Second Life – in fact, there are a great number of companies in Second Life today, although there has been an evolution of corporate use of Second Life since 2006/2007. Some companies, like those you mention, experimented early on with marketing in Second Life.  Some of them had mixed results, which you would expect in an emerging medium.  Since the early experimentation, we’ve seen an increase in organizations using the virtual world as an enterprise collaboration tool.

    Today, more than 1,400 organizations around the world, including universities, nonprofits, and large companies (including a number of the Fortune 500) are using Second Life for collaboration and prototyping, learning and training, and meetings and events. Second Life allows organizations to do this without the cash and carbon cost of real world travel, and companies have already seen real world benefits from working in the virtual world (I’d recommend checking out our case studies at and on our Working Inworld blog:

    Our new product, Second Life Enterprise, was created in response to market demand for a standalone version of Second Life that organizations can host behind their own firewalls for an additional level of data privacy. It’s currently in beta, with 14 customers, including the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, IBM, and Northrop Grumman.

    We’re don’t compete with social media sites like Facebook or Twitter for users or corporate customers, so no, we’ve not seen their rise negatively impact us.  In fact, social media sites/tools are a great complement to Second Life.  When I am in Second Life, I often Tweet my location so my followers can meet me inworld.

    With Enterprise is Second Life gearing its direction more toward a business client?  Considering there are other business-focused platforms out there, is this more the way of SL's future?

    No.  Enterprise and education are important markets for us; the launch of the beta for Second Life Enterprise is a key step forward in serving those markets, and more is planned for the future, including a new entry path tailored for enterprise users of Second Life that we plan to roll out early in 2010. However, the great majority of our business is still the individual consumer, and that is our primary focus.  This works because we are a platform that can accommodate almost any use-case a user can imagine.

    On your site I was able to locate the number of users online at any one time - just with the figures that are there the number has decreased from Oct 1 until today - what do you make of this?  And can I get figures that date further back?

    The average number of avatars inworld at any time of course varies. In Q3 of this year, our peak concurrency (the peak number of avatars inworld at once) was more than 77,000. This is a decrease from our all-time peak of 88,000 as a result of a policy we put in place disallowing certain uses of ‘bots’ (automated avatars).

    Second Life usage remains strong. Monthly repeat logins, a metric we use to gauge the number of users engaged with Second Life, grew 23% from September 2008 to September 2009. Residents spent more than 118 million hours in Second Life in Q3 (a 15% increase from Q3 2008, though also impacted by the policy on ‘bots’), and user-to-user transactions hit an all-time high in Q3 at USD150 million.

    What does the future hold for Second Life?

    Second Life will continue to grow and become a part of more people’s daily lives. We’ll accomplish this in a number of ways, including making it easier for new users to get started in Second Life and developing a multitude of ways to connect with the virtual world. In the near term, we’ll be launching a redesigned version of the Second Life Viewer (the software you use to connect to the virtual world) that’s much more user-friendly and intuitive, and we’ll be continuing with our localization efforts to further support our users outside of the US, who make up more than 60% of our customers.

    Speaking of figures can I get figures for number of members as well?

    On average, about a million unique users log into Second Life each month, spending an average of 40 hours each. In October, about 75,000 users logged in from the UK, spending more than 2.5 million hours.  Europe is an important market for us – and the UK specifically.  We have an office in Brighton which houses customer support and development resources and we are opening an office in Amsterdam shortly so that we can bring talent and infrastructure closer to our end-user markets.

    Today, at 3:10pm SLT, Chief Product Officer Tom Hale (T Linden) will be giving a ‘High Order Bit’ presentation at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. You can watch T’s presentation live online, through the Web 2.0 Summit’s webpage (free, but registration required). Just follow this link.

    In the 10-minute presentation, titled, “Surviving the Hype Curve: A Case Study,” T will share his thoughts on Second Life’s progression through the ‘hype curve.’ He’ll talk about where we are now, and what helped get Linden Lab and Second Life to where we are today (hint: you!).