I started this blog four years ago as a little project to chronicle my time in Second Life. However once I really got into it, I found there was a lot more to it than I expected. So for the fourth anniversary of my first post, I thought I’d write a little about what being a Second Life blogger is for me.
I believe there are a few different categories of SecondLife blogs, but I think they can be split into two main ones; Shopping & Exploring. Both are very broad containing a myriad of sub categories. Shopping obviously divides into all the different types of things that can be bought, which in SL can be quite extensive from avatars to potted plants to spaceships. This category is where you’ll find Influencers lurking. These are the bloggers that have a 1000+ followers on Flickr, which seems to be a common requirement to be an Official blogger for large stores and events (except Fantasy Faire). You can read my thoughts on that here.
Then you have Explorers that wander the virtual landscape seeking out new and old places of interest,that’s more were I feel I fit best.
Not being affiliated with or sponsored by any particular stores or creators gives me flexibility and freedom to write what I want, when I want with no deadline pressure other than those I set myself. So if nothing jumps out at me to write about or I’m busy in Real Life, there’s no stress. That’s important because if you let yourself get carried away with wanting to cover every event you hear about inworld, you’d wear yourself out very quickly!
Around the time I started thinking about this post and what might go into it,a new blog surfaced. The blog in question is by Lizbeth Morningstar and mainly centres around her art gallery in SL,but also her thoughts on the virtual world. I thought it would be interesting to get the first impressions of someone new to SL blogging in these times. Things are always changing and one person’s start can be very different from another’s.
I asked Lizbeth for some of her thoughts on the subject and this is what she had to say:
The reason I start my SL blog is to record or share my experiences, feeling in Second Life. As the bond with SL grows stronger with time, it’s like I really have my Second Life. We do feel the community vibe and we want to make it better.The obstacle being a new SL blogger is time management among all the workload in RL, my SL gallery and my SL photography. Thus, I hope to do it with free will, not to limit topics and due date. Blogging as homework, it would be mere formality. I want to blog when I truly have something to say which is the key of writing.I do hope my blog gain more followers, this will motivate me to keep blogging as I surely don’t want my blog as a private diary lol.
I know what she means about blogging as homework. If you let yourself get wrapped up in commitments and deadlines it becomes like a job and stops being fun. Some people that receive commission or revenue may choose to treat it as a job,but that’s not for me. Although I did assure her that there’s nothing wrong with a blog just being a diary. This blog still has quite low traffic numbers compared to more commercial ones (except during Fantasy Faire when they shoot through the roof). I don’t mind that, I enjoy it regardless. However one thing that does bring people to my pages of ramblings is the Second Life Blogger Network set up by Strawberry Linden. The Blogger Network has “around 900” bloggers signed up according to Strawberry. It is a great way to be found and find other blogs you might like.
To contrast a new blog against an older one, I asked Isabelle Cheren for her thoughts as well. Isabelle started her blog back in 2016 and as I alluded to above,things were quite different back then.
[13:01:35] isabelle Cheren: well i may be different than others,im not sure because if i wasnt in sl i would still keep doing it. I like being able to in many ways journal my moments. Bad days and good days and i love using sl photos and video for it
[13:01:57] isabelle Cheren: its like my journal in many ways only everyone knows
So journaling our experiences is an expected common thread with most non-shopping blogs evidently.
[13:18:56] Ava Bloodrose Delaney (Ava Bloodrose): I got some comments from someone new to blogging, Lizbeth Morningstar. I asked what her first impressions of sl blogging as she’s just started. Do you think it’s changed since you started back then?
[13:19:16] isabelle Cheren: Ooo yes i do … like a lot
[13:19:52] isabelle Cheren: back then there was maybe less people doing it and less events and now its more all about shopping now which is a shame as to be honest there is so much out in sl
[13:22:13] isabelle Cheren: i cannot read a blog if it talks about shopping..If you make it fun and a story or something then i can… my time though to read has literally disapeared lately
[13:22:21] isabelle Cheren: rl just makes it that way
However the main thing for me is that it’s great fun. It gives me a reason to explore new places and spend longer enjoying them as I take far too many Snapshots. When the folder on my computer reaches about 70 images, it’s usually time to stop!
Bloggers aren’t just journal writers and purchase reviewers though, it’s a community in itself. I describe bloggers in the title as the “Media of the Metaverse” and I think its an apt description. I inadvertantly came out with the phrase when I was talking about an event that hadn’t co-ordinated or organised any blogger coverage, which meant effectively no-one was publicising it. In the physical world we have journalists and media reporters for all kinds of events, bloggers are the virtual world equivalent. The world wouldn’t be the same without the media (like them or not), likewise the virtual world wouldn’t be the same without bloggers.
Many thanks to Isabelle Cheren and Lizbeth Morningstar for their contributions.
Image Credits: The desk and the castle in which it’s located are part of the Bloodcroft Castle collection from Death Row Designs.