Thursday, October 25, 2007


Yesterday was the BIG DAY. The CSI:NY episode showcasing Second Life! Floods and hordes of new people eager to enter the the wonderful world of SL! I think they were expecting something along the lines of 50,000+ concurrency, with millions of new users overall.

They even made a special viewer and special sims for them too! I think the last official count was 416, but some have claimed as many as 450. They were decked out in a Walt Disney version of Brooklyn/Manhattan, with large obnoxious games to 'play'. The call was put out for all mentors to man the stations, prepare for the golden hordes bursting through the gates!

These sims were supposed to showcase and adequately train a whole army of newbies to SL as well as please their CSI loving hearts.

Only it didn't turn out that way. I'm only one person, but even during about an hour and a half during the show's airtime, I didn't notice a whole lot of new people coming through. In fact, most of the CSI sims seemed pretty.... deadish. There were lots of volunteers and mentors and the occasional SLer coming-to-check-out-the-new-thing-on-the-block, but only about five actual new people in that hour and a half.

Maybe people just didn't feel the urge to check out SL even after watching it on TV. My bet is that most probably thought it was created specifically for CSI, or that it's imaginary. Or maybe they just didn't feel the urge.

I was disappointed. Where was everyone? I just couldn't accept the fact that hardly more than a few hundred of the millions of CSI viewers decided to check out Second Life.

Then I went to Orientation Station. It was packed! People were literally coming in on top of each other's heads!

The pictures cannot do it justice. They were taken far after the initial tsunami had passed through. We (the mentors) ended up forming tour groups to orient people and keep the training process somewhat organized.
I think this goes to prove a point. People don't want to be condescended to. The CBS website portal, the 'special' CSI viewer, the goofy CSI sims... people didn't want to camp around the show. They wanted to explore what they saw in the show. They saw the gladiators and furries and what not, and they wanted to get into the Second Life proper, not some goofy CSI knock off.
Look at it this way: If I ran a commercial for jetskis during a SL presentation, you wouldn't run to my jetski store expecting me to sell SL memorabilia or SL lectures. You'd come expecting jetskis. On the same note, the CSI trippers weren't coming for CSI, they were coming to see SL. Why go through the CBS junk when you can have the official SL viewer? It's like the age old debate between generic and brand name!
For their part, the mentors at Orientation station performed admirably. They let the newbies proceed along at their own pace, didn't force anything on anyone. The ones at CSI... well, I guess I could criticize them for goofing around and messing with their pals, but when there's no one coming through, I can't really blame them.
Like gas station attendants in the middle of Arizona.

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