Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Second Life 5th Birthday

Despite my bluster about not attending and 'couldn't care less', I found that I didn't have anything better to do. So I checked it out.

I was too late to catch Phil and M's speeches (stupid first life getting in the way), but I managed to hit the second 'event': a panel which on the wiki said was on "Business/Music". Naturally, I was just a little curious.

And I was entreated to an hour of a bunch of DJs and musicians, hosted by Blondin Linden, on the definition of success, and how they dragged that SL success into real life (and vice versa). For the most part, they touched upon some truths. Dizzy Banjo mentioned that success in SL will depend upon recognizing and taking advantage its unique strengths, achieving something you can't find elsewhere.

The shame is that it's hard to achieve financial success as well. It's hard work building up a name for oneself and getting gigs and making enough in tips to support yourself real life while also buying new equipment to enhance the performance production and streams. SL also has an insane exchange rate as well, so I could tip someone L$2,000 which will come out to a few bucks. You have to garner enough of those tiny payments into a living as most of those present have done. There was talk of ticketed events, I can't imagine that would help much (if you consider that the ticket price would stay in the same ballpark as tips).

And there was the hushed murmur of the IRS coming into SL. Personally, I think the kind of money one shifts around in SL is still too small for them to notice, but then again, I could be wrong because I do not work for the IRS. Madison in particular pointed out that tips aren't gifts, it's a kind of income. Consider that if you're making enough to support yourself as a presence in SL (and if you've quit your RL job, your real life necessities as well), enough change is being thrown around that they will eventually home in on the scent if you don't declare it under the idea that "it's on the internets and who needs to know?".

I've summed up in about three paragraphs the entire panel. The comments tended to meld and repeat. It had to fill an entire hour. After a while I started drifting off and I ended up playing the Sand Game in another window.

I plan on grabbing M and Phil's speeches and seeing if they have anything interesting. Other than that, considering the general waste of time this panel turned into for me (your mileage may have varied), I probably won't show up for the rest of it.


Dizzy Banjo said...

Hey thanks for coming to the panel discussion Anna. ( btw i like the junebug bit of your name ! )

I hoped there would be a recording of the panel discussion somewhere so I could share it more widely on my blog also. Alas no.

I do have great hopes for the future of SL as a platform for music. I think over the next 2 years we may well see some larger scale success for some musicians. As the SL Grid is implemented, and SL grows from what it is to something of a size that could well be something like 60M regions, 50 - 100Million online, and up to 2 Billion avatar accounts ( those are Zero Linden's own estimations ) the potential for reaching a far wider audience becomes immense.

Anna J Tsiolkovsky said...

Hmm, one hundred million people online in SL would be interesting. I haven't looked at Zero's numbers in a while, ever since he or someone else playing with the numbers made a hilarious graph with the giant red arrow.

Sixty million regions would easily create a literal "Second World" rather than a small grid. On second thought, I'm going to register that before Linden Lab does.