Second Life and podcasting are couple of recent online phenomenon which I find very interesting and follow closely. Imagine my excitement when podcasting pioneer Adam Curry (affectionately called “podfather” by his listeners and other podcasters) joined Second Life (as Adam Newmann).
Just thinking about what kind of new and interesting things merging new media with new reality could bring us was making me feel dizzy. The news of coming opening PodShow island - gathering place for podcasters in the Second Life sponsored by PodShow (Adam’s Curry company) filled me with anticipation.
Fast forward to the present. The PodShow Island is now open. Not only PodShow paid for an island (an independent game unit which allows better performance and fewer restrictions than regular land), but they hired professionals to design and run the place. It looks majestic at the first glance and was quickly filled with podcasting enthusiasts.
The sad thing is that Pod Show could not come up with anything new or exiting. They filled their property with various gambling devices and sex and podcasting-related advertisements. Since they indiscriminately rented space to anybody who is willing to pay for it, it inevitably attracted several online shops selling various typical SL goods. In other words it started to look as big, boring and empty shopping mall.
Few podcasters who decided to rent some land on the island could not do the thing which is interests them the most and the reason they are on the island - to promote their podcasts by playing it on their property. This is so because the land is not sub-parceled which prevents them from setting their own sound track at their parcel. My understanding this is done to have bigger traffic numbers in statistics for an island as a whole since land parcel owners are paid based on visitors traffic. With 8 million dollars (US, not Linden!) in funding they received less than year ago, do they really need to sacrifice community-building features over few hundred bucks? They do not even pass on such cheap second life tricks as paying people to hang on their property to increase visitors stats and make the place look more popular.