A good effort

Linden Lab saw a fair bit of backlash this week with its call for blog contributors. You submit an article, and the Lab edits or rewrites it and posts it on the site as an exclusive guest contribution.

The backlash was such that some comments on the post were deleted, commenting was closed and the post itself (while still accessible) appears to have disappeared from the front page of the community site.

What people objected to is that they’re not paying for the writing. I don’t actually think that’s something to kick the Lab in the head about.

There’s a couple of kinds of writing in the SL “blogosphere” (no, that portmanteau still feels awkward and unnatural to say).

I write for my own blog, and that’s generally done for the monetary equivalent of peanuts, though it does turn a profit. Alternatively, when I write for others, I get paid. Pretty well paid. If I wrote all of my posts for other sites, that would be worth quite a bit more money. Some sites pay their contributors very well, and I personally find that it is rare to get much less than about US$17 for an contributed article doing it that way (and often quite a bit more), and it doesn’t even always have to be an exclusive.

Now, on the basis that the Lab has set forth for this initiative, no – I won’t be contributing articles, myself. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, if that’s what you want to do. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that the Lab is evil and greedy.

It’s possible the Lab will get rubbishy tripe that’s more trouble than it is worth; or they might get good material; or they might get no material.

I don’t think it matters.

I think what matters is that the Lab has tried something new, and that’s good. Maybe it isn’t right for me. Maybe it isn’t right for you. Maybe the Lab will go back and rethink it and try something a little different.

What matters is that it is a good effort. The Lab is trying new things, trying to broaden its game, and trying to see what works and what doesn’t. I don’t think it matters so much if it is daft or short-sighted. Trying things is how the Lab finsd these things out. It’s not as if this particular move has any broad or terrible consequences for Second Life. Deleterious ideas along those lines should certainly attract a fair bit of screaming.

But this? I think this is a Lab we should be proud of, I think, even if we don’t want to be a part of any particular effort or initiative. It’s a Lab that isn’t just standing apparently still and silent.

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