Why Have the Newer Virtual Worlds Attracted So Few Bloggers?

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Second Life has attracted hundreds of bloggers who cover the virtual world platform in great detail. There are so many, in fact, that they even started their own professional network, the Blogger & Vlogger Network.

One of the things that surprises me is how few bloggers are covering the newer virtual world/social VR platforms, including the “Big Four”, as I call them:

I’m not talking about the official blogs which the companies maintain; I’m talking about individuals who blog about virtual worlds because they’re interested in one or more platforms.

I am, still, one of the very few bloggers who is covering Sansar, Sinespace, High Fidelity, and VRChat on a regular basis. A small number of Second Life blogs, such as Wagner James Au’s New World Notes and Strawberry Singh’s popular blog, have broadened their coverage to include these newer platforms as well. Inara Pey and Nalates Urriah have also covered Sansar in their blogs. But other than that, I can’t think of many other bloggers out there who cover the newer virtual worlds. Why is that?

One of the reasons may be that the newer virtual world/social VR platforms need time to build up a customer base, which includes bloggers. I don’t think that there were very many bloggers covering Second Life when it first launched in 2003, either. (Wagner James Au’s New World Notes blog actually predates SL; his first entry is dated May 22nd, 2001, and his first entry about Second Life is dated April 22nd, 2003.) It has taken fifteen years for the Second Life blogosphere to grow to its current extent, and it will likely take many years for a similar number of blogs to spring up around the newer virtual worlds.

A large percentage of Second Life blogs are fashion blogs (one person has estimated the number at 87%). People tend to spend a great deal of their time and money on avatar customization in Second Life, and many bloggers follow that, reporting on new items and fashion events.

But the fashion market in Sansar is still small, only dating back to Dec. 18th, 2017, and as a result, there are few bloggers reporting on it. (Among the first is Ivonna’s vrBLOG.) The avatar fashion market in Sinespace is likewise very small. And High Fidelity and VRChat cannot really be said to have a fashion market at all, because you create and rig a whole avatar from scratch, including what it is wearing, instead of dressing up a human avatar like you can in Sansar and Sinespace. So that’s probably another reason why there are not very many bloggers yet. As avatar customization options in the newer virtual worlds expand, more bloggers will begin to cover the fashion aspect.

Another idea: perhaps people are choosing to use other means of covering their favourite virtual worlds. For example, there are few (if any) blogs about VRChat, but there are dozens of YouTube channels about VRChat. There’s a lot of Twitch streaming as well. Could it be that attention has shifted from blogs to livestreaming and other ways of communicating?

So, what do you think it will take to get more bloggers to cover the newer virtual worlds? Please let me know in the comments, thanks!

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2 thoughts on “Why Have the Newer Virtual Worlds Attracted So Few Bloggers?”

  1. For me the de-focusing on High Fidelity (which I used to cover quite a lot) is the same as for OpenSim (which I ceased covering years ago): I’m just not invested in it, and currently see no need to be; SL more than fills my needs, and gives me a lot to write about – and an audience that (I hope!) appreciates it. That really goes for other environments as well – and I suspect many other bloggers are pretty much the same: they have what they enjoy, they have their audience, and there’s no incentive to look elsewhere.

    That said, I still cover Sansar when I can – although with the official blog largely falling into disuse, things like the weekly Product Meetings for a time seeming to vanish from the Events listings (even now they have the generic “community meeting” title), and an over-reliance on Discord for communication, my interest in keep abreast of Sansar has waned.

    Again, simply put: the amount of effort required to trawl through Discord to find out things just doesn’t compare to monitoring an active blog and decently structured forums (as I can with SL). So, given a choice to Discord trawling to keep up-to-speed and finding bloggy items, and zapping through the SL forums, etc., then jumping in-world to write about something – the latter remains WAY more fun / interesting. Hence, it gets the lion’s share of my time.

    Like

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