Making Money Off the Metaverse

Did you know that you can help support my blog (as well as the Metaverse Newscast show), and get great rewards in return? Here’s how.

Recently I was approached by an entrepreneur who wanted me to work with him to expand and monetize my comprehensive list of social VR platforms and virtual worlds. I told him I would think about it and get back to him in a couple of weeks. I also was told by social VR researcher and consultant Jessica Outlaw that she used and appreciated my comparison chart of the 12 most popular social VR platforms (which I do need to update soon). This has made me realize that I am one of the few people out there who are actively compiling this sort of information about social virtual reality, and that people are finding it useful.

My comparison chart of social VR platforms (full-size version available here)

I think what I will do (rather than throw my lot in with the entrepreneur and try to make money off my labour) is try to work something up for publication in a research journal instead. Working for a university, I tend to have more of an academic than an entrepreneurial bent anyways. Then I could add it to my résumé for the next time I apply for a promotion at work (assuming I do so before I decide to retire).

Which beings me to today’s topic: people making money off the metaverse. I’m actually already making a little money in two ways:

  1. serving advertising from WordPress’ WordAds and Google’s AdSense on my blog (which brings in anywhere from $5 to $35 per month);
  2. my Patreon page (currently bringing in $13 a month from 7 supporters—thank you!).

This money earned goes toward my blog hosting costs with WordPress (I have their Business plan at $33 a month, billed annually). Every little bit helps!

Other people are generating income by creating content for the metaverse: mesh buildings, trees, and furniture, avatar clothing and attachments, animations, etc. In fact, some Second Life content creators actually are able to make a decent living wage from their work (but they are definitely in the minority; most creators earn only a secondary income from SL, and some do it just for the creative outlet).

I’ve heard that some people are making good money creating and selling custom avatars for VRChat, but I’m not certain that anyone is making a full-time living at it.

A few people like Bernhard Drax (a.k.a Draxtor Despres) have been able to parlay their video-making work into a lucrative side hustle, working for companies such as Linden Lab to help promote their products. Strawberry Singh, who is well-known for her pictures and videos of Second Life, even landed up getting hired by Linden Lab! And who’s to say that what happened to Drax and Berry can’t happen to you, too?

While I seriously doubt that anybody is making a living wage off the various social VR platforms so far (except for the people working for companies creating the platforms, like High Fidelity and Linden Lab), we can expect that at some point in the future, individual entrepreneurs will generate a good income from social VR. The big questions are where and when it will happen, not if. Many people are waiting on the sidelines, honing their skills and biding their time, to see which social VR platforms will take off in popularity. There’s no sense dumping a lot of time and money into a platform if nobody’s using it.

What do you think of all this? Do you think that we are still years away from people earning a living off the metaverse? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section, or better yet, join the Discord server, the first cross-worlds Discord where people discuss and debate the issues surrounding social VR and virtual worlds. We’d love to have you with us!

My Favourite subReddits

WARNING! Do not blame me if this blogpost takes you down the Reddit rabbit hole and you find yourself five hours later, wondering what the hell happened to your day! You have been warned 😉

Since quitting Facebook, Reddit (a.k.a. “the front page of the internet”) has become one of my favourite places to visit. No matter how obscure the interest, there is a subReddit (i.e. a Reddit community) for you! I thought I would share some of my favourite subReddits with you.

First up are the virtual reality subReddits I read and post to:

r/SocialVR: Devoted to all aspects of social VR, this is a tiny subReddit with only 200 members that could really use a little more love (I seem to be only one posting there lately!).

r/virtualreality: A place to discuss anything and everything related to virtual reality.

r/Virtual_Reality: A place to share your videos about virtual reality.

r/Oculus: A subReddit for Oculus VR hardware users. Palmer Luckey himself is one of the moderators!

r/vive_vr: A subReddit for HTC Vive users. (This community was created in response to a power-tripping moderator on the original r/Vive community.)

r/bigscreen: A community devoted to the Bigscreen social VR platform.

r/High Fidelity: This subReddit about HiFi is pretty deserted, unfortunately. (The last post made was 3 months ago.)

r/sansar: A subReddit about Linden Lab’s social VR platform Sansar.

r/TheWaveVr: About TheWaveVR social VR platform.

Next are some more computer-related subReddits:

r/AntiFacebook: “A community for posting articles about the problems of Facebook: its disrespect for privacy, widespread censorship, manipulation of users, and overall threat it poses to the freedom of the web and social relationships.”

r/apple: A million-member community talking about all things Apple.

r/iphone: A subReddit for iPhone lovers.

r/ipad: A subReddit for iPad users.

Reddit is also a great source for pictures of all kinds:

/r/AccidentalRenaissance: “The subReddit that showcases photographs that inadvertently resemble well-composed, Renaissance style art.” Here’s an example:

r/EarthPorn: “EarthPorn is your community of natural landscape photographers and those who appreciate the natural beauty of our home planet.” Here’s an example shot:

Looking for something funny? Reddit has you covered:

r/ContagiousLaughter: “Something to put you in a good mood: videos and audio of people laughing infectiously.”

r/disneyvacation: “Weird, terrible, terrifying illustrations from WikiHow – captioned for your amusement.”

r/engrish: Butchered English from around the world!

r/facepalm: “A subreddit for you to share the stupidity of people online and IRL. Post screenshots from forums, social media sites, or just real life.”

r/funny: “Reddit’s largest humour depository.”

r/humor: “Humor is the place for things that bring a wry smile to your face.”

r/Instagramreality: This one is both funny and sad: pictures of people caught out using filters. “Social media is a breeding ground for Facetune and Photoshop, It’s unbelievable how some people get away with it while others don’t!”

Captioned “the power of makeup and filters”

r/memes: Almost 6 million people sharing memes. “Memes! A way of describing cultural information being shared. An element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.”

r/onejob: You had one job, and you screwed it up…

r/peoplelaughingatsalad: What it says on the tin. Proof that there is no niche too small for Reddit!

r/photoshopbattles: This one is hilarious! “Photoshop contests on Reddit. A place to battle using image manipulation software, play Photoshop tennis, create new images from old photos…”

r/Whatcouldgowrong: “What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The best place to learn what NOT to do.”

r/youdontsurf: Making fun of stock photos and videos. Here’s just a sample:

Occupy White Walls Now Allows You to Submit Artist Suggestions

Occupy White Walls (OWW for short) just keeps getting better and better. OWW allows you to create your own gallery and curate an art collection, pulling from a catalogue of thousands of artworks, from the ancient to the modern. People are doing insanely creative things with the platform (see the pictures here and here).

Occupy White Walls is working to expand the catalogue of art from which users can select items to display in their galleries. I am on their mailing list, and in a recent email they announced:

In June we added 461 public domain artworks and many artworks from contemporary artists too!

And, in response to user requests, you can now submit artist suggestions to OWW for them to consider adding to the game. They do caution:

While we love all art, sometimes it is not possible to have them in game, an example of this would be artists who died less than 70 years ago and are not in the public domain in their country of origin. Images need to me 2MB or larger in file size.

Here’s the form. You can submit as many different artists as you wish. I intend to use it to suggest some of my favourite Renaissance artists to OWW!

You can download Occupy White Walls for free from Steam.