Editorial: Learning to Say “No” (And Taking a Vacation from the Blog)

I have noticed an extremely interesting thing, as I get nearer to the third anniversary of the founding of this blog (July 31st, 2017, which was also the public launch date of Sansar), and as this blog becomes steadily more popular over time.

And that is this: the more I blog, the more I find to blog. I never seem to reach the end of my to-do list!

And half the time, I don’t even have to go looking for it anymore; it comes to me! My email inbox, my Contact Me page, and my Discord IMs (the latter is still the fastest, most reliable way to ping me) are always busy lately. Somebody always wants me to write a story about their social VR platform or virtual world, or attend their virtual event, or interview somebody, or participate in the video they’re making.

It’s flattering. In fact, it’s extremely flattering.

But I am starting to find myself, having reached the hitherto-unimaginable state of having actually blogged about 150 social VR and virtual world platforms (give or take, more or less; the lines between games and virtual worlds are blurring more and more over time, leading to a second list of non-combat, open-world games)…

Well, what I’m trying to say is, I’m starting to feel…

Tired. Exhausted, even.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

I won’t stop blogging. I can’t stop blogging. In these past three years, I have discovered my passion and my voice via this blog, and I won’t give up the joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment blogging brings me (well, on most days, anyways). I absolutely freaking love being a journalist and commentator, writing about social VR, virtual worlds, and the ever-evolving and mutating metaverse and all the people and projects that are a part of it! It endlessly fascinates me, and I love to document it.

But I have also discovered that I need to learn to say “no”.

One part of saying “no” is dropping side projects. And, it is with regret, that I now realize that I cannot carry on with the Metaverse Newscast. Andrew William was the driving force behind the show, and as much as I want to, I simply cannot take over the video production aspect of editing together a regular show about the goings-on in the metaverse, as well as being the host and asking the interview questions.

The first season of the Metaverse Newscast (eight episodes in total) will remain a memento of an time already gone, providing a look at a few Sansar worlds which no longer exist (such as Solas NaGealai’s truly wonderful creations) and a look at High Fidelity, a social VR platform that has since shut down. I regret that there will not be a second season. I just don’t have the time and energy to keep both it and the blog going, and the blog stays. I’m sorry.

Another part of saying “no” is making choices on what to focus on. And, over the next few weeks, as I continue to work on a sort of taxonomy of social VR platforms, I will also be taking a hard look at what to keep covering, and what to begin to ignore.

For example, aside from the three projects that have actually successfully launched (that is, Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space, each fascinating in their own way), I will no longer be covering any more blockchain-based virtual worlds—unless they actually ship product. It was fun for a while, but more than half the time lately, I find myself writing about projects that are pretty much nothing but a white paper (and an .io website, and a Telegram channel) full of hypotheticals, handwaving, and hot air. Come talk to me when you actually have something concrete.

And finally, saying “no” means taking some time off. Yes, I know there are dozens of stories out there. I can think of at least three blogposts that I “should” write tonight:

  • Vircadia’s launch of their fork of the High Fidelity code;
  • Wave raising US$30 million in venture capital for future concerts; and
  • the big two-day LOST HORIZON event taking place in Sansar in early July.

But, I am tired. And I am taking a break, a real break, from the blog this time. I am feeling worn out, and I need to take some time, ignore the urge to keep writing about all the stories that keep coming in, and just recharge my batteries. I’m thinking a solid two or three weeks. Put my feet up. Rest. Breathe. Go outside and reconnect with our glorious, all-too-brief Canadian summer.

I’ll see you when I get back!

P.S. The sole exception to this self-imposed blogging vacation will be my sponsored blogposts for Sinespace, which of course will continue as per usual.

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2 thoughts on “Editorial: Learning to Say “No” (And Taking a Vacation from the Blog)”

  1. As someone who follows your blog via the RSS feed, I appreciate how much work you put into posting here.

    Back when I first started blogging in the 2000s, I would frequently post several times a day, usually hot takes on stuff I’d read online, but eventually I got tired and stopped for a long while.

    Then I got sucked into social media (particularly Facebook), and that was fun for a time, but it is definitely not a substitute for a blog. For one thing, despite efforts by Facebook and others, it’s not a medium for long and thoughtful writing. And then there’s the control the platforms exert over whether your posts are even seen by others!

    So now I blog when I want to, usually when I’ve got something important I want to discuss. I don’t have the time or energy to be a fashion or shopping blogger, and frankly there are plenty of people doing that already. But that’s the beauty of blogging, you don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing. 🙂 As far as I’m concerned, you’ve established a strong reputation as someone who analyses and points out the strengths and weaknesses of ALL social VR, and more power to you!

    I too have a side-project that I’ve let languish, and sometime soon I’m going to restart the podcast I began back in February. It’s primarily for my amusement, but I hope it entertains and enlightens a few other folks. 🙂 I came to Second Life as someone who’s been involved in online communities since the early 90s, so I look at these things throught a wider lens.

    Take as much time as you need to recharge, Ryan, you’ve earned it. 🙂 Much love!

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