Second Life: Blogger Network launches

There’s been much curiosity over the last few days about the Second Life Blogger Network (SLBN), and I can now help pass on more information about the initiative – which, alongside two other bloggers and Lab staff, I’ve been able to play a modest role in helping to shape.

Officially launched on Thursday, September 26th, SLBN is intended to be a referral service for bloggers producing high-quality, independent blog content to have their work promoted by Linden Lab through a new curated SLBN feed on the Second Life Community Pages and via Linden Lab’s high-visibility Second Life social media feeds and – in the future – on the Official Second Life Viewer log-in page.

How it works is simple and direct:

  • Interested bloggers review the SLBN Terms & Conditions and SLBN Content Guidelines.
  • If a blogger wishes to participate, they complete and submit the SLBN Submission Form to indicate their willingness to participate.
  • Linden Lab staff are then attentive to participating blogs, and when they see a post that is suitable for promotion, they will:
    • Produce a short summary of the post, generally based on the opening few lines of the article, and which includes the first image in the post (if the article does not have any images, a “blog image” supplied by the blogger via the submission form will be used).
    • The summary and image is  then promoted to the curated SLBN feed and to the various Second Life social media channels, etc., together with a link back to the original article and blog.
  • Those reading the various feeds / channels can then click the link through to the article and blog, read it in full and perhaps explore the blog in more detail.

Content that might be considered suitable for promotion through the programme includes technical reports, destination reviews, reports on events (including music and entertainment events) emerging fashion trends, tips and tutorials, reports on Second Life news, and so on.

Those joining the initiative should note that:

  • Not every post from a blog will be promoted by Linden Lab: SLBN is intended to promote several entries during the week from the pool of participating bloggers, with content selected – as noted above – by Linden Lab.
  • Participation in the initiative is on an opt-in basis, free and – importantly – non-exclusive: bloggers can continue to write their own posts in their own style, and continue to use wherever social media, networks and in-world groups of their own to continue to promote their work.
  • However, there are certain standards Linden Lab are applying to the content they will consider for promotion. These are outlined in the SLBN Content Guidelines linked-to above, which should be kept in mind by participating bloggers when producing content they might hope to see promoted by the Lab.
  • Should a logger decide they no longer wish to participate, they can do so at any time using the SLBN submission form. Linden Lab will cease monitoring their blog for potential SLBN content.

The SLBN Badge

Those participating in SLBN can optionally display the SLBN badge (seen at the top of this article and on the blog sidebar to the right) in order to help promote the Second Life Blogger Network through their blog / website. Copies of the badge can be obtained here. When using it, bloggers are asked to:

  • Hyperlink the badge to the Second Life community pages.
  • Include the following statement directly below the badge: Use of the SLBN logo does not constitute approval by or a representation or endorsement from Linden Lab.

Where bloggers place the badge in their blogs is at their own discretion. Those using WordPress can add it using that platform’s image widget tool.

Personal Commentary

As noted, I’ve been somewhat involved in the development of SLBN since Linden Lab first sought feedback on the idea roughly a year ago, and more recently with two other bloggers in providing more direct feedback to the Lab ahead of this launch. Given this, I have a certain positive bias towards SLBN, aided by the fact that it is a referral service designed to help drive traffic to blogger’s sites (while obviously giving LL access to the kind of content that will help them promote Second Life).

How well the initiative works and what additional adjustment may be be made to it in light of things like the response to it, etc.,  will only become clear over time. My own bias aside, I do hope that overall, bloggers will respond positively, and I look forward to seeing how SLBN develops and the content it generates.

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