Why I Read Your #SecondLife Blog (in the generic “you” sense)

I just unsubscribed to several Second Life-oriented blogs that have been in my feed reader for at least a year or more. There’s no specific reason or personal agita over why I’ve stopped reading those blogs, other than I’m not interested in self-generated drama, and I’m not interested in how many come-ons someone gets who makes a point of hanging out in the kinds of places where online come-ons are a given. I’m really not interested in reading yet another complaint about how generous you’ve been with your creations, yet people don’t appreciate you. Well, people do appreciate it when someone is generous, and maybe they should be more forthcoming, but not on daily or weekly basis.

Here’s why I read your blog, though you may find my blog utterly dull and uninteresting in return. And that’s perfectly fine.

You write well, and I get a good sense of the live person at the keyboard. If you write in character, I’m intrigued, especially if I get a lively sense of the good character you project.

You don’t use your blog/website as a Google Adsense spamfarm. If you did, it wouldn’t matter how useful or timely or insider-y your content is, I can tell when my eyeballs are being exploited for your personal gain.

You do use your blog or site to publicize events that I might like to attend inworld, especially if I get to talk to you “in virtual person.” You don’t use your blog to post nothing but ads for your latest products or land for sale. Now, as a person who does use her blog to publicize new products, I am sensitive to this; for that reason after an initial “WHEE! I, I HAVE MADE THIS NEW THING, HERE!” post, it cleverly gets moved to the Marketing tab (same with Dhughan’s stuff) so it’s not on the front page for long.

You have developed a “beat,” a niche topic that’s interesting to fellow Second Life residents. You keep track of current developments in viewers and upcoming enhancements, or you tell interesting little news stories about the Steamlands and other communities and cultures in Second Life. Or you’ve made a name for yourself as a Blender guru, or a bargain hunter of renown, or you are creative in both Second Life and real life, and your blog is the record of the wonderful things you’ve made. Whatever it is, you have a topic and a point of view, and that’s worth reading.

Your blog hasn’t become “famous on the Internets” for being a trainwreck. People don’t mock you in your own comments, or carry tales from one place to another just to egg you on. Conflict isn’t the be-all and end-all of what you blog about.

Every now and then, you post someting really useful, or I learn something new from reading about your latest build or creation and I think, “Huh! I could make that, too!” You’re generous with your time and talents, and you get excited about group ventures and charity events.

I don’t read your blog just to read between the lines to figure out just who you’re being snarky about on your latest post, which got picked up and retweeted on Twitter. I usually have a pretty good idea, but I’m more interested in hearing how your big event came off, or how excited you are that it’s Relay season/almost time for the SLnB build season/almost Burning Life.

Sometimes I read your blog and it’s not about Second Life at all, it’s a window into your First Life, but you are cool with mixing the two realities. Sure, I’ll read about your local politics, since you have a skewerrific sense of humor and made the local committeeman look like a drunken fool in your blog post.

I’d stop reading your blog if all it was was fights between you and other people, and I’d stop reading their blogs, too, if they wrote about nothing but their quarrels with you. It all depends on the signal-to-noise ratio; if it’s just an undercurrent, I’ll ignore it and keep reading everybody. But open war? That’s just teling me it’s time to unsubscribe…

Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. In return I’ll try to keep writing actual blog posts more often about Second Life, and not just product blurbs and recycled tweets. I lack focus, or a topic, or an overarching theme, so that’s why I like to read blogs like yours, because I admire anyone that can pick a topic and stick to it.

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