Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I opine about SL business opportunities on CNN

Monday was an odd day. I took a sick day off from CNET because I wasn't feeling well, and planned--once I woke up, very late--to lie in bed with my cat and watch movies.

I was doing that very successfully when I happened to check my email and saw a note from someone at CNN urgently asking me to call them about an interview.

Given that I'm in a promotional state of mind these days, what with the very recent publication of my book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life, I figured I should return the call.

I did, and next thing you know, I've agreed to do an on-camera interview for CNN International about Second Life. Except you can't do on-camera interviews like this from home like you can with the many phoners I've done.

In this case, it meant getting picked up in a rather luxurious Lincoln and carted into San Francisco to do the interview in some contract production company's offices.

They led me into the studio, sat me down, miked me up and then left the room. And I was all alone, staring into a camera that I couldn't see because of a set of glaring lights illuminating me and my face, listening to CNN on a small earphone.

Finally, the anchor--"Christie from Hong Kong," I think--started speaking in my ear, and did her intro to the segment for which they were interviewing me.

I had to stop myself from laughing right at the beginning because in that intro she explained Second Life as a place that big businesses are going into, like American Apparel, Starwood Hotels, Giorgio Armani and now CNN, with its launching of a citizen-reporting venture in-world.

Well, obviously, we don't know yet how CNN's entrance into SL will go, because it's just gotten started, but for them to link themselves in that sentence to American Apparel, Starwood and Armani shows just how little CNN understands SL. In other words, they basically told the world that they won't be succeeding, since American Apparel and Starwood have both decided to leave, and Armani is an abject failure.

But anyway, they then launched into the interview, and to be fair, the questions were okay. She asked me why people go into Second Life, what there is to do, what kind of business opportunities there are and what it takes for big businesses to succeed there.

She did give me an opportunity to plug the book a little bit and to spell out my thesis: You must have a plan and you must work hard if you want to make it as an SL entrepreneur.

And then, just like that, it was over. I must have gotten into it, because it seemed like the interview only lasted about a minute, but when I watched it this morning, it actually seemed like it was much longer.

The only real problem I see with the segment, as it aired, is that they ran the same short piece of video from SL over and over again. How odd that they couldn't be bothered to come up with enough original video to fill out the segment. I don't know if they don't expect people to notice, but I sure did. It reminds me of what my journalism school adviser said about things like that: That it's sort of like when you're watching a movie and you see a microphone sticking out of the top of the screen. It's a little thing, but it pulls your eye away from the content you're supposed to be watching.

But I'm nitpicking, I suppose.

Ultimately, it was cool that CNN called and asked me to do this interview, and I was glad that they did give me time to explain a number of different things.

And then it was all over.

I walked out onto the street, and ironically, the production company was literally right across the street from Linden Lab's offices. How funny is that?

Then I got back in that fancy Lincoln, I was whisked home, and it was back to watching movies in bed with my cat on my sick day.

1 comment:

dandellion said...

It is tough. I did two TV interviews when Serbia founded its island in Second Life. And... even if you talk to sombody who has some idea what SL is, you know that there are thousands or millions of TV consuments who heard about virtual worlds for the first time.

And then, you have to answer "what there is to do?" No matter how much time they give you it is hard to answer and not to make counter-question: "what's to be seen on the web?"

And you're not nitpicking about repeated segments. It is not a problem to make a footage from SL. Thousands of residents are doing that everyday. And after they started it and made one minute, they could easily make another five.It doesn't cost anything.