…we don’t care about Second Life as much as you think we do.
Your Snow Crazy Canadian Friend
Posted in Blah blah
48 Comments Posted by Darren
Can’t argue with that – I’m not sure Linden Lab care about SL as much as Massively seem to.
Second Life (797)
World of Warcraft (543)
Place could use a bit more balance, although I suspect any rebuttal to this post will mostly consist of a job offer
When I applied to do a column for them, and when they asked what I didn’t like about Massively, I said this exact thing.
I haven’t heard back from them. Hmmm!
I dont read that site anymore, they cover the worst games possible. And way too much second life.
They must be getting paid some serious cash to cover that trash heap…
That is right on. Do we REALLY need to have a daily update? C’mon.
The added a way to filter out the Second Life posts in an RSS feed, but I have since lost the link and was too lazy to change :*(
“Yesterday in Second Life” and “Counting the Coppers” could both disappear from the front page with only a sigh of relief from me. We do not need a daily snapshot of the information either column provides. Weekly, maybe, but my feeling is that once a month would be about the right time frame.
As I once heard an editor say, “There is a fine line between the public’s right to know and their right not to give a damn.”
Looks like they’ve already hit seven posts about it today. Who’s up for a little guessing game on how many SL posts we’ll see by the end of the day?
While I agree about the daily avalanche of SL stories, it wouldn’t be so bad if they allowed for RSS feeds by category. I occasionally see a worthwhile Lotro or Eve article, but most days I spend about 60 seconds in Google reader pounding the J key to scan through the 50 some articles that seem to multiply like bunnies overnight.
Meh. Massively. What did you expect? What isn’t wrong is so woefully shitty as to be insulting to intelligence of its readers. I wish Michael wouldn’t contribute to that steaming pile of compost.
I’m reminded of what former Harper’s editor Lew Lapham once said about Bret Easton Ellis: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”
Didn’t the staff of massively used to run second_life_insider until they realized no one read it? I do like massively since they have so much content though only about half of it is useful or interesting. Quantity has a quality of its own and all that.
Blue Kae: You can subscribe by category.
Gazinnia: You’re funny. Please point me in the direction of a site that covers MMOG news that is on the level of Pulitzer winning journalism. Zenke is a fantastic addition to Massively. His writing and in-depth coverage from numerous events related to the MMOG Industry really help boost coverage that would otherwise go unwritten.
Tipa: I don’t look at the apps, but I know the leads received hundreds of applicants in the last casting call. I do know some were contacted. I applied for WoW Insider and was told my app was “on hold.” I wasn’t hired until Massively launched almost a year later. If you are still interested in writing for Massively I would apply again in six months.
Darren: No one at Massively reads your blog. J/K. You are crazy to think if the Massively team doesn’t receive hate mail regarding the SL coverage. We also get it for pretty much every MMOG on the list the person venting doesn’t play. The SL coverage isn’t going anywhere, it remains our most subscribed category on the site. This is what the “boss” wrote last year regarding our SL coverage: http://www.massively.com/2007/11/28/why-second-life-belongs-at-massively/
The SL coverage isn’t as plentiful as it once was. Even if Massively didn’t cover SL people will complain. Sifting the site for something that catches your eye can be an exercise in frustration. The biggest reason why the format in which the information is displayed is flawed. A slick landing page with headlines would be better. That is my opinion and mine alone. In case another Massively writer stops by and wags their finger at me.
It’s a good place to find news from other sites… they report a lot of stories from other sites, I mean.
But really I think the world could do with a lot less SL coverage.
Well, it is a news site. I guess we could fabricate the news to make it exclusive. haha. The site also has original columns that are well thought out and tend to be some of the best content done by our staff. (again, my own opinion) I like the coverage we give to the blogosphere. In return, we are exposing new readers to those sites. Isn’t that a good thing?
There is definitely a quality/quantity issue, but news in general can be very insipid. Do you click on and read all the headlines TTH posts? Massively writers are encouraged to show a voice and inject personality into their posts. This is hard to nail-down in a fairly bland news blurb, but I do prefer this style over none at all. My beef is more with the presentation.
Agreeing because it is just so sadly true
Krones – I might be diverging from Darren’s intent, as I am not against SL coverage per se, but the two daily pieces I mentioned above, “Yesterday in Second Life” and “Counting the Coppers” (which isn’t SL exclusive, but which leads off with SL info) really make the site feel a lot more SL oriented than it really is and neither, being demographic info versus news or opinion, really belong on the front page. Basically, seeing them on the front page every day seems to say, “We cover SL, and it is boring.”
Not that I am against demographic information. I am a stats hound. But the daily posting of stats on the front page without comment is really a snore.
We do not mean to force you into reading posts you are not interested in (my apologies, let me pull off that duct tape…), but when we’re trying to cover as many games as we are it’s difficult to impossible to custom-tailor things to make absolutely everyone happy. Some people enjoy Second Life and eat up every bit of news about it (I’m sorry to tell you that our traffic statistics support this). Some people can’t stand Second Life and don’t want to hear about it. Some people can’t stand Guild Wars and don’t want to hear about it. Some people can’t stand EVE and don’t want to hear about it. Some people can’t stand WoW and don’t want to hear about it… but we cover all of these games because there are people out there who want to hear about all of them. We’re always working on finding the right mix of stories and the right balance — some days work out better than others on that front. (Obviously, today is Second Life heavy. Sorry, folks, we try, but some days things don’t come together quite right, to say the least.)
Tipa: As Krones said, we received hundreds of applications and we need to get five people to read them and agree on them. This takes longer than you might think. (It’s kind of a death by committee thing…) We have not yet contacted anyone — we still need one more approval. My apologies on the delays, but I really hope to get back to people on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Micgo: You may read Massively, completely Second Life free, via RSS here: http://feedrinse.com/services/rinse/?rinsedurl=70e451221cc64%2003fa5f9c953152bd767
If anyone wants a WoW-free feed, it is available via RSS here: http://feedrinse.com/services/rinse/?rinsedurl=279616ad08b91b29de4df868fc505d58
We really do welcome feedback but… it’s hard to make everyone happy.
You read the front page? You poor bastard. ;p At first, I thought “Counting the Coppers” was a great idea but it’s not as everyday stats is overkill and I’m sure only a few people take the time to look over those posts. I’d rather see both done as a once a week features where the numbers are averaged out along with more in-depth commentary. Sometimes less is more.
Elizabeth…that was very weak. Second Life is has far more posts (790 as of this comment) than any other game. Do a pie chart of your coverage and then tell me that “we?re trying to cover as many games as we are…”.
…stats don’t lie.
Heh, Krones! Despite the fact that I have RSS hooked up for just about everything I read, including game specific feeds from Massively, I do make a point of actually visiting the sites I read now and again. (Thank you, Elizabeth, for the SL-free feed link. With SL excluded, the rest of Massively might actually be digestible!)
And most people will have to visit Massively’s front page at least once to find out about it. But if the front page is dominated every day by how many signups SL had yesterday and the price of a stack of netherweave (still 3g!), it might be something of a disincentive.
I must admit that I, too, thought “Counting the Coppers” was a good idea for about the first dozen posts. Then it morphed into the stock page in the paper in my mind and I stopped caring. Once a week, or once a month, with some trends and analysis, would make it much more compelling.
Needs more Warhammer, imo.
“There is definitely a quality/quantity issue, but news in general can be very insipid. Do you click on and read all the headlines TTH posts?”
Grumble grumble. What does that mean?
[…] short little post got quite a few comments however, and somewhat surprisingly a few from the staff over at […]
as the producer of Massively i have a lot of thoughts on this issue… first and foremost i completely agree the presentation is a huge constraint on presenting this large collection of “more general” and “more insidery” information well. at the same time the reality is it’s a fracking blog, and reverse chronological is just super poor for finding all the great stuff in there that isn’t just timely news. that said, we’re working on ways to bring a lot of customization to category pages… but the reality of achieving technological innovation within an established platform within a ginormous corporation like AOL are enormous. we’re pushing as hard as we can to get ‘er done.
the intent is not really to be about SL. the intent is to be about virtual worlds, not just MMOs. the sad truth is that flawed-in-many-ways SL is still the only user-generated content game in town, but that’s going to be changing really soon and our content is going to shift to cover that when there’s more made public about things like MetaPlace and Multiverse and Snow Crash. still, like it or not, SL is at the vanguard of a lot of these interesting issues about virtual property, avatar rights, legal issues, etc etc that are going to be increasingly salient even to the “gamey games” as well as the “virtual worlds.” however, i have to concede that some of our SL coverage isn’t actually geared towards discussing those issues in a way that is relevant to the larger audience. and of course this thread has sparked a lot of internal discussion among the leads staff wherein we’re examining that.
that said, there’s something really misleading when you pull out those category numbers and say “ZOMG 700 SL POSTS”… the more salient comparison would really be more like
Gamey games (5789)
Virtual Worlds including SL (1175)
a lot of more “virtual worlds” type of posts get categorized as SL because it is the elephant in the room in the VW space the way WoW is in the Gamey Game MMO space, even though the post isn’t really *about* SL but mentions it tangentially (and it’s clear that anyone interested in SL would probably be interested in those types of posts). we have very insider SL coverage on the site because we inherited that legacy from Second Life Insider and a) wanted to retain the competent trained writers we had there and b) we wanted to maintain that type of coverage for the community that had already formed around SLI. @Darren — “stats don’t lie”? i guess you haven’t read “How to Lie with Statistics”…
we do have category feeds. we do have an SL-free feed that’s linked from our About page (could it be more prominent… i’m sure). we’re working urgently on design and presentation and technological ways to make the information on Massively more contextual, but we don’t yet have the ability to identify a priori what individual users want to see and tailor their experience to that — it’s certainly the holy grail and it’s where i wish we were right now. but in the end, we are never going to be able to appease every single person who plays EVE but hates Age of Conan, who plays LotRO but hates Tabula Rasa, who plays WoW and hates SL, etc etc. no one goes to the New York Times and complains that they shouldn’t cover sports because they individually don’t care about it. No one goes to Google and demands they never see search results having to do with cooking because they don’t like to do it. information overload is just a current reality and a huge challenge — Massively is certainly not perfect at solving the problem(s) in an elegant way but we’re absolutely self-examining how to do it better from both a technological and editorial perspective. we appreciate the feedback. /end braindump! TL;DR!
(1) Second Life isn’t a game – it’s a glorified chat channel for perverts. Period. You can pretend, you can coat, you can blabber on about stats, but that doesn’t change what that program is. (2) Massively gives far more coverage for SL than any other (actual) MMO game. Warhammer is grossly underrepresented, Hellfire London hasn’t received more than lipservice, and older MMOs (EQ, UO, COH, et al) are left in the dust. The message that Massively sends to its readers, with the coverage it grants, is that these games – SL, WoW, EvE Online, LOTRO – are the only ones worth your time and attention. That isn’t fair or equal coverage, and that is where Massively is failing.
SL parks over 50k concurrent users in-world every day. That’s more than many mmorpg’s. That doesn’t mean I like SL, it doesn’t mean I enjoy reading about it (in fact, SL could die a slow death and I wouldn’t care too much), but it does draw a lot of eyeballs.
And honestly, I’m thinking SL draws from a different customer pool than most “gamey game” mmorpg’s. If those SL gamers come to Massively to read about SL, maybe they’ll see coverage of other mmorpg’s…you know, the good ones, the ones we like as gamers …well, maybe they’ll pick up a game and start playing. Every mmorpg other than WoW could certainly use the subscribers.
I think there’s good potential crossover from playing in SL to playing a Vah Shir in EQ, for example
Just because a program has many users is not a good reason to cover it, nor to give it disproportionate coverage. If that’s your argument, then why isn’t Massively giving 10+ posts a day on Lineage, Lineage II, Maple Story, Runescape or any other “large subscriber/player/user” program? What about Kingdom of Loathing? The argument that Massively staff are floating here — about the popularity of SL stories, and the stats to back them up — are misleading to say the least, and largely ignorant of the “rest” of the Massively Environments out there.
[…] Massively has a blog-crush on Second Life, and The Common Sense Gamer finally called them out on it. Hilariously, Massively posted numerous comments to the effect of […]
I have to say I’m surprised that someone who seemngly doesn’t know how to capitalize his sentences is a producer of Massively. Egads!
Oh, and total WORD to all the comments about the crazy number of SL posts on Massively. It seems every single time I go there, no matter the time of day, the post at the top is about SL.
Well in Massively’s defense, Hellfire London isn’t a game, I think Hellgate London might be, but I hear it sucked anyways.
As for the original topic, HELLS YEAH, I friggin hate Second Life, even the name of the friggin game makes me want to kill myself. It’s about time somebody said it.
In general, Massively rules, I haven’t been there in a long time but kudos to them for being so awesome and having that website. But, it would kick a lot more ass if you guys weren’t so obsessed with that horrible excuse for a game.
For me, I’m not hating on Massively — they do a great job in many areas. My frustration, and what I expect others’ frustration, concerns lopsided coverage and wasted potential. WoW Insider is a GREAT blog, with varied, fun and comprehensive coverage. I expected the same from Massively, which is currently a GOOD blog that is missing a lot of opportunities to discuss MMOs past the same 4-6 games they cover every day. I shouldn’t have to be digging around on the net for crappier blogs that cover more WAR content than Massively ever has; I should be getting fed WAR info from semi-professional writers, not kiddy basement hacks. But that’s just me. (And you’re right about the Hellfire/Hellgate mixup – it’s not a great game, but it IS an online massive game that deserves coverage.)
Erin: I wouldn’t be surprised if Barb typed that out on her cell phone. *grins* She is an on-the-go text fiend!
Cameron: You know I
My comment was butchered.
Erin: I wouldn’t be surprised if Barb typed that out on her cell phone. *grins*
Cameron: You know I heart you. If I clicked on all the headlines I would die from news overload!
Justin: Massively shouldn’t promise equal coverage for every MMOG. The staff would have to be much bigger, and that’s not possible. There’s a ton of MMOGs out there and resources are limited. What a writer covers really depends on what they want to write about. Normally, that’s what they know and play. If you really want to see a news item written up we do have a tip-line. I know Kingdom of Loathing isn’t on a lot of our radars right now. It’s hard to keep up with constant flux of information, and any tips are greatly appreciated by the staff. There will be a lot more Warhammer coverage, but we can’t break the NDA.
as of 3:15pm central time today 15 front page articles – 5 on SL
I’m not asking for equal coverage, just more balanced coverage. I think the most encouraging thing for you and Massively’s staff here is that we all obviously care enough about your blog to challenge what we perceive to be a flaw, and to challenge it to be even better. It’s a compliment when people are passionate enough about something to write in on it, even if they disagree in some aspect. You’re tackling a huge, wide-open field of games and programs, and nobody expects you to be everywhere all the time. However, you ARE a leading voice in the MMO blog community, and you should be held to a higher standard because of that. You should be challenged to take a hard look on what games are getting far too much coverage for the interest out there, and which games are not. Thanks for all your work!
“Here, you’ll find breaking news about MMO games both upcoming and established, insightful and wisecracking commentary about your favorite worlds, tips on how to get all your characters in all those universes the best they can be…”
Just saying, you may want to evaluate your coverage and ask yourself, “Are we hitting our coverage target?”. My answer….if you care…is no.
Gamey Games vs Vritual Worlds….those are your definitions…fine, but it does not cover nor shed any light to why Massively is perceived by quite a few people as being heavy on the SL side. Is that bad? No. Does that show a lack of focus for a site that covers “massive” games? Yes.
…I’m just the messenger. Take it for what it is and do with the feedback as you see fit.
Todya’s SL coverage is out of control. I’m not too happy about the “heavy” SL coverage, I’m really not. Our own non-SL staff is to blame, (in our defense most of us have day jobs + other crap going on) but that is still no excuse to not see more non-SL coverage on the site. I think there should be a set limit on the SL coverage unless that post is very important. (One SL post every 6 hours at the most imo). The only real work-around is to use the non-SL feed, which honestly hurts because it takes eyes off the advertisements. heh. I think our best hope right now are the new writers that are coming on board very soon. What we really need are some hardcore bloggers that are going to crank out 2-3 (somewhat meaningful) posts a day that aren’t related to Second Life.
I also want to thank you guys. Thanks for taking the time to voice your concerns. I appreciate the constructive criticism.
@justin — i know it was TL;DR but i did spend 5 paragraphs just talking about how we don’t just cover games at Massively. we cover virtual worlds. SL is the only world doing UGC and is therefore novel.
@erin — 1) i’m not male (the name barb is a clue! :)). also i’m surprised i’m expected to be so formal in a blog comment. Just to demonstrate, I do in fact know how to waste a few milliseconds to hit the Shift Key every once in a while!
@everybody — i hear what you folks are saying. all i’m pleading for is for you guys to at least consider doing some decoupling of your individual non-interest in SL and the larger context of how SL is interesting to other people who are interested in virtual worlds. that said, as i said before, we’re self-examining various ways of making the front page appear more balanced.
…fair enough Barb.
Thanks for the feedback, Barb. I’ve thought of Massively as primarily a SL site, too, but I’m anxious to see how y’all rearrange things.
@Darren — Your shortest post leads to your longest thread? Perhaps you should just post smilies from now on.
When Barb mentioned Snow Crash, was she referring to a game or Minnesota?
Seeing as I write the majority of those posts – Hi, everyone.
@Aaron: Snow Crash is one of the codenames for a new Google virtual world in the works.
Yes. It is manifestly true, I write a lot about what’s going on in and around SL (some of it relates to SL directly, some of it is broader VW industry news that just happens to take place in SL). Depending on who you listen to, the virtual worlds industry is either going to be huge, or full of fail (or maybe both). The jury’s still out on that, and probably will be for years to come.
Thing is, though, that for the virtual worlds industry (which includes stuff that’s in development, both game-based and non-game-based), what’s going on in SL is of keen interest, particularly to future developers and investors in the MMO/VW space. Non game worlds as well as game-based worlds have a lot that they can learn from each-other, and indeed *are* learning from each-other.
Some chunks of the posts you’ll find tagged SL (because they *happened* there) aren’t about SL so much as they are about the broader industry, both game and non-game, and extend outwards into the realms of businesses, governments and corporations, many of which aren’t really sure quite yet what to make of MMOs (game or not) but want to be involved, either in development, exploitation of users/players, marketing, investment or regulation.
And yes, we cover a *lot* of MMOGs as well as the SL coverage, and we get complaints about all those too
Sorry Barb, I didn’t realize it was actually your name. I thought it was a play on ‘barbed wire’
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