Response to a Luddite in Cyberspace

Here’s what at least one blogger thinks of my views on cyber-societies:

Second Life – Just say no!
Posted Dec 17th 2006 2:01AM by Tateru Nino
Filed under: Odds and Ends, Mixed Reality

Who are the virtual world nay-sayers, and why are they saying no? Does it actually even matter that they are, or is it a good thing?

For one we have Jim Castagnera’s now relatively famous ‘losers’ press-release on Lawfuel, insulting and largely devoid of fact or research.

We’ve got Clay Shirky on Valleywag with his widely read piece castigating — actually not castigating virtual worlds, per se, but those who are writing favorable pieces about them without rigorously checking their material — though apparently he does so without actually doing so himself. Oh, my, but we’ve not heard the last of this one, I’m sure.

We’ve got Andrew Orlowski of The Register and his dismissive neo-luddism pieces about Sadville, again, largely devoid of accuracy or foundation.

Does it matter? Even if it does matter, does it matter that it matters?
Not all of our naysayers are strictly on the outside, either. Some of the most vociferous are residents who can’t let go. They may not log in anymore. They may have even cancelled their accounts. You’ll still see them, however, posting on blogs and forums — presumably to try to ruin it for others, though their motives in this wise would seem to be obscure. Many people just consider that to be griefing.

And then you’ve got the insider-nay-sayers. Vocal critics who speak volumes, but apparently don’t take their own concerns seriously enough that they actually depart. There’s a consistent babble of those. The most common thread is that they say ‘No!’ and that they say it in the most offensive ways possible.

Another class of naysayer are those that seem to feel that the dog is to blame because it isn’t a cat or that a virtual world designed to be one thing lacks qualities that it was not designed to have, and that isn’t intended to have. They often don’t have anything very positive to contribute.
Every one of these people, however, have one particular thing in common. They are all as much a part of the hype-machine as the relentless, happy cheerleaders. In some ways they may be even more effective at promoting Second Life in the mainstream public consciousness than the plastic cheerleader figure.

We all know the plastic cheerleader figure. She or he has been as much a part of marketing hype since the late 1950’s as catchy jingles, puppies and improbably cute and clean children. We’re suspicious when we see the plastic cheerleader, because of her strong and persistent emotional aftertaste. Reality is never perfect. We resent being told that it is.

“The Show with zefrank” talks about brand in this video podcast (starting about 90 seconds in) — no dry thesis, this. It’s bright, quick and odd. Go ahead. I’ll still be here when you get back.

All done? Lovely. Now, with that fresh in your mind, let’s look at branding-attachment.


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