There Goes the E-Neighborhood

If you are thinking about buying a plot of land in Second Life or creating a presence on, you may want to ponder your approach and consider what value doing so might have.

Okay, so a Myspace account is free, not much too lose. But there are always issues endemic to every new communication channel to be mindful of when making forays.

Via comes this article about the growing resentment against corporate presence in Second Life. Stores have been vandalized and destroyed and avatars of people shopping in the virtual versions of some corporations have been shot.

Granted, this type of thing happens all over–sans the bombings and shootings–whenever something goes from having niche to widespread appeal. Quoth the article:

“It’s a path well-worn by SL’s online ancestors, from The Well, a proto-online bulletin board community founded in the ’80s through chatrooms, message boards and networking sites Friendster and MySpace. Early adopters shape the community as they wish, then have no choice but to stand by and watch it endlessly reshaped by the chaotic deluge of new users – some troublemakers, some commercial exploiters – that flood in as it gains popularity…

“That’s how it’s always been with these spaces,” Walsh says. “The new come in, the old get disgruntled and move on.”

This is something of a similar sentiment echoed by a 17 year old, (who started a blog at 12. She is an old hand at online interactions), in a New York Magazine article about the fluidity and openness of the younger generation’s identity online. (An interesting read if you want to gain insight into the emerging rules.)

I ask if she has a MySpace page, and she laughs and gives me an amused, pixellated grimace. “Unfortunately I do! I was so against MySpace, but I wanted to look at people’s pictures. I just really don’t like MySpace. ‘Cause I think it’s just so

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


Leave a Comment