Articles Tagged: Second Life

How to Start a Political Revolution Without Breaking the Law

Second Life Capitol Hill There was a time, not so long ago, when money was the only ingredient any candidate or political group needed to disseminate a political message to the masses. Billions of dollars have been spent producing and distributing political advertisements. To this day pundits and analysts gauge a candidate’s prospects for competing in an election by the amount of money that candidate can raise in order to buy media time.

But all of this is changing rapidly thanks to social media. The economics of campaigning are being turned upside down by services like YouTube. We’re entering a new era of grassroots politics where an average citizens can produce and distribute political messages that reach a global audience instantaneously and at almost no cost. These new developments are fundamentally altering the balance of media power.

At the same time, the widespread availability of these new tools raise some interesting questions about disclosure and transparency. We know the Obama Girl loves Barack, but we don’t have a clue who she is or what her motives are. From one perspective she’s helping the candidate gain exposure with a young demographic, but from another perspective she might be doing just as much harm to the candidate among voters who see the video as inane and frivolous — and depending on who produced the video, that may actually be the purpose.


Campaigning In A Global Village

Flying the Zero over the skies of Scaroth Anywhere but Second Life the sight of a Japanese Zero zipping around the skies on Memorial Day weekend might just start a riot. Not here though. In this surreal world a vintage fighter plane from the wrong side of the tracks isn’t likely to raise an eyebrow.

I had just taken possession of my new aircraft and was jetting around Scaroth on a test flight. The plane is light, surprisingly agile, and a just a little too responsive. One moment I’m climbing into the sky with nothing but clouds in sight, the next moment I’m zooming straight for the ocean.

Funny thing about those Zeros — once they go into a nosedive there’s no pulling back. It’s like they were engineered to crash or something.


Mike Gravel Meets The Metaverse

Mike Gravel 2008 Campaign Headquarters In Second Life It’s no secret that social media will have a huge impact on the 2008 US presidential race. The leading candidates are already using every social networking tool at their disposal to reach as many voters as possible. You can be Hillary Clinton’s friend on MySpace, follow John Edwards personal goals on 43Things, and have Barack Obama’s tweets delivered directly to your mobile phone.

Collectively the candidates are leaving almost no new media stone unturned. But until last week none of the US presidential campaigns had an authorized presence in a virtual world. That all changed last Friday when Mike Gravel’s 2008 presidential campaign unveiled its headquarters in Second Life.

It should come as no surprise that Gravel would be the first candidate to authorize his presence in a virtual world. Following a spirited performance in the Democratic debates, and a whirlwind media tour afterward, Gravel is shaping up to be a the ultimate maverick candidate. By comparison former maverick John McCain looks like an absolute impostor.


Politics In Second Life: Camping On a Nude Beach Waiting For Something Interesting To Happen

Moments before ejecting from my flaming submarine I was flying 600 meters above a region called Janni when my submarine suddenly burst into flames. I’d taken to the sky because the area around my previously remote water compound has been invaded by an army of Brazilians and a small band of nudist Wiccans. Somehow they’ve managed to completely block all water routes. Fortunately my submarine flies. Or it used to anyway.

By now you know that Second Life is a place where anything can happen. What you may not know is that it’s also a place where nothing ever really works the way it’s supposed to. Ask any long-time resident and they’ll tell you that Second Life is broken. For the last couple of weeks group chat — the primary tool that political campaigns use to organize in-world — has been busted. While Second Life clearly has tremendous potential for political mobilization, right now it’s looking like a fragile toy.

This is all just a long way of saying that there hasn’t been much substantial activity among the various presidential campaigns in Second Life since my last post. In the past couple of weeks Mike Gravel supporters created a new group and Ron Paul supporters opened a new headquarters — the later is significant because Paul is the first Republican candidate to have a presence in Second Life, the former is significant because Gravel claims to have been hiding under a rock for the last ten years.


My Problem With The Pew High-Tech Survey

A lot of hay was made yesterday about a wide-reaching survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For example, one of the things that got serious play was that about half of the people out there still don’t live their lives around high-tech products.

Instead, I guess, they are living their lives around such mundane things as their jobs, their churches, their families and so forth. Then the survey broke down the actual users into sub-groups, and explained various things about the sub-groups. It was all very interesting and informative, and then I got to the very end . . .