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News in Second Life vs. Real Life

Here's how to get your real news in Second Life and Second Life news in real life.
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The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at's podcast home page.

(Editor's note: You must have Second Life software installed on your computer to access the addresses below.)

Will Ross here, welcome to

The Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Better Second Life

. On this show we discuss tips and tricks for the game Second Life, created by Linden Labs.

Today's episode: Real news in Second Life, Second Life news in real life

It's been said that admitting you have an addiction is the first step on the road to recovery, and in the spirit of that, I'd like to make a confession. I, Will Ross, am a news junkie. That's right my friends, I'm a card carrying friend of Ted Turner. (Crickets) You know... friends of Bill W. reference? Nobody? Well, they can't all be winners.

Anyhow, on today's show we're going to talk news; both how to get your real world news fix while in Second Life, and how to get your Second Life news fix while in the real world.

Second Life News Network

So, if you're sitting at your desk at work and you've run out of YouTube videos to watch featuring skaters getting groin injuries, consider checking out the Second Life News Network at SLNN is a virtual news bureau dedicated to coverage of in-world events and stories, with a heavy focus on the financial and business aspects of Second Life.

Think the

Wall Street Journal

with more furries and fewer crazy Australian media tycoons. The writing is to-the-point and capable, and it has about the right mix of "hard news" and interesting and fun news for my taste. And for all you aspiring Second Life tycoons out there, they have up-to-date LindeX market data.

If you

visit their in-world location, you can score some free swag as well as a news HUD (that's heads-up display) and some very cool in-world readers, including one with a

steampunk design. Imagine that, a news network that cares about genre mixing.

One of the most interesting parts of the network to me is that they accept freelance stories from residents and pay actual Lindens for well-written articles. So for all of you Second Lifers who are looking for a job that doesn't involve wearing tassels and knowing the meaning of "Champaign Room," maybe you can become the Woodward and/or Bernstein of Second Life.

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So if it's Second Life news you're looking for, give SLNN a try. The Web site is


If real world news is more to your taste,

check out Reuters. In-world since October, the real-world news bureau Reuters covers both Second and First life using some very slick HUD interfaces. Or, for some cool wall decor, they also provide a wall-mounted and floor-mounted version of the interface. You can grab all three of these for free by visiting their island.

The tools are well designed and easy on the eyes, allowing you to pick and choose stories with a click. Each link will take you to an external Web site, which is the only thing I'd see them do differently. When I'm in-world I like to stay there, so I'm hoping future versions of these tools allow the text to be downloaded to the device. But to be fair, SLNN's HUDs function the same way.


And, finally, there's

The AvaStar

, Second Life's professional tabloid newspaper. If your tastes run more to

E! True Hollywood Stories

, this is definitely the news rag for you. Dedicated to happenings, gossip, fashion and yellow (though fun) journalism,

The AvaStar

is a great contrast to more "serious" Second Life news sources.

The writing is satisfyingly sarcastic, and the layout and photographs are as professional as I've seen in Second Life journalism. You can get

The AvaStar

by logging on to, though you'll need the free Adobe Reader, since it's in PDF format.

The AvaStar

is also a paying market, paying 500l for photos they print and an unspecified rate for stories.

That's it for this episode! So until next time, remember the words of the late Douglas Adams who said, "Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows it's own rules."

Will Ross, a Second Life explorer and professional slacker, writes and records the

Traveling Avatar articles and podcasts. Following a stint in college where he came dangerously close to earning a degree in history, Will Ross spent countless hours of his life in a number of online worlds including Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes before making a permanent home on Eldoe Island in Second Life. To request a topic or share a tip, send an email to or call 206-888-MYSL.