A UK production company is looking for Second Life couples from the UK.
They send a request to Ebbe Linden that I repeat here;
UK factual documentary maker Back2back Productions (www.back2back.tv) are looking for couples to take part in a documentary about relationships which start in Second Life or similar sites and progress into ‘real life’. We are interested in speaking with people who have solid relationships/marriages as a result of meeting in these online communities but also couples who are together online but not yet in real life. The programme is an entirely positive exploration of these relationships and plans to overturn people’s misconceptions through honest storytelling. If you are in a relationship that started through online avatars, or know someone who is, please get in touch with email@example.com or on 01273 227700. All conversations will be strictly confidential.
Because of my RL job I have a lot of experience with the media, I’ve been interviewed by the press and for tv shows many times.
And having worked in the media myself, I feel that I can handle journalists.
So far pretty much every article or interview about me has been positive, thanks in part to me being able to steer the direction it is going in and my ability to make sure people understand me and realise I am not as crazy as I look.
I know the pitfalls and traps journalists dig and I know how to avoid them.
But for many people this can be very hard.
So please think carefully about responding to this request.
You are their guest, you decide what will be filmed, you decide how far you want to go, you decide what you tell them.
Chances are that they want to do a sensational piece about some weird people who did something unusual for viewers to laugh and point at, no matter what they say in advance.
Even if you do your best and they record only positive stuff, it is easy for them to completely turn it around in the editing suite.
I know, I’ve done it myself.
I’ve graduated from Film School and ran my own production company for a while.
Do you think you will look good and convincing, is your house cleaned up, are you not the typical cliche computer nerd who has no social life, in short, are you the kind of person that will make SL users look good or bad?
Ask yourself that, or even better, ask your friends and tell them to be honest.
Yet another documentary about weird looking nerds who have no friends and who spend all their time in a messy bedroom in their parents house wearing glasses stuck together with sticky tape, will not do SL’s reputation any good nor will it do you any good.
Internet trolls and Daily Mail readers will have a field day.
On the other hand, if you have a very interesting and positive story to tell, if you are proud of what you’ve achieved in SL, if you do not fit the image the media and general public has of SL users and if you think you can handle a journalist, consider saying yes.
A good positive interview can give SL a lot of good PR but will also be a great way to explain to friends, family and a larger audience what all that stuff you’ve always been talking about really is.
In the end it is up to you of course, I just want people to think long and hard about this.
Maybe 4 old people and a dog will watch it, maybe half the world will see it and then think they have to respond.
Are you ready for that?
It can be a lot of fun, last time I was in the media, my Facebook page gained 30.000 fans and my work was seen all over the world.
On other occasions people started sending me free stuff, also nice!
But I am not sure I would share my SL life with the world via the medium of tv.
Whatever you do, remember that you are in charge, you are their guest.
Don’t let them talk you into saying or doing something you regret later.
They came to your house with a tv crew, if they don’t like what you’ve got to say, they can go home again.
They will give in.
Don’t be nervous, stand for what you believe in.
And perhaps most important of all, be very friendly and try and convince the journalists.
Once they are on your side and understand you, the footage they shoot will be automatically more positive.
And when they return to the editing suite with positive questions, positive footage and a positive attitude, it becomes harder to make something negative.
As I said, I’ve been there.
You’re still not safe of course, there is always a risk, unless you get permission to approve the final cut.
And they only give that to famous people.
Think it over, think it over again and if you then want to say yes, sleep on it before you respond.