Linden Lab has uploaded about 30 new Second Life screenshots into their Flickr account that will, I assume, be used for PR purposes.
I’ve written before about how important I think it is for outsiders to actually see how good Second Life can look if your computer is up to scratch.
And it frustrates me that so many journalists use screenshots from 2007 to illustrate their article about our virtual world, regardless if the article is positive or negative.
But journalists today sometimes need a little help, they don’t always have the time to go inworld, figure out ultra graphics settings and look for nice locations or scour the internet for pictures, contact the makers for permission to use them, etc.
Of course in some cases its not the journalist but the editor who decides on which images to use.
So it is Linden Lab’s and our job to make sure our virtual world is represented properly.
When Paste Magazine recently published an article on the 10 Best MMO’s written by Janine Hawkins, with a less than flattering illustration, people on twitter spoke up.
The writer was contacted and the picture replaced.
I’ve started the ‘Second Life is looking good’ flickr group to show outsiders whats possible in SL these days, but these pictures in many cases come with copyright restrictions.
Still, journalists could at least contact thebut I’ve also added a few screenshots to Wikipedia Commons without any use restrictions.
Journalists have already found and used these, with added bonus for me that my 1920s Berlin sim gets some free publicity at the same time.
Linden Lab does send some information and pictures if they are aware an article is being written or when a journalist contacts them, but I don’t know if they always speak up and protest when a journalist uses very old bad screenshots.
They do have a Press section on the Linden Lab website, but for some reason there are reporters out there who overlook the pictures they can find there or don’t even bother checking if the subject of their article has a press page.
To be honest though, there are only 12 not that impressive pictures to be found in Linden Lab’s Flickr album that the press page links to.
But now it seems that Linden Lab has decided to update the images they offer by adding about 30 new pretty good pictures.
Not only are they of good quality, they are diverse and not too tacky.
They haven’t been added to the press folder yet and unfortunately they have not added a small description of the location or slurls so people can check them out inworld.
And to my shock and horror they’ve forgotten to include pictures of 1920s Berlin!
However, they do offer journalists much better illustrations than before.
Because they are not yet moved to the right folder, you’ll have to go to the main page of the Linden Lab flickr account to see them.
It remains our job to be vigilant and keep an eye out for articles that misrepresent Second Life, it is also in our best interest to let everyone know our world is not ugly, well not everywhere anyway.
If you see a bad SL image being used, leave a comment, tweet the author, let Linden Lab know.