I am a big fan of the ABC and a loyal listener to Radio National. Herewith some critical comments relating to the ABC’s Second Life presence. (When will this guy say something POSITIVE?) Disclosure: I did offer to consult to the ABC last year and they declined.
There are a number of technical and navigational problems with the build I won’t go into here. Those interested can do the tour on SL Tourguides and get the full story.
The textures and build are not high quality which reflects poorly on the organisation. Compare the NBC build for example. But more important, the personality of the different ABC entities does not come through. The ABC is a conglomerate of very different media. Triple J is a youth radio network and should look KEWL. Radio National should have intellectual feel. Local radio has a ‘folky’ feel. ABC TV news should be stiff and old fashioned looking (do they do that on purpose?).
At present the island is a jumble of different areas; ecology, indigenous culture, alien building contest … these are not tied to any of the ABC’s brands; neither are they tied to a central purpose.
Is the purpose of the island to help brand the ABC internationally? Is its purpose to discuss Australian issues or to present Australian viewpoints on international issues? Is it a vehicle for re-purposing existing content or a dialogue with some of the internet’s most sophisticated users? The answers would help select content and determine a style of presentation. As it currently stands (early days of course) it’s an island in search of an idea.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to clearly think through what you’re trying to achieve before you embark on a building program in Second Life.
There are lots of visitors to the island and the ABC Friends group will provide input. The feedback will be valuable but it will be diverse. Forming it into a coherent direction will be challenging. Leadership needed here.