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Preview: METAHYPE: Practical Metaverse Marketing News

METAHYPE: Practical Metaverse Marketing News

The blog journal of METAHYPE, a PR and brand integration firm operating within the virtual world of Second Life®. This blog will provide news about METAHYPE projects as well as marketing news and tips for SL’s thriving business community.

Updated: 2018-03-05T17:10:26.835-08:00


Erie Isle Announces Change of Ownership


Erie Isle: Haunted Island Roleplay, one of Second Life’s® most popular roleplay destinations and innovator in the genre, announces the completion of the transfer of ownership to long-time Erie Isle player, Garaan Fitzroy.

Erie Isle, a Second Life based roleplay complex of four sims featuring a current-day haunted island theme, announces the transfer of ownership from founder Colleen Marjeta, to long-time Erie Isle player and collaborator to the original Erie mythos, Garaan Fitzroy.

Under Marjeta’s leadership, the Erie players and staff quickly brought Erie Isle to the forefront of SL roleplay. Providing a well developed mythos and environment for roleplay was at the core of Colleen Marjeta’s philosophy, but she also encouraged innovative ways to introduce Erie to broader audiences. Erie Isle has hosted mixed events for players and non-player guest like movies, plays, and concerts at the Phantom Theatre, movie screenings with real life filmmakers present to interact with SL residents, and kept a presence in SL media. This approach helped Erie Isle to grow to more than two thousand member players and aided it with being voted “Number One Place for Roleplay” in the Second Life Residents Choice Awards.

Marjeta’s decision to depart from an ownership role was a purely practical one, and based on her concern for Erie Isle and its future. Despite her deep affection for the project, it’s players, and it’s great stories, first life commitments were preventing Colleen from giving Erie the attention it needs and deserves. Garaan Fitzroy’s stepping forward is truly fortuitous for Erie Isle and the fact that he’s been actively involved all along gives Marjeta peace of mind that Erie will continue to grow and develop.

Fitzroy acknowledges the challenge with an open mind. He says: “I have a lot to live up to…I had previously been a staff member around when Erie came into existence, but I had not ever considered owning my own RP sim mainly because I had found my home in Erie”. Garaan Fitzroy is excited to take on this new role and assures Erie Isle players that the roleplay they’ve helped evolve will be preserved. “Erie has a rich back-story, from both players as well as the one originally created. I am just going to put the spotlight back on it, and let the players have fun”.

Erie Isle staff can expect to assist Fitzroy in getting an administrative overview, but outside of that, the transition is expected to be smooth and will not interrupt roleplay. Erie Isle owes its success to the great players and staff that call it home. Erie Isle is here to stay and will continue to provide a unique, fun, and innovative place for roleplay in Second Life.

Off-World Social Media Vital to Mainstreaming Second Life®



Second Lifers reading this will no doubt give a collective nod when I say: SL still has a perception problem in the mainstream. It comes with the territory of being the front line in a walled-off and developing platform. We know we are a complex society with our own economy, media, arts, and so on, but it's not realistic to expect people from the outside world to know SL as we do unless we make the effort. In-world, we may compete with one another but in SL's satellite media economy, we are all ambassadors by default.

I've never made bones about the fact that I am an immersionist and for all practical purposes, I am born of, and exist entirely in a virtual environment. It is not only for my own enjoyment of SL but a crucial matter of discipline as I learn ways to promote within our world. With that said,there's no way I can tell the outside world about all of the creative, innovative, and dedicated people within SL without meeting them at the digital shoreline of social media.

In a recent blog post by the London based integrated marketing firm, The Crocodile, the value of bridging worlds is made clear as a bell. Excerpted from the post:
Twitter has helped open up new opportunities in one of 3Dconnexion’s existing markets, Second Life. Thanks to a connection made on Twitter 3Dconnexion has embarked on an ‘in-world’ promotional tour of Second Life communities and events and at no extra cost to the company. The touring exhibition has been designed and built by Jura Shepherd, a publicist and promoter inside Second Life who works with in-world businesses and communities and was keen to work with a recognised real life brand. The event will showcase 3Dconnexion 3D mice to thousands of Second Life residents who will be offered special discounts and invited to enter prize draws.

Of course I'm delighted with the mention but there is a bigger point to be made: Greater marketing minds than mine are also at the digital shoreline because that's where the people are. How we as ambassadors represent ourselves (and SL) there most certainly gets noticed.

It benefits us all when the outside world has a better understanding of how sophisticated SL is internally and off-world social media is an ideal environment to do it in. Social media has a disarming quality about it that fosters conversations. Beyond that, and maybe more importantly, your timeline is a quick and easy for other to see if you are serious, accessible, and if you know what you are talking about. That's not to say it shouldn't be fun because it certainly can be. I'm only suggesting with a gentle nudge that we, as avatars are the ones putting humanity into the statistics and news releases in the SL hype stream.

As far as I'm concerned, Linden Labs can handle sending press releases to real world media outlets. They have the branded authority to speak about the platform and be taken seriously. It's their job. I've tried with minimal success but my guess is that most of what I've sent has been read like it was the ramblings of a crazy person. I'm actually ok with that. Our embassy as representatives of SL is in social media and I'm convinced that we'll meet the mainstream there.

SL Performer Winston Ackland Releases "Annabel Waiting" CD


Popular SL musician, Winston Ackland has release his second CD for the RPM Challenge. "Annabel Waiting" is a collection of 10 original songs written, performed, and produced by Winston in his Chicago studio and true to RPM rules, it was all done in the month of February.

For those familiar with Winston's in-world performances, Annabel Waiting is not the unplugged style you've become familiar with. The CD is a full studio production with multi-instrumental tracks (all performed by Winston) and provides an opportunity to hear him in a totally different way. Those not familiar with Winston in SL may have heard his uneasy lounge rendition of "Lithium" by Nirvana in Fox Film's "Marley and Me" movie by his RL avatar, Bruce Lash.

Annabel Waiting combines Winston profound respect for vintage pop with perspective as a modern plugged-in indie musician. From his sarcastic swipe disguised as a love letter to Sarah Palin (Track 2 Post-Fact), to the rousing road trip feel of "I got it Right: (Track 9), Winston serves up 10 memorable with wide appeal.

You can hear "Annabel Waiting" in it's entirety at these links:
In-World Listening Station-
On the web-

Happy Holidays From Metahype


Season's greeting to our friends. You have all helped us grow and learn and we appreciate your support. It has been our pleasure to grow together with you and we look forward to an exciting 2010.


Todd Borst Throws In The Towel


Back in June I did a brief posting to link people to's I was really impressed with Todd's ability to communicate his SL business experience in a generous, practical and accessible way.

As usual I'm behind the times but I wanted to direct people to Todd's site again because apparently he's decided to call it quits and the website will close when the domain expires. Citing unspecified issues with Lindens in his last post, Todd says SL has become difficult for him to enjoy. I totally respect this and won't feign sadness because we don't really know each other.

What I will do, in the pragmatic spirit of Todd's blog and hopefully mine,
is recommend that people go and absorb the good info there before it disappears.

METAHYPE Gets A New Look


(image) Hi all. Just a quick picture post. I've been working on it it when I can but it's finally coming together. There's still lots to do like: interior decorating, the self-help info and other information. Anyway, stop by and have a look or just chill out in the moonlight by the water. Come say hi!

Shiki Designs Main Store Temporarily Closed for Remodeling


The Shiki Designs main store will be closed for remodeling until July 31st. Owner Shinichi Mathy and designer Ryo Verne have been quietly working on a fabulous new design and will spend the next 10 days configuring the store. During that time, Shiki shoppers can still find Shiki's famous designs in Shiki Designs satellite stores at the following locations:

Demystifying Public Relations in Second Life® Part 1


SL for many is an opportunity to create and share with others through enterprise. It can be done with relative ease compared to real life and although there’s no shortage of creative ideas, getting the word out about them can seem like a daunting task. It need not be. There is much you can do right away by making use of social networking tools and your own personal or brand blogs but the focus of this article is to get the uninitiated comfortable with the idea of working with the SL press to build PR for your brand.Second Life has amazing media that is growing more sophisticated all the time. The SL press shares our excitement for all things SL and is always looking for a good story. If you have a story to tell, you can make use of PR to tell people about the great work you are doing. So, get any “information gatekeeper” stereotypes out of you head, have a look as we discuss the following myths and then …GET BUSY!“I already do advertising, I don’t need PR”If you are advertising effectively, that’s great but advertising and PR work in different ways. Advertising will make your brand identity pervasive in ways that PR cannot. It establishes an ongoing familiarity with your brand image and provides a direct link to your products. PR can do those things partially but the key difference is that PR makes your brand identity credible. With advertising, you control the message which on its simplest level would be “buy this product”. With PR, at least in the form of media coverage, your message is less controllable but the credibility that an objective review implies is much more powerful than a simple pitch.“My product is good enough that the press will come to me”Your product or service may very well be good but it’s highly unlikely that it will get noticed naturally. Lester Bangs roaming around in the 70s and discovering great music to write about is a romantic image but that was 40 years ago. People love musicians and love to write about them but in current times, musicians have to work at getting noticed. To get a product noticed, you need to work even harder and SL compounds that for one simple reason: SL is (ironically) made up of informal social groups of various sizes. Writers will tend to write about stuff they know about and unless your product touches their social groups, they won’t know about it until you tell them.“I can’t do PR because I can’t afford a PR person”Have you asked? PR and advertising in SL is a bargain compared to the terrestrial world even when taking dollars vs. Lindens into account. Even so, at Metahype we gladly tell people that we don’t have any tools or magic wands that aren’t available to everyone. A PR person will have relationships and knowledge that have developed over time but if you invest the time and be patient, there’s no reason that you can’t do the same. There are good PR tools and info available on the web and the very fact that you are in SL makes you tech savvy enough to find it.“I can just pay a writer to review my product”It’s not a myth. You can! Just remember that the key benefit to press is to enhance the credibility of you brand. Consider how you get information for products and services that you choose to buy. Would you think that product information is more or less credible if you knew that the source had been paid to write about it? Building a reputation for your brand is hard work. Dealing with shady media has the potential to negate your hard work and is not worth it.“I’ll just send a notecard to all the writers”You can, but it could also put you on a writer’s bad side. For example: if you want press about an article of clothing that you’ve made and randomly send a notecard about it to a writer who writes about A.O.s , you have basically just told that person that you’ve never read a single thing[...]

Resource for SL Biz Owners


Check out: Virtual World Business. com

Get practical information and tips from Virtual World The site, run by Todd Borst, presents ideas in a refreshingly non-mumbo-jumbo manner and offers common sense guides. The site also features a "Ask Todd" section for direct Q&A with Borst who makes his RL living in a virtual world.

Erie Isle Celebrates its Diverse Group of Players


June 1st, Erie Isle
For Immediate Release


June 7th through 13th 2009, Erie Isle haunted island roleplay sim launches a week of events with international flavors. Events to include live and streamed music from around the world, an international film festival, a ball, a fashion show, monsters from different cultures and much more.

Erie Isle was recently voted the #1 Favorite place to roleplay in the “SL Resident's Choice Awards” and has made great strides in building an international base of roleplayers. Although English is the official RP language, Erie celebrates the culture and language diversity of its players and has made great strides in reaching player who do use English primarily. This, combined with easily adaptable roleplay due to being set in current day is thought to be the reason Erie’s rabid growth and popularity.

The cast of Erie Isle invites the public to join their 1000 plus members in celebrating International Roleplayer Diversity Week.

Schedule of activities:
All times reflect SL time (pst) Movies

4am/8pm 28 Days Later
6am/10pm 28 Weeks Later
9am Language Class
2pm Fashion Show & Auction
Throughout “Monster of the day”
All day: Music: UK streams

4am/8pm Ju On
Throughout “Monster of the day”
All day Music: Contemporary and Traditional Japanese streams

4am/8pm Pan’s Labyrinth
12 noon/8pm Poetry competition
Throughout Monster of the day
All day Music: Latin music streams

12 noon Language class
4am/8pm Ginger Snaps
Throughout “Monster of the day”
All day Music: Mixed bag of international streams

4am/8pm The Breed
6am/10pm Eastern Promises
3pm Live music event - Born Again Pagans
Throughout “Monster of the day”
All day Music: German, Russian and Danish streams

4am/8pm Dreamcatcher
Throughout “Monster of the day”
All day Music: Reggae & Jazz streams

4am/8pm The Happening
6am/10pm The Changeling
12 noon International Monster Wrestling
3pm Ball & Food Festival
All day Music: Mixed bag USA streams

Members of the press are invited to contact:
Graine Windlow – in-world
Jura Shepherd – in-world or

METAHYPE Press release: Uptown Square


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Madison Blanc Second Life® Uptown Square /58/60/36 – THE GRID GLITTERS AS DRAMA-TAINMENT MEETS ULTRA-LUXURIOUS RETAIL BLISS: Second Life developers, The Opulence Crux Conglomerate will unveil their foray into the luxury mall development world on May 1st with a full-scale cosmopolitan sim aimed at Second Life’s growing appetite for luxury goods and cutting edge entertainment. With inspiration from the fashion centers of the terrestrial world, Uptown Square features four distinct districts that pay homage these global shopping capitals. There is the urban grit of New York City, the easy-going glamour of Los Angeles, the old-world style of Milan, and the romantic charm of Paris. Each area will contain one anchor store along with smaller shops that face elegant gathering areas, each representing its respective theme. Conceptualized and designed by Madison Blanc and SchMoke Seelowe, Uptown Square is realized in plush detail by the building duo of Sensuous and Supremius Maximus. For all involved in the construction stage, Uptown Square represents their strong sense of style and tireless attention to detail quality. Uptown Square promises to not only feature the finest designs in luxury goods, but will also be a hub for SL entertainment. At the sim center sits the Metropolitan Club. The Metropolitan Club, built in striking deco style, will be the home base for SL’s leading DJ, SchMoke Seelowe. The Metropolitan Club’s roster of events includes, live music, live streaming sports and “Showtime at the Metro”, a live vocal competition. Adjacent to the Metropolitan Club is the new home to the “Top Model” modeling agency, one of SL’s most celebrated agencies. Known for elaborate fashion shows and real life level professionalism, Top Model will feature regular shows for Uptown Square’s fashion forward audiences. The sim will also house the unique “Uptown Square Municipal Court”. Using a structure developed by real life consulting attorneys, the Municipal Court will act out court sessions as is done in real life. Located in the New York City section, the Municipal Court will deliberate in weekly sessions to settle disputes in an entertaining way between SL couples and will settle small claims. Uptown Square has been six months in the making from concept to final details. Upon opening, Uptown Square will celebrate the close of its construction phase and mark a new beginning of providing a dynamic community for SL citizens with discerning taste. Members of the media are cordially invited to preview Uptown Square. Personal tours are available on request. For additional information, please contact Madison Blanc.[...]

/me sticks her tippy-toe into the pool


OK, here we go I guess...

Roughly one year ago I started metahype to help promote Second Life® musicians in-world. The name "metahype" was actually meant to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the overselling of SL as a marketing tool for real world businesses at the time. As is evident by the handful of rl corporate sims now sitting empty or extinct, the gold rush mentality drummed up by a few opportunist simply did not live up to the 'hype'. Interestingly, while theses Goliaths were wondering why no one was paying attention, many of SL's in-world businesses were chugging along, expanding, and thriving. In-world entrepreneurs and their brands had the distinct advantage of not having to re-think their marketing and could simply evolve and help shape their own model for promotion. It's a great, and on-going story and for me, and through metahype, it's a pleasure to be along for the ride.

Metahype has grown over the year and continues to thanks to the addition of Ehme Sands as a partner but equally from a loyal base of clients. I hope to make this blog a place where metahype can share branding success stories, trends and tips with SL businesses. The blog will also chronicle the evolution of SL marketing and media as each grows more sophisticated. It’s an exciting, dynamic, and fascinating environment and for me it’s an honor for metahype to be involved.