CNN creates presence in Second Life

MUMBAI: US news broadcaster CNN has opened a hub within Second Life, a three-dimensional virtual world entirely created by its residents. The network will look to those most familiar with the virtual world – the Second Life residents themselves – to determine what constitutes news "in-world."

Just as CNN asks its real-life audience to submit iReports – user-generated content submitted from cell phones, computers, cameras and other equipment for broadcast and online reports – the network invites the residents of Second Life to share their own "SL iReports" about events occurring within the virtual world.

CNN News Services executive VP Susan Grant says, "The thing we most hope to gain by having a CNN presence in Second Life is to learn about virtual worlds and understand what news is most interesting and valuable to their residents. Our iReport initiative has generated a great response from CNN viewers and users who contribute a wide variety of news, events and perspectives every day; and we are genuinely excited about the opportunity to forge a similar relationship with Second Life residents, albeit recognizing the need to customize the process for the virtual world."

When Second Life residents observe an in-world event, they can take snapshots, shoot video, or write a report about the event and submit to CNN with a click. Submissions selected by CNN iReport producers will go back into Second Life as SL iReports for residents to view throughout the virtual world. SL iReports may also be viewed and discussed in the real world at's SL iReport Blog at, where users are invited to share comments and subscribe to daily e-mail updates sent via Real Simple Syndication (RSS).

CNN's in-world hub includes a news desk where weekly editorial discussions will be held and an amphitheater for in-world events, such as training sessions and appearances by CNN anchors and correspondents. During the weekly editorial discussions, held each Tuesday at 5 p.m. (ET), one of CNN's SL iReport ambassadors, CNN producers and editors with experience in virtual worlds, will moderate a conversation with residents about the prior week's SL iReports and upcoming in-world events that might be interesting to cover.

At the network's hub, residents also can meet SL iReport ambassadors and other resident reporters, as well as access iReport kiosks, free-standing terminals where residents can pick up free gear and tools for gathering and viewing in-world user-generated content.

Kiosks offer a variety of free gear and tools including:

• A "HUD" or "heads-up display. This is a small, collapsible window that resides on the user's computer screen enabling them to view the latest photo and text SL iReports while they are in Second Life; 

• A continuous stream of the latest video SL iReports; 

• An instructional video on what an SL iReport is and how to submit one; 

• Avatar-ready apparel, including hats, T -shirts and press badges; and 

• A duplicate copy of the kiosk itself, which residents can place wherever they choose across Second Life.

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