Thursday, December 24, 2009

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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

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.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

METAHYPE Gets A New Look

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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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:

Friday, July 17, 2009

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 they’ve written. Take the time to research which writers are likely write about your brand and make a brief pitch that appeals to each of them directly. Most of all, be respectful, don’t waste their time and understand that their job is not to provide promotion for you. Their job is to write interesting copy.

Hopefully this brief post will inspire some of Second Life's creative people who aren't normally inclined to promote themselves. There are some savvy businesses in SL that may seem to have a promotional edge but we all start from the same place and if they do have an edge, it's because they've worked at it. Most serious PR people, including Metahype, are not going to claim to have all the answers. SL is fluid and always changing, so in a way, we are all learning together.

We'd love to read comments and tips from those just starting out as well as seasoned SL PR pros.

Friday, June 5, 2009

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.

Monday, June 1, 2009

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

METAHYPE Press release: Uptown Square


Contact: Madison Blanc


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.