One of the tricky things about reporting on Second Life is the issue of what stuff to cover. Hey, how tricky can it be? You just write about what people are interested in, right?
Yeah, you'd think so.
What people are interested in, though, isn't necessarily what you might think people are interested in.
If a user or organization is doing something super-awesome in-world, the odds are that the Second Life readers will mostly pass it over. Human interest stories and similar all get minimal attention. Okay, except for the occasional 'Why the hell are you even covering this stuff anyway?'
Hirings/departures at Linden Lab? Now that generates some interest. Other Linden Lab doings and policy changes even more so, and speculations about which way the Lab is going to jump next are right up there.
Top of the heap - the really grabby stuff? New release candidates.
I know, right?
My essential hypothesis sort of works like this... Viewers and stuff about Linden Lab and their staff-lineup and policies affects everyone in Second Life, directly or indirectly. Stuff that people are doing in-world though will axiomatically only have appeal to a subset of people.
Live music, and audio/voice events for example - that only appeals to a portion of the people I know. Likewise not everyone I know is a gamer, or necessarily interested in recreational activities. Not everyone is keen on shopping or networking.
Different interests, different foci, and that subdivides the community right there.
But if you stand anywhere in Second Life long enough, a discussion will start up about the Lab, or some particular Linden, or about some new policy or some enforcement action in-world (gone right or wrong). Talking about Linden Lab seems to be the favourite pastime of the majority of Second Life users, and there's an astonishing amount of misinformation going around.
Just yesterday I walked into an argument where a bunch of people believed that all non-G-rated content was being banished from the grid next week. Earlier that morning, someone was telling me how Linden Lab was merging Teen Second Life with adult Second Life today. Simple misunderstandings and misinterpretations run through communities like wildfire and feed on themselves. Sometimes people just spread tales to laugh at how far they will go.
Still, the Lab and its doings remain among the most popular talking points with users in-world, and that's something that's hard to ignore.