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Sometimes, I confess, when I write the news, I want to abandon the standard rules o' journalism altogether. You know the formula - that simple who-what-when-when-whatever that involves summing up pretty much everything in the opening paragraph, then uses marks to call out what are really the take-aways from the article. Sometimes, I want to write my articles as though I am directly addressing to the companies I cover. Often those stories would start with "WTF are you thinking?!" and close with "I think this will end badly, but I eagerly await your -- and the market's -- response." Today's news that Second Life plans to end the educator and non-profit discounts for land purchases struck me as one of those stories that makes a far better angry missive than it does a news story. The announcement stings even more, perhaps, as it follows fairly closely on the heels of the decision to shut down the Teen Grid.

I have seen the amazing things that students and educators do via Second Life -- doing much to reveal the great potentials for virtual worlds -- I really do not understand how Linden Labs can opt to spurn some of its most loyal and innovative users.

That being said, there are alternatives. So I plan first thing tomorrow to follow up with emails to OpenSim folks so I can write a good, positive story about virtual worlds and education, and not an angry letter-to-the-Lindens.

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Audrey Watters


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