Reuters has pulled its embedded reporter out of Second Life, it confirmed today.
We were prompted to check in on Adam Reuters - real name Adam Pasick - yesterday, after Google sounded the death knell for its own four and a half-month-old Sadville, (not) Lively*. We were shocked to find there hasn't been a new story on Reuters' dedicated Second Life site since September 30 and rang for an immediate explanation.
When his employer succumbed to the all-powerful Original Sadville voodoo in 2006, it decided to assign the hapless Pasick to cover all the flying penis, freaky cybersex and IBM marketing event news that was fit to print. We mostly felt sorry for him.
But no more! A Reuters spokeswoman returned our call this afternoon to say its Sadville bureau has been closed. "We're still reporting on Second Life," she said, "but only as part of our usual tech and media coverage."
In fact, a trawl of the Reuters site reveals Adam last reported on Second Life in April this year, and hasn't worked under the Adam Reuters nom-de-plume since July last year. He was replaced as embed by his brother Eric Reuters, whose real name is unknown. We'll spare him embarrassment by not bothering to find out.
For those worried that such major news as "Linden introduces zoning to Second Life mainland" will go unreported, there's the comfort that as far as we're aware CNET's embed Daniel Sadville hasn't turned his back on the stories that matter. Good thing too, as his wife works for Linden Lab and he's made a sideline out of books promoting its product.
But won't someone think of the marketers? Does Reuters' withdrawal mean they're going to have to explain to their boards why they spent tens of thousands of dollars on the digital equivalent of a wife-swapping party on an oil rig (embarrassing, empty, yet still really dirty)? Well, there's no need to fire up the self-justification Powerpoint yet, as it's only Reuters editorial that has lost the faith.
"As a company we're still committed to Second Life," the spokeswoman said. "We're maintaining our corporate presence." Bravo!
As for Adam once-again-Pasick, "he's blogging", Reuters' spokeswoman said.
Reports of a marketing evac team swooping in a virtual huey to snatch Eric Reuters from the firm's Sadville bureau - while harried by squadrons of flying penises and pursued by crazed locals bent on acts of bestial sexual brutality - could not be confirmed. ®
*As was Valleywag.