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Thursday, August 11, 2005

HOT AVATAR OR NOT?

New prediction: In the future of Second Life, every Internet fad will be famous again for 15 minutes.

Harbinger: RateMyAv.com, a spin on the brief but massive phenomenon of AmIHotOrNot.com-- only this time, with, well, avatars.

"Honest to god," creator and Web proprietor Burke Prefect IMs me, "I was having a conversation in IRC with someone and it just came to me as a joke. But I checked the domain, saw it was available, bought it because I had some extra cash, got a cheap hosting plan, and a few days later overspent on the website software." But even in early Beta, the site garnered 20 users, and at yesterday's official launch, had grown to 55.

"I'm not sure what kind of draw I'll get from it but I will if it pays for itself," says Burke. "I'm thinking, when I can get SL integration to charge to upload extra pictures or add nudes." Other monetizing possibilities: "People would pay to submit to certain catagories like Builds and Gadgets," he speculates. "And of course, on a site celebrating Unique avatars I could probably sell ad banners."

I have a professional interest in hoping the site grows, myself, as a way of watching the social evolution of SL avatars, and how they're valued. Hard to tease out some larger trends, as yet, but so far, RateMyAV users are a hypercritical lot, with the highest-rated male and female avatars hovering around 6 out of 10. Most of the highest rated women seem to roughly fit under a Goth Babe or Hottie Party Girl rubric, while the top men are all over the map: a Goth boy here, a pokie-haired hipster in a tux there-- a bald midget with a cane there. There's Furry and Non-Humanoid categories, too. (At this writing, the latter category is being monopolized by a giant flame-colored phoenix and a dog in sunglasses and a beret smoking a cigar.)

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Comments

Hm..If this does catch on, I can see a tidal wave of different groups spawning from it...

Posted by: Rabid Penguin at Aug 12, 2005 6:08:07 PM

If only is was more about the avatar and not the popularity of the avatar it might be more fun.

Posted by: Richie waves at Aug 13, 2005 7:04:28 AM

A Picture says a thousand words.

Posted by: Blake Rockwell at Aug 13, 2005 11:49:44 PM