The Second Life Herald was founded on October 23, 2003, by philosophy professor Peter Ludlow. Its mission, as described the next day, was to observe, record and study "the legal, social, and economic implications" of life in the virtual world. Originally established as the Alphaville Herald and reporting for the most part on life on the Alphaville server of The Sims Online, the Herald soon branched out into coverage of other massively multiplayer online games and virtual worlds — helped along by the murder of Herald publisher Urizenus (Ludlow’s avatar) after Electronic Arts got wind of the stories the newspaper was printing about the scams and cyber-prostitution that were taking place within its game, and the company’s indifference to reports of real-world violence. (Note: The paper has never been part of nor formally associated with TSO, Electronic Arts, Second Life nor Linden Lab, but is an independent entity dedicated to gathering news from around the metaverse.)

EA’s termination of Ludlow’s account made international headlines, but only stiffened the Herald’s resolve to pay witness to the societies that were emerging in this new corner of cyberspace. In June 2004, the newspaper was reborn as the Second Life Herald, under the managment of the resurrected Urizenus Sklar, and began concentrating more closely on the virtual world of Second Life. In January 2005, the avatar Walker Spaight — the online representative of journalist Mark Wallace — joined the paper as Editorial Director. On Urizenus’s retirement from the virtual Fourth Estate one year later, Walker stepped up to the helm. In October 2006, the avatar Pixeleen Mistral — an online representation of news idoru Pixeleen Mistral — became Managing Editor. One year later, the Editrix began her watch at the Herald’s helm.

In the more than six years of the Herald’s existence, it has gained a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting news sources covering virtual worlds. Unflinching both in its taste for a dramatic story and its demand that those who govern virtual worlds do so fairly, the Herald is often called a muckraking tabloid or worse, but its loyal readers (numbering several thousand per day) love — and often love to hate — the unique service it provides: to take a good, close, often snarky look at the online worlds that are becoming a more and more important part of everyone’s offline lives.

Herald Staff and Contributors

Pixeleen Mistral
Publisher and Managing Editrix, Cardinal of the Metaverse Magisterium Archdiocese

Urizenus Sklar
Founder, Contributing Editor, First Pontiff

Walker Spaight
Editorial Director 2005-2008, Dean of the College of Cardinals

Members of the Clergy:
Timothy Morpork, Minister to the Disrobed
Jessica Holyoke, Legal Advisor & Honorary Money Honey
Justine Babii, Deaconess
Marilyn Murphy, Mother Superior
Pat the Rat, Evangelist
Budka Groshomme, Deacon
Wendell Holmer, Devil’s Advocate
Fiend Ludwig, Dervish
Moriash Moreau, Chaplain
Onder Skall, Curate
Gideon Television, Exorcist
Squirrel, Apostle
Kale, Saint
Sparrowhawk Perhaps, Saint

The Ordained:
Inigo Chamerberlin
Tiny Newt
Eloise Pasteur
Jimbo Quality
Seola Sassoon
Tenshi Vielle

Aidan Aquacade
Davgor Edgeworth
Denise Levertov
Doc Nielsen
Magnus Rothlisberger
Curious Rousselot

Write for the Second Life Herald

The Herald can always use new writers, covering almost any virtual world. If you’re interested in writing for the Herald, drop an email to Managing Editrix Pixeleen Mistral at pixeleen.mistral [at] gmail [dot] com. Please include story ideas. We don’t pay much at the moment (in the area of L$1,000 – L$2,000 per story), but we’re hoping to increase our rates when we can.

Herald advertisers reach thousands of Second Life residents every day. We offer box ads at the top of the left- and right-hand columns, banner ads at the top of the page, and one-time posts in the main thread.

Advertising rates:
468×60 pixels, horizontal banner:
L$6,000 per week, L$22,500 per month

145×145 pixels, sidebar:
L$5,000 per week, L$20,000 per month

145×290 pixels (i.e., taller than it is wide), sidebar:
L$9,000 per week, L$35,000 per month

One-time post, main thread (included in our RSS feed):

For other ad rates or general inquiries (rates can be adjusted depending on placement), please contact Pixeleen Mistral at pixeleen.mistral [at] gmail [dot] com.