I guess they’re meant to make the writer sound en vogue and to appeal to those readers who always run after the newest applications (“Facebook is so 2012, really” … ;-). What they actually do is waste space and attention span.
I went to a reading in SecondLife last night. One of the rare moments of me being back in SL since illness forced me to quit in 2011.
The reading, in German, was organized by Kafé Krümelkram / Kueperpunk Korhonen. He has lined up a lot of great readings over the past weeks, from Alex’ Jahnke’s “Neuschwabenland” and “Urban Haikus” by Marcus R. Gilman to Anja Bagus, German steampunk author, reading from her latest novel in the Annabelle-series only days after its publication.
The bandwidth sucked on my end (online through a mobile phone network) but the voices came through fine. The atmosphere was relaxed and entertaining. After a few minutes of adjusting, it really felt like a “real” reading — only, as Anja put it, author and participants can sit comfortably on the couch in their pj’s and no-one’s the wiser ;-)
Being able to listen to an author read from their book from your home is especially great when you’re living in an area without a lively culture scene and without genre book readings (e.g. Steampunk, Urban fantasy, science fiction).
Check out the article — it’s entertaining whether you like GRRM or not. (If you dislike the StarWars prequels you’ll feel right at home ;-)
I didn’t know that GRRM also did a live reading inside SL. And I loved that he did it as Tyrion, my fav character from the series. :-)
If you love books, check out if there’s someone on SL (or any other online platform you can easily join) organizing readings in your genre. You will perhaps meet some known authors online — and usually in a small setting. 30 avatars at a reading in SL is a lot — and more importantly, you’ll discover new authors, getting the chance to hear them read from their own works.
Admittedly, some do a better job of that than others. But if the reading is boring, you can always chat up the avatars next to you in instant message or browse through the search for an interesting location you’ll check out after the reading is over. Another plus for online-readings ;-)