SL Entrepreneur Profiles: Robustus Hax; Second Life™ Entrepreneur

October 29th, 2008  |  Published in SL Entrepreneur Magazine, SL Entrepreneur Profiles  |  2 Comments

By Sigmund Leominster, News Editor

Robustus Hax, the driving force behind the Metaverse Broadcasting Company, has made the pages of SLentrepreneur no less than twice before. The first time he talked to us about the origins of MBC, about the running of a virtual television station, and about the future direction of his company. Since then, he has added Internet print media to his portfolio in the form of the Metaverse Tribune, a mix of original reporting and aggregated news delivered as an online web site rather than a downloadable PDF. In the spirit of full disclosure, this writer has contributed copy to the Tribune. But then again, I have also contributed to a number of Second Life™ periodicals.

Robustus poses in front of the MBC logo in Second Life
Robustus’ nomination comes from colleagues at MBC in recognition of his achievements which span his entire residency in the Second Life virtual environment, starting on 1st February, 2007. His concept of a virtual world television station took form in June of that year; launching with a one day event called ‘Metastock’ – a Woodstock-style concert that attracted numerous viewers in the metaverse.
June 2008 saw the opening of My Metaverse, a new social network established by MBC’s Late Night Show host, Angelico Babii. At the launch, Babii said, “My Metaverse seeks to break down the technological barriers that keep the virtual worlds separate by providing a platform for people involved in the development of new media arts across all worlds.” And in August 2008, the Metaverse Tribune was launched under the editorship of Runeswan Caewlin, using some of the MBC staffers such as newsreader Dousa Dragonash. The Tribune is the latest of the MBC ventures.

I asked Robustus what first made him want to come into the realm of virtual worlds.
“I read an article in Business Weekly about Anshe Chung. I had no idea what Virtual Worlds really were, and I was definitely intrigued.” After this initial foray, Robustus decided to go into business and set up MBC.
“Metaverse Broadcasting Company is essentially a media and development company directed at all things relating to Virtual Worlds. Currently running under MBC are Metaverse TV, streaming video both live and on demand, and the Metaverse Tribune (Electronic Newspaper), with much more on the way.
“We offer many services, so it’s hard to categorize who our major clients are. It’s split between established businesses and up and coming start-ups, including your average Joe SL who is around purely for the fun of it.”

And your sources of income?
“Advertising revenue, sponsors, donations and production.”
Robustus told me that the business continues to grow in terms of content.
“Metaverse TV started with one video looping and now we have several hundreds of hours of footage.” This enables MBC to provide a back-catalog of programming that can be streamed to viewers, along with live events and weekly news programming.
I asked him about the relationship between his real life skills and Second Life business.
“I’ve found you need to be personable in Second Life. While in the real world, it is pretty hard to get in touch with the CEO of a company; people in Second Life often can approach that level of personality pretty easily. It also takes a significant amount of time to run and organize a media group while simultaneously devoting hours and hours to editing video.”

Robustus also revealed that in real life, he is not in the media business. Like so many people in Second Life, he is using the opportunity to pursue a different direction. And as it is for many others, this is the value of his Second Life experience. Yet for some individuals, Second Life is not the exciting experience it is for so many others. I asked him what types of people should not be in Second Life.
“Tough question. I think everyone should come in and experience it. Many will not get it. I could see young hardcore console gamers not liking SL® very much.”
And if someone wanted to set up business here, what sorts of mistakes do you think they might make?
“The biggest biggest mistake, in my opinion, is to put too much trust in total strangers. I love SL. However, there is a large population of vultures out there who will try to take your money for nothing.”
I then asked him about predictions for the future.
“I think in my area, the introduction of flash to the media players in SL will be a huge advancement. Depending on the interactivity with flash, this would open up a new world of possibilities with Media.”

Robustus Hax, owner and operator of Metaverse Broadcasting Company atop his replica of the Chrysler Building

Robustus Hax discussed future plans with WWW.SLENTRE.COM atop his replica of New York’s Chrysler Building.

As with all our featured entrepreneurs, I asked him for some concrete pieces of advice for the budding business person. He outlined his top three.
1. Stay original. While a lot has been done in SL, it is still young and new enough that there are many, many successful and innovative ideas still yet to be born.
2. No Get Rich Quick. If you are starting an SL business to ‘Get Rich Quick’ you will be in for a rude awakening. If you do not enjoy what you do, and there is no passion behind your business, people will see that.
3. Do it yourself. You’d be surprised at what you can do if you set your mind to it. A little research and you can build, script, animate, etc. You will save yourself a lot of money and heart ache. For example, another television company tried to spring up in Second Life; however, the CEO could not record or compose video. They failed – so you get the idea.”

Key Points
• Maintain originality
• Enjoy what you do
• Don’t expect quick and easy money
• Do some research and learn skills so that you can build, script, animate or whatever you want to do

Further information
• MBC website:
• MBC Studios:
• Metaverse Media Store:


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