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The 2007 Second Life Community Convention, this weekend in Chicago

This year, the third annual SLCC will have to address a very different 'Second Life' than in the past, one that's already seen a dramatic rise and fall in public favor.

In a couple of hours, I'll be off to Chicago to cover a different kind of social media: the third annual Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), a gathering of over 800 enthusiasts of the virtual world. It's a phenomenon that saw a dramatic rise and subsequent backlash in the past year, touted by media and business first as a revolution in communications, marketing, and socialization and then as an enormous three-dimensional ghost town.

So what's going to happen at the first SLCC to take place in Second Life's "post-mainstream" age? We'll see. I'll be updating periodically throughout the weekend, including with photographs from Saturday night's highly anticipated "lace and leather" masquerade ball.

Click here to read CNET's pre-coverage.