Archive for May, 2008

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Letter for Mr. Kingdon AKA M Linden, our new CEO

May 30, 2008

I am not sure if you can read this post Mr. Kingdon, but I’d like to try posting it anyway..:)

First of all, thank you for accepting what can be the most challenging job in your lifetime. We are a vibrant community in SL and we love and truly enjoy the world that LL brought to life throughout the years. A product like this is absolutely tricky technically, and many repurcussions are present, but the tremendous opportunities and the great rewards that follow overcomes it.

As someone posted above, SL already has a TV network, in fact there are three networks as of now. We also have a thriving publishing sector (I am an editor of a magazine there), a fashion community, an arts community, and also a PR/Marketing community. The possibilities are endless. CREATIVITY and COLLABORATION is certainly the driving force here.

A lot of creativity and community effort was brought into Second Life and a lot of sharing of ideas has passed on here, enabling people from all works of life to commune and collaborate. Something like this is incredibly powerful, and I hope someone like you can see this, learn to utilize it, and capitalize on it.

With this in mind, I hope that as CEO, you will take LL into a much better place in which non-techies can understand, there are a lot of areas in which people who are not familiar with SL can really learn in order for them to understand it. I hope with your expertise you can turn SL around and make it easier for them to understand so they can no longer stereotype the virtual world as a place where geeks and people with no real lives engage in. Perhaps that is the most difficult task yet.

May you be the bridge that connects SL to the real world.

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Good bye to The Sojourner

May 26, 2008

SL to many people is more than the ability to have an outrageous life, date and hurt women with no impunity, engage in wild and weird sex, and be creative in many ways. Many people in SL rarely know that communities such as Heron Sanctuary, Health Info Island, Relay For Life and other groups exists.

Along with not knowing such groups exist is not knowing that there are avatars who are more than meets the eye. In my time inworld, I have met some people who are exceptionally human, unique, and multifaceted. Those avatars truly enhance the metaverse we know and love, and as someone who seeks to write about SL’s many people, places, and events, I am often floored to meet people who managed to use SL for more than their ticket to creativity, friendship, and love. For me, it is a shame when not many people make an effort to explore and get to know SL and limit its use. For people, in their creativity and their yearning to reach out, has managed to make SL so much more. A rich platform of ideas, community, support and a voice of advocacy and causes.

The Sojourner is one of those personalities in SL that proves that SL is so much more. A prolific avatar who is very active in many support groups, a loss of a person like her is a big loss to SL. The colorful and diverse tapestry that consists of SL’s residents has lost a shining example on how to effectively use SL for great good.

I regret not having to spend more time talking to her, and in moments like this, I often feel sad that I can no longer learn from her. A lot of people in SL can be avenues of wisdom and epiphanies, and talking to Soj must have been no exception.

SL will miss such a wonderful soul.

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had a blast hanging out with some aussies tonight…should be doing tht more often..:)

May 15, 2008

Posted by Second Life Resident Isadora Fiddlesticks. Visit Isle of Kidd.

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Thoughts on other people’s post

May 15, 2008

Here is a revealing reflection on the changes of social norms in SL from someone who was inworld before I was.

In retrospect, when I first came in, I could still feel the community spirit in SL, there was still a slight sense of Utopia in SL, where one must respect an avatar’s right not to reveal their real life information, their preferences inworld (for example if they choose to be a man or a furry in SL), etc.

nowadays there are more people who come in lacking social graces or manners or a sense of right and wrong (content theft runs rampant nowadays, harassment and discrimination of furries) and basically trying to make SL like real life complete with what you hate about RL (racism is also starting to be abundant in SL as well).

here you are with a platform called SECOND LIFE, and even if your real life is perfect and dandy, would you want to be 100% yourself in a place where you can fly, dress up in magnificent clothes not possible in real life couture, change skin, or gender?

now that is a very deep question for someone who has been in SL for quite some time. even if your real life is looking very sunny and all your finances are in place, what can something like Second Life do for you? we can see the attraction of SL to those who is having a hard time in their RL in order to escape, they see SL as a chance to be what they cannot be in RL. are those in SL with perfect or stable RL in here for the same thing?

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The Dogs that hound SL (R)

May 6, 2008

People often begrudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves. -Aesop

I find myself compelled to post in SL’s blog lately, largely because comments seem to be getting bitter and the negativity out of hand already. So many people jumping to conclusions and second guessing, so many avatars failing to ENJOY what’s left of Second Life and just wallowing in negative comments and infecting people with their negativity.

The turn of SL’s woes on content theft and instability has turned us into a bunch dogs or crabs. Those who have it bad bitch and whine and make it bad for everyone else who are lucky enough to experience SL without the glitches. Lindens trying to do their jobs are squashed by comments about those who in their eyes fail to do them. Instead of praise at some Linden’s efforts at keeping SL positive place to be in, people gun them down and wound their efforts with hurtful words. It is a sick, sick grid, and I am not writing about the instability and SL’s other issues.

I don’t worry if people think I am SL’s poster girl. There are things that I choose to dwell over and I choose to dwell ove rthe great stuff that is left, continuously hoping that everything that used to make SL great before will somehow come back. Like the relationship between Lindens and Residents.

SL used to be a thriving community where everyone enjoys each other’s presence, now it’s a divided community with noisy residents crying over spilled milk and nowadays Lindens especially the higher ups couldn’t be trusted. I know Lindens have been held in such a bad light over SOME issues and would like to show that they are STILL the good guys, but the days when Lindens are still Lindens and everything they do are not being over analyzed are gone. all of a sudden, THEY are now the enemy. Except Torley, who, bless his soul, still makes SL look fun for the rest of us who still manage to see its potential.

The dogs that hound SL’s blog are those who are disillusioned, perhaps justifiably, but my sympathy towards them are nonexistent because of the way they bitch and whine about all the changes that is happening in SL. We all have to face it, change is in the air, and all the changes going on are part of Linden Labs’ effort in compliance to an increasingly huge presence of RL businesses and governments. The burden of being the leading virtual world makes them open for opportunities mentioned, but with the price of tearing down old freedoms and toning down their laissez faire values on business.

I don’t think it’s SL’s choice to impose the rules they recently have to impose, such as the ban on gambling or imposing EU VAT, and most recently, the widely debated issue of trademarks. RL laws are starting to bark up LL’s tree and demanding that their rules and power should apply in SL too. As a company who is constantly being watched and bugged by RL rules and standards, it’s something they must do.

I find it sad actually that SL eventually has to nail itself down because I’ve always thought that SL was my utopia and my place for self actualization. It was a place where I can leave RL’s bureaucratic rules behind and just stick with the inate values of respect, tolerance, and “don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you” mode of behavior. However, I am still at my best spirits towards Linden Lab and trust that the original idea of SL and how residents made it as their own won’t change.

There will be plenty of changes, some of them being unpleasant to most of us who truly look into SL as their escape, and a lot of rules will be made and imposed upon. Starting last year, when I first graced around SL and gotten to know older residents, they would reminisce about SL being their Garden of Eden, and everyone were at their best behavior. Now, we are ridden with rude people with crab mentality, a consequence of having too many people coming in. With SL’s open registration, there will always be people with less than honorable traits bound to enter and spoil our little playground.

The question is, is SL still meant to be OUR playground? Depends on how you look at it and how you let the outside forces get into you. If the dogs of SL just stop begrudging others’ enjoyment of SL, then SL can go back to being everybody’s playgound for as long as it works.

And for others, like me, it still does.