Monday, November 30, 2009

News Flash! Livingtree Outpost Land Secured!

See that map in the prior Winter lands blog?  Where it shows my location on the shore of the southeastern most parcel on the continent? 

Well, let's give Marianne McCann a hand for securing it for 8,000ish Lindens! wtg Marianne!

Nothing more from my list has been put to auction, so it's still up in the air what happens.  A lot of back n forth seems to be occurring on the larger parcels close to the rink.  Good. LOL

Is 7Seas Lost at Sea?

I don't fish in my own pond anymore. What's the point? I have all the official stuff and I made all the catchables.

Most people who made Hall of Fame did so during a time when there was something new to look forward to on a regular basis. Now I fish for an hour once a week, and frankly one complex MSWord file of customs for one location is plenty to monitor and still keep it fun.

The Shikamis have yet to add the rubber duckies to their site list in half a year and still show them as "new!" on the database displays.

What happened to the turtles? Maybe they erroneously judged Scion to be worth emulating and backed out of the plan? Or maybe they just burned out over the whole project, keeping interaction limited to maintenance and downtime notices.

I saw customs as a companion to the official stuff, not an eventual replacement.  I find myself majorly uninspired from making more. What do you think?  Do you feel the same way?

Back to the Winterlands

It was like a seasonal getaway. Last year's Winter Faire Marketplace on four regions named for reindeer. The winning bidder of a parcel did not have to worry about the land counting against tier for the duration of possession. Although it was intended for merchants to promote their holiday businesses, I took it in part as said seasonal getaway and partly for learning how to be less of a packrat.  I forced myself to tear down the parcel and rebuild for four celebratory themes. I'm aware most folks bought into these for the exclusive Linden Lab souvenirs (we got a commemorative shirt and some badges sent to us), but I was always in it for the land.  Not only that, I was preparing a portfolio at the time for an LDPW freelance position and recorded each incarnation on video; they continue to sit on YouTube for posterity (do a search for sldpw).

Most of the folks set their "shop away from shop" up and ignored them from then on, then crabbed that Linden Lab should have given the land to them from Halloween through New Year rather than December through just before Mardi Gras.  Marianne McCann and I were the only ones remaining through the tenure with events and happenings without a complaint.

Well, those times have returned and bidding is currently under way.  The map has expanded to two additional PG parcels:

The layout is now different and possesses a single Infohub landmark to define actual Linden property (that's the ice rink in grey). Last year, each region had a willy nilly blue "I" on someone's parcel.  People never learn here: they went all bonkers under the impression that they'd get traffic, but the traffic consisted of underage, penniless noobs and griefers.  For that you drove the bidding up?  LOL!

Last week Marianne and I explored the new terrain and scoped out places we'd like.  I made note of the priority pieces and the gears began to turn over what to place there this year.  I know what to expect going into this. We actually got a lot of noobs at my place last year anyway.  My friends and I helped them, then sent them on their way.  Or they stayed and partied with us.  At the time Mediamaster still existed and I had my own playlist streaming.  I was the envy of Donner.

What I didn't expect was that people would bid so much higher this year after all the griping.  Don't they realize that this is PG land and cannot be resold?  Do they remember the gripes last year of how few people other than noobs and fellow Winter Faire proprietors showed up at their door rather than prospective consumers?  Apparently not from what I'm seeing.  Then again they appear to be rolling out the larger parcels first, so it remains to be seen whether residual funds from the Shermerville sale will handle what I have in mind.  I'm figuring it will since what I have in mind is not what the idjits see as "valuable" or anywhere near as large as last year's 2048.

Suffice it to say I'll be very busy building once I've won a parcel, with the first party entered on the SL calendar shortly following acquisition.  We'll have many a party and good cheer, all the way through Mardi Gras ah gahrontee!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Now You See It, Now You Don't

People are strange...

Someone I became casual friends with went weird on me a couple of weeks back. I suppose two in one year (when you count Rabbi Writer) isn't too bad for any cybersociety. She became my friend in SL and she was very nice.  Had a casual presence due to RL commitments.  I added her on Facebook. During my planned decision to start up FarmVille, she admitted she didn't go overboard for those types of games (as most of my friends had) but found FarmVille amusing. When I created an online profile, she happened to be a common friend of TMA people and added me there too. That was fine; I have a couple of friends common to both accounts.

The vast majority of friends for the holocluck profile are from an online community I spent 4 years in long before I came to Second Life (it's existed for about 14 years). Many left that VRML-based platform and appeared to continue their activities by way of Zynga and other Facebook gaming offers. Above all is they - now we with me in the mix - are family and look out for eachother.

That first weekend for that profile I went from 5 to 36 long lost friends.  I added a couple initially and it snowballed.  The trick of course was identifying them before adding. I didn't know most of their RL names of course, and many didn't think to include them in their request, but following a reply - and my marking their names down in a notepad file just in case - I reconstructed a lost part of my virtual history.  I also added some Toontown Online and Second Life people.

Back to the story...  So I made a sublist based on FarmVille friends. I didn't realize Facebook would let everyone see eachother;  thought it was like sending everyone their free Farmy gifts and each would get the message solo.  That afternoon several people asked me who she was. 


I found she posted in the thread of my Inbox, asking if it was okay to add them.  Funny she didn't ask if it was okay with me.  I mean, if I was so desperate to add total strangers as friends the way the little kids do in Toontown Online, I think if a friend was the source AND the people involved shared a bond, I'd ask my friend if I felt comfortable with such a maneuver.  If I really saw them as a friend friend.  I brought it up to them and she got uncharacteristically snotty.  Sort of like those idiots in the SL Forum we all roll our eyes at.

I've had wacko experiences in the past with people who were pissed I didn't want to have a relationship with them and pursued to collect my friends.  I don't know what compells these All About Eve types but apparently there's a demographic online which flourishes with this illness.

I sent out an all points bulletin and ultimatum that I'd cut off anyone associated with such a person.  Some added her because they thought she belonged to the VRML community and just didn't know the nickname she used yet.  When they realized she wasn't from there they had no qualms about removing her.  She wasn't part of the family.  Many report she immediately requested to be neighbors partners associates etc etc for the A to Z of Facebook games.  Not quite what I expected. 

Suffice it to say I removed her at once from my RL Facebook account. God forbid she friends my boss or family.

Friend collectors... ugh!

A small parcel for a sale outlet was on her property gratis.  I cleared it out quickly.   I don't want them to get the inkling that such an offer stipulated any obligation to hand over my first born.

When I mentioned the mass friending attempt someone on Googletalk said "Yikes! Worlds collide!"  That's it exactly.  While it wasn't smart to include her in a "family" mass mailing, one should trust one's associates that they aren't eyeballing a slipup as a window of opportunity to exploit people.  She had no remorse for her actions and may never understand that in our culture, this is not appropriate.  But that's okay. She's just with people of her culture now.  I hope for their sakes.

I was getting to another quick disappearing act.  While fishing at Blaksleeworld on Saturday, I noticed that KONA headquarters across the bay was gone.  It couldn't have been my LOD settings because things beyond it were loading.  Then Grey Nacht responded he hadn't seen any mines either (they would send a mine through the currents every 10 minutes that he liked to take potshots at while fishing).  We looked at the map.  Holy crap! Metamagic studios was gone too!  They took up an entire sim and made it practically purple.  It became a small islet.  It's since been terraformed for something else.

Checking with GoSpeed I've found KONA's virtual transmitter alive and well, perched on mountainside on Mainland.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hindsight and all That...

As rewarding OvoEvoDevoHolocluckolution was for me on some levels (I made several friends out of it and had many laughs), I think I'll be doing the land grab next year.

As with SL6B, there was too much favoritism on LL's part. Some people with access rights conducted their own ongoing event throughout with hefty personal use of the notice feature. Despite my being among a select group of winning applicants to be rewarded a theme campsite, it's a sure bet that Dusty and her inner circle didn't venture beyond the elite named builds and builds of people endorsed by entities who endorse Linden Labs. Saying "Oh just add your event to a broken third party events calendar listing" was an insult to the rest of us. We all know no one looks at it.

They look at pink stars with rollover descriptions on the map, but damn give those little ants like me that and who will go to LL's official stages.  Heaven knows how disastrous it would have been with dispersed visitor population.

If you're someone like me who just draws and creates art, whose friends are either not in Second Life or had their own BL campsites, one hopes the art and effort would speak for themselves and draw attention. It doesn't do a THING if you don't belong to some prestigious inner circle.

The same goes for logos. The spirit of the event - considered an official extension of Burning Man - was compromised by the source when I reported to Dusty the existence of a big Church of the SubGenius™ parcel filled with the org name and marketing trademark Dobbshead. Speaking as an abnormal who was doublesainted by Rev Ivan Stang himself, I can tell you when it's nothing more than a pinkboy showing off. A SubGenius would have no problem simply expressing their abnormalcy at such an event, and many did. That parcel wasn't made by a SubGenius, and thinking it cool to allow the content brings Dusty's integrity into question.

Dusty: We're through being cool, remember?

Next: the Trekkies. There's nothing wrong with being a Trekkie. There's nothing wrong with being a Trekkie at Burning Life. However there IS something wrong with them making a medical outpost with Federation and Starfleet Medical flags and spinning beacons all over. Violations of the Prime Directive. By the way, on the second weekend they were caught with RPG recruitment material in their freebies package. I'm so glad I have nothing to do with them. As Worf would say: "They are withOUT honor!"

These were only two examples.  The rangers' response to my questioning logos was "The Trekkies come every year. They're welcome just the same as everyone else."  Yes, but why are they exercising organizational representation?

In the end, the only true carriers of the proverbial flame of Burning Life who worked in an official capacity were the Art Department and the Lamp Lighters. Bless you both. Bless Mom and White for your hard work. Bless Widget and the random vehicle dispensers throughout the Playa. Bless the faithful artists who TRULY respect the spirit of Burning Man and brought unconditional joy to visitors without catch-22's or promotional linkbacks beyond your profile picks.


A couple of weekends ago, a featured diva on the playa - someone who got their start at Show n Tell - made an appearance in Lummerland. She originally showed up earlier in the year as a cyberpunk neko, quietly showing her multimedia sculptures. A corporation picked up on her work and now has it installed on their island.  So here she was two weeks back, appearing like Princess Naboo meets the snow goddess, standing to the side of the bleachers while a couple of clearly marked corporate recruiters sat among the spectators. Apparently she couldn't sully her glow and sit with the common avatars *shrug*

I have to give her credit: At least she didn't come to show something and bring artificial voters in tow like some people do. But you know she's beyond that show n tell thing anyway.