Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Whisperer Gets Schooled

Someone called The Whisperer - one of those bloggers who get off attacking everyone and everything - caught sight last month of an incident related by merchant owner LTD and why they chose not to support Relay For Life of Second Life this year.  Suffice it to say not much about it surprised me, and they were very clear about this being an SL-based issue.

Enter The Whisperer. He used this as a springboard to tear into Relay For Life and The American Cancer Society, RFL of SL and RFL of InWorldz.  Many of his rhetoric has no basis and is outright false.

Naturally, as with other megalomaniacal bloggers we've seen, their mindless minions respond in blind reverance, one even calling Relay For Life a scam.

This blogger seems to be on a hate spree, given some other entries I skimmed while tracking this one down.

I posted the following response. It remains to be seen whether The Whisperer will approve it to his comments.

While I agree with many of your points regarding RFL of SL behavior (I've documented it in great detail), your statements of where donations go both in SL and IW are **FALSE** and inciteful and need to be edited.   It is stated clearly that ALL money goes to the American Cancer Society.  The avatars collecting on both grids were set up by ACS staff. Clicking a kiosk on either grid takes you to info about where the donations go and what they fund.

You may have a grudge over people or a cybersocial site, but ACS is legit and their efforts should not be maligned so frivolously

As for Inworldz, I didn't post anything about my first season with them last year. I owe you at least an overview, and very soon.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Again a Question of Priorities

The committee was much larger than originally expected...
The Kick-off ceremony yesterday was very high energy and big on Ronco style hype.

During the ceremony - as part of the ceremony as one of the "But wait! There's more" pitches - came the details of a special resource HUD from which we could receive fundraising tools.   Right then group notices came through with the HUD.

Let's break this down...

The USA had just experienced a similar occurrence in which their president - a TV personality - held off denouncing hate crime incidents until he had everyone's attention at a nationally televised appearance during primetime.  His moral compass was called into question because exploiting these incidents were more important than addressing them as soon as they had occurred. Imagine a shooting not mentioned or condemned or an offer of support expressed to grieving families by any past US president in the past 40-plus years.

The Relay For Life of Second Life committee - which by its very name exists as a commitment to serve Relay teams and Relayers - is responsible for providing team captains and volunteers with fundraising tools. Captains must have these before kick-off as part of their booths to get the ball rolling collecting donations. These have always been available at least a day before kick-off weekend to give everyone time to load vendors of salable items and place kiosks. Why?

- Because this is what these tools are for,
- Because this is the purpose of team spots at a kick-off,
- Because the objective of every team is to get tools and collect donations, and
- Because it is the role of the committee to make it all happen FOR THE RELAYERS.

You'd think the parallel with America's State of the Union would have been obvious, and possibly something in someone's head may have clicked after strong feedback and thought: "You know, maybe holding off supplying something to our relayers..." because the fact is we're not the committee's followers "...just to put on a big show and hype basic equipment as mannah from heaven ISN'T the right approach or in their best interest."

It was just in the committee's best interest to put on a show while everyone was tuned in.

Add to that the fact that this HUD supposedly offers many clickable items for different resources.  The only problem is the graphic is poor quality. You can only read about half of the clickable spots clearly to know what they are. (Click to see it full size)

Image not resized or retouched. Anyone know what the upper right stamp says?
On the plus side, clicking TOOLS on it offers you several buttons from which to choose.  It is a definite improvement to contain vendors, kiosks, and auction supplies in each of their own folders and not get dumped with anything you won't need.

Their hype over the HUD would have been better pitched at last month's Relay Rap to give volunteers something to look forward to, with them coming through via group Notices this past Thursday or Friday, then spiel in-depth about new features during the ceremony to bring people not entirely with it back into the fold while volunteers in the know extoll the virtues of the new stuff around them.

The committee just can't get past the "they mean well" and "they're trying" phases. They just don't think things through, and as long as they think of themselves first and place priorities on the wrong things in the guise of acting in our best interests -while representing The American Cancer Society - there's always going to be a problem and a rut to crawl out of.

Addendum to previous post: Is this a Relayer-friendly option over ceremonies set at sim borders?

Also if they think cancer shaming volunteers or extorting them with RL info is going to be an answer to criticism...  Let's hope NOBODY sees that ever again.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

RFL of SL Kick-off: How Sincere Are Reparations?

View of Relay For Life Kick-off stage from the sim line.
Wish they'd bring this road texture back to the track.
I'm having one of those rare moments to myself at a small table in a local Starbucks.  In truth, I only like the smell of a freshly opened tin or jar of grounds.  Or - back when I was a little kid - found myself dragged past a self-serve coffee grinder at some A&P supermarket, where the rich smell of 8-O'Clock blend permeated the aisle.

But Starbucks sufficiently dresses up coffee with flavours so that one is not subjected to the betrayal of a bitter beverage when it is finally partaken.

I've done most of my blogging here or sitting in some coffee shop or diner while watching people pass.  Before an entire team was let go and I lost my job of 14 years the subway was where thoughts were collected.   Before blogging the subway was a place to compose fiction or plan a homepage on a Windows CE pocket PC.

You have to give New Yorkers credit:  most of us spend our commutes reading books, newspapers or magazines.  Or writing.  It is a mandatory timeout most of our nation is deprived of.  It could be what's wrong with it and why human civilization has reached a sorry crossroads.

At any rate, philanthropy has become THE method of support nowadays, and not just for specialty groups.  Mainstream needs such as basic healthcare resources for women or upholding basic rights have gone crowdfunder.

With our country causing a domino effect globally and basic human well-being hanging in the balance, it's hard to imagine Relay For Life of Second Life will end on a high.  They should expect anything and without passing judgement on their benefactors.

Most of all, as they attempt to put their reputation back together, they must never EVER lose sight of their number one audience to win back respect: The Relayer. 

As mentioned previously my own reasons for not captaining a team this year is strictly a time factor.  If life works out favorably - or even passably - in 2018 Hearts & Souls will not only return to Second Life but I may resume fundraising.  It all depends on what transpires, and that indeed includes how RFLofSL perform.

Sunday 5 March is their season's kick-off, and once again they've provided booths for teams (last year the committee only thought of themselves and a handful of sponsors).

The first fail is in and it is the fact that teams won't really be able to kick-off. 

The tools won't be ready in time for Sunday.  No kiosks, no vendors... No, it doesn't make sense, and yes, it IS a major fail.  The whole point of having a kick-off is to hit the ground running with collecting donations.  Your team's kiosk as you DJ, the traditional BYOK on Sunday night.  What's the point of having a fundraising event without fundraising? 

What could possibly hold up team tools with SEVEN MONTHS to prepare them?  Absolutely no excuse within reason.  If there were restrictions preventing the use of past team kiosks and vendors?  If someone was taken on as just some friend, teammate (nepotism AGAIN?) or in answer to a favor but isn't capable of the job then replace them.  This is ludicrous.

There's another fail unfortunately, and it's right there in the image at the top of this blog post.

One of the sticking points of last year were poor planning for ceremonies. A third of available attendee space difficult to access on Relay Weekend.  The Halfway There Fair, in which ceremonies were placed on one sim with most attendees AND some committee members forced to cam in from a distance.  Back in RFLofSL's heyday it appeared that Relayer access was paramount, with everything planned around that.

Looks like someone needs retraining.  The Kick-off stage is situated in the middle of one sim. I am on the sim line in the image.  Why oh why wasn't the stage at this border?  Because someone did not consider the Relayer a priority, and that needs to be addressed ASAP or they'll never crawl out of the hole they've dug themselves.  It's hard to believe this even has to be brought up, but that's where they are with priorities.

They have a long way to go to remove the bitterness. I wonder at this point if they even have it in them?