Stuff and Things – as SL gets kind of solo even as I go to more places…

27414259970_02798ba749_oSo its been a long while since I updated my blog.

The upgrade to Firestorm that brought the much needed Jellies came, and I see lots of flat out stupid people dialing up so they don’t see Jellies and can ignore this rather than trying to reduce their lag

The update to Belleza came, and it was a resounding successful improvement. But I still see merchants not including Belleza when the dev kits for Belleza are available now…

I have more or less adopted a clothes-free SL-lifestyle now. In part I just feel comfortable this way. I don’t get anyone being shy about a cartoon in a video game on their computer screen and its fun to run around like this and imagine if I could really do this. In part its a personal statement against all those people who refuse to sell me things because they’ve yet to support Belleza… 🙂

And its just fun.

No I am not a nudist in real life so you can stop IMing me that question. I personally think real life nudists are willfully foolish in their insistence that nudity is not sensual. Made all the more obvious by the fact that their sims in SL are full of xxx-poses behind every corner. Even the ones like Eden (where I am not allowed because they don’t allow people that look like me) that ban that in public have it inside so many of the buildings…

Then again I get that they probably do this because of fears of real-life crackdowns if they admitted the truth about the sensuality.


I keep meaning to write three articles here…

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Standing about rather than getting things done…

One:
About how I use Firestorm now that I do use it. I’ve been opposed to TPVs for years so this is new for me but I tend to deep-dive into things I do so I’m already helping others. But there is also a lot I could still learn.

As an aside to help explain why I’m on Firestorm now:

A great quote I don’t remember the source on is ‘have loosely held deep beliefs‘. I think I heard it on the Tim Ferris podcast… This is to say that you should get to know and very strongly advocate the positions you hold – or they are not worth holding. But you should be ready to abandon them in a moment if they should prove flawed or false. Be an advocate, and activist, but have no loyalty. Loyalty is for the ignorant. Principle and ethics are what should guide.

So this article would be both about how I use Firestorm now, and why. With the note that I could drop them in a moment if the winds changed and they were no longer an ideal choice.

The biggest gain for me in Firestorm was the built in AO. Yes this very old feature that the rest of you know about. It cut about 3mbs off my script count because I figured out how to use it to be a my own ‘dance engine’ and not just AO. Hint: put all your dances into the stand category of a ‘second AO’, set that one to cycle as desired, and switch to it when you want to dance. Can’t share dances? Big deal, I can’t stand line dancing anyway. Firestorm’s other features are handy but I could survive losing them. But this one reduced my lag – so it actually helps not just me but also those around me.

Two:
I want to write about how severely Second Life is a ‘white space’ and how alienating this is to me as a person of color. SL is a very unfriendly and uncomfortable place for me a lot of the time. Everything is just too ‘white’. This is an article that would not win me many friends… Because white people are very fragile when it comes to talking about race – they generally cannot handle facing reality exposed. I lost a few friends just with each shift in tone on my avatars skin… So I’m pretty sure if I were honest with them about how racially charged SL is, I’d clean the slate of the ones I have left… Since it is so ‘white space’, so ‘ethnic’ for their ethnicity, they don’t see it – they are in their comfort zone in SL. But to such a degree that it is alienating for the rest of us. Insert token other person of color here pointing out to me how wrong I am because they’re are more white-minded than me even though less white-bodied than me – a person who does not get the difference between individual and systemic.

Actually my favorite example of this – combing both ‘white fragility’ with ‘you are not colored enough’ was a blond haired blue eyed pale as a ghost but not albino woman saying she was African American and so I, as a Mulatto mostly Asian/Indigenous mix had no place speaking from the POV of a person of color… Which she did elsewhere rather than ever approaching me…

Three:
Even this article will get me into ‘trouble’. I need to do a new updated review of Belleza. The new versions of the body are amazingly well done. Belleza is now the lowest lag mesh body option out there, it holds up the best to changes in the shape dials and avatar physics, it looks really nice, and it has a wide list of options in customizing.

I feel merchants under-support it, and over supports significantly inferior bodies like Maitreya. Now remember my idea of ‘loosely help deep beliefs’. My first review of these panned Belleza as bad and at the time I was getting ready to promote Maitreya. But over time I saw Belleza fix every issue it had, put in more improvements, and all while Maitreya’s flaws were fundamental to the design and not fixable without ruing compatibility with all past clothing. Note that Belleza had the same problem (but to a lesser degree)… and this is why ‘Isis’ was put out to replace ‘Venus’…

Maitreya’s problem, in a nutshell, is all in your bosom. It deforms when you get just a little big big or small, and it has horrible avatar physics that leave it unable to look naturally weighty – but instead kind of springy with a ‘boing boing’ jerky bounce if you try to make it have a lot of motion (as it should if you are nude – if you meet me in SL you will see my bosom swaying all over the place. Now go topless and run around and notice your boobs are not going to run in the same direction as you… But on Maitreya, they will just bounce like a yo-yo on drugs). This is not to say Belleza is perfect. I still don’t have the sway of real life. But its the closest to it I’ve been able to get to so far. Only Lena Lush comes close – but that body is very high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ and doesn’t have many alpha cuts. Mind you now that I am an SL-Nudist Lena Lush and Lena Perky are actually decent choices: They are mod and you can delete the parts that make it high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ (the applier layers), and if you’re always nude you don’t care about alpha cuts…

So…

Maybe I will write those articles and maybe I won’t. The points they will hope to make are now ‘out there in part’. The arguments I would use to back those points… that would take more writing. Though I fully expect I will end up having to moderate some comments to this blog article in regards to my comment about SLs ethnic biases and Maitreya’s flaws.

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Hey naturists: Tell me again how nudity is not sensual or erotic?

All of that said… Since I am an SL nudist these days, I have been seeking places I could go while nude, and trying to build a ’24/7′ list of places that will let me be as I desire to be.

Right now that list is basically these venues, which includes several spots that are listed as ‘pickup joints’ but which in actual use are just hangout spots.

  • Naked – the only place I have a rental lot. 10 sailing sims. It is started to lessen in activity because it lacks good focal points. There is a popular hangout spot by the landing point but it is all chairs so the people there just sit and be boring. I feel a redesign to get them up and maybe moving or dancing, or at least to mix the seats with spots to stand or dance, would help. I also think removing ALL the furniture from there and moving the landing spot to the south of the sim just across from a clubhouse down there would greatly help the place…
  • ~ Hydra ~
    I go here when I spot enough green dots. Its a trance / euro-something dance place. The info encourages nudity but its rare to see. Though on some days for reasons I don’t know half the crowd will be nude. Curiously I did see them boot a furry out of the joint even though there is no sign anywhere that says no furries allowed… so I do have one DJ there now that I avoid.
  • [SMASH]
    Basically the same kind of music as Hydra. The place also allows nudity though I was told recently that it used to not allow such. I wondered if I was welcome, until a manager took the time to have a conversation with me and be welcoming. After all you can never trust the ‘hello [avatar name]’ that pops up when you teleport into a place… I usually don’t respond to those with any more than a ‘/me waves’ because I am not sure if they’re just scripted messages…Generally I like SMASH, but it moves the event around the sim and 2 or 3 of the spots they use are extremely laggy – as in I drop to 1 to 5fps… even with graphics turned down, and in one of them, if I end up there, I have to ‘force quit’ out of SL and relog in to another sim… But as long as they don’t cycle into those spots the place is enjoyable.
  • BLACK VOLCANO BEACH – I’ve known about this one for a while but generally avoided it because everytime I went they were playing some kind of metal… Recently started sticking it out to find that not all of the DJs are metal. As long as they aren’t playing metal I can sit here and enjoy the place.

Now I’ve just shared 4 places, 3 of which are dance clubs. This is my problem in SL these days… Dance clubs in SL are places to be alone in a crowd.

The 4th place, Naked… is serious ‘white space’. To the point that most of the people there don’t even greet or talk to me when I pop in. So I’ve been lessening how often I go. I have this impression that as the non-white avatar appears, people just shift to IMs… True or not… I don’t know. But I feel alienated there on a good two-thirds of my visits. I will need to put a white alt together again and see if there’s a difference.

  • Commune Utopia – I used to go here a lot, and still go often when I see a crowd. Its semi- welcoming. People will talk but not to the degree I’d like. The build is too dense though – giving me enough lag that to walk from one spot to another it is easier to just teleport. Even with short distances of less than a few meters. They recently moved one event to a beach spot that was on a very narrow pier – making this even worse, as I generally cannot find a spot to even stand. That said if they’re doing events on their ‘main floor’ and people are there, there’s plenty of open room there and walls that block laggy outside items from slowing up the graphics. Though of late the events there have been under-attended.
  • Old Lar’s – this is a spot I keep meaning to start going to. I’ve snuck in on alts a few times and found it OK. Just a dance club though so again it is being alone in a crowd. I have yet to make it a regular spot because it is one of those places with people dancing on bar tables and I just don’t get why a bad movie from 2000 (Coyote Ugly) has become ‘the thing to recreate’ in Second Life clubs… It’s the same reason why I don’t attend the ‘CMNF Lounge‘ – all they do is dance on the bar… Not to mention too many people on old pre-mesh avatars. :)So why mention Old Lar’s if its not even a hangout for me? It’s indicative of my search issue. All I can find for places that welcome nudity and are always busy are clubs where you sit there alone in a crowd. And something about the theme tends to jar at me. I imagine it is perfect for the regulars. This is a bit of what I mean by Second Life being so severely a ‘white space’. These places are too ‘ethnic’, as in ‘white ethnic’. So many white people will read that line as an attack… and then feel like a Soca or Hip-Hop club is too ‘ethnic’ and not see the contradiction… Its not about places being intentionally hostile – its just about the perspective the scene is made from and for. I’ll try to avoid getting too started on the ‘Reggae’ clubs in SL – they all remind me of the kind of joint you’d find inside of a tourist hotel in Jamaica rather than out in the community… Either they’re clean and hippie, or they are ‘Rentafari’ XXX joints (in fact many of the ‘hip-hop’ venues in SL seem like ‘tourist’ spots rather than for people ‘in the life’ – the avatars in them are just too ‘over the top’). Remember just because I’m an SL nudist does NOT mean I’m into the whole SL-sex scene.
  • Phil’s Cafe – this is pretty much exactly the kind of space I am looking for in Second Life. Only problem is that it is a weekly event that lasts one hour on a Thursday night… So what do I do with the rest of my week?At Phil’s, there is a weekly topic, and we talk. I can be dressed however I want and nobody cares. What matters is the topic. I do wish they’d update the furniture. I tend to just stand because the chairs all lack animations… This place is just a small box in the sky somewhere with some random diagrams on the walls and some prims you can sit on that are roughly shaped like couches – pre-sculpty furniture…But the fact that its discussion makes it appealing and I go. Granted every now and then it gets a libertarian coming in and the places goes downhill rapidly and they start spewing racist pseudo-economics or Ayn Rand pseudo-nazism. But the normal crowd is better behaved even though I’m pretty sure it has a few conservatives. There’s a few Philosophy groups in SL, but they’re either way too ‘white space’ stuck on Plato, or Libertarian. Even been to one that was a mix between Plato and Ayn Rand

If I could fill my week with places like Phil’s I would. I’ve been told I should host my own such venue. I did build one on my land, but I’ve had second thoughts about going ahead with it.

But instead I end up in a lot of places where I am alone in a crowd. Which has led to Second Life becoming a largely ‘solo-player game’ for me. I spend most of my time sitting in my skybox, sometimes elsewhere on my land, and then now and again alone in one of these crowds.

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Too much time by myself in SL.

Sure I get IMs from people looking to meet me…

But they are often in one of two forms:

  1. Hey
  2. So here are these things about you. Now talk to me.

The first one… yeah, like… um… what do I say to a one word comment out of nowhere? Sometimes they manage to add a ‘baby’ on the end of it… Other times it manages a sentence that is usually a proposition and not to discuss politics…

The second one drives me even more nuts. This is the person who sends me a very detailed message. Pages, sometimes over days… but in it they never tell me a single thing about themselves or why or how or who or what to drive me to interest.

Instead the entire thing about their impressions of me.

I start to feel like an exhibit at a zoo.

I don’t want to be told about me. I want you to tell me about you and maybe some things about you we might have in common or could get together over.

I do realize here that I am sitting here asking other people to do the work of contacting me rather than getting out myself and contacting them… that is a valid problem. If I really want to meet people in Second Life, I need to become more outgoing…

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Yeah, I need to start bugging other people instead of waiting for them to bug me.

 

Second Life’s “Sexy Time” advertising – thinking twice about the opposition to it

This is cobbled together from some posts I’ve been leaving on Hamlet Au’s blog.

You might think that as a spiritual person, active about my faith in SL, who often comments about ‘that stuff’… that I’d be on the bandwagon against the new ads.

Especially as those ads are basically “the sexy white people” routine again…

But I’m not so willing to fight this one.

Let me use a bit of over the top silly exaggeration to make a point.

Imagine its 2009 and you’re a corporate user looking to use Second Life for business meetings, showcasing your real life business achievements, selling product, branding, etc…

Problem is… the place is full of so-called furries and XXXers and RPers and educationals and “commie-liberal-hippie-artist-scum”. All those people you don’t want in your store scaring your customers. The weirdos you picked on in 6th grade.

So you call up your mate from school, M. Linden, and ask him to take an accounting of things and correct all this. You’ve got money to dump, and he just needs to clean up the place. Get rid of the geeks and losers.

So he tries.

And we all know the result. SL goes into a tailspin, policies get odd, prices go up, venues close, and then business realizes it doesn’t even want the product anyway. In fact; the whole call M. Linden got seems to have been dreamed up in his head: business was never really on board anyway. They were the customer Linden Lab wanted, the freaks were the customers Linden Lab got.

Even SL’s founder is on record calling his users ‘disabled freaks’. He used more polite language, but basically back then he called us all ‘the crazy cat lady down the block and the old guy telling you to get off of his lawn.’

Now its 2014 and Linden Labs is looking at marketing again so they look at what people ACTUALLY USE SL FOR…

Hamlet Au posts this almost every month.

Top sims?

XXX-this and XXX-that, with a bit of Borat sexy time thrown in for good measure and a few furries and goreans. PLus some dating and dancing places for those ‘so-called online dating freaks’.

The rest of us? We’re a bit like those 2009 business users (OK, I’m a furry half of the time… this is just a silly parable after all).

Now everyone’s all up and trying to call E. Linden and ask him what for… Asking him to clean up the place so your respectable art and live music and charity work doesn’t have to sit next to the gorean-furry-luvulongtime-escort-interracial-child-xxx operation…

But… well…

At the same time we’ve been demanding for years that they recognize who’s using SL, and market to them.

Now they are.

And we don’t like it.

Pick your poison folks.

Because its right there in Hamlet Au’s blog… look at who the top sims are (note how similar this 2011 link is to the 2014 one – this stuff is pretty static in theme).

If anything, LLs needs to get MORE explicit in these ads. It might chase us “regular respectable folks” away… but at least then they’d be appealing to their actual users for a change:
Those ‘noobs’ on the xxx sims…

Now, I don’t mean to imply that the XXX and ‘fantasy self’ crowd drove away the business crowds.

Rather I am trying to show that we’ve already seen what happens when Linden Lab tries to market not to the customers it has, but the ones it wishes it had.

Now… they are marketing to the actual people that show up at the door… and folks don’t like it, because most of the Second Life users are NOT from the same crowd that composes the Second Life commentators.

Commentators, critics, and bloggers want them to market to people who are here for “something greater”… But the very data we love to talk about and promote shows that we are not the viable audience for Second Life…

And that like it or not… maybe they actually are marketing to the right crowd now… at least from a ‘capitalist bottom line’ POV…

I hope my opinion here is not seen as mocking the ‘freaky’ people that end up in Second Life – as that is not my intent. I’m stating it like that above to be over the top, and to hopefully show a little of ‘this is how what gets said gets read’.

Plenty of people seek acceptance online from a world that rejects them offline. I know for a fact this is why many minorities ‘hide as white’ in platforms like Second Life. I’ve always been a fighter so that notion never appealed to me.

I actually am mostly fit and healthy for my age, and still seem to have my looks – despite the scraps I’ve been through.

So given a choice between a kick in the face for speaking up, or having a group hug by playing nice… I’ve always chosen the kick… I’ve got a dentist appointment soon because that is NOT an analogy for me…

I try to remember that about others too. That everyone needs a place to feel accepted and to explore – though I do fail at it sometimes because I tend to fight back and can end up misdirected.

Too often people are scorned merely for what they are, rather than who/how they are – I say that all the time about race, but it also very much applies to gender, physical ability, fitness, attractiveness, social class, and other ways people are unjustly biased against.

Second Life is a fantasy world that lets people find their own ways of skipping past that bias. Its also just a place to have some fun in – and each side of the fence here needs to get over its bias of the other because to the world outside of SL, we’re all 10x freakier than any of us might actually be.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when the fantasy the majority here seek is not the one oneself is seeking – but better to recognize that it is still doing good for people in letting them find their fantasy.

People who do not like that Linden Lab is now advertising to its actual users can consider the alternative… going the way of Blue Mars or Cloud Party – vanishing.

SL9B – something permanent like this please, to help retention

I’ve added this to my newbie category because I go into advice on finding communities here. But if you’re a new person, this is probably one to read a week or two after you join.

I’m going to break a personal policy I have. I usually do not like to blog about “the same stuff everyone else is” because then well… its just reading more of the same – and probably from someone (me) with less of an informed track (I’ve got my opinions, but lack the industry sources of many SL bloggers).

But this one I need to get out there and say, on my own blog, and not just as a comment on someone else’s. So its just my feelings on things that went well.

SL9B this year really seems to have been everything right about a community event.

I had Initially planned to boycott in protest of Linden Labs pulling out.

Started going as friends dragged me in.

I had a lot less lag at this one than I’ve ever seen in past. Perhaps due to the high presence of mesh; which tends to run faster than pre-mesh on systems capable of running it. Mesh, once you get it working on your system – is just like that. I know some people have nightmares getting to run. For those who’ve made it past the hurdle, its a refreshing future of a lower lag Second Life.

It was so smooth I was able to go to crowded sims and turn on shadows, play with windlight, and spam the feeds with screenshots.
http://my.secondlife.com/pussycat.catnap

The events were great, the builds were great – only a few commercial spammers got in under the radar. I’ve not been one for most events of late as they end up being nothing more than merchant spam-fests. This one was dedicated mostly to builds about communities and what folks love about SL. A section carved off for people who do media about SL, news, blogs, video – that was an added bonus. In fact need to start following http://metaversetv.com/ it looks, was already following http://treet.tv.


I learned about a LOT of communities that I’d never heard of before. And I mean a -LOT-. Who knew there was so much variety out there? After a few years I’ve come to be jaded in thinking I was alone in a wilderness of BDSM, Vampires, and people who listen to music 3 decades old. 😉

I still need to go back and get notecards for about 57 of them… O.o

And I don’t think there’s enough time for me to do it… /sigh. Maybe I’ll pull out an alt so I can go in stealth mode… and then end up IMing friends and defeating the purpose.

Something like this ought to be around all the time.

If a build like this was up 24/7… if even a micro version of it was the welcome area for people

  • some easy way to discover new communities without getting spammed by merchants or ‘best in hoochie-mamma wear is up on the board, bring all your wish-they-could-be-crack-ho-friends’ events…
  • I think that is what would help with retention in SL.

I spent an hour of Sunday morning chatting with a friend who’s recently passed her first rezzday. She was bemoaning how hard its been of late finding people to meet and places to go. She’s in that critical stage in SL where the things you did as a new resident have lost their magic and you need to find something that really syncs with you or SL will get set aside…

SL9B’s style of builds would be the answer – you can run through there and more than likely find something.


I suspect Linden Labs is sitting there smugly feeling they made the right move in pulling out and making residents pay to host their party. But I’m not sure if this went off better because of that, or despite it. It was rushed – and in a rush sometimes people pull together out of crisis more than they might otherwise do. I suspect this went off well due to folks pulling together and setting aside disputes (for the most part – I’m aware of two builds that had to be pulled), in order to meet a very short notice. Given time, the same chaos might unravel into a mess.

Oddly, there have been more linden sightings this last week than I’ve ever seen before. Not by me, but by many others. All over the place.

Last year’s SL8B – they seemed to avoid all but the keynote speeches. This year they’ve been all over the grid, and some posting journals on the feeds.
– I hope that continues as well.

Its a very good sign.

The more the lindens publicly appear to be engaged, the more faith customers will have in the product.

I read lindens all the time complaining when we say they don’t care – stating that yes they do, and many log in on personal accounts from home every day, or during work on linden accounts, etc, yadda yadda.
But that counts for nothing if we don’t see it.

You can care all you want, if nobody knows, no one has faith in you. Show it. And recently some of them have begun to do so.


As for some kind of build like SL9B, as a permanent thing, what would that look like? Could it be done in a single sim?

Possibly. Maybe. Something to think about.

Could this just comes down to a more effective version of the destination guide? Seeing signs that show communities, and give out a little bit of info, and will take you there.
– Something that effectively filters out the commerce.

Commerce has its place, but that place is not everywhere…

Granted the most effective means would be micro builds… but there are only so many prims to go around. Unless each sign was a rezzer – that rezzed a 100-prim build for a viewer to look at.

Imagine that as an idea. Click through the sign to find your theme of interest, rez a sample, and up pops a scene of something. Perhaps a recreation of a Tiny community, or a stage for a theater community, with a few little prim actors, or a sailboat on water for a sailing community.

– Something visual for people to sink their minds into, gain interest, and go visit the ‘real community.’

That’s what we need, and we need something like at almost every infohub and welcome center in SL…

SL9B shows that we can showcase the diverse communities in SL in an appealing way – the trick is to figure out how to do this all the time.

WoW’s lead deveoper on how to manage community – lessons for LLs

A short one today.

We all know how bad its been around Second Life regarding Linden Lab’s non-communicative stance. There’s general agreement that this silence does a lot of harm to the viability of the platform, though disagreement on the specifics and degree.

So how about a very different stance’s POV.

Ghostcrawler of World of Warcraft – a developer who posts so much to his game’s forums that its easy to thing he’s just a guy in the community service / customer support section with no real authority… yet he is also the game’s lead designer. As in; the buck stops at his desk.

He’s just done an interview and given some of his thoughts. Its an article that everyone at Linden Labs ought to be required to read:

Q&A: Greg Street, ‘World of Warcraft’ Lead Systems Designer (Pt. 1)

Q&A: Greg Street, ‘World of Warcraft’ Lead Systems Designer (Pt. 2)

Biggest point:

“World of Warcraft” fans might know you as “Ghostcrawler” on the message boards. How did you get into engaging directly with players in that way?
That started back at Ensemble, just as a way to try and simply communicate directly with players. So often the players and the designers are separated by layers of PR people and community managers and everything gets diluted and filtered. Players want to give us feedback, and social media is a great way to have a conversation with normal people. Us being on there and interacting is how we get insight into our players. A single passionate user can steer the direction of the forums in a certain direction, but no one player can represent all 10 million. So it’s great for us to actually ask questions when someone posts something and find out why they feel how they do.

From the gamer’s point of view they like to know that they’re being taken care of and that all the time and energy they invest is taken seriously and and not for granted. They’re happy to pay a monthly subscription to play the game as long as we’re going to continue polishing things, making new content, and recognizing the value of the customers.

Be Interesting – Second Life’s new searchable interests and why the recent email contact program to put avatars in touch with like minded avatars is such a good thing.

Earlier this week Linden Lab emailed a lot of us a list of peeps we might like to get in contact with. Other avatars in Second Life that have filled in at least one identical interest to us.

No idea if any other filtering method was used – age, privacy, etc. But it does seem to have gone out to everyone in Second Life who had Interests listed in their profile.

Overall I think this is potentially one of the best moves ever made by LLs for bringing people together. But it needs refinement.

  • First, Interests need to be matchable for similar entries. On the forums and in the feedback poll I noted that it won’t know that ‘Reggae’ and ‘Reggae Lover’ are related… but it should.
  • Second, once it does that, it need to cut these matches down to only people with 3+ interests in similarity.
  • Third, it needs to not make a match for any interest that appears on more than 40% of all profiles. “Exploring” is Second Life talk for “Likes long walks on the beach” – something everyone says, most who say it don’t actually agree with it, but we all think we have to say it… and the people most likely to actually agree with it claim not to because its said too often.

    (Sadly ‘Neko‘ is in the same camp, and that’s my community, but yeah… needs to be ignored by all forms of SL search because its so overused it has as much meaning in SL as faceplanting on your spacebar.)

  • Fourth: The system should focus on making the IM button prominent, and suggest that people ‘get in touch with someone new.’ Make it about starting conversations.
  • Fifth: The list should be on our web and viewer (sidebar) dashboards. In the viewer, put it under the button for profiles in the sidebar – a LOT of empty space down there for which this is ideal.

Worked out properly this could be a VERY useful feature for making SL more of a community. One of the most common complaints against Second Life by both new and old users alike is the difficulty of finding other people to enjoy the experience together with. I view this as a very positive step towards making that much less of a concern.

I’ve been saying since the first time I logged into Second Life in 2006, that the interests needed to be a feature that could be used to network with others. Five years on, and we’re finally seeing something there. Its been almost half a year since interests themselves were searchable. But the system was implemented with very limited functionality. It was a start however, and not perhaps a good half of all old residents, and much more among newer residents have interests filled in to some capacity.

Though there’s very little consistency of what to put in there… Under the present system, single word common terms are going to be much more effective than anything else.

A few among the ‘don’t talk to me’ crowd online are panicking right now over this email. I am completely baffled by this reaction. I am not capable of understanding their concern here, and I’m very much a privacy freak.

BUT if you fill out something which has as its sole purpose of making you searchable on the basis of what you fill in, then you should not be surprised when you get searched, nor should you be unwelcome to it.

If you don’t desire to be searched and contacted through this, the solution is simple – don’t use it. Don’t be ‘interesting’. Leave them blank, and you’re off the list. Or if you can’t remember what you like, so need a personal list nobody looks at – use the privacy settings or put special characters into it so it fails to return a match.

Simple as that.

If you fill it out, you are -ASKING- people to use it. So they will.

And for those of us who, like so many in Second Life, complain about how hard it is to find others – this is a major blessing. It makes the process so, so, so much easier.

Thumbs up to Linden Labs on this one. Job well started; now finish it and make it better. 🙂

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