"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Way to Remain...

******************************Where we come from**************************
One doesn't have to spend much time in Secondlife to learn that time seems to move very differently here than it does in our other life, a friend of mine has compared Secondlife years to dog years... and that analogy  may not be that far off. My friend Jake came up to my yard this evening to say hello and we started talking about early friends here in world. I would imagine his case is very average in that most if not all of his earliest friends in Secondlife are no longer around. Even those of us that come to virtual worlds all wide eyed at first seem to gradually fall away as the weeks, months, and years go by.
In my case I feel so fortunate in that four of my earliest friends, those I met in my early days, are still in my life today.
Among those, and today the most active of those, is Ling

 I'm either blessed or cursed with a really good memory  =^..^=  I often can remember exactly where I met some one and Ling is no exception. We were standing on "The Bridge To Nowhere" at The Lost Gardens of Apollo. That was late 2007, and we have been doing this virtual existence ever since.
More than that, we have maintained a wonderful relationship since that first day.
That's not to say that we haven't disagreed... where I tend to be headstrong and impulsive, Ling is cautious and pragmatic. So often I end up mentally kicking myself for not seeking her counsel before I act, instead of asking her how can "we" fix another situation I find myself in.
Today Lings corner may well be the showplace of Benares, from birds and plants, to those games we did as children... all are to be found around her place.
Her latest contribution to our community is to be found on our West shore, just north of her peaceful garden. She has set up a fishing venue there, with prizes paid out for the most fish... the biggest fish. It's a non profit thing... Ling not only bought the land to put it on, she bought all the content as well.
Fishing venue...Come and enjoy! A great place to sit and chat while you maybe earn an L$ or so.

I will always believe that the only way to remain in Secondlife long term is to find a passion. For some of us that passion is content creation, some use art, others can sing, still others find helping new people the key that works for them.
Ling has found being and active member of Secondlife, of always being there with a kind word, a helping hand, a shoulder to share what's going on, of being a person of integrity, and above all being a friend to all that will return that friendship the thing that has kept her here for one thousand two hundred thirty five days.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AlexHayden, Bliss.....and a bear who simply isn't funny....

**************************Where we come from**************************
In August of last year I had the good fortune to meet one of those gentlemen I spoke of a few days ago.
And I mean that in it's literal way... a gentle man. AlexHayden joined us at Benares. It said a lot to me when he chose to retain the parcel name Bliss that had been given to that far Southeast corner of our east homestead by another gentle man, Andor.
                                                      AlexHayden Junibalya
                                                             Bliss @  Benares East
Alex has been our resident grid traveler, a fellow blogger , and an all around supporter of not only my efforts at Benares but the efforts of several of my friends as well as a supporter of where Secondlife could go if we just could get The Benevolent Monarchy to listen to us.

I find Alex to be a very interesting guy...
Take a look at a couple of things I've found out about him.
First,  what you will find on his Secondlife profile:
"Happily wandering the roads of the Omniverse...
There's a voice that keeps on calling me
Down the road, that's where I'll always be.
Every stop I make, I make a new friend,
Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down,
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on....."
And then his first life text:
"In real life, I play piano with a band at a small theatre run by a green frog and whose performers include a pig with Diva like tendencies and a bear who simply isn't funny...."

Now that is funny!

Then... there's the serious, compassionate guy.

And in that life where I sleep I have people ask me why I spend time in virtual worlds....
They ask because they never meet the kinds of people I meet in these worlds.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doing the right thing sometimes just sucks...

*****************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************
This is a re post of what I wrote last evening... I guess Blogger had a glitch. Shortly after I published, it disappeared. If you still have the original forgive the disparity, I still feel the same way. ********************
I had to do something last evening that just breaks my heart. I had to report a thirteen year old not only on the main grid, she was at Benares. This wasn't someone that just wandered in, it was some one I had met... someone I had shared laughter with... someone I had shared some of the magic of Secondlife with.
Yes... it was the right thing to do.
Yes... if she were my child I would want some one to do as I did.
Yes... to not report her could conceivably cost me my account.
No... it didn't feel good.
Two days ago a friend showed up at Benares with a one day old nooblet. This girl was as smart as I think I've ever seen someone enter Secondlife, she was also very polite, respectful, and full of questions. She was a joy to teach the basics of this world to. She wasn't interested in how she looked or dressed, {I do have to say the newer default avatars are very well done}. She wanted to know things like how do you build a house, how do you make a door work.
Last night I received an IM from one of my residents, "Brinda, are you busy? We have and issue".
Ling and I TPed to my residents home... there is Kayesim Resident, the new girl.
One of the people there had asked her how old she was.... thirteen.
I called a trusted friend of mine to come and tell all of us the exact legalities of what ages can be where.
I had no recourse. Kayesim was honest and I'm sure it took at certain amount of courage and the ethics that her parents had instilled in her for her to be honest with us. She acknowledged in chat that she was thirteen.
I reported her to Linden Lab. Then I took her to The Lost Gardens of Apollo, one of the most beautiful places in Secondlife. She thanked me and told me that what she had seen gave her something to look forward to.
As I landed back at home I saw her log off. Search showed her account was deleted.

This morning I saw the E-mail below from Alex, (and I'm sure he won't mind my posting his missive).... **************
"Hand on heart. What choice did you have? Let her wander the grid and find the adult areas? Stumble into a situation beyond her control? We both know that not everyone would have the best interests of a youngster to you said it yourself, you did the right thing, don't beat yourself up over it! Besides, you indicate that she is an intelligent young lady. I'll bet she will be back here making stuff when she is old enough to be. Unless Second Life has turned into some god awful version of IMVU by then....
Dear Alex, thank you.
My dream is that we are still here when this child returns in five years. What a story that will be to tell.
And so it goes
I do love you all, brinda

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hopefully a Positive Contribution...

*****************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** Some weeks ago I posted about how I intended to try a little harder to work with the newer men just entering Secondlife, and while I've had no negative experiences, only one or two guys ever returned for *lesson* number two. That is about the same success rate as with any group. The bottom line is that helping new people is difficult at best. I have been so blessed with the men residents at Benares. Jake, Alexhayden, Bernard, Dan, Smithy, loegan... all have treated not only myself but everyone else at Benares with the greatest kindness and respect. In the coming days I will attempt to profile a couple of these men and their specific contributions to both our family at Benares as well as to the Secondlife program. In the above list I didn't include a former resident and friend, Andor. He literally dropped in on me last evening for a visit. Andys other life now keeps him a little too busy to spend much time in virtual worlds, so it's always a rare treat for me to have a chance to chat with him. Andor has a small spot near the center of the main island where he enjoys coming to sit for a bit and relax and think. He's promised me to occasionally offer a few thoughts and poems that I will be able to share with all of you. One last comment for today. When I started this blog just a couple posts shy of 300 those many months ago, I said I wanted to do a blog that didn't troll or disparage anyone. For the most part I've succeeded in that, though recently I have been less than kind when referring to a rather famous blogger of virtual worlds. I don't think I've trolled The Benevolent Monarchy...but I suspect if I have, {A} they don't read me and, {B} if they did they don't care what I say. What I have noticed in this past week is a significant increase in page views here. People are interested in good news. I like that. All I've wanted is to be a positive contributor to our world... Hopefully to contribute as much as those I've recently written about. Maybe it's important. And so it goes, Much love always, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Contributions, Compassion, Professionalism...

******************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** Everyone in Secondlife makes a contribution. I know some of you understand my feelings about those whose contribution is simply standing at the so called welcome areas and chatting either in voice or in text, but they too do contribute. Their contribution, as I see it, might simply be those of numbers... concurrency. My guess is The Benevolent Monarchy needs numbers in order to keep the venture capitalists placated. The ones really that impress me are those thousands that truly make Secondlife what it is. Those that contribute to the culture of our world. Some contribute content, others contribute community, still others make us a gift of their time and compassion. My friend Porter Paquot does all of those. There is Porter the vocalist. A singer in real life performing with a group in the Northwest USA, she brings a level of professionalism to Secondlife performances not often seen. There is my resident Porter the home body, the wannabe child {look at the water slide}. Never content with boring status quo this is her roller derby rink... the striped tent upper left is a bumper car ride. The heart of her Secondlife has to be here, the Mill. This is where one can find the performer Porter. There are a lot of performers in Secondlife, some quite good. But having a professional stage presence makes all the difference in the world. Never content, next to the Mill is this gallery. My former manager, Poly, found Porter about day one or so, I met her on day two. I watched her decorate her first house... I watched her venture out into the often contentious Secondlife entertainment world. I've watched her help some in our world that were having real problems. I've watched her battle some of her own demons... and she does it with grace. And so it goes Grace and love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते P.S For a link to her real life band use this link. hint... click on the "recordings" tab to hear some of their music!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Educator, Content Creator, & most of all Friend...

*****************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** Flor Nachtigal... A case of where to start. I first met Flor in November 2009 when she entered Secondlife... she was busy editing her appearance at the BSD Archer house on a Help Island and all of 15 minutes old. The basic person we see today was already formed to a great degree even then. When given suggestions on appearance... she listened, and then still made her own choices. Flor is the Chief Editor of The Palais Secondlife Magazine... She is a builder and content creator... The beach house above is just one of the houses she's built at Benares. I didn't realise how much content she had created until I started writing this post... Google her name. I had no idea she had creations on the Secondlife Market Place. If you've never met Flor, send her and IM, ask her a question. Particularly ask her a question about art, education, or the true Secondlife experience. You will find someone both dedicated to Secondlife as well as having a well formed opinion about our world. For a copy of The Palais Magazine, one place you can find one is at the location below. And so it goes I love you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते p.s. Sorry about the smoggy picture of my dear old Orange County California, some stuff just "is".

Monday, March 21, 2011

New talent!

*****************************Where we come from***************************** ***************************************************************************** For all of it's many problems... Secondlife is awesome. I know I've said before that I have more passion today than I did that day in early May four years ago when I first logged into our world, it's true. In this next week or so I want to document what a few of the residents of Benares are doing. I am going to start where I start, and the order I go with has absolutely no hidden meaning. I often say that I have no creative talent in Secondlife save and ability to map textures, mostly that's true. There are some that tell me that perhaps my true talent is having some people skills, maybe. Four and a half months ago kain Canare came to Benares, and like a hundred before her she enjoyed having the use of our guest house. This woman was like a thirsty sponge when it came to learning everything there was to learn about our world. Below find some images of just what this woman has taught herself to do since the beginning of the year.

This desk set's PC has a "screen saver"... that works. A bath for a customer. {Under construction} A sculpty living room set... If memory serves me, 8 prim total. This grandfather clock actually works! Pendulum swings... and I took this screen shot at 5:06 pm SLT She has created a chess set that is playable... yes, it's 33 prim but so very cool! Kain is available for custom work, you give her a photo of what you wish and see what she can do. More tomorrow about the people of Benares And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste


post script: I see a couple of my friends are in a comments war blog wise. I can't /won't choose sides, all I can think of is that and eye for and eye leaves us all blind.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes, We were recalcitrant

*****************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** I think this will likely be my last post about Spewer 2.ought oh... and unless something else absolutely ridiculous comes from the keyboard of Wagner James Au, my last comment here about Mr. Au. In case you don't keep up with the latest drama in our blogosphere {is there such a word?} Mr. Au of New World Notes infamy recently blamed the downturn of Secondlife on those oldbies/midbies et al who refused to march blindly to the drumbeats of The Benevolent Monarchy. Yes and no. I believe without a doubt the single worst decision by the Monarchy was the creation of viewer 2 as it was configured. While most of us fully supported many of the new features, we balked at the complicated poorly thought out UI. Almost without exception the populace rejected the new viewer... not because it was new, but because it was poorly thought out, had so much hidden, was difficult to use for building, had weird panels that hid much of our screens, broken search functions, on and on ad infinitum. My best guess is that because the Monarchy had spent so much capital on that viewer, and would have their investors wrath to deal with if they withdrew it, they had little choice about retaining it. I can almost hear someone in a meeting saying, "We're stuck with the viewer, the users will come around if they're forced to use it". Well, a lot of people wouldn't be forced to use it... they left Secondlife for other grids. Others just left. Perhaps the saddest part of the decision to force the use of Spewer 2 has to do with those just entering Secondlife. The viewer that was supposed to make The New User Experience easier... didn't. Secondlife may never see the kinds of numbers that Failbook has, and as Mr. Au has said, without growth Secondlife will never see it's full potential, or perhaps survive. But Secondlife would be well served if we just retained more of the reported 86% of new users that never log back in after that first confusing venture. They will never get to see the true magic that is the Secondlife myself and so many tens of thousands have found. That's darned sad. I spent my last working years in the business world. Contract or no contract, it's imperative to keep the customer happy. While the Terms of Service make it abundantly clear that Secondlife is a take it or leave it deal... we are customers first, we pay the bills. If we have been recalcitrant, maybe we were right. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wonder If Mr. Humble reads the blog I commented on?

*****************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** OK Soapbox time... again. Below is a comment I posted today on a blog that is still shilling for both FailBook {gosh I love that and can't remember who to credit it to} and for The Benevolent Monarchy. I can accept that the company that runs Secondlife may not be growing at the rate that that same amount of money would increase at if it were invested elsewhere. And believe me, I do understand that "the bottom line" is truly the bottom line. While Secondlife is a wonderful, creative, multinational experience for us the users, for the investors/owners it's all about money. Here... Just maybe my one tiny voice will be heard, I have to believe.

"Oh Please!. I pay my share... 6K USD a year. No, I'm not golden... but I'm far from a freeloader. Try to force me/us to use a UI that's so bad that literally thousands of daily users don't like it? It's also darned sure nothing to do with point/clic... the Third Party Viewers have that, I use that function... it's handy. As was stated above we tug on the rope and no one listens for weeks/months/years? It's not that people don't come... it's the 86% that never re log after time one. Here, let me tug on the rope one more time. This *New User Experience* isn't working, and a large part of that is the complicated viewer that we that are strangling Secondlife refuse to embrace. Default all new users to and island of their own with adequate mentoring. Instead of sitting in and office emotionally, actually come spend time in world talking with that new user standing way off to one side of a so called welcome area where he/she has just been ignored... or even worse jeered at because they are so *lost*. Mr. Humble... if you read this and would like to hear from several of those that used to work with new users (and a few that still do... IM me or send me and Email, you have the address). " And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Secondlife Still Has A Culture...

*****************************Where we come from****************************** ***************************************************************************** I originally intended this post to be about how people in Secondlife learn about the latest news, or new thing, or current drama. The leading subject was to be concerning the near constant hysteria surrounding "RedZone"... and then I decided to listen to what a friend counseled a few days ago and just ignore that latest drama. Instead I want to focus on something most of us likely don't often think about... community and the culture of Secondlife. Whether there is a culture of Secondlife as opposed to there being culture in Secondlife was one of last years news stories. Tom Hale, formerly of Adobe Systems and Macromedia Executive was hired in 2008 as Chief Product Officer for Linden Lab. Here in a post from last year by Dusan Writer Mr. Hale says that he doesn't believe that a Secondlife culture, as such exists... perhaps that kind of thinking is one of the reasons Tom is no longer with The Benevolent Monarchy. I'm one of those that does understand that we as a group in Secondlife do have a culture all our own. Does our culture have as many facets as a brilliant cut diamond? Maybe more. Last evening I saw an off-line IM from one of my friends, Porter Paquot. She wanted to know if there was a parcel she could purchase, she has a friend that has had some severe medical issues and because of those issues Porter decided that it was important to all of us to bring our friend close to us. We found a suitable place and Porter rezzed a house...{see image below}. Darn you Mr. Hale, that is a culture at work. A culture of community. I recently reread some of what Mark Stephen Meadows wrote in his book, "I Avatar- The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life". One of the things that caught my attention was how the size and mobility of a group of people can determine its culture. He used the example of early Los Angeles where when the automobile came, communities lost their cohesiveness. Take a look at what has happened to much of Secondlife... how new people can come to a world where there are 50,000 people on line and still feel lonely. Compare that to what Pituca Fairchang has written as late as last year. Part of me wishes I had been a part of those earliest days. The rest of me is happy that I have been privileged to be a part of this at all. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते