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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taking a break...

It's been two weeks... and I so miss writing this blog.
I had mentioned previously that I wasn't feeling that well.... =^..^=   & it didn't get any better!
I will try to post here next week... just can't do it now.

Benares will continue... Benares is more than coordinates on a Linden grid... it's more than me.
And so it goes
I love you all, brinda

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

AlexHayden and "Bliss"... the measure of a bargain

********************************Where we come from***************************
Apologies for any delays in posting... I've not felt well RL for sometime now. [My mother has told me that getting old "ain't for sissies".]
There are several stories about whether any news we ever get is "good news".
Nearly a week ago I received an Email from AlexHayden that he was going to leave Benares. While he didn't elaborate, I did gather that a lot of real life things going on just weren't going to allow him the time to spend in-world.  A measure of the kind of person Alex is is demonstrated by the way he handled all of this.
He gave me nearly half a months notice... very apologetically I might add, and one of his concerns was whether we could find someone that would retain the parcel name. The South East corner of Benares East was named "Bliss" by Andor Diechter a long time ago, and residents ever since have kept the name.
No worries Alex... As soon as Caro, who used to have that parcel, learned it was coming up she IMed me explaining her desire to have "Bliss" again.
Is there good news? I offer yes...the true measure of a bargain is if everyone ends up getting something.
                                                             AlexHaydens "Bliss"
Alex will return someday... just another reason for me to continue my promise to be here if I can.
Will I miss Alex? Absolutely. He's promised to continue his blog:
And I will look forward to keeping in touch.

Caro has always remained in our Benares heart. She has been a continuing presence in mentoring those that come to Secondlife with various disabilities and has worked with the Virtual Abilities group since her earliest days. I am blessed to have her as a friend.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Finally Free...But why did it happen....

This will be a very short post... today it's difficult to see the screen through the tears.
Freedom... he was finally set free.

No images of where we come from today....
Nothing about Secondlife today...

I guess if I could pray for anything, it's that those responsible not get the death penalty.
You will have to trust me on this...
Those that did this will never be able to walk the yard, they will remain in "protective custody"... their own private 'dog cage' as long as they live.
I wish them a very long life.   or

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Does Rod Humble "get" the Secondlife Culture? I think so...

********************************Where we come from**************************
Rod Humble.
Can he turn Secondlife around?
I don't mean financially, both he and Linden Lab tell us that Secondlife is currently both financially stable as well as profitable.
In these last few days I've been reading some of Inara Peys blog posts. She has brought forward a couple of interviews conducted recently with Mr. Humble.
In the interest of a bit of bevity let me just drop in the URLs here:
Living in the Modem World...

The "Rodvik talks about"... is a 34 minute audio interview via Massively... worth taking 34 minutes of your time.
The last link is where he discusses Linden Lab profitability, and perhaps the monetary future.

When I ask the question, "Can he turn Secondlife around?" I don't mean financially... I mean culturally.
In very recent times we've had a CEO that seemed to believe that there was no Secondlife culture.
Not that Secondlife had no art, music, poetry, or creativity... Secondlife has all of that and yes that is culture, but that isn't "The Secondlife Culture", or it isn't for myself and a lot of others.
I suspect it's difficult if not impossible to initiate a corporate identity, a corporate culture, from the bottom up.
No matter how dedicated the receptionist or the mail room clerk... they can't influence those at the very top.
Conversely those at the top do have that power, and those recently at the top allowed, if not encouraged the rank and file below them to view us, their customers, as just a necessary evil to be dealt with as summarily as possible.
Get the money and ignore.
Part of the problem was we started going away...  we took our money and our culture with us.
I and so many others repeatedly talk about the current state of how difficult it can be for new users.
I continue to believe that leaving new people alone... dumped into and increasingly, at least verbally, hostile world is no success story.
Why not return to what worked pretty darned well for six years, work on what wasn't done as well as it could have been... the basics there were working better than what we have now.

10,000 new people are born every day in the USA, a country of 360 million people.
16,000 new people everyday join Secondlife... and traditionally our retention rate is around 15%.
That's not 15% that come to our world and become a part of.... that's 15% that perhaps log in a few times.

When I read what Mr. Humble says... when I listen to what he says, I sense that he "gets it".
I sense that he sees the Secondlife culture and believes in it.
I want to believe that he can turn those under him around. The key is to convince those employees that what we have in Secondlife is unprecedented and that instead of perhaps just focusing on the paycheck and time clock, embracing this Secondlife culture might well improve how they feel about their job and who knows, maybe someday improve their bank accounts.
I'm sure that on any Friday afternoon when all someone has done all darned day is struggle through lines of code looking for a killer bug or have just spent and inordinate amount of time trying to placate and unreasonable customer the last thing they're thinking of  is the Secondlife culture and what a fantastic, (and at least for me), once in a lifetime opportunity our Secondlife world can be.

I will continue to dream... and I know I'm not alone in this dream.
And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"I, AVATAR" & why SL ain't easy. Plus Miso day... Nooblets...

*******************************Where we come from***************************
Wow! Just noticing the date of the last post, rare that this much time goes by without these pages calling my name.
More than a few things that have been going on in all my lives.
Several new people have come into my virtual world this past week or so...
Some came and went quickly, and I always wonder what happens to them.
One has come and is one of those joys that I see infrequently.
Another I spent a couple of days with... and because of either cultural differences or a clue pointed out by a friend of mine that maybe this nooblet's too stoned to be able effectively do Secondlife, I had to let that one go off on her own. Sad too, She was one that is a classic example of how new users, if they don't quickly "fit in", are subjected to less than a friendly environment. She had left a mike open while her music was playing in the background and the people at the Violet Infohub were verbally abusive to her.
 One day old, (Way to go Violet... running the new ones off doesn't help Secondlife)

A day or so ago I received an invitation to a surprise party for my friend Miso... a celebration of Miso Day!
What a great party... I wasn't able to remain long, but I was thrilled to be invited.
Miso has been around virtual worlds for a very long time and we had a chat some weeks ago about her history with the earliest worlds. During our talk she had mentioned, "The Well", and while that name was somehow  fuzzily familiar, I guess I filed it away as stuff barely heard... 'till yesterday.
One of the first things I did after joining Seconlife was to purchase some of the books written about Secondlife and this entire thing about avatars.
Enter the book, "I Avatar", by Mark Stephen Meadows.
There was a reference to The Well... along with a ton of other information.
I didn't find, "I Avatar" a quick read... obviously... because a reread has shown me so much information, information that I saw before but had no reference point for it.
One good example can explain why Secondlife will never be easy:
I don't care what viewer The Benevolent Monarchy gives us...
I don't care how "basic" they make that viewer... the very thing that makes Secondlife as we see it be what we want is exactly the thing that will preclude "easy".
A brief quote from "I Avatar" page 15:

"Please note the difference in number of users and complexity of avatar:
290 million for the simplest kind of control-only avatar:
25 million for the next simplest (the customized, yet not controlled):
10 million for the most complex of avatars that requires the highest technical skill (in The World of Warcraft)"

control rooms. FailBook?
customized... Sims Online?
most complex... World of Warcraft?

To that I will add Secondlife avatars. Remember, Mr. Meadows copyrighted his book in 2008 and the text seems to indicate it was compiled during 2006 and 2007... the heyday of Secondlife.

In the next day or so I will link to and interview on Massively with Rod Humble. Few in any world have greater credentials in on line gaming than Mr. Humble. He found Secondlife to be a challenge.
Secondlife as we know and love it will never be easy.

This past week I really tried with the nooblet I said was a joy to mentor... I rezzed and alt using spewer 2.7.
I worked with her for nearly a week every day trying to allow her to use that viewer. Last evening I had her download a TPV... now I don't log chat, I wish I did. You will have to take my word... her response on relog with a TPV?   "WOW! This looks so much easier! Is there anything hidden?"
[Heh heh...only the advanced menue dear, and there's a reason its not default!] =^..^=

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Post Script...
Just looking at sitemeter and where we come from... guess it's time to start adding a fourth image and occaisionaly just a post of images only.
Again, I'm humbled that you readers come from literally all over the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FailBook, Unix, DOS, Commodore 64... connected how?

*******************************Where we come from*************************
OK... I know a few of my readers either don't have a TV... or if they do own one, they never watch it.
I confess, living alone my TV runs constantly, now I don't actively "watch" it that often , I use it as background noise. But even as background noise I've noticed a fair amount of references to FailBook.
"Friend us on Failbook" is a common plea in more than a few commercials.
With more than and estimated 700 million reported users world wide, FailBook is arguably the single most successful entrepreneurial enterprise ever created, and with that popularity there's no doubt why Linden Lab would choose to attempt to ride that bandwagon in their constant push for new account signups.

"San Francisco, we have a problem".
Secondlife doesn't have a new user sign up problem.
Secondlife has a new user retention problem.
Perhaps the "Boys" are attempting to follow the old Fuller Brush business model. For those of you too young to remember Fuller Brush, they ran a door to door cold call business selling various brushes for home use.
The companies marketing philosophy was simple... the more doors one knocked on, the more brushes you sold. Sound familiar? The more people sign up for Secondlife, the more stay? 
It doesn't work that way, any idiot can use a brush... Secondlife will never be easy.

I'm starting to see a lot of articles about Failbook and how certainly the USA user base is falling.
{Curious? Search: FailBook user base shrinking.}
Has FailBook passed its peak? I'm reminded of how a friend of mine is still paying AOL for email services.
AOL passed it's peak a long time ago....
My Space passed it's peak...
Unix, DOS, Commodore 64, all are gone.
Buggy whips as well.

FailBooks time will pass. Attempting to hook Secondlife to Failbook is short sighted in my opinion.
There is a chasm between these two platforms. Where one can get tired of reading what someone has posted on their FailBook wall.... Secondlife and other virtual worlds are open ended. There is no finish line in virtual worlds... only ones creative genius.
Come on guys, let's don't screw this up.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Monday, June 20, 2011

News from the Edge of Secondlife

********************************Where we come from*************************
Heh heh, news from the edge  (remember Gary Larson the cartoonist and his "Far Side" cartoons?) That's sometimes how I feel. {See below, can't remember where I collected this... but it's often how I feel} [This isn't by Larson]
I've mentioned before that one criteria I use to measure any success at Benares is whether those that have to leave us return. That other life we all have required Otto to leave us for a few months... Vic called me a couple days ago informing me that Otto had returned and wanted a parcel. Welcome back Otto!

More news from the edge... My so loved adopted Secondlife daughter Lala graduated last week from University in Bucharest Romania. I got photos as well as a video of a speech she did in front of the students, faculty, and a lot of parents.   I couldn't be anymore proud were she my blood... Lala was my very first friend here.

While demonstrating to someone that land parcels self limit prims, I logged in and alt I hadn't used in some time. As soon as Leee entered the world, I saw and IM from another longtime friend of four years Katina Cazalet. Katina and I haven't been face to face for years... and yet it's not uncommon for one or the other of us to send a simple, "Meow" **hugs**,  sometimes months may go by between, but we still treasure that we started this journey so long ago.

I've been working quite a bit with Anna, our newest. Working with new people constantly reminds me just how much there is to learn in Secondlife.
Downloaded the Firestorm viewer... I absolutely hate learning curves, that viewer does address a lot of my complaints about spewer 2 point ought oh. I guess it's something I read some years ago here though, devs develop... that's their job. Look at prince Phillip... soon as the initial "fun" was over with Secondlife he drifted away.
Did attempt to log in with 1.23.5 this evening... guessing it's now gone. It's been a long time since 1.14.0.

And so it goes
My love to all, brinda

Post Script June 21st:
 Either I totally screwed up last evening... or Google ate about half of my post.
 {And Google Chrome wanted to know why I was uninstalling that browser....pffft}