Well, I, along with many others gathered last night on Orange Island to say goodbye to Orange. Dusan was in the chair and will probably give a far fuller account of the evening than I will.
My ponderings are purely subjective as Orange had quite a big effect on my SL. They instigated a "Create" program and allowed new artists to build on some spare land they didn't know what to do with. So, after signing a RL contract with French Telecom basically saying I wouldn't charge them or sue them, they gave me a blank canvas in March 2008.
Well, it didn't take me long to plant it all up....finished build ..and the rest is now history. I got two very good commissions from people seeing this build (which actually paid cash) and a lot of recognition.
Now, it could well be that this would have happened anyway, but the way that Orange, especially Fab Outlander, approached SL, and formed a 'presence' in SL is surely worth praising. As a large corporation they had a very astute "softly, softly" approach, interested in what they could learn, rather than what they could teach. They participated and created events and learning opportunities, and, in the end they managed that most difficult of Arts, the art of community building. I don't use the word community lightly, cos I hate it, well.. I hate how it's normally over-used.
The people there last night were there to say thank you and that Orange will be missed. There were virtual tears and real sadness.
...but.... Orange isn't disappearing, just tunnelling underground for a while like a mole, only to re-emerge, I think/hope, as a far more immediate platform. They have ideas of integrating 2D and 3D interaction far closer than SL permits. I had the distinct feeling that we will all meet up in the same virtual platform some time in the future.
The future is bright for the virtual pioneers.....