Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bettina Tizzy, my right to reply.

I have decided to write this post even though I am falling prey of Hamlet's trolling endeavours because I have, as you will see later, a necessity to exercise my Right of Reply.

[In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion..... thx Wikipedia.]

When Hamlet, yesterday, finally moved away from any semblance of reasonable debate by suggesting that SL user base was responsible for the decline of SL and the exodus of Linden employees he provoked an emotional response from people who have spent years and thousands of dollars supporting and growing SL. At this point I decided that enough was enough and I would Unfollow a blog which I had watched spiral into decline over the years.(Tweet...."#unfollowhamletau yep, I just did. Don't think trolling is something I should support.)

Bettina Tizzy then tweeted "Et tu, brute?" and it is to this remark I am directing my post. Bettina has 1500+ followers. I will not post about Hamlet or Bettina again, this is a one off.

The suggestion that I am a back-stabbing bitch is no big deal. I look in the mirror every morning and I know self-criticism is an essential part of my make-up. Both my work and my behaviour come under close scrutiny, and, being so critical means that I feel, on occasion, I can criticise others.

So......Brutus? Really??.... firstly, Hamlet has never supported or fostered my work (I don't actually know if he's ever seen it), he is not a mentor of mine or someone to whom I owe blind allegiance. Chestnut did post an article about Tree of Trees on NWN, and Hamlet did mention my party at my beach. Period.

Secondly, Hamlet is no Caesar, he may be nice to animals and small children but he is no wordsmith.

Thirdly, unfollowing someone is not stabbing them between the shoulder blades... it is a decision made when association with a blogger's morality or perceived lack thereof compromises one's own integrity.

The last words I posted about Hamlet are.."it is tricky, I am certain Mr. Au is a warm and positive human being, but if you spend little time in SL you are gonna tend to be 'out of touch' with how people are thinking and feeling about issues." in

"Out of touch" now seems like a hugely British understatement after his recent offering....(other opinions).

It is natural that friends jump to each other's defence, it happens here... I have both been praised and chided at times for my 'tone'. Sometimes I have got it wrong. This time, if you , Bettina, are a friend of Hamlet's it is your turn to tell him a few home truths. Hard love is good love too.

The line that Hamlet overstepped is that same line that a famed SL blogger uses, suggesting that everyone who disagrees with you is guilty of a personality disorder 'recalcitrant to change and destroying SL' or 'Marxist Trotskyist Leninist Communist' (in her case) is not the way to stimulate debate, it is Hack Journalism.

Now, while we all have to earn a living, some through our blogs (not I) I do understand that some feel it is OK to do whatever you have to to increase readership.

I personally believe quite strongly that the end never justifies the means.

I think in publicly comparing me to Brutus you have also overstepped the mark.

[UPDATE: This last sentence is incorrect as it was a private message.]


  1. It's politics. As the saying goes "Your'e either with me or against me". Basically you totally agree with whatever nonsense the person spits out and also applaud everytime he/she poots or belches.

    Soror, sometimes in life those kinda people deserve a two finger salute \/ - In other words you say a big @*&# you!

  2. Soror, like you I #unfollowed Mr. Au's blog.
    I doubt either of us will be missed.
    And also like you, I tend to be my own worst critic. The text in my profile from Aung San Suu Kyi {A woman that I do have the highest respect for} is my daily goal in all lives.

    While I would like to say, I'm sorry. I'm not.
    Continuing to be a part of Mr. Au's following is nothing equivalent to "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    #Unfollowing is just a statement of my personal standards.
    I only people in Secondlife I owe absolutely anything to are my personal friends {loyalty} and my residents {honesty,integrity,and service}.

  3. If you follow or unfollow another blog is no one elses concern but yours. your decision only


  4. I think Kim Anubis comment was spot on- that the most telling thing in all of the discussion is that someone like Bettina has basically left SL. Perhaps the 'et tu brutus?' comment applies equally to her?

  5. Sooooorrrrooooor! I'm JUST now seeing this.

    Waa! A few things...

    1) I didn't tweet that to you openly. I sent it to you by direct message. Yikes. I am not in the business of hurting your feelings, much less publicly. I lurves you.

    2) I also sent it to you with a link to all the posts that Hamlet and New World Notes have done mentioning you and your work. There were several.

    I didn't like Hamlet's angle much at all... but I'm loyal to him because he's done so much good for the grid over the years. Hell, he's defended SL to me more times than I can count, too.

    But please, please, let's not let his stumbling post block our larger discussion about the future of SL and virtual worlds. He's just got the ball rolling (badly) on a super important discussion that you need to be involved with. Without you it is incomplete.

    I'm so sorry if I hurt your feelings. Sometimes the written word is not enough.

  6. Bettina,

    1) Yes, that is correct it was a private and not public attempt to emotionally blackmail me. I may have over-reacted as that is how my mother used to try to manipulate me. She also used to say she loved me while having little respect for my opinions.

    2) Hamlets coverage of my work is exactly as I stated above... the link you gave me was to my comments on his blog, mainly.

    Lastly, SL has no future, it died while you and Hamlet had your backs turned.... no-one killed it, it was suicide. Death by a thousand cuts, self inflicted.
    Time to move on.
    I have.

  7. Honestly, I really bristled at that remark. I'm one of the apparently recalcitrant many who don't like viewer two (but would love more of the functionality incorporated in viewer 1) and apparently by buying things in SL, spending time there, blogging about it, taking photographs in it, etc... I am killing it.

    Because I don't like their new browser. 'm kind of baffled at the excitement over point and click moving, though; phoenix has had that for ages. It occasionally trips me up, but otherwise I've ignored it for months.

  8. Miso is hated by Blogger, so I'm posting her comments here....

    Miso said.....I agree with many of the comments above. This editorial shift of Mr Au's strikes me as ridiculously narrowminded, shortsighted and, to me, a person who has put in over 15 years in VWs, let alone 12 before that in net communities, a daytripping, shallow take on something that is still being born.

    It smacks not of some "deep business analysis" but of the modern trend to sample, lick, eat and move on to another profitable field; the locust-like thrust of modern vulture capitalists who don't understand the implications of a technology and, like children, cannot project into the future and hold their voracious appetites for quick profits in the short-term.

    It doesn't help that Mr Au somehow misses the entire point of my commentary on his blog and goes off onto some tangent with a mouthful of modern buzzword numbersmoke, which he somehow appears to think is some kind of reply; it's plain old FUD and BusinessShark 101. I've sat through too many meetings to be distracted by that particular vaporware approach.

    And to Bettina: I guess stronger ties with a tech community would acquaint people with the tech philosophy; loyalty to something is only as good as the performance of that thing. If a software company, game company or tech company shifts ground radically (like nVidia, Electronic Arts or SCO), it doesn't matter what their past performance has been; companies change management and approaches and become different companies. At that point, if a company is pushing an inferior, platform-locked offering, and denies, renegades or switches directions and relationship with their consumers, you not only have the right to shift positions in answer, you have the responsibility to do so if you truly are deeply involved in and in love with the field.

  9. Miso said......

    This isn't some Caeserian political passion play; this is people who have spent, on the whole, more time inworld than most of the Lindens. They are observant, articulate and helpful. In another field (gaming for example) such beta testers and feedback are extremely valued and even paid for by companies who truly believe in their product and not just as a cash cow to line their venture-pockets.

    The fact that LL throws this away (Mentor program, the deleted JIRAs, the focus on eye-candy instead of fundamental flaws in group Chat, sim crossings, object delivery and stability) is what convinces me that this company is not the company of their PR releases; this company doesn't seem to know how other successful companies (Valve, Steam, You Tube and even the dreaded Facebook) interact and relate to their userbase and seems to be lacking in the history of many other failed ventures into this field (There, The Palace, VRML, MySpace, etc). It is a elementary rule of business that you study the mistakes of others who have preceeded you into this field and learn from them.

    I see LL repeating many of the mistakes which brought down companies like DEC, IBM, HP, AltaVista and AOL. I hardly think this is irrelevant; it suggests that whatever newly-minted MBAs the Boyz employ, their education appears to lack much substance, as all of the above examples are very well-known in the technical community.

  10. i love it when Miso gets angry.

  11. Makes two of us, Wizzy ;)

    I also love it when soror is right (haven't yet seen a time when she wasn't...). This is more than a case of the famous xkcd comic: "someone on the Internet is wrong"; this is a case of someone (Hamlet) being demonstratively wrong-headed about how to present his opinion.

    Loyalty, like respect, is not purchased; it is earned. I would not give a rat's ass how often another blogger mentioned my work favorably, if they turned around and did something as detrimental to the discussion of a shared passion as Hamlet did. I would dissociate myself from that person -- which, in these times, includes the neologism "unfollow".

    For the record: I ceased following New World Notes months prior, when it became clear to me that Mr. Au was engaging in cheap pandering -- the word "sexy" was appearing far too often in his post titles, for one thing, and the (thankfully short-lived) inclusion of Night Flower What's-her-name on the masthead was the final straw. (I didn't need to unfollow him on Twitter, having never followed him the first place.)

    The word "trolling", by the way, is derived first from the fishing term, in which one dangles bait in the water to see what will rise to it and take the hook. It's merely serendipity that it can be altered to "troll" to mean someone who engages in the analogous practice in public discussion -- a practice which has had sometimes catastrophic results through the history of humankind (cf. propaganda).

    Apparently, sexual innuendo wasn't sufficiently successful for Mr. Au's page-hit count; he's now stooped to the level of Prokofy.

    Disrespect is earned, too.

  12. Thank you, Lalo. Yes, I think locking Prok and Hamster up in a room together would be beneficial.

  13. teehee, Hamster :D

    You know, I understand peeps think I am a fluffy airhead, what with my cheek innertubez styl-E an' ossum insouciant verbosity, but every once in awhile I feel the capricious urge to let 'em know that I, too, can speak in a cultivated and informed vernacular that is pertinent to the point and sounds all respectable 'n grownuppy 'n stuff.

    PS: I don't think Blogger hates me; it's just trying to tell me to make my own post :D

  14. Well, it's great when you don't do your own post too...:::))

  15. Soror, Hamlet's slippage is sad. At least when I get a good Prokking it's consistent: OpenSim is Leninist, I'm a scribbler, I kick the cats about etc. etc.

    But Hamlet's turn to misinformation is sad, because he's squandered a lot of the ethos he accrued over the years and that went into a book I enjoyed reading.

    Case in point: he made it seem that OpenSim unique log-ins were equal to those of one large grid, OSGrid, then asked Maria Korolov to verify that for him.

    He might actually do some legwork, if he's a journalist. I'll keep reading NWN, but I'm going to sit on my hands and not comment on what is no longer a very accurate source of information. I go to Dwell on It and other blogs for that.

  16. Yes, his used to be the first blog I read each day, about 4 years ago. I think he just lost interest, he should have given it up then. .... instead it's a bit like flogging a sick horse.

    Dwell on It is a reliable read.