Monday, 31 January 2011

"Can't Find Your Favorite Hair?" Rant.

This is what SL asks me when I log in, as a pretext to getting me to go to Marketplace and buying an inventory organiser...but PLLEEAASSEE... I just want to complete the sentence like this.... "Can't find your favourite hair? then you must be a bit stupid.. after all it's most likely on your head, or in that bloody terrible folder that Viewer 2 gave you without asking, called Current Outfit, which for reasons only an idiot would understand is not in the Clothes folder where it should be. (If you are a semi intelligent person and haven't downloaded Viewer 2 then that folder will be empty for ever anyway).

If you can't find your favourite hair then any number of Inventory Organisers isn't going to help you because you will lose the organiser in your inventory before you get organised.

The other stupid invitation I have been getting from the marketing geniuses at the Lab is the suggestion, implied I know, that after Christmas my shape may need changing. I am supposed to infer that I have over-eaten over the festive season and a trip to Marketplace to get a new shape would be a good idea. Is this supposed to be amusing? If it is, it doesn't quite work ...I have only to click on Appearance anyway, so the joke, if it's meant to be one, is more than a little tame. I think they've been watching too much TV... they'll be suggesting I go to the Marketplace to book my holidays next...



Now.... it has always been my contention that most of Viewer 2's logic (that may be an oxymoron, I realise) is advertising based..... as seen above, my profile is alongside an advertising space which implies that I condone whatever is being advertised beside me... It could be weapons, porn, gambling, or other crumby stuff I hate, and I can do nothing about it.

Firestorm, released today, and not usable in other grids so far, has No Advertising on the splash screen and no banner ad on my profile which pleases me greatly.

Firestorm gets the thumbs up from Wizzy who has been running, I haven't yet... been busy...:))

So...tried it yet?

Will report more...

:)))

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Tori Jules



Tori Jules used to model in SL... but when she came to Inworldz she started making her own stuff.... now... inspired by friends she has opened two small shops selling her own creations...




The one, selling hair and jewellery, was why I got so interested in Tori...because I'm still looking for a few weirder hairstyles for my Iwz life...

Her other little log cabin shop sells skins and shapes...




...and...opening today at 12, this hairstyle is a freebie (well, I did tint it a bit) in platinum, and well worth owning if you become a group member... v cool...




So...pop over, its at... Jules Tara/98/87/27... you'll find in Tori's picks.

It's great, this story of people not having built before they came to InWorldz I have now heard many times. Excellent.

The jacket is by Durga Designs at the Milan Centre.

:)))

Workshop photos...

.













...all work in progress or Pictures From A Future Exhibition....

Didn't want you to think I was slacking...

:)))

Firestorm, brilliant.

Now, the new Phoenix Viewer, otherwise known from here on in as Firestorm, is about to be released on the 31st of January... and it looks fantastic.

Check out this video ... (or watch it here on youTube.)






...and wonder why, on earth, the Boys have not been able to do anything like this. It is staggering how customisable (probably a word) this viewer is, how much choice and freedom this gives the user.

Brilliant.... Jessica Lyon and her team are a bunch of heros as far as I can see... and what have they done??...simple, peeps....they have just asked us what we want and gone out and developed it...

Now, I would have no incentive to download Viewer 2.5, I have no interest...but Firestorm looks like something I could get to work with and enjoy using.

The group that operates in SL, which Jessica mentions at the end of the video is called.... Phoenix Firestorm Preview Group ... and they are the people to turn to with questions.

Obviously I have not had a chance to test this out but I will be particularly interested to hear how this viewer works on older machines and, of course, how the stability is. I hear it's not great with 2.5.

....and how many other grids it is compatible with..... your feedback is, as always very welcome....

After more than a year fiddling with the Crap Viewer, the Boys have not been able to do what the Phoenix crew have done in about 3 months........why?

:))

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Marketplace and the Fiddlers...

You know how small children are? They just fiddle and fiddle and pick until it's broke....:))

Well, for those of you that sell stuff on Marketplace, something which I did try for a short period of time (during which I sold nothing and couldn't even find my own stuff in Search)... there's been a few changes...

...now changes, as News From The Loft says, means...."“We have broken your shit. Again.”"

Now, apparently, "Your listings have been automatically updated with new maturity ratings, based on keywords and other algorithms." This actually means that stuff that was properly classified before as Adult, Mature, PG......are now all reclassified by a computer without a brain, an algorithm without a pulse.

So...as you have nothing better to do with your time....please go through your listings and mend the stuff we just broke..

...oh and don't use the word loli or lolita as it means an immediate delisting...

Have a nice day.

...and the Office Hours with Meta Linden and Brooke Linden went so well...well, that is...it went well for a start. They hope to hold one next week too, at least Brooke wants too and then regularly every month. Which is better than nothing.

There are still big probs with non-delivery of goods and an 8 hour wait til customers get re-imbursed, and Search is still crap...and they are still advertising Christmas on the homepage...




Still... it is still winter, for some, tho my local RL stores are advertising Spring wear by now.

But, it is a start. There is no point in saying that all this crap should have been sorted out months ago, because it wasn't....but...this stuff should have been sorted out months ago.

...my rants of November 2009 and here.....concerning XL(crap)Street were the last time I wrote about Marketplace, as, for me the place doesn't exist..........I never go, and have no interest in it either.

Altho hanging around Malls waiting for stuff to rezz is a pain...it is part of SL, and buying stuff off a dodgy website is second best from my point of view.... but obviously some people love it.

So, lets hope it all gets put right...
...in the meantime fix your stuff...

:))

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Twice the Size of Hong Kong...

Now, as a caveat, I would just like to say I am not mad, or bitter. I just like to do a bit of straight talking when the BS gets stacked too high... that's all....

~...........................o0o...........................~


We've all watched enough adverts and seen enough politicians on TV to have developed a special gland for picking up the faint whiff of bullshit.

So, when, in the Q4 report someone tells me that SL is twice the size of Hong Kong, I wonder why...I'm like that. I have lived in Hong Kong for many years before the hand-over and even I have no real concept of what a land mass twice the size of HK with it's countless islands, would look like, and, seeing as how most of the readers of the report would be Americans, I wonder why one of the US States wasn't used as a comparison.

Obviously, clarity isn't really the ultimate goal in presenting a report like this and it is down to us to sift through the spin (as I believe it has been called since around 1991, before which it was called lies) to try a ascertain if any information of any relevance can be, or is worth being disseminated.

Basically SL has gone nowhere this last year.

That's not news, I guess, and the slide in concurrency, profitable businesses, and land rentals has been covered up quite simply by not providing the figures.

It makes no difference to me, I think. I would, however, be very glad if the Hong Kong model of hiding the truths was not applied to the reasons for the slide.

The reason is not exploding volcanoes in Iceland, Economic Downturns, oil spills or The Price of Pork Bellies... it is the cost of tier.... AND the Viewer From Hell.

Just as long as those facts aren't glossed over too quickly I am a happy bunny... well, not happy exactly, I think the Boys have blown a hole in the side of the company big enough to float an iceberg through. This has been done through inefficiency and thoughtlessness.

Good Luck in the New Year with the repairs.


:||

Stuff



The time has come round to wander over to UWA and start looking round the entries for January as the possibility of entering anything is slowly drawing to a close. The above image is of me examining Aliz's entry... Ophion's Egg... you have to get pretty close to hear the sound track which Aliz has fitted...

I'll be wandering around later this week to spot a few choice bits and pieces to blog..




Roshina Opaline opened her new shop this week in IWz, check out her profile for LM...and more and more top quality shopping is appearing. I looked back to my first post on de-ruthing in Iwz.. this is quite amusing...




..now Inworldz is nearing 30,000 users (just 4,000 in June) and 800 regions the economic possibilities are driving more and more content creators to set up shop... so I look nearly decent , at last....it's been 6 months really.




I rebuilt my set of mushroom seats around a fire in IWz yesterday and I've dragged my butterflies over too... above photo of Nur sitting in the fire.... don't ask....

While we are on InWorldz.... Whiskey has a new blogger's challenge... here.....and it's a good blog to check out for fashion tips, and of course, the humour...:))

...and another good post by Bebe concerning skins and diversity..... here.

Book the 17th of February to go visiting InWorldz, if not before, as there is a major piece of work opening by one of our best artists. I am resisting the temptation to blog it before it is finished ... Gulliver's World, for those who are wondering. The genius that is Ub Yifu is doing staggering work here.... it is of such a quality that it's a game-changer. InWorldz will start to have better builds than SL... I say better, and that sounds like a subjective valuation, but, when you can easily have double the prims on an Iwz sim than in SL, the effect is of a richness devoid of bare patches of grass where the prims ran out, it's simply prim rich.

That possibility is one of the factors that is attracting the talented builders here... the other is the tools.

Have a good one....

:)))

Press Release.... Phoenix and SpotOn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2011
Contacts: Brandy Maltas (Kalli Birman in Virtual), Public Relations
public_relations@spoton3D.com

PHOENIX VIEWER PARTNERS WITH SPOTON3D

Phoenix Viewer has partnered with SpotON3D®, a virtual world & platform, to offer a viewer customized for its residents. The Phoenix Viewer team will be providing phoenix viewer builds to the folks at Spoton3d with the addition of Spoton3D® specific features for use on the SpotON3D® grid.

SpotON3D® has enabled the following capabilities: SaaS Elastic Cloud Server Scalability, Universal Grid System, Universal Registration, Avatar & Inventory System, Private Label Grid System, PayPal Economy System, Integrated SpotOn3D EZPrezTools and more.

Both the Phoenix Viewer Team and the SpotON3D® Team are looking forward to working in close collaboration. This will provide users with a clear voice in how the grid and viewer interact and the path towards new features. The teams look forward to the exciting changes that will undoubtedly take place as the Phoenix team helps to further develop the SpotON3D®’s network of Web Worlds and associated grids.

About SpotON3D:

Co-Founder/CEO/legal Council is Stevan Lieberman of Greenberg & Lieberman, LLC, an Intellectual Property attorney out of Washington, DC. Co-Founder/COO/Art Director is Tessa Kinney-Johnson, of UnReal Designs, LLC and a 15 year veteran of the 3D Web. Together they’ve formed the software firm, Powersynch, LLC, whose main objective is to bridge the gap between the 2D web, real world technology and the 3D Web.

Development of the SO3D Grid Systems began in November of 2008. With the help of a team of dedicated programmers, web developers, modelers and grid experts they have succeeded in creating an exciting new experience solving many of the complex problems seen in its contemporaries. See: http://www.spoton3d.com

About Phoenix Viewer:

The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc. is a non-profit organization. Phoenix viewer is a Third Party Viewer for use with virtual worlds. It's based on Linden Lab's Viewer Version 1.23.5 and Snowglobe 1.5, with features added to improve performance, increase usability, and generally enhance the user's overall experience.



....so...that's it straight from the horses mouth.... (thx Lalo and Kalli)...

:))

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Phoenix ... next move...




In a "shortly to be announced" move, Jessica Lyon of Phoenix and Firestorm fame is to link... whatever that means, to SpotOn3D. As yet no details have emerged but it seems more than just a rumour at this time...as it was announced above.... at the Phoenix Hour..

SpotOn is a grid I covered some months ago and which attracted (the blogpost that is) very comprehensive comments from the spokesperson Tessa ....here... it's a very closed grid which requires that you pay upfront fees before you can rezz, I believe, certainly before you can buy a skin (as that is mature content)...

This is defended with the old "protecting children" excuse, the idea being that griefers are not gonna register/pay, and therefore... if they can't rezz, they can't do any harm.

Well, I have said several times, both during the conversation and since, that the world is big enough for many types of grid.. and I really do wish them well.

Veesome is a part of SpotOn, which is a bit confusing but...hey...that's life.... and SpotOn offers 100 avatar Private Label Grids..... see below for pay/fee scales...





Now, it's pretty obvious what SpotOn needs Phoenix for, they need the traffic....the place is pretty quiet to say the least, well, it's still early days....less obvious is what Jessica and crew have to gain...that would just be speculation... and....I'm never afraid to speculate...I mean whats a blog for, this isn't WikiLeaks after all...

Well... a TPV has more or less no hope of making money, I would guess, so maybe a deal could be done that benefits all parties....well....it is sure to benefit all.

It is an interesting move, to see a grid and a TPV combine forces and we will all be fascinated to see what this is all about....

...more news as the mystery unfolds....

:))

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Phoenix and Firestorm

Having just blogged about the progress that Kirsten and Imprudence have been making towards incorporating V2XX features into their TPVs, it's only right that we cover Phoenix as well, it being the most popular viewer, I believe, for builders in SL.

Firstly... about Firestorm..

This from Jessica Lyon...
"Within the next year or so, LL will be essentially breaking all 1.23 and snowglobe based viewers with features they are rolling out in their Viewer 2 which won't work in 1.23 and snowglobe viewers. Because of this, and because we want our users to be able to take advantage of those new features we will be starting up a second viewer called Firestorm Viewer.

Our Firestorm Viewer will have all the features the LL viewer 2 has, plus we will be moving our features from Phoenix Viewer into it. So our users will get the best of both worlds. Moving to V2 codebase is a must because of the inevitability that 1.23 and snowglobe based viewers will no longer work in the not so distant future, including Phoenix. Our primary focus for Firestorm will be with making some big changes to the UI in the hopes of making it as familiar to our users as possible. We won't be able to make it look exactly like the Phoenix interface but we will do our best to make it look and function closely to what you are used too."


....and courtesy of Axi Kurmin who is one of the people testing Firestorm... the following shots...






Pretty obvious is the fact that the developers are fundamentally interested in what builders and content creators want....

"We have collected hundreds of emails resulting from our Firestorm Poll, listed in a previous blog post, thank you all for taking the time to send them. We will be using the results of that poll to determine what priorities we shall make in the development of the Firestorm Viewer." [jessica]

...and as you can see the row of little function buttons in the bottom left (which can be removed/customised) is far more useful than the stupid LL lefthand slab of black rubbish.

Local chat and IM's are/can be docked/merged as in the 1.23...(if they can do it LL...why can't you?)...

All in all this looks very promising, aware as I am that there are lots of things still to sort out before it is finished. Phoenix will continue to be improved too, so there will be two viewers from the same stable... as Jessica makes clear...

"We will have TWO viewers on the Third Party Viewer Directory when Firestorm is released, however we don't expect a solid release for Firestorm for at least 3-6 months [she said this in November...]. We have a LOT of work to do on it. To be clear, we are NOT forcing our users to use the Firestorm Viewer, however in time when Phoenix no longer works, we will all have to move to it.. or another V2 based viewer."

Many thanks to Axi Kurmin for help and to the Phoenix/Firestorm team for taking our wishes and needs seriously in the further development of the new viewer.

I would imagine that with Kirsten, Imprudence and Firestorm we will be able to find a UI that suits us and our specific needs .... and I doubt that V2XX will gain much of a following... we will see.

:))

ColeMarie Soleil and her new album

ColeMarie i have written about more than a dozen times since April 2008 when I first met her...

The Koinup article I wrote about her started....

"I would quite like to be a great photographer;
and it would be nice to have a beautiful voice;
a talent for song writing would be pretty cool;
if, on top of all that I could make excellent machinima I would have to change my name because I would be ColeMarie Soleil.

Oh, yes, she makes great clothes and magnificent dance particles as well... hmmm...probably forgot something..."

Well, the obvious thing I forgot is that she is a very warm and generous person.

So...lots of praise for someone still relatively young (I think) who has still the possibility of rolling all these assets into a whole, repeated here because she has finished and released her first album on iTunes... called Soleil.





This is one of the tracks from the album.

Bryn Oh and Cole have been very close friends for a long while now and have collaborated on a number of projects, Cole having a special skill in interpreting Bryns builds as machinima.

“I have been tired of a lot of art in SL for a while now. I would see something that was beautiful and then I would ask the artist.... "What is the story behind this?" only to very often be let down when they reply "I wanted to make something beautiful." I just needed more than that.
As I got to know Bryn as a person I realized that we both essentially in our lives want the same thing. I think that is why I have dedicated so much of my time to documenting what she does."


I consider myself very lucky too that Cole did a video of Magoo before it disappeared into the aether ...

...which I make no excuse for showing here again..



She has an angle on Machinima, as I have said somewhere before, in that she understands that it is not a poor video but an art form in its own right, and I couldn't help thinking particularly of Cole when Peter Greenaway states that cinema died in 1983 with the invention of the remote control.
Greenaway has pointed out that since its first days cinema is linked to storytelling and he posits that the new direction for cinema/machinima is to present a purely visual rather than narrative experience.

Hence his latest machinima have no storyline.

....now, although ColeMarie has linked her music here to the work of an artist with a strong storyline (Bryn), she is never chained to that story. Her machinima takes off on it's own journey exploring forms, shapes and colours in a visual installation which, as I remarked earlier, I think Peter Greenaway would love.

As I was trained in architecture and the built environment I have a different attitude to art than some. Like architecture I see my art as a place where life can happen, it's a backdrop, a framework, and while I would very rarely impose a storyline on a viewer, I can fully appreciate that some like this .... after all, I like a film with a plot.....

...but a machinima like Cole's, a visual treat for the eyes as well as the ears... that's great work.

Congratulations, Colemarie, and we look forward to seeing the rest of the album set to visuals...

Soleil....you can buy from iTunes.

:)))

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Imprudence and other stuff.

A first ever interview with McCabe Maxstead, the guy behind Imprudence, on Treet TV with Paisley Beeb in the chair...

...particularly interesting in view of my last post on Kirsten's Viewer S21, in that.. at about 15 minutes into the interview there is a small break in the recording...then, in response to Paisley's question about what will happen when 1.23 is no longer usable in SL, Mc Cabe says that Imprudence will have a viewer out there that we can use "you are not gonna notice at all".... this I take to mean that the UI will remain exactly the same, which I think is great news.





The Imprudence blog, with status updates is here.....and the release notes for the new release are here.

...and Phoenix is going to release a viewer based on V2XX with, I understand, the same 'old style' UI. It is after all not that anyone has an objection to change in code, tools and features, it is simply that the UI is a crap design.

People have claimed that those objecting to V2XX are reluctant to change, (even been called Luddites), which is totally ridiculous ... we have simply been objecting to a poor UI...




Blender, a well known, world-wide tool, has one of the most feature-intense UI's around... but, like any UI...the UI itself takes a back seat to the main image.. that HAS to be number one rule in UI design, surely...

...and on this one rule alone, V2XX fails. It fails also on ergonomics as we know which is why we will (most of us) welcome the Imprudence and Phoenix versions of the new viewer if they manage to keep the same or similar UI to the one that was developed over 6 years, the 1.23.

Wizzy bought up the question of the people who have older machines, and what will happen when 1.23 gets scrapped... .. well, good news there... Kirsten says...

"I also have initial plans for a ultra lightweight Viewer 2.0 client to try and cover the gap between the top end and the very lowest spec machines."... full blog here.....( failed to link from the last post...doh!!)

So, it seems that in spite of LL we may still be able to use SL as before...and because of LL, other VWs (in that they made the code Open Source)...

In conversation the other day someone was surprised that I commended LL on their work in establishing SL. It's easy to forget, with all my criticism of the Boys, that I love them really, and have great respect for what they have already achieved..

.... now, if they would just get on with it and do it properly....

:)))

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Round Two ... in which I face Viewer Two for a second time...

....how's that for guts!!!

Ok...so, I am always ready to try new things and admit when I am wrong. So...I thought I would try the new Viewer by Kirsten. Its based on the dreaded viewer 2.... so I wondered how far it had changed under Kirstens careful manipulation and whether it was usable...by me, that is... It is obviously usable by some....

so...



It still looks like you can’t have friends on the left

I can’t make movement arrows and camera arrows stay on screen at the same time...and either of them disappears when I start to IM someone...(bottom right of the screen)




Inventory is in the same place as friends, and LMs....so you can only see either/or at the same time.

If I was gonna IM 2 groups and 4 friends....a situation I often find myself in....my screen would be covered....






soo....I got help... a very kind person called Infinite Mode gave me the following instructions.... under “me” (top lefthand corner... called S21 in Kirstens Viewer)...is Preferences. In preferences....you can choose to have the IMs as Tab rather than stupid boxes... why this is not default is beyond me...

also...best disable "incoming chat pop-ups" unless you want to be driven insane.....

Now....could I combine chat and IMs....??....I went to Help People Island... and a very nice person IMed a group dedicated to helping people with Viewer 2... called... ...and they said No, I cant merge IMs and chat...so thats a pile of crap then.





Now....about these two camera and Movement controls.... if you drag them away from the dock a little downwards pointing arrow appears....this means its now a freestanding item and it doesnt disappear...
So...after an hour and a half I have a viewer that is nearly as good as the old one...except...
I can’t merge my chat and IM boxes.
I can’t view friends, LMs and Inventory at the same time.





...and some stuff has been moved for no apparently good reason...i.e. sound is now top right instead of bottom right.... this last thing..... I could live with..... but why seperate friends and IMs and chat...that makes no sense at all.

so... how many months? is it 10 months since viewer 2 was released? and we have a nearly good enough viewer...

Yes, I could use it, but why on earth would I want to? I know it has been designed partly with touch screen in mind...hence all the 4x4 pixel icons, but this leaves the screen untidy and cluttered.

Not impressed.

:))

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Pure Genius ... Miso Susanowa .... For Sale

Very occasionally I come across art in SL, or any other world, that I can safely class as genius.

Altho I like a few superlatives when it comes to criticising the Boys, I am careful when it comes to Art. I take Art seriously (and with a pinch of salt) and would never say stuff I didn't mean....

...so trust me when I say that this latest piece by Miso is pure genius.... details are better explained by her on the posts here...

First
Second
third

The ability to subvert a system to provide a substantial, insightful critique of itself, is surely both memorable and meaningful. When words so often fall short of any 'awakening' objective it's great to see an artist like Miso demonstrating rather than talking about the short comings of, in this case, the Cash/Art World.

UWA has again scored a great hit in both hosting and inspiring this piece, which I hope will be shown again and again.... in various forms maybe...or as a museum piece.

...and lots of other stuff to see at UWA too, of course...more of that later...

:)))

First day at work for Noob of Noobs.

Yep, letters to the Boss are trending in the bloggosphere (not Springsteen...).... so mine follows...

Dear Rod,

Do it properly.

soror XXX



Ok...got that off my chest, more than enough has been said, especially by the lippy duo Toxic and Phaylen in their recent podcast which I couldn't stop listening to...tho they yakked on for an hour and twenty minutes...it was fantastic. Not exactly sure why, it just was. If you haven't taken time out to do so yet ...it's here.

Toxic is seriously considering doing another one or two, hopefully with Phaylen...(I am a fangirl), which I think would be great.

The thing is that nothing they are saying is really revolutionary but they are saying what everyone is thinking, they are spokespersons without being elected...v cool. I don't think there was one thing they said I wouldn't agree with, well...more or less. I do like disagreeing normally.

Anyway....whether or not any of this stuff happens only time will tell. ...but.... disappoint us all a Second Time and all hell will break loose I think.

Reported improvements in sim crossings... here... which I can neither verify or refute as I have no sim to cross currently.....

The servers in SL are still complaining, to me, at least ... stuff like...."oooo..that's too difficult...I'm getting a headache from that texture"...geez...... grow up servers!!

...but I can report that the latest V2.5 has not converted anyone I know...

Danielvoyager is doing a poll here... it looks like we all have 3 to 5 months before Viewer 1.XX dies and we all move to Iwz permanently..... or convert!!

Well, maybe Imprudence or Phoenix will have a suitable 2.XX viewer to match Kirstens by then.

Anyway....gonna forage in my cupboards....for life forms, or ex-life forms.

:)))

Sunday, 16 January 2011

In No Particular Order...

Yes, just a sporadic assembly of bit and pieces of news from my miniverse.

I'm struggling a bit with the old 3 year/4 year itch that many of us get.. a sort of "where to next?" feeling. I have managed to get a hold on it as I have started on a new sim, well...a sim-wide build high in the sky at Iwz hovering over Rainbow Country. It's a big enough project that I am being challenged severely (by myself). I figure that this may be the root of my annoyance with the Boys... I am ready to make another step....and want some extra technology to fuel that...

Now, Phaylen, who I respect immensely, has had a sudden gush of enthusiasm and optimism (well, strictly speaking she is always positive..) after her long chat with a couple of Lindens ... and it is well worth a read...here... there are many of us that hope that she is right.... but I won't be selling up my InWorldz sim and moving back anytime soon.

The big Grid News, as I reported (you read it here first) is about Blue Moon/Mars and it is covered fully here with the best title for a blog going to Honour McMillan for "Dear Blue Mars - It's the community, stupid."...here....

....and, believe it or not...it was most obvious of my New Years predictions which I decided not to post in the end as everyone else was predicting and it looked lame.... Blue Mars received less blog coverage, less gossip and less interest than any other single grid I have heard of... almost, anyway.... more on Mobile Me (not the mac thingy...) later...

To finish off on grid topics....this report/research by Ayla Holt I thought might be of interest for those of you looking at some of the smaller grids... here.. (more on SpotOn later...)




My InWorldz news this week is the discovery of a coffee bar called Morning Coffee which seems to be masterminded by Rowland Larkham and populated 24/7 by a varied mix of people who are welcoming and chatty. It is certainly on my list as a great place to pop into to say hi and hang out inbetween building my prims off.

Also worth mentioning is a new website for singles to meet... its aimed at Iwz peeps and it is here... it's still early days, and I will be interested to see how it develops.





The Wild Swan Lotus is my latest new product in Iwz and had not been released for sale yet, but it is designed to compliment the Moth Orchid Lilly Set which, altho a classic, I was getting bored with and wanted a new take on it..






The InWorldz Jacaranda which grows happily on land or in the water is another forest tree like the very popular Oaks and, being of a similar shape and size would compliment the oaks in any forest of woodland.... again...not quite on sale yet..but v soon....





Now, I think that this photo of Nur in her new skin says a lot about InWorldz. You kinda can judge the maturity of a grid by how well some people can dress. It points to shopping possibilities which have developed beyond the freebie and cheap-but-cheerful to a sophisticated economy, or, the basis of one anyway.

This skin is by Roshina Opaline who I hope we will be hearing more of, the style is pure Nur... :))




In contrast I am having ongoing discussions about skins with Tessa from SpotO3D from back in October where I complained that I couldn't buy a skin as it was classed as mature content... and you need to pay membership first before you can see a skin.
(The default ones have glued on underwear....unhygienic??)... discussion ongoing...here..... and really it's not that interesting....except....

Mobile Me... i.e. me on a mobile phone, or you for that matter... how will that work with Mature Adult etc when you can just log on "from the cloud" (head-in-the-clouds more like) without any age authentication... it will all have to be PG. The only part of SL that will be available will be PG sims, and avatars will presumably be nippleless. Nipples and genitalia will be far too corrupting to be available to mobile phone users (not that they could see them on a 4 inch screen anyway...unless we see a new breed of enormous male....no...stop it soror!!)...

Anyway... I think the argument Tateru posits about downloads is very relevant...namely.. "Do you know what a mobile operator does when a user starts streaming a gigabyte per hour through their device from an Internet service – or even a half of that?
They cut it off. They block whichever end will make it stop most effectively, and they point at the terms of use and acceptable use policies if anyone should complain about it." ... read the full article here.

....and while I'm on the subject of hardware ...Kinect... now if God had wanted me to jump up and down in front of my computer screen like a loon he would never have invented the keyboard...

...just sayin'

:)))

Friday, 14 January 2011

Once upon a Blue Mars..

About 0.00001%of this blog has covered Blue Mars, and the reasons are fairly obvious... 40% of my readers are Mac owners while 0% of Blue Mars users are Mac owners (well...maybe not quite accurate as Parallels etc could be used....) ..so my feeling has been that any grid who can disregard the Mac OS, can be disregarded as a serious contender in VWs.

I have been fairly harsh and outspoken re. Blue Mars (since June 09), especially when they had to employ someone to blog for them as no-one else was interested. It seemed like a stepford wives type of grid, no mess and dirt, and I am a firm believer in mistakes and amateurs....as I said back in October "The best content is supplied by the amateur, the worst by Committee."

It seems they are now gonna chase the mobile users, like the Boys, without realising that even a 15 inch screen makes virtual life hell. I know, I spent 3 years on a 15 inch screen. Ask me if I want to use a 4 inch screen.... I'd welcome that like a tax demand. (Why does filling out your tax form seem like passing a degree exam? I'm convinced my degree course was easier.)

Now, I do, in spite of all my negative words, believe that the more grids the better, the more niche groups that get catered for the better... but the demise of Blue Mars simply proves that an elitist attitude to content creation is not gonna attract masses of content creators ...you don't have to be a research scientist to work that out.

Now...chasing the Myth of a Million Users ... I have spoken about this before....
...... You know when you are in the supermarket and the other queue seems to be moving faster than yours...and so you switch queues only to find that was a mistake...?? Well, I think SL and Blue Mars chasing mobile/Facebook/BlueStupidVille is the same mistake... by the time they get there it will be a Myspace/Friends Reunited/Avatars United fiasco.

We will see.

I found Grace's recent post about FaceBook and Twitter very interesting ...well worth a read...here. and there is no doubt in my mind that increased communication is a positive thing ...42 groups with chat that doesn't work is not much of an improvement on 20... still... that might get fixed.

So, I wish all Blue Mars workers/users good luck, but you should have got us Mac people onboard. It wouldn't have helped much, but I might have been a bit more sympathetic.

:))

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Slow start to the year...

Well, nothing much going on, just boring work and very boring weather, tho, obviously I have no reason to complain about the weather.... would seem churlish.

The Big News is The Noob i.e Noob of Noobs who has gained a fair degree of coverage before he has even started. Now, call me a pain in the butt, but.... when our last Messiah started there was an enormous amount of ecstatic bloggage (like roughage but less weight loss) and I, who knew nothing of our previous CEO's past kept fairly quiet, for once.

The point is, as has been commented before in these pages, that the bean counters rather than the CEO may be in charge.

...and the second Big News is 42 Groups... now, much has been made of the Douglas Adamine correlation, but what about Level 42? omg....anyway...it is a bit of a tidbit to keep you happy....as you would be stupid to hold your breath waiting for mesh....

Mesh... how soon??... well...

Nyx Linden (nyx.linden): we're not at a point where we can publicly offer a rough eta. [that's ETA, not eta the terrorist group.]

..and pressed further.... "what is still to be completed?"

Nyx Linden (nyx.linden): we're fairly good technically, but we need more work on import UI, stability, bugfixing, and tweaks and implementation for cost functions (render, streaming, physics, and upload)

...so...no time soon then.

Never mind...we will manage fine with prims in the meantime....

So, as Sarah Palin continues to make her bid for the world's stupidest woman, and I continue hatching out a new idea for my sim.....

Nothing Much is going on...

:)))

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Past

Well, the past can come back to haunt ya....

20 years ago I was involved with an arts movement in Camden, London, called Pullit




Now, one of our number is determined to celebrate our 20 year rezzday with a show.

There is a call for submissions... here.

....hmmm.

:)))

Monday, 10 January 2011

Facebook approaches



Well, we all have new profiles on the web now.

The nice new format for my picture does nothing to compliment my looks of course, but that's no big deal...I can change that. Nothing else to do after all....

Just glad I'm not a member of some bondage group that work collegues or employers can find out about. (Prok explains...here.)

There is some annoyance that our rezz year is no longer shown, and a PJIRA ...here.. ...well, just another stupid bit of meddling. How much does it save not writing the year? stupid.

The number of years someone has been in SL does make a difference to me, it's one of the primary pieces of information I look at...."am I dealing with someone who needs help in buying my trees and rezzing them...or not?" ...if someone has been here 4 years you don't ask them if they need help with that, after all.

...and it is a status thing too, anyone who has withstood 4 years of LL meddling deserves a medal or, at least, my respect.

Well....check it out....
find me here... http://my.secondlife.com/soror.nishi and use a someone.someone for your name if you want to check yours out.

...oh....and change your photo while you are at it...

:))

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Second Life and Tools.

The start of the New Year, along with a new CEO, Mr. Humble, has seen an increase in the blog discussion about the future of SL.

Phaylen instigated a very interesting discussion along with Chantal and Toxic on exactly these lines. If you have the time it is an interesting and amusing discussion and the sort of thing many of us would like to hear more of. Full podcast ...here.


I have to say that I am 100% behind the idea that Machinima is one of the (many) missed opportunities which the Boys could have used to promote and instruct non-users on the joys of SL. It is both the easiest way to see what is going on in SL and, due to the difficulties in learning to find your noob way around, probably superior to the real thing, at least in the initial stages.

I am not unaware of the fact that it is like a video of a stage play or football game in that it lacks atmosphere, but, in spite of this, it is a formidable art form, and one that is gaining world-wide credibility (ArtPulse By Cristina García-Lasuén). No mean feat.

However, I have to agree entirely with Dusan Writer’s analysis concerning the manic attempts to cram more users onto this platform we call Second Life.....

“....the wishful thinking goes like this:

- Second Life would succeed if it had more users. More users are good because they can benefit the virtual economy, they can increase the use of ‘land’, and lead to all kinds of other activity.


- The problem with increasing the number of users isn’t finding new users, it’s in keeping them once they arrive. The data shows it – run a banner ad, and you’ll have people show up on the home page. It’s not an issue of attracting people, it’s an issue of retaining them through the funnel of sign-up, first hour, first week, first purchase.


- Therefore, the primary issue is retention.


- If this is the primary issue, then we need to look at the reasons for a lack of retention. These issues are multi-factorial, but they typically come down to a few things: it’s too hard to sign-up, it’s too hard to learn and use the interface, and it’s too hard to find people/things to do.


- The solution, therefore, is to overhaul sign-up, change the interface, and come up with new ways to search and find content.

There is absolutely NO evidence that a new take on this old strategy will work now when it has never worked in the past.”

His whole article is, as usual, well thought out and insightful.

It is said, wisely, that we can learn from history. This is seemingly a banal statement, but unfortunately one which is given a nominal nod before being totally ignored (e.g. Afghanistan).

SL got built on content.

While I agree with Dusan ..

“From Mitch Kapor through Philip Rosedale and on to Mark Kingdon, everyone who has ever had a word to say about Second Life has looked at the issue of how to grow the world in the same way and failed.
And the reason they’ve failed is that, first, it’s the wrong problem. And second, you can’t design the future solely by extrapolating from past data…and yet time and again, we’ve seen from Linden Lab a reliance on past data as the main metric for planning the future.”

...it is important to realise the unique selling point of your product and understanding why your customers have got you to where you are today. What have they been buying? Why have they been buying?

When I joined SL it was not for the stability, not for the ease of use, not even for permanence (my friends thought it wouldn’t survive 12 months) it was for the possibilities. I stayed because of the tools.

This is why I wrote recently...

“There is another business model which they could have used. If you come to a prominent position in the market but decide that you are a little ahead of the mainstream, you do not have to dumb down to attract more people. LL could have used their lead to consolidate their position and driven full steam ahead to create an untouchable platform where tools, facilities, customer care, etc etc were just so far ahead of the competition that they were ready for when the mainstream caught up (for I fully believe they will one day). Educating the mainstream is a constructive use of an advertising budget.”

Now, the current thinking at the Lab is along the lines that.. because only 5 -10% of users are Builders, the Lab needs to cater more for the Consumers.
User-built content is considered less than it used to be, new tools are almost non-existent. [Mesh could help if it doesn’t get the same treatment as Windlight, i.e. introduced to the grid but never finished off to a top-class tool]

Now, as the content is the primary advertising tool, neglect in this area has a terrible effect on the future of SL.... and we have had 3 years of neglect.

Nearly all the new grids I have visited have realised the vital importance of content creators, they are valued residents. Some of these grids already have superior building tools to SL (e.g. InWorldz), making themselves, thereby, more attractive, and with a brighter future than SL in my opinion.

While I share with Phaylen her love of SL and her desire to see the platform bloom and flourish, I believe this wonderful culture and community is transworld, mobile and will refuse to be held back by inadequate tools; tools which should be available to us all.

So, Rod, let’s have an upgrade..

...and a price reduction..

.. and better servers.

That would be a good start.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Betty Tureaud at UWA

UWA has a sim it is going to use for the next 6 months to show the work of various artists in a sim-wide show.

Betty Tureaud is the first artist to show here throughout January. Called The Art Planet... Betty says...

"My art instalation is made like a oil painting that evolves during the work.
I use trasparent color surfaces as flip themselves whichever direction you look.
It allows you even to create your own paintings just turn and you see a new one.
It is you who decides what colors and patterns, your picture will serve.."

...as you can see, flying or camming around through this huge build will help you/make you create scenes which are a colour feast.

video

She has some suggested SLurls, a copy of which will be given to you when you arrive...

http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/104/72/276 Platform
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/90/164/27 Destruction
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/135/98/61 Colour of lights
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/22/55/91 Artificial life
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/204/219/27 The Wall
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/120/126/541 The box
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20VIRTLANTIS/8/203/28 Dancing sticks


That is.... well worth a visit.

:))

Thursday, 6 January 2011

3rdRock Grid

Intrepid explorer Wizzy and I popped over to 3rdRock for our first visit.

No particular reason for choosing this grid, but it has a couple of interesting points..



Now, because I have a sort of Travel File, and with thanks to Imprudence it only took me about 15 mins to de-Ruth enough to get on with a bit of sight-seeing.





...always useful to have a minimap rezzed for new-comers I think...





Alia Soulstar was kind enough to give me a couple of LM's... this one to Dawn Harbour's shop, London Core...where, obviously you can buy stuff...with the local currency, Geodes. Geodes can be bought from Paypal, full instructions on the website where you register for an account.




3rdRock is an Open Sim version 0.7.0.2 coded grid, but, as it has an economy, it is not connected to the Hypergrid for security reasons.




This pleasant garden is by Alia Soulstar...





...and the bridge is by Sunrise Tomorrow.

They had 699 residents who have logged in over the last 60 days, so it's still pretty small, but it was stable during my visit, and with such light loading that is probably normal, I would think.

Now, it has a community meeting, which Craft does as well, and for those that like to be involved with things, that is quite an asset. Certainly there are times when I would have liked to 'have my say' at an SL meeting, tho SL is probably too big for that to be feasible. Community involvement is something you either like or hate, I find.

So, the economy and the community are two plus points for this grid I think.

...and the costs are $60 a month, with a $25 setup fee for a 15,000 prim region, as far as I can make out.... so not too pricy.

A full report from Dec. 16th....here.

Hypergrid.... a full list of Hypergrid enabled regions is listed here at the invaluable Hyperica... and all the news at Hypergates..... and Pathfinders weekly explorations are not to be missed for those true grid hoppers....here.

OK... that'll keep you busy for a while..:)) 307 destinations for your hypergate, if I read that right (I'm bad with figures)....

...now...back to Blender...

:)))

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Trees at Rainbow Country

Rainbow Country is the name of my shop sim at Inworldz, and the latest tree set for sale there is the totally new Twisted Tree..





Its 27 prims and really only good at night, it bleaches out too much in daylight, tho it is copy/mod so you can play with the glow or the particles....






As it can be a bit difficult to find new stuff.....( forest and trees sayings come to mind...) ... I have built a little showcase pavilion at sea level under the big slanting rock, and I'll showcase the latest stuff there so it's easy to find.

Currently showing the Fuschia Orchid, the Xmas Daisy Tree and the Twisted Tree...

The LM is in my InWorldz Picks, and classified...or

IM me...

:)))

Monday, 3 January 2011

UWA.... a new year.. a new voting system



This new voting system makes it far easier to vote. Firstly you can stand infront of the piece, rather than try and find it again on the board, secondly you can grade your vote...3 is v good, 2 is medium good and 1 is good....and that makes it easier to express your 'degree' of appreciation...and, of course, not being restricted to just three pieces is a boon.

Well done for improving this, I like it a lot.





Strictly speaking it's the old year as this is the December Round... and, it's time to vote. Ginger Alsop has put together some images of some of the pieces on show... credits are at the end of the machinima.




Zola Zsun has made pieces previously which I have enjoyed a lot, and this one is v elegant too.





...and Nish Mip is a past winner, of course..

I have previously blogged a piece by Faery Sola, Sleeping Beauty... here.

As usual, a great selection of pieces showcasing what is possible in SL Art, and very worth a visit or two.

Pop along and vote, take a friend.

:))

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