Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Busy Little B(uilder)

Well, just to keep you all up to date.... I haven't been slacking even tho I've been a little less social recently..

I am currently rebuilding my little forest at the UWA...(don't forget to vote for the monthly challenge).. and am maybe half-way there...

This is my latest orchid, which I have just finished InWorldz, I'm calling it the Fuschia Orchid, which is obviously a name that won't win any awards, but I run out of names at times..:))

And these shots...

...are from Tesseract on InWorldz...

...where I'm working on a forest as a part of one of Mouser's projects....

So pop in/over and say hi whenever you feel like it, the RL snow will be keeping me torturing prims for the next few days it seems..

Keep warm..


The Teen Question.

Well, as I blogged in August, the Teens, and their parents along with them are being trodden on as another minority gets to feel LL’s dictatorial Rules.

Much has been written about this change and I cannot add to the anger and anxiety that has already been expressed without repeating stuff that has been said better by many, many others....here.

From my own perspective I would still class Facebook as being massively more dangerous (potentially) than SL could ever be, and walking down the street in London as being massively more dangerous than Facebook.

This is not in any way to condone the move by LL, just my attempt to get a perspective on the situation.

Most people have assumed that this is a piece of pure stupidity by LL and that they are all idiots. This may be true.

If, as a mental exercise we assume, however, that LL is a successful bunch of money hungry entrepreneurs who know exactly what they are doing.... why have they done this? The cutting of overheads by disbanding an existing grid which isn’t that profitable doesn’t really save them that much money, I would guess, especially as these teens are potential customers they are alienating, possibly for ever.

I fear that adults could be hurt by this move as much as teens. I know that sounds weird, but, let’s consider the dangers..

1) A 16/17 year old gets exposed to more sex than is generally ‘good’ for them, whatever that means. Now, assuming, rightly or wrongly, that every child who has a computer has been given that Parental Talk about the Dangers of the Internet, then any bad experience should be confined to their computer screen, rather than their RL....and there can't be many teens who haven't had an inappropriate email attachment sent by one of their peers..

2) An adult could mistakenly get involved with an under age child. (Let’s assume that every child of 16/17 is far more computer savvy than their parents). This comes into the public realm and the Media get hold of this story. My god the Media would love it. ...not so the person’s family, boss, etc...(this fear is voiced often enough in the comments on SL blog to be classed as a major concern).

Would either of these events give LL an option of pressuring people to reveal their real names?

I think so.

Protecting Children is the number one moral lever, (even better than National Security which they tried to use against Wikileaks) and an argument no-one will counter.

Those holding on to their anonymity could be painted as potential paedophiles, “it would be safer for you to reveal your name than protect your anonymity”.

Real Names is where the money lies for LL. Advertising, and only advertising, is why LL want 100 million users....and it wants the data they have to connect up to your Facebook profile, Amazon account, and of course, your Credit Card. That is where the Lab will get rich, by closing the circle.

Is this another nail in the coffin for Anonymity?

I have mentioned this before and only time will tell if I am right or simply a paranoid, deluded, conspiracy theorist.

In the mean time, I will continue to behave well to everyone I meet, as will all my friends.... and trust that 99.9% of teenagers are world-wise enough to steer their way through a grown up world.

My experience of teens is that they are wiser than we tend to give them credit for..


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Musings about Art Production in Virtual Worlds.

Now it’s natural, because of the ease of trawling the internet for amusing or interesting stuff that we would like virtual worlds to supply us with a constant stream of sims and builds that we can flit to and from, in the same way that we twitter. 140 characters, 140 seconds....show me something new, .....show me something amazing,....entertain me.

The joy of sitting down with a good book and letting the story unfold or the joy of sitting in front of a landscape and letting the light change slowly as time passes... these may be experiences that belong to a past era.

The problem that this causes for the artist is the Rate of Consumption of Art. As increasingly huge quantities of visual data are being consumed it is too easy for the artist to feel that they have to produce an ever larger, faster, quantity of work. Content.

If we work on the supposition that most art work is not finished, it’s just that the artist stops when the flaws are too time consuming to fix, then the tendency will be to leave larger and larger flaws manifest in the work in the rush to meet the deadline.

As the ability to pull inspiration out of thin air is more or less a hit-and-miss affair, it may well follow that in this hunger for content we develop a tendency to use derivative and recycled work rather than wait for new inspirational pieces. This can be seen already, for example, in how many times and on how many items, Andy Warhol’s work has been reused.

...and virtual world's art is such a temporary installation anyway, with the cost of maintaining it so high (in SL at least) this tendency is further enhanced. Artists beware.... you are not a factory production unit.

Another ‘hazard’ lies in that we often have the idea that we need to find The Next Big Thing. Often the development of an artists work is a gentle progression, a general improvement towards a clearer or simpler way of expressing an idea.

While the constant repetition of a technique, say pickling a variety of fish and animals, may not necessarily be seen as a progression, Style is very much a product of Technique.

We may not all have the genius or sponsorship of, say, Du Champs, who never seemed to repeat himself, and while copying others is OK for beginners it becomes negative when someone else’s vision is used to replace your, seemingly, poor ideas. You lose out in the long run. I think it is important to remember, however, that you are fully entitled to copy yourself. Remaking a piece can have very positive results .... work on those flaws... develop your idea one stage further.

...and lastly, but not necessarily leastly, we all need to remember that staring into space, ‘doing nothing’ is a vital part of the creative process. As Maeve says “don’t just do something, stand there”.

Slow cooking is often preferable to the micro-wave.

It’s all about play, and day dreaming....

Enjoy, gently...


Friday, 26 November 2010

Mixed Bag of Bloggery

Maeve will be hosting a show of a dozen or so of my RL paintings next week... maybe some photo/images too......I'll post details once we have them organised..

This is a painting I sold a while back and which got used for a logo design for a psychology blog....

...and this is my take on The Axiom of Maria.... I still have a couple of prints on Giclee paper of both of these...

The big InWorldz news this week was a beta grid testing which quite a few of us participated in... yes, this is me....at the start...

...but I soon got myself sorted. Apparently it was very successful, 27 people and no lag it seems...Wayfinder said on the forum.."Overall, I agree with tech that the BETA was a success. Not only did you manage to get more than 10 people on a sim without the sim crashing... but you also found a server-side memory leak that's been plaguing Linden Lab for YEARS (LOL, Tranq found in ONE DAY what LL clowns couldn't find for YEARS. LL is so sad."

They were testing a new IWz viewer too which is a "Imprudence 1.4 rebuilt from the ground up..." and offers http textures, cut and paste, etc etc..

...this compares with the not so positive OSGrid update...here.....and just reminds me of how important economy, leadership and getting paid for your work actually is. It is difficult enough to run a grid without doing it all on voluntary labour.. which links well to a post by Ener Hax on getting paid adequately for your work (i.e. not peanuts...)...here.....the same questions about what is appropriate could certainly be asked about SL of course, .... a topic I touch on occasionally.

In other news...Miso (pictured here with the new micro Wizzy (Wizard Gynoid in disguise) was offered a load of virtual homes after my last blog, tho, I should have made clear it was RL that was the problem.... anyway she has found herself somewhere nice now....so we are glad for that.

She taxi'd me off to a secret location where she is preparing a new show it seems...lots of funky visuals...

Jayjay is also in the news... he is talking at an RL conference.... details here..... its an UNESCO INST gig in front of a million people... wow..

Aliz is opening her new shop tomorrow, so that will be worth a look.... Chez Ali... cool. Aliz must be one of the most talented texture artists on the grid so it will be interesting to see what goodies she has for sale... details here.

I got interviewed by Flora Nordenskiold, owner of the Nordan Gallery where we had an opening last week... you can read it here.

I'm currently rebuilding my show at UWA as it had to get moved to accommodate a big build.... still within spitting distance of where it used to be...

...and I have nearly finished a larger build on IWz at Tesseract, if you want to have a look...its a bit Tree of Trees inspired....well, it seemed to fit the space..

Battlestar Gallactica (SL) got axed...not really big news... as Tateru reports....it's to be expected. You can't demand IP rights and not afford them to others after all.

Otherwise... I've been wondering what all the interest in Minecraft has been about ...it is pure crap. I guess people who like StupidVille will enjoy it.... the future looks weird... like stupid is the new cool??

Sorry, maybe I'm a snob, but my interest in stupid crap last about 2 seconds, I'm not 8 years old..... and there lies my beef with LL... make it simple and I bore easy...

1 million extra viewers spending 2 minutes inworld is not gonna improve anyones economy.... well...maybe the combined ISP's revenue might increase marginally...

Have a great weekend...

I'm off to watch some TV tennis...


Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Art is often confined to the art gallery and a distinction is made between Fine Art, on the one hand, and Crafts on the other.

There are some more craft based products that do manage to make the leap from shop front to gallery, and obviously, some galleries that specialise in showing crafts or industrial design.

I have argued before in these pages that the distinction is far less in VWs as everything is made of prims (more or less) and that a good hairstyle is just as worthy of a place in a gallery as a traditional sculpture of, say, a horse.

So, things got turned a little upside down last night at the KyrArt Gallery where I went to have a look round with Aliz and Juanita, along with the gallery owner, GeeJAnn Blackadder.... the gallery can be visited...here.

Juanita’s sharp eyes noted a sculpture on the top floor, and knowing my weakness for unusual hairstyles she drew my attention to it. It was called Afrodita and, like all the work showing was a piece by the fairly new artist Kyra Roxan.

I bought it and, when I saw it was no mod. I thought maybe I would talk to the artist about turning it into a hairstyle. The gallery owner was very quick to help me out...and pictured below is the result of my fiddling slightly with the scale etc. to provide myself with a striking new ‘do’ and liberate Afrodita from the gallery.

I hope I have done justice to the artist's original intentions. The prims are all colour change scripted so change constantly.

Skin (Blueberry for Maeve), eyes (blackstripe), clothes(C21 jacket and shirt, with Wizzy Skirt) by me, shoes by Dirty Lynx, and hair sculpture with collar by Kyra Roxan.


Now, it's no wonder I don't follow many fashionista blogs, so few of them explore what could be possible and tend to stick with the RL norm. Alpha's posts on NPIRL were a notable exception as is 100 Billion Needles.

When so much more is possible in VWs than in RL, I am always surprised how little revolutionary Architecture and Fashion is actually produced.

Luckily there are a few notable exceptions...

Keep funky!!


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A Grid for Creators.

Glyph was at Alchemy (InWorldz) last night with Mouser and I, apparently he has space at Jeri's along with Bryn, Miso, Artee, Scotti ....etc etc and along with Mouser, Nazz, Aliz, Wizzy, Juanita, Eshi, etc etc... my friends list is looking like a Who's Who of SL talent...along with the new people I have met there.... (e.g. more elves and tinies than you can shake a stick at.... not that sticks get shaken, in my experience with Tinies it's butts that get shaken as they paarrttaayy).

Now there has been quite a lot written this last week about Inworldz, but much of it is rather grudgingly positive.

It seems there are many who are under the misapprehension that IWz could never surpass SL in terms of traffic, business, size etc...

I use the word misapprehension because there is a tipping point. The tipping point comes when the trickle, or leak of talent into IWz becomes a flood.

Now, to emphasis my point, just look at what happened to Display Names.. in a couple of days 58000 people signed up for a Dodgy Resident name, as documented via Tateru... here...(many thanks for that list, Tateru).... that is how fast it can go. Obviously it is in no-ones interest that 58000 people sign up for IWz in a couple of days, but....people can act fast when they need to, or feel it is in their interest to.

As LL positions itself more and more to provide a juvenile game audience with a place to spend their virtual bucks the emphasis swings from what traditionally was a grid orientated towards the creator towards a grid that is pro consumer.

The idea that this swing is going to benefit us all is a delusional one. This consumerism is going to be actively directed towards bunnies and other produce from large creators and companies as shown by the weighting of Search towards sim owners. Mesh will also have a similar tendency, large producers will be at an advantage. Those with a large advertising budget will clean up.

As it dawns on builders and creators that they are being nudged towards the back of the queue, a grid that actively encourages and promotes creativity, one run by builders for builders, is going to look very attractive.

...and this is the basic, but vital difference between SL and IWz. It is not stability, not traffic, it might not even be the price of a prim (tho at 13 times more expensive, SL will find that more and more difficult to justify)... the main point is that creators want to be left alone to do great builds.

Builders want good tools, i.e. a good viewer, scalable prims, large linksets...etc

Builders want their name protected.

They like to be listened to...

..and lots of prims.

So, while I understand the “wise” shaking their heads and saying...”well, it’ll never be as good as SL”... I think....let’s talk about this in 3 years time and we will see.

LL could sink SL without a trace, like a virtual Titanic, and InWorldz could become the creative core of the Metaverse.

It depends on who nurtures who.


Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Cost of Creation

I spent yesterday as a Fail Day.

It happens...working 8 hours plus with no particularly good outcome.. it all got composted. That is a part of an artist, or artisan's life, it's a part of any life.

There are, in fact, years where we manage to do little positive except keep ourselves alive for the future Spring when things start to bud again and the first blooms appear after a long hard winter of the soul.

These costs are hidden in the production of the final product which we have for sale and have to be absorbed by the creator as a part of the process.

So, as there is little or no difference in VW's between a great hairstyle and a fancy painting on a gallery wall as far as artistic content goes, and as there is more or less no hope of an artist in VW's signing a multi million pound record deal with Sony, everything we buy and sell is very cheap, insanely cheap for the effort that gets put into it.

Maybe a good thing to bear in mind next time we are out shopping... free stuff is not better than expensive stuff, often the opposite, and may be made by people who have the luxury of having ISP and hardware bills paid for by others, or by other means. Spending on stuff is good for the economy..... we know that from RL, and the same holds true for VWs.

Arabella and I were chatting about costs in Eshi Otawara's new shop on Inworldz (it's on Tribeca sim/region) and I think she will do a post about it.

My jacket is by Durga Designs at the Milan Centre...

These musings came to the fore again this morning speaking to Miso who is looking for a place to rent. We can go without food, clothes and life's little luxuries if we need to, to ensure a good supply of materials or hardware, but without a roof it's almost impossible...so if you can help, give Miso a call.

...and I can't say how glad I am that Eshi has a shop now in IWz...

I hope other great creators will follow suit.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Unreasonable Resident

Well, it’s been a full and interesting week in the Metaverse.

First, Display Names... something I wrote and ranted about back in August ( a , b, c.) have been realised and those who don’t read blogs have finally woken up to the nightmare... well, nightmare may be a bit strong as some think it’s wonderful, but then, there are always some people who think things are wonderful because they are of a sunny mindset... good for them. ...finding out who ???????? is, is gonna be fun...maybe I should register that as a name.

For those of us who realise that our names, which we were assured would be unique, can be hi-jacked, warped and bastardised, the prospect is not so great. The simple minded idea that this will increase sign-ups is... well, I am almost lost for words.... suffice it to say that sign-ups are not the problem, and never have been. Retention is the issue, and making all new comers “Resident” is just crap. I would hate having that as a surname.

Loads of existing users are signing up to make sure their name...i.e. sororNishi Resident is booked for an alt account. Personally, I tried too, but the sign-up page decided my email address wasn’t good enough, tho I tried with 3 different email accounts.... go figure...

Anyway....I tried for quite a long time, both sororNishi and sorornishi were taken as names (hopefully by me?? or a griefer...)... I tried Nomadic Resident, Incoherent...and many others before finding one that hasn't been taken. So....pictured above my new alt...her name is Unreasonable Resident. I wouldn't spend too much time talking to her, she won't be online much....

...soo...hundreds of oldbies signing up... that’s a bit dim, not of them, they are trying to protect what they understood as a unique feature of their identity online, it’s dim of LL to make this necessary.... but, it’s all about money. The Facebookisation of SL necessitates that the avatar name can be linked to the FB name and the credit card name before the money for advertising can start rolling in and LL can finally give up this complicated business of running a grid and settle down to creaming the % points off Marketplace and advertising.

Phaylen even suggests that the Lindex may be farmed out as it’s a pain in the butt for LL to manage...

I got a nice email this week suggesting that I might like to try the Boys new advertising scheme...

"Be one of the Adportal Beta Testers!

Dear soror Nishi,
You have been invited to participate in a beta test of advertise.secondlife.com! This self service advertising system allows the purchase of targeted display ads on Linden Lab web properties such as the Marketplace and Auctions. Our goal is for it to provide more cost-effective options for Residents wishing to advertise products and services.
Among other things advertise.secondlife.com allows:

• Banner ads are per default displayed evenly over the time period you select

• Ads targeted to specific Marketplace product categories

• Ads targeted to viewers of Adult products on the Marketplace (coming soon)

During the initial phase of the beta, participants will benefit from heavily discounted prices on all ad bundles. Please send us all of your feedback, requests or suggestions to sladsbeta@lindenlab.com.

Go to advertise.secondlife.com to create your account now! Check out Torley’s video tutorial on this wiki page and get started using them today!

Kindest Regards,
The Second Life Advertising Team"

NB the Self Service Advertising Scheme....that’s par for the course.... I guess they are planning ahead for the day when we run everything and they retire.
I have always claimed that all the new features are about Advertising income.. but banner ads??....pleeeaaase.

In other news the Boys are looking for a new Artistic Director, hopefully to manage the interface between SL and the Public, providing better vids to attract newbies....tho again I would suggest that retention is the problem not the sign-ups..

I have it on good authority that, despite my personal belief, the Artists Endowment for the Lindens is not dead. Some news may be forthcoming this week... well, it is about time, tho I am reassured that work has been ongoing in the development of the ideas and framework...we will see.

Lots, well, a few, people are thoroughly enjoying Viewer 2 as it is almost usable now, 7 or 8 months after it was first introduced...well, I’m very happy for them. They can now do their Facebook stuff of a prim in SL, the added lag must be a joy. Apparently 2.3 is slower than 2.1... this from LokiBoy...

Scripts have been driving me nuts, well, they always do... I am not precise enough and spend a good hour looking for some darned sound script where I had written “Sleigh” instead of “sleigh” as the sound name... sooo picky..
Talking with Maeve I had the idea that a new bit of code should be invented for slack people, like me to, insert in their script...


Great Idea...??... just spend your hard earned leisure time filling in a Jerka (great name Miso)....and the Boys will ignore it...like usual.

...and to end on a cultural note/press release.......

Subject: Zeitgeist Saturday Schedule
Happening Saturday November 20 and Sunday November 21, 2010 simultaneously at Odyssey in Second Life
and live at the MuroGallery – Genève, Switzerland:

by Nora Furlough

Performance schedule for

9 Am SLT - 'On Recognition of Antonin' - by pixel Reanimator

10 AM SLT – "Don't Feed the Poor" by Sca Shilova

11 AM SLT – Performance by Man Michinaga

12 Noon SLT - "Homology" (2010) by Selavy Oh and Qiezli Hixantapo

1 PM SL – Performance by nnoiz Papp

2 PM SLT – Performance by lizsolo Mathilde and Fau Ferdinand

3 PM SLT - "Fundamental Environmental Roadshow" by SaveMe Oh

I don’t have a SLurl...but I’m sure any one of the participants will be happy to send a taxi.

Have a GREAT weekend...


Nordans Gallery Show

I have put together a little wintery sort of installation at the Nordans Gallery...

along with...

Trill Zapatero
Typote Beck
Feathers Boa
Syn Beresford

and Igor Ballyhoo has some permanent pieces at the gallery.

The show opens at 2pm today, Saturday and you are very welcome to pop along and have a look.

Flora Nordenskiold is the curator/owner and has a blog here.. She asked me to show after having seen The Companion and so I thought a little ice skating and seasonal feel would be in order...


Friday, 19 November 2010

Second Life Explained...

Many thanks to Miso for pointing this out, I'm still laughing...


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

My Virtual Future..

Now, it's a good thing to have a bit of competition, up to a point...
..the point where it starts to falter as "a good thing' is where one grid cannot enjoy the success of another.

I have no particular people in mind, I am simply speaking generally, having seen some friction and some plain bad feeling over the last few months I thought it would be well to realise that the success of Virtual Worlds is no longer dependent on one grid, but one grid's success is good for the others...we are in this stew together...

As I have said in my previous grid-hopping posts, niche or Boutique grids are growing up and a wide variety of service providers too giving us a huge range of possibilities compared to a couple of years ago. This gives us each the possibility of asking "what do I want from my Virtual Future?"

I have now the ability to design how I would like to interact with the rest of the Metaverse, as do you.... and the walls, eventually will come down, as Meadhbh tried to give voice to here..

It's a bit of a revolution for me even to be thinking this way, but it is how things will be....

So...to other stuff.......

The Copper Beech has, by popular demand, landed in InWorldz....

...and high above Rainbow Country I have just started on a chill-out area for folk to hang out if they so choose...eventually..

UWA... my little forest there (SL) is undergoing a rebuild..... and I'm doing a little something at Nordans Gallery..(SL)...details to follow...

The big news this week has been the Web browser thingy...see previous post.... and more than a few people are a bit annoyed at being invited to the party and refused permission at the door...

Viewer ???? has caused a few comments, seems like Display Names and friends are all Jokers.

In the old days while your friends list was loading it used to say Hippo, which was cute, I missed it when it went.

In totally unrelated news Reaction Grid has a new Director....."ReactionGrid Inc. welcomes aboard Dave Schwartz creator of http://musicacademyonline.com as Director of Cultural Development" seems like they are gonna be taking the Arts more seriously alongside Education. It'll be interesting to see how this new push (Pathfinder as Community Development Director announced last week) is gonna maybe shape RG into something more.... hmm... formed (not sure thats the right word).

I guess I really don't have an emotion I relate to Reaction yet, and that's what I'm looking for.

Guess I need to visit more.

Guess I need more lives...


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Head in the Clouds

Well, if anyone thinks that cloud-based SL is gonna change the fortunes of the ailing Lab they are mistaken...well... maybe not. Maybe if someone who has more money than sense gets a very good sales pitch from one of the Boys they MIGHT buy into The Myth of 100 Million Users.... but it is unlikely.

The following is my first 7 minutes in SL on the back of the cloud....

I landed in the middle of a deserted shopping area and managed to find my way into a shop...

...only to find I had no money so couldn't buy anything...

...so I picked an avatar from a set of 20 odd....didn't count exactly...

...and chose London from the destination guide...lots of people want to visit London, afterall...

Hmm...*thinks* not much like the London I was imagining...

....still no hair... v dodgy outfit and I'm walking like I have something inserted....

Ok...this SL isn't for me, I think.....but if you wanna go see a poor version of SL without a download....its here. The video clip you see at the top changes ... sometimes its declaring the wonders of music, sometimes lots of people in a pub doing typing together....

Tateru has more technical info ...here... with a good set of comments following..

Now there has been a few people on Twitter retweeting a post that expresses the view that people who hate Viewer 2 have held back the development of Second Life.

The logic, or lack thereof, goes like this.... IF more people had used Viewer 2 it would have been fixed faster.

IF it had have been fixed faster we would be a step nearer to the 100 Million Users...

A 100 Million Users is what any REAL business person wants, (the rest of us are fools)...

Now, the flaws in the logic, and the emotional language used, point to a rant style frustration which is easily recognised. The frustration comes maybe from the dawning of the awareness that viewer 2 is not a silver bullet, cloud technology is not the killer app, and that not even a great mesh implementation is gonna save SL from its own self-destructive tendencies. Repeated references to media on a prim and Display Names is not gonna impress anyone as these features pale into insignificance when put alongside poor customer care and costs.

OpenSim has now 130,000 users according to Maria .. here. The exodus continues, these are not people looking for media on a prim, or display names... these are people who are fed up of Sucking Life, and the Boys.

You have just to read the LURV coming the way of the Founders of InWorldz to know EXACTLY what people want from a service provider... you don't need a degree in rocket science..

So, The Cloud..... well... there have been a total of over 20 million sign ups to SL in the course of recorded history, so... getting people to sign up has never been the problem. Will a poor graphix, dumbed down version of SL improve the future outlook for the Boys... nope.... and their current decision to hide their figures does nothing to inspire confidence either. My viewer 1.23 no longer shows concurrency.

So... let the fanboys rant at me for not using Viewer 2, as Brinda (I think) said... "you like it, you use it"... it's really not my problem and the delusion others suffer is hardly of my making. I feel your frustration but, to paraphrase your own attitude.. "Deal with it"



Sunday, 14 November 2010

Inworldz Community and other bits and pieces.

Whiskey Day, a girl who claims to have committed avicide in SL, (yes, she has a good s.o.h.) leaving her bulging Invent for the wilds of InWorldz, has thrown down the gauntlet to the bunch of people who blog about InWorldz, either totally or partially ...

"There aren’t nearly enough IW blogs yet, and the majority of them are creator’s blogs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; my best friends are creators. Southie Allen (of {AND}) and I were banging around the idea of a blogger’s challenge. Why not? There may only be a couple dozen IW blogs, and of those only a dozen post regularly… maybe we can stir it up a bit! I’m all about stirring it up."

Now, I do believe that, over the last while I have tried to give some idea of why I have put my money and time into IWz, but, because many people don't read blogs I am still often in the situation where I have to tell people about IWz. Then you have the few loud people who think they know better and try and tell you how crap IWz is...well... I thank Whiskey then for collecting this group of articles about this new grid, so that people can read the stuff themselves and don't have to take one persons word/views into account...

So...to read the results and links to The various posts.. go to Whiskey Shots...here..

or...to read the odd one...or two..

In no particular order.... Lalo, a seasoned blogger and new(ish) sim owner... here..

{AND}.a blog by Southie Allen..

Meta Fret a blog by Mermet has used photos of my island... :))

Walking with Avatars however, has to be my favourite entry so far in this competition, Alex has done himself proud....here.

.... anyway....for those of you too busy to read this partial selection of posts, I can sum up a few of the points which contributors have made... basically, those that posted liked the following..

The Community and the feeling that, like any pioneering venture, we are there to support each other in as many ways as we are able..

The Freedom that comes from taking the financial pressure off, i.e. reduced tier and a plethora of prims (and for me the freedom to build at whatever size I choose) which leads to a richer environment...

The Founders are people who like to come inworld when they have a chance and reply to IMs...

.... and, of course, the builds by talented folk who can really show their stuff.

In other news... well... as I mentioned before the guy building an easy to use Mac version of the local sim download is calling for help, but has made some progress...here..

The most expensive virtual build has been sold recently for $600,000 odd ...more here..

...and I've finished a new tree with a very autumny feel...

....I love the copper birch in a clients garden so I just had to... can be seen at UWA this month.

Soki Darwin became the 2000th visitor to Tree of Trees just before it migrated to my Lost and Found. It had 2010 visitors, 5 of whom were Lindens, and many of whom came several times.. some bought their children...nice.

I'm on to my next project which is a little build for a mixed show opening soon with a Christmassy feel.... details to follow.

Have a good weekend...


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tree of Trees... last 24 hours

Last chance to see, or revisit..

I'll be sad to see it go, but that's the nature of VWs



ScienceSim is another of those Boutique Grids which I mentioned in talking about Craft World. A possibility of offering space to a niche or specialised market where specific goals are placed to the fore of pure entertainment and tomfoolery. ..:))

Not that is the intention of those involved that it should be boring, more a place devoted to research and education, a side benefit being that it may be easier to justify to sponsors and funding bodies that this is 'serious research' etc.

As a good proportion of users may be noobs there are complete instructions given to new arrivals a bit in the way that Gaia, a French 'entry point' in SL used to have (it may well still be there, I haven't checked).

This method of written explanations is probably a good idea, as some, not all, do like to read instructions.

Now, there has been a contribution of 800 items (which they call "body of rich content we’re providing"...hmmm...800 items enough to be called a body??) by the Fashion Research Institute of 6 avatars, some accessories and landscaping items... press release ......here.... but if Third World Syndrome is something you suffer with, this will not help much.

Intel is the backer of this OpenSim based project which also has a land grant project for non commercial ventures.... and it will be interesting to see how it develops. They are not Hypergrid enabled for security reasons.

OpenSim is an interesting beast... I was reading someone's explanation of how TPV developers worked together the other day , basically saying, well, you have to let them get on with what they want to develop as they are all working for free.......this can result in a situation where no-one wants to do the boring jobs, like cleaning the toilets..... and Tateru posted an interesting take on LL too....here.... all reminding me of those years I spent in an office with the petty back-biting and sandpapering of egos...

It seems that the old divide of OpenSource and Commercial doesn't necessarily make a lot of difference when it comes to Office Wars as recently seen with Emeraldgate, on the one hand (free labour) and 2Crap2Use Viewer being the result of commercial sub-contracting. Now, with LL continuing to try to screw the TPV opposition, and it's dropping 1.23 on the SL downloads page, all the TPV devs will be coming under pressure to make the new viewers 2.XX compatible....we will see how well they can pull together over the next 3 to 6 months, (estimated), and, the same with LL....

I am repeatedly told how wonderful mesh is going to be, it better be, because the price that will be paid is the bugs and frustration that occurs when a new product is rushed to the market place (Marketplace might be an example) before the code is clean enough to take it.

I have always asked for new tools, and been ready to learn new stuff, but when people tell me they are "euphoric" about mesh... well, I guess I'm old enough to wait and see.... tho... Display Names is not a great commendation of the Lab's ability to implement new tools.

Have a great week...


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

8 Million Iz's and other stuff....with corrections...

The resident traders and entrepreneurs of Inworldz sold 8,000,000 Iz's (not sure how that should be said....it sounds like Iziz in my head but I guess it could be Eyezes... no matter) which is the local currency of the Inworldz grid, in the last three months.. ...and amount of currency bought... 2 million odd in July, 4 in August and 6 million odd in September, which points to a healthy and fast growing economy... well done peeps. Full details .. here.

[stop press.... Nishi develops Bloglexia.....sorry..

"Elenia said...
Quick correction Soror... 8.8mil I'z sold in one month, so a little over $17k USD went back to our residents who cashed out. While roughly a little over 12mil I'z were bought by residents which equals roughly $25k USD in the month of October, once again, doubling purchases of I'z from Sept to Oct. :) Just thought I'd make sure that was clear!"]

(In addition I did an experiment selling some Iz's and some L$ at the same time through Paypal.... Inworldz got cash to me in 20 hours, LL took 52 hours.)

Having been criticised for not being Hypergrid enabled, Elenia defends her position in the same blog. Chosing between security and "freedom" it's obvious that, having the responsibility for protecting IP rights, it is wise to err on the side of caution. Maria has written a fuller post on the pro's and con's ...here....

...and, talking of Hypergrids... a staunch supporter (and general Good Egg) namely Pathfinder Lester has joined Reaction Grid ... in his words...
"As of October 27 20101, I’ve joined the ReactionGrid team as Director of Community Development. My broad focus will be on improving the use of ReactionGrid’s tools and service across all user groups, and helping cultivate the communities using those tools and services. I’ll be representing ReactionGrid at conferences and public events, as well as working closely to support all of our clients. There are many educators using ReactionGrid, so I’ll be spending a big chunk of my time working with those folks to learn about their specific needs and help them succeed."

..now... I think this is great news. Pathfinder seems to be a soul inspired by the possibilities inherent in virtual worlds and their inter-linking. It's good news for VWs in general.... more here...

This connects with a Tweeted news item from yesterday about a Cross-Platform mesh format......what does that mean??.....well...the idea is that if the file is the right format then you could rezz a creation on different types of 3D platforms. This has been developed from the Collada files (which SL will also be using) by an international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies who call themselves The Immersive Education Initiative... full details here.

In unrelated news....for those of you who are Imprudence fans, like me... more news on the future viewer...Kokua (not sure about that name, really...OK so it's hawiian...so what? Still sounds like cock-oo-errr in my head.)... details here.

...and lastly...extremely unrelated.... a bit of hardware news for geeks... from Ars. Its the new hard drive thingy used in the Mac Airbook to save space.... and altho I know nothing it seems like a new format drive which comes on instantly and is small... (did I hear you yawn?)....:)))

Ok....more coffee...

ooo... carrot cake...


Monday, 8 November 2010

Weekend Round Up..

Петро́вский флюс (a Petrovsky flux) from Toxic Menges on Vimeo.

The Flux has gotta be one of the most popular builds this weekend, and this video by Toxic Menges does it proud.. well worth a trip... here.

...and on the subject of machinima, tho maybe not the same class of build, my Tree of Trees at IBM has been extensively videoed by JADENE India....

...she has uploaded 8 machinima of the build to YouTube.

The build will come down on the 13th (that's Saturday night for those that need to see it) after having been featured in an RL conference called "Images Moving Across the Arts and Disciplines" at the 12th Laterna Film Academy – December 9 -13 - 2010 Pécs Hungary, subtitled "operations of the virtual within the Medium of Second Life" by Pixel Reanimator..


This is my latest tree which is just finished in InWorldz, I'm calling it Medusa's Redemption which is a tad classically pretentious, but hey, ....so....

Popped over to UWA to see some of the entries and ended up talking to stones..(only in VWs !!!)... and they didn't exactly hold a conversation, but reacted and gave me a bit of amusement. I must be mental. It's by Wolk Writer.

Lea Supermarine and Jarapanda Snook have built this great organ thingy with classic fairground tunes...

I managed to catch Selavy and Arahan as they took part in Changing Room, a mixed reality project devised by Michael Takeo Magruder...details here....the general idea being that a series of artists are given 128 prims in a room to do with as they please... and the results are documented... machinima and photos..

Chairs flying round the room and videos, looked like a late night brawl night at a minimalist film club...:)) v cool..

In other news.... well, Kirsten closed Megaprims SL, but got so many emails and IM's that she reopened it... seems like she's being harassed by Devs from Phoenix... and...Imprudence say that they are going to incorporate the best of Viewer 2.2 UI in their next release.. (I didn't know there were any good features worth incorporating)...

LinseySL has had to close her shop as the Display Names is a nightmare with people impersonating her...tweeted.."Who was the retard at LL that deciced that Allowing people to Impersonate others was a good idea? Fire their fucking ass.".... but many have ???? as friends it seems....with ???? as display name too.

...and there have been comments about 2.2, both bad and good. Seems like, as Wizzy found out, changing between the two loses some of your current outfit...

Music listings are messed up ...if you are hosting an event on a Mature or Adult sim it won't get listed for the casual user, unless they know to check the Mature thingy on search. I guess LL wants to make sure no-one hears the word Arse in case they think it's a song about Arse Linden.... good to protect the innocent, bad language is so fucking corrupting.... and nipples, as we know, are plain dangerous.

On a bright note...two things... OpenSim for Mac on a stick...hmmm..it's been a struggle to get a local sim, one which I have failed.... help is needed..

and....Thirza Ember reports a visit to Oberon in his cellar... sounds interesting...well, Oberon managed to punch a hole in his firewall big enough for visitors, in this case Thirza. This is probably how it will all work in the future...its free!!

..and...as rain washes work away, I get another day online.. winter has its advantages...


Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Language of the Victim

I am fully aware of the fact that language changes over time and that this phenomenon is a intrinsic part of communication, but that doesn’t mean that a trend in this change should go unnoticed.

It used to be molars (teeth) that were one of the few things that were described as Impacted, now that this adjective (become verb) is used universally to replace the word Effected, everyone is Impacted, the poor, the rich and every other individual or group is suddenly Impacted. The media loves to use this word, Impact, as it sounds more like someone has been hit by a meteorite when compared to the perfectly serviceable word, Effect.

Disorders and Syndromes are thought up, diagnosed and become the subject of dissertations and Doctorates with no one in the media interested in debating with a qualified Specialist.

Well, that’s never stopped me.. and my subject today is.... Behavioural Addiction.

Wikipedia has this to say .. “Behavioral addiction (also called process addiction or "non-substance-related addiction") is a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his individual health, mental state, or social life. Many such processes within this concept are not harmful or deviant by themselves, but become so when they result in these negative consequences. Frequently discussed examples include gambling, sex, eating, and internet usage.
The applicability of the word "addiction" to these conditions is controversial, and there is not a universal consensus as to the most appropriate phrase used to describe these conditions as a class.”

Now, as far as I know this is the only diagnosis where the individual himself/herself is the one who defines the illness... “ ...harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his individual health, mental state, or social life”... it is ‘user defined’.

Nightflower, a person I respect and whose posts I enjoy, has defined herself as a recovering addict in her recent post ...here.... and maybe I should just let her get on with it... except it effects the way people think of their computer usage; this negative self-categorisation rubs off on others.

Sex, gambling, eating and computer usage are the activities which are subject to this self diagnosis I am very suspicious of all four of these being defined as addictive behaviours.

Sex... now I don’t know any boy between the ages of 14 and 40 who has not been, or is not, addicted to sex. Obviously, by the definition of this type of addiction it is self diagnosed, so it will depend on the positive or negative spin the ‘user’ places on his sex-drive. If a man shags, or tries to shag, everything that moves it is, of course, easy for him to turn round and diagnose himself as an addict.

Sex, gambling and food are all subject to Greed. Now, we can allow greed to become an addiction, especially if it is self-diagnosed, no one is gonna say “I am a greedy person and I am too weak to rein myself in”... much more socially acceptable to talk about my addiction. I distance myself from the responsibility for my behaviour.

The computer falls outside of this Greed classification.... and it is extremely doubtful, in my mind that one piece of machinery can be singled out for an addiction. When it is a relatively new piece of equipment that makes me even more suspicious.

No one claims they are addicted to the telephone, tho I know teenage girls who are almost never off the phone. Their bills certainly effect their financial stability and their social life is via this piece of equipment. No one has ever claimed to be addicted to letter writing as far as I know.

The computer, at least in the way it is used to play SL, is a communications device. It is a way of ‘being with’ friends. If you are addicted to a person, it is normally called Love if it reciprocated or Stalking if not.... and there are times when you can’t drag yourself away from a good party and end up staying the night... in SL (as Wizzy remarked) you simply end up with j k l imprinted on your forehead. Falling asleep in front of the TV is surely now considered to be ‘normal’ behaviour....

The behaviour which Nightflower describes in her post, including Lying and Subterfuge, sound like the behaviour of illicit partners in an extra-marital affair rather than any activity which could be called addictive.

There is angst connected with this type of activity which I have written about before, and it has much more to do with our classification of this recent machine and associated behaviours than it does with the Addictive Nature of the Evil Machine itself.

So... to get back to my starting sentences... this type of behaviour used to be called Bad Habits.... lack of self discipline, lack of self control, poor planning, lack of balance.

Obviously this is not the fault, in any way, of a machine or software, this is a phase of psychic development, a growth to maturity, taking responsibility and saying... “OK, no drama, I’ve been getting into bad habits and need to pull myself together”....

I don’t believe it needs a special classification, just a self examination of motives, of what is being avoided and of why you feel so guilty.

...and don’t misunderstand me, I have spent 20 hours a day in SL, as noob, but I don’t think I have been Impacted by Addiction.

Passion is good, better than being luke warm.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Craft World

As the Omniverse develops we will, of course, see more and more Boutique Grids arising, catering to specific groups of people with one or another feature distinguishing them from the larger grids.

In a continuing Grid Hopper Mode, and tipped off by Wizzy, I popped over to check out Craft World. Opening up Imprudence I just typed Craft Grid and http://craft-world.org:8002/ into the login URL...and hey presto..

This is the tp station for the freebie areas and, like everything on this largely Italian speaking grid, it is well made, textured and thought out.

The freebie areas are set away from the main arrival point and, partly due to this and the fact that it has just started up and has few users, my fps shot up over 60.

Over 30 different free hair styles and as many shoes (I found a pair I love) with a male section that is not badly stocked either. I thought this was maybe the most chic freebie area I had seen.

It's all very well laid out, classy and sophisticated, not a trace of that dodgy Open Sim Look..

So...I popped over to check out the Museo del Metaverso... and found some of the best landscaping I have seen for a long time.

The museum is no pokey little hut...it's huge and clearly going to be a major contribution to the metaverse. I can see this as a common hypergrid destination once it all starts to fill up with the best of what the other grids have to offer.

I found I already had two friends there, Roxelo and Luce, and Wizzy has registered. Tao Quan greeted me when I arrived and was very welcoming. I saw Artee's sculpture as well as I flitted around.

Now, tho there are only 60 regions and 120 users at the moment, this is a grid that will grow, quickly, I think. Quality is obviously something they care about and I didn't see anything nasty, which, as I am such a visual perfectionist, impressed me a lot. The stylish builds and freebies will appeal to all those that love Italian type style and good design.

One to watch, for sure.


Thursday, 4 November 2010


I am a very content at the moment, and I put it down to a feeling of stability that I have.

Grid stability is not something that really effects me, I started in SL years ago when the grid was down at times and everything got so frazzled before the release of a new viewer that everyone knew it was coming. Friend's openings and parties were often abandoned because we couldn't get online. It didn't worry us that much.

We didn't know how long SL would last in those days, I was advised against buying land because SL could disappear overnight.. it didn't. It did let land prices fall through the floor tho, a major mistake in my opinion, but it stayed the course and is still struggling along.

So, the stability that has brought me some contentment over the last few months is more a stability that comes from the feeling that my future is secure. That may not be in SL but I have found I don't really care. The future is : I will always be able to find a grid that I can create on and, very importantly, the community of people I know online will be around for many years to come.

The recent offering of a 10$ sim is a natural progression, Maria writes very thoroughly (as usual) about it .. here. This is not a freak occurrence but an expected development of virtual worlds entrepreneurialism. It basically means that I can rest assured that whatever my personal financial situation, I will find a home.

This, then, has a knock-on effect for LL. They are no longer the only game in town... and with the current level of ill-will they have generated, they are no longer perceived as the best game in town, either.

Mesh is gonna bring chaos for a while, and the advantages will be preceded by viewer problems and crashes until it all settles down. In this period we will see another surge in people trying out some of these new grids and I hope to have friends established in different parts of the Omniverse as the new year progresses.

The hypergrid will make grid hopping a little easier ... I expect to go visiting more often. Those that are worried about having their creations stolen will have to grow up, or stay at home... they can copy your stuff, but not your talent...so relax.

More and more people are generally coming to the realisation, too, that Virtual is as real as Real, (another good post by Botgirl) which I find very pleasing, I do believe in a sort of autonomy for Avatars, tho I realise we are just at the beginning of very long path.

I am hopeful that this shared experience, this Culture, will mature and I am excited about that.

.... all is fine in the Omniverse.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Viewers, art, shops...and blogstuff.

Well, the news this week has been about viewers... Imprudence, and Phoenix and Kirsten, all trying to incorporate the Viewer 2 code into their TPV so that mesh doesn't end up looking like flat prims, unreadable by the 1.xx code...

Kirsten says its not that easy...for those that have any idea of what she is talking about..."Here's the catch, proprietary libraries :/

Now with LLKDU its ok because someone had the good sense to build in a fall-back in the form of Openjpeg. However it's not the case with the meshy stuff. It needs a convex decomposition library.

Anyhoo Long story short.. that's going to take some time to get working ( understatement of the year ). And may even take longer on non windows platforms. Im sure other TPV's are currently trawling various resources like Physx and other such fun places."...

OK I didn't get a word of it either, but if Kirsten finds it tricky....well...it's gotta be hard.

DON'T PANIC as the famous book said....it seems very unlikely that Phoenix or Imprudence is gonna be as stupid as LL and use the Viewer 2 UI, no-one would be that daft. In fact Phoenix is actively asking for emailed suggestions on the new viewer.... here... and if you have a spare hour to read the comments you will find that ...if the viewer looks like Viewer 2.2 , no one will use it, so that's unlikely to happen.

I have loads to say about this attitude, this enquiring, asking what the end user might like, as opposed to LL's famous quote... "If it’s a feature you really want, gather votes for it in jira and we will reconsider it at a later time."...i.e. we couldn't give a shit...you do the work and we''ll think about it, maybe.

Anyway.... in other news......

Nessuno Myoo is an artist I have talked about before, he has a piece on show at Pirats that I went to the other night...

"For the occasion show one of my last unpublished work called 'Life Again'
and dedicated to the delicate and difficult theme of Holocaust.
Thank you for your attention, I hope to see you, goodbye. "

It didn't have a particularly depressing feel to it, as a piece and reminded me a little of Bryn in some way... you can see for yourselves...here.

Ed Hinterland has finished his new shop, Werk, which is built in Inworldz on his sim called Hinterland.

What I like most about this is that this is exactly the sort of classy build and classy furniture which helps lift the grid from a purely pioneering stage...to... well, something a little more sophisticated. Well worth checking out.... if you have a home in IWz.

As far as my product news goes....

I have now got the Candy Tree in SL, though it isn't available, well, it's available but not rezzed anywhere....just IM me if you can't do without it...:))
...and InWorldz now has the Happy Tree and my fine railings, which I will hope to incorporate into a new idea I have. I will also sell them 'loose', copy/mod.

...and...welcome to Nazz, who has a platform high above soror Nishi Island (IWz) while he gets acclimatised...

Well, time for a coffee...so I'll continue another time.