Second Life, 2015 AD, Part 3

Friday, November 28, 2008 Friday, November 28, 2008

In part 2 of our series, the avatar of the future has deftly teleported to a party to meet his friends.

They were easy to find, as their titles were highlighted. Sometimes it’s best to turn on Social Proximity mode: titles are colored according to your social affinity to them. Close friends are bright red, acquaintances are yellow, those you haven’t met have gray titles and every shade inbetween. The last time you used it was at a Halloween party, where everyone was in unfamiliar avatars and outfits. But that was cheating; it was too easy to identify your friends.

As it was in the past, so it continues in 2015: dancing is a favorite activity for most avatars. But now there’s a difference, a choice in fact. You’re wearing your motion-detecting top, and it allows you to directly control your avatar’s arms. That's become essential these days, as it is just so convenient to operate the HUDs. But you chose not to snap on the legs, so you cannot control the avatar’s legs. That's a good thing, since you are a terrible dancer in RL. You start up a reliable and fun dance animation and join in.

It's just as well, because your lower-body capture unit is not very good. The best ones go all the way to the toes and can detect ankle twists and toe wiggles. But yours is a very inexpensive unit that just gives the basic limb movements. No ankles. No toes. Even if you could dance, it would look terrible.

Your friend is also a terrible dancer, but tonight she seems to have been taking lessons because she’s doing extremely well. Too well, in fact. You suspect she’s using a new dance animation, but you can’t recognize it. You decided to call her on it and ask in voice.

For a moment you reach for the headphones on the side of your desk. But then you remember and stop. Impromptu voice is tremendously easy now because no headphones are required! Software automatically detects voice or sound echoes and digitally eliminates them, freeing ears from the tyranny of hot headphones or ear-numbing buds forever. Volume fiddling has also long since disappeared.

“Where did you get that dance?” you ask, in a South African accent, which you unfortunately left active last night.

She laughs. “It’s not an animation, silly!”

“But you are dancing so well. Did you take dancing lessons? From that Phil guy?”

Miffed, she answers, “Oh, stop it about Phil! There were no lessons, I’m still a bad dancer. I just got a new Dance Assist!”

Now you recall what she’s talking about. It’s not exactly a dancing animation, but works like one. You wear it, and it monitors your movements through your motion-detecting equipment. It takes your awkward (and all-too-frequent drunken) movements and re-interprets them into smooth dance maneuvers. Some of the better ones map the slightest arm or leg movements into basic dance moves, so that the wearer can “compose” a new dance on the fly just like playing an instrument. 

"I love my DA!" She wails.

No wonder she’s dancing rings around you. It won’t be long before standard dance animations are a thing only newbs would use. You decide you’d better go shopping straight away. Or sooner, as you realize that she probably received the Dance Assist from that Phil guy!

Just a Pile of Products?

Sunday, November 23, 2008 Sunday, November 23, 2008

I’ve added some new items to my store in the past few weeks, taking up more space on the product shelves. In fact, a count today revealed that I now have 196 unique products for sale. I’ve talked before about how I arrange the product shelves for shopping ease, but today I want to talk about extra features that every store should consider having.

The issue is that when you have a great many products, things can be confusing for visiting shoppers. Where do they start? What’s different from the last time they visited?  What’s it all about, anyway? Over the past year I’ve developed a few solutions for my shop; they may work for you too.

Problem: How do customers find new items? At first I would simply place a “NEW” sticker onto the appropriate product boxes. That was fine when the number of products is low, but as the number rises it becomes increasingly difficult for customers to make their way through the entire store to find those shiny new items.

Solution: New products are displayed in an area specifically set aside for that purpose. Of course, it should be visible immediately upon arrival to the store. I’ve made such a display at Electric Pixels in Kiosk form. I automatically know when to clean it out, too – whenever it runs out of space for new items, I clean out the older ones.

Problem: How to deliver custom-made items to customers? One can, of course, have them pay you directly and then you hand over the item. But that method can screw up in various ways, not the least of which is incorrect payment amount.

Solution: I’ve created a “Special Deliveries” area, in which I place one-time product boxes containing special orders. I set the floating text to the name of the customer and also set the box for sale at the agreed upon price. A quick IM to the customer leads them to come by and “pick it up” (which really is “buying” it.) This ensures that your transaction log shows more detail than “Give Inventory”. A side benefit of this approach is that while they’re in your store, they just might buy something else, or perhaps bring someone else along with them.

Problem: Depending on the season, there’s different combinations of products that go together. For example, during Halloween you might want scary Vampire items alongside with falling leaves. Or at another time you might want Christmas and winter items placed together. Either that or you force your customers to thread their way through your shop looking for them. Except that they won’t, and you lose the sale.

Solution: Recently I built a “Seasonal” area in which I can display different combinations of products throughout the year. (That is, if I get off my can and actually move stuff around – note expired Halloween items in photo. Sheesh.)

Problem: Visitors are not sure what to do with your products.

Solution: My solution is to build a demonstration area, where I can display interesting combinations of products. It’s not selling anything directly, but instead the purpose is to stimulate the imagination of the customer, which may lead to purchases they wouldn’t have made otherwise. (Pictured: Eureka Dejavu and myself, testing the demonstration area.)

Problem: Visitors don’t know much about your store.

Solution. You could use one of those accursed Landmark givers, but I don’t like their intrusiveness when I shop, and I suspect my customers don’t like them either. Instead, I’ve built an all-in-one gadget that upon a click offers a landmark, group join, explanatory notecards in multiple languages and a link to the website, too. It also tracks visitors and emails reports periodically.

You can see that a store is not simply just a pile of products pasted on a wall or laid out on the floor. I’ve tried to make the shopping experience as simple as possible. You can too!

SWOT Away Those OpenSpace Problems

Thursday, November 20, 2008 Thursday, November 20, 2008

I haven’t yet reacted to the OpenSpace controversy, but today I will.

I believe it has been a bad thing for some, but of little consequence to many others. It just depends what you are doing in the virtual world.

I watched with interest when OpenSpaces were announced, because, like you, I secretly lusted for my own island. A place where I could control things, with limitless prims and a décor to match my tastes. I saw OpenSpaces as a possible way to achieve that goal, as they were quite a bit less expensive than a full island. But there was a problem. According to the Land Store, you have to own a full island before you were allowed to buy even a single OpenSpace.

Today I own an 8192sm mainland parcel, more than suitable for my business, with a tier of only USD$40 per month. It’s a great situation, as my business provides more than $40 per month in revenue, so all costs are easily covered, with plenty of profit leftover. Buying a full island would increase my tier to $295 per month in addition to the horrific task of moving an active business. I could not justify spending an extra $255 per month just to get more space and control. You do not run a successful business by spending without expecting a return on your investment.

In other words, I would have to do something profitable with the extra space to recover the $255 increase in monthly tier. But I could not think of anything, other than hair-brained schemes that probably would not work. So I discarded the idea, for the time being.

But then land prices decreased (although tier did not). Tempting. But how to recover the extra $255 every month? One approach, used by many others, is to rent out the excess space to others who cannot afford a whole island. But wait, I want the WHOLE island to myself! What to do? The answer, it seemed, was OpenSpaces. Here’s the formula:
  • Buy a whole island and commit to paying $295 per month.
  • Buy several OpenSpaces at an additional $75 per month each.
  • Rent the OpenSpaces at a rate higher than $75 per month each.
  • Cover your costs through the profit on OpenSpace rentals.
Hey, this could work! If I charge $XXX per month to YYY renters, I cover ALL my costs, including the $295 for my home island! Easy money!

There’s more. If I can cover my costs, why don’t I do more? Yeah, if I have twice the number of renters, I can pull in a significant profit. Wait, why not 4X ? Or 10X? I’m rich!

I went through this logic, as appears did many, many others. But I did not proceed. Why? Because I did an analysis that any business owner should perform. It’s called “SWOT”, which stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

It’s pretty straightforward. You simply carefully consider each of these aspects with respect to your business idea. Let’s take an abbreviated tour through the OpenSpace rental scenario:

Strengths: There are some great strengths to this proposal, including the potentially large profit, covering expenses for a whole island, and even getting to meet many new people through the rental operation.

Weaknesses: Hm, as the business expands, the amount of administrative and management work will probably increase, so the benefits are not obtained for free. There's lots of work to do.

Opportunities: The excess space on the home island could be used to develop a new business or other operations. Additional OpenSpaces can be added ad infinitum. Groups of OpenSpaces could be joined together for events or other joint activities.


This is the dimension that stopped me cold. Threat analysis says, “What could happen that is out of my control?” and “If that happens, how can I prepare to meet that challenge?” If you cannot handle the possibilities, then it is perhaps not a good idea to proceed. Here are the threats I saw:

  • Linden Lab could change their OpenSpace ownership policy. For example, what would happen if they dropped the requirement that you must own a full island before purchasing an OpenSpace? Well, the customers would simply rent their own instead of yours, and you are instantaneously completely out of business. There is no way around this scenario, you’re dead – unless you intend on picking up the entire island bill yourself. (Note: this was actually mentioned as a possibility by the Lindens at a recent office hour!)
  • Other rental operations could set their prices artificially low and drag away your customers, even though their pricing may be lower than they can sustain over the long term. This could prevent you from having ANY renters. The only way to mitigate this risk is to be prepared to drop your prices, perhaps significantly. Perhaps lower than you need them to be to break even. Oops, this suddenly isn’t so good.
  • Linden Lab could change their pricing structure for either OpenSpaces or full islands. They have done this in the past, and there is no way to predict the future. The only way to mitigate this one is to simply be prepared to raise your rental rates and hope your customers can handle the extra cost. Obviously, some may not and your carefully constructed cover-the-costs model is broken.
At the time I felt these threats were more than sufficient to scare me away from the idea of becoming a landlord. So I declined to proceed with buying islands and OpenSpaces, in spite of others suggesting that it could be a good idea. “Look at all the landlords with so many islands! Look at the money they are making!” Yes, but those threats were always there.

And, as it turned out, one of them came true. At least it wasn’t the worst one.

Today I’m still in my $40 parcel, profitable and relatively happy. But there are many landlords who are very unhappy because their business model is broken and they are caught holding investments that are not paying back. Even worse off, I fear, are those who use OpenSpaces as a community facility. They are different from the business operations I’ve described above in that they generally rely on donations. Their fundraising may not be able to make up the difference, and they may shut down operations.

The moral of the story? Always SWOT before you leap.

1st Annual SL Blogger’s Mix’n Match: My Thoughts

Sunday, November 16, 2008 Sunday, November 16, 2008

The suggestions, the assignments, the writing, the postings – all done.  Mission accomplished.

From a simple idea grew a truly amazing online event, The SL Blogger’s Mix’n Match. The event was quite popular, and both Vint and I were totally surprised at the number of entries (60) that were submitted given the short notice and newness of the event.

There were some fears from the beginning. What if no one entered? How would people react if they were assigned an awful or embarrassing topic? Would bloggers really do it, and on time? Who would get sued?

Our fears proved massively unfounded.

I sensed things might go well when the topics began to arrive. The topics were current, amusing, meaningful and some quite profound. On scramble day we greatly feared a train wreck as topics, blogs and people might have been horribly mismatched. But it wasn’t so. I frequently found I really did want to hear what X had to say about Y.

I wondered why the mix was so interesting, and came to this conclusion: if you take a list of excellent topics and mix them with a list of amazing bloggers, the results will be good, every time. And they were.

The assignments were set and sent. Fortunately, there were very few issues to resolve and everyone got writing.

And did they! As I read post after post, I became increasingly astonished at the creativity, meaning and sheer effort put in by the writers. I noticed several patterns:

  • As the event began, several bloggers expressed great concern or even fear of writing on an unknown topic. Without exception, they took up the challenge and wrote not only good pieces, but wrote truly outstanding articles. Were these actually the same people writing? They overcame their fears and broke through their personal barriers into a new level of confidence. They will be better bloggers because of it.
  • Many articles were quite profound, as each author deeply considered their assigned topic and developed a unique view on the situation. They were thinking about SL in ways they’d never done before.
  • Other bloggers strode confidently into unknown waters, writing on topics they had no knowledge of. But they investigated, researched, surveyed and interviewed to gather information with which they built amazing posts. They went well beyond their normal levels.
  • A very small handful of participants seem to have forgotten or otherwise were unable to fulfill their commitment. I am not concerned at all about this, as everyone knows RL takes priority and things don’t always get done. I’m sure they will return in future events.
  • Many people commented that “I had never read that blog before – it’s good”, or “She’s an amazing writer”, or “I’m friends with him now!” Many new connections were made, and I am certain some of them will last a long time.
  • Within SL, on Plurk and via Twitter I observed many people discussing their posts or waiting in anticipation for the publication date to read about topics they found intriguing. There truly was a buzz developing across the SL Blogosphere. And that buzz, I believe, helped glue the online SL community together a bit more than it was before.

Many thanks to Hamlet Au, whose just-in-time article on New World Notes sent many readers towards the event. In fact, there were more than just a few people asking if they could enter event the next time it’s held after Hamlet's article was posted.

The buzz was such that not only did two Lindens, Katt and Torley, enter the event, but the event itself was announced on the Second Life viewer login screen (seen above), which I believe to be unprecedented for a SL blogging event. I offer my most humble thanks to those at Linden Lab who helped promote our community event.

How do I feel about all this?  I’m sitting here quietly with a hint of a smile, feeling very satisfied that Vint and I managed to make our community a teeny bit stronger and our bloggers even more capable than they were before. I thank everyone who participated for a job most masterfully completed. See you next year!

1st Annual SL Blogger's Mix'n Match Posting Update

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today is the day, and the postings are appearing. I've prepared a list of the postings that have occurred as of this writing. Note that not all participating blogs have a post yet. This could be due to several reasons:

  • The blog post author did not submit a post to the host on time
  • The blog host forgot or was not able to post the submission

I'll try an update this as events unfold, but it appears that we have an excellent list of posts available already. I have also corrected a few errors in the previous list. Good work, everyone!

UPDATED 14 November 21:00 CST ... Now includes direct links to Mix'n Match posts.

Alphonsus's Random Drivel POSTED

Unique Needs POSTED


The News from BardHaven POSTED

Torley Lives POSTED


Botgirl's Second Life Diary POSTED

Writing the Sonnet POSTED

Common Sensible POSTED

The blog of Danni- Christian Socialist Computer Addict POSTED

Dusan Writer's Metaverse POSTED

Eladrienne's Other Life POSTED

What is this crap? POSTED

Free Finds For Men POSTED

Gany's take on (any) life POSTED


Girl Wonder Speaks...About SL POSTED

Gwyn's Home POSTED

Harper's Bizarre POSTED

Her Royal Highness, Princess Ivory POSTED

Ingmann Design Group POSTED

Joonie's Journey POSTED


Wonderland Travels POSTED

One Girl | Two Worlds

Living in the Metaverse POSTED


Constructs of a Mind POSTED

My SLife on the D List POSTED

n0nSLensical!! POSTED

Nightflower POSTED

Tenth Life POSTED

The Poultry Report POSTED

Quirky Quaintly POSTED

Reading Radar

click heard round the world POSTED

Stories From Another Life POSTED

Samantha Speaks POSTED

Second Effects POSTED

The Shockwave Writer POSTED

SL Fashion Avengers POSTED

Socially Mundane POSTED

Second Stindberg POSTED

The Insane Life of Stuart Warf


The Dressing Up Box POSTED

The Winter Market POSTED

All Things Tiessa POSTED

Tiyuk's Second Life Adventures POSTED

What the Fug?

Wild Words POSTED

Metaversally Speaking POSTED


Second Life of My Dreams POSTED

Vint Falken POSTED

Writers in the (virtual) Sky POSTED

Aviatrix :: Zoe Connolly

Stay tuned for even more updates!

SL Blogger's Mix'n Match Underway

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today is the day we expect to see some 60 top SL bloggers rotate their chairs to appear on strange blogs writing about weird topics. Or at least we hope so.

I've done my part, as you can read my post on "Visions of SL in 5 Years Time" as suggested by SL Blogger(s) Rik / Osiris Pfalz of Stories From Another Life on Chestnut Rau's blog. As well, you can see the previous article on this blog was written by Noelyci Ingmann.

Vint Falken and I hope to post a summary of the published scrambled articles very soon. Thanks to all who participated! Meanwhile, here is a complete list of participating blogs:

Alphonsus's Random Drivel

Unique Needs

Ari K

The News from BardHaven

Second Life

Second Life


Botgirl's Second Life Diary

Writing the Sonnet

Common Sensible

The blog of Danni- Christian Socialist Computer Addict

Dusan Writer's Metaverse

Eladrienne's Other Life

What is this crap?

Free Finds For Men

Gany's take on (any) life


Girl Wonder Speaks...About SL

Gwyn's Home

Harper's Bizarre

Her Royal Highness, Princess Ivory

Ingmann Design Group

Joonie's Journey


Wonderland Travels

One Girl | Two Worlds

Living in the Metaverse


Constructs of a Mind

My SLife on the D List



Tenth Life

The Poultry Report

Quirky Quaintly

Reading Radar

click heard round the world

Stories From Another Life

Samantha Speaks

Second Effects

The Shockwave Writer

SL Fashion Avengers

Socially Mundane

Second Stindberg

The Insane Life of Stuart Warf


The Dressing Up Box

The Winter Market

All Things Tiessa

Tiyuk's Second Life Adventures

What the Fug?

Wild Words

Metaversally Speaking


Second Life of My Dreams

Vint Falken

Writers in the (virtual) Sky

Aviatrix :: Zoe Connolly

Digital Suicide

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Noelyci Ingmann of Ingmann Design Group, and is part of the first annual SL Blogger's Mix'n Match event. He's writing on a topic suggested by Alphonsus Peck of Alphonsus's Random Drivel

One of several hanging tools you can find on SLX

“I’m leaving Second Life!”  “That’s IT, this character is dead!” “I can’t take it anymore, I don’t know if I’ll ever be back!” Live long enough with a significant portion of your creative juices flowing through digital play and you’ll hear something similar. From pen and paper roleplaying through the UNIX Bulletin Board Systems of my youth to the AOL and Compuserve chatrooms, into worlds like Ultima, SWG, WOW and Second Life there’s always been a reason to commit suicide of a character, now it’s digital rather then analog, but what drives a person to do this? The other question is, is it still a character if you don’t think it is? If you’re just ‘yourself’ in Second Life, does that mean you’re killing the digital you when you ‘suicide’?

The fact of the mattter is that we all play roles, in every aspect of our lives, and when we decide we aren’t going to associate with those people anymore, we may find that we can stop playing that role, in fact it’s often why we stop hanging out with them, because we don’t like ourselves when we’re around them. This is a common reason for leaving Second Life. Because we lose balance, and lose part of ourselves in something ‘too deep’ that ‘isn’t real’ or detracts from our responsibilities and commitments outside of the digital realm. Most commonly the people I know who’ve left Second Life do so for this reason. They may have had a broken heart and been surprised by the strength of the feelings that the ‘unreal’ caused. They may have just lost track of time once too often and disrupted their sleep schedule, they may have not liked the fact that their avatar and fantasy fufillment didn’t fufill them the way they thought it would. But they leave because they don’t like the part of themselves that Second Life brings out, they excise that part of themselves, hoping that they can be different without. They have to commit digital suicide to maintain what they want or have to be. Does this work? I am not qualified to answer that and I am sure it depends on who you ask. The characters who ‘died’ in the course of my roleplaying are still very much a part of my Psyche, their stories just ended…. So even the ones that were destructive to play, and there were a few… don’t completely disappear from who we are as holistic people. Hence, the idea that “It’s all real!”

So why else would we commit digital suicide? The idea that the character is done with their story, or it’s just too painful to play leads to Alts most of the time, unless it’s a balance issue brought on by real life concerns. But the other major reason I see people committing digital ‘suicide’ is because they disagree or protest the decisions made by the company. In this instance it would be Linden Labs, but this has happened before, Star Wars Galaxies is a fairly big example, when they completely changed the game and experience while people were playing, they lost at least half their user base. So, are open space pricing issues enough to make you commit suicide from Second Life, to never go back? The people I find who do this the most are people who don’t have ‘real’ friends in Second Life, but use it as a tool, they get upset that their tool dosen’t function properly so they leave. If you have a social group in the game then it’s unlikely that it matters as much to you, you’ll adapt to hang out with those people. Neither is wrong, just observations on my part.

Could we truly commit digital suicide? I’m not sure I could. Think about it… could you stop signing on to a computer to have anything to do with our ‘second life’? I’m not talking about not signing onto the grid. I’m talking about deleting the email that has your avatar name… Never contacting anyone who you met in Second Life… Never posting another blog post under that name… Being dead. I know that for certain people this is the step they have to take, but I suspect some of the friendships they have made continue, in forms outside Second Life. This leads me back to the assertion that it’s all ‘real’. Could you kill off part of yourself completely? Sure, we all do it when we grow, it’s how we transform and become what we ultimately are, but it’s not as easy as you think. The more I reflect on the term ‘digital sucide’ the more I like it. You may not be actually killing anything other than pixels but you’re certainly putting yourself through agonizing transformative pain if you do it right.

As always, written by ‘a random collection of pixels’ ~Noel.

Second Life, 2015 A.D. Part 2

Saturday, November 8, 2008 Saturday, November 08, 2008

Part one of this series introduced the idea of following a day in the life of an avatar of the future. What might we see? So far, the avatar has gone full immersion 3D mode and is about to head off to an event.

As is today, we must teleport to the event location. You strike a key to change the your hand from “Physical” mode, where it can interact with virtual objects, to “HUD” mode, where it interacts with various popup HUDs clinging to the sides of your view. Touching the event calendar HUD brings up a concise list of scheduled activities, including tonight’s event. Touching the event itself brings up the teleport interface.

The teleport interface is quite different from today. A medium-sized 3D representation of the TP destination appears floating in front of you. It looks a bit like a floating chessboard with some structures and fuzzy edges, but you realize that it is actually a live display, as tiny avatars (not simply green dots) are moving about. You can even just barely hear the music and sounds coming from that location if you hold your virtual head close to the teleport interface.

This particular location does not seem to have a specific landing point, so you grab the chessboard-like teleport interface and spin it slowly around until you spy an empty spot appropriate for your arrival. You touch that spot and the teleport commences. And completes instantly.

It’s a typical party, with only 200 or so avatars present, far less than the 15,000 supported by the sim. No one actually gets 15,000 avatars on a sim, because that’s a theoretical limit, achievable only if there are no other objects and all avatars are stripped naked. The other reason you never see 15,000 avatars is that it is simply too hard to organize an event that might attract that many. Nevertheless, you recall attending a concert with 9,500 others last month by a very popular artist. It was laggy, of course.

The sim is brilliantly engineered and is astonishingly beautiful. You don’t really notice, because so many sims are like this these days. You could easily do this yourself on your own sim by purchasing one of the many self-building kits. They look simple, as they first rez as the classic standard plywood box. But when you touch them, they use mathematical algorithms to automatically generate a unique build that fits your property. You recall watching your neighbor try one – they had to re-run it seven times before it produced a build they liked. Sure, it’s a very easy way to make good use of the 1,000,000 prims permitted on each sim, and you make a note to shop for one another day.

You wade into the crowd and dance with the others, but you’re wondering if you really know anyone here. A turn of your head swims the display around the area, and you quickly notice your friends because their titles are highlighted. You deftly navigate through the crowd to get closer to them. Being nearby is very important, because it will be much easier to hear them.

Like any event in the past year, there is a lot of voice. The big migration to voice from chat happened when voice masking was finally introduced. It lets you specify how your voice is to be heard, and there are many who use it to filter their real voice to appear as a different gender. The latest craze is South African accents, which you can buy as a plug-in for your voice-mask. Hardly anyone uses text chat any more, except those logging in from quiet places, but their text is automatically voice masked for others, too.

You’re not into voice mask filtering very much, other than using the automatic language translation. Last week you finally found a useable Portuguese plug-in, and now your voice can be heard and understood by those Brazilians you’ve been hanging with. Of course, you can now understand them a lot better as well. 

The translation has become extremely important, because there are so many new avatars from third world countries now. It took them a while to discover virtual reality, but they latched on to the concept very quickly. It lets them finally escape their real world, which is often far worse off than the real world of more elderly avatars. The best part for them is their ability to make full time real-world living from virtual reality. Affluent users of the past ten years thought that there wasn’t much money to be made, but the new third world users find that a little money for westerners is in fact a lot of money for poorer areas of the real world. Most of the content is now produced by Africans, Pakistanis and smaller places in South Asia.

Finally, you reach your friends and the party can truly begin.

To be continued in Part 3.

Mix'N Match Assignments Ready!

Sunday, November 2, 2008 Sunday, November 02, 2008

As you may have read last week, Vint Falken and I proposed a massive blog swap for this week. We have had an amazing 56 people enter the event, from all manner of SL-related blogs, including!

A random scramble of topics and blogs has resulted in specific writing assignments for all the entrants. You can view the assignments here. We will send detailed assignments, including email addresses, directly to the participants so that they will know how to contact the blog they are to publish on.

I must say that I did fear the worst when opening up the idea of writing on anything SL related. But my fears were completely unfounded, as the all of the topics suggested were very interesting and I am looking forward to reading the resulting posts. Thanks to all for the terrific topics, and for volunteering your blog to host all of these posts.

Vint has written up the official instructions to follow from this point:

Write your blogpost.

Check on the .pdf which we emailed you what you'll be writing about and for whom. Write an well-researched, incredibly funny and kick-ass blogpost that exists of a maximum of 1000 and a minimum of 500 words. There should be at least one snapshot/illustration/graph/... to go with it. Make sure those are 'safe for work'! You will email both to your 'blog host', the person that will be publishing the article before Sunday November 9th 2008.

Publish the blogpost

All blogposts should be published on Wednesday November 12th*, the format for that:

Introduction by 'blog host' (optional)
Blogpost and pictures. Style at will.
Author name (+ link to his/her blog)
Person who suggested the subject (+ link to his/her blog)
Link to the blog where your blogpost will appear (optional)
Link to the person who will blog the subject you suggested (optional)

* Most blog platforms allow you to 'pre schedule' blogpost, so you can't forget to publish it. Of course we will also send out an email reminder to you.

Let Vint or ArminasX know

Drop Vint or ArminasX an email to tell them you've published the post, that way they can include it in their overview list.

No trading topics or blogs!

No trading topics or blogs! Period.


If there is any confusedness, or if you and your 'assigned writer', or you and your 'blog host' don't get along, we are more than willing to be the impartial persons you can complain to. You know our emails. (But you should first try to solve this as mature adults. Except for the ones whom are writing about SLdrama maybe!)

Finally, you can posts your enthusiastic comments on a Vint's special project page. Good luck, everyone!

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