So this past weekend was my fifth rezday anniversary in Second Life.
Five years already? I feel like I've accomplished nothing.
But maybe because that's because when I close my SL viewer, I have very little to show for it of course; it's all there, on the Grid. But when I look back, I guess I've done quite a bit.
In those five years, I've owned land on the mainland and built a virtual zoo on it; bought half a private sim and transferred the zoo there, added a finely-detailed gothic vampire crypt and a island for tinies; upgraded that to a full sim and transferred the zoo there - then the biggest and most popular zoo on the grid - and built a forest designed for tinies; discovered Raglan Shire, went tiny permanently, moved there, set up a shop, had a SL-wedding...
Beyond that, I learned how to make machinima, which has been a great creative outlet; but most importantly, Second Life has allowed me to genuinely made a great number of friends, whose friendships extend well beyond the viewer. Without Second Life, my wife (whom I introduced to SL!) and I would not have had two of the guests we had at our RL wedding. Without it, we would likely have never traveled to Denmark to stay with one of those guests in return. Without it we wouldn't care for some people in almost every corner of the globe; I was genuinely terrified for the welfare of SL friends in Japan when their earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit; and I've shed real tears when told of the loss of SL-residents who I have never met, but shared an affinity with somewhere on the Grid.
I have long said that Second Life is the best and most advanced social networking tool available, and I still believe that. I don't care for the politicking; I don't really understand why some people feel they need to pick apart everything that Linden Lab does or says so fervently. Second Life connects more people from across the globe simultaneously than any other social network that I know of; I love being part of conversations between people in Australia, California, Holland and the UK all at once. I appreciate that some people invest huge amounts of their RL income into this virtual world and they want some good returns on that investment, and I have seen firsthand the Lab's level of service fall way short more than once. But it still doesn't change the fact that almost every day I fire up the viewer, log in and do something, whether it's to see the product of someone's imagination, hear a musical act I would otherwise never have heard before or talk to someone thousands of miles away and share a joke with them.
Here's to the next five!