Sunday, 27 November 2011

Iron Waffle at 'Theatre De La Talent' 2011

Iron Waffle was a rock cover band featuring Zayn Till, Wynx Whiplash, Teal Freenote, Krull Quar and Etheria Parrott and was the last act billed on the night's Raglan Talent Show.

Podium Soapbox

Tonight was Raglan Shire's fifth annual Talent Show as part of the Showvember month of activity. It was great fun, as usual, with about a dozen performers from the Shire groups performing various acts including singing, acrobatics, sketches, magic shows, etc. Once again - for the fifth year in succession - I was asked to MC the show; my talent clearly for being able to talk incessantly when required. It's a task that is both easy and difficult at the same time: if you've prepared a script, it's easy enough to just copy-and-paste your text; it's when there are gaps to be filled, to keep the show going that it can get tricky. Still, it seems I have a penchant to be able to say something when needed (whether it's the right or wrong thing). As I told one performer, I'm only the glue to join the acts together; if I fall together, I let them down more than anything.

But I did take the opportunity this year to read off a piece of text that I'd written earlier in the year; bizarrely, it was part of an obituary that I'd written about the number of real life losses that have affected the Shire groups over the past two years - the deaths of Stillpink Sandgrain, Daisyblue Hefferman, Har Dyrssen and Nitzrokk Saru, as well as the alleged loss of Jammers Inaka* - and the impact that they've had on those they were around online.

Here's my oratory from tonight.

Second Life isn’t just a game - it’s an advanced, real-time social networking experience. It allows us to immediately connect with people from all over the globe to share a vast range of interests. 
We can converse with each other as easily and as efficiently - most of the time at least - as we can with someone in the same room. From these connections, communities grow. The Shires themselves have expanded over the past four years from up to 100 members of the Friends of Raglan Shire group within its first 6 months to well over a thousand fellows now.
And it continues to grow; our creativity, technical knowledge, warmth, and general friendliness have made the Shires a wholly enjoyable place to explore and reside in and the community - as a sum of all of our contributions, no matter how small you may feel you have contributed - has been the main reason for that. For me especially, and I hope for you too, it reminds us that we shouldn’t ever take the connections we make with one another for granted. 
No-one person is better than the next; we’re all different and we all contribute in different ways. Whatever difference of opinion you may have with someone else, always be gracious, be helpful and kind and enjoy your time amongst your friends, neighbours and tiny acquaintances. 
That’s always been the Raglan way and it’s made the community one of the strongest, most caring and warm-hearted in all of Second Life.

Then I introduced a group of basement kitties performing covers of Monkees songs whilst a hamster rode on a barrel around them. Never a dull day in the Shires!

*I haven't addressed the Jammers situation, and I don't know if I will here. I deleted my original blog post about her supposed death earlier in the year, not out of disrespect but that it had no relevance anymore when she turned up again. It's a contentious situation, and I appreciate others views surrounding it; all I'll say is that I find it astonishing that those who would say "if only I had one more day with this person to tell them..." can so easily turn that person away when they do return.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Scaling Back

Day 9: Closing our Second Life Sim #SecondLife #SL #NaBloPoMo
Adelebsen Isle by MarillaAnne

Despite not being especially prolific in terms of building over the past year (due primarily to the distraction of a RL house move), I've been able to rack up a fair amount of sales over the past few months - but never really more than enough to cover my rents. I've paid out for a shop space on Heron Shire (my main store), one on Raglan Shire, a houseboat on Heron Shire for (my wife) Kitti Dumpling, a home plot on Raglan Commons (despite still having my Linden home), a shop on Extrovirtual and a shop on Adelebsen Isle.

I've earned a bit in Second Life over the past five years, but never the kind of amounts that would pay for anything substantial in RL - I did cash out some L$ last year though to buy this for our wedding - and as exciting as that would be, I can't imagine it happening now. Sales in-world, especially for a niche market like tinydom, have slowly ground to a crawl over the past couple of years. There are good days and good weeks and the Tiny Swagtastic $50L Weekend offer has proved to be a great success; but the profits never seem to outweigh the costs and the majority of my sales actually come from the Marketplace - another example that goes some way to proving this point about the closing of ElvenMyst to be true.

So it was with a heavy heart that I decided I'd need to start scaling back on my costs, losing a couple of the Shire properties in favour of refocusing on the others. But another decision has sadly been made for me this week with the news that MarillaAnne Slade and Michmeister Slade can no longer afford to keep Adelebsen Isle running. I really liked what they'd done at Adelebsen Isle, and loved to explore around and see the blend of goods from both tiny merchants and more regular sized folk too; they were able to attract a good number of creators who I'd never encountered before, which is always refreshing. I just hope that both Marilla and Mitch find the energy and enthusiasm to stay around in SL for a while longer; it's one thing to lose a good sim, but quite another to lose good sim managers and creators.

I'm not giving up all in-world presence - far from it, I think there's still a great deal to be gained from having an in-world shop and I love kitting them out! - but I'm downsizing. I'm not alone in doing this; several others have had to adopt a similar approach recently, but I hope that the spaces I free up will be quickly snapped up by someone wanting to call the Shire home or make use of a shop space at the heart of one of the most endearing communities on the Grid.

UPDATE (11/11/11): Well, it seems Adelebsen has had a stay! MarillaAnne has announced that she has found a sponsor to keep the Isle alive for at least another three months!