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Nope, not going this year.  Didn’t go last year.  Didn’t go the year before.  (Not sure I was in SL the year before that…)

Why don’t I consider going to SLCC, you ask?  Easy.  I don’t need it.

  1. I don’t need to go to a live convention to get my social interaction fix.  Social interaction is what Second Life is premised upon, at least in part.  I can meet with people from all over the world through my SL viewer interface.  Yet there’s a desire by some for a live, in-person aspect to achieve a deeper interpersonal dialogue than what SL can offer.  I’m fine with the pixel world, but could this motivation speak to an unstated shortcoming of SL…That it doesn’t do enough to facilitate social interaction?  That it can’t replace the human interchange? Something to mull over, indeed.
  2. SLCC also gives Linden Lab a chance to show off the REAL PEOPLE who are behind the oft-clownish avatars for media and industry types.  That’s not something that I’m interested in helping on.  I already pay them tier.

Now an SLCC that I could get behind would be one that is held inworld.  There are inworld convention centers and venues…why not use them to highlight the world that we inhabit?  Why not do a Healthcare, Education, Enterprise, Fashion and Music track inworld?  It’s fascinating that Linden Lab currently is hyping itself as a replacement for meetings and conventions yet doesn’t promote an inworld component to its biggest convention of the year.   None of this “Land Fair” or “Education Fair” stuff…I mean a significant inworld convention where people who care about Second Life can gather and discuss Second Life.

Ah well.  To those attending, have a great time.  Really.  Far be it from me to tell you what to do…I’m just sharing my opinion.

To the rest of us, the ones hanging out inworld, maybe we should consider how a “SLCC” event would work if executed inworld.  You know, using the tools that bring us together anyway?

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Apologies for taking so long to write.  It’s been a wild time in my RL existence, rooted in the birth of my first child – Viglet for my SL friends – on May 7.  This has been a wonderfully exciting time in RL, but it’s wreaked havoc on my SL.  So I guess it’s time to face facts.

I’ve already closed my Plurk account as it’s an incredible time sink.  Now, I’m going to go on hiatus from my two blogs, this one and Second Arts.  I hope to make the hiatus temporary, but I think it’s for the best as I adjust to being a father.

On Second Arts: Please keep checking in over there, as Nazz Lane is offering perhaps the best and most consistent coverage of the arts community in Second Life.  Since he showed up, I have been simultaneously impressed at his blog entries and shamed at mine by comparison.  Please give Nazz the support his work deserves.

In addition, my inworld time has been significantly curtailed.  I hope to get back in on occasion but can’t make any commitments at this point.  I want to finish the Make Him Over Hunt – a strange obsession since opening on June 1 – and I hope to redevelop my Second Arts photography property in Bay City-Tanelorn.  Not to mention keep up with my inworld friends, with whom I have been incredibly negligent.

So that’s it for now.  Be good, all.  I hope to be back soon.

Doubledown Tandino has a provocative post about the lack of attendance at Second Life live music events.  Check it out here. Here’s a brief excerpt to whet your whistle…

While participating in a SL forum I frequent, the conversation came up about performers and venues not being able to pull a large crowd as well as what is expected (especially with MORE people logging into SL these days). Over the past month, many performers noticed and are noticing a dramatic drop-off in the crowd numbers. Musicians and DJs that were easily pulling in 30, 40, 50+ people to their shows, are seeing 5, 8, 10 people show up now.

The question I have been asking myself in the past weeks is: Why has there been a dropoff in live music attendance?? And the answer I keep coming back to is: over inundated, unoriginal, same stuff day after day after day is not going to draw MORE of a fanbase.

OK, I’ll bite.  I’ve been saying for a long time that the main indicator of success in Second Life is a demonstrable community of interest.  Communities need support from institutions, like media, to sustain and grow the very community it serves.  Community building is a self-fulfilling prophecy…and, for a while, it worked real well.

The demise of the online newspaper, “The AvaStar,” started breaking up the tight(-ish) social network during which the ties that bind at least felt the strongest.  The unfortunate illness and subsequent retirement of Phoenix Psaltery from the Metaverse Messenger appears to have crippled that online newspaper, moving it from a weekly to monthly(-ish) publication.  Without a common “language,” a common place for people to go for their inworld news of note, the binds weaken and then break.  Self-fulfilling prophecies go both ways, you know.

When I don’t know what’s going on…and I don’t know that there’s a great musician playing – or that there’s an art show or fashion show – and end up not doing any of the above.  There’s one less potential  participant in the community.  And at least one more disappointed artisan/performer/designer.

So how do we turn it around?  That, my friends, is the $1 million Linden question.

Then log into Twitter or Plurk.  These social networking tools get some action from me on a fairly frequent basis.  (Of course, you have to put up with me rambling about the Columbus Blue Jackets as they make their first (hopeful) run to the NHL playoffs, too.  That and me bitching about my sweatshop existence RL work…)