InWorldz Best

 

Community

It’s already a cliche to say that the best thing about InWorldz is the people in it… but you know, cliches get started because they’re true.

Take the scene above: a bunch of friends kicking back, at the end of a very long day for each of them, in the brand new Equinox Lodge.  The cuddlers on the couch are the owners, Jack and Talia Fournier.  The other person on the couch is the builder, Saera Pfeffer.  Continuing widdershins: Southie Allen, Ayla Holt, Astra Thorne, Cryptic Quandry (the dragon), Tranquillity “Tranq” Dexler (one of InWorldz’ Founders and ‘mad skillz’ coders), and Whiskey Day  — whose challenge this blog post is intended to meet.

Except for Whiskey, I hadn’t met any of them in the pixels until a couple of hours before that photo was taken… but none of them were strangers to me (nor was I to them), thanks to the InWorldz Forum, the growing number of blogs in and about the world, and the expanding network of Twitterers.

~

A few days ago, Prim Perfect made a couple of InWorldz-related posts on their blog.  The first, “Community After Second Life: The Case for Plan B” by Elrik Merlin, was a thoughtful musing on the topic that has entered a lot of minds lately: diaspora.  Specifically, “How do you keep an established community of avatars together if the virtual world they originally met in goes belly up?” His answer: plan ahead, and plan together. The second post was (at first) a simple announcement about Prim Perfect’s virtual TV program “Designing Worlds” going to InWorldz and interviewing Tranq and Elenia Llewellyn (Ele’s another Founder and, in some ways, also the main spokesperson).

As you will see in the comments to those two blogs, they were used by someone with a very large and very dull axe to grind. I, for one, cannot fathom what Troy McConaghy’s problem is (with InWorldz, or otherwise)… In the end, neither it nor he matter at all.

Granted — if you read through those comments, especially on the second post, you may find some behavior more resembling a high school lunchroom argument than a polite adult discussion. You will also find a heavy dose of pomposity, which in my case caused the removal of a blog from the roll to the right, and its author from those I follow on Twitter. That doesn’t matter, either. What matters is that the InWorldz community, including its Founders, rose to the challenge, set the record straight, and a lot of similar phrases that mean solidarity.

~

In less than a month, the third anniversary of my joining Second Life will occur. The possibility of my logging into SL on December 5 to “celebrate my rezday” is vanishingly small. So, in fact, is the time I spend logged into SL for any reason at all.

In the months of research on Second Life’s first years that accompanies the photographs in the “Seconderth” series, I have learned that Linden Lab has never had a coherent, let alone consistent, idea of what to do with or about the world they created. The events of the last couple of years (that is, since I became aware of “the man behind the curtain”) are merely the continuation of a long story in which one hand grasps at straws while the other hand is busy sweeping mistakes — and other issues they’d just rather not address — under the megaprim rug.

In short, Second Life may not have failed — yet — but they also have never succeeded.

Meanwhile, there’s InWorldz: Where the Founders walk among us, do what we do, go where we go, engage themselves daily with the world they also operate and continue to improve — not as untouchable Grid Gods but as accessible, caring, responsible, supportive people for whom the needs and opinions of the populace are vastly more important than the next “shiny”… Where that populace is equally accessible, caring, responsible and supportive of each other… Where community isn’t a buzzword but a living thing.

The best thing about InWorldz? That’s easy: It’s not Second Life, and it’s not run by Linden Lab.

.

Advertisements

14 responses to “InWorldz Best

  1. You'll rarely find hermit-me chillin' on a sofa in a virtual world, Lalo, but I like this post and I second that final remark for any non-SL grid. It speaks volumes that InWorldz's founders take time to interact with residents. As their grid grows, I hope they can keep that up.

    In my case “post SLexodus,” to have Reaction Grid's CEO and now their Director of Community Development read my blog or come by my build in Jokaydia Grid shows that they are interested in day-to-day business.

    Keep in mind, Lalo, that Philip Rosedale had a great big idea. I was the one thing I really still love about the man. But I always love mad people. This Time pic reminds me of Klaus Kinski, with all the good and bad that comes from that resemblance:

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898067_2030969_2030960,00.html

    Fitzcarraldo's, I mean Aguire's, I mean Philip's, idea was an important one. At the same time, like many of the “big picture” folks I've known in higher ed, the consequences of that idea are not reckoned and the details are left to others (often toadies or minions) who cannot match the original vision.

    And that is where the problems begin. There may well have been a time, long long ago, when the Lindens walked among the mere mortals at WAs and their Town Halls meant something. This is Oldbie lore now and most of us younger folk half disbelieve.

    They say that Rosedale's avatar could be spotted sitting about in Svarga at one time. I've never spotted him.

    Damn I want to see something by Werner Herzog now. Insert appropriate Kinski quotation here.

  2. @Iggy – You're right, that photo is more than a little scary.

    Yes, those days did once exist in SL, when Lindens were more than mere minions and toadies. With the usual telescoping of in-world time, it seems like much longer ago than five or six years… and those Lindens, the ones who seemed to feel Second Life was more than just the source of a paycheck, are all gone.

    Even so, reading through those old Town Hall transcripts, archived forum posts and Release Notes has convinced me that “arbitrary and capricious” have always been applicable to the Lab's actions.

    I guess it takes engineers and coders to build a world, but students of the humanities to run one… or maybe that's because I'm a bit of both.

  3. THAT is why I come to InWorldz! Thanks for the blog. Was a very fun night. Those spur of the moment tp's that take you to where you get to just hang and be yourself and meet new people and hang out with old friends…. those are the best, and they seem to happen often in IW.

  4. Hey Lao, great post :)
    I hope that wasn't me that was removed, and that my (admittedly) internet-cheerleading wasn't taken as pomposity :D

    I am used to visions; I have them all the time. The difference between being a “visionary” and realizing a piece of artwork is sweat, sweat and more sweat, along with a healthy dose of commitment to the vision.

    It is sad to me, arriving so late in SL, to see the same myopia affecting this world as it did with the VWs of the late 90's. This is a new world, new tech and new communications medium we are building, and treating it as a Wal-Mart or Shopping Mall is a bad mistake in paradigms. Heck, even Wal-Mart has more feedback with their customers than SL at present :(

    I am used to frontier worlds and very forgiving of temporary burps and itches, especially when I see real community interaction and cohesiveness. For the most part, Inworldz residents and Founders all seem to have this awareness of being a community engaged in a great experiment, working together to build the future.

    For this most important reason, I am proud to be an Inworldz resident and co-creator.

  5. Lalo, Torley is still part of that “old guard.” He might be the last one. I hope the InWorldz folks read this thread. They never want to go down that road.

  6. @Everyone: To reassure you, not every blog that I read regularly is reflected on the roll here :)

    @Iggy: Between the comments here and the 'referrals' Sitemeter tracks, it seems a lot of InWorldz folks have stopped by. I have no doubt the Founders were among them.

    Ah, yes — Torley… It's easy to dismiss him, his “friendly greetings” and the over-the-top enthusiastic narrative style he uses in his tutorials. But if any one among the Lindens past or present can be called a Visionary, I think the mantle fits Torley much better than it does P. Rosedale.

    Jack is also among that old guard… but, however supportive he may have been in the earliest days (there's a portrait of him in Boardman Town Hall), these days he appears to be the anti-Torley.

  7. i missed my last SL rezz day, of course, since LL cancelled my account i could not have checked in. but i had totally forgot about it

    i don't miss SL at all but it will always be a part of me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s