BBBC 6: Post Mortem

Final topic:

If this is your first BBBC… What did you get out of your experience? Do you think it will change the way you blog in the future?

If you’re a veteran…. Did you find this year to be harder or easier than previous years? Did you have fun? What did you get out of it this time around? Do you think you’d do it again?

It was my first BBBC, but now I’m a veteran, so….

I got two posts I’m proud of out of 6 (including this toward the total): #4 and #5. The latter, I would have written anyway — in truth, it wrote itself. The former, I might have decided (rightfully?), “Nobody cares,” but at least I was able to make a point with it.

The other three… meh. Definitely in the “Nobody cares” category. I usually Tweet new posts right after they’ve been put up; I didn’t, with those three (and I won’t with this one, either). Can’t blame the topics, though, much as I’m tempted to. The fault lies in my attitude toward personalization: this blog is about Virtuality, not about me.

Timing was bad, too — again, not the fault of the contest, just that it came in the middle of getting the “Seconderth” series out. But, it was mine to accept the challenge or pass, and once committed…

Will it change the way I blog in the future? Probably not. Average hits/day did improve over the previous couple of weeks (probably due to the curiosity of other participants), but that’s not what I’m in this for. Quality of content is what matters, not frequency of posting.

Did I have fun? 1/3 of the time (see above).

Will I do it again? Ask me next June.



[BBBC 5: “Blogger’s choice! Write about anything that’s on your mind!”]

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master– that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them– particularly verbs, they’re the proudest–adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs–however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

‘Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice ‘what that means?’

Though the company remains in a solid financial position, it has become clear that we need to make some hard decisions in order to bring current and future Residents the kind of product and experience we feel they deserve. After three years of intensive hiring, we’ve come to a place where it’s important that we reorganize our teams and find a renewed level of discipline…
Linden Lab remains a great business. We have a strong balance sheet, and our revenue will reach record levels this year. The inworld economy continues its solid growth…

[A Restructuring For Linden Lab, posted by M Linden, 9 June 2010 in the Second Life Blog]

“We’ve emerged from a two-year investment period during which, among other things, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time improving reliability and the overall user experience. Today’s announcement about our reorganization will help us make Second Life® even simpler, more enjoyable, relevant and engaging for consumers starting with their first experience.”

[Linden Lab press release, 9 June 2010, published at PR Newswire]

Second Life – and Linden Lab itself – is in very good shape. As a company, Linden Lab remains financially very stable. Our balance sheet is strong and we are well-capitalized. We will close this year with record revenue and hopefully record users, and – with your help – record user-to-user transactions and record landmass. In May, we recorded more than 1 million logged-in Residents, 37 million user hours, US$52.8 million in user-to-user transactions and 31,800 enabled regions. Second Life is sound.

[A Message from M Linden, emailed 10 June 2010 to an unknown fraction of Residents, but not all of them, and masterfully parsed by Tateru Nino on 13 June]

“One of the things I want to underscore: Second Life will end the year with record revenue, I’m pretty sure record users, and records in terms of user-to-user transactions,” Kingdon said. “The business is healthy, we have [a] strong balance sheet, and we’re well-capitalized.

But is Linden Lab profitable, [Mitch Wagner, a.k.a. “the Copper Robot”] asked? Kingdon responded, “As a private company, we don’t release financials.

[Second Life CEO looks to the future, after massive layoffs, by Mitch Wagner in Computerworld, 11 June 2010]

“The fact is our underlying financial health is very strong. We’re on pace this year for record revenue, record user numbers and record user-to-user transactions – among other positive indicators.”

[Mark Kingdon’s response to Wagner James “Hamlet” Au in “Analysis: What Went Wrong With Linden Lab?” in New World Notes, 16 June 2010

This morning saw a decrease in the exchange rate of the Linden dollar versus the US dollar. However, Second Life’s key economic indicators remain stronger than the levels we saw in late 2009, though recent weeks have seen some reduction in economic activity compared to the record activity of the first quarter, as well as some uncertainty in the wake of recent corporate anouncements. [sic]
That change, combined with uncertainty related to the corporate restructuring announced last week by Linden Lab, contributed to an imbalance between supply and demand on the LindeX today. Linden Lab remains committed to the Linden dollar as a virtual currency, and to the Second Life economy as one that continues to provide value for Residents, merchants, and landholders large and small.

[An Update on the Linden Dollar, posted by M Linden, 16 June 2010 in the Second Life Blog]

Corporate obfuscation






‘Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. ‘I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.’

‘That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

‘When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘I always pay it extra.’

[Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass]


BBBC 4: Old wine in new bottles

Day #4 of the BBBC:

SL Bloggers – Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this?

RL Bloggers – Do you lie about your age? Do you think you act your age? Are you where you thought you’d be at your current age?

Funny you should ask…

Back around the first of the year, as I was contemplating expanding my virtual presence into OSGrid, I discovered that I had a “mental block” against appearing as a human.  I’d been a furry since my rezday, including choosing to wear that awful n00b furry avatar which was available at the time (an ancient Luskwood creation, I believe) before rezzing at Orientation Island.  But, there are no furry avatars in OSGrid. I decided the best way to get past the block was to break through it, and create a human avatar.

Serendipitously, at the same time someone posted a question in SLUniverse about “aged” skins, and was provided with some good answers.  I took that as further inspiration, and decided that the human avvie I’d make would resemble my organic self.

So I went shopping (details here if you’re interested — one of the hardest things to find was glasses that match my real ones), and modded a Library shape. Sculpting the head and face was a fun challenge, working from a photo of the real me. I’d never had to do that before; I’d been wearing someone else’s work as an attachment on my nose. It’s not a dead ringer, but it’ll do.


Do I lie about my age? Obviously not now, though for a while at the beginning I would studiously omit mentioning it (and it’s nigh on to impossible to assign an apparent age to a furry avatar just by looks). I’m not ashamed now to admit I did that then because I feared it might spoil my chances with females. But then I had some chances, with females of a much younger age…

Remember Steely Dan’s song “Hey, 19”? If you do, ’nuff said. That was about the time I decided to mention my age in the “first life” tab of my profile, long before I devised this avatar.

In defense of all those other older SL’ers out there: We’re not given a choice, when we sign up, except to look much younger than we are. The apparent age of every n00b avatar ever promulgated by the Lab and their commissioned in-world designers is somewhere in the indeterminate twenties. Unless, like me, you stumble across the fact that there are older-looking skins — and then shell out substantial L$ to get one — you won’t be able to look your RL age even if you want to.

Do I act my age? I suppose that depends on what your preconceived notion is of how someone my age acts. I act like me, plain and simple. Example: Of the two clubs I go to most often, one plays various forms of trance (and just made me their staff photographer for special events), and the other plays EBM/industrial/noise. I might never have discovered those genres of music without SL, but I go to those places because I love the music, not because I think being there makes me look hip and cool.

I am hip and cool, so there. :P And you know what else? I’m not the only one older than 50 in those places.

Am I where I thought I’d be at my current age? Well, I surely didn’t foresee being an avatar in a virtual world, let alone two of them… nor did I have any inkling that I’d wind up writing a blog, let alone that anyone would read it… or that I had an eye for framing screenshots that crop down into decent photos, or the patience to wait until my unwitting subject’s dance animation put them in just the right pose (and to wait until it came around again, if I missed it the first time)…

Bottom line to all of this: I may not have become “what I wanted to be when I grew up”, but I am a grownup, and I like being one.