Saturday, June 21, 2014

My 200th Story about Second Life

Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.

Rose Kennedy

OK, I made it!

I’m at my 200th entry in this blog! 

To be honest there were times when I wondered if I’d make it.  Blogging once a week seems easy but to try and have a good story ready each and every time takes some effort and planning.  Not to mention juggling Real Life (RL) to make it all happen.  (My thanks to Significant Other for allowing the time away to work on this little project of mine.)

When I look back on my time in Second Life (SL) since I blogged about reaching the 100 story mark, I wonder where the time has gone.  A lot happening in RL (Don’t worry, all good!) has probably contributed to its quick passage.

People whom I meet inworld always ask me why I blog.  Why not just wander about and enjoy myself?

I have a few reasons.

The first and most important to me is the variety of places inworld, the people in them, and the experiences offered are something which should be shared.  If I don’t share these stories there are fewer and fewer forums talking about SL.  I don’t think they should be forgotten. 

Next, I enjoy writing.  (Significant Other rolls eyes at this point.)  I’ll never be published in RL and the types of travel and experiences I once had are no longer available to me.  (No regrets here, mutual decision with Significant Other.)  Blogging about SL lets me have some fun, and hopefully for both of my readers, as I wander across the Grid and bring back my tales of wonder and misadventure.  (Significant Other’s eyes are in danger of rolling out of head now.)

Finally, people (OK, a few.) are following me and they tell me they enjoy my writing and look forward to it.  I feel obligated to do a good job and write regularly in order not to disappoint them.  (Not to lay a guilt trip on anyone!)

The next question I’m asked a lot is, what have I learned from my travels inworld?

Oddly, the answer is a lot.

The primary thing I’ve learned about SL is that there is a strong sense of community inworld.  People are here for a variety of reasons but being together with folks of similar minds is the big one.  There are tight bonds of friendship and sometimes even love among the residents.  I’ve made several very good friends in SL and when I came in I wasn’t expecting that.  (Significant Other suggests I ask them if they consider me as good a friend.) 

The other thing I’ve learned about SL is the incredible amount of creativity that exists here.  Some of the work created by residents beggar description and many times I feel I don’t do them justice with my scribblings.  (Significant Other admits that I have realistic expectations about my own work and can discern the truly great works of others.  Hey, that’s something, isn’t it?)

But, one thing I’m learning is that storm clouds may be threatening our world.  This I’ve learned only recently and will be a downer in what I’d hoped would be a more upbeat piece on my time in SL. 

As I was preparing this story I came across another one of those timely posts by Frau Jo Yardley that she is famous for.  In her blog, she informs us of a new virtual being developed by Linden Lab (LL) which won’t be backward compatible with the current SL.

(Being the cynic that I am, I found it more than a little coincidental that after I blogged about the lack of activity in SL since the arrival of the new CEO all of a sudden this news breaks.  Did I ever mention that I don’t believe in coincidence?)

Another piece of bad news is that the new world won’t be open source.  Sounds like LL doesn’t want to lose control like it did early on with SL.

While Frau Jo subsequently posted an official announcement from LL on this subject there are still more questions than answers right now.  I’ve learned from bitter experience how to read Corporate America’s press releases.  What’s left unsaid is more important than what’s said.  Anyone who doubts me should just follow how General Motors handled its ignition key problem for years until finally admitting what was going on. 

Here’s my concern.  (And, it’s only a concern for now.)  For well over ten years, residents inworld have made a big sweat equity investment to create some of the most beautiful virtual worlds ever seen by humankind.  In addition, many of these made significant RL financial investments as well. 

What happens to these?

What happens to the communities built around them?

Will everyone just be tossed off and told to re-up in the next Brave New World established by LL?

A lot could be lost forever here. 

What type of fee structure will be used?

In a brief moment, I believe Ebbe Altberg has wiped away all the good will he received when he came aboard earlier this year. I don’t want to rush to judgment here.  Maybe there’s a grand plan which will be fair and balanced.

My advice to the corporate luminaries at LL is that if they do have a grand plan then they’d better start communicating it in detail to the SL community before they lose us forever.

Sorry to end what I’d planned originally to be an upbeat piece on my milestone.  But, this latest news saddens me a little because the future of SL is in doubt.  I’ll write more about this as I learn more and its implications become apparent. 

Will SL be around long enough for me to write another 100 stories?

Below, I’ve included links to pictures that represent a few of the highlights of my last 100 stories.  Some have already joined #lostsims but others are still with us and I encourage you to go see them while you still can!

Thanks to all who read and follow me!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.   

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 2 Christmas 2012

Photo No. 4 Chinese Junk

Photo No. 6 Gorean Busker

Photo No. 8 Christmas 2013

Photo No. 10 Hobbiton



Whitburn Blackburn said...

I culdn't agree more with your concern, I felt a great deal of sadness when I read the announcement earlier today. I may not have created anything beautiful in SL, nor have I spent a significant sum of money, but I have six and a half years invested in second life and I would be extremely reluctant to lose it now, quite apart from the vast inventory I have built up. I can understand why Linden may wish to develop new technology, particularly with the Occulus Rift thing, but if we loose what is familiar in SL, including our personna, by moving to the new platform, I for one will not be moving. My second life would come to an end without any virtual afterlife! I guess we have to keep an open mind for now, but feel sure some sort of campaign might be called for in future in terms of "Hands off our Second Life!"

webspelunker said...


Thank for reading and your comment!

I realize it's still early innings with this recent Linden Lab (LL) announcement.

I just wish that LL would be more sensitive to people's feelings and concerns.

You may neither have created many objects nor spent a lot of money inworld, but by your being there the Second Life (SL) community is a better place.

If LL casually casts off residents property and their identities then they will have a very difficult time building up whatever it is that they create to what SL is today.

Markets have memories!