Sunday, March 25, 2007

Not A Me Me #11 - Voice and Second Life

My turn again. Everybody who knows me has heard by now about my being lucky enough to win the radio promo contest for Relay for Life. Many of you have heard the promos over the Melodies 2 Memories (M2M) Jukebox network of Dolmere's. The fact that my voice will soon be plastered throughout Second Life in these radio spots along with the fact that Oz Spade is a semi-regular Shelter visitor got me to thinking about the voice coming to Second Life. Will I like it or will I hate it? Will I use it or will I not? So that is the topic de jour for this Not A Me Me Challenge. How will voice effect Second Life and will you use it?

I think voice in Second Life will at least at first be a major distraction and very annoying. Most events I go to now if there is anymore than one or two active people is full of multiple conversations going on at the same time in the chat window. How can that work when people are talking? Talking versus chatting in a chat window are inherently two different types of communication. While I often jump in with a random remark in the chat window, I would not be comfortable interrupting people that are talking.

Also how do you know who is saying what with the new voice chat? I understand the spatial 3D kind of hype they are talking about, but, I just don't know. Another great tool for a griefer.... I wonder what W-hat already has planned? It just seems that the Linden's could be spending more time with other stuff like stability. I think voice is just one of those things that is more likely to ruin the experience than enhance it for me. Unfortunately, like most people I like to hear my voice. I can't shut up and as has been pointed out in more than one occasion in my life, don't think before I speak. The chat window has helped moderate that somewhat for me in Second Life (with the exception of the times I may have been consuming liquor while in world).

So, is Voice good for Second Life? My opinion is that is more of that Second Life expanding the boundaries of the Metaverse crap we have all suffered through on top of a pretty good game. So, it won't completely ruin the game, just be another irritation on top of the many others. It is a personal decision on whether you use it and quite frankly, I don't think it is a good option for me. So, it is best that I stay mute in terms of voice in Second Life. What do you think?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not a Me Me Challenge # 10 Response

This one comes from Rose Farina. Yaay, Rose for getting in the Blog Free For All. The Challenge is "Is Second Life like your Original Expectations or different"?

As Dol said in his response, it s a pretty challenging question. When I got in Second Life I thought it would much more like building web pages and the programming I do for a living. I thought I would explore all the builds, do a lot of building, script a lot cool things, write stuff like Mera and Dol have to connect SL and the web and really treat it like the facinating new metaverse that it was advertised to be. Instead for me, it has turned out to be like a much more interesting "mySpace".

I have made a lot of friends and gotten involved way more socially than I ever thought I would. Much to my suprise, it has become my Second Life. Do I sound like an add for Linden Labs? :) I go with friends to listen to music, I have art shows, I report on the art and entertainment scene for Second Life News Network, I am a Lovely Assistant doling out prizes on Trivial Obsession, I make and sell clothes, I am on a Relay for Life Team and on and on it goes. But, suprising enough none of it is the stuff that I had any intention of doing when I first got in.

So in many ways it has not been has not lived up to my expectations in being the metaverse of interesting new technology I thought it would be, but, has far exceeded my initial impressions in that it is FUN. Yes, there it is ..... Second Life is the most fun I have ever had playing a COMPUTER GAME. It is a game and I am not embarrased to say I like playing it!

To prove it is a fun game, I have included one my latest AVIS. It is Alice from my Dilbert series of characters I have done. Being Alice at a strip club ..... now that is what I call really living it up in the metaverse.

Not a Meme #9 - What has Second Life done for your Real Life

I was late as usual on the Not-A-MeMes. Had a busy week. I will catch up on the blog posts in one blogathon evening. This is from Coal Nelson. It is What Second Life Done for your Real Life.

Like Mera's Response, I am going to blame something that may not be Second Life's fault, but, I would rather blame Second Life than blame my lack of control. I gained 12 pounds in Second Life from last Summer to the end of January! Now 12 pounds may not sound like the end of the world, but, when that represents 10% of your body weight it is HORRIBLE.

I blame SL for all that sitting in front of the computer. I may be dancing at the Shelter, but, I am eating Cookies and Cream Ice Cream in front of the monitor. I have gone from a normal, relatively active young person, to a full fledged SLUG as evidenced by a recent picture of me painting that I have enclosed in the blog.

Actually, things have not completely gone to pot. In February, my sister and I started a diet together. Also, I started jogging again which also helps me mentally as well as physically. As of this week, I had lost 7 of those 12 pounds. So at this point I can only blame roughly a 5 pound fiasco on Second Life. Do you know what 5 pounds of fat looks like in a butcher store ..... Ewwww, it is not a pretty site there or on a little Texan gal.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Not a Me Me # 7 - Somewhere New

Mera challenged us to go somewhere new and blog about it. Great idea. I took the opportunity to go visit an artist friend of mine, Amythe Moonlight's sim. Amy has shown in a couple of my art shows and I was always fascinated by her 2D art that appears 3D and has moving prims and textures in them. She also is a builder who is most famous for her Christmas builds. So, I went and visited Love Harbor and Mystery to see the building that she and her partner, Ay6jay Carpenter have done.

The first thing you see when you hit the island is that is "Under Construction" and that is evidenced by the big crane in this otherwise rural English countryside. I have talked to Amy on a number of occasions and I know that she actually lives in Great Britain very near Stonehenge, so I was not suprised by the traditional English gardens and the Stonehenge monument in the distance.

The main portion of the sim is dominated by the Castle which has an animated dragon guarding it. The castle was still being finished up when I visited but peeking in the door you could see a beautiful statue that Amy had done.

From the castle, I went over to look at the Cafe that looks to be a place that will be a popular gathering spot in Mystery. Looking in the front door, from the beautiful patio you can see some of her art and her toy pig. Walking in the cafe, I noticed a hole in the floor with a ladder. So, of course, I went exploring.

The ladder led to a basement which had a glass wall that looked out into the Sea. The view into the Sea included schooling fish and a former civilization's ruins. Had I found the fabled Atlantis :) What a great imagination and considerable amount of talent Amy and Ay6jay have.

I left the Cafe and wandered over to the traditional English Square that had a Pub called the Red Bull which I found to be a great name. To think that there is a pub named after the drink that makes it possible for me to make it through most mornings.

Looking north in the square you can see the main house. So, I took a stroll up there to take a look. I took a peek into the library through the window and decided I had to explore.

Amy's attention to detail is amazing. The living room, dining room, bedrooms and libraries were all looking great. I could almost smell the heather in the air.

Lastly, I went and visited the actual Love Harbor itself. It is a club that is an old fashioned Paddle Boat. I noticed that there was a planned St Patrick's day party, so, I showed up and danced with the Mystery group. They were a great crowd and I really enjoyed myself.

Thanks for the Challenge. It really turned out to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Jacek has posted the next challenge, Do you consider your avatar an extension of yourself, or a character you can control?

I have found the postings by Dolmere, Mera and Jacek's perspective very, very interesting. Most of you know what I was going to say about that, as you know that I have no problem mixing my real and second life personalities, as evidenced by my SL Profile. But, in terms of "Do you consider your avi an extension of yourself" - for me a picture says 1,000 words! [Dixie+Morph+2.gif]

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Not A-MeMe #5 - Helpful Hint

Dolmere posted up the not-a-meme challenge #5 for a how to do something in Second Life article to help newbies. To think I now have been in Second Life long enough to be able to post a newbie tip is something to be said about persitance and not about how quickly I have picked up Second Life platform. In general, I figure that for everything I do in Second Life there probably is a better way to do it than I know how. So with some trepidition I will post a "tip" expecting that any comments I get on the tip will probably turn out to be people telling me, "You know there is a better way to do that" rather than thanks from a newbie. Anyway here goes:

Newbie Tip: How to sell something in Second Life.

Most people when they get in Second Life, do some clubbing, go listen to music, go at least "window shopping" and then come to the conclusion, I need to sell something. It must be human nature. I know for me it helped justify in my own mind the hours I was spending in Second Life. I was going to make money in SL(haha). In any case, let's say Nancy Newbie, has decided to create an object to sell. Nancy has created a new hat to be worn at parties called the box head hat. She knows that people will flock to buy the box head hat because she has seen many other newbies wearing boxes on their arms, legs, feet, etc.

So, first she first creates a new primitive. She chooses to use the box primitive to create the box head hat. After further deliberation, she decides that she has always liked the look of natural wood, so, does not bother to change the texture or the default color of the box. Nancy places the box on her head and adjusts it to make sure it is what she was really thinking of and after a few minutes of arranging it she has it just right and it is now ready for sale.

Nancy has gone shopping in Second Life and she is really fascinated with the vendors that show off the products and offer them for sale. She gets on SL Exchange and admires the JEVN vendor package, but, then is somewhat taken aback by the Two Grand price tag. She thinks I will have to sell a lot of box head hats to hit my "break even" point. Nancy was a business major in college, when not being the most popular TKE Little Sister at the Frat House, and she knows all about things like breaking even, diminishing returns and market penetration. Fear not, Nancy, there is an easier way to sell that box head hat than these high dollar vendors.

Second Life provides the ability to create objects and then set permissions to share this with others. In this permission scheme is a native ability to sell the object. You basically are setting the object to be able to be taken or copied by another resident as long as they pay you a certain price for the object. This is done on the General Tab of the Object itself. You click the For Sale check box and set it to the price you would like to sell it for. In this example, Nancy Newbie set the price to be 1000 L$, so, that she can get enough capital to get one of those fancier vendors.

You have three choices in how to sell the object. The first is original. When you choose original that means after the buyer has paid for the item it will go in their inventory and disappear from where you are selling it from (i.e. the store). The second option is to sell a copy of the item which means that the items goes into their inventory but there is still the object in the store. These two are pretty straight forward. If you want to sell original, numbered art pieces for example you would sell originals and set the permissions so the next owner can sell it or modify it, but not copy. If you wanted to sell the item, such as a fabulous box head hat in a store, you might put the hat on a table with a for sale sign next to it and set it to sell a copy of itself.

The last option is to sell the contents. Let's say Nancy has made a beautiful dress. She want to get a picture of herself in the dress and put the picture on the wall. Nancy would like buyers to be able to touch the picture on the wall and be able to buy the dress. That is what contents option is for. She takes her picture using the Take Snapshot option underneath the File Menu and then she uploaded the image using the Upload Image option underneath the File Menu. She then created a object and shaped like a picture to hang on a wall and selected the picture of her in the dress as it's texture. Nancy opened this picture of the dress and went to the contents tab and dragged and dropped the dress from her inventory into the contents.

Nancy now has a picture of her wearing that great looking outfit with the dress itself in the contents of the picture. She goes to the General section of the picture (not the dress) and selects For Sale and Contents and sets the price to be 2000 L$. Nancy is thinking big. She needs to remember to set the dress permissions to be what she wants, for example, modify and not copy.

I hope this guide to Simple Selling helps all the Nancy Newbies of the world because we all know there is a shortage of aspiring Fashion Designers in Second Life :)