Sunday, February 25, 2007

Official Response to the Unofficial Not-A-MeMe


Dolmere Talamasca has issued the Not-A-MeMe challenge this week. Based on a Second Life Insider article, he asks the question, "Let's pretend I'm rich. I'm going to give you a sim. The only thing is, you must use that sims resources to build one (or more) statues of great figures and/or events in Second Life's history."

This is a tough one. Being still an SL Rookie in her first year, I have many personal heroes that I have met that I am tempted to mention as potential statue honorees. But, since the question is framed around "great figures or events in SL history", much as I would like to list all the fantastic builders, artists, scripters and organizers I have happened across in the last year, I have decided to talk about an event that has had a great deal of impact on SL. I would build a statue to Relay for Life.

This event gives people playing a game a real chance to make a difference in a person's life. Over 1000 residents participated and raised over 40K USD for the American Cancer Society. Beyond this, the event has provided a palette for some of Second Life's most talented individuals who put in uncounted hours building and organizing events. This year should be no different! I would build a statue park with a giant cancer awareness ribbon surrounded by statues of Aimee Weber, Jade Lily, Timeless Prototype, Fayadrina Foley, Iumi Cline, Catherine Omega ........

Kudos to all and let's have a great 2007 SLRFL!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Shelter Cares - A Relay for Life Team at the Shelter


I have posted the following in the Shelter forums, but, for those of you who may be reading my blog instead of the forums, I thought I would repost it.

As some of you know, I am trying to form a Relay for Life Team from the Shelter. I was not in Second Life in time last year to participate in this event, but, the Relay for Life is an important part of my Real Life. My mother is a cancer survivor of 8 years now, so, I am indebted to everyone that has made an effort to fight cancer. I was away at college when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment, so, I guess I have always felt I wasn't there enough for her....so things like Relay for Life help me feel like I am making an effort where I can.

In Real Life I am a Relay for Life participant. I participate now with a group from my work at the local track. I walk and jog for exercise and as you can probably guess by those who know my personality I am not shy in asking for help, so, I am proud for what little I can raise for the ACS and Relay for Life. So, this gets us to where I would like to ask you for your help.

I know the Shelter is full of energetic, caring and creative people that could do a great deal in raising money for cancer research and care programs. Because of this, I am asking for your help in this year's "Quest For A Cure" Second Life event in Relay for Life by asking you to join the "The Shelter Cares" - Relay for Life Team.

Besides, the main Relay for Life event in which we will walk through the many sims that have been set aside for the relay, there is a great opportunity for staging some Shelter Events that could be used as fund raising events. I can think of no other group of people that have more talent in doing this type of thing in terms of creative energy than the group that I have gotten the pleasure to get acquainted with at the Shelter. You guys Rock!

Though Reina is tied up in Real Life for a few weeks, she has offered to help as the co-captain of Team Shelter. I also need help from some of you better organized Shelter planners. As you know, planning and consistency are not exactly Dixie's strengths. I have bursts of creative energy, but, can fail in so many other ways. So, I really do need all the help I can get.

The Shelter Cares. Please IM me to get involved.

Check out the http://slrfl.org/ for more details.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Friends are Video Rock Stars


My friends over at Bali Hai, the Merry Idiots are now rock stars. Aenea Nori has made a machina video. You can see it on her blog or on Google Video. The Merry Idiots loved being Video Rock Stars. I just hope next time they invite me :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Challenge #4 - Not-A-MeMe - SL Circa 2009


I would like to post the Not-A-MeMe challenge #4 blog. I have always wanted to use the phrase prolific prognosticator and pugnacious pundit so here goes. Dixie Starr, Second Life's most prolific prognosticator and pugnacious pundit poses the puzzler, "What will be Second Lifes biggest positive change and biggest negative change in two years (circa 2009)?"

My response:

Biggest Positive Change Prediction is that Second Life will have benefited from the overall Web 2.0 explosion because of their decision to open source the Client and Server. Second Life will have the ability to mash up with other web applications and technologies such as deep linking, friend networks for shared content, AJAX and other "function sharing", Google Services such as calendar, embedded SL Search, docs and spreadsheets. If you can get at it through the internet you will be able to integrate it within Second Life. The creative resident will have many more tools at their bidding to create a true metaverse.

Biggest Negative Change or Disappointment: I believe the Second Life has already started heading down the Gartner Technology Adoption Curve like the now well known article "Gartner says Second Life hype near peak" trumpeted earlier this year. And yes in 2009, the Linden's are no longer independent, they are owned by Google. This provides part of the big positive earlier stated, but, alas, "big brother" will make Second Life no longer the hobby playground it is for so many of us now. Google will attempt to pull back in the creativity that was released with the open source outlet that the Linden's relented to in 2007.

Bottom Line: I believe more positive than negative. Dixie Starr will still be in Second Life except she will be Dixie Starr Incorporated a wholely owned subsidiary of the Shelter Coroporation.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Challenge #3 Response - Have You Burned Out on SL

This is hard to be a not-a-meme post. So, I will do an answer from my perspective about my already fairly well documented SLuicide attempt around Thanksgiving. Though not burn out, closely related. I gave everything I own and my money to Eugena and our group account and cancelled my account . I completely swore off SL. I deleted everything on my hard drive, client, folders with fashion, etc. Everything associated with SL was gone. Even went as far as deleting bookmarks in Firefox. It was truly SLuicide.

Why did I do that? Was I overextended like some of the other bloggers noted? Though, I was doing my art and a little fashion this wasn't the reason. Was it that I ran out of things to do and was bored? Nope, I loved all the things going on; game shows, artist talk, fashion design, partying. Was it the people in SL? Not hardly, as far as I know I haven't made any enemies and I have no one even on mute. I really enjoy the people I have met in SL. So, why did I do such a drastic thing? The reason was alluded to by some of the other bloggers. It was GUILT!

I was guilty that I was ignoring my First Life. I had just had a group of fights with my boyfriend of nearly two years about Second Life. He was complaining that I was spending too much time in Second Life. That I was addicted. I wasn't paying attention to him. So in a despair, I committed SLuicide. However, turns out, the problem was not Second Life. It was the boyfriend. Boyfriend became history by Christmas and I got back in Second Life and I have a new boyfriend who isn't quite as selfish. Luckily, I had a 3 month account and the Lindens were able to reinstate me. I had lost a lot of other stuff locally on my PC, but, no big deal and best of all Eugena forgave me and is still my business partner and best friend in SL.

This brings me to the conclusion of the not-a-meme. Is it burn out or is it guilt that drives some of us away from this game called Second Life? Will we ever treat Second Life as just a part of life or are we too set in our nose-to-the-grindstone, all work no play, society? I worry a little about the guilt thing going forward, but, like the bloggers have said, sometimes you just need to take a little time off.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tell us what you like most about Second Life. Not-a-meme

Mera Pixel Not-a-MeMe Challenge

Dolmere Talamasca Not-a-MeMe Response

The Not-a-Meme challenge is "What do you like most about Second Life". To add to the challenge, I had promised that in my next blog I would make an attempt not to mention the first, second or third person that is writing the blog in it. Indeed a formidable challenge. But, after spending 10 minutes trying to do that neat little linguistic challenge I said forget it and rewrote the following because I realized my favorite thing about Second Life turns out to be "that Second Life for me is an unabashed, no excuses chance to celebrate the person that is ME!"

Before you go and think, oh brother here is Dixie again trying to be a "smarty pants", let me explain what I mean. When I first came across Second Life it appeared that it would be a great place for maybe doing some creative programming. I had been doing some Java based websites in my evenings and thought this would be just another interesting programming experience. I still have a "How Second Life Works" word document that I created the first two weeks in Second Life where I built a structured outline of all the things I needed to learn in order to become a proficient developer within this thing called Second Life. I look at that now and think, "Wow are you weird!"

Here is an excerpt from this embarrassing document:

A class is typed. A class can be made up of multiple classes and therefore multiple types (simple vs complex class)
Types in LSL = Integer, Float, String, Key, Vector, Rotation
An object has a class associated with it
An instance is the actual usage of a class
Each class (i.e. type or collection of types) can have a variable associated with it
Each instance has states which are represented by the values of its’ instance variables
Each state has event handlers. A state must have at least one event handler otherwise it isn’t a state. Each event handler is triggered by the LSL Virtual Machine. The event handler is how the LSL VM (i.e. sim) passes data to the instance
There is a whole set of states an object has coming out of the box.

Stuff like the above goes on for about five pages of technobabble and drivel. Then one night I had a break through. I decided to stay home and drink a bottle of wine and got into Second Life. I figured since I was "In Vino", so to speak, to not open the Technobabble document and document how SL must work and just wander around to get a feel for the content. That is the night I came across the Shelter. I stumbled into a game of Payment Podium. I had so much fun playing trivia, talking with the people and then dancing until I passed out that the "Understanding Second Life and LSL document" has lain fallow since.

Instead I decided to treat it like the game it is. It is the game, that truly celebrates the ME! It especially frees the "Creative Me". Who would have thought that it would unleash the fashion designer lurking inside or really get me excited about doing abstract art again. I now get on my computer and I am way more likely to pick my graphix tablet and paint something or design a new dress than I am to do anything resembling coding. I leave the programming at the office now. The computer has become a great new toy for me. I had never been a big game player beyond Bedazzled and some Solitaire. Now the computer is the best, coolest toy I can possibly imagine. At 26, I am a kid again!

That is what is best about Second Life for ME! It is Me Unleashed! It is about the creative Me in all of us being unleashed.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Weekly Challenge - Where To Send Newbies

Dolmere Talamasca has posed the intersting approach to having blogs about things instead of about ME - ME - ME. As you all know, talking about Me is always a lot of fun, especially for Me. But, I really like Dol's suggestion of having challenge subjects to blog about it, so, we all don't get tired of hearing about Me Me. So, I am going to throw caution to the wind and talk about something besides Je, Ich, Mim and Yo.

Two places to take newbies to get them started, hmmmmm? I know what you are all thinking and "No, I wouldn't send them to my store or gallery". Though I usually do give them some clothes and talk to them about SL fashion sense. Meeting Dixie in SL, is sort of like being on the TV Show, "What Not To Wear"! Feed the hungry and clothe the newbie is my slogan.

I usually first ask them how they found out about SL and what they think they would like to do in exploring the meta-verse. That often shapes what I would suggest for places to visit with them. Lately, with all the new residents from around the world, the newbie is apt to no speak English or at least it is a second language. If that is the case I take them to McDunnough's. Jed and Faye go out of their way to ease the transition of non-English speakers. With Salsa nights and people on the staff that talk Spanish, Portugese, French and German. IshtarAngel also runs an immigration agency at McDunnough's to help acclimate the international newbie. There are usually a lot of music events, Salsa dancing and plenty of places to shop there as well.

Again, it is hard to say where I would go with them next. Muse Isle, NCI, DarkLife, and Artropolis are where I would go with them if they specifically expressed interest in music, scripting, game playing or art. Otherwise, I take them to the Shelter. I know we all would like to say we take them elsewhere. But, honestly there just is no better place to go, if you are a newbie. I know it seems like a cop out for this blog as we all know the Shelter is the best place for newbies. But, I just want to go on the Blog record and say, that the people that have made the Shelter the experience it is deserve all the credit in the world for making Second Life fun and easy to get around in. I have been in SL for over 6 months now and I still ask a newbie question to Sumar or Oni at least one week.

Wow, two paragraphs and no use of the word "Me", but, 11 uses of the word "I". Hmmm, even though I have the best of intentions, I am afraid I may be a "Me" addict. The next challenge I take will be to specifically write a blog that has no mention of me in the first, second or third person.