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Jan. 26th, 2010

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Support Aussies in the latest anti-censorship campaign - slow broadband and filtered content is comi

This is just a quick post from real life me and second life me asking friends, aquaintances and yes, even strangers who have passionate anti-censorship views to show support for Australians in the current campaign against centralised Internet Filtering/censorship.  AND ...  no, you don't need to be an Aussie to help raise awareness.

It can take as little as 5 minutes to show your support - or say NO to the Australian Government.

Yes, there was a lot of discussion in certain circles about this topic last year - there was a little noise but still, a lot of Australians are totally oblivious and the Government has taken a few more steps forward and is closer to making this a reality.

Last year when I posted, I received a few responses from fellow Aussies (or were they Ostriches?) saying, "It'll never happen, we are not Russia", "It's all scare mongering" and other such things. But here we are, in 2010, with the Government planning to put the proposal through Parliment - without providing any real response to some key questions that many Australian citizens have.

And ... if we were [like] Russia, we'd probably be better off. 

You see the elite club that the Australian Government would have us join is China, Iran and Saudi Arabia - those are the countries that already have centralised Internet Filtering - scary huh? (and you know, we are meant to live in a democracy!!).

The filtering will not only limit what you have access to on the Internet but will significantly slow down the broadband network AND is likely to negatively impact the cost of your internet.

So what can you do to show your support?

I am, of course, biased. I do not want my Government to dictate what I can see, do and read online and I do not want slower broadband or increased prices for Internet because the ISPs suddenly have a lot of new requirements... I urge you to do your own reading and make up your own mind- you'll find lots of information with a quick search on Google.

Search syntax example:
("internet filtering" OR nocleanfeed OR openinternet) Australia

And yes... this search is possibly biased but it will give you a starting point to come up with your own searches.

Smiles. Thanks for reading... I hope you'll feel the urge to show your support.

The implications of what could happen should this go ahead - and thinking about where Australia might be in a few years if it does are ... potentially horrifying.

- Moggs.

Feb. 11th, 2009

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Australian crisis fundraising appeals in Second Life

This post is copied from my primary blog and therefore to get the latest information and updates please go to:


Ways to help: shop | socialise | pay an avatar | donate online More: a note from 'Kota and Autumn | spare a thought for wildlife | articles about SL fundraising | links and information As many of you will be aware, Australia has been struck by devastating bushfires and floods. The bushfires are the worse ones yet, having killed well over 100 people and left hundreds and hundreds of others homeless or with nothing. North Queenslanders, meanwhile, are battling floods. There are a number of fundraising appeals going on in Second Life to raise funds for the victims of the fires - these appeals started up almost as soon as the fires hit crisis state.

Donate by shopping!

Please add related links in the comments - I'll keep updating this list as I come across information - 'Kota Buck has now published list of participating vendors - I've added vendors from her list here too. You'll find links to the Red Cross and Premier appeals at the bottom of this post for those who wish to make their donations outside of Second Life.

Fundraiser Events in Second Life

Weekend Festival - shopping & music

Original information from Surreal Babii - now includes additional program and information updates - and will be continually updated as information comes to hand: We are planning a music/shopping event. It will go from Friday Midnight 20th Feb to Sunday 22nd Feb. We are hoping to have non stop music from every genre, as well as a small shopping market where vendors can be set up. We have been fortunate to have Stroker Serpentine lend us the space for the weekend, he is very kind. We have made him an honourary aussie. We have set up an avatar VicBushfireAppeal Fireguard and contacted the Red Cross. We have also have a Donation Kiosk and we have a script that can be put in vendors on the day.
  • 6pm - 8pm: Michael Cela
  • 7pm - 9pm: Michael Cela

Its so fantastic to hear of all the SLers helping for such a great cause. I was chatting to Autum yesterday , and she has had an awesome response with donations, it warms the heart. Its such a devastating event, I was myself was involved in the Christmas day fires that swept thru our small town a few years back , and of the other team members were involved in the Canberra Fires that devastated the city. So this is our way of giving back. We are after both donations from creators and also dj's we have quite a big list to fill and every little bit helps. People can contact me in world or else Trix Noel, Marcia Scott or nuvolino Roffo. Please be aware that due to potential scams in SL make sure that before donating to any of the DIGITAL ANGEL kiosks - check that its an official one by checking ensuring the creator nuvolino roffo. If you see a kiosk with another name listed as the creator, please contact us! If you need anymore information please dont hesitate in contacting me either by email or inworld. I am on Australian time, so it may take a bit, but I always answer. Regards Surreal Babii Digital Angel - The Appeal for Victoria Bushfire Victims

Make direct donations to an avatar

Dakota Buck and Autumn Hykova have organised fundraising and set up an avatar to take donations - the avatar is Victoria Farshore and all funds paid/donated to this avatar will be converted to Australian dollars and will go to the bushfires appeal run by the Australian Red Cross. Surreal Babii has also set up an avatar VicBushfireAppeal Fireguard and contacted the Red Cross. She also has a donation kiosk and script that can be put in vendors on the day. If you are doing your own fundraising, you may wish to get in contact with Dakota Buck and Autumn Hykova OR Surreal Babii and set up payments for your event to go to one of these avatars rather than creating yet another one. This will give Second Lifers consistent and trusted avatars who they can directly pay to make donations.

A note from 'Kota and Autumn

As some of you may have heard, there was a devastating bush fire in Victoria, entire towns have been wiped out and the death toll is over 80 and climbing . http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25023335-1243,00.html is one of the many news articles I have been linked to. From the article: Premier John Brumby has described the disaster as "the worst day in our history". He called the bushfires "a monster that couldn't be controlled". This is, beyond comprehension to me, and I wanted to organize something, anything, so that I could help. Some of the people I hold most dear to my heart are from Australia, and I am hoping that we can come together as a community as we have in the past to help out the affected victims of this tragedy. If you are interested in participating, please send Autumn Hykova a note card, it could be a new release, or portions of sales items you already have. We will have a donation box as well. I've created an avatar, Victoria Farshore, who will be the account that holds any money donated, and all the proceeds will go to the Australian Red Cross. https://www.redcross.org.au/Donations/onlineDonations.asp They have the ability to donate to a specific campaign, so we know exactly where the money is going. Thank you for your interest. Please pass this notecard to anyone who may be interested in participating. Autumn Hykova & Dakota Buck *'Kota has now published a list of participating vendors

Wildlife Victoria

Please spare a thought to all the innocent wildlife killed and injured in the Victorian Bushfire Disaster. Wildlife Victoria, www.wildlifevictoria.org.au, is a non profit organization, run by volunteers and specializes in rescuing, treating and rehabilitating Australian native animals. As well as the enormous human tragedy of the Fires, there has been an uncalculatable loss to Australian native species and this organization has also lost two of it's rescue centres. You might be able to help them financially or otherwise.


RL information and links

Dec. 26th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Toughen up princess! It's just a list.

At the end of the year in Second Life®, like in real life, the various in-world magazines, publications, groups and what-not offer up Best of, in review, Sexiest/hottest and other lists. Many of these lists are reader/viewer choice which interprets as this is what the readers/viewers who could be buggered getting back to us thought. None of these lists are representative of the opinions of all Second Life® residents but are the views of selected demographics only. It therefore amazes me that some people feel bad when they don't make the lists.

I was telling my sister about some of the lists. Personally, I love reading them just for fun. I don't look at them as being an authoriative guide to the Best of Second Life® or anything else... I just enjoy them for what they are.

I rarely buy trash mags in real life... I couldn't care less what actors, actresses and other celebrities do with their time but I do love buying the December/January issues with the Best of and Year in Review lists. And often I keep them. They are like a time capsule of where the mainstream society was at for that year. And they are fun to read and bitch at in jest, laugh about or nod in agreement - but I don't take them too seriously.

In terms of at least one of the Second Life® lists, I think my sister put it best when she said incredulously Social Butterfly?!, it's a popularity contest - which really is what reader/viewer lists are - they are designed to answer the question "what products, people, places and things did our reader/viewers love or love to hate this year?"

For those who appear on the lists, it's a nice acknowlegement of their efforts - it's always nice to be recognised or thanked for our efforts, we all love it. For those who didn't make it, keep firmly in mind that the feedback you receive from your customers, peers and people you respect holds as much or more value as any list.

When the VAIN Inc 'Best of' Readers Choice Award Nominations were published, there was a lot of buzz on Plurk. Agreement, disagreement, expressions of interest about those not on the list and those on the list. Some people thought there were a few categories missing - and so I decided to plurk some award category nominations for the missing categories... just for fun and to see what people thought. A few people started requesting categories (via private plurk) that appeared in the VAIN Inc list, so I ended up plurking them too. There were more categories than I thought and so I ended up being a bit mortified because I totally took over the Second Lifer on Plurk timeline (I am genuinely sorry about the flood guys!).

I will share the plurk award nomination categories below, but first other end of year awards/lists... the first being a post from Praddles, which I loved and which sums up how seriously we should be taking these lists... his closing paragraph has my full agreement - without everyone Second Life® wouldn't be what it is, we all do our bit.
And now for the very very unofficial Plurk Award Nomination Categories, Yearly round-ups, etc - the rules we established as we went along were/are:
  • this is plurk, we have no rules - the community decides
  • if we need rules, we'll make them up as we go along
  • yes! of course you can self nominate
  • no! there is no limit to the number of times you can post
  • no! there's isn't a cut off date... there will be no ceremonies or announcements of winners... it's all in fun and gives all plurkers a chance to acknowlege and recognise the people, brands, places and things they love.
  • yes! you will probably discover a number of places to visit and to shop and yes... if you shop at all places that interest you, you probably will be SL broke for all of 2009
DISCLAIMER: Even though any SLers on Plurk could have responded, only a small minority did - therefore the answers are only representative of those who could be buggered and ARE NOT in any way, shape or form representative of the collective view of the whole SL plurk community.Delightful - the Moggs Definition: People who I find delightful and who delight me in some way or other. Warning: they may not always play nicely with others. This post was originally published on my primary blog moggsoceanlane.blogspot.com

Nov. 27th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Mind blowing art in SL (Plurkers told me so)

This is not a complete list - it is a list of art, art venues and artist recommended to me by people in my Second Life® Plurk community. The exhibitions listed may current or may have been held in the past - what can I say? You snooze... you lose! I'm sharing this information here so that non-plurkers can also have a starting point to begin exploring art in Second Life®.

I have credited those who made recommendations and where possible have put a link to their own site. Don't be shy about adding additional links and information to the comments - and I'm always more than happy to edit my posts as I get additional recommendations and information.



Exhibtions / Installments

  • Bogon Flux by blotto Epsilon and Cutea Benelli, Burning Life 2008 - YouTube

  • Flowers #2 (2008) by Eshi Otawara

  • Primolution (2006) by stella costello

  • Sim-a-day (2008) by Eshi Otawara - flickr

  • Viva La Vida - a tribute to life (2008) by AuraKyo Insoo

Want more?

On Plurk

  • Plurk thread: what art installments have blown your mind in SL (they don't still need to be in existance but if they are, consider including a SLURL)

Nov. 25th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Good live music in SL (Plurkers told me so! )

Please understand this is not a complete list nor is it intended to be a "best of" list - it is a list of musicians that were recommended to me by people in my Second Life® Plurk community. I'm sharing it here so that non-plurkers can also have a starting point to begin exploring live music in Second Life®.

I have credited those who made recommendations under the musicians name - and where possible have put a link to their own site.

As always, don't be shy about adding additional links and information to the comments - and I'm always more than happy to edit my posts as I get additional recommendations and information.
  • Ayden Kruh
    • "I have to add Ayden Kruh to your list.. his voice is so dreamy, I almost turned gay!" - Prad Prathivi

  • Beeflin Grut
    • "I like Beeflin Grut, he's pretty funny" - Nibb

  • Bosco Constantine
    • "He played at our home's anniversery party... and kicked major ass" - Nimil Blackflag

  • Dale Katscher - acoustic guitar
    • "do acoustic guitar stuff, very good (music). you'll usually catch Dale around noon to early arvo" - Ravenna Daviau

  • Damian Carbenell - acoustic guitar - MySpace
    • "Damian Carbenell is awesome. Kind of Jack Johnson/Bon Jovi/Green Day influenced" - Alicia Chenaux
    • "does acoustic guitar stuff, very good (music). you'll usually catch Damien around noon to early arvo" - Ravenna Daviau
    • "dittos to Damian..I don't have his websites bookmarked but if you like music like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz..that's his style - Shelly Toonie

  • DanLange Diavolo - Blues - MySpace

  • Dann Numbers - also known as Dann Russo

  • Djai Skjellerup

  • Etherian Kamaboko

  • euterpe queller
    • "Zen's RL fiance with a voice that would bring a man to his knees..has a real bluesy quality" - Shelly Toonie

  • Forsythe Whitfield - roots, blues, guitarist/songwriter - Manitoba Hal

  • Frogg Marlowe

  • FunkyFreddy Republic

  • Grace McDunnough
    • "Vocal an' guitar. Grace has a gorgeous smooth voice." - Dale Innis
    • Ditto to Grace McDunnough" - Bree Birke

  • Hathead Rickenbacker

  • Jaycatt Nico

  • Jaynine Scarborough - classics, jazz, etc - also known as Juliane Gabriel

  • JueL Resistance

  • Keiko

  • Lyndon Heart
    • "I love Lyndon Heart! He does a bit of everything and he rocks! and is so funny" - Malarwen

  • Max Kleene
    • "Max Kleene is pretty good" - Sougent
    • "dittos to Max. I don't have his websites bookmarked but if you like music like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz..that's his style" - Shelly Toonie
    • if you ever get a chance to catch Max Kleene streamchaining with any or all of Mimi Carpenter, Dolmere Talamasca, Toby Lancaster - its great - Bree Birke

  • Montian Gilruth - YouTube

  • Nance Brody
    • "Vocal an' guitar. Nance is more... rough an' raunchy." - Dale Innis

  • Orangelife Holmer
    • "An amazing voice compelling voice, good acoustic guitar, nice covers of rock/alternative and other styles. This musician is from my home country, Portugal, and has a high quality and solid musical background." - Petros Miklos

  • Pa DaCosta
    • "Great for romantic souls, calm and relaxed Bossa Novas, Blues, and other latin and romantic songs that will really spark up your day :) This musician is from my home country, Portugal, and has a high quality and solid musical background. (bringing a date will be an added bonus ;))" - Petros Miklos

  • Skinny Shepherd - YouTube

  • SpaceJunky - Metaverse Tribune

  • Sojurn Rossini

  • TB Andel
    • "The electric ukelele wonder man, playing with an unique typical folk songs from Portugal. A must see. This musician is from my home country, Portugal, and has a high quality and solid musical background." - Petros Miklos

  • Tony Uriza, a.k.a. "Big Daddy Blues" - Tony's Torpedoes

  • Yan Etzel

  • zen revnik - also known as John Randolph

Want more...?

  • You'll find even more live musicians on the iTunes in SL website. A mad robot genius came up with the idea to give people an easy way to support live musicians who play in Second Life®. When you get iTunes or Amazon gift cards, visit iTunes in SL and select any of the album links to be taken to the Amazon or iTunes page to purchase the music in real life. You'll also find information in the gallery of the Clocktower on Edloe Island (teleport there now).

  • Second Life® Music Community (SLMC) Forum - The forum is here to provide a common area for people to participate in discussion, share views and information about the SL music community. This forum is open to all SL residents who are musicians/DJs or who support music as venue owners, hosts or fans. The SLMC has an in-world group and many resources around the grid to help make you discover and enjoy Music in SL. If you have space, let us know and we can place a kiosk on your land.

  • Musican's may wish to get in contact with Angelico Babii of The Late Show (Metaverse Broadcasting Corporation) who, it's rumoured, is often looking for SL talent to showcase.

  • Ribbons Whitfield asked me to remember to add DJ's and I most definitely will, but I'll do it as a separate list... as there are lots of great DJ's and I've already had many recommended in non-specific plurks - stay tuned!

On Plurk

  • Plurk thread: Moggs asks for your recommendations on live musicians in Second Life®... can you please lemme know the genre/s or type of stuff they do too please?

Nov. 24th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

WARNING: This may be offensive to some... then again... it might make you think.

Recently a friend sent me an in-world invitation to an art exhibition taking place in Second Life(tm). The exhibition is Children of God by Jenn Villota. You can catch the exhibtion, in-world at Devils Pocket (teleport there now).

Jenn's art is very confronting - it depicts often violent scenes that seem to capture some level of humanity at the same time they are shocking and horrifying you. The visual imagery is very well done and is not likely to be everyone's cup of tea. A quick peek at the testamonials on her Flickr profile will confirm just how confronting her images really are:
"I have rarely (not to say never) seen pictures which can make me sick and deliciously thrilled at the same time. [...] I hate her, because some of her work impresses me and leaves a trail in my mind for hours and days, but I also love her to death... I always loved paradoxes." - Lolaa Shepherd

"Janelle is an artist, one i am terribly enthralled by. her work fascinates and even frightens me. while i enjoy many talented friends on Flickr, i can count on one hand those who's work excites me as Janelle's does. her unique, creative mind is a marvel to behold. her vivid, sometimes even violent images, are stunning, and open one's mind to many possible interpretations." - sam j rollo

"I still haven’t come totally to grips with your work which as I said, at an initial glance could be brushed off as a fucked up cartoon graveyard, the problem with initial glances is that they are often very misleading and I found myself viewing most of the images." - hijab.view
I'm quite sure, some people will be down on this exhibition based on the title of the exhibition alone - and will pre-judge it without ever going to see for themselves. Others will find the images too confronting and too violent and will choose to give it a miss. For those who do go, you'll be enthralled, confronted, amazed and challenged by this exhibition.

While this may not be the kind of thing you wish to hang in your lounge room, don't write it off as lacking merit. Art isn't always about pretty unicorns skipping through the daisies... actually art is seldom about such things. Just because you find it confronting, doesn't mean you shouldn't look. You don't have to love everything you see and hear - and it's certainly your right to choose what you see and hear. Sometimes stepping beyond our comfort zone challenges us in positive ways. It can make us think about the points of views and experiences of others - often in ways we had not even considered previously.

Good art - regardless of the medium - often makes statements about the state of humanity and/or the state of the world. I'm quite sure Eshi's hateful words, she did as part of the 'build a day' project was not loved by all - particularly those guilty of muttering the words that inspired her to create this work - but that did not detract from the statement it made, nor the depth of feelings many had about the installment. All art is open to interpretation - and that interpretation often stems from the views or insecurities of the viewer.

My curiosity is insatiable - I'm always wanting to know more. I looked around the site of this exhibition for some information about the artist and/or the exhibit itself but was unable to find any. I searched Google and I found her flickr photostream - and a stream of hate and contempt in response to an ad that had been placed in the Herald. I'm still quite curious to know if all of this hate and contempt was for the images, the artists... or just for the title of the exhibition. I didn't find an artist bio (in what was admittedly a very quick search), nor did I find information about the exhibition. So what could I do? Well duh! I'm curious remember? I did what anyone with insatiable curiousity would do... I contacted the artist and asked her directly.

Jenn got back to me within just a few hours and here's what she had to say:
This is my 4th inworld exhibit, I have mainly relied on word of mouth and flickr for advertising. The coverage I have received from the Herald really sorta got the exposure going for me much faster.

My current show The Children of God is based around my feelings toward the stupidity of human nature and how we really are all the same no matter what religion or race we still make the same mistakes. I am a very non violent person and do not like guns or war.

Many people misinterpret my work and that is fine some people are not ready for it. My "real life" experiences are my inspiration for many of the works. I can elaborate more on this if u want, I also rarely use models so the subject is always myself as I don't really want to harm others even tho many many avies request me to use them in shoots.

I used to be more open about my real life but I get alot of hate mail and sex requests so I kinda withdrew more than usual. I am not in Second Life(tm) to date or have sex or sell anything, recently someone told me I was a "visual terrorist" I guess that kinda fits. I do enjoy my SL friends and enjoy hanging out with them and going to other avies art shows.

I would be happy to share more if you have specific questions or anything else you want to know about me or the work. My main goal is exposure of my work so anything you could do would be great
Don't forget, the exhibition is Children of God, it's on in Second Life right now and the artist is Jenn Villota - teleport there now.

If you find the exhibition compelling - remember to tell your friends and - should the mood strike - write a post and help promote the exhibition.

Related reading

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

In-world Q&A: Ok, i’ve got a friend trying to set up shop. He has set up but i was hoping you could

I am not an expert on such things, however, based on my exploration, reading and observation I offer the following suggestions - you can use any or all of them according to your time and budget allocations.
  • Branding, pricing Like in the real world before you sell anything work out your branding and market positioning. Do you want to become an exclusive brand? Mid range? or 'home brand'. Once you've worked out what market you want to appeal to you need to ensure your prices and image (packaging, store, location, etc) are targeted at this audience. You may choose to have more than one brand for different markets. Whatever you do, make sure your shop or brand name appears on all product names/descriptions; is included in the landmark you put with your products, etc.

  • Let friends and aquaintances know you've set up shop. This is probably the most obvious - and the cheapest form of promotion. Let people on your friends list and the people you spend time with in-world know you have a shop. Your friends are going to want to see you succeed and are likely to spread the word to others. It's a good idea to drop them a clearly named landmark and/or notecard to make it easier for them to share with others.
  • Freebies, dollarbies, lucky chairs, mob boards. These are all tools used to attract people to your store - and have them tell others about your store. The trick is to provide a freebie that is the same quality as the items you sell. This gives people an idea of what to expect from your products - and hopefully makes them want to buy more of them. If you give away or sell cheaply sub-standard or lower quality products you are probably not going to inspire people to buy. Less is more - and make sure it's quality. If the items is particulary good, it's likely people will tell their friends - and possibly blog about it; share on social networks and/or post pictures on the Internet. If you give a substandard item - they may blog about that too... but it's likely to be negative press. One quality freebie will attract more - and better - attention that boxes full of junk. Freebies obviously are items you just give away for free. Dollarbies are items you sell cheaply - generally for a dollar but it may be another smaller amount. Lucky chairs and mob boards are tools you purchase with the idea of attracting a crowd - or at least getting people to your store. In the case of lucky chairs, people often call their friends in when their friends 'letter comes up - and mob vendor boards lower the price according to the number of people around. I've also see barter boards where you haggle with the board to strike a deal. Top designers do this - many of them have items freely available at 'the free dove'. They also often create items for big events, charity events or holidays to give away. Give the same customer service to people who make enquiries or who obtain your freebies and dollarbies. They may have paid less but if they get good polite/helpful service are more likely to think well of you and return. You can also make your give-aways and dollarbies available on SL online shopping sites for extra exposure.

  • in-world advertising board rental - there are many venues in-world with advertising boards you can rent. In most cases you should have a picture, a notecard and possibly a landmark on hand. Ensure that any notecard you prepare has a landmark embedded (just drag and drop your landmark to the notecard to embed it. You can embed notecards, images, landmarks, scripts and objects in notecards depending on their pemissions). Most advertising boards work in this way. Pay the board, touch - get a menu, CTRL + drag and drop your items on to the board (ensure they are named as per the instruction notecard you were given). Touch board again to activate. The trick with these boards is to ensure they are in a high traffic area and in a place where the kinds of people that might buy your goods are likely to be. I've used these boards once and I scouted each area carefully and then started with one board in each selected location, monitored them carefully over the week and then let some boards expire and added additional boards elsewhere. This has a cost attached and the more popular the area, the more expensive the boards are likely to be. It's often a bit hit and miss, so would not be the first thing I'd recognise.
  • advertising by blog - a number of second life bloggers either sell advertising or else spend their time blogging about in world products. A quick search of google will help you find the bloggers that write about the kind of items you sell. Contact the bloggers in-world (check their profile before IM'ing or sending anything as they may have rules or guidelines about how you contact them). Give them one of your products for free - they may tell others. Buying advertising has a cost attached... and varying degrees of success. Getting a popular blogger to tell others about your products in oen of their posts may mean giving something away but can bring huge returns. A list of Second Life Bloggers be found in the Second Life Blogger group on ning.com.
  • blogging and social networks self promote! Tell people about what you are doing, how you made it and how long it took. Tell them about new stuff you've released and what you find interesting. Depending on your time, energy and will to partipate you can do this via a traditional blog (eg. blogger, wordpress, livejournal, typepad, tumblr, etc); via a micro-blog/forum where you only post short messages equivalent to a text message (generally 140 characters). Microblogging sites include twitter (a focus on broadcasting/informing and information gathering), plurk (plurk works like a mini forum), brightkite and hundreds of others. If you are really tricky you can site up to many and update them all at once using a tool like ping.fm. You hate writing? No drama. A picture tells a thousand words (when accompanied by a SLURL/in-world teleport link and shop name). Post pictures of your products on image sharing sites like flickr, google's picasa web albums, etc. If you join flickr, there are also lots of special interest second life groups that you can share your pictures with - creating further awarness of you and your product. You can also do video product demos using sites such as YouTube, etc. As well as promoting your product - you are likely to meet some great people, find some great places, spaces and projects and make some new friends/acquaintances this way. You'll also hear a lot more generally about what's going on in and around Second Life and related virtual environments.
  • Second Life(tm) classified ads Open Search (bottom of your viewer window), go to classifieds, select place an ad. Last time I did this you nominated an amount you wished to pay - and obviously those who pay the most, get placed higher. If you are going to use classifieds, I recommend that you think carefully and make sure you categorise your ad appropriately. The commerical classifieds are always full - and often with a lot of junk. I'm not sure this is the best way to share information but it's not totally hopeless either. Advertise and pay at your own risk.
  • hold an opening, sale... or fashion show - you may hold this at your store... or at a rented venue. If you are going to have an event it's worth looking around and investing in some entertainment (getting a well known and popular DJ or musician is recommended as they often let people know where they are playing) and some prizes and/or give-aways. Make sure any products incude a landmark - and make sure they include your store or brand name. Those who don't buy today may come back tomorrow... or next week... or next month. An event can be a more expensive exercise so plan it well and think carefully before you do it. Sometimes it's better to wait a little rather than rush in and find you should have done a number of things differently. Before you hold your event, I recommend attending a range of events held by others... it'll give you a good idea about what people expect... and will help you work out the kinds of things you MUST do and decide what you can do differently that others didn't do.
  • Gifting It's a great idea to have a way that people can offer your products as gifts. If you generally sell your products copy/no tranfer, consider making a version that is transfer/no copy... or else making your goods available on a site or through vendors that enable people to gift goods to another avatar.
  • Online shopping XStreetSL.com (formerly SL Exchange (SLX)), OnRez.com and Apez.biz are all sites that allow you to sell your goods via a website (the purchaser or an avatar they gift items to via this site will receive the goods in-world. When you sell your goods on these sites a commission may be deducted for goods over a certain price as a fee for the privilege. You can give away freebies or sell your dollarbies via some or all of these sites - which is another great way to promote yourself. Some sellers increase the prices of goods on these sites to cover the commission - if I'm buying a more expensive item I often check if it's available more cheaply in world. In some cases sellers will make the item cheaper on the site. There is no hard and fast rules. If you do sell your goods on these sites it's useful to include the SLURL of your store/s in the product description/information. It's also useful to have 'signs' in your store that link customers straight to your seller profile on these sites.
  • Gift cards If you are flush, you can purchase a gift card system. The best I've seen is the TMC system which does not come cheaply (it's cheaper if three businesses get together and purchase it at once). This is the system you'll see in use at Blaze, Insolence and a range of other stores. It allows you to choose a store and value... and your friend/gift recipient to choose goods to suit their own style. You pay... they shop. If you don't want the expense of purchasing this system you can do what Jeepers Creepers does... or used to do. Sell a non-copyable object that is the gift card and provide a notecard with instructions. The shopper finds the item they want, IM's you and sends you their gift card - in exchange, you give them their purchase via an inventory transfer. This method works, but requires a lot more input from you ... where as the TMC system is fully automated.

  • Packaging/labelling People will moan a lot if they get something that didn't turn out to be what they expected. Either make sure the packaging provides all of the information; or that they have access to a notecard or some form of more information. At the very least tell them about the permissions on the object (and if it is no modify but has a resize script in it... tell them that). The more you tell them before purchase, the more likely you are to meet or exceed their expecations.
  • demos and holo rezzers/vendors Many stores ofter demos which often come with ugly attachments so people won't swipe your stuff. Demos are a great way of getting an idea about how something will look/fit. The biggest bitch I've heard about skins and shoe demos is that they should not cost anything - they should be free. Again, it's up to you. In terms of furniture, houses, etc - some stores either make 'display homes' / 'display rooms' availble where people can inspect the goods... or where prims are limited, may use holo vendors or temporary/semi-permanent rezzers to allow customers to rez or look at the object... which will disappear/be cleaned up after a certain time.

  • rental/commissioned space, expos Some shops rent spaces in popular shopping precincts in world or at special events in order to promote their goods. Often these stores have a prim limit of 25-50 prim so generally are used to show case your best selling products and often contain a landmark giver and/or sign that will direct people back to your main store. Along the same lines there are some spaces that will allow you to use the space in return for a commission of your sales. In terms of special events there are a number of big expos that take place in world each year.
  • get involved in sim or grid-wide treasure hunts Treasure hunts have become a bit of a manic craze on the grid. Often a sim, mall or collective of stores will set up a treasure hunt trail together. This is a good way of getting people to your store. Even if they don't stay, if they pick up your freebie on the hunt and like it, there's a good chance they'll return - don't forget to include a landmark and notecard in with your freebie. And ensure your product is properly labelled.
  • fishing and other crazes Get a 7Seas fishing set up... or alternative type of set up that will attract visitors. People went a bit crazy trying to find unique fish and trading them as collectables... there's a range of things like this... if you can host a fishing hole and/or competitions you may attact extra visitors. Please note - this is an added extra you offer... it's not guaranteed to bring people milling to your shop - so think carefully about it (and about prim allocation) before you implement something like this.

There's probably a million and one other things you can do - but this list should give you some starting points. Most of all, look around, talk to others, read a few blogs ... and learn as you go.

Nov. 22nd, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

For grud's sake... get organised! Part 1

Anyone who has been in Second Life® for any amount of time will have something to say about Inventory organisation.

Some leave the organisation of their inventory up to fate - whatever folder it lands is is good enough for them. Others studiously create folders and sub-folders according to their own devised systems and may even use various gadgets and tools to help keep their content in order.

I am not going to try to cover 'everything inventory' in one post. It's a big monster of a topic and so I've decided to break it into a few parts. This post is intended as an overview and a starting point for discussion. My aim is not to tell you how you should organise your inventory - but instead learn why people organise their inventory in certain ways and to start a discussion that might lead to answers on how we can better manage our inventory.

First, I'm going to share some of the factors that might affect how you choose to organise your inventory.

Secondly, I'm going to share how I organise my inventory - and provide some rationale behind why I do it this way - so that others then have something to use as a basis for comparison to articulate what they do differently, and why.

In the next post in this series (Part 2) I will provide an overview of the different types of gadgets available, what people think of them and I'll also share some specifics about the pros and cons of selected tools and gadgets.

Part 3 will provide tips and suggested approaches on inventory management, based on the discussions arising from the first and second posts.

Factors that affect how we organise our inventory

  • Length of time in second life®: an increased understanding of the environment may change how you think about your inventory and may affect the way you search or browse for content.

  • Your primary activities/purpose in-world - are you a builder/creator? do you run an in-world business? are you an artist? are you a gamer? are you a fashionista? do you make your living in second life? is it a hobby? The things you do most in world will determine which parts of your inventory you will use the most and therefore what will need to be readily accessible.

  • Your avatar - is your avatar pretty much the same from day to day - or does it change regularly? Are you male? Female? Neither? Ar you furry? tiny? animal? mineral? vegetable? Do you change your avatar based on the day hour and whim? Do you have a default 'you'? Someone who hardly ever changes their avatar is likely to organise their inventory differently to someone who switches between genders, shapes and sizes.
Question: What other factors determine how avatars organise their inventory?

Inventory organisation the Moggs way:

I have different systems based on the type of inventory. I use a variety of gadgets/tools to organise some content - for instance images and content I only need now and then.
  • Animations (system folder)
    • Key elements: Creator then pose/animation then type/style.
    • Brief summary/example: When I first started, I didn't organise by creator and I just tired to keep similar poses together. After sometime in-world, I found I liked some creators poses more than others; I'd purchased some for builds (under license); I realised that poses/animations had differnt applications, etc. The creator became more important than the type/style. I then wanted to know at a glance whether it was an animation or pose (animations have movement/breathing and poses freeze you into a static position as though 'posing' for a picture). After that, I wanted to be able to quickly access different types of poses (eg. sit, stand, lay, fly, etc). Thus my folder structure is Animations > Creator > Animation/Pose > Type/Style.
  • Body Parts (system folder)
    • Key elements: body part/type then colour then style.
    • Brief summary/example: I use subfolders to categorise by body part/type - eg. eyes, hair, horns, wings, skin, shapes, feet/paws, complete avatars (for special purpose avatars that are easily lent to a mix and match approach). Many of my body part folders do not require additional categorisaion, there are some exceptions. Hair for instance. My Hair folder is further split in to Hair - black (my main colour), Hair - colours, Hair Fair - unsorted. The colour subfolders are then further split into Hair short-mid, Hair mid-long, Hair updo-ponytail, hair - novelty/unusual. Thus my folder structure is Body Parts > Body Part/Type > subfolders to further categorise (depends on part type what they might be).
  • Clothing (system folder)
    • Key elements: clothing type then colour and name (some folders may include a subfolder before the item/item folder - for instance, accessories). I keep the number of levels to a minimum.
    • Brief summary/example: While I love certain designers in second life, I don't have a big care factor on who made what, I just know what I love and I want to be able to quickly mix and match, thus the importance of colours. I do include designer names either at the end of the product name or the end of the folder name but I don't use it as a sort category. Others place a higher importance on designer as certain designers have certain styles so by organising by designer they might be able to quickly locate formal attire or casual wear. Within each of my clothing type folders, I'll have a range of subfolders that contain single outfits or multiple parts of one item - or in some cases single system parts. The subfolders and/or individual items will be named by basic colour (if this is different from designer colour name, I may include that after the main colour as a shade) then product/line name then designer name. My accessories folder is broken down into subfolders of hats, necklaces, umbrellas, gloves, boas/scarves, etc. Thus my folder structure is Clothing Type > Subfolder if necessary > item named by colour product designer eg. black bizarre name cocktail dress - designerName)
  • Landmarks (system folder)
    • Key elements: Type followed by sub-type.
    • Brief summary/example: In my landmarks directory I have one level of subfolders they are named by 'category - subcategory'. eg. 'Shopping - Womens - General'; 'Shopping - Mens'; 'Gardens/Nuseries'; 'Art - Galleries'; 'Building' etc.I tend to delete a lot of landmarks and use search to places I'm familiar with but keep landmarkds for harder to find, less used and frequently shared places/categories. I found using the second level subfolders too annoying so now just name the folders to include the subcategories so all subfolders in landmarks sort in a logical order. I keep a 'shopping - mens' folder as menswear is much harder to find and it's useful to give to newbs and male friends who come in world. I also keep 'music - chou chou' folder - it not only includes landmarks but has notecards and the chou chou HUD and 'building' and 'newbie' landmarks. Thus my folder structure is Landmarks > Subfolder named with category and subcategory if relevant.
  • Notecards (system folder)
    • Key elements: Type. Brief summary/example: Like with landmarks, I tend to delete a lot of notecards. We often get notecards that only have a short lifespan - eg. for the duration of an event; or as a welcome to space; or to introduce you to something - there's not much point in keeping them beyond their life span - so I either archive them in a box or HUD (we'll talk about these tools later) - or delete them when they are no longer relevant. I keep manuals and instructions and file them with the product or system. I keep 'how to cards'. I keep licence agreements/rules of use with products/scripts/animations they apply to - so move them out of the notecards folder. I keep event invitations/expo advertising in a separate events folder (and file them in subfolders by month or type). I try to keep the top level of my notecards folder empty so I can see what has come in since my last login. I respond to notes as I go - and create subdirectories to file them if I need to keep them for a while. Thus my folder structure is Notecards > Subfolder named with category and subcategory if relevant.
  • Objects (system folder)
    • Key elements: Subject/Category then type/style.
    • Brief summary/example: I use subfolders with in my objects folder to organise items by subject/category - eg. art, animals, furniture, lighting, building tools, combat/weapons, media players - whatever. I then often create another set of subfolders to further break them down. Eg. Furniture might have subfolders for couches, benches - outdoor, chairs - lounge, chairs - kitchen, tables... whatever - you get the picture. Thus my folder structure is Objects > Subject/Category Subfolder and then additional subcategory folders if necessary.
  • Scripts (system folder)
    • Key elements: Type.
    • Brief summary/example: Scripts are tricky as they are often multi-purpose. But as much as possible I try to organise them by type. Eg. colour/texture; opening/sliding; packaging; etc. Thus my folder structure is Scripts > Script Type
  • Textures (system folder)
    • Key elements: Category.
    • Brief summary/example: I organise my textures by basic categories and use search/preview to find specific ones.I have well over 10,000 unique textures - if not over 20,000. I do not keep these in my inventory permanently. I keep them in a texture organiser that can be rezzed in world or worn as a HUD. It's searchable and allows me to preview items. Thus my folder structure is Textures > Subfolders for texture organisers and for textures I'm using regularly or on a project. The rest go into the organiser - the number of subfolders vary and many tend to be temporary.
  • Other In addition to my system folders I have:

    • a default appearance folder - this contains my default skin, hair, eyes, tatoo, glasses, personal radar, AO - all of the things that are part of my basic appearance. I do not have any clothes in this folder. This enables me to quickly restore my avatars appearance at any time. If I change my basic hair, I'll move the previous hair into the body parts > hair folders and will move the new style into my default appearance folder.
    • an 'Eloquence' folder - which is the group my sister and I jointly created. I keep our builds and anything related to the group in that folder and it contains subfolders according to project or subject.
    • a storage folder for items I need to archive but don't have time to do there - it contains subfolders and empty inventory box huds which i use to store items. These will be discussed further in the next post when I talk about gadgets.
    • a freebies and unsorted folder that I move anything I receive that can't be filed - or at least put in the top level of one of the system directories straight away. Often you won't know exactly what is in a freebie or gift box so I find it useful to sit them aside in a logical space until such time I can try on or rez the items so that I can evaluate and file them properly.I use sub-folders within the freebies/unsorted folder to indicate where I obtained the items (eg. hair fair, ghost hunt).
    • Moving things around in in inventory tree: I sometimes move subfolders from objects up an inventory level if I'm using them often - eg. through out my fishing frenzy, I had my fishing folder at this level. When I was helping some educators test SLoodle, I had my SLoodle folder at this level. Once these activities subside, I move the related folders back into the objects folder.

Question: What do you do differently? Why?

Is there an ideal inventory quota?

When I was a newb, I read a post somewhere on the 'Net that an ideal inventory was around 5000 - something I would now say was impossible to maintain, that is, if I didn't know Loaf (in-world Osiris Pfalz andRik Pfalz) - Loaf's inventory is somewhere between 1500-4000. Loaf always looks great, does lots of stuff which is why I have no idea how Loaf manages all of this with such a tiny inventory! I'm in awe. Loaf advises that organising as you go and deleting anything you won't use is a key to keeping your inventory this small. I do these things and still I fluctuate between 15,000 items on a good day - and 35,000 and beyond if I'm building or have been to an expo or on a hunt.

How we order our inventories directly influences what we might find helpful in a product or object name in order to organise, search and browse our inventories more efficiently. I think being able to find something efficiently is much more important than restricing the number of items in my inventory (though that, of course, can help).

I'm constantly annoyed when the designer name appears first in an object/item name - I want to know what... and when by whom, not the other way around. Where possible I rename items to suit my own system - something I obviously cannot do for 'no modify' items. Other people get just as frustrated if the colour or product name comes first... as they want their inventory to sort by designer because that makes more sense to them. Either way, providing we have the information we can use search to locate the item. If the key information does not form part of the name, then some objects become lost forever in the depths of your inventory.

Question: What are the key elements you use to sort/find/browse your inventory?

Question: Do you have diffent methods for items you use personally and items you use in builds or for business?

Plurk discussions leading up to this post:

If you are willing and have the time to do so, please respond to the questions in the comments - and feel free to include any links to related blogs, image galleries or resources related to this subject with your comments.

NOTE: I blog the same post via blogger, wordpress and livejournal. I share a link to the diqus discussion thread for the topic at the bottom of all posts where it is not integrated with the site - along with any other features that may not be available on one or the other blogging platforms.

[diqus discussion thread - other comments on this post]

Nov. 20th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

In response to 'Don't be a virtual ass, rush out this second and get a life'

Don't be a virtual ass, rush out this second and get a life
THE WRY SIDE: Stephen Lunn | November 18, 2008
SOMETIMES reporters should get up from their desks and do a bit of investigative reporting rather than recycling heresay and rumour as fact for their articles.

They should take the time to watch how earnestly and enthusiastically people from all different sorts of socioeconomical, religious and cultural backgrounds can interact and work together in virtual environments. They should stop visiting ONLY the shady parts of these environments and stop promoting people who are the exception to the rule as the stereotypical residents of these worlds.

The people I refer to are ... hmmm... let me see... pretty much all mainstream reporters who talk about second life. I mean, if they can stereotype, then so shall I.

These reporters from varying nations and of varying ages, heard something on the grape vine that they thought they could sensationalise and make into a BIG story. Or ... at the very least use to boost their readership. Let's face it when most western countries have a high number of the population who likes to sit at home and watch Big Brother, they probably also have a high number of the population who will consume whatever fodder the press feeds them with enthusiasm - and then come back for more.

Let me translate for you. Second life is a virtual environment found on the Internet. Despite what the press like to tell you, it is not inhabited by the 'David's and Amy's out there' but is inhabited by a very diverse group of people. It's inhabited by people from low socio-economic backgrounds to people from privileged backgrounds. It's inhabited by those who have minimal education to those with  Masters Degrees or Doctorates. It's inhabited by educators and educational institutions, artists, activists, charities, buinesses, shoppers, slaves to fashion, gamers and every sort of person you can imagine. It's inhabited by the godless and the god fearing. The population of virtual worlds is so diverse in nature that it's impossible to define a 'typical resident'.  Many of these people are busy people - in both real life and in second life. Many residents are business owners, managers, teachers... Let's be clear, these are busy people who make the time for projects that are important to them.
An avatar is a Second Life entity - they come in all shapes and sizes and may be human, animal, vegetable or anything you can imagine. Some look like celebrities, many do not. Some look like their creators, others do not. While some people think that people who have avatars of a different gender, race or non-human shape is simply a way to disguise who they are and act in obnoxious or less than ethical ways, there is a flip side to this coin. In Second Life (and other virtual worlds) people can exist without the same discrimination they may experience in the real world. For instance, there are a number of people with Aspergers, Autism and physical disabilities in Second Life who do not have to put up with the discrimination they may get in the real world. People are judged on their behaviour in this space - not on what they look like, how old they are, what religion they are, what colour their skin is, their gender or their sexuality. Some people choose to share this information, others do not.

People from around the world, can login to Second Life (or alternative virtual environments) and interact with people from around the world that they may never have the chance to meet in real life due to geography or lifestyle differences. They may have a more exotic, and possibley erotic, experience than they have in real life... or they may choose to use this space as a place to collaborate on projects, share their artistic visions, make a social statement... or just play. Imagination and play are, according to any number of self help, psychology, communication books and experts, healthy things to indulge in.

Reporters tend to ignore the postive sides of these communities and instead latch on to stories of cyber infidelity, sexual deviancy and stalking - which are not what your average person is doing in these spaces. Second Life currency can be exchanged for USD and some people run profitable businesses that support or supplement their real lives - so despite it being game dollars, it has real world value.

People Like 'David and Amy' probably would have managed to have issues and betray one another in the real world without ever logging on to a virtual world. People do have relationships in virtual environments and next to conversations about reputation, privacy and responsibility - it is a hot topic of conversation. Virtual environments are not like a game where you are a character whose actions are defined by the game rules. There is someone sitting behind the avatar and that person has real feelings and emotions. The interactions between people, whether for business, education, friendship or relationships are real. Real life and virtual environments are no more separate things than real life and gardening or real life and sport. Participating in a virtual world is something you may do with your time.
In quiet moments, I imagine what is would be like if, instead of publishing trash news like the 'David and Amy' story (or other similar stories of infidelity, sexual deviancy, stalking) that the press instead published a story on one of the many amazing projects taking place in these virtual worlds. Second Life is riddled with creative and technical talent... with educators, artists... with thinkers and innovators. I don't know about you, but I'd rather hear about them than the David and Amy's of this world who bore me as much as Big Brother does.

I think reporters are the ones with way too much time on their hands if they can dig down past the awe inspiring and amazing projects that are easily found to find one or two couples who are happy to sling a bit of mud around and share their cruddy underwear (err... I mean dirty laundry) with the press.

Second Life is full of people who imagine what can be... and do it. Even Einstein thought imagination was more important than knowledge - I guess, in their own way, reporters do too. They imagine virtual worlds full of porn and betrayal ... and in doing so, they send all those who wish to have these lifestyles to the virtual worlds in search of such things, and for a short time, their myth becomes reality. Until their protege's leave, sadly disappointed (much to the relief of the long term residents who sigh happily and return to what they were doing before someone sent by the main stream media asked them to 'sex them up').

Nov. 19th, 2008

moggsoceanlane nocleanfeed openinternet

Well... maybe. I'll consider it.

I'm not your blog everything type. I'd rather be doing and seeing than spending hours labouring over a blog post. This, however, doesn't mean I don't like to share information or indulge in conversation. I share a lot of resources, places, spaces and random information via my various networks - by email, micro-blogging sites and in person. I'm known for sharing information by real life friends and virtual friends alike.

So why is my blog so sparse, so impersonal and why don't I blog more often? The answer is I really don't know. Maybe it's because once you write a page of text, there's an obligation to go back and re-read it, correct bits and pieces... come back and fine tune.... and come back again and fine tune... blah blah. I tend to share resources and information while on the run or when I have a few minutes break from another task. Not enough time to write a full blog post but enough time to shoot off an email, make a quick call or post 140 characters on the topic at hand. *Shrugs*. I'm all over the web but I just haven't got into the 'blogging is the new black' culture. Micro-blogging, yes. That old fashioned, full length article type blogging, no.

Recently ArminasX Saiman and Vint Falken organised the Second Life Blogger Mix n' Match event where Second Life bloggers were invited to submit a topic and then, as participants, were required to guest post on another bloggers site on an assigned topic. I sat in the spectator stands for this event - some of the entries were amazing. This is to be expected if you are at all familiar with the Second Life community. Despite what the mainstream media might tell you, Second Life is riddled with creative and technical talent... with educators, artists... with thinkers and innovators. The event - along with a few topics of discussion that have come up recently on plurk have made me reconsider my blog... and wonder, if perhaps, I should try to post more often.

I do not lack topics. I do not lack passion. I often lack time - but doesn't everyone? I am unlikely to feel bad because my blog may not be the awe or thought inspiring mecca that some residents blogs are... so really I have no excuses. Oh, other than the time thing. So I'll promise to try. I can't promise I'll deliver but I will attempt to post at least once a month (it may end up being more frequently but I don't want to set myself up for failure and one blog post every 4-5 weeks seems like an obtainable goal).

As I'm interested in many things, my topics are not likely to be consistent and could be on anything and everything. They may be short passing thoughts; fan girl ravings or discussions on something that has captured my interest or the deranged ravings of an irate woman. BUT... first things first... I have a blog to write on gadgets and inventory organisation. I promised Vint in a Plurk thread that I would. Or, I said I would - which is pretty much the same as promising. So ... keep an eye out as that will be appearing soon.

[Comments and discussion thread for this post on Disqus]

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