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Second Life Spotlight - Inara Pey

Linden Lab


This week we are shining a spotlight on Inara Pey. As the writer behind the comprehensive blog Living in a Modemworld, Inara reports on the evolution, current events, and vast potential of Second Life and virtual worlds. Living in a Modemworld is almost as old as SL itself, adding gravitas to the observations found in its lengthy catalog.


How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?

Altogether? 16 years - but I tend to not count the first time around, as I quit after several months for various reasons (such as jumping in without knowing much about what I was hoping to achieve or why I was giving it a go). However, by the end of 2006, the media hype cycle about SL was in full swing, and that gave me enough of an understanding about what I might find that I decided to give things another go - and 15 years and 4 months later, I'm still here!

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When and how did you get started writing about Second Life?

My SL-related blogging initially started in 2007, with a focus on what was then my primary interest. By 2008, I was writing more broadly about Second Life. {Around this time} some of the Lab's management and board (all of whom have long since departed LL) saw the future of the platform as being more of a "business application" - and that as a result, some users might not find the platform as welcoming as it had been going forward. This, coupled with other events (such as the whole OpenSpace / Homestead situation), led to a lot of criticism being directed towards the Lab; honestly, a more than good portion of it was justified, although equally, some of it perhaps wasn't.

For my part, I became aware that I actually didn't understand all of the complexities involved in running and maintaining a platform like SL as well as I perhaps should, making some of my own critiques either questionable or hypocritical. So I set out to learn as much as I could about the platform (and am still learning!) whilst also trying to report on it from a more objective standpoint, keeping subjective opinion to pieces clearly noted as such as much as possible. At the same time my interest in exploring SL more broadly came to the fore, as did my interest in SL art and in taking photos in-world - as a result, Modemworld was born.

You highlight the latest news, updates, and destinations in SL in such a concise and informative way. How do you stay on top of all of the information you wish to feature?

It's a combination of factors.

Most simply, I try to run on a schedule. I'm helped in this by the fact that some of the things I report on are themselves scheduled (such as the in-world user groups) or often announced ahead of time by the Lab or by event organisers. 

I also try to keep an eye on various sources of information - the official blogs, social media, various in-world groups, etc - that allow me to identify opportunities for blogging. In addition, I'm really fortunate enough to receive a lot of suggestions and requests, and to have friends who regularly nudge me about places I might like to write about (special thanks to Shawn and Cube and everyone who does so), and to have artists and gallery owners take the time to keep me informed as to what they are doing, as well as a readership who takes the time to let me know about things they feel might be of interest. 

I've also been very fortunate enough to attract some guest writers - Caledonia, R., Beq, and Marianne - who have all given depth to the blog.

Do you have a submission process for Residents who would like to have their destination promoted on your blog?

The best way is via notecard, although IMs will also generally work, and there is a Contact Me form on the blog. I cannot possibly cover everything I'm messaged about, and I do sometimes receive requests for articles that fall outside my focus, and so are not covered; my apologies to those sending them for this being the case. But generally, I try to take requests / suggestions on a case-by-case basis and blog with credit whenever there is a good fit.

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.

Honestly, there are so many, it would be hard to point to a handful without me feeling guilty about not mentioning others. I'm constantly and repeatedly awed by the regions I visit, the art I encounter, and all the work of all the creators and scripters who bring depth to our in-world lives.

I'm also genuinely appreciative of the Lab (together with all the open-source developers) for all the work put into keeping this complex, aging, behemoth we call Second Life running as well as it does, nevermind constantly trying to improve and update it.


What do you do to relax in-world?

A variety of things. As readers of my blog know, I have a particular love of in-world building / kitbashing, which I tend to combine with landscaping. I also love spending time boating, sailing, and flying in SL (and skydiving, something I had fun introducing to Strawberry!), and am in awe of all those who create and script the boats and aircraft that make this possible. Exploring is also a means to relax (even when related to blogging!), and of course there are those who keep me coming back to SL for their company.


Where can people follow your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.


We hope you enjoyed learning about Inara’s extensive background in SL. Sometimes it takes a village to provide coverage of everything that goes on in here, so don’t be shy about submitting content to Modemworld! And of course, we encourage any aspiring bloggers to check out the Second Life Blogger Network.

Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup.

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