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A History of the Blake Sea


Perrie Juran
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It's good to hear that a Linden has once again taken interest in the Blake Sea area.  The area is arguably one of the best things that LL did for the enjoyment of SL residents and is probably one of the biggest things that help with the retention of a large number of residents who like to sail and fly.

It was a shame that LL essentially abandoned it to strife and chaos.  Hopefully things will get back on track now.  Perhaps LL will see some wisdom in creating another sea to be used for combat roleplay using modern battleships and aircraft carriers, preferably in an isolated area far out to sea between continents where non participating residents living along its shoreline won't be disturbed.

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such things happen. The Blake Sea was effectively a pet project for a few people at LL (and a few people outside of it).

Those people left LL, and it was simply forgotten about with many other things going on.

TBH I've never (and I've sailed around quite a bit) seen any of the huge ships supposedly causing trouble anywhere on the Blake Sea (I have seen them in shipyards and nautical show events, listed for sale at incredibly high prices). So either the problems are more limited in scope than the blogpost wants to make you think, they had already subsided about half a year ago when I started sailing, they're extremely limited in time (those hours I'm not online...), and/or I just got lucky.

Probably it's a combination of the above.

What's far more worrying to me and many other casual sailors is the large scale obstruction of sailing channels and coastal areas by people constructing floating platforms and banlines, either to live on or ever more often it seems for the sole purpose of obstructing shipping. The coastal communities that once were friendly to sailors are ever  more hostile and deliberately preventing them from enjoying the seas.
While there's probably little LL can do about it except stop selling abandoned coastal or water land to residents (thus, giving it all protected status) and providing some rez zones, that would already be a step in the right direction. (providing a wider ring of protected water sims all around the circumference of the mainland would also help a lot).
Sadly the open seas project seems more or less dead in the water, though from my attempts to educate residents blocking vital passages with their construction (without fail futile attempts, met with at the very least outright refusal, more often active hostility and foul language) I can fully understand why it died.

 

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The criteria for a name for the linden water sea was simple. We wanted a name that would be seen positively by SL sailors. For reasons explained in the article LL rejected the name Slocum Sea after Joshua Slocum who first sailed around the world single-handed.

Sir Peter Blake was chosen because he is seen as a positive figure who is loved and respected by most sailors. Yes, the Whitbread, Verne and Amerca's Cup victories were major feathers in his cap. But at least as important and pehaps more so (depending on your view) was his work with the Cousteau Society and the United Nations. These efforts set him up as a highly respected sailor and worthy of having a virtual sea named after him.

The fact that he died at the hands of pirates adds mystique to the world's view of this great man. Hehehe, about a year ago I got a message from a sailor complaining that it besmirched Peter's memory that we allowed pirate ships in the Blake Sea.

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You indeed were lucky if you missed them. Until last week they were seen in the Contested Waters of the Blake Sea nearly on a daily basis with out and out combat happening a couple times a week. A number of yacht clubs in SL stopped having races in the Blake (which was created for sailing first) because of the frequency of military presence and combat. 

I have gotten a number of messages in the past week from sailors saying how much better it has been to sail in the Blake Sea this week and already clubs and crusing societies are coming back or planning to come back to host events.

 

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I had only had time for a cursory reading before posting this last night. 

The Blake Sea project is a great example of what can be accomplished when LL works WITH the Residents. 

Something I would love to see though I doubt it would ever happen is water ways connecting the various Continents.  I would love to be able to take intercontinental trips.

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Storm Clarence wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

 

Something I would love to see though I doubt it would ever happen is water ways connecting the various Continents. 
I would love to be able to take intercontinental trips.

I would love to take unimpeded intracontinental trips! 

This too

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jwenting wrote:

such things happen. The Blake Sea was effectively a pet project for a few people at LL (and a few people outside of it).

Those people left LL, and it was simply forgotten about with many other things going on.

 That's not at all my recollection of events; rather more this:


Perrie Juran wrote:

The Blake Sea project is a great example of what can be accomplished when LL works WITH the Residents. 

It's possible to argue whether or not LL should have a "community" team. Virtually all "social" applications do, from Twitter to Stack Exchange to Amazon (which is "social" in the least obvious sense).

And it's possible to disagree about what such a team should do, were it to exist. Maybe SL's was too active under Blondin and maybe Viale got it just right by undoing everything that came before, as quickly and as thoroughly as he could. For all I know, maybe there was some kind of destructive favouritism in the earlier approach, as was sometimes alleged, that needed correcting. 

The Blake Seas project was certainly not "a pet project for a few people" who later left LL. It was part of a business strategy that the Lab later reversed quite completely.

Among the results of the Lab's scramble to disengage from customer communities was the dismantling of the Community Partnership Program, of which (AFAIK) the USS Blake Seas initiative and GOHA Hockey were the only grandfathered examples that survived. Other effects included withdrawal from hosting or contributing to Burning Life, SL Birthday celebrations, winter holiday events (remember Linden snowball fights?), etc. Around the same time, Linden developers were being actively discouraged from interacting with residents at all, especially at office hours. And then they castrated the Jira.  All attempts to distance Lindens from their customer communities.

If Patch and other Lindens are now stepping up to restore some sensible approach to community engagement, they definitely have my support.

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Qie Niangao wrote:


jwenting wrote:

such things happen. The Blake Sea was effectively a pet project for a few people at LL (and a few people outside of it).

Those people left LL, and it was simply forgotten about with many other things going on.

 That's not at all my recollection of events; rather more this:

Perrie Juran wrote:

The Blake Sea project is a great example of what can be accomplished when LL works WITH the Residents. 

It's possible to argue whether or not LL should have a "community" team. Virtually all "social" applications do, from Twitter to Stack Exchange to Amazon (which is "social" in the least obvious sense).

And it's possible to disagree about what such a team should do, were it to exist. Maybe SL's was too active under Blondin and maybe Viale got it just right by undoing everything that came before, as quickly and as thoroughly as he could. For all I know, maybe there was some kind of destructive favouritism in the earlier approach, as was sometimes alleged, that needed correcting. 

The Blake Seas project was certainly not "a pet project for a few people" who later left LL. It was part of a business strategy that the Lab later reversed quite completely.

Among the results of the Lab's scramble to disengage from customer communities was the dismantling of the Community Partnership Program, of which (AFAIK) the USS Blake Seas initiative and GOHA Hockey were the only grandfathered examples that survived. Other effects included withdrawal from hosting or contributing to Burning Life, SL Birthday celebrations, winter holiday events (remember Linden snowball fights?), etc. Around the same time, Linden developers were being actively discouraged from interacting with residents at all, especially at office hours. And then they castrated the Jira.  All attempts to distance Lindens from their customer communities.

If Patch and other Lindens are now stepping up to restore some sensible approach to community engagement, they definitely have my support.

Special interests and special interest groups can be both a boon and a bane for any business.  Because everybody has them and too many think they are entitled to them.  It can just get nuts.  If you show support for one group but ignore another someone is going to get their panties in a wad. 

That an iron curtain got dropped between Lindens and the Residents is undeniable.  Even Torley Linden who was (is?) well loved by many no longer engages with us.

The name 'Viale' still brings a bad taste to some of us.  When he entered the scene it was like having a door slammed shut in our face.  We had an active community user group involved and it was like we were all told to go **bleep** off.  What happened under his oversight did more to kill this Forum than all the Trolls put together could ever accomplish. 

I don't think that most people join SL with the intent of being 'hermits.'  While there can be many reasons why people join, people do seek out 'communities' or 'groups' to be a part of.  After all, just look at how many times new users post in this Forum with the question, "Where is everybody?"  They want to socialize.

Rodvik wants us to believe that retention is up.  It certainly is not being reflected on in concurrency.

LL needs to get back to engaging with it's users.  All the technical improvements they are making are of only minor positive impact if they don't show support for the activities that bring people to Second Life in the first place.  And while it is understandable that they can't get involved in everything, there are some activities that so many people get involved in it is foolish on their part not to get involved.

I've made the statement that one of the keys to new user retention is old user retention.  Without us a new user coming into Second Life would find nothing to do here.

 

 

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To be honest i can see the point of the lab stepping back from "interacting".

I now rarley go to Blakes Sea.  The times i did go there was fun times, i admit that.  However on the final few times i left with a feeling that the entrie area was govered by one massive clique who didnt like outsiders invading "their territory" even though Blakes was supposed to be for ALL people.

On SEVERAL occaisions I dropped notecards on people with an interest to buy a plot of land on some of the private regions bordering Blakes.  These plots was yellow on the map, had for sale signs on the land, but notecards dropped to community "leaders" of blake who ran and maintained those islands went unanswered, not just by one or two, but by ALL off them.

I mentioned this several times to the lindens who I bumped into or i met at meetings...and i got the impression it wasn't the first time that an "outsider" of the blakes sea had complained to the Lab.

Since then I have had little, to no interest in the Blakes Sea at all.

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yes, once you open the can of worms of giving special treatment to one special interest group, any other you deny the same to will get angry and may well start a smear campaign against you (even if not the core group themselves, then they always have supporters that will).

And there's tons of such groups, organised or not. And many of them would like nothing better than for SL to shut down, or to be turned into something that a large portion of the inhabitants dislikes enough to leave, forcing LL into insolvency as a result.
Just think of all the religious radicals who'd want their idea of morality enforced on SL. Which would close down all A rated and most M rated content (and even some G rated content).
SL would effectively be reduced to the safe hubs, NCI, and a few places like that...

Or the radical environmentalists who seriously dislike anything that "goes against nature", including sailboats (you might hit a reef or fish, clearly not good "for the planet").

Biker gangs who'd want every sim turned into their own private bikerbar and rape shack.

And as you can guess, many of those special interests are even at odds with each other as to what they'd want SL to turn into, clearly LL can't win by catering to only some of them, can't cater to all of them at all, so only thing to do is to cater to none of them.

 

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