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Prokofy Neva
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I'm Boo Rojyo, the founder of the BBB. 

I'm responding on a purely personal basis, with one simple statement.

“The BBB is COMPLETELY independent in it's actions. The BBB is a volunteer group, solely here to help bring community connections, and fun, to the residents of Second Life.” 

That's it. I don't plan to add more fuel to this thread.

 

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2 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

... at the expense of those living on the mainland

How so? Last time I checked everyone here has had full freedom of choice. And if someones does decide to move from mainland to Belli that is their personal decision and not anyone eleses "expense". You know whos activity is really "at the expense" of other residents? Belliseria haters, who purposefully come to this subforum to stirr the pot and complain, even though they aren't in Belli anyway.

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I am not sure where some of this bitterness about Bellisseria stems from.  If I ran a business that relied on people being present to use it and willing to spend a small amount of money each month to be there, I'd be all over those motivated "Community Builders" to get the word out.  Someone wants to organize events for free?  Yeah!  Someone wants to create fun for other users without any compensation?  Alright!  In their free time they want to share an area they enjoy and show other people what they enjoy about the it?  Let me hear more!  They want to share a pretty place to run your train, drive your car, sail your boat, ride your horse, fly your plane?  Perfect!  I'd love to see more trains, boats and planes around Bellisseria even if the drivers don't choose to live there.  

If I was that business, I would actively encourage those people and even provide a bit of advice and help. I might join some of their groups to see what kinds of things they are planning.  It's a good business decision.  They are Community Builders that bring more people in.  I don't want to spend my time planning events, but I am very happy that some people enjoy that.  I take advantage when I can.

I tried the old Linden homes.  I tried the mainland.  For a while I enjoyed my parcel and freedom.  Then the neighbors abandoned and a rotating selection of terrible builds and breeding farms eventually surrounded me.  I CHOSE to move to a place with a covenant, a transportation system of roads and waterways, a pretty parcel with the home already on it and no common boundaries with my neighbors.  I wish I had heard about it earlier.

If you (general you) feel like Bellisseria is somehow competing with your rental properties, then provide more things your tenants want and become the Community Builder for your rentals and for Second Life.  As far as I am concerned these (mainland and LindenHomes) are two very different options providing very different choices to some very different kinds of people.  It's okay if it's not for you.  If you want the ear of Lab employees and contractors, then provide something for free that increases SL's value and brings more people in.  If you don't have a service of value for them, you are just a customer.  I am just a customer.  I don't rent mainland out or create items for sale in the marketplace, but I enjoy the heck out of my time inworld because I occasionally go to these free events that bring people together.  

 

I love my obelisk.  However, @Abnor Mole, could I get a version that is resizable and tintable  so it better matches my gardens or can fit on my porch? 😁

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4 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

... at the expense of those living on the mainland, who they seek to purposely influence (through their mainland embassies) into leaving mainland life with all its freedoms and creativity.

If that's the plan, it's not working. Look where people are.

bellipop.thumb.png.82cbd9636c34b21ae655384e7e40dabe.png

Bellissaria, early sections. Lightly populated, mostly by people all alone. The mainland continents show about the same density this Sunday morning.

 

zindrapop.thumb.png.7bd264b0929d132cdef10088b76a775a.png

Zindra. Where people get together!

I have a non-adult business on Zindra, and I get enough walk-in sales to pay tier on it. I have a house on the seashore of Bellssaria, and I never see the neighbors.

 

 

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4 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

I have absolutely no desire to become a mere statistic and a convienient wallet for LL, to be packaged within a cookie-cutter sprawl of residential container boxes, with all their rules, restrictions and uninventiveness, all dressed in an embarrasingly America-centric veneer that resembles a Stepford Wives style gated community of obedience and compliance.

But you want them to add new, unpaid-for regions for your convenience.

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I consider Bellisseria and the mainland as areas that complement each other, rather than compete. I'm not alone in having a Linden Home and a mainland area. I use them for different things. From a business perspective, it's an advantage for Linden Lab if people do this. It means extra tier payments. So they're really not trying to discourage people from doing all the things.

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16 hours ago, Teresa Firelight said:

Prokofy I am not sure why you hate Bellisseria and hate the BBB so much.

I personally love the Bellisseria Community-- it is full of a lot of nice people who's main motivation is to enjoy themselves in SL. Some (not all) of them want to make friends and interact socially with others. When did that become a bad thing?

As far as the physical build goes, I personally love the mole-built neighborhoods. I live in and explore them because they appeal to me. But no one is forcing anyone to visit or reside in them. They are just one of many options in SL.

The BBB is an unpaid group of volunteers who donate their time/energy to create fun things for people to do in Bellisseria.

 

Do you criticize Donald Trump? I sure do. Or perhaps you criticize Biden? I do that, too. But I love my country and I like staying in it. In the same way I criticize aspects of SL although I am a long-time resident (18 years) and criticize the BBB and Bellisseria, although currently I have 3 Bellisserian homes with BBB stamps,  2 homes for private residences, and 1 for an educational project. Do you? I've been exploring Mole builds since they were created. That's not the point.

Nor is it ever the point that someone is "unpaid" or a "volunteer" in SL, from time immemorial and therefore no advantages accrue to them. Some ideologically affinitive early residents got free sims; certain ones always won the building contests; some got to be on a "solutions' providers" list that got insider deals and word of discounted sims; mentors used to sling folders of their stores at newbies; and the list goes on. So let's not pretend that virtual life is different than real life, especially high school.

BBB bureaucrats come and go, but some have businesses, and if nothing else they gain reputational enhancement and influence the Lindens/Moles. It's not true that anyone can join this group; see above. It's not true that it is merely a fun game -- other fun games don't get the blessings they have. And trust me, I'm not "jealous" as I have my own many projects that I prefer to devote my time to. 

The forced migration strategy -- "there's the door," "if you don't like it, leave" etc. of Benevolent Dictator software cults doesn't apply in RL and it need not apply here. 

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6 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

And trust me, I'm not "jealous" as I have my own many projects that I prefer to devote my time to. 

The forced migration strategy -- "there's the door," "if you don't like it, leave" etc. of Benevolent Dictator software cults doesn't apply in RL and it need not apply here. 

1.  It sure sounds like you are.

2.  You may need to explain your Forced Migration conspiracy.

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25 minutes ago, Polenth Yue said:

I consider Bellisseria and the mainland as areas that complement each other, rather than compete. I'm not alone in having a Linden Home and a mainland area. I use them for different things. From a business perspective, it's an advantage for Linden Lab if people do this. It means extra tier payments. So they're really not trying to discourage people from doing all the things.

This mantra of "balance" and "complementarity" is one I used always to affirm myself. Now, not so much for a number of reasons. Yes, much of the population (the majority?) of Bellisserian citizens have multiple homes, and many have Mainland properties as well. They're the solid middle class of SL that sustains the world and that's why I have always affirmed it.

But they are indeed discouraging Mainland now in a number of aggressive and subtle ways, and if you haven't seen this perspective from my posts here already, I'm happy to send you a list. People in business and merchant events whose Bellisseria home is merely a private resident or a kind of loss leader to give gifts to people, who are content with the arrangement can go on living as Happy People Eating Noodle Salads. It works for many people. But the happiness expression can get awfully aggressive and exclusive at times. 

And it is more than fair to ask why aggressive recruitment is going on to attract people to Bellisseria, or press them into friendship/commerce circles that benefit certain vehicle and travel businesses, etc. when the Mainland has so many untended issues. Issues not created by other residents exercising their free will to make chaos for others -- that part we get, and frankly, if you've ever spent an afternoon hunting for somebody's TV in Belli that you can hear on your parcel (as MOAP doesn't obey "keep on parcel" rules), then you grasp that the "chaos" can show up anywhere because: human nature.

Obelisks deployed to devalue land; grief prims never removed; land baron land chopping and blight; awkward auctions that create more chaos -- these are all within the Lindens' power to change without zoning Mainland, which they will never do, as long as they have Bellisseria.

And wouldn't it be easier for the Lindens if that's all there was besides private islands...

 

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1 minute ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

1.  It sure sounds like you are.

2.  You may need to explain your Forced Migration conspiracy.

1. It doesn't matter what people think who lives in an environment where this motivation explains everything for them -- as they experience it themselves. 

2. Look at the numbers, look at the map, and you can see it's a report, not a conspiracy. 

1 hour ago, animats said:

If that's the plan, it's not working. Look where people are.

bellipop.thumb.png.82cbd9636c34b21ae655384e7e40dabe.png

Bellissaria, early sections. Lightly populated, mostly by people all alone. The mainland continents show about the same density this Sunday morning.

 

zindrapop.thumb.png.7bd264b0929d132cdef10088b76a775a.png

Zindra. Where people get together!

I have a non-adult business on Zindra, and I get enough walk-in sales to pay tier on it. I have a house on the seashore of Bellssaria, and I never see the neighbors.

 

 

A lot of people buy and hold in Bellisseria and are weekend elves or sailors. They work in RL during the week.

A lot of those piled up dots are 1) bots gaming traffic or gathering info 2) Tiny Empires games; 3) people waiting around Xploders (like the 32 green dots next to the new Corsica Embassy right now on the working class sim of Timescape.

And more to the point, far from all those green dots OWN LAND; they are NOT PREMIUM CUSTOMERS.

 

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2 hours ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I am not sure where some of this bitterness about Bellisseria stems from.  If I ran a business that relied on people being present to use it and willing to spend a small amount of money each month to be there, I'd be all over those motivated "Community Builders" to get the word out.  Someone wants to organize events for free?  Yeah!  Someone wants to create fun for other users without any compensation?  Alright!  In their free time they want to share an area they enjoy and show other people what they enjoy about the it?  Let me hear more!  They want to share a pretty place to run your train, drive your car, sail your boat, ride your horse, fly your plane?  Perfect!  I'd love to see more trains, boats and planes around Bellisseria even if the drivers don't choose to live there.  

If I was that business, I would actively encourage those people and even provide a bit of advice and help. I might join some of their groups to see what kinds of things they are planning.  It's a good business decision.  They are Community Builders that bring more people in.  I don't want to spend my time planning events, but I am very happy that some people enjoy that.  I take advantage when I can.

I tried the old Linden homes.  I tried the mainland.  For a while I enjoyed my parcel and freedom.  Then the neighbors abandoned and a rotating selection of terrible builds and breeding farms eventually surrounded me.  I CHOSE to move to a place with a covenant, a transportation system of roads and waterways, a pretty parcel with the home already on it and no common boundaries with my neighbors.  I wish I had heard about it earlier.

If you (general you) feel like Bellisseria is somehow competing with your rental properties, then provide more things your tenants want and become the Community Builder for your rentals and for Second Life.  As far as I am concerned these (mainland and LindenHomes) are two very different options providing very different choices to some very different kinds of people.  It's okay if it's not for you.  If you want the ear of Lab employees and contractors, then provide something for free that increases SL's value and brings more people in.  If you don't have a service of value for them, you are just a customer.  I am just a customer.  I don't rent mainland out or create items for sale in the marketplace, but I enjoy the heck out of my time inworld because I occasionally go to these free events that bring people together.  

 

I love my obelisk.  However, @Abnor Mole, could I get a version that is resizable and tintable  so it better matches my gardens or can fit on my porch? 😁

It always perplexes me that criticism of even the mildest "loyal opposition" sort in SL, by people like me who even bother and have a lot of skin in the game, which in RL would be eminently tolerated and encourgaed, in SL begins to shatter people's world and they cry "bitterness" and "jealousy" and "there's the door". I'm sorry, but I simply can't view the situation that way. I don't need Polyannas to propagandize me when I can see with my own eyes what goes on -- and PS I'm not the only one to express it.

I find most of my customers try Bellisseria homes and leave due to lack of prims and conformity, or they have BOTH a Bellisserian home AND my rentals. So nice try, but it just doesn't apply to me. I don't see Bellisseria as a direct threat to my little business; if I did, trust me, I'd have less land, not more land. My point is a broader one about the whole Mainland rentals space, where some of my colleagues have been driven right out of business by Bellisseria. And needlessly, in my view. And the entire civil society of SL, which in my view, has begun to suffer, and certain intractable problems have begun to appear (like how to attract non-American, non-wealthy RL people to Bellisseria). 

I don't need to "provide more things" for my tenants -- I already spoil them tremendously and they seem pretty happy as some of them have been with me for 5-10-15 years, imagine.

"Providing something for free" is definitely NOT how you "get the ear of the Lab" -- many people provide things for free, at all different levels of quality, including me, and the Lindens can hardly pay attention to it all. I certainly don't expect it. Over the years some of my ideas might have been accepted -- hey, did you realize even the idea of the ambassadors was openly stolen from me, by the BBB's own admission lol?

You may find it surprising that I don't rush to Linden office hours unless there is some dire emergency and don't rush to socialize with Moles, to whom I'm grateful for doing their jobs. It's another world than what you live in.

Whenever I find terrible builds and breeding farms (which are seldom as laggy as people imagine when you measure them), I move myself or my tenants to another sim. Or put up a wall if I'm devoted to that particular sim for some reason for all the work I put into it. The great thing about Mainland is there is always another parcel around the corner and it changes constantly. 

The world is made up of people who provide the content you enjoy (that's not me) and even homes for you to enjoy it in - most of them at a far higher level of quality and income than me. If they disappeared tomorrow, you would feel it, and the Lindens on their own could not meet your needs.

Abnor can hardly offer a modifiable obelisk as it would be used even more for griefing than it is now. And a resizer would invite the possibilities of giant obelisks defacing the view even more. So while he might find the time to put a few more colours or sizes in the Mole Mart, I imagine he has better things to do.

 

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I am all for having discussion and discourse for the sake of having it, but this Forced Migration conspiracy and paranoia is a bit much.  I don't think LL is trying to homogenize their world for the sake of a few residents of Bellisseria.  If you are doing so well and having people leave the stifling covenant of the new LH areas, what is your point?  I am nobody's  fangirl.  I've tried all the areas of mainland, old LH and the new ones.  I made a choice that fit for me.  No one is taking away your choice by adding new choices.  No one is taking your freedom to live where you want, buy land, rent parcels, have a business.  You do not lose your freedom to choose by giving options to someone else.  Would you take those choices from others?  What would make you happy?    Enjoy your debate.

 

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6 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

... at the expense of those living on the mainland, who they seek to purposely influence (through their mainland embassies) into leaving mainland life with all its freedoms and creativity. I find their motives to be quite creepy, what they're doing might be likened to "mainland cleansing" by stealth, which with time will have a negative impact on the mainland.

I have absolutely no desire to become a mere statistic and a convienient wallet for LL, to be packaged within a cookie-cutter sprawl of residential container boxes, with all their rules, restrictions and uninventiveness, all dressed in an embarrasingly America-centric veneer that resembles a Stepford Wives style gated community of obedience and compliance. 

I would never willingly choose to live there, ever. But Bellisseria has had one benefit which I do enjoy;  Belliserria has become a convienient land bridge between formerly distant and separated mainland continents, for which I'm happy to use.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the Lindens' blessed BBB "ambassador" program or any facet of Bellisseria as "ethnic cleansing," and not only because it trivializes the RL version of it or even "forced migration". I agree it has a creepy, stealth-like quality to it which is why I feel it needs questioning and discussion. Especially because the last round of the Lindens crossing the blood/brain barrier to form hybrid Linden/resident groups was Blake Sea, which ultimately wasn't about sailing, as you surely know as an avid sailor, but about windfall lucrative land sales and rentals businesses with outrageous prices.

When somebody sells land for $75/meter across from Bellisseria or on Blake Sea and then yammers for the "continents to connect" so they can get more business -- thereby discouraging the enjoyment of SL by more people -- I don't have to be a socialist to say that this is a distorted economy and does not benefit the public. It's an exaggerated form of the "location, location" issue of SL -- where in, say, San Francisco, the mayor can't order entire parcels of earth to be moved around and put on seashores or not.

So when another modern hybrid Mole/resident group is formed to encourage "friendship" or "exploration with vehicles" or whatever, I do think it deserves scrutiny to see if it really isn't just another hustle to benefit some businesses, artificially inflate land prices, and enable the few at the expense of the many. That's democracy, of the type that doesn't need "socialist" as an adjective, it does just fine on its own.

I do want to urge you to go and watch Stepford Wives and Trumansville again, as you will likely come to an understanding that Stepford isn't quite what Bellisseria is -- unless you mean happy housewife automatons, of which there seems to be no shortage (but they existed even before Bellisseria). The actual houses in Stepford aren't the "little boxes on the hillside" of Pete Seeger's famous cover song (which is kind of what they are in Belli); they are actually old rambling Victorian piles in the country side outside of New York City which then got swimming pools and wet bars and swing sets.

Trumansville actually captures the feeling of the Belli houses more, with the way things repeat; with the constrictions on life; with the suppression of criticism. Like this scene. Blue Victorian house. Apple Fall fireplace. Mole redwood tree. And that travel agency!

And of course, there is still choice -- you don't have to move to Bellisseria, although it is strongly encouraged so that you stop complaining about Mainland problems the Lindens/Moles can't or won't fix! Even so, I prefer the Mainland as it is, and visit Bellisseria like a foreign country.

 

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26 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I am all for having discussion and discourse for the sake of having it, but this Forced Migration conspiracy and paranoia is a bit much.  I don't think LL is trying to homogenize their world for the sake of a few residents of Bellisseria.  If you are doing so well and having people leave the stifling covenant of the new LH areas, what is your point?  I am nobody's  fangirl.  I've tried all the areas of mainland, old LH and the new ones.  I made a choice that fit for me.  No one is taking away your choice by adding new choices.  No one is taking your freedom to live where you want, buy land, rent parcels, have a business.  You do not lose your freedom to choose by giving options to someone else.  Would you take those choices from others?  What would make you happy?    Enjoy your debate.

 

It may be worth pointing out that if you read my comments here, you will see my use of the phrase "forced migration" was about telling people "there's the door," i.e. "if you don't like it, leave" in general as an arguing tactic -- NOT about a plot to clear Mainland by force. Nowhere will you find in anything I've written some "conspiracy" claiming that the Lindens are forcibly removing people from the Mainland. THAT concept was picked up by others. I realize these nuances fly over people's heads, but it is worth pointing out.

But reporting accurately over the years on favouritism; reporting even the obvious about how the obelisks are used yields cries of "conspiracy" on the forums and I'm used to that. Those who get it, get it.

The Bellisseria Embassies program isn't one of "forced migration" in a world where you can decide to pay for a premium or not. When you gaze out over the terrible landscape of Timescape, of course you might be "strongly encouraged" to move to Bellisseria. When auctions are made of abandoned land that result in your tenants being blocked on all four sides by a newer, larger customer of SL's, you might feel "strongly encouraged" to move to Bellisseria -- or at least enrich one of the land baron major customers of the Lindens' with purchase of land requiring a year or more to make back. When grief prims on physics in bright colours aren't removed for weeks on end despite multiple ARs, sure, you might feel "strongly encouraged" to move entirely to Bellisseria. Or your tenants may. 

But remember, I'm a person who survived King Kong in the waters of Carlisle, the Giant Refrigerator of Ravenglass, and the Soviet Palace of Congresses on the shores of Ravenglass, so I can wait for most things to go away even if it takes 5 or even 10 years. I'm like that. My census of tenants goes up and down -- these are natural fluctuations in SL. That doesn't mean I remain a contented burgher in my fiefdom, or a fearful business owner cowed into silence by the antics of the forums, like those who agree with me and aren't here. Nope, not me.

If the services, attention, Mole building, griefing mitigation etc are all falling to Bellisseria, the Mainland is poorer for it. "My point" is that I take the larger view of SL as a society and an actual world, even if virtual, and I don't just look at my own little parcels.

I don't know what prompts your notion that if you criticize something that eminently deserves criticism that you are someone wishing to take freedom from others, or complaining that choice is removed from you. But that's a common forums response -- express an opinion, and have a slew of forums regs tell you that you're suppressing their speech lol.

Second Life suffered when the Lindens' attention swerved to Sansara, despite their many assurances that they would go on supporting their legacy product. They abandoned Sansara (well, sold it) and doubled down on Bellisseria -- although this focus has left aspects of the Mainland hurting and does indeed open up the question of whether/when the Lindens will begin deleting old Linden home sims; deleting empty Mainland sims they can't unload on the auction; deleting other things that they or those who have their ear don't like. Which means abandoning the contiguous model of the world. And much else.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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16 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I am all for having discussion and discourse for the sake of having it, but this Forced Migration conspiracy and paranoia is a bit much.

The 'forced migration' stuff, as I read it, is really more about rabid fanboy/girls lashing out at any criticism of LL (and/or the Moles and/or the various Bellisserian cliques) with 'if you have a problem with it, get out, nobody wants you here.'

Nobody is forcing anyone to abandon Mainland apart from, you know, other Mainlanders and their horrific social and building skills. If some random Bellisserian group wants to roleplay at being a tourist board, fine, cool, whatever. I would be extremely surprised if it led to a massive uptick in premium membership, or indeed to anything other than friction within the group, since that's how roleplay scenarios generally end up.

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4 hours ago, Boo Rojyo said:

I'm Boo Rojyo, the founder of the BBB. 

I'm responding on a purely personal basis, with one simple statement.

“The BBB is COMPLETELY independent in it's actions. The BBB is a volunteer group, solely here to help bring community connections, and fun, to the residents of Second Life.” 

That's it. I don't plan to add more fuel to this thread.

 

Then why do you need to meet with Lindens and Moles? Why do you have a Mole cut the ribbon on your new embassy? Can you tell us that you did not clear your list of ambassadors with Moles or Lindens? Why can only residents with Bellisserian passports join the BBB Users Group? 

Why do members of your group have Patch Linden as the best man at their wedding? Why can't Operation Mainland stamps be placed at Mole sites, and only BBB stamps can be placed there? I mean, the questions are endless, and I personally don't care about the answers to a lot of them, but to claim the BBB is "completely independent" just doesn't hold up, Boo. And if you don't see that now, I assure you that you will in the future. If anything, you should develop a position that explains why you need the Lindens/Moles' cooperations, and why you think you have gained it exclusively. There may be good reasons for this. "There Can Only Be One" isn't one, in my view.

What exactly is your concept of the "commerce" to be encouraged by the Mainland/Bellisseria coastal connections? 

And PS why did you move the embassy of Corsica from Emyniad to Timescape?

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Why do members of your group have Patch Linden as the best man at their wedding? Why can't Operation Mainland stamps be placed at Mole sites, and only BBB stamps can be placed there? I mean, the questions are endless, and I personally don't care about the answers to a lot of them, but to claim the BBB is "completely independent" just doesn't hold up, Boo. And if you don't see that now, I assure you that you will in the future. If anything, you should develop a position that explains why you need the Lindens/Moles' cooperations, and why you think you have gained it exclusively. There may be good reasons for this. "There Can Only Be One" isn't one, in my view.

 

This is to answer regarding the wedding that took place at the new Bellisseria Fantasy Community Center.  I read your twitter feed about this Prokofy, your post read like you were mocking this couple. I felt that you know little to nothing about them, you even made fun of the groom's name on your feed and blog. Knowing who this couple is, it left me feeling the record needed to be set straight.  They are a kind, sweet and loving couple.

The Bride and Groom are a very nice couple, who have been long time friends of mine.  The concept of the wedding came about when a mutual friend heard they had been together in SL and RL for more than 14 years and never had an SL wedding, in fact they were not able to have a RL wedding at this time either. This mutual person is friends with Patch Linden and mentioned this to him. He talked with the groom about not having asked his long time girlfriend to marry him yet, and one thing led to another and the groom proposed, the bride accepted. Grateful for the nudge, the groom asked Patch if he'd be their best man at their wedding, Patch was honored, and accepted this important role. This couple is not employed by Linden Labs. They are not moles. Nor are they staff with the BBB. In celebration of their wedding, it was offered to them to hold their wedding at the opening of the new community center. something the couple considered and accepted.

Relationships that last a long time in SL and grow to RL are not as common and often admired for finding something wonderful in Second Life that blooms into something even more beautiful in real life. Yes, my own RL husband and I met in SL in 2006 and married in RL in 2015. We've been together for 15+ years now.

I've been doing various volunteer help in Bellisseria for 2 1/2 years now. Its all non profit, free advice, questions answered, helping to contact and connect people, groups, and places together. We've done videos about Bellisseria. Why? Because we enjoy the community. Its made us laugh, smile, reach out to meet others and enjoy the commodity and we've wanted to express and share this.

Has some of Bellisseria's various Entertainers, DJs, Group leaders, Event promoters gained the attention, appreciation and applaud of Lindens or Moles? Obviously it has. Some talented Event Builders 🐹 (no clue here ;)) have been featured in Destinations guides, blogs and spot lighted on Second Life's Twitter feed and Facebook pages.

Does it give any of these people exclusive access to Lindens and Moles? No. But when a person is doing hours upon hours of event planning, promoting a community you enjoy and love, helping to bring people together, you will gain the notice of residents in the community and the Lindens and Moles. Any Event planner, builder, group organizer, etc has to go through the same channels to contact them, set up appointments to meet with them, if its warranted, and sometimes the answer is "no, not at this time."

Yes, the BBB is completely independent. The staff is made up of all volunteers (Bellisserian residents, no Lindens or Moles are on staff) who offer ideas, help and assist to bring something positive to the community, allowing residents to connect with each other and have fun in the process. Lindens and moles are not part of the BBB's decision making process. You are doing much assuming and incorrect in your assumptions in the end.

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34 minutes ago, PrudenceAnton said:

This is to answer regarding the wedding that took place at the new Bellisseria Fantasy Community Center.  I read your twitter feed about this Prokofy, your post read like you were mocking this couple. I felt that you know little to nothing about them, you even made fun of the groom's name on your feed and blog. Knowing who this couple is, it left me feeling the record needed to be set straight.  They are a kind, sweet and loving couple.

The Bride and Groom are a very nice couple, who have been long time friends of mine.  The concept of the wedding came about when a mutual friend heard they had been together in SL and RL for more than 14 years and never had an SL wedding, in fact they were not able to have a RL wedding at this time either. This mutual person is friends with Patch Linden and mentioned this to him. He talked with the groom about not having asked his long time girlfriend to marry him yet, and one thing led to another and the groom proposed, the bride accepted. Grateful for the nudge, the groom asked Patch if he'd be their best man at their wedding, Patch was honored, and accepted this important role. This couple is not employed by Linden Labs. They are not moles. Nor are they staff with the BBB. In celebration of their wedding, it was offered to them to hold their wedding at the opening of the new community center. something the couple considered and accepted.

Relationships that last a long time in SL and grow to RL are not as common and often admired for finding something wonderful in Second Life that blooms into something even more beautiful in real life. Yes, my own RL husband and I met in SL in 2006 and married in RL in 2015. We've been together for 15+ years now.

I've been doing various volunteer help in Bellisseria for 2 1/2 years now. Its all non profit, free advice, questions answered, helping to contact and connect people, groups, and places together. We've done videos about Bellisseria. Why? Because we enjoy the community. Its made us laugh, smile, reach out to meet others and enjoy the commodity and we've wanted to express and share this.

Has some of Bellisseria's various Entertainers, DJs, Group leaders, Event promoters gained the attention, appreciation and applaud of Lindens or Moles? Obviously it has. Some talented Event Builders 🐹 (no clue here ;)) have been featured in Destinations guides, blogs and spot lighted on Second Life's Twitter feed and Facebook pages.

Does it give any of these people exclusive access to Lindens and Moles? No. But when a person is doing hours upon hours of event planning, promoting a community you enjoy and love, helping to bring people together, you will gain the notice of residents in the community and the Lindens and Moles. Any Event planner, builder, group organizer, etc has to go through the same channels to contact them, set up appointments to meet with them, if its warranted, and sometimes the answer is "no, not at this time."

Yes, the BBB is completely independent. The staff is made up of all volunteers (Bellisserian residents, no Lindens or Moles are on staff) who offer ideas, help and assist to bring something positive to the community, allowing residents to connect with each other and have fun in the process. Lindens and moles are not part of the BBB's decision making process. You are doing much assuming and incorrect in your assumptions in the end.

Prudence, it's great you gave this long of an explanation, because it's a very good illustration of how your arguments just don't hold up, and it won't require only me to say that, and plenty of others see it, get it, and may remain silent about it, but I bet not even that. No doubt you make them in earnest and in indignant confidence that you are right. But you can't or won't see the larger content you play in.

Who was Patch Linden before he was a Linden? We've never had transparency on this question. Of course he is entitled to privacy. But if he had a business of any size and revenue from that business; if he had a friendship circle of people who continue to enjoy proximity to him, the most powerful man in our world, then there should be some transparency on this question. There isn't. Maybe it doesn't matter; yet because we can't know it, that means it *might* matter.

Just like we can't know if everyone in this wedding party was NOT a Mole, nor their guests, because there are plenty of residents who ARE Moles or WERE Moles, you know? And there is little transparency on this question.

No doubt there wasn't just all these touching social reasons for this wedding; the Lindens could see an advantage in holding it right at the time that Roblox was banning weddings. It's a brilliant PR move, and one that you may not even concede.

If you take the last name of "Hax," taken by every griefer in SL, including some who have terrorized me and my tenants for years on end without much Linden intervention, expect some static. No doubt you are very nice people in your own right, although I see you presiding over any number of BBB activities that cause some to raise eyebrows, hardly just me. There are lots and lots of volunteers in SL. I'm even one. I don't need any weddings or anything on any public lands or any Linden or Mole love, beyond their basic job duties which I think should include things like removing grief prims.

Your claim that this long-time friendship doesn't give you any special influence just doesn't hold up. Of course it does. And the more you claim that it doesn't, the less persuasive it is. In fact, you would do better -- all of you -- to say that yes, you have a special relationship with the Lindens, and they with you, because you fit through their very fine thresh of what they accept and encourage in their business interests. At the end of the day, it's a business.

No doubt the Bellisserian builders and venue owners have more than their share in the Destinations list, with all the benefits of traffic and commerce and reputational enhancement that involves. Would you believe I even have two venues in Destinations? One was put in without my knowledge or request, and isn't my build anyway although I tier it and encouraged it. The other I applied to be included in the Halloween list, which is an easier thing to do than most. Anyone can apply. My other applications were rejected, and that's par for the course for most people, did you realize? This doesn't bother me in this slightest -- I have always made my own valuation of SL outside the Linden/Mole/FIC track, truly. But it is worth reporting about because it affects all our world.

Nowadays, the only social events that gain any Linden attention, the only place in the world that get any new builds or cut lawns or nice roads, is the paid-for Bellisseria. Even the sims where other premium holders tier the view on the Mainland don't get that love and attention. This naturally has consequences.

It doesn't matter if Lindens or Moles aren't on the staff of the BBB -- or that the staff is unpaid. They weren't on the staff of Azure Islands either, you know? Yet Adam was like a son to Philip.  You meet constantly with the Moles and Lindens and of course influence the direction of their thinking -- and you yourselves then are in a certain straitjacket that you may not even concede. They have decided to create this hybrid situation because it's in their interests and evidently you both benefit. But don't pretend it is what it is not. And once again, don't pretend this is about jealousy or standing outside with one's nose pressed to the window. It's about reporting on the world as it is, and its economic consequences for all.

Do you have any land on Mainland shore that is about to be connected to Bellisseria? Do any of you? it's MORE THAN FINE to ask such questions of residents who decide to do "player government" and "RP bureaucracy" which morphs into actual questions of land value and commerce -- Boo said explicitly that while Bellisseria is non-commercial, there are opportunities with the Mainland/Belli "connecting of the continents". What are they exactly? 

Say, I have a small little Mainland island that we bought long ago, before the pandemic, for the Mainland Appreciation Society and joked that we would "sail to Bellisseria" which was so far away and impossible to get to. Today, it's right next door. But don't worry, I don't sell land out from under projects like that, and at any rate, there are others with no-access blocking the ride through. That's our Mainland!

My assumptions aren't incorrect at all, from everything I can see here, and in fact I don't make assumptions, I ask questions, and questions for which I often don't get answers. 

And frankly, I'm not the only one. Where years ago I might find myself utterly alone in this journalistic venture, today more and more I find within SL itself, and on social media, people questioning the things you take for granted and can't quite admit. That's quite gratifying really because it is no fun having to ask these questions again and again for the sake of a better world -- which isn't only something you or the Lindens get to have an idea about. It matters more and more, with the making of the "Metaverse".

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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I will add a small bit to this as I feel it is worth posting.

The Lindens and Moles do watch who is active in this community and those people do help drive them to put more effort into Bellisseria. You know the part I noticed? Anyone can do it.

They do watch who is active and contributing and not asking for anything in return. They know that activity is what drives growth and people being active is good for all of us.

When there is growth and people are active, who loses?

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1 hour ago, Coal Edge said:

I will add a small bit to this as I feel it is worth posting.

The Lindens and Moles do watch who is active in this community and those people do help drive them to put more effort into Bellisseria. You know the part I noticed? Anyone can do it.

They do watch who is active and contributing and not asking for anything in return. They know that activity is what drives growth and people being active is good for all of us.

When there is growth and people are active, who loses?

 

"Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.

Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward.…"

Matthew 6:1

 


 

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9 hours ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

... If I ran a business that relied on people being present to use it and willing to spend a small amount of money each month to be there, I'd be all over those motivated "Community Builders" to get the word out.  Someone wants to organize events for free?  Yeah!  Someone wants to create fun for other users without any compensation?  Alright!  In their free time they want to share an area they enjoy and show other people what they enjoy about the it?  Let me hear more!  They want to share a pretty place to run your train, drive your car, sail your boat, ride your horse, fly your plane?  Perfect!  I'd love to see more trains, boats and planes around Bellisseria even if the drivers don't choose to live there.   ....

To me, this post, Cinnamon, explains the appearance, and perhaps actual, preferential treatment by moles and LL of the Bellisseria Citizens' Group and BBB in particular.  These groups and LL/moles appear to have an informal partnership to create activities  to engage Belli residents.  I approve strongly (no one likes to live in a ghosttown), tho we (my partner of 13 years and I, long term partnerships reaching into RL are really not all THAT rare, Pru, the class of 2006 was large) rarely attend we Belli events, since we are generally in only late at night.  Perhaps the BBB should recruit some European or Australian organizers.  So, ya, BBB and Belli Citizens are 'special' to LL, and that does not disturb me.

That said, I must admit that when I recently noticed BBB passport kiosks at Belli's Community Centers I had a little shiver of foreboding ... a feeling that this would not end well.  And here we are.  Shortly we may find ourselves in a place where newcomers get the impression that they MUST participate in BBB's citizenship RP in order to live in Belli, and that is not only false, but would actually discourage some people who do not like RP and/or have no time for it from owning a Belli parcel.  Ah well, that is/will be LL's problem.

Another event that I felt might not end well is Patch's participation in Kalia and Riot's wedding, the much-vaunted "Event of the Year".  (Btw, how is that billing supposed to make other newlyweds in Belli feel?  Seems sad to have them start their time together feeling inadequate.)  I have no problem with Patch being his friend Riot's best man; I have no problem with Lindens having friends among the hoi polloi (tho I understand others who do).  However, I think that using an alt - even one that looks exactly like Patch and is named "Patch Linden's alt" - would create a bit of a barrier between Patch's professional and personal activities in SL.

And, lastly, I have to say that attempting to chide Prokofy Neva  by pointing out how Belli Citizens/BBB folks put in effort and time to support community building is laughable.  God knows I am no Prok advocate, and Prok has much disdain for me, but one cannot ignore the years and YEARS that Prok has spent community building within Ravenglass.  And yes, that is a business, but I long ago decided that on an hourly basis, being an active estate manager like Prok pays pennies per hour.  I've never rented from Prok, but his reputation for attempting to provide pleasant surroundings, openly sharing knowledge about SL to make SL easier for resendents, actively defending customers from unpleasantness of all sorts, and organizing the occasional event is undeniable.  Of course Prok does not reap the benefits of LL active support that Belli Citizens does, being abrasive, impulsively negative, and seeing most human relationships in terms of power and influence conspiracies will do that to you.  BUT - Prok has single-handedly driven a LOT of revenue LL's way.  That is a fact, and it can't have been easy.

 

 

 

 

 

  

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You know, we used to have better FIC. Solid men like Siggy Romulus, who had served in the armed forces in RL and worked hard in RL and met his wife in SL and they had children -- sadly he died in RL before his time. His hot tub used to be in every SL home. He devised swimming animations that made the Linden waters usable. His beach hut can still be seen today on newbies' properties. But talk about "abrasive and impulsively negative"!. As a top-tier content maker he ruled the forums with impunity and said anything he pleased. Or take Pituca and Garth Fairchang -- a lovely couple whom I used to see as the King and Queen of SL, enchanting even meeting them in RL. Sadly they, too, have died in RL -- we're getting that old. Their name was a merger of their original first names - the Lindens gave them that special attention that no one else had. They had prosperous businesses and Garth even became a Linden for a time -- Nigel Linden. Pituca's island business prospered and lives on after her death. Garth was that rare FIC who was kind to me as a newbie and gave me sea gulls I still have. They were hard-working, creative, and did a lot for the community and made themselves money and friends and had fun themselves and created it for others. 

The people in Bellisseria are not known to me, their businesses seem small, and I suspect there are a lot of alts on parade here, people with 50 houses behind one "legal person," which explains that odd sensation I so often have in Bellisseria that the houses are paid for, they are named and aren't abandoned, but they are empty even of furniture. Somebody doesn't have time for them all.

It might be that the businesses of the people in this "player government" (these never end well and are universally hated in online games) are small or start-ups or not all that. I have no idea if "Pring Productions" featured by PrudenceAnton is some actual business corporation making a profit or breaking even, or whether it's just a fun group. I can't tell from her many posts whether she now has a windfall of wedding photography orders due to her high-profile "society wedding" or whether it's just RPing such a thing. That's the problem of SL. So much of it is virtual. And so many people are amplified in virtuality in ways that would never be in RL. Remember Metanomics? Remember Ginko Financial? Remember Ancapistan? 

We all get it about fun, truly we do. In the old days, we had used to have an expression that captured that witless invocation of people on the forums and inworld who claimed they were "just having fun," or who loudly complained that they created fun for others and that people in business should "learn to have fun" -- "fungineering." Why "fungineering" an amalgam of "engineering"? Because there was always something forced about it; it became cloying. Because the Lab was utilitarian about it. They needed it to make people "stick". Thus these instrumental relationships developed where the Lindens picked the cream of the crop -- the strongest companies or content makers -- and used them to front their product. The unhappiness and dissent this engendered could hardly be ascribed to sour grapes or jealousy; it was about the lack of an even playing field, something people come to value in RL even in the most authoritarian of countries and come to expect in the democracies.

There are two theories of excellency. One is that of Athens, where you create a class of 40 students democratically, give them all equal opportunities, nurture them all, and out of them come one or three persons of excellence who make the Motherland proud with their athletic or warrior accomplishments. Then there is the theory of Sparta, which says you select a small cadre and isolate them from society, raising them under harsh and strict conditions, and out of this comes a few great athletes and victories in war. You could say one is the American way and the other is the Soviet way or anything you like.

With the first method, even if not everyone is excellent and feted, they are still served; in the second, some are brutally exploited and they remain distorted by their isolation.

In SL, the selection of the few, the isolation, the harsh criteria, the favouritism -- they seem more to be the order of the day, and I don't think they always produce victories even for LL. A group like the BBB -- which I thought was a conceptual art project at first and maybe it still is -- seems to emerge blinking with incredulity into the glare of public questioning with an outrage all out of proportion to their actual situation.

Never forget that the real FIC, the people making large RL profits from SL, whom the Lindens are forced to heed even though they'd like to be out of the land business completely, aren't on the forums and aren't visible to you. It puts it into perspective. And again, read history and look at the map. What will the map of all the continent coastlines adjacent to Bellisseria look like in 10 years? Already there is land for $50/m.

Many of us make our own fun without any Lindens. We even make Bellisseria fun without any BBB. I think that's important to remember. The problem with RPing Gentils Organisateurs like Club Med is that people tire of the bunny hop, and then you need a rousing dance of "Hands Up Baby" and then a sight-seeing tour to Chichinitza -- and then what? You have to keep thinking  up new things as people get bored with the stamp game (I'm not, but others are). I have 3 Bellisseria homes with stamps offered and gifts and an a mini-quest involving the "embassy" RP game long before the BBB did. I also have a stamp on the Mainland. I do such things all the time like that and 10 times more that are experiments, losses, non-profit projects. "There is no limit to the good you can do if you don't seek the credit."

I don't need to go to the right parties and try to get myself into the Parade of Homes, or get my venue to be the popular blues cafe that will throw business to me, or anything of the sort. Bellisseria is supposed to be free of that strenuous commerce and reputational enhancement gaming that often makes SL so unappealing especially to new people -- yet of course it is not.

Fungineering -- and it's hard not only on Lindens who have to manage it when people begin complaining of the favouritism -- it's hard on the residents who get into a harness which only leads to burnout. 

The Lindens created a monster when they favoured the USS sailors who morphed into Blake Sea -- and imagine, the leader got his start, in all places, in the sim of Ravenglass where no, he was not allowed to have security orbs because they make life such a nuisance for other tenants or prospective customers or people just wishing to enjoy the commons. Security orbs are actually the bane of Belli, regardless of the Lindens' mitigation of the bounce scripts. Today, the cost of Blake Sea land is ridiculous, and the latest auction beneficiaries don't even bother any more to create nice sims for at least some part of the public. A lot of it is actually ruined now by airports.

When you launch RPs of government, except criticism just like RL governments do, and hard questions about whether you benefit financially -- and remember not every benefit is measured in real or virtual dollars, but is measured in reputational enhancement that leads to more influence of the platform providers or other types of gains, including financial. Let's not be children here.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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I hope Prok never stops blogging. I miss Second Thoughts and am glad Prok shares her thoughts here. I learn so much from this IMO highly intelligent, observant, articulate, and honorable person. I also firmly believe that when people work together on a common goal, it is normal and healthy to bond, to become friends, to help each other out. Is it fair? No. But it's Human nature. 

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6 hours ago, Coal Edge said:

I will add a small bit to this as I feel it is worth posting.

The Lindens and Moles do watch who is active in this community and those people do help drive them to put more effort into Bellisseria. You know the part I noticed? Anyone can do it.

They do watch who is active and contributing and not asking for anything in return. They know that activity is what drives growth and people being active is good for all of us.

When there is growth and people are active, who loses?

Thanks for posting - I can see where they acknowledge the time and effort in Bellisseria from some of the active residents.

When it comes to the points being raised in the thread I feel from my personal experience I spent a heck of a lot of time over the last few years lovestruck by the place, the concept - everything. I really was enjoying it.

Here is a tiny example of mine which does raise questions / thoughts - it takes over two days for me a UK resident to get a Belli support ticket answered - even when posted in the Belli chat - and then I read the US resident with same issue often has a mole or a Linden visit and fix the issue much quicker. Maybe circumstances at play with time zones? but it does make one question, it will leave a seed of doubt. I realise that I was one of the Belli house hopping hunters and for that I maybe wasn't seen as someone who respected the place?  - but the opposite is true.

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