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The new Second Life Community Exhibition


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39 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I didn't look at it closely enough -- I thought it was some sort of fundraising sim for orphaned boys in RL      :)

When I saw Boystown superimposed over a pride flag my initial thought was “send us your boys and we will turn them gay”

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Just now, BilliJo Aldrin said:
44 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I didn't look at it closely enough -- I thought it was some sort of fundraising sim for orphaned boys in RL      :)

When I saw Boystown superimposed over a pride flag my initial thought was “send us your boys and we will turn them gay”

Oh I didn't even see the pride flag...

That is certainly a unique take on the logo.

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I went and checked it out.

I was surprised how "few" groups were there.

I was confused by the concept of "CDS - Confederation of Democratic Simulators" ("Owned and operated by its elected citizens"..)

I liked the ambient sounds.

All I saw were: Black Rock, Caledon, Second Norway, a DJ booth, Virtual Ability (disability support group), NPC - Non Profit Commons, Boystown, Drivers of Second Life

7 things / groups total (not counting the DJ booth).

Not very "diverse"..

 

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22 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I was confused by the concept of "CDS - Confederation of Democratic Simulators" ("Owned and operated by its elected citizens"..)

CDS is actually a pretty cool thing: they are, consciously, an experiment in virtual world democracy, and have developed their own system of governance that works pretty well. They also host exhibitions and special events: a few years ago, they hosted an exhibition of mine on the history of feminism.

They've been around forever, and are one of the few "political" groups I know (including my own) that is still very healthy and active -- I think precisely because engagement by the general membership at the level of governance is so important to them. In fact, I think they expanded a bit recently.

They're worth checking out, and it's nice to hear that they're showcased!

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33 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

CDS is actually a pretty cool thing: they are, consciously, an experiment in virtual world democracy, and have developed their own system of governance that works pretty well. They also host exhibitions and special events: a few years ago, they hosted an exhibition of mine on the history of feminism.

They've been around forever, and are one of the few "political" groups I know (including my own) that is still very healthy and active -- I think precisely because engagement by the general membership at the level of governance is so important to them. In fact, I think they expanded a bit recently.

They're worth checking out, and it's nice to hear that they're showcased!

Next time we see someone post a silly thread with, "Elect me as Second Life President!" we can just refer them to the CDS.

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When I saw this video, I felt sorry for the Lindens -- they are stepping on the same rake again -- and yes, they tried this years ago, only in that age, while they had Desmond's Caledon, they had Cubey Terra's airport, where people could take airplane rides and collect some free flying vehicles, and several other oldbie venues (I believe "Riverwalk" with its art shows and fireworks) which are long dead now, after their managers first became Lindens (like Cubey), then sometimes died in RL or went on to other worlds beyond SL.

The good news is that sensing what a conflict generator this caper is, the Lindens started off acknowledging that in principle "anyone" could apply to get a scarce, high profile exhibit spot on this newbie landing island and therefore potentially get traffic windfalls and sales, I might add -- that's why there can be a stampede to these things. I won't be applying because I no longer have a team at the venue I used to run (Memory Bazaar in Ross) -- with a builder, volunteers, interested store owners, etc. -- to greet and help newbies. I and a few store owners still do it occasionally now but since the Lindens turned off "set home to here" at many of the infohubs (a mysterious and destructive action), often they are AFK or just want to get the hell out of any sort of orientation trap and get to the clubs and shopping. And God bless 'em, that's what SL is for.

I winced when I saw "Boystown," a venerable LGBT group which is decidedly NOT about taking boy children in RL or SL and "turning them gay," although I always thought it was unfortunate they chose for their name a vintage classic of old American movies feature Bing Crosby as a Catholic priest -- the RL Boystown was a place for runaway boys to go to for refuge during the Depression. The SL Boystown is indeed on adult sims but so what? The Lindens need to embrace the reality of their product since they readily sell these adult sims for adult activities. They could easily make G-M-A designations even for that welcome island but even that isn't necessary. People are grownups who come into SL, or should be, and they'll figure it out soon enough.

I winced when I saw another child avatar avatar representing Bay City -- because when the media sees this without preparation, and feeding the usual prejudices and insanities -- they will come away and say "OMG child predators in virtual worlds my God hide the wife, hide the children, call the MAGA senators". I really wish the Lindens had put some more thought into the optics of a thing like this in THIS country at THIS time with THESE primaries going on. Of course, they live in California, which is a different country even than New York, let alone Texas.

As for the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, or Confederation of Simulated Democracy ("democracy in one sim," as Trotsky might say) this needs the adjective "socialist" in front of it but in principle, sure, it's like an old European social democracy with some nice buildings and venues and maybe will appeal to aged members of the UK Labour Party or German SD, I don't know, you tell me. I go there for the stamps in the BBB game , and muse upon the days when Ulrika Zugzwang emulated the Russian Social Democrats and blew up her own created buildings rather than leave them to the community. You know, I'm too old. I remember too much. Amnesia would be a blessing in some ways.

Then there's the no-show booths with the very hazy missions like "Non Profit Commons" which is supposed to bring together "all" NGOs but honestly, it's a specific type of NGO with lefty politics -- NGOs I myself would respect in RL -- but really aren't positioned to "serve the virtual masses" seeking info on how to turn their system bodies mesh. That was never their mission.

I have to wonder why Corsica South Coast wasn't there at the very get-go as they represent a very sturdy set of people and activities, art shows, live music, clubs, interesting hang-outs and sights to see, etc. Hopefully they will come in to the next round.

Why Club Furzona and not Luskwood is also a mystery but who knows, people are on different time zones, I don't know how much time went into this and maybe they weren't reached. Furries are a big part of SL -- some people from the outer world are already in furry conventions, that is legitimate.

Mieville is another obvious group that should be included -- the Lindens have taken over their reduced number of sims now since the death of Perryn Peterson (in one of their rarely-bestowed "preservation" largesses, which has its pluses and minuses). They have more activities than any other group I know -- dances, readings, discussions, informal chats, libraries, merchants' events, themed occasions, etc. etc. It's very furry/tiny/LGBT friendly and Steampunk themed but loose enough so that norms like me are welcome. 

Of course most of the exhibits included here actually sell rentals or content and the Linden positioning helps that. Bay City is fantastically expensive, so I'm not sure why including that in the newbie pitch makes sense, not because newbies are poor -- they are six-figure computer professionals in some cases -- but because they don't readily drop their cash in the first few days and weeks. The Bay City activities themselves aren't frequent enough to allow for heavy newbie greeting but good luck, perhaps they'll retain some people. That is the goal.

There is a large, vibrant Black museum/club/art gallery scene in SL (Motown is more of an outside corporate thing) which the Lindens should have included in the first round, they have a huge presence on YouTube which is enormously important in selling SL. LL might have better started with the top YouTubers around SL like Isabelle Charen and involved them to get visitors -- and that is still possible.

I'll also speak a word in defense of Strawberry here, a person I didn't know personally when she was a resident and with whom I don't recall ever having any interaction with in SL. She is a solid character and a valid media presence who brings to her job the authenticity of having been on the ground in SL and who can establish rapport with the guests on the show which is very important -- for some people, Lindens are scary. She can also put at ease her own Lindens, which isn't trivial. Maybe she isn't Dick Cavett but then we aren't prime-time TV here in SL. It's fine for what it is. I don't get at all the claim that she is "dry" -- if anything, her sole fault is to be occasionally self-deprecating but she talks normally. I only have one big wish on her shows: for her to take that !@#@#$ annoying bobbing kittycat out of the view in front of her chairs -- it's not moving naturally like a KittyCat but wiggles only, old school. She needs to remove ALL distractions of that nature from the set, pronto.

In fact if I were a Linden media manager right now, I'd delete or somehow bury the video produced from this gambit, get the cycle of the first round over as soon as possible so the eye does not linger on any bad optics around children or dull Alpine socialism or clunkety Steampunk (a niche topic for the world at large) and move as swiftly as possible to the broader selection with actual popular clubs and galleries and venues.  Especially in time for Valentine's Day.

Meanwhile, let us note the passing of the Great and the Good, the Nature Con, blessed with Linden Loving last year, which is completely MIA and whose main founder abandoned her entire land holdings and disappeared (I hope she's ok). Linden blessing doesn't pay the tier even with traffic windfalls; newbies don't spend money and are quick to move on to the next thing.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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It's not obvious to me how SL's "adult content" is best represented for newcomers. Historically, there's been the perfect opposite of "community" associated with adult stuff in SL. (The origin stories of "Mosh South" and "Vortex Adult Sandbox" regions make Game of Thrones look like a tea party.)

SL Adult content is more an industry than a community, really.

Boystown is Adult, but doesn't it also play a big role in Second Pride?* and generally promoting a welcoming environment for an important demographic in SL, some of whom face a very unwelcoming RL environment. They're not unique in that, but they may be especially equipped to engage at a Community Exhibition.

If the Community Exhibition is intended to help retain a potential wave of new mobile users, that's cool. The Lab probably should also separately show that Adult content is acceptable here, neither appearing to sweep it under the rug nor force it in the face of those with other interests. As-is, newbies don't have trouble finding it, but maybe let them see it's not all about launching prim genitals at talking heads.

______________
*That's my impression, but I could be completely wrong. I'm gay, have been in SL a long time, and seen a few Second Prides, but have always taken the luxury of not paying much attention.

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I went and checked it out.

I was surprised how "few" groups were there.

I was confused by the concept of "CDS - Confederation of Democratic Simulators" ("Owned and operated by its elected citizens"..)

I liked the ambient sounds.

All I saw were: Black Rock, Caledon, Second Norway, a DJ booth, Virtual Ability (disability support group), NPC - Non Profit Commons, Boystown, Drivers of Second Life

7 things / groups total (not counting the DJ booth).

Not very "diverse"..

 

The CDS was founded by socialists who wound up in fact having to move to a more medieval smallholders/craftsmen kind of society which I think is more like the ancient veche system of Novgorod, let's say, than say, UK Labour Party type socialism.

That's because they have to have merchants to rent parts of the land and then pay for it with selling content or activities or merely out of their own pocket. They don't really have the ability to "tax and spend" (although they can simulate this with having people donate to collective kitties). They don't "own their own simulators" -- they rent them the way all of us do our islands. They just mean that they agree *collectively* on what the community will do -- this or that building or activity or priority.  Everyone who has been in SL for any length of time knows how hard it is to get groups of people to do things -- and pay equally for them -- in SL. Most projects are run by one very strong male persona with a subservient female or male helping him and then wider circles around them. They are run like fiefdoms or principalities or large Catholic families or whatever meme you want to use, but it's "Father Knows Best" and Mom is baking cookies and saying "Ward, speak to the boys..." That's because it's very hard to get things done in general in RL, let alone in virtuality, without a strong, determined personality to actually dig the soil and pay the tier and push the prims.

Very few communities are collective in any way at all. They don't stand around collectively building and removing each other's prim as Soft Linden would dream of (and Philip back in the day). They commission builds. Or a sole builder makes something to spec. They don't have meetings and decide things democratically at all -- usually one person decides and the rest go along or don't.

So in that sense the CDS is an interesting experiment if you have the stamina for such things. I have RL boards I am on or groups I support with RL functions that give me plenty of that "democratic centralism" and DSA experience without having to go into SL.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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9 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

the Lindens started off acknowledging that in principle "anyone" could apply to get a scarce, high profile exhibit spot

A couple notes on this when I actually visited:

- There is a sign against the "back wall" of the exhibit area, encouraging groups to apply.

- While the exhibit area may be "expandable", it is currently "sized" the fit the 8 exhbitors I listed (8!!!), so the exhibit area is in reality relatively small.

11 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Why Club Furzona and not Luskwood is also a mystery but who knows, 

I wondered if the DJ booth I saw was actually some "exhibit" by Club Furzona.  However - except for the "click here for (another official) DJ location" and "Click here for Club Furzona"...I saw NOTHING on that DJ booth that identified it as an "exhibition booth" for Club Furzona.  (I looked..) So unless I missed it (or unless it's the nondescript DJ booth), I did not see what I would call an "exhibit" by Club Furzona.

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1 minute ago, Prokofy Neva said:

So in that sense the CDS is an interesting experiment if you have the stamina for such things. 

Stamina, nothing - I seriously doubt I have the stomach for it.

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7 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Stamina, nothing - I seriously doubt I have the stomach for it.

They can speak for themselves and explicate their own story but I think it's not the worst thing for the first round. BTW they got their start with one of the early Linden "contests" which involved giving away an entire sim to a group which could justify a use for it. They hardly got any applicants because people weren't dummies -- they realized the set-up cost of the sims -- which then were much higher, like around $1000 -- were the least of the expenses as the *ongoing tier* -- which was higher then as well -- would be what would kill them. How could they sustain a payment every month of $300+? Few people had that to shell out on an early virtual world.

The contest was handled by Haney Linden who then went on to be Pierre Omidyaar's program officer in his foundation. The community called Neufriestadt won the contest and put up an Alpine village with a socialist ideology behind it articulated extensively on the forums. At that time there were a few other similar groups, some around Caledon -- hence the name "Confederation" although by this time I think it's basically not so much a confederation of distinctly separate thriving groups but more a coalition of those who remain, on a few sims with stores and sailing. Again, such groups never think you understand them enough so let them explain themselves. I wouldn't have led that card if I were doing what is essentially a MEDIA CAMPAIGN to drive membership. Many users are Americans, like it or not, and they don't get socialism although they have it in some forms.

I suppose we should be grateful that the Lindens didn't go Gorean on this round.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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I think curated examples of Adult communities should be part of Welcome island, but I'd like to see it done in a way that conforms to Linden Lab's own rules about not advertising Adult venues on G-rated land. How about one separate Moderate region with a dance club, a roleplay hub, and links to Adult sims and and venues? Maybe call it "SL After Dark"?  😎

If the sponsors of Motown pull the plug on their region, maybe?

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1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

It's not obvious to me how SL's "adult content" is best represented for newcomers...

The Lab probably should also separately show that Adult content is acceptable here, neither appearing to sweep it under the rug nor force it in the face of those with other interests.

Exactly.  SL does adult content well. There are G, M, and A areas, and you can't get into an A area by accident. If SL prohibited sex, we'd have the problems that Horizons and Roblox have, where people do it anyway and the platform has to hire an army of moderators armed with ban hammers.

How to introduce new users to adult content - that's tough. There are are a few places in-world that try to do that. However it is done, it should be on Adult land, not General land.

This is mainly to keep LL out of trouble. I wish SL were not banned from Twitch. A sizable fraction of the US population gets wound up about sexual content. US state laws requiring age verification for adult content seem to be coming. Florida is in the lead here. That's something for LL's lawyers to think about.

 

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2 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I went and checked it out.

I was surprised how "few" groups were there.

I was confused by the concept of "CDS - Confederation of Democratic Simulators" ("Owned and operated by its elected citizens"..)

I liked the ambient sounds.

All I saw were: Black Rock, Caledon, Second Norway, a DJ booth, Virtual Ability (disability support group), NPC - Non Profit Commons, Boystown, Drivers of Second Life

7 things / groups total (not counting the DJ booth).

Not very "diverse"..

 

There are one or two empty sims already online to put up more communities and there is room for more of them.
I think the Lab has invited other communities in the blog post to apply.
It seems to be the start of an ongoing process to me.

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4 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

I think the Lab has invited other communities in the blog post to apply.

Yep, I saw the clickable sign.

4 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

It seems to be the start of an ongoing process to me.

Makes sense, no reason to stop at that tiny area.

1 hour ago, Persephone Emerald said:

I think curated examples of Adult communities should be part of Welcome island, but I'd like to see it done in a way that conforms to Linden Lab's own rules about not advertising Adult venues on G-rated land.

The "BoysTown" exhibit was "refreshing" to see, unfortunately many will take exception to the name due to assumptions about what it "means".  I am disappointed TBH that the only LGBTQ+ exhibit is also "adult", and equally disappointed that the only "adult" exhibit appears to be LGBTQ+ (for the same or similar reasons).

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25 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I am disappointed TBH that the only LGBTQ+ exhibit is also "adult", and equally disappointed that the only "adult" exhibit appears to be LGBTQ+

Boystown is NOT LGBTQ+.

It's L G BTQ+.

"Corporate Inclusivity Diversiveness Virtue Signalling (tm)" only needs THREE "minority" groups, token gay, token disabled, token PoC.

 

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1 minute ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Was there a PoC group at the Community Exhibition? If so, I missed it.

 

Wouldn't know, and don't care, I'm highly unlikely to waste a second of my life visiting this place.

If there isn't, expect them to add one soon. It's not PROPER Corporate Virtue Signalling unless you have the big three.

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It’s funny, I met a really nice newbie during the pandemic. He was gay and he was mainly here to be a part of an online gay community. I gave him the “In second life, we don’t really have that, you kind of just find the people you vibe with and that’s your community.” speech.

He absolutely didn’t accept that and eventually, he stopped logging in. 
 

I wish I knew about Boystown back then and I wonder how many people we lose because they just couldn’t find their tribe so to speak.

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Speaking of PoC, anybody remember the "Second Life Community Pages"? The first was "Black Culture in Second Life" (announced in March 2022)

… and then there was the LGBTQ+ Community Page (announced in July 2022)

… which were to be the first of many to be indexed on a grand unified Community page that still has just those two entries.

Not to discourage this new Exhibition attempt, but the half-life of the Lab's "community"-branded initiatives seems pretty short.

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23 hours ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

This sounds like great news to me.  I saw it not long after it had been published and passed it to a manager of a community I'm in.  Thoughts, anyone?

I was wondering what all of those platforms were for when I went there and they had been empty.

I think it is pretty cool, I look forward to seeing more exhibits in the future.  One thing I would be interested in is more games, such as shooters, rpgs, and so on.  I hope more groups take advantage of it, and we see the place fill out with various different things people do in SL.

I'm not really interested in belonging to communities in any significant way, but still it is fun to explore what people have built and in some cases where their hobbies align with mine it can be fun to occasionally take part in such things as fishing, zombie hunting and so on.

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2 hours ago, Persephone Emerald said:

How about one separate Moderate region with a dance club, a roleplay hub, and links to Adult sims and and venues? Maybe call it "SL After Dark"?

Now that's a good idea. Ease people into it.

2 hours ago, Persephone Emerald said:

sponsors of Motown pull the plug

Has anything happened there since it opened? There was a heavily promoted opening with over a hundred avatars, then not much.

That happens with many of the outside promotions. Remember Zenescope? They built phase I, which dead ends at a gate to Phase II, "coming soon". Is that still up? (If Zenescope had made some of their characters into avatars, it might have been successful. That would take work. They mostly sold T-shirts.)

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19 hours ago, Zalificent Corvinus said:

Except, shhhhhh, you know where, the continent that dare not speak it's name, the land of unlimited adult rated naughtyness...

 

"Hey noob, look! Steampunk world! You can visit, but they will hate you for wearing a suburban jogger mom sux-ra avatar, because it's not steampunk enough"

"Hey noob, look! Gay world! You can visit, but don't get too close, they might want to do naughty stuff we don't talk about, best not go at all really"

"Hey noob, look! Snob World! You can visit but Bay City is for RICH people who don't wear sux-ra, don't loiter or you'll be arrested for vagrancy."

 

Meh.

This will end up just like the "Community Pages" they touted LAST time, unused Corporate Virtue Signalling

I don't know why this post reminded me of the 2022 Linden snowball fight that I tried and failed to get into. The region was full and the event was being live streamed on social media and it will come as absolutely no surprise that even though the region was full, one of the Linden people were heard to say they would get their friend/colleague in and lo, while a bunch of us plebs were left with our virtual noses pressed up against the invisible barrier stopping us from getting in, the employees of the Lab gained access.

Nice work if you can get it, being paid to throw snowballs and just letting your mates in. 

While I still like the idea of this community exhibition thingummy and stand by all I've said so far, so far it is looking a bit cliquey, but I was trying not to be cynical yesterday, and focussing on the fact it would look cliquey with the well-established groups being the ones to be featured so far.

There should perhaps be a portal to the A-rated/Zindra stuff, because obviously that generates a lot of income for Linden Lab and should be acknowledged.

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