Got a big Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event coming up? Here’s a free pre-event checklist, with a classy medieval style, for you to print out and use. I hope you find it greatly useful.
Click here to download!
- Do not sell this design, distribute it with your name on it for free, or otherwise claim it’s yours. Send people here to get it for free please.
- That goes for the printed version too. You can print some out and share them with friends, but I’d like it even more if you sent them here for it. Plus, I mean, it saves your printer ink that way.
- Free for personal use.
- Not all printers, and not all printer ink, is created equal. It may not come out exactly the same colors as you see on the screen.
I rode the rides, got lost in the mazes, watched the movies, read the notecards, horded the freebies, got stuck in the sticky spots, climbed the stairs, viewed the posters, hopped on the pods, and now the time has come! SL11B opens today and I’ve compiled a list of my favorite exhibits.
Continue reading “Presenting: the SL11B Green Guide!” →
I was talking with a particularly cynical acquaintance the other day who had some less-than-kind things to say to me when I mentioned going to Marketplace-only with Clover’s Kitchen, and no longer having a prim-and-mortar shop in his estate. Two particularly stinging things he said were that I’m “part of the problem” for going to MP only, and that by not having a prim-and-mortar shop, I’m no longer contributing to the economy.
Continue reading “I don’t contribute to the economy?!” →
So any of you who read my blog probably know that I’ve been extraordinarily lazy when it comes to updating my blogroll. In fact for the better part of a year, I haven’t even had one here at all. I like to imagine it adds some sense of mystery. “Ooh, whom does she read?” I say “whom” because in my fantasies you all have flawless grammar. Hell, in my fantasies, I do too. But back in the real world, the fact is, I got so behind with my blog roll that lots of the blogs I had listed don’t exist anymore. Or they belong to people that I haven’t talked to in over two years. Or whatever other reason.
In rebuilding my list of links from scratch, I realize that I don’t have a lot of links yet. It’s mostly because I’m, again, lazy. Oh sure I got a handful and it’s enough to make it a list, but…
So, here’s where you come in. Suggest to me: whom should I read? It’s no guarantee I’ll add them, but it will at least expose me to more reading and that can’t be a bad thing.
So this isn’t the first time I’ve done this, but once again I’m finding myself pondering what makes some exhibits at SL10B amazeballs and what makes others… less so. I first mentioned some things back at SL8B and I think some of the ingredients for awesome sauce remain timeless. Others, I’ve only considered recently.
Now, keep in mind, I’m no expert. I’ve only exhibited once and I’m hardly an authority. But, I know what I like, and I know how to be an observant visitor. So take from this what you want.
Ingredients for awesome sauce include:
- Being open and inviting from more than one side. I’m really good at finding precisely the wrong entrance to an exhibit and blundering in, and I can’t be the only one (can I?). If the exhibit really can/should only be entered from one point, it should be clear and easy to find from the other sides too.
- Giving the avatar something to do. Be it a ride, a game, a hunt, or even just a place to sit and relax, I for one like having something to do when I visit an exhibit. Mind, that’s not the same as having to work for it. I don’t want to have to go through a maze if all I want is to pop in and get some pictures. There’s a fine line between encouraging participation and railroading. And by the way, is it me, or are there way fewer of these this year?
- Beauty or awesomeness clearly visible at a distance. It’s not enough to be seen at a distance. There are countless (as Crap calls them) middle-finger towers that you can see at a distance easily. But that’s not enough. It’s the difference between “WHOA what’s that over there?! I must go see!” and “EW, what the hell is that over there? I must avoid!”.
- Loading quickly. Awesome builds use fewer textures, smaller textures, and otherwise uses textures in a smart way so that they don’t take all afternoon to load.
- Looking fresh, new, and innovative. That doesn’t necessarily mean looking modern. For example, a medieval village square that uses mesh is going to look better and load faster than one that’s still rezzing because it’s all sculpts. It may use newer scripts for firelight effects or sounds or in how it gives out information. Awesome builds wow the visitor by using things in new ways.
- Good freebies. Freebies at all are not a requisite for an awesome build, in my opinion; but if you’re going to have them, make them good ones. Something that took some time and effort. Hell, at at least one exhibit, freebies are the whole point and so the build is loaded with amazing stuff to take home.
What more can I say? If it’s dull, why bother?
Now, I mentioned, you gotta sift through a good bit of rough before finding the diamonds. Here, in my opinion, are the things to avoid when making an exhibit.
- Nothing but an advertisement for your thing. It’s a fine line between telling people about your community/club/shop/what have you, and advertising it. Between “in case you were curious about us…” and “HAY LOOK AT ME!”. You can have an exhibit about your thing in a way that doesn’t feel like advertising (Bay City comes to mind as an example) but it’s tricky. Make it about celebrating the birthday/being in theme FIRST, then worry about letting people know who you are LAST (if at all).
- Ugly textures. This is subjective, I’ll concede, but weaksauce exhibits were tacky in their use of textures. More than one had a blurry, poorly-tiled outer space-ish texture that looked like it was a last minute thought. If you really can’t let a certain texture go, at least tile it evenly and use some shading.
- A Big Box of Boring. Crap hated the middle finger towers; I hate the big ugly fill-the-parcel-with-a-giant-box structure. It’s unwelcoming, it’s ugly, it make terrible use of the space, and it’s usually covered with an ugly texture (see previous) or else plain black. I think people use these because they want you to experience their exhibit, and only theirs, without any of the other ones in the background. But I’m of the opinion that it’s an expo and you’re supposed to see lots of exhibits at any given time. Dishonorable mention goes to enclosed spheres or hemispheres; they’re even worse use of volume.
- Falling back on the past. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m a big proponent of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Also, given the theme of SL10B, there will be retrospectives. That’s not what I’m talking about here, however. I’m talking about making your build look like it was made in 2006, with clunky prims, bad texturing, obsolete scripts… really I’m just repeating what I said earlier. In addition to this, however, I was disappointed at seeing some builds that just did the same thing they did last year and/or the year before. They didn’t stretch forth to try something new.
- A Subscribe-o-matic. Not only do those things use notecards– the lowest form of communication in Second Life– but they suck. I wish I could be more eloquent when I say how deeply they suck. They scream “advertisement”, they turn your exhibit into a recruiting tool, they’re a bitch to unsubscribe from, in short they’re horrible.
Despite the troubles and frustrations of Second Life, there are some of us (raises hand) who just can’t seem to walk away. Here are a few not-remotely-scientific reasons that Second Life has such a hold on us, like the scumbag boyfriend we just can’t seem to get away from.
Our Friends are There
Step into any other grid and if you find people at all, they won’t likely be your people. Oh sure you could try to get your people into this grid to pay you a visit, but why would they want to do that? It would be easier just to get in touch with you on Skype or email than to make a whole new duckwalking avatar. The fact is, if you want to “see” and hang out with your friends, and have hours-long IM conversations broken up into little digestible bits, it’s going to have to be in the world where you met them.
Continue reading “Why We Keep Going Back to SL” →
Whenever the calendar flips over I make sure I get all my shop chores (mostly) done and this month was no exception. Anyone who ever says that a SL business isn’t work is either a damn liar or so clueless they don’t know how much money they’ve lost yet. Admittedly it’s not as much nor as demanding work as in RL, but my whole day “off” was spent doing work for my virtual shop.
I’m able to cross the following off the to-do list today (not necessarily in order):
- Total up my net sales for October (by the way: more than double last October! Woo hoo!)
- Start a new spreadsheet to total up November sales
- Send manual invites to the shop group to all the latest customers (this is really more a weekly or semiweekly chore for me)
- Take down the October (read: Halloween) decorations in the shop
- Put up the November (read: Thanksgiving) decorations in the shop
- Change over the Seasonal vendor in the shop to November
- Make two new items: Green Bean Casserole and Pumpkin Spice Tea
- Get aforementioned items photographed, boxed, loaded into the vendors, and listed on Marketplace
- Sent out weekly group announcement about Guy Fawkes (Nov. 5th) and Jacket Potatoes
- Got said Jacket Potatoes listed on Marketplace
- Paid the shop rent
- Blogged about it all just now!
Fortunately, thanks a million to Miyo’s awesome tutorial, my Marketplace uploads are automatically Tweeted as they’re created, saving me a ton of time there.
The other part that was easy and not a chore at all: made a few thousand Ls in sales. 😀
So, yeah. I started at about 11-ish AM and I’m wrapping it up at about 11-ish PM. It’s time to punch out.
Back in 2009 I wrote an article on business in SL, and near the end of it I said that Grid-wide hunts are a waste of time and not useful to your business at all. Well, times change, experiences change, and my position on that has changed somewhat.
I no longer think that hunts are completely useless or counterproductive. I do, however, still believe they’re not often done wisely (in some cases by the hunt planners and in other cases by the participating merchant). So in the interest in updating and sharing what I learn as I go, here’s some useful information on participating in Grid-wide hunts as a merchant.
Continue reading “Grid-wide Hunts, Revisited” →
Well didn’t I get one hell of a surprise to find myself listed among Suella’s “10 SL Blogs You Should Read“. And not only on the list, but at the top of the list! It’s a very exciting endorsement and my ego is very happy about it.
But with that comes the other side of the coin: “People are reading this thing now! I gotta write something and it better not suck!”
So until I think of what that something that doesn’t suck may be, I’ll give a kind of an introduction to you lovely new folks about who the hell I am and what you can expect when you read my blog.
First: Why I blog in the first place.
I find a picture says a thousand words, don’t you?
Continue reading “NO PRESSURE!!” →
The other day Bliss Windlow (no relation to Clover; just happens to share a surname) said some words that really resonated with me. She said that as a child she would get in trouble a lot for being bossy and acting like a know-it-all. Boy that was me all over. She concluded that because of this, she was born to make instructive blog posts. I can only make the same conclusion.
Today, I’m going to lecture you on drama. People really really hate drama. It’s really sad to see, that the more people seem to talk about how much they hate drama, the more seems to somehow come into their lives. So in the interest of looking out for you, yes, you specifically, I’m going to show you six simple ways to have less drama in your virtual (and probably also physical) world. Ready? Here we go.
Keep your private issues private.
Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t stand the Facebook culture. Everybody having to share every single personal detail of their lives with the entire (semi)literate world seems to have done away with our sense of private dignity. I realize I’ve officially just become old by saying that. So let me do this shit right.
“Back in my day, if someone had some personal problem, they’d talk to a close friend or trusted confidante. They wouldn’t just post it on the intertubes or whatever-the-hell-you-call-em for everybody and his dog to read. If we had some personal info on someone else, we’d whisper it over the fence or the clothesline. We called it ‘gossip’. That was the way it was and we liked it. We would have phrases like, ‘That’s for me to know and you to find out,’ or, ‘Why? None of your god damned business, that’s why!’.”
Right, so what I’m saying in my very rambling way is, the world really doesn’t need to know the details of why the wedding’s off, the group’s policy is changing, the prim baby is going back into inventory, you can’t come to work tonight, your band had to cancel its gig. We don’t need to read the break-up note. We don’t need to hear what he said and she said. We don’t need to hear names, scandalously fun though it may be. It’s really enough for us to hear “The wedding’s off”, “The group’s policy is changing to x“, “What prim baby?”, “I have to call out tonight,” or “We’re sorry but we have to cancel our gig.” That said, I understand that there’s very real emotions involved and you want to hash out what a jerkface your boss is. But that’s what friends and private conversation are for. Which brings me to number 2:
Continue reading “Less Drama in Six Easy Steps” →