February 1st, 2011


Random thoughts and updates

This post has been written and rewritten. Hopefully this is the last rewrite and I can finally post it!

I am an astute observer, and I've seen many changes around me, in both Inworldz and Second Life.

Inworldz continues to grow but has stagnated somewhat. I don't think it will really take off till they finish the work on the script engine and physics. Once they do that, I expect even more Second Life refugees to make the jump, especially considering that it is a lot cheaper and there are more freedoms.

As for Second Life, it appears to be in a holding pattern. Linden Lab's gross negligence of customer support has done a fine job of reducing both population and landmass. I believe this was a deliberate move, because they still have not addressed the issues that make it hard to expand the grid in a feasible manner, though they have a team of programmers versus one or two. Inworldz' own Tranquillity Dexler managed to accomplish, all by himself, what Linden Lab's team has not: He rewrote significant central code making the Inworldz grid expandable by simply adding new hardware. The Inworldz grid doesn't have the same expansion issues that SL still has.

Speaking of expansion, I'm wondering what else SL has cut back on. Just this weekend, user count swelled into the 60K+ range and all kinds of things started going wrong, for diverse people, gridwide. Back before they scaled back staff and their attention to customers, it was common to have 70K + people on the grid on any given weekend and things were relatively stable. Now if you get over 50K + things begin to fail or not work the way that they should. Cheaper hardware? Perhaps.

Rumor still has it that Second Life is being prepped for sale, which leaves one wondering what sorts of changes there will be should someone purchase it.

Be that as it may, I've been spending more time on SL, but not because of the grid itself. No, it's certain people inhabiting it, who don't have a presence on Inworldz.

One of those people is Willy. Now, for those of you who witnessed our painful parting of ways, I ask you not to judge him, because I found out quite a few things of myself that needed changing. While we both said things that were hurtful to one another, we have since spent a lot of time talking, and more than a little of that in mutual apologies. There were things going on in the background that are now out in the open. I wasn't loving in the least in the way I handled my part of the situation, and he knows I am forever sorry for that. Be that as it may, we have rediscovered the miracle of love.

There is one other on Second Life who has become quite dear to me. Arman is a man of incomparable depth and affection, whose interests are as wide as mine are. We've become close, and will remain close, even if Willy and I choose to become partners again.

I am afraid that my dear Rafolk is moving on. While he gave me an incredible gift I will always be grateful for - unconditional love and affection - he was neglecting his own needs. When I began spending more time on SL, some of his old and dear friends found their way to Inworldz. I will always hold especial affection in my heart for him, and I am letting him go with blessings.

Love is a funny thing, but one thing it's not, is finite. My home is with Willy and yet I have room in my heart for Arman. Willy knows this, and has no problems with it.

There are other things I've observed in my cross-grid travels, some of which aren't nearly as pleasant as rekindling a deep love. I've seen some "grouping" happening on Inworldz, and some resentments flare up. I won't go into details, except to say that it seems the "blissful honeymoon" is over. Inworldz is experiencing some definite growing pains in its community. While the overall atmosphere is still one of exploration, friendship and caring, there are developing undercurrents that aren't nearly as good. Here's one example: I heard from a dear friend, who has stores for rent, that another resident was there on her property trying to talk a new renter into abandoning their store there and moving to theirs. Poaching of customers is never welcome and it is entirely unnecessary on a grid like Inworldz. I can't say I'd blame the individual if they publicly shamed the poacher on their blog; sometimes public shaming is very necessary.

Others are selling their sims and moving back to SL. Yet others are leaving virtual worlds altogether. Grand love affairs are ending, even as others are blossoming. I've witnessed two Inworldz couples break up in very painful ways and while I don't know the details, my heart goes out to them. Each and every one of them are kind, loving people, and I just hate to see them experiencing the same hurt and loss I so recently experienced myself.

As a friend recently said, SL has its advantages. So does Inworldz. I bear no resentment against SL, even though I am reluctant to support Linden Lab directly with my money. I do, however, support my friends who are still landowners, and merchants who sell quality goods.

Lastly, I have had to resign my "official" mentor position on Inworldz, not due to any strife, but because I can't honestly say I still have time to devote to it. I will still continue helping people on my own, just like I always have.
full moon

More Random Babbling

It is later at night, and where I am VR-wise, it's quiet and peaceful. Slow Radio plays on my Winamp, soothing me.

Sometimes I feel like the entire world wants a piece of me. Earlier this evening, I was on two virtual worlds (one quiet), Tweetdeck, various messenger services....I finally had to shut most of it down because I was experiencing the kind of information overload that can cause stress. This has been happening a lot, lately.

While I love my online friends dearly, sometimes I need peace and quiet...maybe talking with one or two people versus whole crowds of them. If I socialize too much, I don't have energy for two of my other favorite pursuits: Creation and Writing.

There was a time not too long ago when I had too much time on my hands versus not enough. I am trying to strike a balance, somewhere, and those of you who are my true friends and reading this will understand that.

Inworldz is incredibly chatty. People network like crazy, talk in group chats, gather for events - and while this can be a joy for me, sometimes it's just too much. I'm not sure how to moderate that for myself other than turning off certain group chats...and I guess I'll have to do that, even if I may miss something.

And miss things, I have...some of the changes are dizzying in their swiftness, and astounding in their sudden-ness. Sims being sold or shut down. People migrating between the grids, sometimes choosing to spend time on the Legacy grid (SL) after spending virtually 100% of their time on Inworldz. I can't keep up with it all and retain my sanity.

Right now, all I really want to do is be with Willy. We are bonding even deeper than before and I want to invest my time and energy in that. I know there will come a time when we both have to take time to build or do other things, but right now, I am where I want to be, with him. I'm just as sure many a Gentle Reader has been there, too.

My creative streak is a mile wide and is talking to me a mile a minute. I want to build, write, blog...love...dance...do it all. I keep running out of energy. That sucks!

I have begun taking steps to trim back on that which doesn't directly involve either my creativity or my love life. I have to prioritize, there's just too much to take in. There's the matter of my 4 sims on Inworldz. Two are thriving as they have been, all this time - Fantasia and Isle of Anu. Celtic Dreams and Spirit of Romance aren't doing so hot, though I have gotten a new renter on the former which is encouraging. The latter was supposed to be a collaborative project beween Maxwell Wildcat and I but it doesn't look like it's going to take off. I built the Plaza above it, and just recently offered a New Renter Special - but again, it's not taking off as I would like. I may end up abolishing the Plaza and renting out at least half that sim, because I really can't afford not to. Unless I suddenly win a lottery or a rich relative I don't know about dies and leaves me their inheritance, I've got only so much money.

That brings up something else that's been on my mind. The place Willy and I call "home" on Second Life has become insecure, despite land orbs. Over the weekend, we were cuddling while Willy's player prepared to go afk for a bit when suddenly people were descending upon us, quite literally. A child AVI began to materialize, right there on our bed, before being kicked by the security. It seems the mother and the rest of the kids were floating just outside and just beyond the security perimeter, camming in. They had used Phoenix's Radar feature to find Willy and, instead of asking if they could come visit him (they didn't know he was in his private home) - they elected to just BARGE IN.

Who DOES that? Good grief! I guess people in the concrete universe do it to celebrities all the time - but for pete's sake, it's just NOT done in virtual worlds! Privacy is very precious to people and in most cases, others know to respect that - especially if a security system kicks them out. This woman and her kids were a clear exception. On top of trying to barge in and THEN camming in, the woman actually had the nerve to start propositioning Willy even after he said he was napping with his WIFE, saying she had a crush on him and wanted to see him privately. When I put in a notecard to her estranged husband, he naturally contacted her, and she then contacted me and we had "words". For all her wanting a private meeting with Willy, she spent the conversation with me insulting the daylights out of him.

The saddest thing about the entire affair is how she failed to comprehend that what she'd done was entirely in the wrong. We ended up banning her AND her children from the entire sim, including the factory.

So that leads me to my point. I've been seriously considering renting some land for my ship and studio, not because I'm ungrateful to Nikitta for allowing me to live there, but because I've started to build SL-only things again and I don't want to abuse her prim count. I also was feeling more of a need for privacy than I have over the markets and so close to the chocolate factory. However, with the latest development as I detailed above (and the very real chance that it could happen more and more often) it's becoming a concern that we will have to move our mutual home to its own private land. Willy does own a small plot elsewhere, but that's his private, just-him space and I'd never ask him to give that up. That means that I have to be the one to consider renting a plot...and if my two other islands don't start being more profitable, they will go in favor of rental space, here.

Let's face it. We need our own private space and just because the gate appears to be unlocked that doesn't mean that everyone can just barge in.
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