Archive for SL

Second Life ‘s “Cloudy” Future

Posted in Op/Ed, Real Life, RL, SecondLife®, SL® Advertising, SL® Business, SL® Education, SL® Fashion, Virtual Worlds with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2013 by Valiant Westland

2012 – The SL Future That Wasn’t

Before we look forward to what I believe is/should be SL’s “Cloudy” future, we might want to glance back at what 2012 brought us.  As we entered 2012, Linden Lab CEO Rodvik Humble told us we could look forward to:

  • A New Path-finding SystemMesh Avatar
  • Server side performance upgrades and bug fixes
  • More Premium benefits/features and content
  • New tools, like those used to develop Linden Realms
  • Stable tier pricing
  • Additional advanced features (Mesh!?)

Two of the most anticipated upgrades of 2012, Mesh and the new Path-finding System, are still not fully deployed.  I and many others have begun upgrading our inventory with Mesh creations, but the lack of a completed Mesh Deformer as part of the release viewer continues to generate wailing and gnashing of teeth for those with other than model-“perfect” forms.

Redgrave, one of Second Life’s most respected and innovative brands has refused to wait and introduced their own “Liquid Mesh (TM)” solution, that automatically adjusts their Liquid Mesh clothing designs to most avatar shapes.  It remains to be seen whether this bold move will result in a net gain in market share or cause confusion and ultimately frustration, when the lab finally releases built-in deformer technology.

Path-finding is another “almost here,” enhancement that can’t seem to make it to prime time.  The promise of enhanced path-finding is vehicles, BOTs and other objects being able to move more smoothly, including over sim boundaries, with less lag.  The reality for most users, who know nothing of these enhancements, is a strange new symbol and accompanying message appearing in their viewer.

Second Life URL Bar with Pending Changes Icon

Navmesh has pending changes The region has pending changes that have not yet been baked into the navmesh.

My primary SL property is a mainland region that is bisected by a Linden Road.  I have yet to see any path-finding benefits.  The same vintage automated 2005 vehicles continue to bounce and bumble up and down the road, in the same herky jerky manner, typically stalling, sinking sideways or even sling-shotting violently over the SIM border crossing near my home.

Why “Clouds” Matter

Disclaimer:  For those who are not aware, I make my RL living as a Consultant, helping companies develop and implement Technology and Online-media Marketing Plans that align with their strategic business goals.  I always urge my clients to be unabashedly “market-driven” and “surf” the technology waves whenever possible, rather than trying to fight them or create their own.  In 2013, I’ll be publishing a book on “Technology Planning In/For The Cloud.”

Cloud PartyWhile Linden Lab was busy trying to roll out in-world enhancements like Mesh, obviously designed to boost its revenues, through upgrade and new item sales revenues, the greater (Real) and virtual worlds continued their headlong flight to cloud-based computing.  In the Virtual World space, two cloud computing-based offerings, Kitely and Cloud Party saw significant user growth.  Many SL developers are eagerly porting content, in the hopes of establishing themselves as brand/solution leaders on these new cloud-based platforms.

Meanwhile the Google Apps cloud-based office productivity suite and Google Drive continue to steal market share from Microsoft’s venerable Office solution offerings, despite Microsoft offering their own cloud-based Office 365 solution.  There has been an explosion of Smart Phone and Tablet use.  In fact, tablets are now out-seLumiya Viewerlling laptops!  Unfortunately, with the exception of a couple of txt-only clients and one limited graphical viewer for Android devices called Lumiya, there is no way to access Second Life or even my.secondlife.com, from a Linden Lab official Smart Phone or Tablet client.

Although Linden Lab dabbled with a browser-based client over a year ago, there is no official timeline for the release of a full-featured cloud-based offering that I’m aware of.  Worse still, the primary user experiences in SL are still tied to antiquated 1960’s-era plain text NoteCards and graphics formats that 99% of the world doesn’t use!

Now Is NOT Time To Listen To Your Mother!
(Translation:  Get Your Head In The Clouds!)

If Second Life is going to survive, I believe they must aggressively move towards cloud-based offerings.  The longer the Lab waits to make their move to the cloud, the more regions, developers and regular users they will see opting for other platforms.

A 2013 Wish List For LL/SL

What follows is my personal 2013 wish list of SL enhancements, that I believe would go a long way towards slowing or even reversing SL’s slow downward spiral into irrelevance and make a majority of SL users happier and more productive! (Listed in no particular order)

  1. Deploy SL in a current-content-compatible cloud-based platform, similar to Kitely’s, with a pay-as-you-go option.
  2. Give us TRUE, persistent, Universal Status Indicator, that appears next to each persons name.  Allow status to be set prior to login!
  3. Consolidate login, account maintenance and inventory among “Alt”ernate accounts.
  4. Bring back user selectable Last Names!
  5. Provide automatic synchronization & watermarking of Pictures/Textures with users choice of Picasa, Flickr, etc.
  6. Replace the antiquated NoteCard system with integrated Google Docs / Drive functionality
  7. Upgrade My my.secondlife.com so that it’s mobile friendly and supports bi-directional web<>in-world messaging!
    Better yet, how about replacing the messaging engine with Google Chat!
  8. Deploy a C# application development/scripting environment and enhanced APIs for bi-directional object/data manipulation

Last but not least…   Please consider creating a true Reseller/Partner Network for the next generation of Second Life.  I continue to believe there are thousands of small businesses, franchises and vertical markets that could benefit from Virtual World solutions.  This market can ONLY be effectively tapped, if resellers have a S.M.A.R.T. annuity revenue incentive, support structure and marketing that originates with Linden Lab!

To all my Virtual Friends, Business Associates and Clients, whether still in SL or not, I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Response To MetaReality’s – No One’s Driving This Ship PodCast

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by Valiant Westland

Proactive Communication, Collaboration and Effective Leadership Are Key!

Let me start by saying I agree 100% with Draxtor’s call for an “Adult” approach to the future of Virtual Worlds and specifically Second Life. It’s a huge challenge though, as these spaces are populated with a vocal group of people who tend towards emotionalism, rather than reason and feel strongly that whatever they “believe” has more weight and validity than any facts that may exist.

I also agree that Second Life has been horribly undersold. This ties into the first topic, as anyone who would otherwise consider doing business in Second Life, is put off by all of the whining, griping and constant predictions of doom & gloom.

Esbee’s and Charlar’s departure will remain a puzzle, without a clear road map by the Lap regarding their future product strategy. People leave companies every day, due to changes in the market and the company’s needs.

Proactive, positive communication is the key to this and most of LL’s other challenges. Whether or not SL is “dying,” LL pulling back from reporting SL Stats sends the wrong message to the user community. If things are bad, let’s hear some inspiring communication about how we can ALL make things better. If things are good, let’s hear more about the wonders and successes in-world and what LL is going to do to facilitate future opportunity and success for everyone!

As pro Second Life & Virtual Worlds as I am, I share the opinion that neither the platform nor the community are ready for a huge influx of people. One of these “not ready for prime time” issues is certainly user names.

Rod Humble’s Decision on Last Names is frankly, puzzling. In my opinion, the BEST thing that could happen would be for LL to assign each verified user with a “permanent” account number and allow people to choose BOTH a First AND Last Names. If people want to share a last name with someone else, let them voluntarily choose the same last name! If someone wants to be called “DufusIAm Stupid,” let them.

Relating to user accounts, what I WANT to see is shared user accounts, where machine ID’s / MAC Addresses are used to uniquely identify users and multiple “Alts” can share inventory. I believe this would be something that would be a tremendous improvement for both uses and vendors. I would like to see this discussed in an upcoming segment of Metareality.

Second Life truly is a beautifully chaotic world. However, as someone who is a Master Citizen Planner, Charrette Planner/Facilitator and two term Elected Official, and has 20+ years of IT planning experience, I have seen first hand the benefits of effective strategic planning, zoning and communication. My experience has taught me that almost every challenge, that is not engaged proactively, with community-driven citizen and stakeholder participation, ends up costing far more money/time than it should have!

JellyBean vs. SL Hunts

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , on September 21, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥

This is an Op/Ed which means that this is my opinion, and yes, it’s open for debatical.

🙂

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who gets annoyed, frustrated, angered, bothered, disturbed, irked, provoked, and troubled by certain SL crap. The latest? SL Hunts!

I am not a huge fan of hunts. I do remember I participated in my first one a few years back & I thought it was fun. However lately it seems there’s 10 hunts going at any given time now in SL. At what point do we say “Enough is enough!” either as designers or hunters?

Hunters will bitch about the hunts stating that the freebie items they receive are craptastic, and/or that they only kept 5 out of 100 items out of the last hunt that they felt were worthy of remaining in their already bloated inventory. They bitch about it being a waste of time comparative to what they actually “got” out of the hunt.

Designers will also bitch that they have spent x amount of time on this hunt, are getting ready for the next hunt, people not appreciating the time put in, or the items.

With both sides bitching, why are there still hunts popping up on a daily basis? Is it because there are more people not bitching that make hunts still worthwhile?

Growing up I was taught, as many others have been, that the less you have the more you are able to appreciate. I feel this may be the same type of deal with hunts. There are just so many now that any sense of appreciation has flown out the window.

One can argue that these hunts give exposure to new upcoming designers, and I’m all for supporting new designers. I think a lot of newer content creators get discouraged & give up before tapping into their full potential… but I’m not sure hunts are the best way for such exposure. Especially when the hunts get “cherry picked.” Every hunt I’ve participated in lately has in one form or another had a “cheat” list attached to it letting you know exactly where to find each item via a notecard or a blog post complete with SLURLs. Cheat lists & word of mouth are perfect for anyone willing to cherry pick a hunt to acquire those worthy items without sifting thru tons of crap. So just as hunts have become as common as lag, so have the cherry pickers. This seems counter productive to the New Designer Exposure argument unless the “new” designer is busting out some kick ass stuff.

Also, what happened to the “exclusive” hunt items? That was one of my motivators, and probably remains one of the biggest motivators out there for reasons to participate as hunters. If I’m not able to just stroll into the store & buy this “must have” item and it is only offered up in a hunt – I will cherry pick that like nobody’s business. I guess this question is for the designers. I wonder if there are just so many hunts now that it’s just become too hard to keep up with an exclusive item for each hunt, keeping up with regular store releases & still finding time to not go crazy from it all?

I have no solution to all this madness but I do think that too much is really too much. You can’t honestly think that anyone will appreciate cotton candy if they’re on a cotton candy diet and you can’t honestly expect the cotton candy makers to step it up if they’re not appreciated. From where I stand I don’t see much of a win-win sitch here. I do feel it’s a great topic to debate though.

What do you think? Hunter perspective vs. Designer perspective.

Have you had enough of the SL Hunts?

-JellyBean Madison-

Art of Machinima – Part 2 – Getting Started

Posted in How To with tags , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by hawksrock

So in my last post I covered the basics of some starter software to give the foundation you need to film machinima.   Now that you have your software it is time to start filming!   Obviously you will want to play around with some different shots before you take on a big budget epic production.   The easiest thing to film and make look romantic is a scripted couples dance.   Basically you find one good angle, some nice lighting, and then just let the camera roll.   Slap an audio track in during editing, and voila you just scored you first machinima and some brownie points with your significant other.

But before you begin there are a few commands that you need to know to hide the UI and your huds from showing in the shot.   The first command is to hold down Ctrl-alt-F1 at the same time which will hide the UI (user interface).  This way you will not see any chat, or the menu bars at the top and bottom of the screen.   The second useful command is Shift-alt-H which will hide any huds you are wearing.   For both of these commands you simply press them again to reverse it and turn them back on.   Everything still operates the same way, but now you see a full screen view of SL without any things in the way which will detract from the film.   Along with the basic camera controls you will want to perfect the art of holding down Ctrl-alt-shift while moving the mouse to be able to pan the camera in either a vertical or horizontal direction.   Just those three simple tips, will move your machinima from noob to intermediate level.

There are some definite pros and cons to filming machinima in SL.   The big pros are that you have access to the most fantastic settings for your backdrops.   There are amazing new sims and builds out there every day, with any type of setting you can think of.  The biggest con is trying to get your avatar to do what you want it to do.   Unless you are a grade-A animator, know a grade-A animator, or else are willing to pay lots of L’s for custom animations it is very difficult to get the avatars to “act” in the way you need them to for a scene.   Even basic facial emotions can make or break a scene, and you are limited to the strength of your mood hud.   I also recommend you find a partner in crime for filming.   It is almost impossible to film yourself walking, driving, or doing just about anything and make it look worth a crap.   One option is to log in an alt to film yourself doing basic actions, but unless you are on two computers you are going to severely impact your FPS rates.   The best option is to go into it like Jell and I do where you take turns filming scenes, or angles to try to get the right footage to work with.  Just make sure you are using the same windlight settings!   🙂

I think that with this much info you are ready to go give it a go.   The main thing is to just keep it fun.   I try to balance making a really good machinima with keeping it light and fun and not agonizing over every shot or the editing process too much.   If we can bang something out in two days, that is usually just about right which allows for one day of setting up and filming.   One day to edit, and reshoot anything that we need to.

With that I am going to debut for you our latest machinima project – Want.   I came across the audio track first which is Want  by Recoil, and it inspired me to throw this together.   I hope you enjoy it.

I was just made aware of another great resource from the Rev’s very own Luth Brodie which can be found here.

Art of Machinima – Part 1 – Technical Software

Posted in How To with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by hawksrock

I am no expert at making machinima, but after having collaborated with JellyBean Madison on over 30 machinima videos during a two year period, I do feel competent enough to at least put together a little advice for some of the up and comers who think they might like to try their luck directing their own machinima feature in SecondLife.   I think that the method of machinima can be divided into two segments:  technical and artistic.  This post is going to focus on the technical software requirements.

I am going to start by sharing the very first video I ever set up, filmed and edited in SL, which was done in November of 2007.   I remember being shocked when Sine Wave contacted me about wanting to use it on their website, and they also sent it on to a lot of the dancers which they recruited to do Mo-Cap for them as an example of what they were trying to accomplish.  I filmed this the first month that windlight became accessible so everybody was still ooo’ing and awww’ing over the sky and water.

My intention is to take you through my own personal evolution as a maker of machinima by showing some of our work over the last couple of years.   You can see from this first one I was still enamored with transitions and glowy fonts…   :p

In order to film basic machinima, you need the following three software components:

  1. A video capture program
  2. An audio editor
  3. A movie editor

So let’s start with the video capture program.   Jell and I both use Fraps.  Fraps is available for purchase at the price of $37 USD.   Luckily, it is the only purchase you have to make to be able to do machinima.   If you want to just practice with fraps, and not pay for it, then there is a free version you can use, but it will include a watermark over your film that reads http://www.fraps.com at the bottom.   Basically what fraps does is it records everything it sees on your screen from the point in time you hit record (F9), until you tell it stop (F9).   There a few basic settings that you want to check before you start recording.   First of all, make sure that the “No cursor” button is clicked, or else your mouse pointer will show up on your vid.   Secondly, I always make sure the record sound button is off because we typically set our videos to either a song or a backing track.   One cool feature of fraps is that you can turn the record sound button on, and then you will hear any audio that plays through your speakers when reviewing your playback.   This means you can use fraps to record SL voice if you want to do interviews, or create some sort of tutorial program.   There are other video capture programs available which allow you to create a box on your screen of exactly what video you want to capture, or that do some basic editing and effects while you are recording.   In my estimation, for the cheap price and ease of use, fraps is all you need.

Secondly, you are going to need an audio editor.   Technically you can get by without an audio editor, and just layer in a full length song, or not have any audio in your vid, but I think over time if you do machinima then you are going to want an audio editor.   I recommend using Audacity.  It is a free editor, that lets you easily trim music down, or add multiple tracks of audio.   You can record voice, and layer it against the audio all in a very simple to use format.   Most video editing programs, only allow one audio track to be layered against the video.   This means that if you want to combine music, dialogue, and any sound effects then you need to layer it together in Audacity, and then it will blend it into one track which can be input into your video editor.  There was one battle scene in Tank Girl we filmed where I had 15 layers of audio going at once, because every gun retort, reload, explosion, and breaking glass were all layered in against the backing music track.   I really can’t brag enough about Audacity for basic audio layering.

Third, and perhaps most importantly is that you need a video editor.   My personal favorite is Edit Studio 6.   However, there are numerous options out there, and I am not sure this one is necessarily the best, but it is the one I am most comfortable using.   Luckily for you, there is a fairly robust video editor provided free with modern versions of Windows called Windows Movie Maker.   Your editor is where all the magic happens.   It is where you end up taking a lot of video footage and weeding out the slow or weaker shots, to get at the kernels that make up the story line.  In the editor you arrange the clips in the order you want to see them, you work on timing the audio and visual together, and voila… you have your first machinima production!

This segment concludes the overview of some basic software requirements that you need, and in the next installment, I am going to cover the basics of camera movement, lighting, export settings, and other information that you need on the technical side of filming machinima.   Then I will follow that up with a post which gets more into the artistic side of thinking through a storyline, and selecting elements, etc.

Not your Mother’s CNN

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , on August 4, 2009 by hawksrock

Okay people, I got news for you.   We are not CNN, hell we aren’t even FOX, we might sorta aspire to a Daily Show sorta level, but even that might be a stretch.   Some of the recent action in the comments section regarding the standards of journalistic integrity that the Rev must aspire towards to knock off New World Notes as the next news source were sorta like…. ummmmm  WHAT??    It did get me to thinking about some things though, which is often dangerous…

Most specifically I have been thinking a bit about blogging ethics (if there is such a thing.)   Let me start though with a general declaration which I hope that everyone has figured out about the Rev.   We have very stringent hiring requirements to join this blog.   It takes a unanimous positive vote from JellyBean Madison, Rosie Shark, and myself to get someone onto this blog (although I have the rep for being the most picky).   The criteria we look for are the following:  strong eloquent writing style, someone who is willing to voice opinions about issues, and that they compliment our current mix of people/personalities.  Once on the blog, they are free to write on any topic – any way they see fit.   We don’t always agree with each other, or with the topics, but overall I am super excited about what our writers have done on the blog.   We are still not a year old, but we are growing by leaps and bounds.  We do not enforce any set of rules, we do not have an editing step in the equation, and the writers are free to go for it.   In other words, if I speak to a personal set of ethics it reflects my own perspective and is not a guideline for this blog in general.

So with no further ado, here are Hawk’s general guidelines for blogging:

1)  Bloggers blog  –   Well duh, right?   What I mean by this is that if I come across an issue with a virtual retailer, or a person, or something specific, then I am going to blog about it.   I have a commitment to post every two weeks for the Rev, and I am always on the look out for material.   If I find myself embroiled in something, then it is likely going to show up in a blog format.   A blogger shares the good, the bad, and sometimes the fugly with YOU who are reading this right now.   Nonbloggers who come back with, “why didn’t you just handle that one on one and mute/ban/complain to the person”, don’t understand the blogging mentality of someone who is always looking for something to write about.  I need material people, if I didn’t write about situations in my life, I would end up with a blog that looks like this.

2)  Drama sells – If you believe in a free market economy approach to life, then you would be blogging drama 24/7 because a blog post with controversy attached to it will get triple the hits of a best of SL piece hands down any day of the week.   As a blogger who likes to see traffic increase, you are naturally incentivized to be on the lookout for something a little edgier and controversial to post about because you know you will get action on it.   Personally, I crave feedback as a blogger.   I get the best feedback from humor pieces and things that stir the pot.   Therefore, I am incentivized by YOU the readers to move in that direction.  All that being said though, I would say that I write probably 1 drama piece out of 20 – although ironically those are the ones people remember.

3)  Honesty above all else – I have zero tolerance for someone who makes up an issue, or alters the facts in some way shape or form.   Your post cannot have incorrect facts or falsified information. You have to believe in what you write.   As the author of a post, you need to believe heart and soul in what you publish.

4)  Confidentiality – I personally would never publish a personal chat log with someone, especially if the information was given to me with the expectation it would be kept private and confidential.   It might help you with research for a post, or point you in the right direction, but I do not think it should be shared publicly.    I have no issue with taking public information that is represented on the web (including plurk) and using that in a post.   There is a big difference between something sent only to me, verses something that is out there for the masses.

5) Naming names – If the basis of a post revolves specifically around certain individuals or an event, then I have no issue with naming the people or the event.   I think it gives context to the post.   From experience though, I am learning that by naming names you actually can lose the readers comprehension of the issue at hand because of the inevitable backlash of the person’s friends.   People get caught up in all the hooplah of the fact you named a name, and totally forget WHY you named the person in the first place.  Ironically if you take Cat’s approach and speak to the question in a general sense then you end up with people clamoring for the name in both public and private.

6) Unedited feedback – I do not support censorship in any way shape or form, including the rights of people to respond to your post.   If people have a differing view, then by all means share it!   In fact, one of my personal goals for this blog is to engage the readership to participate via commenting.   If you agree or disagree with the author, then share your response, and we will NOT edit you.  In fact, if you look at the sidebar one of the first things we put up there was the open invitation to someone to write a formal rebuttal or post on a topic that they feel strongly about, and we will publish it for you (assuming it is written in an eloquent engaging manner.)

In conclusion, blogging is for fun just like so many of the other pursuits we do in Second Life.   We are living a more public life, than other people who prefer to just keep to themselves.   We share a large part of our experiences with each of you who come back to read our blogs on a consistant basis.   We all blog for different reasons, but I have shared many of the guidelines that shape the posts that I write.   At the end of the day, I hope that I connect with you the reader in a way that makes you think and that you can see my perspective that shapes the words on the page.

The Best & the Worst of SecondLife…

Posted in SecondLife® with tags , , , , on July 21, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥
Windlight

1. Windlight

I was thinking last night before I went to bed pissy with the sound of cloppity clinkity prim boots this girl was annoying me with, that my Rez Day is coming up. Woah! The big 5 years of SLife. What better way to reflect on my SLifetime than poll plurk for the Best & Worst SL additions over the years.

We all know that even though we rarely give credit to the Lindens, that LL does improve upon itself with the help of it’s most talented residents. We’ve seen numerous improvements over the years & even if you’re still a nooblet, thank a Linden or a content creator for being born into such a wonderfully advanced world as opposed to what it was 5 years ago.

Let’s start with the Best First in no particular date order of introduction.

1. Windlight (pictured above) –  In May of 2007  LL released the Second Life WindLight First Look viewer containing brand-new atmospheric rendering with killer skies and kickass environments. The world became a prettier place for everyone with a fairly decent graphics card. No longer did we feel we lived in a flat world with flat colors, we now had personally controlled atmosphere to play with. Pictures became art & romantic dates became even more dreamy.

2. Voice

2. Voice

2. Voice – Also in March of 2007, the new voice feature inside Second Life was ready for open beta testing! It was rough in the beginning, especially for me (Anyone remmy my “No Bean Left Behind” campaign? Prob not, that’s ok). We all learned the affect voice has had on our perception of others and had our share of annoying experiences & growing pains but after 2 years, could you imagine SLife without it?

3. Flexi Prims

3. Flexi Prims

3. Flexi Prims – In May of 2006, we saw the introduction of flexi prims. Again there were some growing pains, but it wasn’t too long before SL’s top designers were manipulating them into submission & creating some of the best fashion & builds that SL had ever seen. Our skirts started to flow, as did our hair and jewelry began to really dangle.

4. Sculpted Prims

4. Sculpted Prims

4. Sculpties – 2007 saw a lot of additions, as well as the Sculpted Prim… created externally using a 3D modeling tool such as Blender, Maya, or Wings 3D, and then uploaded to Second Life, where they are applied to a prim with the build tools. With the new prims, we saw awesome builds from prefabs using less primmage, art sculptures that take your breath away, and of course the all mighty sculptie shoes & hair. However did we manage to look even remotely presentable without them?

5. Havok™4

5. Havok™4

5. Havok™4 (Second Life Simulator v1.20.0.83683) – In March of 2008 the new simulator known as Havok was being dubbed as the “more Stable Second Life Simulator (Tastes Great, Less Crashing)”. The release was the result of the Havok™4 project, a project that updated the physics engine used to determine all movement of objects in Second Life. I’m not exactly sure how awesome it was/is but the more technical of people seem to like it.

As always people will find something they hate even with the many things that they love. LL will always be to blame because after all how dare they create this virtual world for you to play in & not keep complete stability and no lag while you are there gracing it with your pixels, right?

I now present you with some of the Worst of SL additions, not all completely LL’s fault:

1. Clickity Shoes

1. Clickity Shoes

1. Clickity Shoes – This has got to be the most annoying, IMHO, addition to SL ever. Sadly the clickity cloppity prim shoe was introduced around the same time as voice. Talk about being forced to let your ears bleed as well as grinding your teeth down to bits as you hear these babies walk by you in a store while voicing it up with your best friend. Like I said yesterday… Nothing in SL has ever caused me to cringe in RL like the sound of these freaking annoying ass shoes!

2. Talking Tummies

2. Talking Tummies

2. Talking Tummies – I know a lot has been said on this subject from those who have/had/ are in favor of the whole SL pregnancy gig to those like me that hate hearing them. To quote one of my posts from MGG2SL on the subject… “So like I was at Tringo yesterday & I hear a tummy talk. No problem, I muted it. Bleh, but then the “vitamin” she took spoke. So I muted that too. How much shit must I mute?! My mute list is full of talking tummies, babies, etc.” That was back in April of 2007 and the shit has just gotten more & more advanced over the last two years.

3. Bling

3. Bling

3. Bling – Bling has been around for as long as I have. You know those fashion trends that you really wish would die a quick death? This is definitely one of them on my top 3 list right above babydoll shirts. Jewelry and attachments scripted, particle based shimmering “bling” effects that are suppose to do what? Make you look rich? Give you some type of virtual status? I’m not sure but just as quickly as nooblets could snatch up the “shiny shiny”, we came up with the term “Blingtards”.

4. Free Accounts

4. Free Accounts

4. Free Accounts – In September of 2005 LL opened up a can of worms with “FREE Membership Accounts.” LL said, “because free membership will likely prompt a significant number of people to join Second Life, revenue from virtual land the new members buy will probably make up for the loss of subscription fees.” Four years later & we see more cobybots, more kids, alts and more camping bots. Good call there LL.

5. Zindra

5. Zindra

5. Adult Continent  Zindra – As it became clear that some Residents are interested in pursuing certain “Adult” activities in Second Life that others would rather not casually encounter, the brainchild of LL… Zindra came to be. The SecondLife Adult Continent. My issue with this is that at the same time rumors of  LL to keep the Teen Grid running or close it down are circling as well as complaints of Teen Grid regions showing up on the main grid sporadically reported to the Jira. There has to be a better way to police the logins for adults & those who want adult content on their land or around their common haunts shouldn’t feel herded to Zindra.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a Top 5 Best & Worst of SL? If yours differ, how did you make up your lists?