My 2 Cents

As I type, the blogs, plurk, twitter and everything else SL-related are still a-buzz regarding the third party viewer fiasco. I do not have anything new to add. But since the DDOS incident erupted, one thought has been running through my mind.

If you lie down with dogs, you rise with fleas.

Weekend Dayenu

It would help to know the song “Dayenu” if you want to read this post. *grin* And yes, I know that traditionally each verse of Dayenu is praise for the good thing that happened, not saying what SHOULD have happened, but hey, poetic license. I started and ended properly. For those of you who do NOT know Dayenu, but would like to hear a decent version of it (I cannot believe how many youTube versions there are of which I do NOT approve), I found this one: passover Dayenu I don’t know who they are, but basically they sing it the way *I* do – only the first 3 (of innumerable) verses and they sing it peppy. We do it fast and loud. *grin* So, here while we are still a good 6 months away from the REAL Dayenu, I give you Ahuva’s Weekend Dayenu:

If I’d only broke my diet,
ate bad foods, sat nice and quiet,
If I’d only broke my diet,

daih, dayenu
daih, dayenu
daih, dayenu
dayenu, dayenu!

If I’d only danced and partied
Danced with Sam and waved to Charlie (names changed to protect the innocent… guilty? *grin)
If I’d only dance and partied
Dayenu! (chorus)

If I’d only not slept badly,
tossed and turned, no resting gladly,
if I’d only not slept badly,
Dayenu! (chorus)

If I’d only packed much earlier
not waked up so rushed and surlier
If I’d only packed much earlier
Dayenu! (chorus)

If the van were built much smaller
meant for me not one much taller
If the van were built much smaller
Dayenu! (chorus)

If the weather had been sunny
Lots of music, fast and funny
If the weather had been sunny
Dayenu! (chorus)

If furniture could move by itself
bed, and chair and even bookshelf
If furniture could move by itself
Dayenu! (chorus)

If I’d brought all the stuff with me
not shopped at stuff-store and grocery
If I’d brought all the stuff with me
Dayenu! (chorus)

If I weren’t so compulsive
Had to do all that I could give
If I weren’t so compulsive
Dayenu! (chorus)

Thank Days Inn for clean hotel room
hot shower complete with shampoo
bed at 10, 4 up again
Dayenu! (chorus)

Interstate was dry and empty
me and trucks flew low, so tempting
made it home by rental deadline
Dayenu! (chorus)

Dropped off van, took dip in hot tub
what I needed was a back rub
went to sleep, woke, felt much better
DAYENU! (chorus)

That Which We Call a Rose…

…might actually be Ahuva Heliosense. At least, so I understand from the announcement about Display Names. Everyone and their dog has begun commenting on Display Names, one of the new features unveiled at SLCC 2010. This is indeed one of the topics that has merely confirmed my opinion that I am lazy, that I have limited energy to devote to tracking information, and that I do not need to be an expert on all things. On the other hand, nothing in that previous sentence will stop me from giving MY 2 cents worth.

First, I’m listing a bunch of links. I wish I could publish the group chat. *sigh* No, I like you folks, I wouldn’t do that. But the coding/technical group to which I belong – wow – they went ballistic. There may indeed be just cause. LL claims that Display Names will not change how scripts work. Okay, as much as I give LL the benefit of the doubt, I’ve spent my professional life in software development. I’ll believe that the changes are transparent when I actually run the code myself.

The official announcement from the labs by Jack Linden
Of course Torley has a video
Dusan Writer has thoughts on this as well
Tateru Nino doesn’t seem all that impressed
Ordinal Malaprop sees some good in it

I can’t list anymore. You go and follow the links. It isn’t even the original posts – it’s the torrent of comments on each post.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I believe that corporations can and will be doing business in virtual worlds. It’s not just meetings because of budget economy. I believe that if we write the tools for business applications, working in a virtual world can simplify interfaces, thereby simplifying communication and helping solve the business issues. So when I heard that LL was parking SLE, I was disappointed. I have talked to some very smart people about this, people who know the technical issues. Certainly there are enough people speculating on the business reasons to end SLE. So if LL wants to get back to the residential community, as Gwyneth LLewellyn posts, or if they simply find the business community non-profitable as Prokofy Neva suggests, that is their prerogative.

Here’s my 2 cents. I don’t want to change my name. I don’t want other people using MY name. I even got used to the idea of forced last names. I like subtle indicators and last name was a real clue to the age of an avatar.

Having stated my bias, it seems to me that there are really only two groups of people who need to change their avatar names: the folk who are trying to do RL business in SL and the folk who didn’t understand that they would be stuck with a “strange” name and now regret it. I have read about people in Role Playing sims “needing” to change their names. I’m not quite sure that I understand that. It seems to me, speaking from the depths of my inexperience, that those people should be fine with the floating text provided by group tags. You can change your floating text very easily. So if you need to change your name frequently for role playing, it seems to me that you already have that capability, WITHOUT endangering all the scripts and, forgive me, MY name.

If you signed up with a first name that you now find awkward, I think there should be some process in place to allow you to change it. Yes, that will require effort on the part of LL. But it could be done. There is no reason such a process needs to be speedy (in the sense of immediate – do it NOW) nor does it need to be under user control. (Oh dear, I suspect my developer bias just showed. And *I* am the liaison between the coders and the clients….) /me waves hand imperiously, dismissing that group of users

That leaves the business crowd, the ones who insist that they have to use their REAL names to do business. I should be in that group, I suppose. I am still conflicted on it. Having been “outed” several times in the last year (always with my consent), I will say that it was extremely uncomfortable at first. I attended some conferences held in SL where attendees were asked to float their RL names above their avatars. It was not mandatory, but strongly preferred. I thought about not doing it. Then I looked at my mentor and coworkers and friends who displayed their names. I thought about it and did the same. I think that it’s much like the first time I went out in public in a bikini. Or went out in public wearing a strapless top. I FELT incredibly exposed. But no one else really saw me as exposed. Would that be the Emperor’s New Clothes in reverse? Anyway, I’m wandering.

Since it appears that LL is NOT interested at this time in actively supporting and recruiting the corporations and educational institutes and other business, I don’t see who NEEDS this Display Name feature in SL. My guess is that most of the dev work was already done and they are rolling this feature out to show that they are still alive, still developing, still responding to their client base. I am not sure, however, that their professed target community wants or needs this feature. For most SL drama, I wouldn’t care. SL is made up of many diverse people, all with different priorities. LL is a privately held company that can make whatever business decisions it wishes to make. But I am immersed enough to not be happy at the idea that somehow “my” name may be damaged. “MY” name. You know me as Ahuva Heliosense. *I* know me as Ahuva Heliosense. I don’t want that changed. I don’t want other people being able to be Ahuva Heliosense. I don’t even want people “almost” to be Ahuva Heliosense by displaying “MY” name, even if their unique name is something different.

My solution? LOL. My solution is probably another whole blog and not original. Go create a new, UNIQUE avatar. Link that avatar to your existing avatar with full rights to the inventory. There. Done. You can have whatever name you want as long as it’s not mine. AND you have all your existing inventory from your original avatar. *grin* Hey. I didn’t say I’d thought it out all that carefully, or that it would be easy. Just keep your hands and your display off MY name, okay????

What Happens at SLCC, Stays…

in our hearts. Okay. That is totally corny, I know. But it would be oh so wrong to say that what happened at SLCC, stays at SLCC, despite my goofing around in Plurk and insisting that that IS my story and I’m sticking to it. *grin*

By now everyone else has begun posting about their experiences at SLCC 2010 and most of those bloggers have been far more articulate and to the point than I will be. So don’t expect much in the way of brilliant insights HERE. Certainly Prokofy Neva has what I think is a VERY good description and analysis of what went on. Dale Innis’s description of how it felt and schedule changes and why meeting SL friends in the atomic world is really wonderful, speaks for me as well. Although Dale’s bit about alcohol does NOT apply to me. 🙂 Chestnut Rau mentions the power of how meeting people “in the flesh” so to speak, so very strongly impacts the way we view their avatars and our future relationships. And yeah, she’s right about Philip. *grin* Fleep Tuque posted a slide show! (I’m in it!!!!)

It was great. I had a wonderful time, I’m so glad I went. I am STILL trying to recover from the sleep deprivation. When I first started keeping crazy hours in SL, I was taught that SL REALLY means “Sleep Less”, not whatever other words may or may not be copyrighted. 🙂 So SLCC means Sing, Laugh, Chat Continuously.

So let’s see…. I said I hoped to get renewed if I went. *grin* I suspect that even after I catch up on my sleep, this crazy happy excitement will continue. Philip DID come in person. That was great. Philip had retired before I rezzed. That means that my entire SL experience has occurred during the reign of M. Until the return of Philip. Now I begin to understand the whole mystique that jazzed up everyone when he came back. He is charisma in a human shape. I hope that he can accomplish as substantial tangible success with SL on this go-round as he does with people’s emotions.

It was interesting and useful to hear announcements from the Lab and get feedback immediately from all the different people around me. The buzz after announcements about the teen grid, SLE, mesh, avatar limits, scrum and the rest… wow. Mostly what I realized is how lazy I am and so I am neither sufficiently informed nor experienced to grasp the nuances as quickly as so many others can and did.

I loved meeting/hearing so many of the bloggers I’ve read. Although I spent a good part of my last 2 years at work supporting meetings in virtual worlds, sometimes you simply MUST meet face to face, breathing the same air, not just viewing through a camera.

To my great amazement, my work project that I thought was pretty much over, may indeed still have a little life left. *grin* I have been asked to forward the video to some folks. I got an offer of assistance (hardware kind of stuff) from a coworker. I think that maybe I listened to the wrong presentations. Or maybe I need to go back and view the videos of sessions I missed. I was following the Opensource and Business tracks. At lunch on Sunday, 3 younger folk sat down and talked about their work in education. I think that they had a lot of information and attitude that would have helped and might still help me as I attempt to develop tools for use in virtual worlds.

Meeting my existing friends, making new friends….. aw c’mon folks. You all know how wonderful that is. What more can I say? I met so many people that I’d never have met in my normal SL travels. I have new names in my friends list. And wonderful glowing memories of good times. Sitting about chatting, dancing to music, listening to the talks, laughing and being silly, giving myself over to being only Ahuva and not worrying too much about atomic world issues for a bit. I loved dressing up (or maybe my mother would think I was dressing down, I’m not sure…..) I LOVED finding and wearing Ahuva shoes. OMG – I LOVED dancing. And don’t forget: what happened at SLCC, STAYS at SLCC. *grin* There is one of you, oh person who walks the halls late at night and hears things like “you never saw us and we never saw you”, who seems to be trying to defy that edict!!! *ROFL*

My thanks to all of you who humored me and partied with me and talked seriously with me. It was grand to be among hundreds of people who also believe in and love SL.

SLCC 2010

I’m heading to Boston this weekend for SLCC. I’ve swung back and forth from great excitement to “why am I bothering?”. My dear friend Chestnut is worrying about meeting SL friends in our atomic form. *grin* Ah, sweetie – you are beautiful, inside and out. If you wore a paperbag over your head – your beauty shines through. We love you. It will be okay. I promise.

I was extremely excited about going from a professional point of view. I hoped to meet folks with whom I shared the interest and passion for building and developing in virtual worlds. I’m still looking forward to meeting those people, but that does not appear to be the career path down which my feet will be walking. Maybe those folk will rekindle my enjoyment of building. Unfortunately I let that slip to the side as I focused on other avenues.

I was extremely excited about meeting Philip Linden. I am disappointed that he won’t be there in person, but I am so glad that he has the sense to make his family a priority. That increases my respect for him. I was already impressed by him from his talk the other day. Again – I was hoping that meeting him would fan my faded enthusiasm for things virtual.

I was also somewhat reluctant to tie my virtual self to my physical reality. I’m not sure why. I only once met someone in SL who scared me. Someone who I thought might stalk me, harm me, wish me ill. Considering all of the people I have met in just over 2 years, that’s not a bad percentage. I have offered to meet so many SL friends for real. I HAVE met SL friends for real. Yes, the first time I did that WAS scary. But you know what? It was wonderful. We were still us. *grin* We were in RL as we were in SL. It was grand.

So now the clock is ticking. The day is approaching. And I find that I am becoming more and more excited. (LOL – this is probably a case of cognitive dissonance, but hey, what the heck. It’s working FOR me.)

I am VERY excited about seeing my friends, meeting new friends. I have come to realize that, for the most part, I am in SL for the social networking. I suspect that is a very déclassé admission. I loved Dusan Writer’s post about the dots on the grid. Unless I am at a music event or a friend has dropped in (or I am on a Midnight Mania board run), I tend to come inworld, make myself comfy in my sky box, and chat. One lone green dot who is not alone.

I am looking forward to meeting Dusan Writer and hearing him speak. I’m looking forward to hearing many of the other presenters as well. There is a difference between hearing and seeing someone speak and merely hearing them.

This last will come as no surprise to those of you who know me. I can’t wait to party with everyone. *grin* I am looking forward to the avatar ball Saturday night, when we can let out all our SL’ness. Okay, maybe let out a LOT of our SLness, not all of it. *grin* I have had my few weeks of introverted respite. I am ready to don my extroverted self, my Ahuva kick-butt shoes, and dance the night away.

Can’t wait to see you there!