The Atlantic’s Leslie Jamison Looks At Second Life and Virtual Living

Mitsumi Town Tokyo

Back in June I asked Leslie Jamison what her Second Life article for The Atlantic would be about, Leslie replied; “The piece is focused on why SL is meaningful to particular residents, as well as the kinds of relationships & community it makes possible.”

The article; The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future, was published on November 10th and certainly highlights why SL is meaningful to particular residents, as well as the kinds of relationship & community it makes possible, the article also goes much further, deeper and beyond Second Life into the concept of living online.

The article is long (although there’s a soundcloud recording on the article page if you would prefer to listen), beautifully written, honest, written for an intended audience who may not be familiar with Second Life and exemplifies the type of journalism I admire greatly because it allows Second Life residents the opportunity to voice why they enjoy or embrace Second Life.

New World Notes Land

The article has largely received positive feedback but is not without its critics, as can be exemplified by the comments of show 162: war of the social worlds, The Drax Files Radio Hour (with Jo Yardley). The critical comments avoid being abusive, which is both welcome and constructive.

The article features a number of interviews with Second Life residents and I’m particularly pleased to see Gentle Heron, of the excellent Virtual Ability Inc. featured because accessibility is such an important subject that doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it warrants.

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Second Life Destination Guide Highlights Diversity and History

Black History Museum Entrance

This week’s Highlights From The Second Life Destination Guide features the usual mix of art, fun and adventure and it also includes diversity and history. I’m going to take a brief look at some of those destinations, starting with the Virtual Black History Museum.

The blurb from the Destination Guide informs us :

The Virtual Black History Museum is an awareness project that takes a look at the timeline of events that led from the first group of slaves in what is now the United States through the brutality of Rodney King in 1992. There will also be scheduled discussions on the current events that the past has led to, as well as the impact of those who have contributed to the growth of the community.

Black History Museum & Cafe

The installment itself was created by Bria Oceanside and features a series of boards inside the hall filled with text and pictures. Some of the imagery and text is shocking, so be warned, but that’s part of history and is definitely very informative and achieves the stated goal of raising awareness.

There’s also a nice outdoor cafe area where you can sit, reflect and engage in discussion with friends regarding the installation if you wish.

Inside Black History Museum

SLURL : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Herald/43/193/122/

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Alexa Linden Announces : New Web User Group Meetings Coming Soon!

Alexa Linden's Barn

I don’t spend much time on the Second Life Forums these days, but they are still a source of good information and friendly discourse … I hope!

Other people do pay more attention and the eagle eyed Inara Pey has noticed an interesting forum post by Alexa Linden – New Web User Group meetings coming soon! :

Starting Friday, Nov 10th we will begin holding Web User Group meetings. The Web User Group meeting is a bi-weekly, public meeting intended for discussion of issues around our Web properties such as Marketplace, Profiles, Place Pages, Search, etc. Grumpity & Alexa Linden are the moderators. Please bring your questions & requests, or just stop by to say “hello”… you could even give us a compliment! Normal schedule will be to meet every other Friday at 2:30PM SLT, and any exceptions will be noted here. Meetings are held inworld at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Denby/73/78/25

These are important topics for discussion.

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Linden Lab Announce Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees Alongside Exciting Improvements

Talking to Chief Elf

Linden Lab have announced Exciting Improvements to SL & Fee Updates to Enable Even More. This is probably going to be received as a good cop bad cop announcement because it involves a rise in the cost of buying Linden Dollars on the LindeX and a rise in cashing out, but the announcement also involves talk of future features and improvements, which will be more welcomed.

First of all the fees, the blog post informs us :

Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows:

  • Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
  • On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.

This isn’t the first time Linden Lab have changed the fee structure for LindeX and credit processing this year, back in June they announced Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees.

There are of course, as Linden Lab point out, many costs involved in ensuring transactions are legal, that money laundering and fraud are prevented, so it’s fair that fees are associated with these transactions.

Linden Lab have given plenty of notice for processing credit fee changes but I feel they could have given a bit more notice regarding changes to fees for buying on the LindeX, maybe I missed a previous announcement on these changes.

In terms of exciting improvements, there look to be plenty and this is something to be very positive about.

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Sansar Make Friends Before Unleashing Fashion

Sansar Jenn's Gang

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, in Sansar that hasn’t been as straight forward as it could have been because people were not easy to identify, but that’s all changing.

Linden Lab yesterday announced – Sansar’s more fun with friends! Find out how with the new Friends Release :

Sansar will auto-update to the Friends Release, and the next time you login you’ll be able to find people you know in Sansar and grow your friends list by simply searching for their Avatar IDs. With the Friends release, it’s also easier to make friends in desktop mode – just click on avatars to see their names and send friend requests.

An important point to note here is that it’s the Avatar ID you can search for, this is an important distinction to make because an Avatar ID is unique and may not be the same as an Avatar Name, which isn’t unique.

Sansar Jenn and Gindipple Face Off

As an example, a search for “Inara Pey” reveals no result, but a search for Inara’s Avatar ID finds, Inara Pey.

Talking of Inara Pey, she has an excellent blog post on this Sansar release : Sansar Friends Release Overview.

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