Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Furry Fashion Clubs

It's the week of Mardi Gras. But you don't have to go to New Orleans to party. You can head on over to the Sunweaver and Angel clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: "Best in H," TBA, TBA

Happy Vixen: Flight, Best in Sexy, Girls Night Out, Barely There, CAYA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Las Vegas, Monochrome, Noob Night, Synth/Vaporware. Food, Horns and Hooves, Black, Nature/Green, Pokemon, Old School, Faerie Tales

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Number of Second Life Users Down to 800,000, But ...

Earlier this month, Backchannel Magazine wrote about the Creations for Parkinsons area, a article that Barbie Alchemi mentioned in a press release. The article gave it's population, or user base, estimated to be at 1.1 million in 2006. In 2013, Linden Lab claimed an active user base of one million. And today, Backchannel stated "An estimated 800,000 users are active on a monthly basis," saying they were told by Linden Lab. While there are a total of almost 50 million accounts according to Daniel Voyager's Second Life Statistic's page, it's not clear how many are alt accounts.

Eight hundred thousand seems small compared to Facebook, which Backchannel stated as having close to two billion users. World of Warcraft, which came around about the same time as Second Life has sometimes been used as a comparison as to how virtual reality hadn't quite caught on the same way as massive multiplayer online games, boasted a total of 100 million accounts (in 2014) with up to over 12 million active players. But it didn't last, and it's numbers of active players dropped to 5.5 million in late 2015 when it's owners announced they would no longer be publishing reports of active numbers. It's probably safe to assume it's dropped further.

Hamlet Au suggested recently in New World Notes that this lower number of active users may not be what it seems at first. Talking with Peter Gray (Pete Linden), he was told, "We've made a number of optimizations to our user acquisition efforts to get more qualified traffic ... As a result, though the total number of monthly actives has come down, the number of paying SL users has held steady."

In layman's terms, Pete Linden says the Lab has changed their advertising to get people more likely to stay and spend time and money in Second Life. Hamlet went on to say he's felt it's more active users numbered closer to 600,000 for some years, "So most likely, dropping from 1,000,000 to 800,000 reported users isn't so much a loss of actual people as a trimming of marketing fluff."

What do you the readers think? Have you noticed fewer people coming in, or has the number of those people leaving been replaced by new users coming in?

Sourcres: Blackchannel, Daniel Voyager, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, February 27, 2017

Mardi Gras at Jade Isle

"Fat Tuesday" is almost here. One place where you can have a little Mardi Gras fun New Orleans style is Jade Isle. Designed and built by Frannydj Dean, there are a number of things to see and do here. Gemma Cleanslate went there, and wrote about what she saw.

Read Gemma's story in Places.

Cerridwen's Cauldron: Preview

The Second Life Newser recently heard about a place called "Cerridwen's Cauldron." Owned by Elicio Ember, the man is a first class designer, and has put up most of what he's made up for sale. Recent events, however, have given Elico a sense of urgency as his father has suffered a stroke, and he needs money to make sure he gets better.

One of the Newser reporters is currently writing a review about the sim. In the mean time, one can head there and buy something to support its owner.


Source: Prim Perfect 

SL14B Sims Online

It was just a few days ago in which the theme for the Second Life Fourteenth Birthday celebrations were announced: "Carnivalesque." Over the weekend, a peek at the map revealed 18 sims set up for the event later this year in June.

The letters and numbers carved in the land and water on the west are an interesting contrast to the orange and blue of last year's preview map. Last year, applications for exhibitors and volunteers weren't open until mid-April, though this year the applications for infrastructure builders are already being accepted.

The Newser will continue to keep you the readers in touch about updates of the SL14B as they come.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week At The Seanchai Libraries

**MONDAY, February 27th, at 7 pm: Crucible Of Time Continues with Gyro Muggins

**TUESDAY, February 28th, at 7 pm: Ray Blount Jr's Save Room For Pie - Begins with Kayden Oconnell

**WEDNESDAY, March 1st at 7 pm:  James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Bedtime Stories  Begins with Faerie Maven-Pralou
**THURSDAY, March 2nd at 7 pm: Stone Age: H.G. Wells, Part 2 with Shandon Loring (also presented in Kitely, and InWorldz)

All stories told in open voice. All times SL/PT



Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at "Hug A Linden" at the Isle of View. For those having trouble reading the nametag, her name really is "Lost Prim." A name like that probably means trips to the sandbox are a little more interesting.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Scenes From "Hug A Linden" and "Dunk A Linden"

On February 14, Linden Lab hosted the "Hug a Linden" and "Dunk a Linden" events. For residents, this was a chance to meet up with the Lindens, either for a friendly hug or a dunk into a water tank. The Newser was there, and got a number of pictures.

See the pictures in Events.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mouse Hole Manor to Come Down

For a few years in the Sunweaver and Angel Estates, Nydia Tungsten and Brandi Streusel's castle home, Mouse Hole Manor in Sunlight Bay, has been one of the most highly recognized structures in the community. The place has served as the setting of weddings, music videos, group meetings, and a hangout for those of her Angels group. But the castle will soon be gone. Nydia told her group that the structure would soon be coming down.

For those whom want to see the castle before it fades away, Nydia's stated anyone who might have left something at the castle has a few more days to claim it. After than, Mouse Hole Manor comes down, and a new more modern structure takes it's place.

SL Video: "Dancing at the Outer Garden in Second Life"

(Click here if the video has trouble playing)

By Strawberry Singh on August 2016, more details on her blog: https://strawberrysingh.com/2016/08/17/dancing-outer-garden/

Friday, February 24, 2017

CADERU 2017 Valentine

Bloodykitty is back from her hiatus and once again writing for the Newser. She recently came across a place called CADERU 2017 Valentine in Clover. The place is a cozy little shopping district where one can buy gachas and discount items.

Read Bloodykitty's story in Places

Second Life From a Newcomer's Perspective

While longtime residents of Second Life usually can remember details about their earliest days, time and experience have a way of dulling memories. Plus things change over time, and newcomers have to deal with things the earlier residents haven't, such as mesh and Bento. On the other hand, they have access to things like the Destination Guide, and of course the Newser, that those here years ago didn't have. So sometimes we need a newcomer's perspective.

Mangrovejane. a self-described "artist ... A creator of Fantastical Things. An explorer of virtualities and a philosopher on the nature of realities,"had only recently heard about Second Life after reading articles about the art there. So she decided to sign up and see what was there herself, documenting the first five days of her journey. Her preconception was that making an avatar and moving about would be easy enough, thinking of "The Sims" and "World of Warcraft." But that wasn't exactly the case. She had been a little worried about perverts trying to trick her, but instead found people willing to help her out. On day three, she found some examples of the virtual art she was searching for. On day four, she came across the IvoryTower of Prims and the Builders Brewery and took a crack at building.

After five days, she felt she had accomplished much, and had found some preconceptions didn't match what she experienced. She had some advice for other newcomers.

After Learning Island, residents are basically on their own. Fortunately, there are places such as Caledon University where newcomers can keep coming back to learn.

Have a goal or goals and a purpose, "Without a goal, you will feel lost and will quickly become bored and despondent."

Not everyone is out to grief or harass you, "Don’t assume everyone in world is creepy and out to get you and grief you. You will not meet one person who treats you badly or even annoys you in this first week. There will be no drama and no griefing. People will be genuinely friendly and are often happy to give you advice, especially if they know you are new."

Don't believe the hype and bad press, "Go in and make your experience about what YOU want. Think about what you like to do, what you might want to do, who you want to be and live that life. Stay away from the 'adult' areas (unless that is where you actually want to be)."

Don't let those who do try to bother you push you around, "if someone is annoying you…just teleport away. Mute them, block them and go somewhere else and do something else…don’t let someone else’s bad attitude ruin YOUR experience."

If your only experience with interacting with others on computers is from games like "World of Warcraft," always remember, "it took me a little while to fully comprehend it…You CANNOT die in world!!!!!!"

You’re gonna be ok. You are going to get frustrated and the learning curve is going to be steep. You will accidentally get naked in public and not know how to get dressed and be so mortified you mention it over and over again. You are going to run into walls and people while you are learning to move around in the world. You will not know where to go or what to do. You are going to freak out the first time you fall from great heights while flying. You are going to doubt your ability to translate your first life art into second life art and you are going to have a hard time talking to people because that’s just you. When it all gets a bit much, just stand up and walk away from the computer. Go outside. Breathe fresh real air and live your first life. Your second life isn’t going anywhere without you.

And lastly, adventurer….Explore, Explore, Explore.
Mangrovejane is still going about Second Life. You can contact her by IM, or send her a message on Facebook.

Hat Tip: AlmostThere Inventor

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Club Cutlass. Zorro Wuramunga was pretty determined to win the "Pink and Red" event the other day. A little too determined perhaps.

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL14B Theme Announced, Infrastructure Build Applications Being Accepted

The Second Life Birthday celebrations aren't for another four months, in June. They don't even have their logo yet. But already preparations are being made for the event.

In group chat of the Second Life Birthday Volunteers Group, Doc Gascoigne (doctor.gascoigne) announced the theme for this year's SLB: "Carnivalesque." Doc went on to say, "and we are thinking of having a masked ball."

On the Second Life Birthday blog, the application for Infrastructure builder, such as the roads, the welcome area, and the various stages, has been posted for those interested to fill out.

We are looking for people who are able and willing to build a sim-wide stage or welcome area for SL14B. The ability to create original content in mesh is required, though additional purchased elements are acceptable. We need the builds to connect to our theme and have to be done before the first week in June.

BEFORE you fill this out, make sure you are familiar with the SL Community Celebration and our build requirements from last year (subject to minor changes) (http://www.slcommunitycelebration.info/infrastructure-build-requirements-for-sl13b/)

If we are interested, we will contact you via email and in-world to set up a time to talk. Please be prepared to provide a sketch of your planned build.

Deadline for sign up is April 1, 2017, 12 pm SLT.

Probably the most noted SLB infrastructure builder has been Mikati Slade, the three-time builder of the "Cake Stage."

Further details will be announced as they come in.

Press Release: Fundraiser At Veterans Isle on Sunday For Homes For Our Troops


Frets Nirvana in Second Life

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce the February 2017 benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life! 

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the February 26, 2017 benefit in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization for Home For Our Troops . 

Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  As of January 2017 they have built 229 homes for severly wounded Veterans and have another 85 projects underway.  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. ”

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on February 26, 2017 is scheduled from 4-9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, Toxie Darkmatter, Paul Nowles, Raven Zenoria and Dirtydee Sweetwater .

ABOUT HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS  - HFOT builds homes as a departure point for Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and return to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness and PTSD. Their incredible stories are the driving force for the work for HFOT.

To learn more about the Homes For Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ranchan Weidman and the Robotech Roleplay

Ranchan Weidman has been mentioned in the Newser before, as the owner of HV community and a supporter of the newsletter from the begining by providing both the office and the land for it, in addition to building it's 2015 Second Life Birthday exhibit. As it turns out, she's also the GM of a sci-fi roleplay, based partially off the "Robotech" anime, which has gone on for about nine years. She recently talked to the Newser about the roleplay, and a little about how it's gone over time.

Read the story in People.

Fran Seranade's 90th Birthday Party

On Saturday February 18, Creations for Parkinsons was the scene of a 90th birthday party for Fran Seranade. The party actually got an early start the night before for a couple hours. But the main event was from 3PM to a bit past 8PM SL time. At one point, there were close to forty people crowded in the CP Swing Ballroom, which unfortunately resulted in me crashing before I could get a good picture. Yours truly would have to wait until later for a clear one without they grays and glitches.

Barbie Alchemi, Fran's daughter, had stated her mother wasn't planning a party in real life. She would just enjoy the event with her friends in Second Life. The theme of the party was 40s sing and big band. And people either dressed in formal outfits, or in clothing that could easily have been of the era. There would be various live performers singing throughout the party, such as Max Kleen, "We had so many great performers here today."

While at the party, I would see the black and white photos of Fran and her family change like a slide show.  "Fran was the 6th of 7 children," Barbie told the crowd, "she was born in Brookly New York in 1927." Other pictures included her and a childhood friend, "they were both very limited sight and were considered blind at that time," and her high school photo, "she was the first in her family to go past elementary school and graduate."

While most of the musicians were experienced performers in virtual reality, one was making his Second Life debut as a singer: Ron Rosa. A singer in the style of the "Rat Pack" yours truly got a couple requests to mention him in the article, saying for a beginner he was too good not to name, " his voice is nuanced and spot on.  I think he is going to really do well when he gets tuned up."

Following Ron, it was time for the party to wind down. And Fran herself was ready to head to bed herself, "Good night everybody! Thank you all for a GREAT night!!!!!!!!"

Creations for Parkinsons raises funds for Team Fox, a Parkinson's charity. During the course of the party, a substantial amount of Lindens were raised.

Creations for Parkinsons has events on a daily basis, sometimes a few to several on a day. The CP Swing ballroom itself has events just about every day.


Bixyl Shuftan

Heartspeaker Lorefield Has Died

Grease Coakes recently heard that Heartspeaker Lorefield, a storyteller of the Spirit Nations sim, had passed away. Grease had interviewed him in March 2012. Grease felt from recent notices in the group, his health hadn't been good lately.

Grease may have some more information about the man in more recent times, and any memorial service planned, in the near future.