Friday, May 30, 2008

Race to an idea

It is an idea, this thing we call race. It is interesting to me that race exists even more obviously as a construction in Second Life than in first life. We choose our race here, except that it chooses us. But what do I mean by race? Something that really the word race does not describe. Race is something that people impute in to others, not something that really is intrinsic to a person.

And it is also that there is an appropriation of the characteristics that people impute as race. How much of anti-social transgressive behavior in Second Life is the appropriation of urban African American culture, and how much of avatarization centers around adopting stances, names, and behaviors that would be called "black" in the outside world. The appropriation of, and at the same time submergence of the actual racial characteristics from the visible avatar is important to me, in that at the same time that one sees few African avatars one sees a great deal of behavior which is, overtly and directly, modeled on urban African American behavior. Second Life has a lot of "pimps and hos" parties and places. It is a white place run by white people acting like their fantasy construction of what blackness is.

Now why is this? Why do people who are economically successful enough decide to act in a model which is less so? I'm going to write on this when I am done with some RL things that are taking up my time, because it is a prevalent issue in escorting, since so much of the direct sex trade is modeled on this lower end of the rl sex industry.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Second Sonnet

Rooms of amber, walls phantom azure bright,
livid limpid pools of fleeting half night,
that drown me in my swimming dolphin wave flight,
to pierce the veil, with second hands and second sight.

First is last somehow now, and real is common,
worship of transhumane and merely mammon.
Flashing particles burst and then cascade,
while spewing up from spinning target blade.

It's night fall glistening in the spinning hours,
and in this half way world the houri gather.
Their skirts rustle and then akimbo sway,
as they would never wear in manifest day.

Gather up the bits and pieces of their lives,
offering ephemeral ecstasy that some how survives.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yedo Kinza for rent

We have an open space sim available as part of the Yedo complex:

here. Rent is 7500L/wk, purchase price of 7499 counts as first week's rent. Full estate manager rights granted, resale allowed. Zoning and covenant restrictions apply, talk to me or Stirling Allen or Susan Usher in world.

In your hands: Rujian or Taoist?

There is the well known stage of being a newbie. Many people learn to get what they want from SL, and happy go along from there. However, for creative people, there is another stage. It exists for everyone, but for creatives it is much more protracted. That is the time when the creative person is simultaneously hit with the power of the platform, but has not yet learned how it should flow in his or her hands. They get frustrated, produce early pieces, and think of things that can't be done. The get a bad case of the "if only this, or that, they I could."

When does a person leave this stage? When they come to one of two conclusions. One is the road of being interested in highly detailed work. There are very large financial rewards, 6 figures even, for being really good at making lots and lots of very detailed things. The faux real rests on being able to do huge volumes of high detail things. The highly detailed artist finds a way to make small variations on their detail, and produce them in a wide range. Most successful designers and commercial builders are detail people. Call these people many things, because some are realists, others create the fantastical. Instead, I think that the best way to think of this kind of artistic work is as confucianists. I use the word "rujians" for my own purposes. A rujian sets a goal, and accumulates changes to reach it as best it can be reached within the present context.

The other road is to flow with the platform. These people are taoists. What can be done with an easy flair is exploited. The taoist spends a great deal of time avoiding spending a great deal of time.

The confucian point of view is a hit or miss proposition. For every success, there are many people who will spend hundreds of hours as failures. The taoists are fewer in number and tend to be even wider in range. A poor taoist produces things that don't even seem to be creative at all, so vast is their failure. But then, so does the master taoist, only in a different way.

When I talk to someone who has reached that point of frustration, it is inevitable that they are conflicted. They want the ease of a taoist artist, with the ability to impose and order like a rujian. This is a contradiction. Imposition is always impressive because it is detailed, because it had to scale a wide gulf of activity, because it takes time and is so placed. Rujians are differentiated by their ability to create and order details in their myriad. The taoist cuts through such difficulties with a blazing stroke, and leaves behind an image or an experience which breaks the older way without seeming to do anything. When you see a taoist work, you realize you could duplicate it in a few hours, now that you have seen how to do it.

Few people are purely one or the other. At the heart of almost ever great rujian work, is a tao-like understanding of how to produce the variations that will be needed, a seem in the fabric which is worked over and over again. The rujian masterpiece is a million taoist steps from shore to the top of the sacred mountain. The taoist, for his or her part, studies details in their thousand, picking this or that one to exploit in a fantastical way. The taoist has done as much work as the rujian in detail, but throw the million ordinary details out, and left behind the single best.

So each artist should learn both rujian and taoist approaches, even if one or the other will be there most common path to art.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greaser and Gayle, Relics indeed

Remember how the Mile High Club sent their drama queens after my encounter? Well Gayle and Greaser, not content to have one dog on their hands, have put up Relic. Same deal as the first one. It's a camping farm with lots of pressure to spend... but not on the girls who get almost none of what you tip them. 100L becomes... 20L in her pocket. If you want to get a dancer who will appreciate you, there are plenty of places to go.

Relic. Same trap, different name.

If you are looking to work, as opposed to camp, then go elsewhere, and if you are a guy looking for something other than a camping farm with an attitude problem, look elsewhere. Sure barbie up an alt and play dumb. But at 40L an hour, obviously the rate of 30L was not enough, you can do better with legitimate dancing...

Another day, another abuser looking to mill sl for money. And people wonder why Second Life is treated as if it were Second Infancy by most of the gaming world.

Yes Greaser Waco and Gayle, I haven't forgotten your wonderful communication and people skills. And no one else should either. Now why is it I could pick your place out from the search list? Maybe because Mile High had dropped into the mire of 20K traffic, and suddenly another most expensive club had popped up.

If you want a premium club, then I would do Jenna, Tryst and Harlots as the current premium experiences, and for cam... Sarah Friedman and Brandy Xeno run the best, with the sort of obnoxious, delivers the real thing being the places for rl web peep.

This has been a public service announcement because I'm not escorting any more and so have zero financial interest in what is going on any more. But really... do people ever learn?

Opus 52 Waldstein performed by Jeremy Denk

I do not know what makes a particular performance of music profound, it is a mystery to me as much as some of the things I do are a mystery to others. It is, because it is what the musician does. The mixture of movements of the hands and body, with the feelings and analysis, to the point where there is a waterfall of expression that we bathe under as listeners, and that emotion, in live performance, reflects back on the musicians.

Jeremy Denk spent some minutes before the concert telling us what music meant as nourishment for the spirit, when the technical difficulties had overwhelmed it in him, and this nourishment of air and light returned him to the state where he could practice and then play the music. Somewhere in the forest of notes there is the music, somewhere in those waving flags there are the notes that must be placed with greater weight.

I recall the first time I went on point and could stay there as long as I liked. I knew that this time was different. There was no tugging this way or that, but instead a single line shot straight from toe through spine and drew up out of the top of my head. I was soaring in place, floating, even through the pressure on my feet. I could feel the compression only at that first moment, and then there was nothing but pure balance. Ever since, I've known that soaring feeling as that moment when the body, mine or another's, had found a pure expression of some pure platonic truth that had been formed in a mind, in a spirit, and then projected outwards.

I wish I knew works well enough to point to here or there and say, "this is the moment when he did that, and that is what made the treble glitter above the rolling crests of the harmony." But alas I do not, and I can only say that that he seemed to toss the melody back and forth between his hands as a juggler might, by slight of skill make two hands suffice for five balls. The depth below reverberated in its turns of the melody as the stars above in the treble in their turn. I watched a whole night go by in minutes, as a night goes by in an hour in Second Life.

The final sprint was the rushing soaring moment again, his hands floating someplace between air and ivory, and then the light turned to a darkness, a crying for some land forgotten, before, in the next instant, paradise and youth regained, and his fingers flew as the feet of a small child in an open park, kite trailing behind fly. They seem every moment to be about to trip one over another, and then landing precisely right.

Denk tells us that a poem is a machine made out of the world, if only the keys on the piano moved, as they could have, so that the second life machine could be as polished as this pianism was.

Pianist in Second Life

Jeremey Denk broadcasts live from WGBH. And will be in second life at their in world location.

Sickness of Spirit

We all bitch about the technical problems. And I say bitch in the way I understand men in business use the term, a beast of burden, a slave, a person who must put up with abuse beyond reason just because they have to. Once upon a time I escorted here. Once upon a time I put up with the sickness of Second Life because I was paid to do that. Now I am not paid to do that, and as a result, I don't tolerate it any more. It's just foolish. I'm not Second Life's abuse bitch for free.

Recently I had a series of very negative personal interactions, and they remind me that men treat people very badly when they can't get something out of that person. The person's name is Dirk Talamasaca, he's sort of a big noise in SL, for reasons that elude me, and he does, or will soon, know precisely what I think about him. There are going to be consequences for me, because of the many lessons of the world of nasty people I've learned, it is that nasty people close ranks very quickly. So I am going to be more specific: Dirk is a nasty racist pig, and I am not putting up with it from him.

But that's not really worth a post. It's barely worth what I did do. What is worth it is what the last week of interactions have said to me about the problems in Second Life. Namely, they aren't technical, but personal. The problem in second life is that there is an abiding anger and rage in a lot of people, and they are so ashamed of it, that they then proceed to act behind people's backs rather than deal with things. This is reinforced by the social fears which make it so that when people do try and deal with these problems, they are treated horribly. The only thing worse than being abused by a racist pig like Dirk, is having other people say you have to sit there and take it. And that is the social rule around here: abuse is almost a holy ritual like, burning incense or money at a temple, and the target of that abuse, is told that they have to put up with it or else. That's how abusive relationships work, by the implicit threat of ostracism if the person comes forward. That leads to shame and anger. Well I've had my week of shame and anger, and I am coming forward. This wasn't the first interaction, but about the fifth or so. Including one with an employee of Linden Lab.

There is no solving this problem. The people who come to here filled with this kind of inner ugliness and a desire to express it, aren't going to be changed or removed from their positions of importance. It's killing LL, because ugly people do ugly things, make ugly things, write ugly code, and in general leave a trail of ugliness behind them. More over, when called on being ugly, the go into overdrive.

A good recent example is the NPIRL show. I wasn't going to write on that either directly, but now, since the topic is ugliness of Second Life's social structure, no reason not to fit it all in. The show was wall to wall slugly. There were a few interesting pieces, but the whole show was behind the curve, and as many people noted, designed to celebrate the organizers, not the art. The problem was rather simple: such a show needs to be spread out, decentralized, and put on openspace sims so that the clutter effect does not lag people into immobility, and works are not cross effected. The show was horribly mounted and a clear sign that no one involved could even define museology, let alone had any innate understanding of it, or training for it. It lacked context, education, design, and taste.

And yet people felt obliged to talk about it, even when almost all admitted it was a horrible disaster of a show. Why is this? It is because we have made our social realm very much like high school. People who are cool are not creative, and people who are creative are not cool. Hundreds of thousands of ugly prims have been laid down, and there's nothing to be done about it. I can't even get my own world in order, because the costs of Second Life are so high, that allowing people to do ugly things for money is a virtual requirement. It was true of escorting too.

There is no solution for this, however, there are ways of striking back. I'm striking back now, by underlining that what is commonly accepted behavior here is not acceptable behavior. I'm striking back by doing my own work, even if it is uncomfortable to do so. I feel sorry for the people locked in ugliness, but that doesn't mean that enabling them to continue is acceptable.

It is easy to hate everything, and easy to get attention by giving people a good dose of hate. However, while hating everything means being right most of the time, it also means always being wrong when it matters. The reason the critic condemns is because they showed up hoping to praise.

I've had several people fail to live up to expectations recently, and that colors my view, and I am adapting to things that I didn't want to adapt to. But that's how it is. In the last week I've written a great deal irl, I've build In the Belly of the Beast and made progress on two other projects that I will be showing off shortly. It's not that there is a creative frustration. And my rl personal life is happy, part of my reason for not having patience for nonsense here at this point. It's a lot easier to put up with scraps of personal attention when there is a drought irl.

But I am drawing the line here. Don't expect to belch at me and have me take it, don't expect to engage in sexual harassment and have me forget it. Don't apologize for obvious racism, engage in blanket smears and defamation, and expect me to write it off. It's time people here grew up enough to realize that this drah-mha-tiziation is not going to work. That's why we have so much drama, because people dump their drama on others, and then get away with it, because the people who are in charge believe that whoever is dumping needs to be allowed to, but if the person being dumped on replies, then it spirals. This means that we are always in a position that the personw who abuses others first is at an advantage, and leads to a kind of vicious circle where people just leave rather than take it.

Each time people leave rather than take the abuse that is dished out here, that is one less person to build second life. And that can't go on for much longer.

I know this post has a cost for me, and other people who have been through this kind of thing have advised me not to do it. But here it is, I'm not an escort any more, and I don't have to put up with this kind of thing because it is not my job.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In The Belly of the Beast

Using a wasteful 4 prims, and being oh so correct the real world, following the most painfully physically grounded principles of rl architecture, I offer the following piece for you consideration: In the Belly of the Beast.

You can't really apprecaite this from a still picture or machanima, you need to see it. Draw distance to 512M will work.

From a distance: here.

And from inside.

This work is representative of the disasters from sea and wind to hit New Orleans, Bangladesh, and Burma. Tens of thousands have perished from shoddy construction, greed and the manipulation of juntas to turn disaster into politically convenient genocide and ethnic cleansing.

So forgive me fo not blogging very much, but I've been working on projects like this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unverified but potentially show stopping bug with the RC

In addition to the odious "Showcase" the new RC may have a very ugly bug if Adz Childs report on the JIRA is correct. Where ejecting an avatar returns objects without warning.

Now the idea of hte feature is ejecting a griefer also removes the objects that the griefer left behind. But it does need to be labelled, the comments are right. There is ejecting, there is even ejecting and banning, but then there is also ejecting, banning, and returning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Working Girls' Union Local #69

Time for another meeting of the WGU! The first one was a great chance to meet Vixyn Felisimo, whose site, VelvetVixyn, is my new homepage. Ladies out there should be reading this instead of Cosmo (sorry, Cosmo).

Wednesday 28th May @ 9 pm SLT

This will be a relaxed round-table discussion for Second Life sex professionals⎯escorts, dancers, madams, and club owners, whether you're new to the game or an old hand⎯to share your experiences, vent your frustrations, ask some questions and answer those of others.

Sex in SL provides its own set of rules, written and unwritten. There are defined borders and of course large swaths of grey areas, relatively 'normal' clients and those that test or redefine your perceptions entirely, novice mistakes and a seasoned pro's reevaluations. This talk is sure to provide valuable insight to the nature of the profession, the nature of sex in the digital medium, and hopefully be a great resource for beginners and those more experienced alike, allowing us to expand and hone our craft in an open forum.

Note that despite the name, this event is open to sex workers of all genders & species; however, you must be a sex worker as outlined above. As always, seating will be limited so IM me your request to attend; the parcel will be closed during the duration of the talk. Also, this is a text-talk; I don't have voice capability, but others are free to use it.

All the best,
~Shrutiyan Anatra

Your Pay for Play Future

new "search" is way broken in the RC.

One from Eshi

Music for the eyes.

1.20 RC7 Notes

Release notes for the new RC

I've joined the SL Dev list and will post updates from there more frequently so that people know what is coming.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yedo continues to grow

Latex can take you to the strangest places

Here for example.

Putting SL in perspective

One month of rent on a sim is enough to treat a vaginal rupture caused by childbirth. Fistula isn't a problem in developed countries because it's primary cause is prolonged labor, and it can be corrected after birth with a simple procedure. These things aren't available around the world. That's why half a million women die every year from childbirth complications. That's fifteen hundred a day. Give you an idea, that's 5 to 6 times as many people as read this blog every day.

SL5B looking for famous old content

Do you have a piece of history?

Spain's Defense Minister Goes on Maternity Leave

Gave birth to a boy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Court Upholds anti-Child Porn pandering law

In a world where 6 year olds are being sold bras we get a United States Supreme court decision in US v Williams that essentially makes it a crime to claim to be breaking the law, regardless of whether the law was broken. The story runs like this, originally congress passed a law, Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 which became inserted into the Federal code as 1 U.S.C 2252A(a)(3)(B).

The opinion of the court in Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition was that the original prohibited a substantial amount of protected speech. Specifically:

(1) The CPPA is inconsistent with Miller. It extends to images that are not obscene under the Miller standard, which requires the Government to prove that the work in question, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is patently offensive in light of community standards, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, 413 U.S., at 24. Materials need not appeal to the prurient interest under the CPPA, which proscribes any depiction of sexually explicit activity, no matter how it is presented. It is not necessary, moreover, that the image be patently offensive. Pictures of what appear to be 17-year-olds engaging in sexually explicit activity do not in every case contravene community standards. The CPPA also prohibits speech having serious redeeming value, proscribing the visual depiction of an idea–that of teenagers engaging in sexual activity–that is a fact of modern society and has been a theme in art and literature for centuries. A number of acclaimed movies, filmed without any child actors, explore themes within the wide sweep of the statute’s prohibitions. If those movies contain a single graphic depiction of sexual activity within the statutory definition, their possessor would be subject to severe punishment without inquiry into the literary value of the work. This is inconsistent with an essential First Amendment rule: A work’s artistic merit does not depend on the presence of a single explicit scene. See, e.g., Book Named “John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” v. Attorney General of Mass., 383 U.S. 413, 419. Under Miller, redeeming value is judged by considering the work as a whole. Where the scene is part of the narrative, the work itself does not for this reason become obscene, even though the scene in isolation might be offensive. See Kois v. Wisconsin, 408 U.S. 229, 231 (per curiam). The CPPA cannot be read to prohibit obscenity, because it lacks the required link between its prohibitions and the affront to community standards prohibited by the obscenity definition. Pp. 6—11.

Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition

Basically what the court said in Ashcroft v FSC was that child pornography can't be outlawed if it wasn't made with children, and doesn't violate other forms of obscenity law. However the new law was much more narrowly targeted to outlaw presenting material as being child pornography, whether it the material is or not. More over, the original statute tainted the material in question. That is if material had been claimed to be child pornography, the having it was a crime. So if a book seller sold a copy of Snow White claiming it was about a teen living lustfully with 7 ugly dwarves, and was purchased with that belief, then having the the copy of Snow White itself was criminal. The court overturned both of these provisions.

As often happens the Congress passed fresh legislation aimed at overcoming the defects in the original law. The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003, yet another acronym act, sigh. This statute removed both the tainting, and the criminalization of the images.

The facts of the case are depressingly common, a chat room which was used to swap child pornography had a particularly stupid swapper who thought that the best way to prove he wasn't a Federal Agent was to show everyone that he had actually criminally illegal material. It was exactly the circumstance that the statute was intended to catch: peadophiles swapping actually child pornography and telling each other that that is what is on offer.

What was at issue in this case was whether the statute was overly broad on its face. For a statute to be overturned as overly broad, it has to be proven, in effect, that it invalidates a large amount of protected speech, or allows such selective enforcement as to obviously invite abuse. The standard of substantial amount of speech is intended to set a high bar for invalidating a statute. The reasoning is that if some protected speech is covered, then courts can grant exceptions, but if there is a broad chilling effect, then the statute must go.

The new law made it illegal to engage in activity that "advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits" material which is intended to make people believe that there is an exchange of child pornography. In the decision the court made some important limitations on the law. First it said that the verbs must be taken together in context. The law cannot be construed to make illegal merely advocating legalization of child pornography. Moreover, in Scalia's decision, material which looks like children having sex, but is not, isn't illegal, because, according to Scalia, it is absurd that reputable companies would want people to believe they had produced objectionable material with children.

This last is a slippery argument, because clearly we do sexualize children, and even "reputable" commerce push sexualization of children. However, this is beside the point, because what was really at issue was whether it could be made a criminal transaction to offer to enage in another criminal transaction, even if the underlying criminal transaction was impossible. The court has held that, yes, offering to do something that is illegal, even if it is impossible to carry it out, is in itself illegal.

Interesting in this decision is the stiffness of the rebuke to the 11th circuit:

What renders a statute vague is not the possibility that it will sometimes be difficult to determine whether the incriminating fact it establishes has been proved; but rather the indeterminacy of precisely what that fact is. Thus, we have struck down statutes that tied criminal culpability to whether the defendant's conduct was "annoying" or "indecent"--wholly subjective judgments without statutory definitions, narrowing context, or settled legal meanings. See Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U. S. 611, 614 (1971); Reno, supra, at 870-871, and n. 35.

The court decision bludgeons the 11th Circuit particularly hard in saying, first that the basis the lower court decided on was wrong, and then, even if the standard of strict scrutiny was not applied the lower court would have been wrong.

How does this effect Second Life? Not really much. It is already more broadly against the rules to engage in creation of images and acts here than the American Law allows. That is there are plenty of things that are perfectly legal under American law which are against the ToS here. The ToS is also much more stringent about what constitutes advertising than the the revised statute. In limiting the statute in particular ways, in effect pruning away potential vagueness, the Supreme Court left behind the law that Congress probably intended to write, and did so without materially harming the rest of us.

"Why Europe?"

In my field one of the most important questions can be boiled down to "Why Europe?" Why, of all the competing possible societies a the cusp of the modern moment, did Europe vault ahead? There are many explanations, but the roots of almost every scholarly inquiry begin from Joseph Needham's monumental Science and Civilization in China. Andrew Leonard reviews Simon Winchester's biography of him here.

The answer that is common is that China "stopped trying." This however is not where the facts have led me, and I am going to take a few paragraphs debunking:

In the epilogue, Winchester asserts that the consensus opinion of current Sinologists is that "China, basically, stopped trying." That's too facile a summation when one is writing a biography of a man who devoted his entire life to understanding why China failed to capitalize on thousands of years of scientific and technological innovation. Winchester then skips through the main contending theories that attempt to explain China's failure: China's bureaucracy siphoned talent away from a potentially entrepreneurial merchant class, China did not have the spur to competition that Europe's many warring states inflicted on each other, China's totalitarian government quashed initiative.

But Needham himself, writes Winchester, "never fully worked out the answers." (Although he did propose, halfheartedly, a variation on the bureacracy thesis in his essay "General Conclusions and Reflections," a portion of which is online.)

The answer is half there already. One part is that Europe, alone, was situated to reach both Africa and the Americas. Many of the enthnocultures of the new world, which were crucial to the vault to modernity, touched Europe first, and gave them trade goods with China. Tobacco combined with opium for example. China was in the wrong place geologically. Water power, not steam power, drove the first part of modernity. Europe has far more of it in a small space than China does, and must use much less of it for irrigation.

China didn't stop trying, instead, it bet on the wrong things. Europe bet everything on conquest and on metallurgy, only to be rewarded with a continent full of people to conquer, and a series of technologies that came out of this: electricity and the steam engine. Europe does not really vault ahead in most technologies until the early 1800's, I can rattle off a dozen where it will be after that date where China is finally surpassed, but Europe was a global center of empire by 1700, when the outcome of a direct military conflict between China and Europe would have been in doubt, and Europe was still behind in a host of ways.

China also did not have the synthesis of modern mathematics, and this was clear by how Chinese mathematics never reached what is called the calculus.

Lastly, China had a technology that Europe did not have, and it was one that they invested a great deal of effort in: political unity. The Europeans tried over and over again to reach the level of unity that China had, and the level of action that China had, but failed repeatedly, and in a series of wars that history students learn in mind numbing detail. War of Austrian Succession? Of Jenkin's Ear? The Seven Years War, which probably lasted Nine Years?

But while China invested a great deal in the technologies of unity, and was more unified for a great deal longer than its European competitors, it was the wrong choice at that moment. It focused China's energies inward, right at the moment when going out ward would have been most profitable. The crucial century, the 15th century, shows how several innovations in the Eastern Pacific world, canons, print, and the factory, failed to make the same kind of changes in China that they would make elsewhere. Europe, to some extent, locked out of both the unity game and the game of land empire, was forced to turn to the sea, and it was the sea empire that flooded Europe with goods and ideas that would, in turn, give them the confidence to conquer even more.

As Andrew Leonard notes, the age of Europe as overlord is ending, even if you add in the American Century, and a century from now, who knows what the dominant culture will look like globally. If so, perhaps, some future scholar will look back at our moment, and wonder how, with everything in its favor, America "stopped trying."

Openspace sims

The land store is open and islands seem to be delivering withing 24 hours. So a reminder we do openspace sims for 325 USD, which includes the first month tier as long as LL includes tier with an island, and 79USD a month after that. We take Linden or paypal.

This is considerably better than places that are doing 400/125, don't you think?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Going through withdrawal

I realized today that i was going through escorting withdrawal. The reality of my time on sl was that from almost the first I had a determination, and my ability to play the escorting game was an almost impervious armor to anything that could be said or done to me. Whatever people told me, however bad, it was not as bad as clients would say to me in the course of ordinary business. Call me a whore, so did the last three guys when I wouldn't come down to 250L :15. Scream at me, so did a heavy tipper at a bondage club. Spit on me. Had that happen too. And the Linden kept rolling in, and I could make myself better and better.

It was the adrenaline rush and the mastery. It was a place in sl in a world when there were hundreds of would be escorts, and dozens of clubs. And I rode that wave. It pulsed and surged through my finger tips. Paypal, linden who cared? Cyber, vox when it became possible. I had my bad days, and customers I could not please, but many came back and back.

Quitting this does more than dent my income, it makes me look out on SL, and want to throw up. This must be what it is like to quit drinking, and see squalor in bleeding colors. It isn't just the massive mounds of mainland cluttered with ugly, it is the social world here, which is so much like the stupider parts of high school as to make one's teeth hurt, and the lack of taste in what is hip as to make one bleed tears of blood and soul.

Bebop reality is rapidly becoming beslop reality.

I'm not going to name names, sometimes telling the truth is so pointless as to be an exercise in emotional masturbation with a curling iron. It's just going to sear your insides and no one else will even get off or get up about it. Is there anything to be done? Well of course, and it will be done. People don't want to live in squalor, well most people don't. It's that squalor is what they are being sold, and the people who make squalor well are busy making large exhibits of their pointless mediocrity.

But that doesn't need to be, and often it occurs because people with talent allow their egos to run riot, and forget that all the world doesn't play SL on some computer with an air conditioner crazy glued to an overclocked something or other 3000 video card with more ram than I have hard drive space. What they present stops being bleeding edge, and is instead makes you want to cut your cornea's out with a razor blade rather than suffer it for another moment.

Again why name names? They won't listen, if they did, they wouldn't have done it in the first place.

So this is why I believe we are going to have to go the long way around, with people fleeing both mainland, and what is considered hip by the narrow world of sliques and slugliness. Avatars aren't mere decoration on primotonage, they are the point of this world. If pushing pixels is what you want to do, then you can do it with Maya much better. But that is the sad reality, avatars are often smarter than their human creators, who rush to slag, slugly, and slop, only to be pinned down.

The future will get here, if we listen to our avatars a bit more, and less to the still screen shot mentality and easy herd driven grapevine.

Sorry, I just had to vent before getting back to work. It's moments like that that I put on music which is the cry of the forgotten, the genius overlooked as people stumble from one bad rendition of the well known classics to the next, interspersed with the latest lay of the artistic director or ballet master whose ideas on choreography compare favorably with the tortures of a madhouse in the darkest dickensian days.

I need to build something, I am not sure what yet, but there are a few thousand new huge prims, and imagination is free if you have it. And unchained by the prattle and cant of those who can't do, but can self-promote, maybe it will be worth something.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rauchenberg's Little Boxes:
The Death of the Patron Saint of Mainland is food for thought

What I study in real life can be called "the capitalist aesthetic." What this means is that people develop a taste in art and decoration for things which show of the capital that they use. The same is true of other kinds of income. What we term "folk" culture is really the culture of cooperative labor.

People praise artists who are able to make people reflect on what those people do every day. Artists are the high priests of a way of life, and the people who have a way of life and work show allegiance to the artists who elevate that way of being. This is why coverage has been so adulatory in the old print world. Rauschenbergs way of making art is, basically, what a newspaper does every day. Find objects produced by artists, comment on them, and smear this with the crude brush of lived in sensationalism. It's also why Rauschenberg is the patron saint of Mainland.

Robert Rauschenberg is the kind of art who should be seen through this lens, and particularly the celebration and lionization of his work. He was born in 1925, and died recently at the age of 82. Whether you know it or not, his art has a tremendous influence on Second Life. Or more exactly, I think, would be to say that he forced the acceptance of a kind of artistic activity which much of Second Life exemplifies.

The place to start is with his works and the combine this with his context.

This is one of Rauschenberg's best known works, the Sphinx Atelier, sorry for the typos in the file name, may Google for give me. It is typical of his works in that period in that it centers around images form media, that is things he did not create, the sphinx and the firemen, and then overlaying both other images, and his own painting.

Rauschenberg is best known for works in the form known as collage, where objects are combined together, often whole, and then presented. The "Boston Symphony Poster" presented here is a typical example. The violin, the glasses, and the amusement park ride in the background are taken from the commercial, and capital world. They are polished productions of professional artists, engineers and so on. They are combined with intentionally crude scrawl. The comment of the art is that there is such a vast gap between the products of the capital world, the old craft world, and the present. This has a technical word, that technical word is "alienation." Alienation is the separation of people from the world they make and live in, because they no longer have control over the tools with which it is made. It's something that was named by Marx, but is common in the art world at this point, or more specifically in commentary about the art world, and among artists. It's not a particularly new idea to this work.

If you have gotten that, that Rauschenberg took things from the commercial world, he worked for a while making department store windows, and then "lived on them." You have the basis of his art. He did very sophisticated things technically in order to appropriate, including use of silk screening and different media. But these were all in service of a simple process. Find things, combine things, and then live on them.

Which brings me to talking about context.

In this working method Rauschenberg follows the early 20th century art movements which collage media objects with personal artistic acts: Picasso and Braque's cubism, and most especially Duchamps' Dadaist works. Dada and cubism wanted to have an different relationship of artist to the world. Previously the artist made his or her proof of being an artist on the ability to create form out of light and shadow in black and white, perspective in the handling of vanishing points and foreshortening, and combining these with some handling of materials, whether the color of paints or the properties of bronze. The result was not necessarily depictive, but depiction was the standard against which the art was looked at. El Greco isn't being a realist, but he is stretching and distorting from a sense of the real.

In the 20th century this strong sense of centering of art around techniques of abstraction of the real world broke down. Partly because the techniques were widely available. Anatomy, shading, inking, became procedures which were common to illustration and hence no longer separated artists who had them as an elite. It was also the case that photography made the raw depiction of objects no longer a revenue stream for artists. For much of history, what we think of as the great works of art were exceptions. Most artists lived on more mundane commissions, and only occasionally had one where they had permission to do extraordinary things. This is why we generally only study a few dozen works out of the long careers of most artists, the rest being relatively ordinary production.

So here comes the 20th century. It looks different, it feels different, it pays different. What is an artist to do? One response was to manipulate that real world very directly, and prove that the artist could still smash, fold, an remake that world. That's the response of collage.

He was part of the New York City post-war generation of avant-garde American artists, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Andy Warhol, who had a different sense of what it meant to be in the world. Their idea was that art and life are a continuum, and that the old society of art was too focused on the mastery of particular skills and forms, and not enough on what they saw as modern life, and existential reality. Cage and Rauschenberg have particular links in how they talked about what they did, and both produced many conceptual works that tried to demonstrate this. Cage did sound collages, and both have a single celebrated work which is about absence: in the case of Raschenberg, his Erased DeKooning came from taking a drawing by deKooning and erasing it, then displaying it.

deKooning was on the other side of a branch in the response of artist as imposing raw emotion on the world. Rauschenberg and the other artists like him used found objects as focal points, deKooning, as with Jackson Pollock, wanted pure action. The Abstract Expressionists used primarily traditional media. It's hard to think of it this way, but the abstract expressionists were the conservatives in the argument over how to impose action on art.

And that's where I get to the focal point of what Rauschenberg was talking about in his most famous quote: "in the gap between art and life." What he meant by this is fairly simple. When a person focuses on shaping the details of something, it creates a bond, a relationship. It is compared with the loving attention on a child for a reason. We set things apart that are the products of this lavishing of attention, even if there is no conscious attention, as art. Life often has such moments on things not meant to be art: a meal, a baby, a phone conversation. But there is a gap between what we elevate as Art, and the daily business of living. Warhol, Cage, Rauchenberg, and others, wanted to obliterate this distinction between high art found in galleries and low art found in posters, and between both and simply living and being oneself. It's appealing to be well known for being yourself. I suppose until you try it sometime.

This is why I say Rauschenberg's capitalist aesthetic is central. He's a person, in a world filled with polished products of a machine which makes things that look like art, but have no attention, and people who pay attention to those objects as if they were art, consumers I mean, who don't have the ability to make anything like them. Even Kimball and Perl, who foam at the mouth about Rauschenberg, are Rauschenbergians: they find the objects, stick them together in their little box, and shit words on them just to say they were their. If you think Sphinx Atelier is ugly, then ranting about magnifies it by participating in this same process.

It is also why Rauschenberg's era is over, and why he is the patron saint of Second Life Mainland, and the horrors that it presents aesthetically. Rauschenberg's alienated blandscape is not ours. Tools are falling into everyone's hands that allow them to make polished products. I've burned a CD and given it to friends, so have you, probably. Or made a webpage. We've got other options to media than shitting on them with paint. Jed Perl rants and wails about Rauschenberg, but that's to miss the point. Rauschenberg was the product of a time when people live in a world that went in one direction, from those who could make and present, down to those who could only consume and kvetch.

Rauschenberg was famous for piling objects in small boxes, and sort of pasting them together. So too do many people on SL. Scavenge for freebies or cheap things, and then cram them into their little cluttered box. Next to the other little cluttered boxes.

The failure of the pop art world to be workable in our virtual age comes from a host of failures. One of them is the alienation itself. They were wrong about where things were going. Look at Warhol's films. What you see is an increasing distance from everything, even our own physical bodies, and especially our art. Second Life is part of the reverse trend: we are closer and closer to everything. We even refer to our avatars as "me."

The failure of mainland as an aesthetic and commercial project is seen in the Bay City build by LL. Mainland is a giant alienated beast parting its cheeks and defecating on computers, the spatter spreading in all directions. It clings to everything we do. Leaving aside the crassness of charging us 295 a month for islands and then competing directly against us, sometimes by using free labor, LL has realized what was obvious from long ago: little boxes make neither art, nor life. Not even second life.

Rauschenberg is gone, and soon his era will be over too, because, it does not work. The very thing that made him an icon is going to kill him, in that he is praised by people who work their worlds as he worked his art. I'm here to bury him, because his way of working is strangling my world, and is in complete opposition to how things must be for me, and others like me, to survive at all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A blog about sex... one year later on

A year ago, I started this blog. It's been, yes, a year of this.

I promised there would be sex, and I think I've lived up to that. Not a daily sex column kind of sex, but about all the ways that sex informs our identity here and in second life. I've tried to write about the club world and the direct sex industry, which I've been part of, with a candor that I wasn't finding. I have written, a great deal about how there is a volcanic craving for sex and affection in rl, which translates to here. I've taken on such things as rape play, sexism, yiffing, escorting, and the boundaries of rl.

Very few people read this blog at first, it was weeks, often before anything was noticed. And the blog changed. I didn't think I was going to post over 30 poems, the first act of a musical, or articles on building. I wasn't a builder when I started this, and did not even know what say, a huge prim was.

I didn't know I was going to be building avatars for rl people.

I didn't know many things.

I've seen my crop of newbies get fabulous... just take a look at Elusyve's evolution. And being in the island renting business? A single sim seemed hopelessly out of reach.

It's also time for changes. I didn't come to sl to be an escort. I've tried to escape many times, and kept falling back in because the money is always there, and I know that without escorting, I'd be a chick with a thing for marble and rococo masters... But I've got to get out of it, or rather.... no or rather. I've tried to lobby for certain things, more sanity in how SL's economy is run, more entry paths for players, and my being an escort is part of that old insanity.

So here it is. One year, a blogiversary, and a time to say good bye to being an active escort. I've done all with it I can, and I don't want to run a club.

On the other hand, the topic here remains sexual identity, not in the narrow sense of having sex, but on the broader sense of sex. You see, biologists keep asking, "why sex?" The answer over and over turns out to be that sex is how life rips apart and recombines, remakes, rebuilds, tests, overturns, spreads, sorts out, joins together. And that means any time we do any of those things, we are doing what four billion years of physical life has taught us to do, even when we build, and move into, virtual worlds. Gender is part of sex, but so is everything we do that remakes ourselves, and the world around us.

This larger sense of sex is what still fascinates me, and what still is brought to a crest in moments when we give ourselves over to desire. How long will I keep doing this? I don't know. But as long as it is, it is a blog about,


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Keep Cool

Like a lot of people I have been freezing and crashing a lot of late. One of my geek inclined friends diagnosed the problem: my laptop is running too hot. There are two factors. On is that it is warm now here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the other is that the new clients work graphics cards a great deal harder. So it is definitely time to do things to cool your computer, especially if you have a lap top as I do. I've heard Linden Lab programmers make the same comment.

So, while bug fixes and so on are important, a fan and some cooling gadget seems like a good idea.

Huge Prims News

At this afternoon's Havok4 meeting Andrew stated that the next server release will close making Huge Prims again until they have put in place some changes, including the ability to return prims that overlap a parcel. This means that people should make and share them while they can, because that makes it much easier to make it to the next huge prim drought. There are several freebie sets at Yedo, and others floating around. N is going to add, or may have already added, huge prim making to his release.

Disaster Sculpture

And see an earthquake collapse from the inside. For best effect turn off all movelocks.

Other builders may want to do the same thing with their creations.

[The box in the center activates the sculpture.]

Teleport here.

The People Sea

Come and see, come and see,
come and see, the people trees,
made of twisted hands and broken bones,
of smashed harms, twisted in their homes.
A forest that grew in a single day,
when the earth like water did shake and sway,
and rippled like waves upon some other sand,
where typhoon swallowed a forsaken land.

These were those on the edge of life,
the light burning of the energy age.
Killed by the strife,
the war that takes place every day,
locked in glowing buttons far away.
The dead now can give many thanks,
that when trouble came, we saved the banks.

Come and see, come and see,
the torrent of rotting people trees,
legs turned and tangled in a human knot,
left to the carrion, and coming rot.
All around the taste of hell,
that seeping seething people smell.

Come and look, come and listen,
as the drying blood browns, and dew does glisten,
as another sun dawns ripe and red,
to shower the shards of the half buried dead.
Chunks of faces, and bits of eyes,
where once stood a tofu built high rise.

Come and hearing, come and feel,
the heart ripped mother's squeals,
pouring out their life with cries,
as their children slipped out from their lives,
and all the promises made of a new state,
turn to ashes, for there flesh has gone to its face,
their daughter found hear and there in bits,
their sons scattered pieces molder,
where the concrete pyre sits.
How many lost, how many found,
how many mashed into the ground?

We will never truly know,
even now the weeds start to grow.

In Myanmar and Chengdu,
we have only a touch of what they go through.
But before we offer safe derision,
have we not made the same decision?
That some people are as precious as gem or hidden gold?
Others are mere mechanical meat, bought and sold,
to be smashed to mist on some random day,
when the typhoon comes,
or the earthquake tides do play?
Against such visions as slam into our faces,
hurled from the victims of distant places,
mere words from me or others glance,
against the consuming rise, they had no chance.
Fed into the soul machine,
for a scrap of profit some suited man will glean.
Sell the rice for bullets and baubles,
baubles and bullets,
stand and stare,
and the billets and burials.

For them, now, there is nothing left.

Come and be, come and be,
part of the dying people sea.
The foam of flesh, that was once life,
as solid walls became shearing knife,
as hoses and hovels where they huddled,
turned from grass and tied bamboo,
into vegetables of human stew.

Come hither, life withers!
To be replaced,
by the carnage of our world disgraced,
and New Orleans gathers two sister cities,
into the silent embrace,
her ghostly visage looks, and turns to us,
as she leads them, draped in white,
towards the twilight of history's night.

How many dead, how many gone?
More will join them, before ere long.
The money changers know it's for the best,
to let the people wave rise and crest.
So ignore the screaming and their woes,
it's merely how this age comes and goes,
you've got to get up, and get dressed.
And push the little keys and dials,
which are the death god's toothy smile,
he stares at you from that humming rack,
he owns your soul, he'll take it back.
One day your number will be spat out,
no use to worry, or to shout,
it's just a number, what it's all about.
On that day your life will be snuffed out.

Bits of you will ebb and flood,
greased by someone else's blood,
and churned to slurry.
Which though by broken furry ground,
was decided atop another,
half forgotten funeral mound.

Business as usual, that was once said,
atop the bodies of our hallowed dead.
It won't be until history is some day read,
that others will measure the cubic miles bled.
The seething churning people sea,
of all the dead given so profit could have its poverty.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Crash happy

I've read mapped a dozen times today. Even LL admits that April's outage, by their own grossly understated metric, was up 30 times the value in February. The culprit? Primarily the asset server.

[It happened again in the middle of that post... SL is useless for me right now. That's the big problem with their metric, it only counts lost online time, not time when being online is so bad as to halt the normal course of business. We can't sell or rent things if people can't get online, or can't stay on line long enough.]

Create new huge prims from the browser:

Vote to create huge prims in the browser. And to fix the annoying bug where editing any dimension of a huge prim causes it to snap. Since libsl can create huge prims, there is no reason not to put this in the client. Since we presently cannot change any dimension without losing the prim, the option should be grayed out.

Updated: Able has posted a basic patch... I'm linking to that JIRA.

Thanks Able!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Needful Things

These they narrow the eyes,
and turn the ties that bind,
into wars that blind.

An eye for an eye, for the other eye
you know what I mean,
you know what I mean.
What drives them,
what drives him,
what makes you want to be driven.

These are the needful things,
they cannot go away.

These are the hateful years,
the wretched tears,
of bodies washed in from the sea,
entire nations set to bleed.
Must it be?
It must be.

These years driven before the hot desert winds,
blown before the soot monsoon,
of smoke and furnace fiery blast,
an epoch swallowing it's last gasp.

You know what drives it.
You know what it drives,
you drive it yourself every day.

These are the burning days,
or soon to come in many ways,
when all the sleep we've learned to sleep,
purchase, to dream,
dream that noxious seething colorless green,
that circulates in veins unseen,
the whisper willow network that binds the world.

For whose good, our lives our hurled.
The spinning silent of the magnetic trail,
that crashes, and sometimes fails,
and it fails us even know.

You know these drives are,
you know what drives them,
you are driven before their microtic wind.

We are the forsaken ones,
the generation chained before begun.

Whose older people shake and fear,
but whose time is up, before the year.

Come starve with them in distant lands,
watch the rice grains slip through bony hands,
see how so many die from our commands,
from lush tropic green, to desert sands.

Know that all the gleaming spires we've built.
Are welded to our fate, by the arc of guilt.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day Oh Let's the Cat out of the bag:
New Huge Prims

[Important Update: Day has filled in holes in the flat set, and produced a cube and squares set. This is major, and basically changes SL building in a heart beat. We should be thanking Day no end. I'm looking for the JIRA about making megas and hope that people will vote it up so we can just create them.

For people who want the sets from in world, they are spreading fast... but there is on e set at Yedo already, free for the copying... More sets are on the way...]

First new huge prims since the last bug was closed.

This was announced over the AWG, has gone out to groups like the Fermi Sandbox group, that has a thousand members, and has spread quickly through the building community.

Free. Full Perms.

This cat will need a large bag.

The way this is done is by using the create object message in libsl, I'll post this as soon as SL stops misbehaving. Maybe there is a throttle in the client that could be removed now?

What this underlines is several important things:

  • If a capability is in libsl, then it will soon be everywhere. This means the viewer should have a libsl command line and the ability to load files to execute libsl packets from a file. Put the power in people's hands, even if it is in the advanced menu.
  • Every build of any size on SL is obsolete. Every single one.
  • Competition is good. Much of this is in response to OpenSim's raising the prim build limit to 100M. Even the threat of competition changes the way a monopoly behaves.
  • The open community will get features into people's hands quickly. This plays into all of these points. More openness would be better. The Linden's could have done this themselves, probably more easily. Created a package of new huge prims, given them out, announced it on the blog, and then seen what happened.

Second Life is reaching V2.0, and it is happening now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two new events at the Kama Sutra Institute!

First, let me please offer my humblest apologies for taking so long to follow up with more events at the Kama Sutra Institute. I can only claim the plague of RL invading my playtime.
This week I'll be hosting two events: the first meeting of the Working Girls' Union and the first installment of a continuing exploration of the texts of the Kama Sutra. Read on for the details (I know you must be chomping at the bit already)....

Saturday 10th May @ 7 pm SLT

This will be a relaxed round-table discussion for Second Life sex professionals⎯escorts, dancers, madams, and club owners, whether you're new to the game or an old hand⎯to share your experiences, vent your frustrations, ask some questions and answer those of others.

Sex in SL provides its own set of rules, written and unwritten. There are defined borders and of course large swaths of grey areas, relatively 'normal' clients and those that test or redefine your perceptions entirely, novice mistakes and a seasoned pro's reevaluations. This talk is sure to provide valuable insight to the nature of the profession, the nature of sex in the digital medium, and hopefully be a great resource for beginners and those more experienced alike, allowing us to expand and hone our craft in an open forum.

Our guest of honor will be Lillie Yifu, one of SL's finest and most accomplished individuals in any medium⎯especially the erotic!

Note that despite the name, this event is open to sex workers of all genders & species; however, you must be a sex worker as outlined above. As always, seating will be limited so IM me your request to attend; the parcel will be closed during the duration of the talk. Also, this is a text-talk; I don't have voice capability, but others are free to use it.

Kama Sutra 101
Tuesday 13th May @ 7 pm SLT

Have you heard of the Kama Sutra, but never had the good fortune to read it yourself? Curious about the different translations and commentaries available, and how they differ? Not sure exactly what "Kama Sutra" even means?

This short class will provide the student with a brief overview of the actual Kama Sutra texts, an explanation of what this mysterious book contains and purports to accomplish, and a survey of its historical and cultural context.
Later classes will explore specific chapters and topics in-depth.
No prior knowledge of the Kama Sutra is required for this class. There will be handouts!
This class is open to all who are interested, and without a fee; however, seating will be limited so IM me your request to attend, as the parcel will be closed during the duration of the class. Also, this is a text-talk; I don't have voice capability, but others are free to use it.

All the best,
~Shrutiyan Anatra

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ll Traffic Future Chat Log 2008-05-07

Chat log from 5/7/2008 LL Traffic Future Meeting

=== Introduction ===
Jeska Linden: First, I'd like to thank you all for joining us today for a discussion on the future of traffic and other metrics in Second Life.
Tao Takashi: ok, so tell us any problem and we deliver the solution in seconds ;-)
Phli Foxchase accepted your inventory offer.
Jeska Linden: Awesome
Tao Takashi: THE solution I should say
Jeska Linden: We've got about an hour to brainstorm/gather thoughts and both create and answer questions.
Jeska Linden: First, brief introduction!
Jeska Linden: I'm Jeska, I think I've met many of you in the almost four years I've been working at LL
Tammy Nowotny: hello Jeska. (your bear matched my hair)
Jeska Linden: I work on the product management team, which means I help the engineering team and talk a lot
Jeska Linden: ;)
Jeska Linden: I've been working on the Search project for the last year or so and am SUPER happy to introduce Kalpana, one of our newest Lindens
Jeska Linden: She's also on the product team and has been gratious enough to offer her help on search related things as well
Phli Foxchase: Welcome Kalpana !
Kalpana Linden: thanks jeska. for now I am jeska's stalker on the product team :D
Kalpana Linden: thanks Phli.
Jeska Linden: hehe
Jeska Linden: Everyone needs a linden stalker, makes you feel loved :)
Tao Takashi: Welcome Kalpana :)
Tao Takashi: or close to banned...
Jeska Linden: In the last two meetings, we spoken a lot about traffic and better ways to determine how your inworld parcels are doing via new metrics.
Kalpana Linden: thanks tao, good to meet y'all
Jeska Linden: We also spoke a little bit about what type of metric, if any could replace the current "traffic" metric within the Search to help determine relevance
Jeska Linden: Along the way, we also spoke about bots, Popular Places vs. Showcase, and more
Jeska Linden: It's been very helpful!
Jeska Linden: There are three things I'd like to get your thoughts and feedback on today
Jeska Linden: And we're a small enough group that we should be able to do it without any additional moderation, and don't worry I'll push us along if we get caught up in one thing too long.
Jeska Linden: The three things I'd like us to cover include: Showcase in the viewer (briefly), parcel metrics, and the future of traffic.

=== Showcase / Popular Places ===
Jeska Linden: I'm sure you all saw in the initial blog post:
Jeska Linden: We're replacing the Popular Places tab within the Search box with content pulled from the Showcase on the Second Life Web site. Anticipating that this would bring up conversation around ?
traffic/metrics/advertising, we wanted to open the conversation up to the community (hence the group and these meetings).
Tao Takashi: yep
Jeska Linden: First, are there are any questions or concerns about the Showcase/Popular Places switch? (If you haven't read the blog already about that, please go ahead! )
Cocoanut Koala: The Showcase is my primary concern.
Phli Foxchase: how many places will be in showcase ?
Jeska Linden: Phli - there isn't a set number yet
Tao Takashi: I am just wondering (as I saw discussion on that) how the showcase content is created and how you try to minimize the discussions around FICness etc.
Cocoanut Koala: I don't believe for-profit places belong on it, or that it is even necessary
Tammy Nowotny: I have seen it on ther web page and bombed right by it
Cocoanut Koala: I don't feel the Lindens should funnel customers to one business over another
Cocoanut Koala: So I don't think hair and fashion places should be on it at all.
Jeska Linden: It's dependant upon time of our editorial team rather than limited by a number.
Tammy Nowotny: well I am several sides of this... I do both business and nonprofit stuff
Phli Foxchase: do you plan to keep the different categories : music / education / ... ?
Tao Takashi: well, I don't really do business but would like a guide to find good businesses
Jeska Linden: Let me tackle those, then we'll move on
Tammy Nowotny: are these paid placements or puerly editorial?
Jeska Linden: (otherwise we get buried in questions!)
Never Rust: My question is - why add editorial showcases to the search? why not make it a seperate tab?
Jeska Linden: In the current form (which has been live on the website for several months now) - locations are suggested to the editorial team which then goes inworld and makes selections.
Tao Takashi: then again there might be several third parties providing listings, too. maybe they should get incorporated so you have more choices of editors
Jeska Linden: Currently under development is a way for Residents to more easily suggest/nominate locatoins for showcase via a search flag
Jeska Linden: Which, depending on how it is used, opens up many other opprotunities for digg/craigslist style Resident created lists
Tammy Nowotny: and I suppose different type sof residnets have masisvely different ideas about which places are of interest
Never Rust: But it will still remain editorial and not fully democratic.
Jeska Linden: The Popular Places tab, which was based on traffic, highlighted about 20 locations - all which were very similar and showed only a very small slice of the overall Second Life experience.
Tao Takashi: I think if you only have a limited list, it being editorial is good because otherwise you get spam
Jeska Linden: The Showcase attempts to broaden that offering, both in terms of types of experiences highlighted and number of things (right now it's closer to 50 locations)
Daten Thielt: the popular places tab is a load of nonsense unless you go for realistic numbers
Never Rust: But editorial means selection by employees of LL, not by peers and the public in general.
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I think if it's done by the public, it could be gamed.
Jeska Linden: Yes, it will be editorialized to start, as mentioned, with a goal of highlighting interesting locations, but the end goal is to provide a way for Residents to also provide their feedback
Jeska Linden: As PinkSwan mentions, it will need further design to be easy without being gameable
Fleep Tuque: We have whole teams of educators tagging educational locations in SL through the SaLamander Project (, isn't there a way to ?
incorporate existing resident projects rather than having to go through and re-tag/nominate everything?
Never Rust: Why not just let people get their editorial content from various blogs by residents?
Daten Thielt: problem is if its just lindens people bitch about it, if its got residents involved its gona be gamed, no win situation
Jeska Linden: Fleep - I think that it would be great, I'll be sure to take that back to the team
Jeska Linden: I've often wanted a "widget" space on the website to share things like that.
Fleep Tuque: Thank you, we definitely want to help and contribute
Kalpana Linden: Well in teh current proposal, the community nominates, and then linden editors review
Cocoanut Koala: If it is necessary to even HAVE such a tab of recommendations - I believe it should be limited to not profit businesses, rather than give free advertising and promotion to some businesses, at the ?
expense of their comptetitors.
Fleep Tuque: but asking folks to tag things multiple times is likely to diminish the number of folks willing to participate.
Tammy Nowotny hasn't looked at the Popular Places tab in eons
Jeska Linden: Yup, as Kalpana said, it's part of a larger plan, btu we have to go one step at a time.
Jeska Linden: I scrolled up, but did I miss any other questions?
Jeska Linden: (don't want to miss the rest of our topics!)
Cocoanut Koala: ok - let me put some things in the form of a question then, allright?
Fleep Tuque: Me either Tammy, but the thousands of new students educators bring in don't know any better! :)
Jeska Linden: Comments are ok too :)
Never Rust: Why not have the editorial material in its own tab? why combine with search?
Tao Takashi: you can import stuff from ;-)
Jeska Linden: We're here to share information!
Cocoanut Koala: My questions would be, is such a Spotlight necessary i nthe first place, from the point of view of the Lindens,
Cocoanut Koala: and if it is, can you see your way clear to limiting it to non-profit enterprises? Rather than promoting specific businesses, and funneling customers to, say, one hair shop over another?
Fleep Tuque: nod Tao, that's what I was thinking too, World of SL, SaLamander, Sloog, NPIRL, there are lots of resident run projects to highlight great locations already, they just aren't displayed in central place.
Tao Takashi: Fleep: yep, my initial thought to, crowdsource it out to editorial teams out there. people can then choose which one they like more
Never Rust agrees with fleep and Tao
Jeska Linden: Cocoanut - the answer to that question has been covered a bit, we want to highlight some of what is both possible and happening within Second Life. There are several reasons for this.
Tao Takashi: I also wonder if some mechanism like "people who liked X also liked Y" is possible
Tammy Nowotny: althougha voting mechanism is good too.
Fleep Tuque: That's good idea too, Tao
Jeska Linden: For example, one of the most frequent reasons cited for why people don't stay in Second Life is that they "don't know what to do"
Tao Takashi: and you should maybe be able to vote on those recommendations so you don't get bad ones anymore
Kalpana Linden: Cocoanut: There is utility (especially for new users and existing users looking for new things) to have some sense of quality of places. And we also want to expose the breadth of content in there.
Jeska Linden: This is one attempt to answer that question - It's not the first and I'm sure it won't be our last project aimed at this!
Never Rust: So not knowing what to do means there needs to be more tutorials.
Cocoanut Koala: But - why must it include for-profit businesses?
Tao Takashi: Never: and knowing places where to meet cool people
Tao Takashi: and stuff which matches your interests
Kalpana Linden: Cocoanut: think of it like the top search terms or top websites
Cocoanut Koala: It is not though - it is Linden Picks.
Cocoanut Koala: And even if residents have input, that is just people recommending their friends.
Never Rust: I think the best solution for that would be to show a list of community-made blogs and let residents subscribe to them through the viewer.
Cocoanut Koala: I gthink Linden Picks are fine - but not when it comes to for-profit businesses.
Tammy Nowotny: if they are good picks, people will use the feature, if they are bad picks people won't
Jeska Linden: I'll be sure to take that feedback to the team Cocoanut
Tao Takashi: I also can imagine picks based on what your friends like plus filtered by interests.. this would mean though you need to have some friends which again means there needs a mechanism to import friends ?
more easily (or match them that is)
Jeska Linden: Did anyone else have thoughts about Popular Places or can we move onto the ever exciting topic of metrics!
Cocoanut Koala: I believe those businesses which get featured on the Spotlight will enjoy a hugely disproportionate proportion of sales and customers.
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I am not in favor of community-made blogs completely, as those may also not be indicative of quality, etc.
Tammy Nowotny: if you did eliminate for profits, people wd game the system by partnering with non-profits anyway
Fleep Tuque: (The SaLamander project isn't people promoting their friends, we are developing a list of rubrics and criteria to help evaluate all edu content we find.)
Cocoanut Koala: And finally, I'd like to say - I don't believe the Lindens should have any hand in making one business more profitable than others.
Never Rust: Will showcased places contaminate the search results or be separate?
Jeska Linden: They will have their own tab
Jeska Linden: They will of course also have whatever else they've chosen to list in search
Jeska Linden: But the Showcase Tab will be it's own thing
Jeska Linden: I've got a mocked up picture here somewhere.. just a sec
Fleep Tuque: In one sense, I guess that's what I'd like to see happen with ALL categories for the showcase. Some set of criteria per category, some standards, not just what some small group of people think is "cool" ?
at the moment.
APinkSwan Beauchamp: How often will the places in Showcase change?
Tammy Nowotny: do you already have Lindens looking through the search results to look for gaming, spamming, etc.?
Never Rust: Sounds great. As long as its separate and optional, I think LL can add whatever editorial lists they'd like. :)
Fleep Tuque: That also gives people who are BUILDING and CREATING a sense of what to strive for in terms of quality.
Jeska Linden: I thnk there has been further design work on this - but if you look behind me you can see a mock up
Jeska Linden: the only difference is it should be in its OWN tab, not in "All"
Jeska Linden: silly designers
Jeska Linden: It will be replacing Popular Places :)
Fleep Tuque: Can we take snapshots?
Fleep Tuque: :)
APinkSwan Beauchamp: Will places just get added to it, or will they change?
APinkSwan Beauchamp: or rotate?
Jeska Linden: Tammy - there is a Governance team that looks into reported search listings, but there is anotehr project currently under design that should help with this.
Daten Thielt: so if it replaces popular places the trafic is not used?
Jeska Linden: APink - we will be adding more content to it overtime
Jeska Linden: I'm not sure if places will "drop off" over time or not.
Jeska Linden: I will mark that down as a good open question :)
Cocoanut Koala: My guess is that the hair and fashion places are not going to like this.
Tammy Nowotny: I was wondering because I was reading about Google's rvier process... which involved about 10k testers worldwide
Jeska Linden: I'd like to take a few minutes to get your thoughts and feedback on this and take any suggestions on this change before moving on to the next topic (metrics!).
Tammy Nowotny: Thanks jeska. sounds goofd to me
Jeska Linden has never been so excited about metrics before
Fleep Tuque: If there are set categories, then can't there be set criteria and standards that are public and known?
Never Rust thinks the showcase is a good idea, but it may not be used by residents if people suspect it of being abused by LL. Next topic?
Fleep Tuque: To get in the Arts & Culture Showcase, your build should score high on these 5 dimensions
Fleep Tuque: To get in the Fashion Showcase, your store should score high on these 5 dimensions
Tammy Nowotny: I see one of my faves there... The Free Dove
Fleep Tuque: So people know HOW these determinations are being made? (At least nominally)
Tao Takashi: looks like recreating the beginnings of Yahoo to me ;-)
Jeska Linden: Fleep - as the project grows it may be possible to flush out things like that, at the moment there simply aren't the resources.
Jeska Linden: Again, this is the first step int he project! :)
Jeska Linden: You can read more about it here:
Cocoanut Koala: What possible qualities could you be looking at to determine which hair or fashion place you want to promote though?
Jeska Linden: And again, this section has been tested on the website for several months
Fleep Tuque: (Good customer service, high quality products, variety, etc. etc.)
Jeska Linden: We've got about 30 more minutes left, let's keep moving !
Cocoanut Koala: ok fleep

=== Parcel Metric Brainstorming ===
Jeska Linden: Currently the only Linden provided metric for your parcel/estate is traffic. Traffic is calculated using a complex algorithm and is based on the amount of Residents who visited, and the time spent on that ?
parcel out of their total time inworld that day.
Tao Takashi: first rework the buying process so you can add ratings to it and then you can use this as input :)
Fleep Tuque: hehe Tao
Cocoanut Koala: Well, that is basically my entire input. Don't throw profit to businesses you think are best - keep it to non-profit venues and events of interest.
Jeska Linden: Nice :)
Tao Takashi: but that could be gamed of course
Jeska Linden: We're more than aware of the limitations of traffic as a metric - and are in the process of identifying other things we can share with you.
Tao Takashi: any automatic system can be gamed anyway
Never Rust: We need a # of unique visitors per day.
Jeska Linden: Let's spend a few minutes brainstorming what other types of things you'd like to know about people who visit your parcel/region.
Tammy Nowotny: you have a second metric for businesses... cash flow, of course.
Fleep Tuque: The big traffic questions is - BOTS. Can they be identified and removed form the equation?
Jeska Linden: What other metrics do you wish you had about your parcel/estate aside from traffic?
Jeska Linden: Let's keep Bots as another topic for a minute...
Never Rust: ...and the time they spent on the parcel. and the # of times they left/returned per day or week
Tao Takashi: this is now more about what sort of google analytics for your parcel do you want?
Jeska Linden nods
Kalpana Linden: sort of yes
Fleep Tuque: Age of avatar, payment status of avatar, repeat or unique visitor,
Tammy Nowotny: where the real life IP is coming from... similar to Sitemeter or Google Analytics
Jeska Linden: Sorta-kinda :)
Fleep Tuque: traffic patterns and hotspots
Kalpana Linden: though mind you will will start small and as we learn from it, build more
Jeska Linden: We're looking for a wishlist to see what you'd want
Khamon Fate: Is that a serious question Jeska or does it just lead to your next point?
Jeska Linden: Exactly!
Tao Takashi: in this field I would really also encourage a discussion about privacy with the general community
Tammy Nowotny: how they got to the location... TPed in and walked/flew in., etc.
Tammy Nowotny: you can do the IP thing if you ahev steraming audio ytourself, though
Jeska Linden: Khamon - I'm seriously interested in what other metrics you'd like
Fleep Tuque: If not RL IP, at least state and country of origin. :)
Tao Takashi: like as an owner of course I want individual avatar data with IP etc.
Jeska Linden: Without getting bogged down in bots coveration atm
Tao Takashi: as a resident I don't
Never Rust: If we get more metrics about land, how soon until its implemented by LL? I've started to build a business around this and wondering if i should stop.
Tammy Nowotny: yeah, it wd be intrusive to get too detailed with the IP
Khamon Fate: We've been answering that question for two years now every time Meta asked it at her office hours. Do you have that input from her?
Kalpana Linden: We should start with aggregate data
Kalpana Linden: there are many privacy concerns (Especially differennt in different countries)
APinkSwan Beauchamp: SL is all about living a second life....not sure too many people would want to divulge RL info.
Fleep Tuque: Perhaps would like to know things like the avatar cost (how much blingy stuff are they wearing, HUDs, etc.)
Tao Takashi: I just heard something from some sldev meeting with metrics people so I just wanted to propose to you to start a privacy discussion and state some rules for this as well
Tammy Nowotny: I wd like the FMOD streaming audio to record what parcel the audio is going to. tyhat might be difficult and out of jeska's jurisdiction
Jeska Linden: Khamon - Meta is involved in the project of course. Given teh topic, we wanted to open it up to a larger group of people
Tao Takashi: so aggregate data is ok I think
Kalpana Linden: so the current thinking is to get your feedback on what aggregate metrics will be most useful to you
Tammy Nowotny: ?me has big hair.. I suppose one of thse days big hair will the culprit of the week for laf
Fleep Tuque: Nod aggregate data, not associated with individual
Tammy Nowotny: *lag
Fleep Tuque: It MUST be anonymous
Jeska Linden nods
Fleep Tuque: unless people consent
Kalpana Linden: /fleep right
Never Rust: I'd like to know how many people came from a LM vs. flew/walked in.
Fleep Tuque: Ooh good one Never
Tammy Nowotny: person hours, where they came from, whether they clicked on anything
Tao Takashi: yes, if people are ok with it then it's ok. but it would be good to have a way to decide, like whether you allow cookies or not
Fleep Tuque: Direct TP vs entering through sim boundary or parcel boundary
Tao Takashi: how many come back
Kalpana Linden: Right source of origin is a good one.
Tao Takashi: in which intervals maybe
Fleep Tuque: Also aggregate traffic reports for more than one parcel? Or all parcels owned in a region?
Never Rust: The best would be to know how many unique visitors vs # of people who bought an item. "Conversion rate"
Tammy Nowotny: ohh. payment status wd be good to know... maybe even whether the person has pix, profile info and/or group memberships
Fleep Tuque: We have to chunk everything up for the media streams, makes traffic analysis a MAJOR pain
Tammy Nowotny: I wd like tos ee filtering like that for people search
Jeska Linden: So visitors based on time of day might be a good one
Tao Takashi: I think country data in aggregated form would also be good for some applications
Tao Takashi: like do I get the right people to my sim?
Fleep Tuque: nod
Kalpana Linden: nods
Kalpana Linden: /nods
Fleep Tuque: certainly for non profit and education venues, would be good to know if we should be adding additional language support
Fleep Tuque: (signs in spanish or something)
Jeska Linden: Are there any privacy concerns you have about metrics for parcels/regions?
Tao Takashi: which reminds me: please make the language field in the profile a real selection
Tao Takashi: so you can also retrieve this via script and maybe use this in metric
Jeska Linden: tao - you mean searchable?
Tao Takashi: yes
Tao Takashi: defined values
Jeska Linden nods
Tao Takashi: not just a textbox
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I have nothing to to hide, but really do not think too many details are a good thing for LL incorporate.
Tammy Nowotny: yes, I wdn't want landowners to have directa ccess to personal ID info...not that they are likely to have it
Tao Takashi: of course multiselect should be in there :)
APinkSwan Beauchamp: If a parcel owner wants some of the details described, a script can do that.
Fleep Tuque: My only concern is that data should be aggregate and not associated with individual avatars
APinkSwan Beauchamp: or people...:)
Tao Takashi: let me quickly look at google ;-)
Jeska Linden: Fleep - right
Kalpana Linden: Fleep: privacy is a primary concern for us too.
Kalpana Linden: so yes, we do want to only provide aggreagtes first
Tao Takashi: yeah, so stop chat logging then ;-)
Tammy Nowotny: even the exatct IP is easy to recover by the land owner (although most IPs anonymize the Ips)
Fleep Tuque: (Chat loggers should require consent!)
Tao Takashi: I mean the LL integrated one ;-)
Fleep Tuque: :)
Tao Takashi: actually what also would be great to have is some TOS rules for what is allowed to track
Tammy Nowotny: (I think we all were formally asked for our conesent at the start of the session.)
Tao Takashi: you can still track most of what we rule out with scripts
Kalpana Linden: what slices are useful to people: daily, weekly, hourly?
Tao Takashi: and I think there should be a policy of what is ok and what isn't
Fleep Tuque: I meant there should be some kind of rules in the ToS.. yes, that proscribe what can and can't be collected and how.
Tammy Nowotny: hourly, I guess.
Tao Takashi: the more slice options, the better ;-)
Tao Takashi: what are you planning to give out? the raw data of that or some processed data?
Jeska Linden: Is there a preferred method of download format?
Tao Takashi: ok, raw then I guess :)
Fleep Tuque: .csv
Kalpana Linden: both actually
Fleep Tuque: ?
Never Rust: Excel or CSV would be nice
Tao Takashi: CSV should be definitely one option
Fleep Tuque: .csv or .xls would work for most apps
Kalpana Linden: raw if there was detailed information (such as hourly) but we are also thinking of a quick snapshot to be available in your land page
Tao Takashi: csv would be easier for non-windows users
Fleep Tuque: nod Tao
Tao Takashi: or in general processing
Kalpana Linden: will APIs be useful?
Never Rust: how long before this might be implemented by LL?
Tao Takashi: what should an API do? don't we just need GET?
Tao Takashi: or do you mean this by an API?
Tao Takashi: like a Caps based system to retrieve it automatically?
Tao Takashi: this of course would be of great benefit
Jeska Linden: never - we're in the design phase currently
Kalpana Linden: we might have some initial data for you in june if we can come up with some simple but useful subset forst
Kalpana Linden: like a webservices api
Fleep Tuque: APIs could be very useful, I think
Tao Takashi: btw, it might also be good to have this for parcel and region
Tao Takashi: separately if possible
Fleep Tuque: so people can develop their own external reporting and analysis systems
Jeska Linden: Tao - that's the hope
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I am not trying to be a pain here, but I am having trouble getting my head around why LL wants to do this and not leave it in the hands of the residents themselves, with clear rules of course.
Fleep Tuque: Yes, I mentioned that before, 1 media stream per parcel causes parcel chunking all over, I'd love to get a report of all parcels in a region I own
Tao Takashi: so as for data: visitors in slice, first time visitors in slice, time of visit (maybe in slices as 1 min, 10 mins, 30 mins, 1hr etc.) ?
Fleep Tuque: (Lots of people don't have the time, skills, or resources to get all this data on their own)
Kalpana Linden: /fleep yes
Daten Thielt: exactaly we dont have such a system in RL we advertise , word of mouth ect
Never Rust: pinkswan - It's hard for residents to track people coming in and out of their land.
Daten Thielt: ohh wrong subject
Tammy Nowotny: 1 min is good I guess
Daten Thielt: :D ignore me
Tao Takashi: well you might want to know for a week how many people spent longer than 1 hr maybe
Jeska Linden: But on the Web,there are pretty standard metrics that are agreed upon
Jeska Linden: Which is more in line with what we'd like parcel/estate owners to have access too
Kalpana Linden: time spent is on the radar. yes
Jeska Linden: Just the data, which you can then use to figure out whatever you want
Tammy Nowotny: that was part of why the tarffic algorithm was so complex .. to filter short and long-term visitors
Fleep Tuque: Avatar age, payment info, direct TP vs entering through parcel or region boundary, length of stay
Tao Takashi: what about "percent of how much of their daily time was spent on your parcel"? :)
Fleep Tuque: nod that would be a good one
Tao Takashi: and "percent of avatars who never logged in anymore after visiting your sim"? :)
APinkSwan Beauchamp is going to bite her tongue AND zip her lip now...:)
Fleep Tuque: laugh!
Jeska Linden: heh
Tao Takashi: but maybe the other way round: how many avatars went from OI directly to you
Jeska Linden: Ok I think we've got a lot of good suggestions on this one
Jeska Linden: Tao - that's a good one :)
Kalpana Linden: ok. this has been super useful. I have to pop out now (but jeska will be here). great to meet all of you.
Jeska Linden: Thanks Kalpana - see you later! :)
Tammy Nowotny: gerat to meet you too Kalpana
Fleep Tuque: Take care Kalpana, thanks.
Kalpana Linden: thanks to everyone for your input.

=== Future of Traffic ===
Jeska Linden: Ok, we've got about 15 minutes left
Jeska Linden: Let's move onto the last topic
Tao Takashi: dancing?
Jeska Linden: The final piece of this is the one that is the most intangible at the moment...
Jeska Linden: We don't yet have a design nor are we sure what the 'right' number is to help with search relevance.
Never Rust: one last suggestion - average amount of money spent on the parcel would be a good one.
Jeska Linden: We've spoken a bit abuot what metrics will help individual parcel owners determine if their land is successful
Tammy Nowotny: well one ,etric is how amny people actually click on the hit
Tammy Nowotny: *metric
Jeska Linden: I'm curious what metric, if any, is useful to help determine what is relevant in search results.
Jeska Linden: Currently in the "old" search, specifically the Places tab, traffic is used as one of the two sorting mechanisms (the other is alphabetically).
Jeska Linden: My question is what number (or combination of numbers), if any should be used for this purpose.
Jeska Linden: All suggestions welcome.
Jeska Linden: :)
Tao Takashi: you can use rating AND time of stay, that at least should it make harder to game ;-)
Tammy Nowotny: the text pasrsing for search needs work, but I am sure I am not the first to mention that
Fleep Tuque: Hm.
Jeska Linden nods
Tammy Nowotny: alhtough we only have a few Picks on our Porfile, you cd use those to rate places
Tammy Nowotny: (analogous to Google's incoming links)
Never Rust: If you're searching for places - then a voting system would be good. One that cannot be used by bots.
Jeska Linden: Tammy - picks are currently used to help determine relevance with the new search
Fleep Tuque: The best suggestion I saw was aggregate the top profile picks as a sorting mechanism
Jeska Linden: And could continue to
Cocoanut Koala: Do you plan to give your showcased businesses extra relevance in the same way?
Fleep Tuque: Ah ok
Cocoanut Koala: More points in the regular search?
Tammy Nowotny: ah OK
Jeska Linden: Cocoanut - as already mentioned, the two are not connected.
Cocoanut Koala: so - no weighting in the regular search in regards to what businesses get on showcase?
Jeska Linden: Again, they are two compeltely separate things.
Fleep Tuque: If it worked like the web, the number of places with direct links back to a location would count
Cocoanut Koala: so - no?
Fleep Tuque: So how many people have a sign at their plot with a direct TP to the International Space Museum - LOTS.
Tao Takashi: I have the feeling SL does not really work like the web ;-)
Tao Takashi: hence I don't like the term 3d web or so
Fleep Tuque: Right, I know, but I'm trying to think of some analogies
Jeska Linden: Actually - the Google Search Appliances do sort of work that way
Never Rust: You could count the # of teleports to a land - and use that as a proxy for links in
Jeska Linden: All parcels/avatars/groups/events are an individual web page
Fleep Tuque: The places that are really useful, many people recommend through putting kiosks and TPs on their land to help advertise them, that's not tracked at all right now.
Tao Takashi: then you have bots TPing all the time in
Jeska Linden: Which is then crawled by the google appliance
Tao Takashi: so TPing in and staying maybe
Jeska Linden: The links between (along with keyword matching, etc) are what determine relevance
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I do not believe you can add those into the equation Fleep
Cocoanut Koala: so does Showcase, then, have an influence on one's position in the regular search?
Jeska Linden: How could TPing in help?
Jeska Linden: Cocoanut - I have already answered that question 3, no 4 times now. They are NOT connected.
Cocoanut Koala: sorry for not understanding.
Jeska Linden: No worries!
Fleep Tuque: I meant as in scripted objects that supply a direct teleport to a given location
Jeska Linden: I'm curious about how teleports could help, since that's a new suggestion
Fleep Tuque: That's the nearest equivalent of a web link or pingback
Never Rust: I guess TP'ing in is no better than the traffic system that exists.
Tao Takashi: maybe TPing does not help ;-)
Fleep Tuque: I use prims on my land to advertise X place because I think it's great
Tao Takashi: what about length of stay and being active (like saying something)
Daten Thielt: Heres an idea, Every computer has a mac adress, mebe make the client grab a mac adress and convert it into a LLUID that the client sends to the server, if there is more than one of that LLUID ?
connected then its excluded from trafic gaining, . from my experiance a mac adress can only be spoofed by changing hardware?
Never Rust: Except that if you TP from a "high-value" spot, then some of that value could rub off on the spot you TP into.
Tammy Nowotny: we are reinventing the old traffic metric
Jeska Linden: So maybe if there were a way to "link" from your land to another parcel
Jeska Linden: Sort of how Picks works in the current system
Jeska Linden: Could be interesting...
Jeska Linden: Keep 'em coming!
Fleep Tuque: Yes, that's the concept I was thinking of
Tao Takashi: maybe also taking into account how much you are on different land
Never Rust: Yes! links instead of landmarks would be great.
Fleep Tuque: But picks have no COST
Tao Takashi: e.g. bots migth stay on one spot all the time
Fleep Tuque: prims DO cost, so it's a more "real" indication of someone's committment to recommending a place.
Tao Takashi: but I guess then we will have a bot business which distributes among clients
Fleep Tuque: Heck I dunno, I'm just brainstorming. :)
Jeska Linden: This might also work with the landmarks project that is being built currently...
Jeska Linden: I like brainstorming :)
Tammy Nowotny: trying to stop 'bots might also penalzie epople who merely incidentally share an IP address
Tao Takashi: my fear is still that everything can be gamed ;-)
Never Rust: You could create a method so that you can vote for a location but it costs some small amount. That way even if bots are used, it costs the owner money to raise rank.
Fleep Tuque: It just seems that there are existing mechanisms in place that people use to share recommendations, they just aren't captured by the client
Tammy Nowotny: well yes, anything can be gamed
Jeska Linden: That sounds similar to the ratings we used to have, which was pretty gamed
Cocoanut Koala: landmarks project?
Never Rust: What about a voting system with a human-readable verification code?
Fleep Tuque: Yeah that didn't work Never, tried that for sure.
Tammy Nowotny: although we can raise the price and/or reduce the distortion casued by it
Never Rust: How was the previous voting gamed?
Fleep Tuque: Captcha codes were suggested in the Traffic discussions
Jeska Linden: I don't know much about the Landmark project, but it's been discussed on the SL Dev list, it's an open source related project I believe.
Jeska Linden: Let's see if In can find a link...
Tammy Nowotny: we have those voting boxes... not too usefl unless you are on the first page... like the Galaxy where my sister works.
APinkSwan Beauchamp: Honestly, I am a HUGE advocate of advertising, exploring, and word of mouth.
Tammy Nowotny: never heard of the landmark project
Fleep Tuque: Never, should be able to get a ton of info on that on google, people ranted on blogs and forums all the time. :)
Jeska Linden: Ahh, there's the email:
APinkSwan Beauchamp: The current traffic system is totally gamed and I don't see numbers as being an option any longer.
Jeska Linden: Not sure if you need to be a member of the list or not..
Jeska Linden: Here's another link to the project team:
Cocoanut Koala: thanks, jeska
Jeska Linden: (sorry for tangent!)
Never Rust: I think the traffic system has some value still. If someone cares enough to pay campers and create bots - that's a form of advertising.
Tao Takashi: I still like the active thing.. this might involve moving, chatting, using voice, clicking something and so on and you can secretly apply what it means today ;-)
APinkSwan Beauchamp: Not really a form of advertising to have 60 alt accounts
Fleep Tuque: Tao, the folks in the traffic channel were just sure that bots could replicate all of that behavior in ways that would make it impossible to distinguish between bots and humans.
APinkSwan Beauchamp: more a form of TOS
Daten Thielt: create bots? you download a program from x website and hit run
Tao Takashi: I said it always can be gamed
Tao Takashi: you need to live with it or hire people who check
Fleep Tuque: nod
Tao Takashi: like Google
Fleep Tuque: Bot traps
Fleep Tuque: :)
Jeska Linden: :)

=== Closing ===
Jeska Linden: Ok, we're just about done...
Khamon Fate: Thanks for hosting Jeska
Jeska Linden: Any final thoughts?
Never Rust: I'm still confused why a captcha code could not be used for voting?
APinkSwan Beauchamp: I honestly would like to see a tab for camping, then do away with the traffic numbers completely...:)
Tammy Nowotny: Thanks jeska
Daten Thielt: if ur inactive more than 15 mins bring up an image verification¼¼¼
Jeska Linden: Never - apparently they've broken captcha with bots :(
Fleep Tuque: yes
Tammy Nowotny: that might penalzize people who merekly crashed
Jeska Linden: It's an arms race really
Fleep Tuque: so I hear anyway
Never Rust: well... can't it be made secure by some IT people?
Fleep Tuque: I think the key thing, Jesica
Jeska Linden: Yup
Jeska Linden: Thanks for coming out everyone. This was very helpful!
Tammy Nowotny: many places with dance pads did have a form of that... they wd ping you every so often and kick you off if you didn't respond
Tao Takashi: you can still quietly send captchas to some other service and let humans deciper it and deliver that back
Cocoanut Koala: My final thought is that LL should not be helping to decide what places people will shop at - no reason for it, and
Tammy Nowotny: Thnan YOU Jeska
Tao Takashi: you need a bigger organisation for it though
Tammy Nowotny: *Thanks YOU Jeska
Fleep Tuque: Jeska, rather, is that whatever stats you provide, or places you showcase, that the way those things are determined is _transparent_
Tao Takashi: thanks Jeska!
Cocoanut Koala: it will benefit some businesses at the expense of their competitors.
Cocoanut Koala: Thanks for holding the meeting, Jeska!
APinkSwan Beauchamp: Thank you Jeska.
Never Rust: Thanks jeska
Jeska Linden: I'll be sending the notes from the meeting to the group