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« 20,000 WORDS | Main | Squagmire's Lies, Evasions, and Distractions »

December 08, 2005



It's a little too early to start ranting about this. We have no clue how Squagmire's infonet will be used. If everyone can advertise on it for free, it would be no different from the poster ads on the walls of the telehubs. In which case, who cares? Squagmire's thing would be great as long as it's accessible to all, and I'm fairly certain it will be knowing the lindens.

Prokofy Neva

Never too early to rant and scream about Linden favouritism of resident business. Never. This is their default, and they need to be corrected off it again and again and again. We, the public, need to call them and their feted pets to accountability.

No one has access to these terminals, you can't "advertise for free". In fact, tho it advertises in some of its literature about free listings, currently it has a fee-based listing. Even if they dump that when they go live on telehubs, we can't access it except by going through their group, their filter, their people -- here the Lindens are going to throw up their hands and cry "no editorial control".

"Being accesssible to all" is not a committee that takes my application and hundreds of others and queues them up. "Being accessible to all" is like the current telehub ad system, clunky though it is, which enables anyone to put in an ad and see it rotated for 2 weeks. They must install something like that which has no value judgements and group-think at the spigot as InfoNet is now.


Ms. Profoky writes, "Blah, blah. blah."




the un-info-net? I had another friend comment that it's a little lacking in depth, although that might change if it becomes higher profile. I remember when this launched but haven't really paid attention to it since, and I'm probably not alone there.

really, i have no problem with someone creating an info-net like thing and charging money for selected categories like craig's list, but if the Lindens are going to have an institutional information network the money paid into it should really go to LL pockets or be a money sink... not a particular resident.

be interested to see what LL says on this...


hmm scary i find myself in General agreement with Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva on this on..altho again it is presented as The Sky is Falling!
i have simple suggestion tho for ya Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva,
put your OWN ystem in at the hubs you have land..make it everything you Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva thinks it should be...and if it is more popular that teh other system..guess will be adopted by others!

Prokofy Neva

Craig's list this ain't. First of all, anyone can upload to Craig's list. This is funnelled and controlled by a tight group of cadres.

The Craig's list model is the one to use, absolutely. Regular uses help set the tone. You have a few rules, most keep them. You do have moderators, but you don't obsess.

Craig's list doesn't charge, either, and InfoNet does.

Currently, this *resident-run business* which takes PAID ads is in the WELCOME AREA people. I mean, why is no one complaining? Why do they get to do this? I want a kiosk in the welcome area too for my rentals.

The Lindens have ALREADY adopted this for their OWN info channel, and they already blessed Squagmire's thing, so the problem is now to either 1) put pressure on it to broaden and change it by creating an alternative editorial committee that MUST be admitted, through social pressure (have ready alternatives which I am going to restart with my own top picks and I urge everyone to do the same) or 2) overthrow it. Someone should make an open source thing and plant it everywhere they can near the Linden thing. I'm happy to turn over any and all of my telehub and near-telehub lands for this purpose whoever comes up with that. That's my contribution, since I'm not a scripter.

Beryl Greenacre

With as far-reaching an effect and presence as an advertising system of this size (there are a _lot_ of telehubs... er, infohubs... er, whatever) will have on SL, why couldn't the Lindens have solicited player entries for this scripted system? Even if they eventually went with this InfoFunnel, it would be better, at least for appearances' sake, to open this up for public bid. I think I agree with Prokofy on this issue, but I also think I need more details on this development.

Prokofy Neva

Why bother to open up a competition when they already have InfoNet where they already have their Linden Channel? This has been open and running for months, priming itself for this decision the Lindens knew they were already going to take months ago.

Like why open up a bid for a picture service to have pictures featured on the web page? They already have Snapzilla.

In fact, the Lindens just view all these businesses as theirs, as their pets, as their incubated projects, done on their platform, with their weekly subsidies, with their encouragement, and they aren't half wrong to think that. They don't even have to bother to tell their pet rats in the experiment that they're doing well. They can just feed them more pellets.

Cocoanut Koala

I agree, Beryl. Sounds like Squigmire was "Cristiano-ed" - i.e., they took the best system they knew of (and apparently were already involved in) and well, that was that.

One of these days I hope they figure out that even if this is the best thing out there for this, and even if they would end up choosing it ANYWAY, there are better ways to go about these things by far.

I worry, too, about the fact that here we have an officially sanctioned advertising medium dispensing official and resident information on official Linden Land.

Yet, one resident - or several residents, I'm not sure - get to be the final authority on whose ads or whatever get "accepted?" Do I have that right?

This in practice may turn out to be no problem whatsoever, depending on the residents in control of it.

But therein lies the rub. It should NOT depend on one or a few residents.

If Flipper were controlling the official events calendar, for instance, it would be shorter by far, because he considers most of what's on it "non-events" - including Tringo, Slingo, Blood 21, Club Contests, commercial events, etc. - all of which I consider events, and many of which I attend.

It would be pretty miserable for those of us (me) who want to see all these events if they had to first go through the filter of what Flipper thinks I ought to be able to peruse.

Now, he is doing his own thing on his own site, and it's fine. But what if - without consulting any of us - the Lindens suddenly decided he got to do that for the official calendar?

That seems to be what they have done here. Without consulting any of us, they have decided to let an individual or individuals decide for us all what we can advertise - and see advertised - in the official telehub "community" areas. We have to hope that this resident's decisions about what things are "non-ads" vs "real ads" won't prevent our participation.

We should never be in a position where an official part of SL is closed to us at the whim of other residents just like ourselves.

Correct me if I'm wrong on any of the details of how this would work. Will there be another way to advertise in the telehub areas in addition to this thing?

Naturally - and I shouldn't have to add this here like I would on the forums, but I will anyway - this says nothing against this person, whatever. I'm sure whoever he is will not be on any power trip or anything, and won't keep any of us from participating. (So no, I'm not criticizing him or his product personally any more than I was "attacking Bedazzled" when they had that contract handed to them.)

It's a bad design that puts residents up at the mercy of another resident, or even a group of residents, for official Linden things.


Cocoanut Koala

P.S. I don't think we GET to just "put in our own system" at the telehubs if we want to.

If we could, there wouldn't be a problem.

Cocoanut Koala

You mean - where I could put in my ads for free at the telehub before, which I loved to do - now I am supposed to PAY SOME OTHER RESIDENT FOR THAT?????

I THINK NOT PEOPLE. There had better be something free for me, that's for sure. Or that I would pay the Lindens for, at the very least - not SOME OTHER RESIDENT.


Somebody get the details on this. I'm ready to rock and roll.



Sometimes Prok you just gotta walk away. I found myself getting wound up to the point of blood pressure and weeping and all that over stuff LL decides to do.

The last straw for me was their attempt to destroy the classifieds listings en masse.

So I took a few steps back and I can't fight every single battle that comes up cuz I pay to play not pay to get a heart pill prescription.

Love ya Prok - but I worry about ya health. Don't let em get ya so het up. Choose your battles, and choose to keep the blood pressure down over the ones you do choose.

I been there, trust me and now I choose to play SL rather than have it play me. HUGGSS darlin hang in there k?


well Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva, while i agree with you in principle here
i guess i am dismayed by your change in heart about everybody should have equal acess to Linden contracts..sighs
from being Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva, to this..."To allow strangers -- completely strangers with completely alien agendas -- to come into each telehub area and STEP ON the people who BOUGHT LAND THERE and run malls and stores and clubs at them -- and replace them with top picks featuring something by the railroad in Achemon or SupportforHealing or Nick's Water World or what have you -- this is just plain wrong." saighs
why shouldn't they be given as good a chance as anybody ?? isn't that what you wanted? as Prokofy "THE PEOPLES CHAMPION" Neva,???
but i guess we all know now what your agenda promotye only PIG approved causes and to only allow PIG to have their photo's at teh top of our BLOG
shame shame shame

Prokofy Neva

Oh, stop it clio, you're full of shit. I don't have respect for people who can't post under their SL avatar names and stand for what they believe in.

I very much believe in local governance. It makes no fucking sense WHATSOEVER for InfoNet, which has PAID advertising by a SELECT group of Linden-blessed residents to come into a PUBLIC SPACE, namely former telehub Governor Linden space, and advertise something OUTSIDE that community, to whatever the whims are of that little clique. Why should Achemon Railshop and Nate's Water World get to pay on this thing, on public land, and lure away avatars landing in my telehub I paid for? It's just fucking ridiculous. People pay for land precisely to OPEN IT UP to the public not CLOSE IT. They want the public to come, not be funnelled and siphoned off to the FIC.

You just don't get how public space work. It has to be public and accessible. It isn't. The Infonet at the telehubs should reflect the ads of the businesses at that location. They should be able to come in and place them freely without hindrance. If there is a charge, it should be a Linden dollar sink going to LL that all pay in the same way, not an editorial board.

I don't expect you to understand these subtleties. Equal access means pushing the funnel aside that has paid advertising run at the expense of local business.

Kendra Bancroft

I thought you were a free-market capitalist?

Prokofy Neva

I am a free-market capitalist. InfoNet isn't free-market capitalism, it's an authoritarian state giving one special resident, or crony, its business. Its state crony capitalism. For the market to remain free, and reflect the advertising of those local businesses, it's necessary to get the state's crony out of the information field.

Prokofy Neva

Our main objection to InfoNet is their list of picks. It's utterly wacky. This has been dissected on the forums. If there's a system of paid ads, that's fine, but then we want the payments to go not to one resident business to enrich them while they use the public space for free -- tier free, without purchase cost, without payment of tier, without any expense payment -- and make a profit or even merely pay their expenses.

And if they prove themselves to be a non-profit, that's no better. Because the game in SL is to get reputation enhancement by doing the public good (by your own lights often) and then everyone is compelled to say, "Ohh, aren't they a good scripter! Didn't they spend a lot of hours! Oh, aren't we grateful to them for making a thingie!"

They then can parley those "reputation credits" into more favours, more perks, etc. etc. So it's as valued a coin in the realm as a Linden dollar and not to be given away as a public resource any more quickly than tier-free land.

Of course, there isn't any public or public space, it's all one company's, Linden Lab. But if we're to buy into the worldism they promote, then we are right to urge fairness and that this federal government function be taken on to promote fair play.

The money for ads should go as a money sink or to LL for them to use as events grants.

tenzin tuque

well, what about setting up a development group for an open-source infonet?

SL FreeNet! Or something to that effect.

If it turns out to be a better interface, then great. And if it's free and backed by non-profit style board of diverse reps, then what could be better -- or more competitive? I agree with many people that SL's current mix of anarcho-capitalist economy and benevolent monarchy governance, you could wait a long time for reforms and improvements if it means waiting on official action. Linden interests and the public interest are not always the same thing, obviously, so why not just go ahead and try to create a self-sustaining solution, if possible.

Now I'm no scripting wizard (tho I'm somewhat handy with 11th to 18th century Tibetan architecture), but can help organize. I'm a journalist in RL and have an interest in independent media and access to communication tools because, well, they're fundamental to a flourishing society, virtual or otherwise. (Which brings up the question of weather there's a vision for civil society in SL or not... but that's another discussion.)

Could anyone with skills start a thread on SL forums and see if there's enough volunteer support to attempt a SL FreeNet? I'm hesitant to lead a thread because I really have no practical idea how such an InfoNet would be built, and not sure what the workflow would look like.

I know some scripters who might volunteer and can ask them for help if there's interest to make this a non-partisan, cooperative effort.


then prokofy cannot be part of it since prokofyis agains free stuffs

juro kothari

Are there any other systems similar to Infonet in SL?

Cocoanut Koala

The bottom line: This isn't even a problem which has to be solved.

They don't even have to have an infonet or anything of the kind at the telehubs!

They can have the same advertising thing they had before, which was not only was free, it also didn't pay money to a specific resident. And anybody could put their ad there without having to pass the approval of another resident first.

Don't worry about replacing Infonet. Don't feel we HAVE to come up with something else. We didn't need it in the first place, and don't need it now, on official lands.

Kill the idea of putting Infonet at the hubs. Problem over.


Jake Reitveld

I guess for me I see this as a cop-out. LL intended telehub land as a location for building communities. The were blessed witha wonderful opportunity to uses this land and consider how these points of infran structure could best be used to accomplish this task.

Now what we have is a commerical venture being put in these telehub spaces with all the community building properties of a phone book. Is LL getting out of the community business-it seems so.

They apparently have given up on the idea of making a virtual community, and are now focused solely on a virtual platform. I for one am sad. I hated telehubs with a passion. They were, to me, sensless and unsualble. They were traffic jams on my freeway.

Yet I admired Phillip's vision. He had a vision of building the infrastructure to a virtual community that could accomobate a diverse group of interests, even those antethetical to mine. But with this step, the person who is supposed to be most focused on community, Robin Linden (one wonders how you can build a community while seemingly having as little contact with it as possible). Has now bowed down and taken an easy out.

Now LL may well have opened the door to player infrastucure (why develope anything in SL at all -sell land and make money without actually having to do anything to the land-its brilliant). I will build every road SL needs for $2500 USD a month. If the lindens are looking for a contractor.

Which is fine. But telehubs were public land. Rather than make usless infor hubs that comepete with the underwhelming find feature, they should have made real efforts to put commubnity building projects on this land.

If I thought telehubs were usless, theninfo hubs are a step further up the useless ladder. Well manybe not if they disabled the find feature in the browser, but even then who is going to talk to anyone at an info hub?

Community is built by content, and in community building LL needs to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Part of what I admired was LL's leadership, now they seem to be a roadblock.


"In fact, the Lindens just view all these businesses as theirs, as their pets, as their incubated projects, done on their platform, with their weekly subsidies, with their encouragement, and they aren't half wrong to think that. They don't even have to bother to tell their pet rats in the experiment that they're doing well. They can just feed them more pellets."

Yes, exactly, why the hell do we wiki nationalists keep insisting that they package the software and let users build their own grids?

Because "In fact, the Lindens just view all these businesses as theirs, as their pets, as their incubated projects, done on their platform, with their weekly subsidies, with their encouragement, and they aren't half wrong to think that. They don't even have to bother to tell their pet rats in the experiment that they're doing well. They can just feed them more pellets."


On topic, you're correct that it would make more political and social sense to simply build a large five-sided billboard that allowed local land owners, within the old coverage range, to post advertisements.

It might have to cost money in order to throttle a plethora of stupid crap. But it would definitely better adhere to their rhetoric of community involvement, sense of place et cetera than Infonet in its current incarnation.

I've not yet seen plans for the actual product going into the hub spaces. Have they said that they're going to use Infonet as is or might they only use the platform with a more open and public method of data collection?

I'd still just auction all the land and have done with it. Let the locals buy it, support it, and do whatever they please and can work out among themselves with it.

Prokofy Neva

Khamon, I'm one of those people who used to believe in democratic Yugoslavian federalism without Tito. So I go on believing in an integrated federated grid that has a rule of law loosely enforced by the Lindens with democratic participation of the federalists. I don't want to host a sim.

It would make more social and ECONOMIC sense for them to build a billboard -- not even an ugly big one but just boards with ads visible form all sides, not like the hard-to-see telehub sides on those ridiculous telehub bulidings -- and have people pay to it or have it be free and rotating. Their inability to do this simple thing is conditioned by their socialism, tekkie-wikism, and their allergy to commerce which is aggravated by their forum FIC.

They said in a public meeting that it was going into all the new "infohubs". I questioned Lindens directly on this later. They said, yes, and if I didn't like it, well, I could go try to get a job as an InfoFunnel journalist myself and see if I could "help it".

No, I'm not for auctioning it, they should let owners form groups to run it as a group like deeded island parcel owners who can return prims and place prims and so on but not sell.

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