The Second Life Community Convention, mirroring only the SL community of course, has always been plagued with troubles, and now it is cancelled this year. That's sad, but no more sad than other sad things in and around SL these days -- which I personally still enjoy and find rewarding and work out as I may, without paying too much attention to the FIC, the Lindens, and their dramas -- of which this latest SLCC drama is probably the largest of SL history.
(Although, under FlipperPAY Peregrine, it's important to remember there were even more horrendous scandals before the show went on. The organizing committee had a Linden on it, Jeska Linden, but she was there in "her own capacity" according to Robin Linden's comment to me at the time. They tried to ban me from coming (!) until Scoble (!) wrote in the real media that this was appalling (!). That was the least of their troubles. Musicians rebelled as they tried to grab their IP rights to the videos of their performances in a bad contract. Then the orgkomitet went broke, I hear, and the Lindens had to bail them out (!) because people had already paid money and were coming to Chicago. The horror! Then, icing on the cake, a Linden punched out one of the Gold Solutions Providers in the bar after getting roaring drunk. Can you beat that with a stick?! )
I gave it rave reviews last time I went in 2010 as it became far more professional and well-organized and was actually fun and interesting in Boston, but I'm not sure what happened in 2011 where it was held in San Francisco (they were to alternate between coasts) and apparently there were dramas and scandals with people suiing each other..or something.
I went to the very first one in 2005 where it was tacked on as a one-day conference to State of Play, a more "grown-up" established conference of academics like Ted Castronova and game companies including Linden Lab, which sponsored it. I'm trying to remember what happened in 2006.
Then I wrote about it in 2007 as "an accident going somewhere to happen" -- outrageously, Plastic Duck, who had been busy crashing the SL servers and harassing me personally for months on end was allowed to come.
In 2009, I called for boycotting it, because Ray Kurzweil, the awful "Singularist" totalitarian was the keynote speaker -- but he ended up being beamed in, not coming in person, didn't he? His son worked for a time at the Lab.
In 2011, the Alphaville Herald (Pixeleen) snarked that the Lab was preparing for another "chalking" incident -- and the low point in 2010 of course was that Woodbury University griefers were allowed to park their "party bus" in front of the Lab's real-life building and deface it with graffiti, including a prominent "Ban Prok" performed by Meif Ling aided and abetted by the Woodbury griefers -- who were greeted by Kona Linden and others. Remember the professor who was "in on it" -- Edward Clift, whose profile had one of the "pool's out" guys with the Afros to show his affiliation with 4chan? He was there "supervising" the miscreants.
It's not clear what happened here, but it has something to do with a contract. Hamlet ne Linden, who can't hide his schaudenfraud, has part of the story and seems to imply that Linden Lab wanted some sort of exclusive or partnership in perpetuity or something, it's not at all clear.
Fleep Tuque, who was the soul of SLCC, has a moving and longer personal explanation, that doesn't really get into the contract issues -- and they may be under NDA like all SL stuff -- but she explains how basically, it's the nastiness of the community. Ingratitude, bitching, kvetching, sabotage, failure to help etc. She has a thinly-veiled reference to Crap that people said -- and that lets us know Crap Mariner, the near-psychopathic Aspberger's patient who continues to vex the SL community -- posted something awful.
What he did isn't clear, because he's scrubbed his entire blog and said that it was "accidently" nuked or something and that he is keeping the "toxic waste" on a flash stick. He also put his blog under robots.text so you can't find it on the Wayback Machine.
But through the wonders of Google cache, I pieced together what he wrote and scrubbed, and re-paste it as a public service below. It is indeed horrid -- the title is ghastly, as we've come to expect of him -- but this may not be the only post because the rest seems like typical cranky nasty Mariner (see below).
Others are saying that Avacon wanted to have a Metaverse conference with other grids like Open Sim, Hypergrid, Unity, etc. -- and that would have been interested. Evidently, Linden Lab didn't want to pay for something that had all those reverse engineers also featured. I don't blame them. I remember the look on Glenn Linden's face at the tech expo in San Jose back in 2009, was it? When the other virtual worlds were starting to boom and had their exhibits out, like Multiverse and Blue Mars and such. He literally blanched and looked scared. I remember telling another conference-goer that I didn't take joy in the Lindens suffering, but I noted it, after all the agida they had caused me (and others).
But we don't agree on what the Lindens do wrong. That's obvious point number one. Somebody might think the Lindens are bad because they didn't put in avatar foot shadows fast enough or didn't open source their server code, something that I'd say was wrong -- and I'd say they were wrong even to open source the viewer, which really has brought little but havoc. We don't even agree on what the Lindens are and what they should do, and the Lindens themselves don't agree. That would be good if it were a democracy with a parliament and a mixed economy and the rule of law, backed up by independent judiciary and free media. But we don't have any of those things in Second Life.
"We are customers of a software company. The end," as Eric Rice (Spin Martin) used to say.
I always think in fact they believed we were more than that, but Herding Cats has a funny bit where they talk about how we are not the customers that Linden Lab wants. True, that. Misfits, insufficiently cool, building our Malibu beach houses.
Here's what I think is all wrong with the whole SLCC thing though, as good as Avacon did organize it:
o fetishizing the inworld reflection -- this should be scrapped. It's too big a burden, technically, personnel wise, etc. If you don't want to socialize in real life, don't, but don't be jealous and nasty about other people not beaming their conversations into you. Organize your own inworld SLCC if you must and stop bitching --they need not be parallel
o fetishizing streaming and taping and making it all available online. Why? The specialness is really in the moment. It's great to enable others to have that "TED talk experience," but it's costly and brings up IP issues. Tell people with $500 laptops that they can livestream and wrestle with the hotel over their poor wi-fi if they wish, and don't burden yourself with this social media chore. It's a recipe for burnout and people expenditure and money expenditure -- most hotels cannot do wi-fi, full stop. Conference centers even have a real hard time with this, even at TechCrunch. Don't bother. It's not worth it. Let people use their i-phones. The end.
o Pay the staff and stop crabbing about the lack of volunteers. If you are profitable, you can pay staff, at least minimum wage.
o Divide up the commmuuuunity into the sectors they naturally fall on by the second day instead of having "tracks" that frustrate people or even have separate conferences at different times and let people chose furries or educators or BDSM or norms. (BTW, the educators were the WORST at SLCC 2010. Awful!)
o Take the expense and stress out of meal preparation by setting people loose in the evenings to find their own food and entertainment or find a business to sponsor a cocktail hour. That's what TechCrunch does.
Well, there's more, but I'll stop because it's hypothetical and I don't want to organize even a meet-up, I find, because the people just aren't very nice in SL. They're mean. The few I do like I meet one on one inworld or in real as needed.
Now for Crap's Crap:
“SLCC 2012 is still being held… underwater until the thrashing and bubbles stop.”
It's no surprise that AvaCon stepped away from SLCC 2012.
Was it Linden Lab, insisting on getting their annual office-and-lynching party thrown for them in their bicoastal back yards?
Was it AvaCon, run by people migrating to OpenSim?
Was it Second Life, with its chief evangelist saying that it hasn't really failed?
What is the sponsors... they still exist, right?
Was it the educators, driven out by price hikes?
Was it the economy?
One more question that keeps coming up over and over these days: "Why the fuck am I thinking about this shit?"
Look, SLB was worth saving, and it got done better than it's ever been done before.
But with the Lab tied to its neck and binding its hands behind its back, does SLCC really matter anymore? Or is it time to open the tent-flaps
InWorldZ did their meet-and-greet in Vegas, which is begging for visitors. The InWorldZ folks don't fear their community, and it seems to
have worked out fine for them.
The Music Jams are happening every few months in various cities. Either go to play or go to enjoy... or go to get smashed on gummi bears
soaked in vodka. (Dallas is every other year, so I guess I'll find another to spend my Music Jam Budget on... New England? Florida?)
But SLCC as it is, just not happening, man, and good luck to any group that has the audacity to take on this fool's errand.
no we dont
And damn those who treat it like an opportunity to stiff-arm those who still give a shit.
Yeah, I think I'm going to do the Florida Music Jam.
It's in January, so I'll have plenty of time to save up my pennies and sober up from celebrating Obama's last few days in office.
See y'all there?
Unless the entire grid collapses and BK runs off with those "healthy profits" to Rio, I'll be doing 100 word stories at Seanchai Library tonight
at 7PM SLT.
I'll send a notice out through the 100 word stories group, tweet it, and post it in mySL. And the Seanchai folks will post it in their groups.
Seanchai is listed in my picks, too. And this is the SLURL.
If after all of that and you're still not sure where it is, go work on your 100 word story for the Weekly Challenge.
There's 5 days to go for the weekly challenge.
23 people have sent recorded stories.
10 people have sent stories without recordings.
There are plenty of people on the page who have volunteered to read for people who cannot or will not read.
Contact them directly. Work it out.
I'll send friendly reminders to the people who haven't recorded their stories tonight.
After that... it's all up to y'all.
Good luck. And go relay.
Fleep lost her Beanie.
Reminds me of Tortie in the park.
Despite the rain and the standing water, she was waiting for me.
... and off to work I go.
4 Responses to ““SLCC 2012 is still being held… underwater until the thrashing and bubbles stop.””
Botgirl Questi says:
July 10, 2012 at 05:14
The announcement I saw from the group who had managed SLCC in the past described the problem as a contract issue, not LL saying
they didn't want it to happen. So I wonder what the contract issue was. Was it an excuse not to hassle with SLCC? Was it about money?
Was is something a new lawyer came up with? Enquiring minds want to know!
July 10, 2012 at 05:17
@BG - I don't want to know, and I don't care.
The Lab stabbed SLCC in the gut when they forced the city schedule on it, making it unreachable and unaffordable to many, making sure
it was all about THEM and not being able to acknowledge that a natural evolution was necessary.
AvaCon just didn't have the sense to give up before now.
Yordie Sands says:
July 10, 2012 at 05:39
I'm glad you are commenting on this, Mr Crap. For people like myself who are not as well connected or familiar with the history, it is
First, you asked if SLCC matters anymore? And even though I'm not personally interested in attending, i'm very interested in the
commentary about the work done at those meetings. And Rodvik's spoken remarks are of great interest.
If venue was an issue, i have to fall on the side that acknowledges that is is reasonable for the venue to shift to the west coast from time to
time. If this is the reason the SLCC group walked away, i think that would be rather petty.
As Botgirl says, if this was a contract issue, then I wonder what happened in those negotiations. Who didn't want this thing to happen
because in the end, somebody didn't want it to happen.
July 10, 2012 at 05:41
@yordie - Based on the Lab's love of NDAs, we'll probably never know.