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New WindLight Tutorial for Looking Excellent in Second Life

WindLight tutorial

Everyone knows WindLight looks great for the world's surroundings, but not always for fashionable avatars. In fact, Iris wrote a 2008 tutorial for using WindLight in SL fashion shoots. Now fashionista supreme Gorgeous Yongho of Juicy Bomb has an updated tutorial, and if you want to look as gorgeous as Gorgeous, you should probably go here.

Jezebel Bailey: What Matters About Second Life is the People Inside It

Reflecting on the real life death of a Second Life friend's son, and the SL community who supported him, then contrasting that with all the drama over the new viewer and virtual property ownership, Jezebel Bailey reflects on the big picture:

How many lives are you able to touch and to help. How many people have you met... If you left Second Life WHO would you keep in contact with? Second Life is so amazing in its ability to create a support system, in the WAY we are able to interact with people we have come to care about.

More movingly here.

Second Life Fashion Inspired by Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen inspired SL shoes

Legendary cult fashion designer Alexander McQueen has tragically passed away, but his inspiration lives on in Second Life, which is perhaps the best place to express his fervently kinky imagination. Case in point: These 8 inch platform boots modeled and blogged by Ms. Marisol Koenkamp, who's also wearing a sexy android Chrome Goddess skin. Somehow I think Mr. McQueen would approve.

Shanghai Expo Machinima Sims Now Open!

As I reported yesterday, next month's World Expo in Shanghai will feature Second Life machinima, in the City of Madrid Spain pavilion. The videos were shot on land the Lindens contributed, which have been gorgeously terraformed and customized by several top SL artists. These sims are now open to the public, and the Lindens have all the SLurls for visiting them on their blog here. Here's one of the machinimas made there which will show at Shanghai, "no love" by Bryn Oh:

Top Four Places to Roleplay *Avatar* as an Avatar

Avatar Roleplay in SL

Daniel Voyager has a list of top four places in Second Life inspired by Avatar. (There's at least four? I only knew about this one.) Bring your own spear, just beware Miles Quaritch's mercenary bastards. Or for that matter, lawyers with the nice people at Newscorp who may not be fans of fan fiction.

Lifestreamers Forming Community in Second Life

This quintessentially cool chick with the Run Lola Run hair is Jessica, an MFA student who lifestreams, a kind of extreme blogging which as she puts it, "is the act of documenting and sharing your life online." That's usually done via a site with a constant feed of your photos, Tweets, etc. and in her case, video reports on Second Life (her SL name is JessicaElizabeth Diabolito) which she uses as a meeting space with fellow lifestreamers:

"Many of us are self-employed or want to be self-employed. We want to have profitable online businesses," she explains to me. "But without a boss or a workplace to go to, it can be hard to get motivated to get out of bed in the morning. By scheduling meetings in SL, we can keep each other accountable for 'showing up' to work." You could of course do that with Skype or another online communication service, but Second Life actually proved to be less complicated: "SL actually lowers the barrier to entry -- you don't have to put your makeup on to meet, just roll out of bed and log on. That's all most of us need, just a tiny push, a small group of people who will care if we don't show up." Her aim is to expand the group because "SL is a great place to do that because of the embodied communication." If you're interested in joining, JessicaElizabeth Diabolito's in-world group is called, cleverly enough, "Lifestreamers". Her own lifestream site is here.

Phoenix Power Outage Knocks Second Life Offline 7 Hours

Due to a power outage that hit a datacenter based in Phoenix, according to FJ Linden, all of Second Life went offline from 9pm to 4am yesterday. (What's the deal with Arizona lately?) As is often the case, Tyche Shepherd has the best infographic on the concurrency outage. And you know what goes great with infographics? You guessed it:

SL concurrency

Infographic by Tyche, Lolcatting by Hamlet. Tyche hat tip: Jura Shepherd.

Second Life Machinima To Be Featured at the World Expo in Shanghai Next Month!

Shanghai Expo air tree SL machinima

Only a couple days ago, I noted that an artist who uses Second Life in her work is a finalist for a prestigious art prize, and now here's even more news ratifying the value of SL as an art medium: The Universal Exposition (also known as the World's Fair) has introduced new art and technology to humanity since the 19th century. (E.G., the telephone.) The latest fair is taking place now in Shanghai, China, and next month, another relatively new medium will be introduced in this venue:

"For the first time in history," Spanish art director Cristina García-Lasuén tells me, "machinimas are going to be shown and take part in a World Expo." She is the curator for OPEN THIS END, the Madrid gallery non-profit organization putting together the multimedia for the "Air Tree", one of the City of Madrid's Spain's contributions to the fair. As it happens, Ms. García-Lasuén is also a Second Life user, known as Aino Baar in SL, and she's already compiled a collection of great SL machinima that millions of Expo visitors will see. I'm still getting details on how this landmark event came together, but confirmed the basics with Linden Lab, who are loaning some virtual land for the show.

For now, here's one of the SL machinimas that visitors to Shanghai will see: "No Color", by metaverse artist (and occasional contributor to this blog) ColeMarie Soleil:

Continue reading "Second Life Machinima To Be Featured at the World Expo in Shanghai Next Month!" »

Open Forum: Post Details for Upcoming SL Events Here!

Ms. Chestnut Rau won't be able to write her awesome Second Life events calendar this week, so here's an open forum. What interesting and fun events are happening between today and next Wednesday? Please post:

  • Date
  • Time (SLT)
  • Short event description
  • SLurl to event

Linden Dollar Sales on LindeX Decrease 58% From Q4 '09 to Q1 '10; Lindens Attribute it to Rising L$ Sales on XStreet

Linden Dollar Sales
Linden Dollar activity graph by Tyche Shepherd of Grid Survey

Weeks before the Lindens' published Second Life Q1 2010 report, Tyche Shepherd of Grid Survey published her own stats, based on publicly available SL data. One striking graph: Linden Dollar sales on the LindeX, the official L$ purchasing system, were down 58% last quarter from the previous quarter of Q4 2010. This was pointed out to me by John Zdanowski, formerly known as Z Linden, previously Linden Lab's CFO, now with Blue Mars. "That's a very important number to watch," as he put it to me in a Tweet. So I checked with the Lindens, for their take. What's going on with this decline?

"Overall trading activity on the LindeX reached an all-time high in the quarter," Linden PR rep Pete Linden told me. According to him, purchases of Linden Dollars on XStreetSL, the company's eccomerce site, are supplanting sales on the LindeX: "The merging of Linden Dollar balances on Xstreet increased direct L$ sales on Xstreet as part of item purchases, and increased L$ sinks from Xstreet in Q1, which likely had an impact on L$ sales on the LindeX." However, he said, the total amount of Linden Dollars in the economy is still up from last quarter: "The total L$ held by Residents reached nearly L$7 billion -- flat compared to Q4 2009, and an 18% increase compared to Q1 2009."

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