Today's stroll through the Second Life blogosphere brings a slew of topics, including two machinima tips, a developer's diary for an upcoming FPS, a futurist's thoughts on online world creole, advice for marketing SL fashion to residents, a project for marketing RL fashion to residents, virtual trams that run on time and are tracked on the Web, and the fine art of burnishing screenshots (and screenshots of fine art). All that and more after the break.
I've been painfully slow to update my list of SL bloggers (left column, mid-page) and during the last few months, there's been a veritable burst of energy in the Second Life blogosphere. Playing that uniquely American game of catch-up, here's a long but incomplete tally of new and somewhat new additions:
- I'm a longtime fan of veteran Lash Xevious' beautifully textured SL sculptures (her contribution to Burning Life '04 depicted above); now she has a blog, showing off her art and hair styles, while also ranting about privacy violators and texture pilferers.
- Then there's Chandra Page, who took up the "My Avatar Heritage" challenge and like so many others, came up with a Bollywood star. Her avatar genetics are related (among others) to Indian starlet Celina Jaitley. That's the third Resident compared to Ms. Jaitley-- is she the Platonic form of avatar babes?
- Also note SignpostMarv Martin, currently suffering in real life from "coder's block", making him unable to program in any language-- except, somehow, LSL. He ponders if being able to program in an online world is the key to his creative unleashing.
- We are lucky to have someone like Anya Ixchel enter the SL blogosphere. In real life a pomo academic (she can deploy words like "intersemiosis" without breaking a sweat), Anya discovers a fascinating alternate reality game/narrative in SL called "Mata Hari", and takes us on her adventure to uncover its mysteries.
- Sabrina Doolittle and Salome Strangelove bring us Linden Lifestyles, a traipse through the world of SL fashion and custom avatars which is not always safe for work (unless you work at a European couture magazine.) Another great resource for the stylish avatar, and I also love Sabrina's brief detour into "Free Linden Phone Sex".
- Something like the Architectural Digest of Second Life, Content Confessional is a group blog written by Ingrid Ingersoll, Toast Bard, Nylon Pinkney, and the irresistable Barnes, with the best and latest in architecture and interior design, with a layout just as elegant as the products they feature.
- Fashion designer Elikapeka Tiramisu (in real life an active duty service member), blogs about clothing, dishes with her critics, and works with a scripter to create a cleverly-designed vending system intended to dynamically adjust the price of sale items according to the current market value of L$ against the US dollar. Looking forward to seeing that device in action.
- Artist and designer Nylon Pinkney (last seen in NWN innovating YouTube SL machinima into a metaverse advertising channel) has a blog that's mostly devoted to her casually hip fashion, presented in her inimitably customized avatars. Then there's her tribute (if that's the right word) to Bjork's infamous "swan dress" from a few Oscars back:
Compare and contrast to the original here. On Oscar night and for several days afterward, the popcult media devotes an inordinate amount of time snarkishly critiquing the fashions that celebrities wore on the red carpet. Nylon's post suggests an alternative: Instead of harshing the poor clothing choices of J. Lo or whoever on a message board, why not whip up your satirical take on them, and wear your cattiness?
- While we're at it, it's worth noting that famed Victorian coder Ordinal Malaprop has moved her blog to a new URL. (What she calls "a more permanent and personal Aethernet Hosting Situation".) Her latest post is a staggeringly ambitious attempt to essentially supplant the woefully broken "Popular Places" listing in the interface with a tagging folksonomy. How? Through a heads-up display that lets you rate regions, and then send that information to a database on the Web. I'm going to follow this one closely.
And remember, I said this is an "incomplete list", because I stumble into new SL blogs on an almost weekly basis. If there's one I'm missing here, check my contact page, note the guidelines under "LINKS AND THE SL BLOGGERS ROLL", and e-mail me the URL.
Highlights from last week's notes from around the world:
- LA City Council candidate sets up a virtual campaign meet up.
- Demographics of the New World Notes reader, translated in avatar form.
- Reflections on the Gameboy Advance release of Tringo.
- Using SL as a movie production platform.
- Taking suggestions for an upcoming Creative Commons lecture.
- A HUD to turn your world into a widescreen production.