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Friday, July 03, 2009


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Mako Kungfu

Oh... it's over? Lol. Oh well. Threats of lag, rumors of content theft/bullshit drama and lack of specific enticement shoved it to the bottom of my mental possible-interesting-things-to-do list... and so I never made it. Plus, I remember wandering around SL5B pretty bored and basically alone (and an empty Linden fairground seems less fun deserted circus and more corporate convention wasteland). Things are such a mess lately too -- wasn't SL6B opening weekend the "emergency maintenance" Saturday that SL basically ground to a halt for many residents?


We're all parked in Zindra camping spots while our tickets wait to be processed.

Sioban McMahon

Most of the time I spent at the SL6B areas was spent building our exhibit, DJ'ing a shfit for the celebration, or at the events at our own exhibit area. I explored some, but I found the theme to be sort of off putting. The black skies and glowing objects tended to start to blur together after a short while. I think the theme actually limited the creativity of the exhibits this year. It was kind of cold and lonely, beyond the events.

Not a reflection of the creativity and fun that you can find across the grid just exploring on an average day.

Those complaints aside, I loved the live music.

Ran Garrigus

I think it's Tateru Nino who noted that the last birthday bash was much more visited, as well.

I dropped by, but I can't say I spent as much as an hour. I think in part because it did feel incredibly overwhelming. So many things you could see, you sort of end up feeling like you don't want to see any of them for some reason. Perhaps if there had been a series of posts from organizers/blogs highlighting different things each day, it would have sparked more interest?

I did appreciate the tram system. That was cool. And the central party hub was neat, another lovely architectural design from Prad Prathivi.


I was wondering the same thing. I went to some of the sims for sl6b and there were like 10 visitors. It seemed like a complete NoShow. I definately think the whole Zindra move had a bunch of people upset around the same timeframe the event was held and there just wasn't anything really worth attending at the events. I was bored off my *** to tell you the truth. I spent less than 2 hours wandering around at the nothingness.

Lindens, give us something good, like extra performance that could be gained from nuking all the bots\campers\bots disguised as campers.

Give us some lag free places to go to, give us some more eyecandy like windlight did, give us some more attachpoints, but most of all, performance, performance, performance.

I'm tired of being required to have distance draw so damn low and having to watch everything fill in like a slideshow. I have a fast machine and want faster response from SL.

If the 40% of resources being wasted for bots and camping were diverted for us to use inworld, that might be something we could actually feel. I get sick everytime I think of all that server performance just sitting there, being wasting on bots and campers. What a pity.

Anyway, Sl6B was a letdown this year, hopefully next year it will be better. Maybe some bigger name performers, I dunno. Something. It was a sparse event this year that is for sure. I kept glancing at the map all day wondering where everyone was, but at the same time wondering, what is there to do at this event. Oh well.

Adric Antfarm

The whole thing had a black green dark feel to it that was kind of a downer (and yes we know you can it make it day).

Prad's thing was good but needed a ton less holes where you walk.

The numbers thing was evident by exhibitors trying to drag you in.

Structure was nonexistent and the theme was lost on me in a world where users are supposed to drive content being boxed in. You couldn't find anything and no one likes walking on train rails while you do wonder.

I would say an hour is really about right. I spent a bit longer because I was determined to get something for nothing but an inventory full of sombreros, pens, and cake I cannot eat is it. Open Sim, AM Radio, and Linden Bears were the only great swag I got. Oh - the adult > kid machine gave me a little me but I am holding off until the mobs disperse.

All that aside -

I'm not sure anything (Bay City's 1st, the adult move, or this) is ever going to be cheered on, so I am measuring success in the lack of disaster. Bay City's parade was in slow motion, a float ran over and dragged me, and you couldn't teleport in on the first 324 tries. This went much better.

Blau Rascon

Lack of SL6B TG stuff explains my lack of interest.

I'd love to have gone, but we got nothing this year. We got a build sim that only select residents were allowed on.
Not much else.

Valentina Kendal

one reason for me - too much stuff!! there is almost no ability to tell by looking which things will be boring and a waste of your time and which will give you a 'gee whiz' moment. When I am overwhelmed with choices, and not information, I leave. I thought the same about SL5B too.

Caliburn Susanto

Because it was BORING, laggy, cluttered, confusing, uninspirational, dark and dismal, and frankly mostly butt fugly. Like being lost in a giant junkyard of metal and plastic with moving parts and no point.

I went five separate times TRYING to like it -- rode the tram all the way around, took it region-by-region carefully examining content -- trying to see it as a celebration not a heap of nothing, trying to find something worth photographing, trying to find something worth (at least) shopping for. All one big nada.

If it had looked and felt like Extropia used to look and feel -- futuristic, bright, room, optimistic -- then it would have been an enjoyable experience.

For this Second Life "fan boy" it was a big big disappointment. Sad, really. :-(

The OmniPrim


Ox Xeno

I tried to go...but Linden Labs rolled out the new viewer at the same time. It messed me up, I had extreme difficulty getting on. Only succeeded 1 in 30 tries to get in world.

By the time I figured out that, while I worked just great with the old viewer, in the new one I have to unclick "Basic Shaders" in the graphic preferences or I crash, SLB6 was over.

No warning given. No rollback path given in case we has issues with the no viewer. My help desk ticket STILL has not been acknowledged...been almost 2 weeks now.

Poor strategic timing, combined with even worse customer service/tech support. It doesn't shock me at all that SL6B was sparse.

Elsbeth Writer

I agree with the dark and dismal comments. I expect a birthday party to be bright, colorful, joyous...this one was definetely not.

I, too, spent very little time wandering around there. It was depressing and I don't come inworld to be depressed.

Hope the Lab is listening.


lol "LittleLostLinden" pretty name.

I were there too, hosting the MAG, we spent some days with no no visitors on the SIM. Seems that u r right. I'm not following that issue Zindra, but I know what people complain on SL, all stuff that is commented up here.

Shockwave Plasma

I went a few times and the lag was terrible.

But when I looked around at the displays, it was difficult to know what it was for, who did it, and why.

Pretty much as what Valentina Kendal said.

Ordinal Malaprop

I did not attend because I recalled what happened the previous year, when my efforts to attend resulted simply in boredom, and I judged that little had changed, an impression which was just cemented by the 2008 Boring Life. And you know, it seems as if I was right there.


A bunch of intermittently compelling creative content spread over many sims with few visitors yet plenty of lag - that IS Second Life isn't it?

Why recreate in microcosm what we already have, how is that a celebration? Why not create something smaller and visit-able with a sense of purpose?

Desiderata Dembo

Remember that SL was more or less shut down for an entire weekend. I visited a sim, and found the whole thing completely cluttered and really had no idea what I was looking at. As a casual visitor, kind of curious, it really was not worth the time spent waiting for everything to rez. Once a bit of it did finally rez, all I saw was an astonishing overuse of glow.

Can we complain about Hair Fair now?


Guess from the responses here it kind of confirms what the 'B' in SL6B really stands for (SL6Boring).

Better luck next year.

CyFishy Traveler

I only went last year 'cos the Quantum Tribe folks had a space there and were doing their DJ sessions there for that week. I had a pleasant enough time there, but there was very little about it that had me thinking "Wow! I can't wait to do this again next year!"

So I didn't.

Arahan Claveau

The annual SL birthday celebration has always been pretty uninspiring, not much incentive to visit really, although I always do in the hope of finding something above mediocre.

A wise man once said (I forget who) "why bother? it's just a corporate lag-fest".

Burning Life however used to be excellent but the last couple of years due to chaotic organisation and silly rules and regulations it has been a disaster. Sad but true.

The most exciting events and locations in SL are always independently run, I don't think many residents, particularly the artistic community, feel they have much support from Linden Lab.

Senjata Witt

I am a live performer in Second Life. I was booked to perform at SLb6. (I did in fact do so.) However- I was not told until the last possible moment that although I had been hired to play a "tips" gig, (no fee, audience gratuities only) I was not to be allowed to rez a tip jar. That's odd... I inquired about this an was further informed that NO one was permitted to do so, including the staff of the radio station hosting the event, and that beyond not paying anyone for their time and effort promoting LL's product, essentially, no one was to be PERMITTED to be paid, even by appreciative visitors. Why, after all, the fuss? Venues and sims have tippers all the time! It costs money to support and run a sim! The why, I gathered, was that LL themselves had tipjars out. LINDEN LABS??? Seriously? A fully for-profit company, with their hands out like a charity, and bullying everyone else into not horning in on their profits. I was appalled.

So. When I performed, I did not post. I didn't invite a single fan to come and partake in this little self-appreciation fest LL had arranged to tell everyone how terrific they are, while they bent all the volunteers, exhibiters, and performers over a rail and fished in their pockets for any stray coins that might be hidden there.

BOO to SLB6, Said I. Not that anyone was listening... but then again, maybe some were.

Otenth Paderborn

Ditto to all the above.

I did visit, twice, briefly, because of specific SLurls to builds promoted in my regular SL web reading. The first time, I flew around a bit nearby, but found nothing worth staying in the dark, laggy, confusing neighborhood for.

And really, isn't it likely that the future of virtual worlds is *not* Second Life? The future of virtual worlds will owe an enormous debt to Linden Lab, but unless they start making some better business decisions, I doubt they will lead the way for long.

Ann Otoole

I went a few times. fell through that prad build every time. The opening keynote was a turn off with the sims set to help islands so only mentors and lindens could teleport in. real funny.

There just isn't much of the old SL spirit left in SL since about one year and a couple of months ago.

Austin Welles

To be honest I saw the blurbs about it but never felt much of a desire to go. Is this good or bad, I am not sure. Does it matter and is it a reflection of some dissatisfaction with Linden Labs or Second Life? I don't think so, people are going about their SL lives as they would. What would be the percentage of people who would attended the birthday of an average size American city? Not a small town celebration but one where the population was significantly large say like, Grand Rapids, MI. This wasn't a milestone one like 5 or 10 yrs it was 6, not a big deal. Years 3 and 4 were big because it was still celebrated by the early adopters and those were significant because it solidified the viability and possibility of an on going project. Many here now i think have come to take the whole thing for granted and the only time Linden Labs falls onto their radar is when the grid starts to show signs of stress or some policy ie adult content or land pricing, is dropped from the heavens: otherwise they are shopping, chatting, dancing, building, designing, romancing, gossiping, arguing, helping, healing, consoling, cajoling, cavorting, exploring, photographing...well doing what people do in Second Life most of the time. Poor attendance at 6th birthday celebration, good or bad sign, nah just what should be expected in any life.

Dusty Linden

Wow, this is an interesting thread! Though I'd like to clarify one misconception that is becoming increasingly common: the SL Birthday parties are not run or produced by Linden Lab. I mean, the first ones were run largely by Lindens because Lindens comprised a large part of the Resident base back then. But starting in 2006 Lindens were overwhelmed with work and Residents took it from there. These events are put on by Residents, for the amusement of other Residents. Over 1,000 Residents worked on some aspect of SL6B. The Lab only *sponsors* the event by donating free land to Residents, who then self-organize, design and produce it, with the only real deal being that the results have to be PG. The Lab has also traditionally assigned someone to facilitate interactions between the Resident producers and the Lab's Land Department, etc. And also to facilitate interactions between the Resident organizers if need be. Lately that person has been me.

I find Austin's comments fascinating. Maybe we *have* outgrown the village that used to use this for inspiration. Maybe we are now a fully functioning world with all that implies. Is tradition too much trouble in such a rapidly maturing world? If the ultimate future of virtual worlds is to be so ubiquitous that they are not noticed, then all the reviews that used the word "boring" suggest that the future has been fully conflated into the present already. If you read the wiki history of this event, you will laugh to see what all the excitement was about back when it wasn't "boring". Year one-- you could now HEAR a speech with streaming audio! LOL. Year two, a four corners layout meant that more than a hundred people could attend! Is this still worth doing? There is a lot here for me to think about.

PS- Senjata, Linden Lab has no tip jars. I understand each stage had a single automated jar provided by the Resident stage manager which was used by all the performers, and automatically directed each person's tips to them.

Maggie Darwin

Dark and dismal. And mostly built by folks with no background in futurism or science fiction, so mostly cliched copies of things they'd seen or read about.

Not a really good theme idea, especially given how closed-mouthed LL is about *their* vision of the future of VW.

Aree Lulibub

"These events are put on by Residents, for the amusement of other Residents. Over 1,000 Residents worked on some aspect of SL6B. The Lab only *sponsors* the event by donating free land to Residents, who then self-organize, design and produce it, with the only real deal being that the results have to be PG."

I'm curious why SL6B gets to have free sims to use while a major resident sponsored event that is raising funds for charity, like Relay for Life, has to pay for theirs? Food for thought.

Madame Maracas

I have yet to make it to a single SL B-Day bash for a variety of reasons. Year one, I was hosting a party at Club Avarice for the duration of that day's festivities, as Haney Linden had asked if we would. How could I refuse such a gracious request? We had, as it turned out, Lindens at "the Lab" tuned in to our party, a great crowd, much excitement and a lot of fun. Somewhere in the Forum archives one may find my post, commented upon by Phil after the party, regarding this event.

Subsequent years have found me either busy IRL, DJing ISL, or just put off by the drama. Can we say Gorean/Child/Nipplegate? I thought you could! Or mostly the (in)famous & function-inhibiting lag attendant to an event with moving, physical objects (the parade) and tons of avies (the whole shebang).

This year, not only am I working (DJing) and doing RL stuffs, and other things, but the viewer update has tp'd me back to 2004 for functionality. I simply CANNOT use the LL produced viewer. I crash immediately or hang in not yet there limbo for 20 mins. before crashing. I must use alternate viewers, with less crashing, but still it's not a happy situation.

Do I feel like celebrating SL's 6th year, my 5+ year in here? In many ways, yes I do. However, I have this funny idea that my time in SL should be relatively crash-free, less than 1 FPS laggy, and pleasant. And spent with my friends. So I'll continue celebrating by spending time in SL doing what I've been doing for 5 + years. Socializing, making stuff, DJing, being a smartmouth and loving my 2nd life. I"ll just not do it over there on those sims, sadly.

I'd like to look at them but I'm quite sure I'll not see a damned thing but my crash notifier.

Jilly Kidd

I really enjoyed this SL6B. I would have liked more writing groups there but there is more for writers each year. I agree with Dusty that it's completely up to us to create displays that are worthwhile for visitors, and also to invite our groups over and make them aware of it. These big exhibitions always lead to me meeting people I want to stay in close contact with - some of the people doing the most interesting things on SL. Looking forward to Burning Life now.

Winston Ackland

Senjata, I'll give you a copy of my custom "TIP JAR" t-shirt next time I see you inworld. Just the thing to wear to any LL soiree where you are performing! Personally, I stopped playing at those things long ago: lagfests that don't really add up to anything.


I popped in to see the main stage at the end of June. After waiting 10 minutes and still not having it rez I left. Nuff said.

Paisley Beebe

Check out Phaylen's response and my comment. http://phaylen.com/?p=120

Doubledown Tandino

In some ways I think this was the best Second Life birthday ever, especially with the involvement and creation of all the sims.
Lots of very impressive displays.

Why was it not attended? Because the fun and usability is being sucked out of Second Life by having rampant unavoidable error messages cause by groups not working.

SL is NOT functioning properly when a massive collaborative event is simply 'not worth dealing with' ... when sl groups are rendered not only useless, but a hindrance, that sucks the fun out of using SL and being in SL. That, coupled with teleports not working and the general "no you cannot" environment of LL run events... it all makes for unenjoyable experiences.

The question I asked others (and myself) was "what was actually AT SL6b" ? To me it seemed like a large convention with booths.
... yep... I checked em out... took about an hour... and that was that. I hung out with some friends at various SL6B builds, but standing there and hanging out with friends can be done anywhere in Second Life.

So, my question is.. besides the impressive builds and everyone's creative projects being smooshed into one prime location once a year, what else makes SL birthdays special? What was the draw to SL6B?

by the way, I had a great time at SL6B. This by far was my favorite of all the years.


That's great Dusty. The event was still boring no matter how you turn it around.

Look at it from this perspective how about?

zzzz....zzzzz..zzzzzz.zzzzzz.zzzzz....zzzzzz. what was that? huh? what? oh....zzzz.....zzzzz....zzzzzz.zzzzzz.....zzzzzzz

The z's above represent snoring noises in case anyone was not 100% certain.

Tateru Nino

For SL3 -- I won't call it SL3B, because I got thumped on the head by Linden Lab for calling it the 'birthday' rather than the 'anniversary', and had to switch nomenclature to SL3A partway through -- the majority of the anniversary week activities were directed out to communities rather than being focused on a single central site.

That way both PG and Mature communities could have their own events, their own way. The central site was commerce-free-PG (and drew about 30,000 visitors) but the *real* action was at the events, dances, open-days and whatnot that took place elsewhere.

Cramming all of SL's cultures into a single, sprawling site under a single theme was obviously going to be a losing proposition, so I just didn't do it that way.

Paisley Beebe

I'll agree also with Doubledown here..Group messages are still not working, so getting your event or gig notice out to the wider community is really really hard...I had a gig there and was very frustrated at not being able to advertise it, I couldn't even send a notecard! Also yes the presumption of it being a lagfest is true particularly for seasoned SL users. It actually wasn't that laggy :) cause of the lack of people!

I and others also had a great deal of trouble TPing into it or anywhere for that matter that week, TP's were down the last few days of building SL crashed completely and then spluttered along for the next week with a lot of bugs...reoccurring. I had to try and log into my Sim to get there, and was constantly diverted to an info hud.

Summertime in the States is also noticeably quieter anyway. I do recall last year that once Winter set in, the concurrency went up to 80 thou so I expect that again when Winter comes again to north America, in fact you will see huge numbers over 80 Thou, so watch out then! I hope they fix a lot of this stuff to cope with the huge numbers that will be on in Nov Dec Jan!

Sioban McMahon


Because if RFL got free sims, all the folks like me who run non-profits/charities in SL would ask why RFL and not us.

Bumble Parx

If the viewer went back to publishing news from the web site, more people might have realised it was on. I only realised when a friend sent a LM to join them

Ravyn Rozesztok

I couldn't find the darn thing. The first posts I saw about it on the official Linden blog didn't include SLurls, bizarrely enough. None of the other blogs I follow were talking about it (other than here, which may have included a link, but I wasn't looking for it at the time).

I tried searching for it in-world, but there was no listing for it in the 'Events' tab searching for 'Birthday' or 'Second Life Birthday'.

(Incidentally, does SHOWCASE ever work for anybody? The links have never worked for me in any official Linden viewer on Windows or Mac - though they do work in some third-party viewers)

I found it eventually on the second-to-last day but I echo the feeling here that what I saw was deserted and dreary.

Tateru Nino

I looked at the showcase once when it first came out in the viewer, but I haven't looked at it since.

Ganymedes Costagravas

I visited all 20 sims over those 2 weeks. I admit it wasn't easy, but I'm a Worlds Fair fan and together with Burning Life I see this as one of the highlights of the year for those into creating and exploring other peoples creativity.

What really set me back in time was the overly high amount of large events all happening at roughly the same time: SL6B, Hair Fair 2009, Fantasy Fair, Zindra opening, the end of Make him over Hunt and the start of Just for the guys Hunt...
Basically it was too much interesting stuff on a too short timeframe.

I'm aware most of these are planned independantly, but I had an interest in all of these and in the end had to make sacrifices: I missed out on Fantasy Fair (which I'm sad about), I did not go to Zindra (yet), I skipped 1/3 of locations from MHOH and have yet to start the JFTGH...
It's just a question of planning and setting priorities I think, and those are different for everybody.

Despite the short timeframe, I still managed to return to many places for taking pics (but I was selective and only took pics of things that I found really interesting, touching, nice to see, or properly executed).
However, I've only just had some time to begin to sift the good ones from the bad ones and upload them to Koinup / Flickr.

Personally I wouldn't mind SL#B being a 3 week party, where 1 week was for actual parties and speeches and alike, and 2 weeks for exploring whatever is displayed.
That and some better planning of other large interest events, to spread out stuff over the year more: so far May, June and July has been overly busy while other parts of the year are a tad boring when it comes to large scale events (if you ask me).

Manx Wharton

SL6B witnessed a convergence of unhealthy trends that have gathered momentum at major Grid events over the past couple of years.

My summary of the root causes:

1) Self-nominating, inworld event leadership has become increasingly inward-facing, rather than prospective or inclusive. Many criticisms of the event (huge, ornate, yet dysfunctional official event builds; a restrictive and myopic, yet viscous theme with a childish backstory and arbitrary enforcement; selective official event promotion for favorite nonofficial events) are symptoms of this fundamental governance problem.

2) Creative practices within events have become more specialized as events have overgrown existing management capacity. As a result, the cross-media interaction that is one of the chief merits of The Grid has diminished: Visitors to shows don't explore the exhibits; visitors to exhibits don't look for shows.

3) Emphasis on virtual design has begun to compromise other content channels. For example, as impressive as it looked, the Main Stage for live shows was pocked with holes, seriously inconveniencing attendees. Scripts, a critical part of SL development capability, are discouraged. At the same time, entire sims seemed dedicated to tangential work by official builders that whispered 'vanity project'. Instead of inspiring other designers and exhibitors, the appearance of favoritism amidst looming constructs recalled feudal fiefdoms, with hamlets huddled around colossal cathedrals.

The combined result of these issues drove people to vote with their feet. It's an unfortunate result for the 900 exhibitors and hundreds of live acts that experienced less appreciation for their frenetic effort in the tight activity window than they would have hoped from something this big.

The good news is that the root causes are correctable with appropriate oversight from the community. Examples of suggested changes could include the following:

1) Establish incentives for event management to foster community outreach as part of the event missions.
2) Ensure event oversight is interdisciplinary by including representation from across creative channels.
3) Offer the broader community greater transparency and means to participate in theme or event venue development, build engagement, and delegate design elements.

Anyway--some thoughts for consideration.

Dedric Mauriac

Event was too big. Too much bulk land given away. Cut down exibits to 512 sq. m. parcels and a couple islands, and you'll have more people in one place more often. Also, advertising is not that grand for the event.

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