May 272014

Everybody loves questions! Well, I love questions. I used to love reblogging the “ask me” posts on Tumblr, where readers pick from the list and drop the question number in your inbox. I don’t see those as often anymore and I miss answering them, dorky as some of them tended to be.  Tumblr hasn’t been much of a social space for me in quite a while, even though I have more followers than ever they are all very quiet. I really miss the interaction and community I used to see a couple of years ago.

At the same time I have noticed the SL Tumblr community seems to have really taken off. At the moment I only follow a handful of SLers and haven’t used the Tumblr counterpart to this blog in a good seven months, but it’s fun to see so many posts in the SL tag these days. I sometimes think I should make a new primary account to follow only SL blogs, because right now when I follow them they probably wonder why and assume I’m fishing for followers since I don’t post anything related to Second Life. On the other hand even if I make a new SL Tumblr I suspect I’d always forget to log into it, because that’s what always happens whenever I’ve tried to make an SL-specific account on any social network.

In the end I think I’ll just dust off the little neglected Tumblr mirror blog and see if I can pay more attention to the SL community. The Strawberry Singh Monday meme for this week asks Twenty SL Personal Questions, which seems like a good post to start with if I begin publishing back to the other blog again, right? 🙂

And once again: Yay! Questions! Jumping right in to the long list.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? • My husband saw tech blog articles about it, when it beginning to get a lot of attention in 2006 as a place to make money and create things. As an artist he thought that was pretty cool, and he was also intrigued by the idea of buying and selling land. But at the time we were too busy being newlyweds so we didn’t get around to thinking of signing up until January of the following year. Since we were both hopeless researchers we bought the Official Guide to Second Life, studied it cover to cover, read everything we could find, and were probably the most prepared newbies to hit the grid in early February of 2007. We were ready to create!
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? • Although they were not shared virtual worlds I was hugely addicted to the Sims and Sims 2 games, so I was familiar with a 3D environment and was pretty instantly comfortable with SL. This also probably explains why I mostly just wanted to decorate houses and dress up my avatars when I joined. I was aware of online virtual communities well before I heard of SL, but because they were for social interaction they scared me off. I preferred a single player experience.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? • I didn’t have any expectations to start with, so I’d say it’s exceeded them and has made me very happy.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? • Can I go back to the first ten minutes of registration instead and head myself off before I create my first account? At that point I will be shouting in my ear, “No! No! Give the name more thought! You can’t change it, ever! Pick something you really like!”
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? • Flying was pretty easy, I got that right away. I still can’t drive any manner of vehicle without looking like I’m drunk. You should’ve seen me trying to steer a bike around Frisland recently. xD
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? • I have several alts, but usually I only log them in if I want to take a pic with more than one av, or to take them shopping to spruce up their wardrobes. Most of them were created to make cute names, to be testing alts, or to see what was going on with the new user process.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? •  Actually just yesterday a friend commented that he thought I’ve done one of the best jobs he’s seen of matching my av’s looks to my human, lol. I feel he’s being pretty generous, but I have spent a lot of time trying to tweak my avatar’s  features to be a reflection of me. Well, at least as much as one can do with sliders. I wish my RL self was as thin and pretty as Ravensong, she’s me, but definitely an idealized twenty years younger version of me. Personality wise she’s entirely me, I’ve never attempted to create a persona and unique avatar identity that is distinct from my RL identity.
    Actually in some ways Ravensong is someone I wish to be, in that as I tweak her shape a bit I’m using her to visualize my fitness goal, as she’s right around what I aspire to reach ultimately, if I can stick to my plan for a year or so.
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? •  Although I’ve never met them, a lot of the SL photographers I see on Flickr are amazing and inspire me creatively in SL and RL. 😀
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? • I don’t think it’s any easier, actually I’ve found that my social anxiety is a little worse in SL than it is in RL. I’ve seen other people make a similar statement and I have no idea why this happens. Maybe it has to do with not being able to make eye contact, and read a person’s body language and hear their voice. Now once that social anxiety hurdle is crossed I think it’s as easy to make good friends in SL or elsewhere online as it is offline, and the closest friendships I have at the moment are with people I met in online communities.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? • Sure, as Strawberry mentioned, you used to hear about people who fell in love as pen pals long before there was any such thing as the internet. I was never a bit surprised to hear about online romances.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? •  Not really.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? •  I don’t think so.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. • I love photography in both worlds. I love to create things in both worlds, albeit with entirely different tools! I keep in touch with some friends in both SL and RL.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? ( Kind of like the Matrix) • I don’t particularly want to plug something into myself physically because ouch, I’ll just wait for the singularity and download my consciousness lol. Actually what I always wanted was my own personal Star Trek holodeck so I can make my wish fulfillment fantasies come true. Okay, yes I do want to live more immersively, at least sometimes. 😀
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? • If somebody keeps their real life identity a complete secret then they can do whatever they want in world, whether it’s good or bad, because they are totally anonymous and there won’t be real life consequences.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? • I budget a little fun money for SL each month, though not a lot, and I’m stingy with my Lindens when it comes to buying clothes and stuff. I don’t really care about how bleeding edge fashionable I am, I do like to read fashion blogs and pick up new things, but I also still like to wear my regular system layer clothes sometimes. (Horrors!) I am far more likely to buy clothes in SL, RL me is totally the opposite of fashion forward… I’m content to putter around the world in jeans and tee shirts, and when I do see something cute in a display at the mall the first thing I think sometimes is “I wonder if I can find something like that in SL?”
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? • I think they present a fun, new dimension to human interaction.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? •  I think you’d want to limit that to only receiving ‘feelings’ from people on a very restricted friends list. A sensation of loving emotions from your partner would be pretty cool, or sending someone a feeling of joy, or something uplifting. Not sure I’d want to be the recipient of an emotion sent by a friend who was mad at me though. And certainly not from random strangers, imagine an emotion IM from somebody who thinks your avatar is super hot and wants to let you know just how attracted and excited they are about you… *shudder* O.o
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. • The only thing would be 3D building, because I never attempted that before SL. But everything else I’ve honed in SL has also been applicable to and practiced on real life hobbies, such as practicing on how to compose a nice photo, or becoming more comfortable with Photoshop.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? •  If I ever had any I suspect they’d be amused.


Apr 292014

A year ago Strawberry Singh asked us why we blog. This year she’s following up on us with a few more questions about our blogging journey. As usual I’m always extra thrilled with q&a memes, so I’m excited to tackle this one.

In preparation I wandered into my archives to see my answers to the meme last year, and found that I’d probably answer them a bit differently if I were tackling the first meme again. Last year I was just starting to pay attention to this blog, but I was still mostly focused on Tumblr. This year I still have all of my previous blogs, although all but one of them are rather quiet these days. Others have sprung up to take their place, though, so I can still manage to neglect several blogs at a time. Yay, right? Oh well, even if I don’t post as regularly as I’d like each one of these blogs is very important to me and I’m glad I have them.

Here are Strawberry’s meme instructions:

Copy and paste the following questions and answers to your post, delete my answers and input your own. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments (on the original post) so others can come by and read your answers as well!

  1. Which electronic devices do you use to blog with? – I only blog on the computer. I have WordPress apps on my phone and tablet, but I doubt I’d write a post with those, I’d rather have all the features of the regular website.  I mostly use the apps as readers, or to keep up with comment notices.
  2. Do you have a mission statement for your blog, if so, what is it? – Not really. My mission seems to be to share whatever pics I enjoyed, and sometimes to add in some rambly commentary. I’ve decided that since this blog was created entirely for my own personal enjoyment I’m never going to worry about how many people read, I’ll just keep posting happily and if somebody else takes notice once in a while and thinks something was interesting then it’s an extra bonus. 🙂
  3. How do you feel about blogs that use their platforms to spread negativity? – I don’t think I’ve ever stumbled across any blogs that do that, but I wouldn’t want to read it if I did.
  4. Are you a grammar junkie? Do you thoroughly check your blog for errors before posting and/or do you judge other people’s posts if they contain errors? – I rely on the spell checker to warn me about typos, but I usually just hope for the best with grammar. I’m sure sometimes I’m terrible but I try to catch my own errors, and I judge myself pretty harshly when I find something glaring. I try to avoid judging other bloggers for little spelling and grammar errors. It’s easy to miss something even if you’ve read a post fifteen times before you publish.
  5. If you could switch blogs with another blogger who would it be? – Ooo I don’t know, there are so many! I’d love to have the ability to write eloquent travelogues  and art reviews, and take great pics like Ziki Questi.
  6. Has your blog/blogging style evolved over the year(s)? How? – I don’t know if my style has changed much from the start of this blog to now. I’ve noticed my blogging habits have evolved, I’ve found myself moving away from the short form image focused Tumblr blog I started out with and finding more interest in longer posts.
  7. What is the most extraordinary thing that has happened to you because of blogging? – With non-SL blogging I have met some really lovely people who’ve become friends that I keep up with outside the blogging community we were in. With SL blogging I’m not sure I’ve had any extraordinary things happen, but I have been able to find quite a few really interesting bloggers that I read regularly, so that’s enjoyable.
  8. When it comes to Second Life blogs, there are different styles: Fashion bloggers, Lifestyle & Travel bloggers, Informative bloggers, and more. Which style do you prefer and where do you feel your blog fits in? – I read and enjoy all SL blog types, fashion blogs for shopping advice, and travel and art blogs for tips on where to visit. I do enjoy information bloggers a lot, I love reading peoples ideas about SL and keeping up with what’s going on with the platform and related technologies.
    I don’t think my blog really fits into any of the categories. I think it just exists as my little happy spot to talk to myself and share what I think is fun or looks neat.
  9.  What has blogging taught you? – I hope it’s teaching me to organize my thoughts, though I’m not too sure how I’m doing with that. It is teaching me about myself. I often use blogging as therapy, at least lately, so it’s actually helped me get through the day and carry on.
  10.  Share your top 3 tips for new bloggers.  –  1) Blog about things you enjoy.   2) If you are blogging for personal enjoyment don’t worry about following rules, just have fun.  3) Do blog challenges! They’re a great way to get yourself started if you’re not sure what to post.


Mar 262013

Today’s meme from Strawberry Singh!  The first thing that came to mind when I saw this one was: Well, I really should pass on this one and wait for the next, because I don’t do social media under any of my avatar names, and I have seen that some (a few? many?) people feel very strongly about not wanting to mix RL with SL, so I wasn’t sure if I should answer given that my social media is mostly RL related.  But, I love social media a lot and really wanted to do this meme for myself, so I’ll just broadly discuss things without putting in the links to sites that aren’t totally SL related. (all the links to the outside world are in the menu above anyway, and of course if people see something interesting they are most welcome to follow any of my accounts ^_^)

Now, I’m a bit long winded, but here we go!  —>

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Mar 212013

The Art of Procrastination

Even when I’m looking at things I want to do I still procrastinate.  It’s an art form.  But I am really getting into the idea of memes to get me blogging, so I am cheerfully going to follow the memes that Strawberry Singh is posting.  Yay for blog prompting!  And it’s a lot of fun to go through the comments and check out everybody else’s blogs too.  Oh yes, I’m reading your answers.

Continue reading »

Mar 182013

I saw this on Strawberry Singh’s blog and thought it would be fun to do!  I love these sort of memes and thought this would be a good way to start off regular posts on this blog 🙂  (note to self: try to post regularly…)

Fact 1

I’ve never been terribly social in SL, I am possibly even more introverted and shy in SL than I am in RL: I won’t initiate a conversation with anyone ever because I’m afraid I’ll be bothering them. I’m not sure why SL creates even more social anxiety in me than talking to random strangers in RL, but it really does seem to be worse. My hub still teases me that if I see green dots moving towards me on the map I will tp home instantly because I’m terrified they’ll say hi. >.>

Fact 2

I absolutely love reading roleplay blogs and touring rp sims (when they’re empty and I won’t disturb anyone) but I have never tried to roleplay… I always think it would be so much fun to try, but I think it falls back to fact #1 again.  And also I’m pretty sure that I’d be terrible at it because I would overthink my responses and take forever to play out a scene.

Fact 3

Landscaping and decorating is as much fun as playing dress up dolls with my avatar. I absolutely love it. In fact creating environments and dressing myself up to take pics in them is probably the most enjoyable thing about SL

Fact 4

I have never stopped tweaking the appearance of my avatars, no matter how happy I am it’s a sure bet that I’ll fiddle with the sliders at some random moment. I just love constantly evolving them.  I also  love borrowing my husband’s alt and giving him makeovers.  Hub is amused that whenever I kidnap his alt I always recreate musicians I have crushes on.  😉

Fact 5

The best SL memory I have actually took place in RL when hub and I traveled to meet up with four friends from SL. One brought along his guitar so we had our own little “SL” concert, we typed out all the club applause gestures on our phones and held up the screens after a song and made wOot! noises so he’d have that SL performance vibe too, lol. It was really silly but it was also absolutely the best weekend!

Fact 6

I’ve only had one person ever hit on one of my avies for sexytime, on the first day I was ever on mainland. Since then, not once. (And to think, I always thought I made my avvies hot, too,  hahaha!)

Fact 7

We are constantly trying to build RL models in SL to figure out how to redo a room or landscape our yard, or make some craft project. I once built a few locations from my college days to take pics for a slideshow we were making for a reunion.  I gave up trying to explain SL to them, though.