Saturday, October 18, 2008

BARRED FROM SECOND LIFE? - Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties may or may not appear

Once again, Second Life makes it difficult to do business. Why in the world would they make it hard to help a guest to a Second Life event get into Second Life?

I've been working with Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties, an $80+ million US company that sells adult products through representatives across the country holding tasteful and educational events about sexuality and sensuality. She is really taken by Second Life and appeared on Athena Isle in Second Life back in March.

I've been trying to access her avatar to fix her up for another roundtable discussion on Athena Isle on Tuesday, however, when I called to retrieve her password (the one I had thought I used when I set up her account was not working), the Second Life rep refused to provide me with the password even though I could respond to ANY security question because I was the one who set up the account in the first place.

She insisted that Pat call Second Life herself and get her own password.

Well, tell that to any CEO of a multimillion dollar company. Chances are either their assistant or their consultant would do something like that for them.

The last time Pat appeared in Second Life, she was unable to actually log in (firewall at her offices) so I had two laptops on my desk and operated both her avatar and Cybergrrl Oh. I had Pat on a cellphone dictating her responses to me after I relayed the questions from the roundtable participants. She was an incredible guest and the conversation was mature and educational.

I'm just so frustrated with Second Life making things difficult for members who could be very good for Second Life. I've been hoping that Passion Parties would open up a Great Sex educational sim and store, but these kinds of barriers make doing business with Second Life a pain in the virtual and real rear end.

The other option, of course, is change her avatar's name from PatDavis Destiny to a new one. That may be our only solution at this point.

Either way, stop by on Athena Isle for the real Pat Davis but possibly the FAKE avatar.

Back by popular demand! Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties!

Stop by Athena Isle on Tuesday, October 20 at 12pm SLT to meet Pat Davis, president of Passion Parties, "the North American leader of at-home party business specializing in sensual products" - an $80 million+ company in the U.S.

Earlier in 2008, Davis released the Random House best-selling book The Passion Parties Guide to Great Sex. The book utilizes real-life tips and techniques to improve couples passion she has learned over the years working with tens of thousands of her consultants and the hundreds of thousands of women Passion Parties has helped.

Get your questions ready for this lively text-chat roundtable discussion!
Fnd out more about Pat's company at:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

InSL - Just signed up!

Just signed up for InSL - will start using the logo to show that I'm both inworld and in the "real world." Sign up here...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Transcript for Sarah Susanka's 1st Second Life Chat

You can read the transcript here for Sarah Susanka's chat (as Susanka Queler) on the Athena Isle Women's blog.

Sarah is the author of the book The Not So Big Life. She spoke about "The Waking Dream: Second Life as a Metaphor for Our True Self."

Transcript Here
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Author Sarah Susanka talks about Second Life as a metaphor for our true self

Gearing up for weekly events again on Athena Isle starting with...

Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life, will kick off the Athena Isle Summer series of events on Tuesday, June 17 at 12pm PST with "The Waking Dream: Second Life as a Metaphor for Our True Self." The event will take place in the Athena Isle Dome in Second Life.

Read her essay about Second Life.

The event will be hosted by Athena Isle Women and take place on Athena Isle owned by Second Life personality Cybergrrl Oh. The discussion will be conducted in a roundtable format to allow Susanka to answer questions posed directly by Second Life residents in attendance.

In May, Random House released Sarah’s book "The Not So Big Life." In her book, she presents the antidote to the “bigger is better” mentality that drives our McLives.

In conjunction with her latest book, she has written about Second Life in her blog, explaining how it provides an excellent metaphor for understanding how we create our own realities.

"In my book, I introduce the concept of the Waking Dream, the notion that everything that is happening in our lives is a kind of dream in which every character and every event that happens to us is a reflection of an aspect of who we really are," said Sarah. "This is a truth that’s very difficult for most humans to grapple with because it disavows the separate existence of that which they’ve always taken themselves to be."

Sarah said that when she heard recently of the virtual reality world Second Life, she realized that it provides an entirely new metaphor for people's perceptual conundrum, one that allows everyone "to see from the perspective of the source or supreme Self, rather than the individual character."

Audience members can participate in the chat by setting up a free Second Life account at then going to

For more information, contact Cybergrrl Oh at or visit Sarah's site at

Zemanta Pixie

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cybergrrl Productions is Hiring for May 12th Event

I'm looking to hire the following for a 3 hour block from 1:00pm SLT to 3:00pm SLTL on Monday 12 May (next week).

Interested parties please email me at cybergrrloh AT gmail DOT com with your Second Life resume.

1. Bartender - L$500/hour

2. Cocktail Waitress (hiring 2) - L$500/hour

3. Machinima videographer - (hiring 3) - 1 hour max, price negotiable. Please include your rates in your email.

The event is the unveiling of real life artists who have received a grant this year for their work and takes place in a new nonprofit gallery in Second Life. The video will be of a 5 minute announcement (SL voice), footage of the new art, footage of the gallery, and B-roll of the attendees.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cybergrrl Oh: Living a Second Life podcast

This is my very first podcast about my life and work in Second Life:


Please be gentle. Just getting the hang of this stuff!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Panel Discussion - 10AM SLT - Publishing Island stage

I'll be on this panel this morning! Attend by clicking here for SLURL!

What's Up with Amazon and Print-on-Demand (POD)

Panel Chair - Babu Writer (aka Nicole Schultheis)
is a staff writer for The AvaStar,, and in real life is a writer and trial lawyer who ran her own law firm for over 20 years before retiring from law to write full time. She is also a past President of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, now called Public Justice, where with Executive Director Aurthur Bryant she founded Project Access in the late 1980s, to oppose unnecessary secrecy in the courts. Since then Public Justice has fought tirelessly to support access to information affecting the public interest, and to oppose overly restrictive secrecy orders in significant public interest litigation, such as Exxon Valdez oil spill, tobacco litigation and many many other cases.

Panelist - DannyOSnow Sygall (aka Danny O. Snow ) is co-author with Dan Poynter of a popular guide to self publishing called "," at He's also a Senior Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research, a nonprofit global think tank dedicated to the advanced study of new and emerging media. A Harvard graduate, Snow has been widely quoted about new publishing technologies by major media coast-to-coast, including AP, NPR, UPI, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and others. He has also served as a contributing editor to BookTech: The Magazine for Publishers, as a panelist and moderator at national publishing events such as the North American Publishing Company's "PrintMedia" expos and PMA's "Publishing University," as senior planning consultant to, and as a POD book publisher with Unlimited Publishing LLC.

Panelist - Cybergrrl Oh (aka Aliza Sherman) is an award-winning author, an e-marketing expert, freelance writer, a television & radio producer, and a filmmaker. In Second Life, her show, RealBiz in SL, airs on Her books Streetwise ECommerce (upcoming), The Everything Blogging Book, and many others, can be ordered here: You can also find her on Second Life here:

Pollywog Gardenvale (aka Claire Condra) is a publisher, technical communicator, and interactive producer with a special interest in emerging technology. She has spent the better part of three decades introducing new technologies and concepts to nontechnical people. During the 90s, her company Ellipsys International Publications, Inc., produced books on emerging technogy and also provided packaging services for other publishers. Today, Pollywog Press ( provides many services in multiple media for print and Web applications. She also publishes The Seventh Sun (, an online magazine that provides in-depth coverage of issues, technologies, and culture in the emerging communities of the virtual world.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Africa Day in Second Life

In its usual fashion, real life got in the way of my Second Life which meant I missed much of the happenings on Orange Island for Africa Day yesterday. The day was a resounding success!

Check out some of the coverage so far for Africa Day and Virtual Africa!

Streaming Africa: Cape Town NGO Opens SL Outreach Club

Virtual Africa - Africa Day in Second Life

Virtual Africa opening in Second Life

SL Africa Day!

Africa Day Orange Island

Stay tuned for a feature in The Looking Glass and SLNN as well.

I also hopped over briefly to the Clever Zebra VBusiness Expo to see how that was going. They put a lot of effort into the event and although the pace was a bit slow, the speakers were stellar. The downside of a 4 sim venue is that it looks really really empty even though you have good attendance.

Overall, a busy day both inworld and offine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Linden Lab Nixes Second Life Clubs

Linden Lab is now very clear about the use of their Second Life trademark. As with so many tech startups, this hasn't always been the case, however, one would think any company starting up after 1999 would know that setting up trademark policies and enforcing them are paramount to establishing and protecting one's company assets.

As a resident and entrepreneur in Second Life (I am using the SL trademark here as a blogger/reporter and acknowledge that Second Life is a registered trademark owned by Linden Lab), I am feeling the sting of the company's latest fumbled efforts to get their company assets in order.

Despite my own extensive experience in the new media industry with trademark issues, laws and enforcement dating back to the mid-90s with my company Cybergrrl, Inc. and organization I founded Webgrrls International, I also flubbed.

In the flush of newfound love of Second Life last year, I started several "affinity groups" or clubs to meet like-minded people and to provide forums for authors and other experts to come into Second Life - most for the first time - and reach a savvy, engaged audience. I thought I was clever to name my clubs:

Second Life Women's Club
Moms in Second Life
Second Life Entrepreneurs Club
Second Life Marketers Club
Second Life Writers Club & the Ning group

Somehow, my brain failed to tap into my wealth of knowledge - and pain - surrounding trademark disputes and instead I focused on "Linden Lab will be so pleased that I'm driving traffic to their service." (I duly smack myself on the forehead. What was I thinking?!?)

Now I have no other choice but to change the names of these clubs. I don't have the means - and my Second Life revenues currently do not cover - the costs of licensing the Second Life name from Linden Lab. The challenge to me now isn't branding a new name. It is getting the current members of these clubs to switch over to a new club.

So far, my experience with changing group names means creating an entirely new group and urging members of the old one to join the new. This has not worked well in the past. Even when the old group is totally dead, people tend to stick around until they decide to weed out a group to make room for something new. Laziness? Too much of a hassle to switch? I simply do not know the answer to this SL mystery.

Because I'm in the process of buying a sim and calling it Athena Isle (yes, doing the right thing here with trademarking), it makes sense to change my club names as follows:

Groups Ready for Transition:

Second Life Women's Club -
Athena Isle Women
Moms in Second Life -
Athena Isle Moms
Second Life Writers Club -
Athena Isle Writers

Right now, I'm going to focus on Athena Isle Women, Moms and Writers. In my enthusiasm to create and build in Second Life, I think I overextended myself. I've been coming inworld 5 days a week, 3-4 of which are to host live events with special guests that I have booked, trained, created avatars for, and marketed. I remain committed to my Second Life ventures, however, I really need to pare them down and focus more on my main mission: empowering women through technology.

(Special thanks to my good SL friends who have given me honest feedback about my SL work. You know who you are!)

I'm also changing the names for these clubs just to have them on hand:

Second Life Entrepreneurs Club - Athena Isle Entrepreneurs

Second Life Marketers Club - Athena Isle Marketers

As Linden Lab struggles to get their act together, I am painfully reminded of the blog post by venture capitalist and entrepreneur Charlie O'Donnell, "
10 Reasons to Go Short on Second Life."
Second Life is a business. Linden Labs has taken venture capital investment and those firms are going to look for an "exit" at some point over the next four years or so. Maybe Linden Labs will be profitable enough to go public. In that case, the founders could remain at the helm, but they'd still have the pressure to grow revenues which may be at odds with the authenticity of the service. Contrast that with Craigslist, which makes its team enough money to be comfortable and not feel pressure to do anything that it's users might not like... no quarterly numbers to meet and no pressure to grow the business.
While it would be interesting to revisit Charlie's 10 points (written November 26, 2006) because, for example, he said Second Life would never go mobile, the point he made about Second Life being a business - owned and run by Linden Lab - is critical in all of our own business decisions about what we are doing in this particular virtual world. Including mine. (I did respond in Nov of 2007 here.)

Whoever said being on the cutting edge was easy? We all should pat ourselves and each other on the back for sticking it out this long and riding the tumultuous waves of innovation. I may be a bit battered and bruised, but I'm in it for the long haul. It remains to be seen if Linden Lab is as well.

More Second Life trademark links for your reading pleasure:

More on the Trademark Policy « Official Second Life Blog

The Trademark Blog: NY Times On Second Life

New World Notes: Second Life(tm) Trademark Turmoil Continues-- And ...

Clickable Culture - ‘Second LifeTrademark Infringement Quantified

Trademark Issues in Second Life » Propeller

Rampant Trademark Infringement in Second Life Costs Millions ...

Second Life -- A Whole New World of Trademark Infringement ...

Reuters/Second Life » Protecting real brand names in a virtual world

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On Buying an Island

I'm buying a sim on Second Life. Actually, the technical way it is happening is that my current landlord is transferring ownership to me - and a small consortium of incredible women who I either know personally or have met in Second Life.

The name of the sim will change from Second Shores to Athena Isle. I'll retain my 1/16th portion of the sim and expand so that I have 1/6th of it along with 5 other women who will each get 1/6th.

The mission of Athena Isle will be:

1. To empower the women in the consortium to realize personal and professional dreams utilizing Second Life. For example, one woman is a watercolor artist who is incredibly talented but until she exhibited her art in Athena Isle, she wasn't putting herself out there as an artist in the real world. Now I'm helping her get a real world art exhibit in a boutique in Anchorage, Alaska.

2. To empower women in Second Life, from newbies to "oldies." The Isle will facilitate networking, business exchange, learning, and sharing. Each of us will have our distinct area of concentration such as an Orientation area, a Business zone, an Arts section, a Writers Retreat, etc. - so that a visitor can find diverse offerings.

3. To empower anyone in Second Life who wants to learn and be inspired. We are definitely NOT excluding men, however, there is a need for a place for businesswomen to gather, for creative women to meet, for moms to find support. Athena Isle will be the place.

In order to handle the new demands of sim ownership, I will be consolidating some of my inworld activites. I'll still be doing my show REAL BIZ in SL, however, will merge Second Life Entrepreneurs Club and Second Life Marketers Club into Second Life Women's Club to keep things focused on empowering women.

I'll also keep doing the Athena Gallery of Women's Art and First Friday events but hope to migrate that over to the Arts-focused section and share the duties with others in the consortium. And I'll keep the Athena Wares shop open for women-created products but maybe move it into a more "commercial" area of the sim.

Expect a lot more news as we get up and running. First, we are waiting for the transfer to be complete through Linden Lab. Next, we'll work on making our visions a collaborative reality.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My SLUtterz - Second Life Utterz

I'm alternating between Utterz about Second Life and other topics (including MommyUtterz). Here are my latest SLUtterz...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dealing with and being the media in Second Life

I've had some interesting encounters as a reporter in Second Life that have prompted this post. As a reporter in "real life" since the 80s, I brought the same high standards and ethics into my Second Life reporting career even though I was being paid a mere fraction of what First Life journalism pays.

To me, what I put out there as my writing is a reflection of not only my skills and abilities but my values even though I am careful to keep my personal opinion out of articles and report "just the facts." Still, I always want to be proud of my published writing as my childhood dream was to become a writer to "touch people's lives." I can't always write about things in a positive way, particularly if the facts are not as positive as a company or PR rep would like to portray.

So here are some of my tips for people dealing with the media in Second Life and for those who call themselves Second Life reporters.

For PR People and Anyone Looking for Positive PR

1. Everyone is Media.

If you hold an event in Second Life, somebody in attendance could be media so you should prepare for this and have a plan to handle this reality. Even private parties could have media in attendance unbeknownst to you because with the advent of blogs, everyone is potential "media" with some semblance of a readership.

2. Be Responsive.

If someone at your event identifies themselves as media, you should have someone in place as a spokesperson or as a media coordinator - just to make sure the questions are answered promptly, accurately and that the journalist doesn't wander aimlessly speaking to people who may not be the best voices for your project, event, organization or company. A reporter asking around for a contact or source is not a nuisance or troublemaker - they are a responsible journalist doing their job.

3. Be Honest.

If your event wasn't meant for public consumption or your project isn't ready for prime time, let a reporter know this and ask if they could keep information you give them as "off the record" or "embargoed." These are terms that any reputable and experienced journalist knows and usually respects, but you have to use these exact terms. Saying something like "Oh, this was meant to be a private affair" or "We didn't expect media show up and aren't ready " might say to the reporter that you are just making excuses. This doesn't say to them "please do not report on this yet - all of this is off the record." And make sure you say "Off the Record" before you start talking.

4. Return the Favor.

If a journalist holds something as off the record, remember that they did not have to do this and take it as an overture to having a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship. Nurture this relationship by providing them access when it is appropriate to reveal the full story. If a reporter has truly helped to protect your interests, they are doing it not only out of high morals or ethics but also because they hope it will forge a closer relationship so they can get to better news from you in the future.

5. Give Scoops With Care.

When you really have a good relationship with a journalist, consider giving them a scoop now and then to solidify that relationship. But don't give the same journalist a scoop all the time unless you have a strategic reason to do so. You could end up alienating other journalists which will not bode well for future coverage in competitor publications.

6. Make the Reporter's Job Easier.

Reporters are not here to make your job easier. They are not here to enhance your profile or your company's profile. They are out to do a job in the best way they know how. By standing in their way, criticizing or insulting them, or badmouthing them to their editors or publishers, you are setting yourself up for PR blacklisting.

There are many times when your hands are tied or someone within your company has made a mistake and said something to a reporter they didn't mean to say. Rather than accusing the journalist of something unethical or unprofessional for reporting it, find a way to diplomatically explain the situation the bad PR has caused and look for ways to work through the situation.

7. Suck It Up.

Most reporters are not out to make you look bad. If a reputable journalist makes a mistake, they will admit it and offer to print a retraction. If the mistake is yours and they still offer to clear up the error, you've found a truly rare breed of journalist. Most reporters are too busy - not too callous - to help you fix the PR mess you got yourself into.

If the mistake was yours and nothing can be done to correct the situation, then just suck it up and learn from your own mistakes. Don't use the reporter as a punching bag.

That said, if you encounter a disreputable reporter who has either lied or fabricated the details of a story, severely misquoted you to the point of causing serious damage or is grossly rude and disruptive at your event or place of work, this is definitely something you should bring up with their editor. Put your grievance in writing without threats. Explain the situation and ask for a remedy. Good publishers and editors will not tolerate bad reporters.

PR is a 2-ways street. Unfortunately because the nature of the business, the onus is on the company or organization to make sure everything is put forth professionally, strategically and positively. The reporter reports what he or she observes, is told and is given. But ultimately, you cannot control a reporter or what they glean from what you do, say or produce.

For Reporters and Reporter Wannabes in Second Life

I don't think any of these need much further explanation - just a simple list of things to do to be a good reporter in Second Life.

1. Report the Facts, Not Opinion. (unless you are writing an essay or opinion piece, of course!)

2. Honor "Off the Record" and "Embargoed."

3. Get and Use Direct Quotes When Possible.

4. Back Up Your Chat and IM Transcripts.

5. Protect Your Sources.

6. Correct Your Mistakes. (As best as you can or are able to do.)

7. Be Respectful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Recent Events on Athena Isle

I've been holding weekly events on Athena Isle for several months now. I do this entirely as a volunteer thing - looking to bring experts and authors into Second Life to provide valuable information and contacts for SL residents. And I love playing hostess.

We have our events Monday at 11am SLT, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12pm SLT on Athena Isle.

Here are scenes from recent events...

Don Peppers speaks to Second Life Marketers Club.

Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties, speaks to Second Life Women's Club.

Beth Groundwater, mystery writer and VP of Pikes Peak Writers, speaks to Second Life Writers Club.

Mary Ellen Gordon of Market Truths speaks to Second Life Marketers Club.

Elzbiet Meili teaches a workshop to Second Life Entrepreneurs Club.

Avarie Parker, editor-in-chief of SLentrepreneur magazine, speaks to Second Life Writers Club.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Great Sex Day a Success!

Just a few snaps from Great Sex Day on Athena Isle. Thanks to Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties, for kicking off the day with a rolicking chat about sex. TRANSCRIPT HERE.

And kisses to JueL Resistance who just rocked our world with her sexy sounds.

Also, congrats to Malburns Writer for judging our Sexy Diva Outfit contest and to the winners:

First Place - Evansmom Goodspeed (L$1000 gift certificate from Nyte'N'Day)
Runner up - Emme Eales (L$500 gift certificate from Nyte'N'Day)
Honorable Mentions - Isadora Ansaldo, Liadona Rau, and iAlja Writer (A colorful sex toy from Strokerz Toys)

Pat Davis, CEO of Passion Parties, flanked by two brave avies who joined the conversation about sex.

The sexy JueL Resistance.

Me looking around Athena Isle.

Runner up Sexy Diva Outfit - Emme Eales

Honorable Mention Diva Outfit - Liadona Rau (right)

Our judge Malburns Writer

Always lovely couple IYan and iAlja Writer (iAlja was another honorable mention for Sexy Diva Outfit)

The winner! Evansmom Goodspeed takes First place!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Heart Jack Linden, Second Life Magic Man

Cybergrrl is in the building!

After being locked out of Second Life since Thursday evening and going through the gamut of emotions, Cybergrrl Oh is standing in Athena Isle, watching her hummingbirds and butterflies.

I owe it all to Jack, the Linden guru who resurrected CG after "hijacking" her (was that a euphemyism for "checking her out") and giving me some quick and easy instructions. After showering the man with virtual kisses, I was back to business prepping for the Don Peppers & Martha Rogers chat today.

A heartfelt thanks to my true and wonderful SL friends who helped me through this difficult time. Between the virtual hugs and the immediate acceptance of my alt new personal assistant Safra Jetcity, I was able to ride the waves of loneliness into that warm place called Home.

I had gone so far as recreating Safra as Cybergrrl, using the same lovely shape created by JueL Resistance but I couldn't afford the RAC Carina skin on Safra's tiny budget (all my Linden was tied up in Cybergrrl and LL wouldn't let me buy L$4000 to make the purchase) so the result was a very blonde & goth CG lookalike. Well, she would have worked in a pinch, especially to film today's REAL BIZ in SL at the Playboy sim!

So I'm in. SL is wonky today so I'm afraid to log out. But at least I know I have a guardian angel in Jack. Mwah mwah!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Linden Lab Holds Cybergrrl Oh Hostage

So this is why I have not had any help from Linden Lab for the Cybergrrl Oh debacle. This just pisses me off. I'm resubmitting a ticket as a guest.

Anyone have any suggestions for a solution to this situation? I can't think clearly right now.

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Ticket #4051-4566306: Created (Unable to log in since yesterday)
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 11:44:38 -0500


Our system shows that you submitted this ticket from either a Basic account or with Guest Access. Basic account holders and guests may only submit tickets using the ticket type "Special Questions - Basic account or Guest Login". You did not select that ticket type, so the ticket will not be reviewed.

If your issue is one of the ones we offer support to, please submit another ticket with the information corrected.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Banned From Second Life & Gone Fishing...

I can't get into Second Life. I can't get to my Second Life. They won't let me in!

I've been trying to log in since last night around 8pm SLT. I received an error message that said I was logged out and to try again in an hour. An hour later, I tried again and received the same error. Then at 10pm, 11pm, 12am and now at 7am and 8am the following day.

Have I been banned from Second Life?

The weird thing is that I was able to log in as some of the avatars that I created for my clients - just not my own account.

What does this mean? Have I been marked for suspicious activity? Has someone reported me for being in Second Life far too much and this is some kind of addiction intervention? I feel like I'm being punished for something I don't even know I've done.

Well, this sucks. I have events to prepare for, I have some inworld meetings to attend this morning, I have a very busy Second Life and being kept out is already throwing a wrench into my day. Because I don't own an estate in SL and am not a major corporation or notable "friend of Linden Lab," I don't have Concierge Level status so cannot get a phone number to call in for help. I'm screwed.

I feel like I've been a good Second Life citizen. I've contributed to the community building by holding several events every week with authors and experts on my little parcel of land, Athena Isle, to not only bring valuable information and opportunities to Second Life residents but to entice First Lifers to see the benefits and values of living a Second Life. I know my efforts are only a drop in the Second Life sea, but I'm passionate about what I do.

I'm getting a sinking feeling knowing I'm supposed to meet with the guest for my show REAL BIZ in SL at 11am SLT today and that I may not get in to the meeting. I'm a responsible avie. I try to live up to all of my inworld commitments with the same sense of responsibility as my FL ones. I bring all of my RL values and work ethic into SL. I'm not a slacker. But if I miss this meeting, I fall behind on getting information to my crew for the show on Monday. And what if I can't get inworld on Monday for my show?

My SL work is part and parcel of what I do and who I am. This is worse than having my Internet connection go down because at least I could head over to a wifi hotspot in town and get back online. This is like being locked out of my home and told to come back some other time over and over again. Will I not be allowed to go home??

While I sit and fret, please enjoy this photo from my recent fishing jaunt with some of my favorite avies. I'm going off to have a good cry now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Metanomics Sinks Into the Second Life Sea!

Trying to get out more and get my nose off the grindstone for a breather. Headed to Metanomics today. First, I ended up in a total no-man's-land, but eventually found my way with TPs from friends.

Then, just as I settled in and got my sound working, half the sim fell into the ocean. No kidding! Pics below and posted at the request of Beyers Sellers who got a good chuckle when I sent one of these to him.

Immediately after taking the 2nd pic, I crashed, then made my way back to the sim. Many of us were stuck standing above the seating, and we began cracking some jokes about getting stuck on top of the glass ceiling versus under it.

This is Second Life.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Racing Dog Sleds in Second Life's Virtual Iditarod

Saturday morning, I went inworld for a moment and received a notecard about the Virturod - the virtual Iditarod - with the start of the event happening within the hour to coincide with the real life Iditarod race start time.

I couldn't resist checking things out so followed the link to the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's web site to another link with the SLURL. I arrived less than half an hour or so before the event and the place was basically empty except for a handful of avies including Lou Tones who I eventually learned heads Virtual World Builders, the company behind the build.

I decided this would be a great event to write about for so put on my Reporter name tag and began searching for a PR person or a rep from ACVB while trying to get Lou Tones attention to answer a few questions.

He was clearly busy making last minute arrangements so I began chatting up the other avies in attendance. One woman ran over to me and told me to contact Anchorage Dreamscape who I later found floating in midair but away from her keyboard where she seemd to remain for most of the morning.

I was excited to find SeymourMoose Alter, however. He's the ACVB mascot for their "Big Wild Life" campaign for Anchorage and was quite a good looking moose in Second Life. He offered to help but when he realized I was a reporter, he quickly referred me back to Lou who did take the time to answer a few of my probing reporter questions.

When I realized that the turnout was going to be sparce, I began inviting my friends to join me for the race. At first, I thought we were going to watch a race, but soon realized that we could actually BE the racers.

That's how I ended up being part of the first official race of the Virturod along with dear friends Ilanna Aya and Alanagh Recreant. Also in the lineup was Cabela Lorenz who was the first to figure out how to rez a dog sled and had taken a tour around the racetrack before our race began.

Here is Cabela, Inanna, Alanagh and me ready to start the race with Lou Tones and SeymourMoose in the back giving us instructions.

The race was fantastic! Tons of fun. Lou flew overhead to observe the racers as we tangled with one another, getting stuck in the ice, falling off the track, swerving, skidding, sliding. I had a blast!

Eventually, the race was down to Cabela and me. She was a tough competitor and we switched places often. Suddenly, she got stuck and I slowly took a lead, then my lead got bigger. I creeped up an ice hill and when I reached the top, there was a board with our times posted (it wasn't working) and Lou Tomes was floating close to the ground.

I thought it was the finish line.

"Where do we go from here?" I asked but he didn't respond and just hovered.

I looked around for some sign of an actual finish line just as Cabela came up the hill. Lou flew back up into the air and Cabela turned onto the path where Lou had been and headed down the hill. What?!? There's more?

Maneuvering around the top of the hill to point down the path was tricky. When I finally did it, I could see the finish line below and Cabela hanging out with Lou beside it. Darn!

Lou had inadvertently blocked my path to get down the hill. Double darn!

With my adrenaline pumping, I made my way recklessly down the hill and got stuck at the finish line. I started chiding Lou for flying too low and blocking my path. He and Cabela laughed and probably thought I was a poor loser.

I later chatted a little more with Cabela and invited her to race with me and my friends again. She agreed so I sent her a Friend message. She declined.

"You're the first person in the year that I've been on SL who has declined a friend offer..." I said, hoping for some explanation. "How else can I find you to invite you to race with us again?"

"Don't take it personally," she said.

Not discouraged, I gave her a few tokens of friendship including one of the rare fish I caught the other day fishing with Soph, Ally and others (photos to follow) and one of my custom tshirts that says "Still Rezzing."

But alas, no friend here. She did, however, later IM me to critique some of my wording in the article I had turned in a few minutes before the race began: Virtual Iditarod Off to a Bumpy Start. Oh well, such is Second Life.

Let me know if you'd like to join me over the next 3 weeks to race a dog sled!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Falling for a Scam

Okay, I would like to think I'm not gullible and that I wouldn't fall for any online scam. And in fact, I almost got away with NOT falling for a recent scam, but then I let my heart get in the way of my head.

Someone spammed my Second Life Women's Club list, asking for some Linden. L$25 to be exact. Not a lot of money, of course, but I had two reactions:

1. I sensed a scam so wanted to protect my members from this old trick of IMing groups asking for a little Linden and getting a lot of it;

2. I didn't like someone spamming my group.

So I did what any good moderator would do - I immediately removed them from the list. Okay, maybe I should have first said: You are violating this group. Off with your head!

Anyway, I figured that was that.

Then I get a private IM from this person - Pam Caudron to be exact about his/her avatar name - and it said simply:

"Thanks a LOT!!!"

Sarcasm? Real disappointment and resentment?

Then I got to thinking: "Wow, that was sure abrupt and mean of me. Maybe they are really a nice newbie who needs a little Linden. And heck, it is only L$25. Maybe they didn't know it was bad to spam someone else's group."

So I IM'd back and apologized, explaining what I did and why. I then asked them if they still needed the Linden.

No answer.

Still angry? Embarrassed? On to the next scam? I began to overthink their motives.

Damn, it was only L$25, I thought. I give way more than that to newbies I meet inworld and take shopping for nice clothes.

So I paid Pam Caudron L$25.

And never heard from him/her again.

I fell for the scam. I admit it. I talk about it here so others can learn from my mistakes rather than making the same ones.

Yeah, it was only L$25, but I'm sure they got that from a lot of other people who either:

a) didn't realize it was a scam;
b) had that soft spot in their heart that negated the scam warning signals.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Around Second Life in First Half of February

Somehow my avatar ended up at the bottom of the water, lying down, unable to get up. Guess Second Life was having a senior moment.

This is Inanna Aya, watercolor artists. Her work is currently being shown at Athena Gallery of Women's Art. SLURL:

Friend Ziggy Figaro invited me to an 18th century RP sim. We never really got to explore it, but I did spend some Linden on this lovely outfit.

I was gifted this absolutely wonderful elephant who talks. His name is Woody.

Another Second Life blooper - a purple and blue checked outfit on my avatar. You don't think I'd BUY something like this?

Second Life Women's Club
hosted author Janice Taylor on Feb 12th. She wrote the book "Our Lady of Weight Loss."

Me setting up for the Second Life Writers' Club special guest on Feb 13th, Maria Liberati, author and celebrity chef.

Me relaxing on Athena Isle.

All dressed up for a Valentine's Day party that TheDiva Rockin was giving but couldn't get in. Story of my Second Life. All dressed up and no place to go.