AMBASSADOR GOSSIP: CHECKED IN AND STAMPED IN HIRAYA
For Her Excllency, Hon. Ambassador Raynier, it was one those days in the office when you've a nagging feeling there's something you've forgotten.
I was sitting at my desk, a cup of coffee in my hand, and suddenly it hit me. I had forgotten to register with the Heterocera local authorities and get my visa.
She hurried to the train station, which fortunately is adjacent to the embassy. Shamefacedly, she admitted;
In my excitement, I even forgot to take a ticket from the vendor before boarding the train.
Line 3 took her from Tersa directly to the Hiraya train station. From there, she did not have to walk far. The passport stamp machine can be found near the exit to Hiraya Town station and soon the visa stamp was applied.
As a Bellisseria citizen officially residing in Heterecera, I was relieved
she admitted. But a big surprise soon followed. After a short chat with the lady behind the ticket counter, she found no visa is required in Heterocera!
All the excitement was for nothing!
After this bureaucratic farce, the ambassador decided to walk back to the embassy to relax and calm down. After studying the city map, she found a suitable route to Miyako and Hiroachi Hill in the south of the city.
If I hadn't had that mishap, I wouldn't have found the beautiful Yumi's Café. Ending a nice day full of first impressions in the city with a big piece of cake and a lemonade is certainly not the worst thing.
So the afternoon had a happy ending and Hon. Ambassador Raynier was also able to get acquainted with the café's owner.
I can only recommend everyone to visit and explore this beautiful, detailed city and, honestly, it doesn't have to involve a bureaucratic panic!
She smiled as the second piece of cream cake was placed on the table.
Article and Photographs by Dariah Raynier
MEET THE BBB TEAM: SUN
We continue our Meet the team series with Sun (Dark Sunflower). She is one of the longest serving team members and deputises for Boo (our Founder and CEO) when he is away on RL business..
1. How long have you been in SL?
My first Avi's rez-day is Sept. 17, 2006, well over 15 years.
2. How long you lived in Belli?
I've been hopping around from theme to theme since June 2019.
3. What is your favorite thing about Bellisseria?
The serene environments of Belli, they fill me with a sense of relaxation and peacefulness, feels like coming home.
4. What motivated you to join the BBB team?
I got my Bellisserian Passport on Feb. 3 2020. (In those early days the passport was just a texture.) I saw our founder, Boo, post a notice to find someone to help him make passports. I loved his idea and went for a job interview -- and he "hired" me. In the following weeks, we talked a lot about the passport. Boo mentioned, "What if we had a real passport where we could put stamps in....." And the rest is history :)
5. What are your BBB responsibilities?
I am the founder of our stamp design department, which I have now left in the capable hands of Robert and Amanda. This lets me spend more time on new product development / design and building BBB event exhibits. However, I still create stamps when demand is high and time permits.
As of late I'm combining this with covering for our CEO Boo, since he and his wife Fiona are on a well deserved hiatus.
6. What is the most fun thing you have ever done as a BBB staff member?
The funniest thing that I remember was when I was a race steward when we had the stamp tour collab with DoSL. I was posted at the mermaid caves, when all of the sudden the Belli Sea Monster showed up and tried to eat the people that were looking for the stamp terminal. It was hilarious.
7. Tell us one thing about yourself that most people do not know.
I was a very successful ABC-horse jockey in the past.
8. Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Yes! I would like to say that I'm proud of being a part of this awesome team of BBB volunteers!
Article and photo by Teresa Firelight
INAUGURATION CEREMONY/PARTY FOR NEW AMBASSADOR TO HETEROCERA
The official inauguration of Her Excellency Dariah Raynier will take place at the embassy in Heterocera on May 28, 2022. Yuriko Kimura, Mayor of Hiraya, will officially present the keys of her embassy to the new ambassador.
After the ceremony, the new ambassador and the Continental Passport Control Board invite you to join us for a party to celebrate the occasion. Mandy Dorfler, DJ at Harlow's Women Club, will spin music from the genres of Rock, Blues, Metal, Alternative, 60s, 70s, 80s and Romantic. We look forward to your company for two hours of fine entertainment.
The event will start with the official part at 12:00 noon SLT. The party will start at 12.15 pm SLT. The embassy in Tersa is easily accessible by public transport.
ROBERT'S REZ ZONE MAPS
Robert Rhodan's first maritime rez zone map (building on the splendid work of Jon Ree and Kittensusie Landar) was well-received. He's already updated it as well as adding a second to the series. Here they both are.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
By popular demand, a dispenser at BBB HQ is now issuing these on demand so you can have your own copy in-world without having to pay an upload fee. As Robert adds more to the series they will also be added to the dispenser.
Map by Kittensusie Landar. Rez zone data collected by Jon Ree. Data mapped by Robert Rhodan.
This week's new locations feature two clubs in the same region and a popup art gallery. Your editor must declare a personal interest in the last of these, a joint venture between his Limoncello Art Gallery (founded in 2007) and Cate Infinity's Infinite Productions. This is the fourth popup in a series taking art into places you'd never expect. The exhibition formally opens with a party on May 28th at 4pm SLT but the art (and the stamp terminal) are already in place for previews by our readers.
Club Hypnotic is part of Beach ClubHypnautical and features live DJs every Friday at 8PM -11PM SLT and every Saturday at 8PM-10PM. There are two stamp terminals here, one black, one white; issuing the same stamp design in the corresponding colours. The white stamp is for the beach club and the black one is for the dance club! There's one forced landing point near the white terminal. Head in the opposite direction and follow the boardwalk to find the black one!
This week, the BBB, CPCB, our embassies and the Vikings of Bjarkavik collaborate for a unique experience
Join us for a special tour today to collect stamps for your passports while experiencing the adventures of the Vikings as we sail the waters of Blake Sea and Nautilus on the hunt to plunder gold! There will also be two brand new passport stamps to collect along the route
Viking life means taking risks with a chance of a great reward. There is always a realistic chance to fall overboard! So we recommend detaching unnecessary attachments and scripts in order to avoid region crossing issues.
Everyone is welcome to join! Please remember to have your passports ready. All Bellisserians (residents of the modern Linden Homes continent) can apply for a Bellisserian passport. All the information you need is available at the BBB Headquarters. For other Second Life® residents, we offer passports for each of the other Mainland continents (and generic SL passports for everyone else) to be obtained at any of the embassies (see the list of SLURLs to the left).
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2022 Time: 1pm SLT Tour Length: approximately 2 hrs
Article and photograph by H.E. Yuki Yeshto, Hon. Ambassador to Sansara
BOAT REZ ZONES OF BELLISSERIA
On the subject of navigation, our own Robert Rhodan is mapping the boat rez zones of Bellisseria from Jon Ree's useful notecard list in-world onto Kittensusie Landar's world map. He's crafting a series of such maps and here's the first: featuring the rez zones of the older parts of Bellisseria plus Fantasseria. More will follow in future issues.
It's fun to make your way around Second Life® using realistic transport. While a teleport is a wonderful thing you will see nothing of the scenery, discover no new places and meet no new friends while your pixels are being transmitted. Boating may take longer but there's nothing like getting there under your own steam (or sail!) and these maps will help you find a good starting point.
It's a truly remarkable thing that Linden Lab designed realistic winds into Second Life® from the outset, making our metaverse a good sailing simulator. Many residents love to go out on the Blake Sea or cruise the Fruit Islands but the banline-free and beautifully landscaped waterways of Bellisseria are also open to all SL'ers and fun to explore. As Robert's maps make clear, they are well-supplied with rez zones to launch your craft. If you navigate from one rez zone to another, you can always resume your voyage when next you log in.
STOP PRESS: By suggestion of residents in response to this article, a Rez Zone Location Maps Giver is now deployed at the BBB HQ. Robert will update and supplement this with maps of more areas and continents in future, and add aircraft rez zones too. Just touch it and you will receive the maps inworld.
MEET THE TEAM: FIONA JOGICHES
This week we meet Fiona Jogiches. She is an important part of the team and also Boo Rojyo’s RL wife.
She schedules our meetings, assists Boo and is also a skilled decorator. Recently, Fiona played a key part in decorating the builds for the BBB’s second anniversary and Bellisseria's third anniversary events at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds.
1. How long have you been in SL?
15 years 7 months
2. How long you lived in Belli?
Since 2019 when the first Houseboats came out.
3. What is your favorite thing about Bellisseria?
For me it's the beautiful landscaping and nature that surrounds the different themed homes. I have a camper that I love to be in, surrounded by the peace and open space, riding my horse round the trails, hills and rivers, and I also have a lovely Victorian home overlooking the sea.
4. What motivated you to join the BBB team?
I married the boss.
5. What are your BBB responsibilities?
I am the Executive Assistant to Boo and help him in lots of ways, mostly keeping his coffee cup filled :) I am also the Honorary Ambassador of Gaeta.
6. What is the most fun thing you have ever done as a BBB staff member?
Tease Mr Beeb.
7. Tell us one thing about yourself that most people do not know
I'm a Wordle addict.
8. Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Article and photograph by Teresa Firelight
PRING PRODUCTIONS FILM OF B3B
Pru and Sceneris did their usual wonderful job of documenting the goings-on in Bellisseria with their movie - premiered last Thursday - of B3B. With their kind permission, here it is for those of you who missed the premiere.
We have two new aviation locations issuing passport stamps this week, both in the Amelia Earhart group. The Hiller Heliport and the Aerodrome Amelia Earhart are both on the mainland continent of Corsica.
We also have a seaport but this one is from further back in history. Bjarkavik on the Blake Sea is a Viking port. It is the starting point for the longboat tour above, which will also take in our final new location for the week - the Cividale Ruins. These are an intriguing LDPW build by our beloved Moles. The old stones speak of some lost civilisation from the distant past of Second Life® before the current residents arrived. Who were the avies who lived there? Where did they go?
Enjoy your travels, dear readers, and don't forget to take your passports with you. Please be aware that, due to a tech issue that we can't script our way around, it is possible sometimes to lose a stamp or stamps in the course of teleporting or if you crash while wearing your passport HUD. To avoid this annoyance, please make a habit of detaching your passport HUD before teleporting away after collecting a stamp. If you use the Firestorm viewer, you can add the HUD to your Favourites so as to have it readily available. We at The Gazette wish you all safe journeys. Please feel free to tell us all about your adventures in the comments!
We welcome our new Honorary Ambassador for Heterocera, Dariah Raynier. Dariah has been in Second Life for more than a decade during which she has been involved in numerous communities and projects.
Exploring the grid by boat is one of the experiences she likes to share with everyone by offering tours. She also plans to organise events around art, music and other activities.
Her main mission, of course, will be to establish amicable connections with Heterocera's residents. At the moment, Dariah is becoming acquainted with her many new tasks, and a date for a welcome ceremony at the Embassy will be announced soon.
We wish Dariah all the best for the many great adventures that await her in her new role!
MEET THE BBB TEAM: BOO ROJYO
We begin our Meet The Team series with the person who made the BBB possible. It started as a concept, something that sounded like a good idea. Many of us have good ideas, but not all of us are successful in implementing them; of turning the thought into reality.
But Boo Rojyo was able to do it, and the BBB (Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy) was born. The team started small, but grew over time as people caught the vision and got excited about it.
So, this week we meet Boo, the creator and founder of the BBB and put to him our standard questions for this series;
How long have you been in SL?
Since 2006, before everything was in colour.
How long you lived in Bellisseria?
Since 2019 I think, not long after it all started.
What is your favorite thing about Bellisseria?
What motivated you to join the BBB team?
Well, it was my idea, so I joined an excellent and talented team of one, I guess.
What are your BBB responsibilities?
I'm the Founder. My responsibilities are to make myself perfectly dispensable. I guess tinkering and interfering is my thing.
What is the most fun thing you have ever done as a BBB staff member?
I love when we take on new team members. We are either lucky, or just attract the right people, but I'm amazed at the talented team we have.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people do not know.
I'm pretty much an open book. Struggling to answer this one.
Do you have anything else you would like to share?
I'd like to share that anyone who has a dream to add fun and community to SL can do exactly what we've done at the BBB. Just need the right plan and right motivation, and a bit of luck along the way maybe.
It is Fleet Week Open Day at SL Coast Guard! Join a stamp collecting tour with mini-helicopters from Peleliu Fields to Acknefar Airport where we will watch their Air and Sea Power Demonstration at 10am. More shows and activities are offered during the whole day, and a new stamp awaits you there, too!
click to enlarge
Article by H.E. Yuki Yeshto / Photos by Y. Yeshto and the SLCG
UPDATE ON DR FERRY SERVICES
H.E. Dariah Raynier – the "DR" of the company's name (and the new Hon. Ambassador to Heterocera) recently published an article in her company's blog about a meeting with the Hon. Ambassador to Nautilus, H.E. Freddie Harrington. You can read the article here.
The ambassador and Dariah Raynier discussed a number of topics related to travel and transport on the mainland continents. Such important issues as the banlines and orbs problem were discussed.
In other news, the DR Ferry Service blog has been awarded a licence and is now therefore a BBB Approved Publication featuring in the sidebar to The Gazette.
ROBERT'S B3B MOVIES
By way of a look back at the popular B3B event to celebrate Bellisseria's 3rd anniversary, we have two very different videos from our very own Robert Rhodan. The first shows him making his own plushie elephant in the Arts & Crafts tent. The second shows the aerobatics display over the Bellisseria Fairgrounds staged by H. Quimby Aviation. Enjoy!
Videos by Robert Rhodan
PARTICLES AT B3B WITH DELAIN
Delain Canucci enhanced B3B with a stunning particle show based on the 2017 movie The Greatest Showman. For those unfortunate enough to miss the event, Delain has a link in her profile picks. Robert Rhodan interviewed Delain for The Gazette and asked how long it takes to create such an amazing, complicated show.
To make a complete show for almost an hour it takes two months to create all the particles, to find music I like and to build a stage. The stage itself was about 400 prims and the seating 100 more. It was not the largest I ever built. The Gotham City stage I built for B2B had almost 3000 prims!
Robert noted that the show ran smoothly and attracted many visitors. How was it possible to achieve all the effects without making the Fairgrounds into a lagfest?
Usually particles won't effect the server much, The scripts are low impact. Particles can cause lag on the client side though as this really depends on the graphic card and system of each user. I try to keep the particles low and don't use high res textures, which should make it easier to render.
I don't really know where my inspiration comes from. I just start with an effect and by changing the script multiple times an idea emerges. I see it in my mind and try to create it like I see it!
Asked as to her future plans, Delain said;
I have always a few projects going on, but the next big ones are two shows for the “Hope Fest” and “Follow The Sun” festivals. I also make effects for different dance groups and one in particular – The Monarchs – I sponsor with custom made particles.
Robert thanked Delain for making B3B so memorable. We all look forward to her future projects!
Article and video by Robert Rhodan.
FOLK DANCING AT THE B3B AND BEYOND
Hooten Haller and Lec, owners of the ContraDanceFloor and managers of the FolkDanceGroup, kindly agreed to an interview with Robert for The Gazette. Both they and Leena Quicksand were present at the Fairgrounds during the B3B and - especially at the second event - so many visitors dropped in that over the full two hours all 12 dance pads were often fully loaded and people standing in line for a chance to hop in! Robert asked why so many young people were enjoying this traditional form of dancing?
I'm not sure of the ages of the folks behind these avatars, but I believe a lot of people were drawn to our event because of our dance system. The opportunity for everybody to dance individually with everyone else is unique in SL. Once people arrived and heard Hooten's brilliant and upbeat musical selections – including traditional contra dance tunes as well as more contemporary songs – they wanted to stay and hear more, even when all of the dance slots were full. And they became immersed in the upbeat and humorous local chat! Having animesh figures instead of dance balls helps folks feel they always are dancing with someone, even if they'd come alone.
Contra has always appealed to people of many ages. There's some special magic where age gaps don't matter. When dancing you are with your partner throughout the 8 to 10 minutes of a full dance, and also sharing them with a new couple every 33 seconds. So there's a constantly changing kaleidoscope of people. Anyone can step up and be present with that neighbour couple for half a minute, and then they're gone and you have a new couple.
At an SL contra we aren't connecting as intimately with the partner or neighbor of the moment. What is there for us in SL is the whole "floor" of people through open text chat and private IMs, just as at any club dance. But the special sauce is the fabulous music and live calling.
Robert noted that Hooten was himself the live caller for the second event at B3B. He had seen for himself what was going on at the Fairgrounds despite the clash with Easter and Seder holidays. Did he expect such an interest in ContraDance ? Hooten said;
I truly regretted having to miss the dance on Friday, but Sunday very much made up for it. I was expecting a low turnout because it's not live music and not club music. It's a strange mix of live performance (calling) and a folksy music that doesn't hook people until they hear it. The residents gave it a chance and let us know they liked it. Despite their puzzlement over the unique (even peculiar) dance machinery, they responded by dancing with us (or sitting out on the side) and offering pleasant banter and praise.
Robert wondered if B3B had increased the numbers joining their regular twice a week dances and Lec said it had extensively added to their mailing lists. He added;
We expect them to become regulars, as they've fitted in so quickly. We'd love to expand to more lines, of course, so we encourage folks to add us to their Picks.
Robert commented on the unique features of their ContraDance simulation, quite aside from the many dance pads that change dancers' positions in turn. He noted that even a cockroach and a tiny were able to dance in the group! He asked how it all works and how the animations run so smoothly without causing much lag ? Lec noted;
Our dance system is based on "pads" (mannequins and/or animesh figures) moving through dance figures along given paths, while animations move their arms and legs. When one "sits" on a pad, it disappears, but the avatar is still in some sense riding on it. A roach or a robot can ride along even if they can't move arms or legs.
Three challenges made scripting this system difficult for me. One was learning SL's scripting language. Over the years, many people, including Hooten and numerous writers online, helped with that. A second difficulty was to accomplish the dancer's progressions in opposite directions. An early scripter proposed the system we still use. The third was synchronizing. Because all dance individually with each other, they must be dancing each figure at the same time.
Lag can make the motion jerky, but synchronizing should remain. We have had 24 pads dancing in a set for hours without losing synchronization. I can't say how much the synchronization increases lag in the region though. It seems to me more likely that it would be caused by the land impact of our animesh figures.
You'll need to ask people far more experienced in the performance issues of SL. We were fearing the worst with each updated object. Each new animation must be propagated to every agent in the vicinity. To be honest the only real lag I noticed was my chat typing speed slowed way down! We have ideas to improve performance considerably. After all, this experiment in a dance system is only just completing it first year of steady use in basically one location.
Both are contra dancers themselves in RL. Lec has danced at about 30 venues in approximately 20 US states since 2000, but has never been involved as an organiser. Hooten has been contra dancing since 1999 and began to run his own RL dances in 2011. He said;
It was because of the pandemic Lec and I each worked on our own contra dance systems as we couldn't dance in person. Once we'd found each other, we collaborated a bit, and eventually decided to let Lec's system be our foundation.
We at The Gazette are grateful to Lec and Hooten for taking the time to talk to us and for giving B3B visitors so much fun at the Fairgrounds!
Interview, article and video by Robert Rhodan
This week we have four new locations to visit with your Bellisseria or Mainland passports. Firstly there's a special event presented by the Bellisseria Animal Sanctuary at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds. Yes it's Zoo-Palooza 3! It's set in the Forestham National Park built especially for the occasion and runs from May 7th - 29th. Regular readers will be aware that our bureaucracy permits more colours in the stamps for such events. The event organisers and our designers are not restricted to the usual stamp-ink creations. Organiser Krys Calamity has certainly gone to town on this colourful design. Don't miss out on collecting it and enjoy the event while you're there.
We don't normally talk much about the stamps themselves but they are one of the reasons our passport system is so cool. They are not random snapshots but hand-crafted works of graphic design. Our designers listen to location owners' ideas and (except in rare cases where owners design their own) work with them to make something that represents their build. Sun has been doing a great job from the outset. Recently Robert and Amanda have contributed in their own styles. They all do a great, creative job and we thank them.
Acknefar Airport in Nautilus is another new addition this week to our Airports, Ports & Train Stations category. It's a base for both the SL Coast Guard and SL Marine Corps as well as a GTFO! hub. For those of you who don't know about GTFO! (Get the Freight Out!) it's a logistics and exploration game that involves moving goods around SL in vehicles with special scripts. It's a great way to get to know Second Life® better by land, sea and air.
Calypso Bay is a dive resort on the Beach Paradise private estate. It bills itself in the land menu as
A nice village with great underwater down to 100 meters
The underwater build is great, both for divers and SL's many merfolk. It's well worth putting on your scuba gear or as our late former editor, mermaid Fenella, used to put it – tailing and scaling, to go take a look.
People often ask What is the BBB? There are two answers. The first is literal; it stands for Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy, which still means little to most SL'ers.
The second answer is about our mission and purpose. We are a team of people from the Linden Homes Continent of Bellisseria who are committed to help build community in SL and to give residents fun things to do.
We are unpaid volunteers. Many of us put in several hours a week working towards our goal of connecting people and helping them to enjoy fun activities. Why do we do it? Because we are passionate about the SL community in general and Bellisseria in particular. We get a personal sense of satisfaction from helping others enjoy their Second Life®.
I should probably explain that our name – Bureau of Bureaucracy – is playful. In RL several of the jobs we do are done by bureaucracies; issuing drivers licences, passports, etc. We just do it for fun and don’t really think of ourselves as bureaucrats or take that title seriously. However we do take our volunteer work seriously and do it with pride and enjoyment.
At the moment there are 14 active members of the team. Over the next 14 weeks, we will highlight each of them briefly for you. and give you an opportunity to meet them.
Article by Teresa Firelight of the BBB
DR FERRY SERVICES
You may encounter posters for DR Ferry Services around our offices and embassies and wonder what it's all about. DRFS has its HQ at Miller's Pond in Bellisseria and is led by Dariah Raynier – the "DR" of the company's name.
Dariah has been in SL since 2009. Her first home was in Second Norway. She told The Gazette;
Second Norway was an isolated private estate. I developed the idea of connecting it to the Blake Sea and proposed that to the former owner. I had my first ferry service and travel agency there.
Now her current company runs long distance ferries;
I always liked sailing and public transport. Now I have worked out 24 routes on and between the continents. Most are long-distance with sailing times of 1-3 hours. For example, one runs from Peleliu Field in Nautilus to Second Norway on the Blake Sea. Others connect Corsica and the Blake Sea or sail around Gaeta etc.
When creating a route I explore the area first with a small boat, looking for good stops, docks, harbours and marinas. I collect the SLURLs and put them into a sailing hud. Then I start a sailing test with a ferry and use the measured sailing times for creating a schedule.
DRFS uses two types of ferry boat. The first is the Feral Marine Catamaran, which is to be found operating from the company's ports in Sansara, Second Norway, Satori, Corsica, Gaeta and Nautilus as well as at the Light of Aurelia lighthouse in Bellisseria. The second is the Michie Marine Trawler, which operates from ports in Heterocera, Sansara, Second Norway and Bellisseria.
You can pick up the details of DRFS's 24 routes (a 25th is in the planning stage) by clicking on the poster illustrated here at our various BBB and CPCB locations and embassies. Dariah told us;
I have rented docks in Peleliu Field, Marina Kuna, Paradise Marina and Arimto Marina. I also have free parking in Second Norway. On Bellisseria I start my routes from Light of Aurelia or Red Hook.
I sail by schedule and stop at all scheduled stops. I also develop leisure tours, e.g. a "Lighthouse route" on Bellisseria or an expedition route to Mount Cooper in Sailors Cove South.
People can IM me or click on the boards at my docks to contact me to arrange a tour.
All services are free. My maximum speed is about 10 knots, so people experience travelling, feel the distance and relax. I will not cross Blake Sea in 2 minutes. Sailing from Bellisseria to the Satori south coast takes 2 hours 45 minutes.
Dariah is making a great contribution to SL transport so why not give your teleporters a rest? Exploring Second Life® by sea is fun!
There are four new locations this week, all of them on Mainland. There's a café and an airport in Satori, and a rail works and an amphitheatre in Heterocera. Both of the Heterocera builds are by our old friend Cranston Yordstorm, who seems determined to connect the whole mainland with his quirky railways!
The BBB is very happy to announce that our headquarters office now features in the SL Destination Guide. We hope this will help even more SL'ers find us and join in the fun of exploring SL with our Bellisserian Passport or the CPCB's Mainland Passport.
The celebrations at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds for the third anniversary of the founding of Bellisseria were a huge success. For those of you who missed it, here is a video Sceneris made of Patch Linden's speech opening the festivities and announcing what is now known as Sakurasseria – the new Asian-themed Linden Homes that are coming Soon®.
For those who missed Delain's impressive particle show, Robert Rhodan filmed it and his movie can be seen on YouTube here. Freddie Harrington also posted some photos of the show on his Flickr feed here.
The folksy village-fete type activities on the Bellisseria village green went down very well with the B3B revellers. Many people took part in the folk-dancing organised by the good people of Hooten Haller, for example. All available dance pads were in use and the events were extended beyond the planned times. As were the more modern dance events too. All the DJs did a great job and the dancers just didn't want to stop.
There was also a good take up for the Easter egg hunt organised by our own dear Teresa, with 108 people claiming their prize of her custom-made Bellisseria baseball cap. Even more popular – and also great fun – was Teresa's make your own plushie sewing stand in the Arts & Crafts tent based on Keiko Zoon's scripts. Robert made a movie of his own successful efforts to sew a plushie, which you can view here.
All in all, people seem to have had a great time. Forza Bellisseria! Onward to a fourth year of SL community and fun.
NEW STAMP LOCATIONS
The first update this week is a new location for an old location. Le Messier Airfield is now here. Not a new stamp though so be careful not to get a duplicate.
Speaking of airports, the first new location this week is Customs at Gateway International Airport. Regular readers may remember our recent interview with the owner, Lethra. Next is a DFS farm and a proud member of the Bellisseria DFS Farmers Co-Op; the Circle B Ranch. The Moonshine Motel in Heterocera is the latest build from our old friend, Cranston Yordstorm and is on the wrong side of yet more of his railroad tracks. Also in Heterocera is Hiraya Town Station, serving a Japanese-themed group of regions of which Hiraya Town is just a part. Finally
The big SL event of the week is the third anniversary of Bellisseria, celebrated in the form of a village fete at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds. It opened yesterday with a speech by Patch Linden at which (as well as name-checking The Gazette, which pleased your editor immensely) he announced the new Sakura Theme for Bellisseria homes in Japanese style. Please follow the previous link to Patch's Flickr to get SLURLs to the demo regions. For ourselves, we can't wait to see the new Sakura community centre!
The 3rd anniversary event is continuing throughout the weekend so be sure to go along and take part in the celebrations!
The organisers have commissioned a special event stamp for your Bellisseria, Mainland or Generic SL passport. Don't miss the opportunity to collect that and also to take part in the special flight tours being run during the event.
You might also like to check out Inara Pey's report on the event and her thoughts on Bellisseria and its future. She mentions the BBB as an example of an active group in the Bellisseria community, for which we thank her.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Do you remember your first day in Second Life®? It can be quite a culture shock! I have no statistics for the newbie attrition rate, but "onboarding" (acquiring the skills to move from "noob" to established user) is not easy. It's fair to assume that many SL-curious visitors simply don't return after their first look around.
Many SL veterans have forgotten those difficulties. Most of us try to "pay forward" the help we got as noobs, but still it's easy to underestimate the difficulties new residents face. In some ways they are greater than they were in our day. Before mesh, it was easy to have an avatar as slick (!) as the one used by SL's inventor. Now there's a mountain to climb (and many $Ls to spend) to look as soigné as experienced avatars. Some SL residents can be snooty about noob avis, which does not help.
We established residents have just as much interest as Linden Lab in making SL a success. The fun, friendship and creativity we all enjoy here depends on new residents both arriving and deciding to stay. So how can we help reduce the newbie attrition rate?
I make a point of IM'ing anyone I meet who is less than a month old to say "Hi, welcome to SL. How are you enjoying it so far?"
Having struck up a conversation, explain that SL is quite literally what residents choose to make of it. It's not a game where everyone has the same goals and progresses by the same rules. They probably won't enjoy it here until they've found like-minded friends. Ask them about their interests and, if you have useful suggestions for groups to join or places to visit, make them.
Don't assume you are going to be one of those friends. You have found a path in SL to suit your personality, interests and skills. You may sometimes get lucky and make a great new friend but in reality, the chances a random noob will follow the same path as you are small!
By all means tp them to some of your favourite places to show them why you love your Second Life®, but see (3) above!
Before you say goodbye, send them to the experts: the enthusiasts who staff the 25 "Newcomer friendly" places in the Destination Guide. They have learning resources targeted to newcomers and some of them are language-specific. However good our second languages may be, most of us find it easier to learn – especially to learn techie stuff – in our native tongue.
My personal favourites are the Firestorm Social Island New Resident Help Area and one I first visited to write this article, Door to America. Both have good resources and greeters to sign visitors up to their groups. Both are staffed by volunteers who have dedicated some of their time in SL to "onboarding". They'll do a better job than you will!
These are my suggestions, but I am sure you will have your own. What is your approach to helping newbies feel at home? Let us know in the comments please!
Article and photographs by Dave.
There's a very special new stamp this weekend for the Bellisseria 3rd Anniversary event at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds. As always with events, the stamp will only be there for the duration - in this case, for this weekend. So don't delay!
The other locations this week are all very different, but have one thing in common – their names are very descriptive. The Folkdance Center is a center for folk dancing, for example.
There are two new stamp locations in Corsica this week. Firstly there's the Butterfly Conservatory and secondly there's the Corsica Tourist Center. Again, both names rather speak for themselves!
Finally, not a new location but please note that Neural Networks Art Gallery & Caféhas relocated. The Gazette Online Travel Guide has been updated accordingly.
Enjoy your virtual tourism and – as always – don't forget to pack your passport!
Your editor is taking his beloved sports car on a real life road trip this week - the first since the miserable COVID times. He won't be around on Saturday to publish at the usual time, so The Gazette is being released early. Normal service will be resumed next week.
INTERVIEW WITH LETHRA
Lethra has been in SL for less than four years and yet is already the owner of three airports, including the Gateway International Airport in Sansara, which bills itself as:
The entry point to Sansara and Heterocera for air and sea traffic from all over the mainland.
Given its location, it's also a transport hub for traffic between those mainland continents and Bellisseria. Dave from The Gazette interviewed Lethra about her Second Life®. He asked her how she came to be into SL airports in such a big way and she said that aviation was an RL interest too, but that it is "way cheaper" in SL.
Asked about the "gateway" role of GIA, she said it was an easy way to arrive in Sansara. by air.
Easy. Land your plane at Gateway, rezz a car, and follow the signs for the nearby towns. Boom, you're in Sansara. Make your way to the northwest of the continent and you can connect to Heterocera by boat.
As for the connection to Bellisseria, she said;
If you're asking how the two will be physically connected, I'd say just by sea and air, at least in the Sansara area. It would be cool to have some kind of road/rail tunnel between the continents, but I just don't see LL going for that, given the quiet suburban vibe they're going for in Bellisseria.
We love the idea of an intercontinental tunnel. That would indeed be great - and our friendly Moles have provided tunnels elsewhere so perhaps it's possible – or maybe even a bridge?
If you're asking about the interaction between Bellisseria and the other continents, I think organizations like BBB are critical for getting Bellisseria residents to explore the rest of the mainland, and that they should work with groups like Drivers of SL and the Skyward Flying Club, who regularly take their members on excursions through the mainland. That would help residents of all continents appreciate just how much is available outside of the skyboxes and private islands.
On that point, Dave asked if, as Bellisseria continues steadily to connect the older mainland continents to each other as it grows, if she thought more SL residents would become interested in exploring SL by land, sea and air? Or will most still teleport from place to place without any thought of geography?
That depends on two things: publicity, and Linden Lab making the mainland as transportation-friendly as possible. I know people who had no idea the mainland existed for years but became enthralled by it once someone took them for a flight, drive, or sailing trip. I was one of those people for about a year and a half, until someone took me flying. Had it been better publicized, I would have done it much sooner.
The other major impediments to growth, though, are things like security orbs set to teleport people home instantly, and other methods of preventing anyone from entering a parcel under any circumstances without being invited. Even in Bellisseria where the covenant puts clear restrictions on orbs and ban lines, people either don't read or ignore it, or even get visitor trackers and manually ban anyone they don't recognise. Getting randomly teleported home or bounced out of a parcel for doing nothing wrong is no fun, and it turns a lot of people off to the whole experience. Ask anyone who owns an airport outside the Blake Sea!
Drivers, pilots, and sailors need to advocate constructively, and work with LL on ways to keep the seas and skies (especially the skies) open to everyone who plays by the rules.
There will always be a certain crowd who join SL exclusively for stuff that doesn't involve recreational transportation, or who will try it once, hit one ban line, and give up. But I find that the more time people spend on SL, the more they want to branch out, and if they're made aware of the mainland as a target-rich environment in terms of places to spontaneously explore, many of them will want to try it out.
Dave asked her about the Greek Theatre she's built at Gateway International. What was the idea of that? Will there be performances there?
Gateway is a flat airport on top of a mountainous region, which lends itself to building things beneath the runway. It actually looks kind of silly if you *don't* build something underneath. And many SL airports connect to nothing in particular, even if they're also accessible by road or water. I decided to shake things up and take advantage of the topography to make Gateway a destination in itself, not just a stop on a journey. So I hopped on the Marketplace and bought myself a Greek amphitheater and a convention center.
We are planning an art exhibition in the convention center soon, and are working on getting some events going for the amphitheater as well (if you're interested, drop me a notecard). It's a great space and can be used for many things--plays, live music, even open-air art displays.
We're grateful to Lethra for agreeing to be interviewed.
Article and Photograph by Dave
We have a new coffee-house destination in Jeogeot this week, a treehouse in Nautilus and a volcano in Sansara. The first belongs to Buttacwup Pwincess and the others are LDPW locations build and tended by our beloved Moles.
This is a relatively new feature and it is still growing and expanding. It is a fun way for SL Residents to communicate with each other by sending transferable notecards and objects to each other. It does nothing that could not be accomplished by IMs, but offers a fun RP aspect.
The first phase was only offered to Bellisseria residents, with a Main Post Office to service Bellisseria. Belli home owners could go to the post office to get their own personal mail box to rez on their property. They had to go to the post office to send mail, but could receive it at their home.
Shortly after the initial release, the Post Office was expanded to serve all SL residents. We added three further post offices in Horizons, Sansarea and Satori. We also added a second Bellisseria post office, which offers free seasonal cards (Christmas, Valentine’s day, etc).
Now, anyone in SL can use any of our Post Offices. In other words, anyone in SL can get their own personal mailbox and rez it on wherever they call “home.” The mailbox will notify them if they have mail, and deliver it to them.
However, if you want to mail something to another resident, you still have to go to a post office and drop it in the outgoing MailBox. (This is similar to going to a post office in RL to mail a package). Also, each post office has a wall of PO Boxes where anyone can pick up their mail – even if they don't have a mailbox at home.
We've just added another new feature. It came about because someone asked if they could use their own “cute” mailbox to receive mail from our system. We thought, “What a great idea!" So we started offering scripts that you can drop into your own personal mailbox. Of course, you still have to enable the “BBB Experience” for the script to work.
We also have some Documentation – a book-style Post Office Manual. It is offered at the BBB Headquarters. You can add it as a HUD, or you can rez it. It gives a lot of how-to information about our Post Office service.
There are more exciting plans in the works. There is also the possibility that Linden Lab might send the occasional Official Information/Announcements via the BBB Post Office (in addition to other mechanisms they use to get the word out). Also keep your eyes open for International Friend Appreciation Week. You will hear more about that after the Bellisseria 3rd Anniversary Celebration – coming soon!
Article by Teresa Firelight. Photograph by Dave.
ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH A WEEKEND TOUR
Enhance your passport stamp-collecting experience with the BBB+Embassy Weekend Tours. Or just join them to enjoy exploring and travelling in a group.
Every 1st Saturday each month at 11am SLT, you are invited to join a guided tour around Bellisseria and Mainland continents to visit locations that offer a BBB stamp terminal. The meeting point is BBB Headquarters.
The tours are not just about traveling and collecting stamps: They are to have fun, share an adventure, socialise and, who knows, maybe make some new friends! Also unexpected challenges are to be expected!
We will travel by bus, train, plane, boat, balloon, mini-copters, and more. Subject to alteration, depending on the actual number of tour attendants. The current tour route will be announced in the BBBug and CPCB group notices and chats. Your host is Yukiko Yeshto. It's important for a comfortable trip that you please detach unnecessary attachments and scripts to avoid issues with region crossings.
The next BBB+Embassy Weekend Tour will be today April 2, 11am SLT. We will be visiting the Alpine Regions of Bellisseria by bus, train and hot air balloon.
Article and photograph by H.E. Yukiko Yeshto, Hon. Ambassador to Sansara
The Gianfar Peaks of Pern is a "3d role-play homage to Anne McCaffrey's Pern."If you love dragons, check it out!
The Nature Collective is a gateway to exploring other locations and is to be found just off Route 3 in northern Heterocera. It is;
a Second Life group created with the goal of cultivating a community around sims, spaces and projects which share a common focus on nature. It is our hope to foster a movement to help people engage and reconnect with the wonder and joy of nature, in the virtual world and beyond.
As well as picking up a stamp for your Bellisseria or CPCB passport, you can get a notecard with details of all the other locations for SL's nature-lovers in the collective.
Corsica South Coast Airfield is another of our old friend Cranston's builds and part of his growing Corsica South Coast empire. There's so much to do and see when you've landed there, especially if you catch a train from the local station.
We were delighted to welcome Patch Linden to our new HQ last Wednesday for his first visit. We reported on our regular activities, including the Post Offices and the Mainland Passports, and then discussed other ways we might be able to contribute in future.
It's always good to see and chat with Patch and it was an opportunity for our newest recruits, Robert and Amanda, to meet him for the first time.
DIPLOMATIC VACANCIES IN HETEROCERA & JEOGEOT
Unless you arrived very recently in Second Life®, you will have lived somewhere other than the less-than-three years old Linden Continent of Bellisseria. Most Bellisserians have an emotional connection with, and knowledge of, other SL continents. For example, your editor bought land on the then-new continent of Satori back in 2007 and still has substantial holdings there for projects that don't fit in (or above) his beloved houseboat.
If your mainland connection is with the continents of Heterocera or Jeogeot, would you consider being an Honorary Ambassador there? Those two vacancies have arisen in our Corps Diplomatique and you are cordially invited to apply for either post.
The Embassy in Heterocera | click to enlarge
The role of Honorary Ambassador is to promote Second Life® in general and in particular to build community spirit. It's to encourage exploration, geographical knowledge and social interaction. You would have the use of the local embassy and other assets. You would be expected to organise events at the embassy and elsewhere. You would have the support of our team of ambassadors and bureaucrats - and of course The Gazette.
Honorary Ambassadors have considerable independence and all go about the job in their own distinctive way. They are already growing closer as a team and helping each other out with ideas and mutual support. If you think this could be for you, please apply in-world to Boo Royjo. Drop him a notecard with information about your background and experience in SL and your ideas for what you would do if you were appointed.
The delightfully-if-enigmatically named Scandalous Gout on the Cove – is a Bellisseria stilt home open to the public. It has water & road access and "tons of fun activities."
Our other new permanent location this week is the motorsport/street-racing region of Daikoku. It is a "Car & Drift Community" on a private estate that hosts competitive and community events, such as the annual Daikoku Drift Championship. You'll land in a drab car-park hub location, but use the nearby teleporter to find your way around.
Finally we have the limited-time event stamp for District X - 2042 at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds from March 31st to April 5th. Don't miss it!
As always, please click on the images of locations and/or stamps below to enlarge them.
SL has always presented itself as bodies of land and water where residents move, interact and build. Yet many of us teleport from place to place without a thought for our virtual world's "geography". We at the BBB and CPCB have a mission to help residents be explorers. We won't judge you if you flip from terminal to terminal without even waiting for the textures to rez, but you're missing out on a lot of fun if you do.
Many of us have inventories full of motorcycles, cars, sailboats, locomotives and planes. Some of us even have airships! We could teleport instantly to anywhere we travel, but we enjoy exploring SL's virtual spaces. We're not alone. The marinas, airports and transport hubs in SL exist for a reason. Many residents love hauling virtual goods using GTFO! Others love going on Drivers of SL rallies, taking part in the Bellisseria Boat Parade or joining our own Yuki Yeshto's guided bus tours.
You don't have to do it in a group though. The Pyri Funfair – for example – is a legacy SL destination, where the Moles long ago built a rather sinister game. It's now a passport stamp location, so you can have a memento of your time there. You can teleport in, play the game if you like, collect your stamp and leave. Or you could make an adventure of even getting there. You could sail there from Bellisseria or Jeogeot. You could incorporate a train ride by taking the ZZRR to Little Coverston and then catching the regular ferry to Pyri Peaks and the funfair.
So why not take the road, waterway or air route less traveled? Nothing builds friendship in Second Life® like a virtual journey, so invite a friend along. You may find you make new friends along the way.
Our new location this week is Saint Aubrey Airfield and Marina. It occupies one of the Du Sud Isles, a group of private estates between Corsica and Nautilus which provide good sailing waters. It's a beautiful spot to visit, even if you're neither a sailor nor an aviator.