We passed this milestone on Sunday, August 22. We don't know the comparitive stats (does anyone?) but that seems like a high number for an invitation-only group. We appreciate each and every one of you, dear BBBuggists. Onwards and upwards to 1,000 members!
NEW STAMP TERMINALS FOR FANTASSERIA
We have already had applications for stamp terminals in the fantasy sub-continent of Bellisseria now known as Fantasseria. Sun, our Chief Designer, anticipated the demand and was ready. If you are issuing stamps from your fantasy home, you will have these options.
There are two new LDPW locations this week. We currently have five new applications for new locations being processed for next week, including the first ones in Fantasseria and three new airports/marinas!
PLEASE WELCOME CRANSTON YORDSTORM TO THE BBB STAFF
Cranston is the author of the BBB-Approved publication Passport to Bellisseria and has been doing a sterling job for some time reporting his adventures exploring Second Life® in pursuit of stamps for his Bellisseria Passport.
Our CEO has now recruited him to combine that exploration with scouting new locations to issue our passport stamps. His job description (to be found in the staff directory headed BBB Officials: Who we are and what we do in the side bar) reads:
I am a Destination Recruiter for the BBB. Using my experience as a travel blogger, it is my job to seek out eye-catching locations for consideration as potential Stamp Destinations and encourage them to apply.
Cranston is a popular performer in SL; singing both at his own club and around the Grid. He says of his new role at the BBB:
Ever since I discovered the BBB and its passport stamps, I knew I had to be involved. So I was chuffed when they liked my idea of becoming their "Destination Recruiter." I am looking forward to being part of this talented group.
He is a cheery, helpful, friendly soul and all of us (except Mr Beeb, for whom that is a critique) are delighted to welcome him to our team.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BUREAUCRAT: COAL EDGE
Our editor, Fenella, interviewed Coal – a recent recruit.
F: What’s the ebb and flow of your work? Is there typically a busiest day or is it spread evenly?
C: I work on upcoming projects and tech stuff behind the scenes. There isn't a "busiest day" as I spread out the hard and fun work evenly! Not everyone finds coding fun, but I get a sense of wonder when I've made someone's life easier by writing them a little gadget. My goal is to add a little something to anything I work on and have fun!
F: So when you log in on a typical day, what’s the first thing you do?
C: I check if anything new is going on in the community. I don't just jump straight into a script and ignore the world. Just like in any office, you stay connected by starting at the water cooler to catch up on what you missed! I may not always be in the spotlight chatting but I hear what people are saying. The BBB is always hopping – just like Bellisseria itself! Once I am up to speed, I turn up some music and get to typing code like a madman.
F: What then?
C: Depending on how inspired I feel in that moment I keep coding or go exploring for inspiration. Bellisseria residents have creative minds so just picking a random spot to ride a bike can get me feeling ready for anything. I enjoy riding the rails and since most of what a coder does is in our noggin, I just find me a rez zone to put down my train and explore. My world is all about imagination and figuring out how to make something happen. A joy ride before getting back to writing lines of magical code is a good bit of "rinse and repeat".
F: Your work seems not to involve much contact with BBBug members. Would you like more?
C: I would love it. I can chat with a cloud about the weather so random is never a problem! I am not much for the spotlight and my getting too technical can make peoples' eyes glaze over <grin> but I love to help folks and will chat with anyone, even if its about something other than what I usually do. Want to talk about the newest works of the amazing Moles? Hit me up! Want to chat about how to get started in scripting/coding? I am here for that also! I have done just about everything in Second Life and enjoy learning others' tricks and sharing my own.
F: What motivated you to join the BBB? How did it come about?
C: I heard about it from my girl. She said it was an amazing community so I got my passport and started exploring. A quick talk with some of the bureaucrats and I was hooked! After chatting with Boo, I saw ways I could contribute some cool things (even if unseen right now) to help it all grow. Second Life and Bellisseria are nothing without community. I joined to contribute to that.
F: The pay and benefits are non-existent and the boss is sarcastic at best or often plain rude. What’s in this for you?
C: I knew it would be volunteer work and that's fine. I want what I do to make something better for someone and my role with the BBB does just that. Mr. Beeb may wear the judging scowl of the hardcore bureaucrat but even he is ok once you learn to look past that clipboard. I may have a demerit or two, but I think he secretly likes me! I would say there's a lot in it for me because my reward is knowing I made someone smile. The BBB gives me lots of room to find things to tweak and expand. I love it because its a unique, Linden and Mole-fostered, community and we get to make it our own. I joined SL in 2005 and have been scripting pretty much since I joined. I love all things technical and program in multiple languages but I do a bit of role play as well. Second Life is nothing without the amazing people that add in their own stories to the mix. You, the person reading this interview, are why I am here. Anything I can do to make it more enjoyable for you makes my day!
F: Thanks, Coal.
THE TOOTHSOME WENCH AND THE PLATYPUS BEACH HOUSE HAVE MOVED
Speaking of Cranston, his medieval pub in Bellisseria – The Toothsome Wench – has a new location. Its details have been updated in the Online Travel Guide, which as always can be found in the side bar. There is no new stamp as he's simply moved the dispenser to the new premises, but go take a look. It's a nice spot for some mead and a brawl.
Also at a new location is the Platypus Beach House and once again, the Online Travel Guide has been updated. There's no new stamp but why not check it out anyway?
We have two new locations this week; both in the Other category in the Online Travel Guide. The first is another from the SL Public Land Preserve; a treatment centre for gacha addicts! We assume they're preparing for an influx of new patients when this form of in-world gambling becomes illegal at the end of the month. The second is the headquarters of Operation Mainland, a group committed to making
...a more community-driven and beautiful mainland Second Life grid.
Look out for the photographic gallery of images of mainland locations and for educational materials on subjects ranging from good practice in mainland development to how to be a good mainland neighbour.
Watch out next week for more releases of passport stamps for LDPW locations by our friendly and creative Moles. We have many such locations in the pipeline and – given all the excitement this week about the release of the new Fantasy Homes – are now looking into the possibility of fae or elvish designs for our distinctive stamp-dispenser terminals!
NOTES FROM A BUREAUCRAT: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHIEF INSPECTOR EUSTACE BEEB
The name is Beeb, Eustace Beeb, I'm the new Chief Inspector of Passports for the Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy, and I'm licensed to stamp.
When Great Aunt Beeb told me she was pressuring the founder of the Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy into giving me employment at that esteemed institution I was overjoyed. Of course Great Aunt Beeb tends toward un-Beeb like exaggeration. I'm sure what she actually meant was that she was persuading the founder of my unique skills and natural bureaucratic abilities. Her being on the board of the BBB wasn't a factor at all either. My skills shine through regardless.
I can tell you Mrs Beeb and I were overjoyed when we heard I'd got the job. Merriment reigned in the Beeb household. There were extra biscuits with our evening Horlicks that night! Were it not for the relaxing and therapeutic attributes of collating and indexing our beetle collection of an evening I'm not sure Mrs Beeb and I would have slept a wink the night before I joined the BBB.
Mr Beeb at leisure with his beetle collection
It saddens me to say my initial introduction to the Bureau was rather disappointing. The total lack of rigour was astounding. Worst still there were no uniforms! Casual dress is their "modern" approach. Fortunately I have my own uniform and I'll wear that until I persuade them of the error of their ways.
Being introduced to all the staff was an excellent opportunity to educate them all on proper methods and approaches. I certainly did my utmost to rid them all of that the 'customer is always right' nonsense. I gave them some useful instruction on a rigorous and unyielding approach to all aspects of bureaucracy.
After my day with the other staff the founder, not a man of great intellect, did at least have the insight to admit my unique skills were wasted on teamwork. He insisted my duties should be as distant from other staff as possible. He obviously saw the danger of their lax, shoddy ways polluting my bureaucratic purity. Nevertheless I believe my short encounters with the team planted seeds of bureaucratic perfection.
I was to be what I'd modestly describe as an elite, shock tactic soldier for the BBB. Not for me the daily "customer facing" drudgery of my colleagues. "Customers?!" At best they are users; subservient to the might of the BBB.
I was stationed at the BBB HQ. Not at a desk like some ordinary bureaucrat, but in a mobile role. Mostly in the garden, weather permitting. Imagine the shock on the faces of the subservients at my shock tactic passport controls the moment they entered the garden area!
Yes it is a little galling I'm to spend as little time in the office itself as possible, and time can drag a little hiding behind bushes for hour upon hour. The joy of stamping a passport however is what I imagine a fisherman feels when hooking a prize fish.
The passport users though are a shockingly shoddy lot. I like to add what I think are instructive notes in their passports. They sometimes appear to be under the insane delusion I'm there to make friends. I'm here to add rigour to their lives.
My mission may be long and lonely, but bureaucracy is my life!
NEW LOCATION FOR BELLISSERIAN EMBASSY TO CORSICA
The lovely Bijoux offered us a new location in the Campbell Coast Harbour at Emyniad and we have moved our embassy there. We look forward to welcoming you and to continuing to represent our home continent to its friends in mainland Corsica.
BBB Gazette Editor, Fenella, is particularly delighted by the move as the new embassy is a short walk from the offices of the other publication she edits – The Limoncello News.
The BBB Embassy entry on the destinations database for SL Time Lords will now take you to the new location, though the old embassy remains open until our lease expires. The old location now features on your Tardis navigation systems as Artists' Village. That will probably disappear when the old embassy finally closes.
In even better news, we have also received a very generous donation of L$5,000 to cover the embassy's future rent. The BBB is grateful to our anonymous donor for this much-appreciated gift, which secures the embassy's future.
IF YOU WONDERED WHY WE BECAME BUREAUCRATS FOR FUN, HERE'S YOUR ANSWER (FROM FUTURAMA)
NEW STAMP LOCATIONS
We have two new and one updated location this week. The new ones are Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW) public spaces built by our beloved Moles and will appear on a new page of the online travel guide. The first is the beautiful treehouse in Randelsham Forest – one of those public areas in Bellisseria not used for events as often as they should be. We really recommend you don't just TP in and grab the stamp here. The Moles have done a wonderful job of creating a peaceful, restful, rustic environment. There is much for you to enjoy.
The second is the Ring of Fire volcano. The stamp for that location is our 100th and the design reflects that milestone moment. Treat the volcano with due respect please. Try not to get too close. The Moles' sense of realism, coupled with their sense of humour, has led them to ensure such rashness will have consequences!
Legal Note: The BBB accepts no liability for injury, loss or embarrassment arising from your visit to this (or for that matter to any other) location.
The third location this week is our new embassy in Corsica. There is no new stamp as the terminal has simply been relocated from the old embassy. Collect the stamp if you don't have it, but visit anyway. We like our new home on the mainland and hope you will too. It may just be in the most bucolic setting for an embassy in diplomatic history.
We would like to thank the lovely Owl Dragonash for kindly donating L$200 to pay the first week's rent to help us maintain our (so far) only diplomatic outpost on the SL mainland. A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has offered to pay the rent for the remaining three weeks of our first month, so we are in good shape.
It should not go without saying that we are grateful to our previous anonymous donor, our colleague BJoyful, for all the many free weeks of rental since the Embassy was first established.
The ownership change seems otherwise to be going smoothly. We haven't heard yet what (if anything) it means for the planned Corsican Bureau of Bureaucracy, which was to have been based there. It was intended to be the first institution on mainland SL to issue passports using our technology. We are well aware there's a strong demand from mainland SL residents for passports, so we hope it still will be!
We don't have the avi-power to accept applications from outside Bellisseria ourselves but we are ready, willing and able to license our tech to any mainlanders who can put together a team to do it – continent by mainland continent. If you live on mainland, would like to found your continent's Bureau of Bureaucracy and think you can assemble and train a team, please contact our CEO.
READING THE BBB GAZETTE IN-WORLD
Did you know that you can read the Gazette in-world on a screen at the BBB's offices? Make sure you have media enabled in your viewer settings and hover your cursor over the screen. A floating browser bar appears. Click on the home icon and voila!
ARTICLES FOR THE GAZETTE
If you've a tale to tell about your adventures collecting stamps or anything else with a BBB/Bellisserian angle, please send in your copy to the Editor and we'll be happy to feature it here. Stories about any locations issuing passport stamps are fine, even if the story is not about the stamps themselves. Email the Editor Fenella Allen via the side bar or drop a notecard on her in-world and you may see your name in print here. Remember the BBB Gazette's slogan:
If it wasn't Gazetted, it didn't (officially) happen!
GLASTONBELLI OFFLINE FOR NOW
Due to rebuilding, the Glastonbelli stamp terminal is temporarily unavailable. It's expected to be back online soon. In the meantime, the entry in the online travel guide has been updated to note its temporary suspension.
TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH PASSPORT HUD
Some BBBug members have reported losing a recent stamp or stamps in their passports after an untimely region crossing, TP or log out. It's not a very common problem, but of course it concerns us. At worst you are unlikely to lose all your collected stamps, just those added immediately before the incident. Our tech experts are working on this and the Lindens have offered us assistance, for which we are grateful.
Pending a solution, our recommended temporary fix is only to wear your passport or visa HUD when actually collecting stamps; taking it off once you've acquired them. If you are a Firestorm user, you might like to put your current HUD in your Favourite Wearables so as to make it easy to put on and take off.
We are sorry about this. Even the mighty BBB can't avoid the occasional lightning strike from the bug-gods of SL. In real life you don't walk around with your passport in your hand, so maybe try to think of it as just more realistic role-play?
NEW STAMP LOCATIONS
We have two new locations this week. One is a new music venue for Bellisseria. The other is a garden in which to chill out – barefoot. Here are the details, which also feature in the BBB online travel guide. The latest edition of the guide is always available in the sidebar to the Gazette, so bookmark and check it before you visit a location. It may save you disappointment.
By the way, if you are running out of space on your passport, there's a new visa HUD available from today at the office.