SL19B Continues and a Big Announcement is made | Get Well Soon, Teresa | Tia at the Embassy Photos | New Beta Version of the Gazette Online Travel Guide | New Locations
We have already had the pleasure to meet many of you on our stand at Second Life's 19th Birthday celebration (SL19B). We are proud of the stand, which is very much in keeping with SL19B's steampunk theme. Here's a photo by one of our beloved Bellisseria Hammies who camped out with us for a while, Varistentia Varriale. Click on it to see a larger version.
Our official videographer Sceneris has also made a movie there. Enjoy!
If you haven't visited yet, please come along and say hello. You'll find a whole botheration of bureaucrats (we've decided that's the official collective noun!) to chat with.
SL's Birthday Events are a highlight of the year and there is a lot to see, do, buy and scavenge!
Patch Linden's opening speech hinted broadly at big news to come. We had to wait for the traditional Meet the Lindens interview with Saffia Widdershins on Monday to learn that big news was the new – and much delayed – Premium Plus SL account. Patch has been monitoring the SL forums as we all speculated on what extra features there might be. He says they've tried to put together a useful, compelling interesting and meaningful set.
Premium Plus launched on June 23rd at L$24.99 introductory promotional rate for 30 days. Thereafter it will be L$29.99 per month and $249 annually. The new features include:
- 2048 square metres tier
- Only one Linden Home still, but they will offer 2048 Linden Home parcels in future (Linden Mansions?!)
- Weekly stipends of L$650
- 140 group memberships
- Cap for messages increased to 160
- No upload fee for textures (true for mesh uploads Soon™, but not immediately)
- Animesh attachments limit increased from one to two
- L$3000 signup bonus
- Toll-free telephone support
- Group creation fee reduced to L$10
- Ability to create 2 land experiences
- Event fees reduced from L$50 to zero
- Premium Plus sandboxes/regions
All this is in addition to existing Premium features. Premium Plusers will also be able to file a support request for a specific Linden Home – avoiding Game of Homes. A group of friends could therefore request neighbouring homes, for example.
More Linden Homes themes are in the works. Patch hopes to release a special new theme that particularly accommodates Premium Plus benefits by the end of this year. They will also be revisiting the older Bellisseria homes to update their features and will Soon™ address the question of winding down the old pre-Bellisserian Linden Homes. Interestingly, Patch said that some of those will never be removed – a sort of Colonial Williamsburg of Second Life® perhaps?
There is no point in increasing mainland supply generally as there are so many abandoned mainland parcels. He has no plan in the foreseeable future to add mainland coastal land, which is what people mostly ask for. However, the team is looking at maybe adding inland lakes and waterways to make empty inland parcels more attractive.
It's worth mentioning that Basic Accounts remain unchanged. Much fun can be had in world without ever signing up for either Premium or Premium Plus. You need to go premium to own land or to get a Linden Home in beautiful Bellisseria, but needn't be homeless if you don't. Many SL'ers live in high style renting on mainland or private estates and many free spirits are happy SL drifters. With or without premium features, SL is always open, ad-free, offers privacy/anonymity and can be enjoyed by all. We loved Patch's summary of the advantages of SL over rival metaverses/virtual worlds. He said;
We value and highly regard our users' privacy. Way more than any other virtual world company out there. We have long said and believe that selling people’s personal data is a boundary we will not cross. So anonymisation, personal discovery, exploration (whether that be of space or self) and discovery; those are all selling points as to why SL is what it is and why it exists today.
Long live Second Life®. Let's all enjoy it in our own way – Basic, Premium or PremiumPlus –and let's have fun getting to know each other in the process. In the end, SL is social or it's nothing. The friends we make here are the true reason we keep coming back.
GET WELL SOON, TERESA
Our valued bureaucratic colleague and friend, Teresa Firelight; photographer, writer and co-producer with Sun of our wonderful SL19B stand, has had hospital treatment following an accident and is not able to produce her regular Meet the Team column this week. She is likely not to be in-world with her SSiD tablet for a while so her SL19B stamp may become a rare one. We're sorry if you didn't get it already and can only hope that she recovers before the end of SL19B so you get another chance.
Teresa will be missed during her recuperation elsewhere in Second Life® too. She's active in SciFi RP and is a long-established content creator, making her own range of hairstyles. In short, she is one of the folks who make SL an interesting and fun place to be. We are sure you will join the staff at The Gazette and the BBB in wishing her a speedy recovery.
TIA AT THE EMBASSY PHOTOS
Her Excellency Bijoux, Hon. Ambassador to Satori and one of the nicest people in all SL, sent in some photos of the musical event at her embassy last week, featuring the talented Tia Rungray. There were too many to feature them all, but here are a few.
NEW BETA VERSION OF THE GAZETTE ONLINE TRAVEL GUIDE
The Gazette Online Travel Guide has always been made by hand. We cut and paste the new locations into the appropriate pages of GOTG and we delete any retired locations as and when notified by the landowners, our users or our colleagues. Our newish colleague Robert Rhodan, however, is a dab hand with HTML. He has now devised a clever way to import the information directly into the GOTG from our operational database.
For now, the old GOTG and the new beta version are both available under Information & Resources in the side bar to The Gazette. We would be very grateful if you, gentle reader, would click on the link to the beta version and test it for us. Please let us know in the comments, by using the email link in the side bar or by IM in-world to Dave or Robert if you find any issues or have any other remarks or suggestions.
It's great fun to work with colleagues who are so clever with technology. It makes the life of a humble scribbler easier and more fun. Thanks Robert!
We have two new locations this week. Stamp designer Robert Rhodan commented of the first, Pacifique Landing, that
This place is amazing: not just the "usual" island theme with beach dance, DJs, hang-gliding, etc. but in particular an amazing undersea world to dance with mermaids, seadragons, and watch lots of critters, and an undersea dungeon labyrinth to explore (and to escape from again)
On behalf of our merfolk friends, we'd add that the undersea world is beautiful. As our late mer-editor Fenella always used to say "scale and tail" and head over there.
The second new location, PAW (Public Animal Welfare), is an animal refuge in Heterocera with a lot of interesting content (and free Segways to ride about on). Check them both out and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
|Pacifique Landing PE|
|PAW - Public Animal Welfare HE|
By way of experiment, here's a link to this week's New Locations auto-generated by our GOTG beta version in course of development (see article above). Please let us know if you see it correctly on your device.