I kept seeing posts from different bloggers on the feeds about a blogger challenge, so I went to investigate. I found the original post over at Ch’know? and thought it sounded like, well…fun is not the right word… but definitely a potentially useful exercise in self-assessment. And a means of helping those of us who write and read SL-related blogs get to know one another.
Since I’m a day late, I’ll go ahead and answer the first two challenges in one post.
1) Why did you become a blogger? How has it enriched your life?
Hmmm…well, I wasn’t a newcomer to blogging, but I was a newcomer to Second Life. I had tried SL briefly a few years ago, but I had felt that the hardware and network speed wasn’t up to an acceptable level. When I created a new account in SL early this year, I quickly realized that I wanted to spread the word about the creative work people were doing in-world. There are obviously many people out there who have no idea of how SL is bing used as a creative medium.
Every Second Life blogger has their own “take” on the world of SL, bringing with us elements of our background, worldviews, interests, and personality. Every fashion/clothing blogger has their own perspective on fashion as it relates to the world of SL. Each of us contributes our voices to the greater blogoshpere, creating commentary that has value to those who enjoy Second life.
I wanted to bring the perspective of a newcomer to SL, but also someone who has many years of experience in online communities, with a background in art and web development. My focus tends to be on styles that a mature woman would wear, often retro inspired, and a little more modest than many people chose to be in SL. Yes, my avatar might be wearing a short skirt or a low neckline, but you’re not likely to see nudity or tape on the chest in my blog, even if I’m blogging about skin. That’s just a personal choice; coming from where I’m at personally. And, even though I tend to slant “mature” I wanted to focus on an edgy, creative feel in the clothing I chose to blog. In real life, a woman doesn’t have to dress boring as we approach middle age, and I wanted to reflect those choices for a mature adult female avatar as well.
While there are no shortage of good freebie-focused blogs out there, there are also lots of blogs that focus on high-cost items (whether the bloggers are getting samples from the designers or purchasing these items themselves). In my first few months in SL, I was sometimes frustrated when following an SLURL from a blog where price wasn’t mentioned, only to realize that I’d need to invest a good number of real life dollars into getting the SL outfit. Like many of us I am on a Linden budget, so I wanted to make sure that the things I blogged about were inexpensive (in Linden terms) and a good value.
I also wanted to use this blog, and the images I was capturing in SL, as an exercise in practicing and improving skills. I’m learning something new all the time (right now my challenge is shoes…some of them aren’t re-sizable and even changing my avatar foot size in an attempt to fit doesn’t seem to be working well with some shoes).
2) SL Bloggers – Write about three positive things going on in your Second Life.
Number one: I’m always learning something new. I enjoy the opportunity to learn new things. People who think SL is a mind-numbing waste of time really have no clue. Even those of us not involved in creating Second Life content have to learn many different skills as we navigate though SL and connect with other users. It’s not something most of us master in a week, a month, or six months.
Number two: Having the opportunity to blog (see my post on the first topic above). The freedom to write about our experiences and publish to a potentially worldwide audience is something I never, never want to take for granted. In addition, as an SL blogger one takes on the role of the press/media for the world of SL. Those of us who are not working for the media in real life are getting a chance to take on that role in Second Life.
Number three: getting to go to interesting places and meet interesting people that I would never have an opportunity to do in real life.
Imagine getting the opportunity to shop in Tokyo, and shop in Paris a few minutes later, in real life! It will never happen in my lifetime. Maybe in my children’s or (future) grandchildren’s lifetimes there will be a real life equivalent of a transporter or a TARDIS. Till then, virtual world creators will continue to develop experiences that, while not replacing the real life experience, can bring some it its flavor to those participating. And then there are the breathtaking virtual builds that take full advantage of the freedom from limitations of the natural world. I feel like all this is still in, if not its infancy, than at least it’s early years, and it’s going to get better – more interesting, more creative, more immersive.
And the people! You can be whoever you want to be, but I suspect many of us, at the core, end up being really close to what we are (in the real world). And you, out there, you’re really interesting! A person of great worth. Give the rest of us the opportunity to get to know you!