Attempted a switch of themes for this blog, and after activating several decided to stick with the current one (Rounded). My main complaint still about this theme is that there’s a gap between the header and the main body of texts/links. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Coming in a fairly close second were, let’s see, Inove and, maybe especially Silver is the New Black. See how the head and body are much closer in these 2 examples? (note: you have to be logged into WordPress to see the examples).
I am now an official resident of Chilbo. Not sure what that entails, except that I filled out Chilbo Community Land Use Application and also, I *think*, a Chilbo Community Building Project Membership Application. Have to double check on that last one, because I had to fill out 2 versions of the first, I know, for various reasons all of my own fault, basically. More overall SL issues. I have been welcomed by the founder herself, a great honor. Always nice to have an active leader.
Early on in my experiences, I will give some very preliminary insights: I don’t think I could have been a member of the Chilbo group and Yapland group at once, since both create a lot of notecards. Both have active leadership, if you will. Yapland is very art oriented, although Kelly collaborated with a number of other SL organizations such as Bookstacks — there was actually a lot going on there that I let pass me by, being the introvert I am and avoiding crowds whenever possible. And the same would apply to Chilbo, *except* Chilbo is a much more diverse and larger community than Yapland, although it has a strong art component as well. However, if you look at the overall *mainland* sections of the SL Art Galleries Map (each gallery is located through a kiosk provided free by Sasun Steinbeck’s marvelous system) you’ll see the unique nature of both. There are simply not many diverse clusters of art galleries in these locations, with Chilbo and Yapland representing two of the largest, if not the *two largest*. But Chilbo is perhaps a much better fit for me because of all the other things going on there. The Chilbo Road Press acts as an excellent information portal to the community, and provides me, as well, with a type of window to the “outside inner” world. In other words, it keeps me from being totally enclosed in my own mythology, although I want that development to always take priority over shared projects. Just a personal preference — I have a lot of things going on both up front, blog-wise, and also behind the scenes. I think Chilbo may act, then — again for me — as a collective eye drawn to the attention of this and that, which I follow. I believe I respect the basic ideas of Chilbo enough, centered by that strong and active leadership I already mentioned, to trust that this eye is turning in profitable and valuable directions for me as well. I want to share this vision, in other words. Now how active I can be with hands on, virtually speaking, community building within Chilbo itself, the actual town, I’m much more uncertain about. Probably not a lot; my center in that respect is Sunklands presently.
I don’t want to give up renting to become a premium member again either; it seems to me, according to my calculations, that you have to really own at *least* 8192 square meters, a full 1/8th of a sim, for the Linden tier fee system to clearly become more advantageous than renting from the now many excellent and established rental businesses in SL. I’ve dealt with a number of ’em now, with no problem in the least. No land yanked out from under me in the middle of the night. As many people/avatars have correctly pointed out, we’re renting from Linden Labs through their tier system. Actually, the most problems I’ve encountered in “renting” have been from the larger estates such as Azure Islands and Otherland, perhaps queerly. But if you rent on the mainland through established companies, then you should have no problem. The basic (mainland) infrastructure should remain intact — I’ve heard stories to the contrary but I haven’t seen them acted out in person. Estates? Different story, unfortunately, although I think old version Azure Islands and, perhaps especially, the original version of Otherland (which largely remains intact despite a change of ownership, surprisingly) provided the best foundation for what a virtual reality such as Second Life *should* look like, ideally. Mainland, in comparison, is quite a mess, especially outside the oldest regions and even within. The double prim 1024 parcel basis of Nautilus City is, in essence, the idea of homestead regions turned inside out, which I don’t think works at all. The Nautilus City concept, I mean — homesteads are much closer, to me again, to an ideal virtual reality, which needs *space*, dammit (!) between structures. Castles, you know, are fine, unless they, say, take up a whole damn 4096 or 8192 or larger parcel. A lot of this is LL’s fault, of course, and I know much of it is out of their hands now. Much of it, though, is the fault of premium members who don’t understand the concept of, er, (say) *skyboxes*. 🙂 And I’m guilty as well — look at my Rubi builds in the archives of this blog. There’s a balance of SL as a place of experimentation — parcels as simply sandboxes, in essence, and the balance of aesthetics in relation to surrounding parcels. In my defense, I’ve always tried to create a park-like setting for my sometimes semi-monstrous builds. I’ve never really been bashful about planting trees, bushes, and doing a bit of landscaping at least around the edges. And I think my Aotearoa parcel looks pretty good because of the practice — this has been reinforced by my travels around Big Sink recently, especially the western side.
And this brings me back to Chilbo. Despite being a mainland establishment, Chilbo is a very *aesthetically pleasing* place to visit. It seems very well designed, even though the development is mainly organic and not planned (if I’m understanding the history correctly). Each time I visit the town through one of my avatars, I see something new. Despite being only 2 sims, in essence (although it is spreading out, slowly, into neighboring sims to these two oldest as well), there’s a lot to take in — I haven’t figured out how everything is laid out yet, which is a good thing. It means the development is fractal and complex, and seems to speak to the organic nature, again.
I better end this for tonight… more to say about Chilbo soon! Hard to speak about the possible negatives in the light I’m casting it, but maybe I can eventually touch upon, with more community experience, how Chilbo might improve in time, or develop.
And, yes, there is an SL before *this* SL — mythology has not been forgotten in the least. Karoz is right about this. Chilbol is probably just as real as Chilbo. It represents paths less taken, or paths more taken; some of this can be traced back to the founding of the community. But for now, for me, and perhaps for Karoz through me, the focus must be on *present* Chilbo. The role of Chilbo in Second Life and virtual reality in general is itself coming into sharper focus through its anticipated participation in the LL Communiy Partnership Proposal. Virtually speaking, this is damn important stuff, and will speak largely, I believe, to the continued success of SL itself. Can there be a meaningful dialog in this manner between Chilbo and LL, and between other communities and LL? I’m certainly biased, but I also can’t help but think that Chilbo has more to offer than the great majority of “internal” communities to the larger, overarching SL community, because of its more open nature and also the evolution from a mainland backdrop, to name two obvious advantages that spring to mind.
I’ll provide more links and thoughts soon.