Looking for Innovation

Data Sherlock

Photo Source: kellyriggsmysteries.com

Yesterday I mentioned that someone had created a rezzer that allows you to use no copy and/or no mod objects in your set.  Several people commented that they were interested and wanted more details.  Why?  Because it is something new – something you couldn’t previously do in SL.  Something innovative.

Besides being able to use no copy/no mod items in a set rezzer, we also now have the ability to ‘layer’ animations.  To skip that nasty beginning of an animation and get straight to the ‘good part.’  4 years ago, 2 years ago, heck, even last year, I would never have thought it possible someone would develop a way to do this.  Now they have.

These are the things I am looking for – innovation.  New.  Or at the very least, different.

I was talking with a friend and we were discussing the ‘dance’ scene in SL.  It’s changed a lot from when I first came to SL.  Some changes have been good – more openness/cooperation between dancers and troupes, more venues, new HUDs, faders, to mention a few.  Some have been great – layering animations, movers, using no copy objects.

Some changes – I’m not sure.  The greatest thing about SL (in my opinion), is that there is something for everyone.  Different strokes for different folks.  My favorite thing about going to dance shows was seeing all the variety, the artistry of different people.  Trouble is, these days, there doesn’t seem to be much variety.

Now, I freely admit that I have not spent much time exploring new places.  (Something I plan to remedy over the next few months.)  I have gotten in a rut of going to the same places over and over.  Nothing wrong with that, except that I feel like I’m seeing the same thing over and over.

As I said, everyone has their own tastes.  I love to watch dances/dancers.  For me, my focus is generally on the choreography – how well the dancer put together their dance.  Are the transitions seamless?  Do the animations fit the ‘feel’ of the music? Are there good opening/closing poses? Does the dance tell a story?

My focus is NOT on the set, the lighting, or the special effects.  I personally don’t like huge sets – to me, it’s distracting, and a waste of effort on my account, because I am cammed in so close to see the dancer that the effect of the set build is lost anyway.  If there are multiple dancers, then there is a reason for a large set.  But one dancer tends to get lost.  Which is part of the reason that lighting and special effects are sometimes irritating.

Most of the time, even though venues tell me to set my viewer to midnight, I don’t.  If I do, I really can’t see the dancer – my reason for being there.  Strobe lighting, stage lighting is iffy – sometimes it adds to the routine, sometimes it feels like the lighting was added just because they could.  Same with particle effects – yes, the zillion butterflies are cute, but many times it takes a while for them to rez, so in the meantime, my screen is covered with large grey blocks, obscuring the dancer and everything else.  (I know many people try to pre-cache these types of things, and I generally arrive early to a performance for that very reason.  However, SL being SL, many times it still doesn’t rezz immediately for me.)

Big, primmy, and lots of effects seems to have become the ‘norm’ for most dance venues.  Mind you, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  I just find myself disappointed that I seem to see the same dancers doing the same sets at multiple venues.  I know why it happens – many dancers dance at different venues, most venues have weekly shows, and there just isn’t enough time (even if you spend all day every day in SL) to come up with a new, different routine for each one.

And ‘big’ is in – the most popular venues right now seem to be the ones doing ‘big’ shows.  But I find myself missing the variety.  Even the clubs themselves have become somewhat ‘generic.’  I visited three different venues yesterday and all three of them were the exact same club build.  Now, not everyone is a great builder, so I completely get the use of prefabs for a club.  But when it’s the same build, with the same dancers, doing the same routines, everything begins to blur a bit.  For me, anyway.

Am I nostalgic for the way things used to be?  Perhaps.  But I have never been one to dwell in the past.  So, I am on a quest.  To explore strange new dance venues, to seek out new dances and new dancers, to boldly go where no SL blogger has gone before.  (Ok, probably not that last one, but you know what I mean.)

So, if you have something new, something innovative, let me know.  In the meantime, join me on my quest.  Questers can always use dragon fodder . . . erm, I mean, sidekicks. :-P


Sometimes, Mesh Stinks

Don’t get me wrong.  I love mesh.  Usually.

But sometimes, it just stinks.

When you go somewhere that is crowded (like Uber), even if you have a decent computer, stuff takes time to rez.  So when you run into other people, instead of looking ‘put-together,’ they look like this:

It's a jigsaw puzzle, right?

It’s a jigsaw puzzle, right?

Her head is in the right place, but her dismembered legs are floating along behind her, she’s wearing her boobs on her right arm, and she seems to have misplaced one of her hands.  And let’s not forget her feet, which are floating behind her head, not inside her shoes.

And she’s not alone.

Not one single person on the sim (besides myself), appeared correctly to me.  And sadly, I assume I appeared in the same broken way to them.  :-(

I kept waiting, not only waiting for items to rezz in, but for the other avatars to as well.  It was an exercise in disappointment.  Items finally rezzed in, but the people never did.  There were mesh feet, mesh clothes, mesh hands, and mesh shoes floating everywhere.

It was like walking around in a Salvador Dali landscape.

Dali-esqueUmm, excuse me, ma’am?  Your butt seems to be attached to your chin.

You, over there.  Floating head guy.  What happened to you?

See what I mean?  This is how mesh makes avatars look better??

And these are only the PG shots.  There were plenty of people who might as well have been walking around naked, because their mesh clothing was floating next to them, not covering anything.  Eeek!

This is why I rarely use mesh when I dance.  Nothing good comes of it.

The pièce de résistance, however, was yet to come.  As I was leaving the sim, this walked by:




Apparently her giant head ate the rest of her.

But left her (adorable) shoes.

And that, folks, is why sometimes, mesh stinks.  :-)


The Sable Club is holding auditions

Dancers WantedThe Sable Club is looking for four (4) dancers to start its own dance troupe.  The performances will be burlesque for the Euro time zone.  They are looking for avatars who have a quality appearance, their own dance animations and HUD (the SpotOn system is recommended), have a scene rezzer, and their own set designs.

Auditions will be held Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 12PM SLT.  To audition, you will need a set, a costume, and a dance routine.  Previously created routines are ok.  If you are interested, contact Ashleen Levee or Florence Nexen for an application.

Link to their blog: The Sable Club




Mental Fatigue

Photo Credit ~ NoeNoeGirl

Photo Credit ~ NoeNoeGirl

This week is going to be a busy one, and I already know I’m not going to get everything done that I want to.  That’s a depressing thought on a Monday. :-/

I feel like my brain is going to explode.  Or shut down.  One of those.

I’ve been reading blogs, books, and tweets.  I’ve been writing and choreographing and building.  I’ve been on a dead run since I got up this morning, and it feels like I haven’t even made a dent in my to-do list.

However, I did get an invite to Ello (thanks @jennspoint!), so now I can check it out and report back on it.

I finished the choreography to one routine last night – but not the one I should have.  :-/

I saw a video today about a new gizmo that will let you rezz no copy and/or no mod items as part of your set.  That blew my mind.  I’ve been going through my inventory and getting rid of no copy/no mod items for exactly that reason, and now someone has found a work-around.  YES!  That’s what we need more of in SL – freedom from limitations.

The other thing we need more of (besides everyone being nicer to each other) – MORE DANCES!!  Come on, dance makers – get busy! I’ve got $L to spend, if you’ve got good animations to sell. :-P

Happy Monday, everyone!


An Alternative to Facebook?

Ello's Logo

Ello’s Logo

I’ve written before about my dislike for Facebook.  Looking for alternatives, both for my RL and SL, has been . . . interesting.

I found ASN (Avatar Social Network) and so far, I like it.  I’m not as active as I’d like to be, but that’s my fault, not the platform.  For SL purposes, it’s a good alternative to Facebook.  Then I heard about Ello.  I wanted to try it (both RL and for SL).  But now I’m not sure if I want to or not.  I haven’t gotten an invite yet, so my feelings may change once I do.

Today I stumbled across this post on Google+:    Ello, goodbye by Aral Balkan

I read in another article yesterday that Ello has received funding from venture capitalists.  Why is this important?  Because it means that, at some point, those who provided the capital are going to want a return on their investment.  Where are they going to get it?  From you.  Which means that you are once again in danger of being a ‘commodity’ to a social media platform.

While I was initially excited to hear about Ello, now .  . . not so much.

At this point, I wouldn’t even mind paying a fee to use a network, if it meant I could be sure (as sure as you can be in this day and age) that my personal information isn’t being sold to some ‘corporation.’  Is it too much to ask that my posts be seen by my friends/followers (people who are, presumably, interested in my posts) without me having to pay to ‘promote’ my posts?  Is it too much to ask that I not be deluged with ads for products that some ‘algorithm’ thinks I might be interested in? (Just FYI, Mr. Al Gorithm, I’m NOT interested, tyvm.)

Think how much time you’d save if the stuff you saw on your feed was only the stuff you’d actually SAID you were interested in!

Is that so much to ask?


Social Media Overload

What does this have to do with overload?  Nothing, but chocolate makes everything better, right?! Photo credit: lovethispic.com

What does this have to do with social media? Nothing, but chocolate makes everything better, right?!
Photo credit: lovethispic.com

I’m having another one of those days where there just isn’t enough time to get everything done that I want to.  Oh, sure, I could have gotten up earlier, but sleeping in on a Saturday is mandatory, right?  (If it isn’t, it should be!)

The weekends are usually pretty carefree, but today seemed to fly by.  I blinked, the day is over, and I didn’t even finish my blog post!  I had to 1) read all the other SL blogs I keep up with, 2) check ASN to see what’s going on there (ASN is my replacement for Facebook), 3) check all my emails, 4) check my Google+, 5) check my Twitter (I can’t keep up with Twitter – I check only once or twice a day, or I’d be there all day reading!), and 6) wait impatiently for my invite from Ello (another new social media network).

This is why I don’t have a Tumblr or a Flickr or a Plurk or Pinterest or a ‘insert other social media platform here.’

It’s exhausting to try and stay current in this digital world.  So much data is generated on a daily basis that it is becoming impossible (I feel) to stay informed/updated.  So what to do?

I’ve tried to manage my own workload by picking and choosing what social media platforms I use and how I use them.  I have a Twitter, but I’m better at longer posts.  140 characters just isn’t enough for me.  However, I spend a lot of time laughing over hilarious tweets from others.  So, since Twitter is more for ‘reach’ with the blog, I don’t spend a lot of time on it.

ASN is new (my choice of replacement for Facebook, unless/until I find out if Ello is better), so I’ve been spending some time on it, especially since it is specifically made for avatars in virtual worlds.  Email is essential, of course, so that gets checked, but usually only once daily.  I get so many notices sent from SL to my email that some days it feels like I spend more time deleting than reading.  :/

But someone has to cull through all the data and find the gems, right?

So, today I learned that:

1) Apparently there is a 100 avatar prim counting limit in Second Life (that means if more than 100 people rez something in a region, prim count scripts stop working and just ignore the 101st person and everyone above that).  This is important if you are in charge of prim counts in a region.  I’ll probably never need to know this, but I learned it anyway.  :-)

2) A new library called The Chamber Library opened in SL this weekend.  As a literature buff, it sounds like a cool place to visit.  It’s on my to-do list.  (Although I’m not sure I’m up for reading Shakespeare from a NC – I doubt my eyes could take the strain.)

3) I don’t spend nearly enough time in SL exploring.  There’s all kinds of cool sims that other people post photos of that I would love to visit.  I just don’t.  I’m not sure why.  Hmmm . . .

4) Blender is a free program.  Huh.  Who knew?  (Apparently everyone but me.  -.-)

5) And last but not least, Tuty’s has released a new AO called ‘Woman in Tango.’ (I had to find something dance-related!)

So there you have it – the gems I mined from today’s deluge of information.

You’re welcome.  :-D