Tuesday, July 7, 2009

you come regular like seasons, shadowing my dreams

It's got to come from the right place, it's got to come from the artist...not out of fear. AKA: Go Amanda. :)

A fun new issue, tipped by Miss Samantha Poindexter: Second Life itself, from website on down, cannot deal with the implications of having an adult continent.

Think I'm wrong? The events system is disallowing events to be posted for Zindra. Oh, pardon me--disallowing Mature-rated events to be posted for Zindra.

But why, I hear you ask. It's Zindra! Of course Mature events can be listed!

Well, no, and that's why that JIRA exists--because it's telling people they can't list Mature events on Zindra. Because you can't list Mature events on a PG sim.

Let me say that again, because it sounds vaguely important: People are being told Zindra is PG..

The mind reels.

And Massively covers the unbanning process in detail: pity it won't work when the appeal's already failed, or when your account's been hacked, though.

Last trip through Carnival of Doom? Apparently Rezzable is leaving SL, which is going to be quite the ding in LL's coffers, but more importantly is the why behind it.

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I'd just gotten the delivery from VenDom's Midnight Mania board, so I decided to change and go over.

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Maybe I've just been missing it all this time, but I'm fairly sure they put in a new area, along with some new games--or at least, got a few more of the games working.

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I'm not entirely sure what the new area is--it seems to feature largely trees. And more trees. And some more trees. And off in the distance, a fire, some beheaded chickens and a set of playable (soundless) drums.

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Still, they were fun to play for a while.

Soundlessly.

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And one has to admit, the red glow? Looked fabulous with what I was wearing.

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And of course I had to go out into the middle of the cornfield and ponder life, death, the universe, sim departure, and He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

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Note for anyone who might want to go to VenDom and win this: NOT SUITABLE FOR CUDDLING.

Ow.

Also, ATLUS has left SL. Whomever was behind Erotica Island? Also gone. My friend's store in Cursed is gone--well, that one I expected. And whatever I wanted to keep track of in Pucci is long, long gone.

Now, granted, some of those slots I was holding onto out of desperate sentiment. Sanctum Sanctorum, October Country and Lunitarium were each taking up one slot of the Mysti's memory. (Granted, Lunitarium is the one I can go back to, someday, and will if my fortunes improve--but the others? Don't even exist at this point, at least not in original form.)

So many people moving away from Second Life. So many creative people, builders, thinkers, players, going away.

This isn't a good thing.

8 comments:

Darien Mason said...

Is it such a bad thing, really? With places like Rezzable entering the HyperGrid network, the Linden's walled garden (and Zindra's garden-of-delights walled within that garden) will become increasingly irrelevent. They should have known that from the beginning when they made their code open source.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Responding more to Dr. Mason, it's a bad thing to the extent that other worlds just aren't Ready for Prime Time - and reports by a Certain Noted Explorer that these worlds continue to have crippling lagstorms, and fail to have an economy, suggest this is the case.

Regarding Miss Palmer's search for a viable business model, I think at some level she's kidding herself. What she wants is a patronage model where the desires of the patron are ignored by the artist. Sure, it would be great to be given a sum of money and told "Create Art." How likely is this? Record companies want a return on their investment. If one cuts out the middleman and contracts directly with fans, as she is exploring, aren't the fan-patrons going to expect a AFP-like product? I loved WKAP. If I invested in her next project, but got Mongolian yak-herding music, because that was where her muse led her, I'd be unlikely to invest again.

Now, maybe fan-patrons give the artist more flexibility and freedom than a major record label - indeed, I'm sure that's true - but it's a pipe dream to think that (many) people will give money with no expectation of a return. (Having said that, I wish her the best, and would likely invest in a future project if given the opportunity.)

Darien Mason said...

These things can be fixed, given time. They are certainly implementating changes to OSGrid faster than a bloated LL bureaucracy could. It is indeed a case of the tortoise and the hare.

As for the lack of economy, there are some regions I am told implementing virtual currency systems of their own. WorldSimTerra is encouraging people to shop in their sim, so they must have a system implemented.

And honestly, who needs a virtual currency exchange? If you can buy virtual land with a credit card, why not a prim dress? Thousands of eBay users make transactions of all sizes with PayPal every day, and artists selling directly through their websites except credit card payments. What is the difference for the average Virtual World resident?

samanthapoindexter said...

"What she wants is a patronage model where the desires of the patron are ignored by the artist."

I would disagree with the last half of that. What she wants is a patronage system. I think we're moving to such a thing myself, and I'm all for it. If she were not meeting the desires of the patrons, her funding would dry up.

Rhianon Jameson said...

I agree, Miss Poindexter - the patronage system works only if the artist continues to meet patrons' desires. We're taught that Shakespeare flattered James I's royal line in Macbeth because Will knew on which side his bread was buttered. Miss Palmer may well understand that, but it doesn't come across.

There's an interesting contrast between the way writers and musicians have typically worked. Writers generally put something down - create the art - and then see if someone wants to buy it. Musicians (once they got a record deal) typically got an advance, or funding for studio time, or whatever, and then produced the music. Hence the arguments with the label about the commercial viability of the art. In part, this system was necessary because it cost so much to (a) make a record and (b) distribute a record.

I'm not sure a patronage system is necessary because it's much cheaper to both make and distribute music today. Fire up Pro Tools in a home studio and sell it through your own web site, press your own discs, sell through Amazon...

But patronage or record label, funded up front or done on spec, it all comes down to whether the investors are making enough of a return to justify the investment. Art may be terrific, but if there's no demand for it, the artist won't make money from it.

samanthapoindexter said...

"Miss Palmer may well understand that, but it doesn't come across."

Ah, but that's part of what she's selling, Miss Jameson. Whatever the underlying reality, the idea that the patron is enabling an artist to follow her muse has always been an integral part of the model.

The writer/musician distinction you bring up is interesting, but a very recent historical artifact. (Actually, the entire music industry as we currently know it is a very recent historical artifact.) As your Shakespeare example indicates, writers in history more typically either (a) were independently wealthy through other means, or (b) had patrons. Writing on spec was almost never an option. Shakespeare fell into the latter camp (unless you subscribe to the Oxfordian school for some reason, in which case he was in the former).

The question of what the patron gets out of it -- and what constitutes a "return on investment" in this context -- is a relevant one. I have a feeling you'd put more of the weight of that onto "getting an album they'll enjoy", while I'd put more on "a feeling of satisfaction and pride in sponsoring an artist who they admire, or who has some standing in their social circles." And it's in Miss Palmer's interest to foster the latter, I think.

But to be clear, I think we agree on the essentials, differing only on emphasis and how best to market it. :)

Where we may differ a bit more is that I see a distributed patronage system being more optimal than the controlled distribution model in this age of electronic reproduction. Yes, you could "sell it through your own web site, press your own discs, sell through Amazon," but putting it on BitTorrent seems so much simpler, more effective, and more efficient...

Emilly Orr said...

And, to comment on the several ongoing threads: I'm not leaping from SL to anywhere else, unless I'm sure it's got comparable tools; I certainly will be wary of getting involved in *any* virtual non-game world past this point, because of the (not in any way untrue) feeling that if one virtual space can crash and burn, then any of them could.

Willful Linden ignorance and hacking at their own root system aside.

As far as AFP...I'm a tad confused as to how she's not utilizing the patronage model now. Her work on Twitter brings her fans that pay her directly for things that she sells--whether it's books she bites on-camera or music she plays in person, the dates and places announced on Twitter, and merchandise sold at that event.

Getting drunk one Friday night and cheerfully calling the "Losers of Friday Night On Their Computers" to order, she ended up over the next two weeks starting a Twitter revolution and making $11,000 in donations for T-shirts and artwork printed up on the fly. Whereas two weeks before that? She was facing the terror of where rent that month was coming from.

That is patronage. Meanwhile, Roadrunner Records--which was gorgeously attentive through the Dresden Doll years, then was bought out by a major label, and essentially cut her a limited investment deal on a solo effort, which has to date paid her nothing in profits, even though sales of the record were high. She's made more on the book of photos that came from the record than the record itself; she's made twice again as much from sales directly to her on PayPal for merchandise used on those shoots, and on merchandise from her Dresden years.

She's seizing the opportunity to continue to be a profitable artist--which, at this point, means "paying rent", "buying food", and "traveling on tour". She's made it, in that regard, and all through fan patronage.

Emilly Orr said...

Also, to add--I think, if her next album is in Urdu and is all about trees walking, yeah, I think she'll have a lot of fans screaming at her. But they have the tools and the ability to scream at her directly; and maybe that's the big difference. Artist accessibility; Trent Reznor's discovered this, and he hasn't been on a major label for years now. Other bands are waking up to this--that, as far as 'giving music away' may seem to hurt a corporate bottom line, in the real world, easily over two-thirds of folks who download a song to 'taste' an artist end up buying that album, other albums, merchandise, concert tickets--if they like that artist.

That, also, is fan patronage.