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31 October 2006

Trying to figure things out...

So, there's a virtual world I'll call VR for virtual reality.

People visit VR and not all stay.

As in any world the thing that makes people stay is developing relationships - friendships or larger-scale things like being part of a group of like-minded people.

People make content that they sell to other VR people.

Corporations are attracted to VR as they can market their goods in a cutting-edge way, gain press, reach people they might otherwise not reach - and more I'm sure.

Corporations can provide the VR company with needed revenue.

Corporations are interested in being in VR as they see a large number of people joining.

Long-term VR residents benefit, and benefit from, all aspects of VR.

Content sellers benefit from a short-term VR tourist only if that tourist buys content.

Corporations benefit from short-term tourists if the tourists visit their headquarters in VR - becoming click-throughs, in a way.

As I see it, there needs to be support for groups and forms of social creativity which are not foremost intended to generate profit, as that is the link that keeps people from moving on.

I don't think corporations will be interested in a VR with no stable population.

I'm just thinking about this.

I'm very likely missing a lot, and anyway I'm cogitating, not reporting. If you have thoughts please say them in comments. I know I haven't even scratched the surface and I'd value your input.

I feel like LL is trying to negotiate a difficult piece of unknown territory to find a balance to benefit everyone. It's terra incognita, and there's no map - however human nature and business models are the same as they have always been.

posted by - 2:40 PM

Like any Ruling Council, (for they are not an elected parliament), the Linden regime must seek always to balance Popularity and Profit. Its good members answer to their own masters and owners for both the fiscal vitality and the publick good of the Nation. The love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life is as natural and healthy as is the love of food a means to the well-being of the body. Above all we should wish them profitable, that they may give a good accompt of their labours to their Sovereign, and preserve the Institutions and Tools enjoyed by the Publick.

As a nation of a million souls we cannot afford to think like a village or a county fair. You may as well say to a child: ye shall not grow. We have bid farewell those days when each knew the other as neighbour. Under the present governorship we have suffered attacks of vagabonds, loss of property, arrested motion, insurrection and revolt, like the illnesses of infancy; yet we have survived them all, and burgeon still.

Our nation of a million souls now counts among its members corporate bodies. These bodies, lured by the multitude, have indicated a willingness to shoulder a portion of their cost. One expects them to behave no differently than any other member of society: some will build, others destroy; some will be loved, others reviled. They cannot but shape our culture, challenge our values, stretch our capabilities, influence or markets and fashion our future: just as any individual may attempt to do. But in one aspect they are distinct: they have deeper pockets. The ruling council can ill afford to ignore them.

Doubts and mistrust arise naturally when commercial giants stride into our bucolic garden. Shall we be Lilliputians and cast our nets and lines in an attempt to fasten them to the earth, crying "Hekinah Degul", or ride on their shoulders and channel their strengths to our own profit and benefit? As artists, poets, lovers of Creativity and Community, we must rethink our projects and endeavours, redouble our energies, and love our neighbour more deeply, for suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.
Yes, I wasn't thinking there should be one big community - rather, that the many communities in their many sizes and configurations should be seen to have a value.

It's a difficult thing for a community to thrive in Second Life. I believe that feeling part of a community is what keeps people in our world, and that the many who flee do so because they haven't found their tribe or clan.

I don't have any answers, however. I'm thinking about this as the community element seems to be a part of the puzzle that has been forgotten.

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