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The kindness of strangers

April 10th, 2014 by Marianne McCann

An Easter Portrait

I feel like this entry is practically a fashion entry — though it’s not really my best “fashion” photo above — so I will indeed add a “style card” at the bottom. You can click it to see the photo at a larger size. While I am sporting a whole lot of attire from the April round of Collabor88 and other current events, this post is actually more about the kindness of one of the designers for same.

It is often difficult to find good clothing for a kid avatar. Most of the kid stores are building for the Toddleedoo mesh child avatar shape, while adult designers are using the standard sizes to rig their outfits. This can often mean some fairly sparse pickins’ for an old-school kid avatar like me. I’ll write more about this in the future, including stores like Intrigue Co. and FATEwear/FATEplay which do sometimes make clothes for avatars like me

It can often be a disappointing search, especially with events. You might see something previewed on a blog that looks positively adorable, only to try a demo and discover that even the XXS size has got ample… space… up front. I could go on about how XXS size clothing from many designers still display at least a C cup bust, but I’ll save the rant for another time.

I saw a very cute skirt and blouse combination from The Secret Store. I’ve bought quite a bit over time from this store during various treks to The Arcade. I think I still have an abundance of spare skates and casette players in my inventory while hunting for rare items.

So I had to try this new outfit from Collabor88. It was simply too cute. As you can guess, however, it had a chest.

Unlike many, this wasn’t a huge amount, and I did opt to wear a white version of the top during Collabor88 set up, I was somewhat disappointed it did not have a flatter chest. While talking to the owner of The Secret Store, Maylee Oh, on other issues, I mentioned the top.

Mere moments later, she passed me a top to try out. It fit perfectly. I was stunned by how quickly she presented this, and that she would even be willing to do so.Thanks to her, I have four great outfits that people are going to get really tired of seeing me in this spring and summer, because I will be wearing these until they’re threadbare.

If you happen to be a child avatar, or just someone who prefers a flatter look for whatever reason, stop by Collabor88 and pick up the Betsy Halter Tank. Maylee does not have the kid size in the box there, nor has she reshaped any but the tucked halter — both things I hope she’ll consider changing down the line — but she is willing to provide the flat version of the top by request.

This is only one of many amazing things in Collabor88 this month, BTW, including things that would be great for SL kids. The Clawtooth hair is wonderful (though “Chick Habit’s” ponytail is clearly made for a larger chest), the Schadenfreude flats are amazing, and both MishMish and Half-Deer have brought the cute to the table. Check it all out when you can, but I know the sims will be jam packed for days yet.

Thank you again, Maylee. It really means a lot to me when someone will go that extra mile.

P.S.: If anyone wants a “typical” kid-size shape for creation or testing purchases, I have this one up on Marketplace and at my store in Bay City and Livingtree.


Welcome Home to Our World

April 5th, 2014 by Marianne McCann

A strange thing happened this week: I met Ebbe Linden

Me and Ebbe

Now I suppose this should not be too shocking, given I have a lot history of meeting Lindens. He’s not hardly the first, nor is he the first Linden Lab® CEO I’ve known. What makes this unusual, though, is how hard it has been to find Linden Lab employees inworld over the reign of the last CEO.

There were policies in place, I have heard, that prevented Lindens from socializing inworld. Instant Messages would go unanswered. Governance and support Lindens were hidden behind “Governance Linden” staff accounts. Office hours became user groups, and most of those were quickly shuttered. Linden Village – already decimated after the June 2010 layoffs, became an empty ghost town. By the same token, the blog and other forms of “official” communication went silent.

I can understand a lot of the reasons why. There were other policies that forbade Linden Lab staff from being on social media, too. No one wants the company tainted with a Justine Sacco-like situation. Likewise, the company insisted that they wanted the focus to be on the things its Residents created and did, not on their employees’ efforts. Fair enough.

Yet from its earliest days, Second Life™ has been a collaborative effort. The Lindens and the Residents, at first, worked very much hand in hand, with the Lab’s Liaison program hiring from the Resident pool. Additional Lindens worked with the Mentor program, or worked with both Lab and Residents in other ways.

This began to change during Mark “M Linden” Kingdon’s era, and while many hoped that Rodvik “Rodvik Linden” Humble might revive some of that spirit, instead things went very much the other way.

Now — to steal liberally from Crap Mariner — it is not Ebbe Linden we should be seeing so much of. Yes, he should be there for the big events; the SL birthdays and such. He should be busy doing “CEO things,” however. Steering the company, keeping it profitable and well. At the same time, he should have people who work for him who can be that face, who can serve to communicate his and the company’s vision, who can help the community, and manage the same.

It would not be the first time I’ve noted this, but I think Second Life is better when Linden Lab’s staff are present on the Agni grid, experiencing what all of us experience. See what works and what does not, and understand what Second Life’s users experience.

I saw a big first step with this, not from seeing Ebbe inworld, but the following day

First, while out shopping at Happy Mood, I came across Marissa Linden at the same store. I then went to a new island in the chain of Linden Village regions on Northwestern Sansara, where I witnessed half a dozen Lindens setting up their own homes.

Linden Village

Linden Village during the Rodvik era was a symbol of how bad things were. It was abandoned, Empty, full of damaged and disused parcels. The feeling was, to me, that they really did not care for this world any more. They had moved on.

So this was heartening to see. It was great to see Ebbe, but it seems far better to see Linden Lab staff there, in Our World, with us. Experiencing the same joys and heartaches of any other user. It was a new symbol, one of renewal and hope.

Second Life is a shared experience, and really is best when it is shared at all levels. We all have something to bring to the table, and there is no better place for that than within Second Life itself.

Welcome Home, Lindens.