Wednesday, June 17, 2020
By Bixyl Shuftan
whom passed away last month. It went from about Noon to 2PM SL time. The event was held much like a wake. There was a memorial stone and picture of her, and a few flat pictures of cowgirls were around.
yes it promises to be a sad event but it needs to be done
Memorial for Comcow @ Clubs Amarantha
DJ Jenneh Thursday and Host Violet
there will be no contest, its not why were gathering, and Jen's own beand of musical madness.
so come as you are or dress like a cow, and come laugh cry and most of all Remember.
There was no contest. Nor were any tips taken, people instead invited to contribute to the Maniacs' RFL kiosk. People had a number of things to say about Comcat. "I have many memories that CC has left with me, and I'm thankful for each one." "I didn't know her as well as others here. But from what I do, she is a loving soul with a great sense of humor about life." At one point, Violet Solano commented, "This song Cc wanted to do a skit with me at the Blue Moon Burlesque, we never got around to doing it." "CC had that squirrel av, I thought that was so funny.. she was at your feet one second, on your head the next (laughter)." "Yes she was was awesome with the different avis and how she got to play with everyone."
"I do not think of her as gone, merely transformed into another form. I feel she is watching us now and grinning from ear to ear." "I would like to think CC is watching on as a full on cow now where they are." "Love this song. Can't hear it witout thinking of CC." "My daughter just came to look see what I was dressed up as. First she called me a sheep?!?! She as now made up a song about a purple cow which goes, 'purple cow. purple cow, purple cow you are a purple cow'. I have bribed her to stop singing by giving her a chocolate bar - great parenting skills (laughter)."
One person arrived a little late, "I am so sorry I'm late, I didn't know this was happening today until I just woke up and looked at email." Dusk Griswold was there for a time as well, "I decided to remember CC's sheep side, which was displayed a lot." Someone told her, "Yes I will forever remember her saying 'beep beep I'm a sheep.' " Dusk responded, "I'd say 'Noodle noodle I'm a poodle.' "
"I loved how she always just wanted to make people happy and have a good laugh . Always ready with a link to find something you were looking for, ( tree avatar) or a good pun, didn't we all spend a whole show one night making bad spice puns because we had too much Thyme on our hands?" "I remember cc have me a tail spin animation and were over spinning on our tails as giant kaiju on another sim." "Or all the running battles she and i had with my dubstep gun and her push shout." "Some of those times made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe!"
There was some additional fun with a spanker at one point. There were also gestures played such as the "Beep beep, I'm a sheep," one and "Moo... Are you happy now???"
Eventually, people had to go, "This is a wonderful memorial and I wish I could stay to the end, just want to make sure to thank you for putting this together in CC's memory."
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Over the course of my time in Second Life, I got the opportunity to lead and maintain a couple of communities that I was a part of as a sim co-owner and sim manager. I never actually wanted these positions, but at the time I believed in the community's efforts so much and put so much time and energy into them that the main owners gave me the positions. However, I learned a lot from the experience about what to do and what not to do in these positions. I hope to pass on what I’ve learned here so that others won’t make mistakes I’ve made or have seen time and time again from others.
Know Your Community
Don’t treat the position like you’re above and removed from everyone. You are just as much a part of the community as anyone else. Get to know everyone. Be friendly. Be compassionate. Make friends. Only then will you truly understand everyone and get to know your community’s needs.
Don’t Fall Into The Tribe Mentality
It’s perfectly natural for humans to group up and become an “in group.” Before there was the Internet; and modern electronics for that matter, humans grouped up in tribes for safety and security. However, this can keep your community from growing. If others walk in and find that it’s hard to break into the group, they’ll go elsewhere. Welcome everyone. Invite them into your conversations. Make them feel like they belong.
Don’t Talk Behind Others Backs In Private Staff Chats
Unless it’s an obvious troll, talking negatively about other people in the group will eventually get out; even if it’s in private chats that the person isn’t in. This can cause massive amounts of drama that will make your community look bad. It may be tempting to blow off steam about someone with friends, but do that elsewhere.
Don’t Go Beyond What The Whole Of Your Community Wants
I’ve seen sim owners introduce things randomly that just end up making community members upset. For instance, one sim owner introduced a parcel area just for a group that liked to role play as children. This did not go over well with a large majority of the community, and the sim disbanded within a week. The sim owners just saw this as a way to make a certain group happy, but ended up causing drama for themselves.
It’s natural for people to be apprehensive of those in power from time to time. A way to deter this, aside from being down to earth and friendly, is to be open about why you’re doing the things that you’re doing.
Don’t Treat Staff Like Employees
This isn’t real life. People have real jobs and don’t want to come home to another. Staff are volunteers and real life comes first. You will find that you will have a constant rotation of staff if you treat things like a real business, even if you pay your staff in Linden Dollars.
Life, especially now, is too stressful to worry about Second Life as a make or break project. Have fun. Make friends. Be yourself. People will come if it’s a cool place to hang out and the people are nice. This will never be a permanent gig. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
By Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich)
In a recent article, I wrote about how virtual conventions can temporarily be an alternative to real life conventions. It seems that more people are coming to this conclusion as well as there is now a My Little Pony convention called SLPonyCon that will take place the whole month of June (June 1st-30th). I had a chance to interview the two con chairs Pop Princess Sakairi (Sakairi Melodious) and Braniac -Piper- (rosetheunicorn).
Sakairi: Piper and I are the Co-Chairwomen of SLPonyCon. We`re both in charge of making sure the convention runs smoothly, as well as making sure the rest of the staff and guests have what they need to make their jobs easier. Planning, building, delegating staff tasks... We sort of have our hands in a little bit of everything!
Piper: I mostly take care of our panelists and the general artistic direction of the project.
Cyfir: How did the idea for this convention come about?
Piper: It started as an idea to bring attention to the wide pony community in Second Life, which was already starting to dwindle due to the end of the show as well as the final brony convention. But when the COVID-19 virus happened, the idea was kind of pushed forward.
We wanted to help make up for all the conventions that were cancelled. Many people were affected by it. Since it's on SL and everyone is home due to the corona virus we decided to do it in game with all the stops we could pull for the fandom we love.
Sakairi: The main idea in all was to bring a morale boost to the community and invite people to it!
Cyfir: Who else is involved and what do they do?
Sakairi: There are so many people involved with SLPonyCon. It’s a little hard to name specifics. For starters, we have every major pony sim in Second Life representing embassies at the convention. Carbondale, Neighberry, RubyHills, Trotsdale, Ponytown, Trot Springs, Canterlot, Luna`s Empire, and even a brand new Anthro Pony Sim called Riverside Bay, will all be there to welcome people and show SL what our community has to offer. We also have many many vendors joining us like Ambix, Inzoxi, and Blackback Studios just to name a few. All of the popular pony avatar creators such as N.E.I.G.H, Flower pony, and even some newer bodies like Sparklepony and the long awaited NutBusterz Pony body, which we will be hosting a release party for! We have many many performers and panelists like Captnhoers, Haymaker, and Somberpony. But I think the most important people would be our Staff like our security team lead by Geminai Mills, TDMayo, Nick, and Akasa, Our wonderful Vendor manager Kokuma, our Social media expert Ember, and not to forget our owners LAMP, Serendypity, and Michi. Like I said.. there's just so many people who got involved!
Piper: We have so many people involved with this naming them would take forever but we have quite the team who have put a lot of effort into this project to make our little dream a big reality.
Cyfir: Who are the special guests and what panels can fans look forward to?
Sakairi: This is definitely a question for Piper. She's worked so hard to gather all the amazing panelists we have.
Piper: We have Somberpony; the author of Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons doing Writing Workshops. We have Captainhoers, an animator on YouTube and comic artist doing DND style table top one shot sessions. I will be doing how to draw ponies panels personally. We have Molly doing How to use Second Life panels for newbies. We have many shows including live music from bronies like Haymaker and WoodenToaster (aka Glaze), various gaming events, dj sessions, galas, and other fun activities to participate in.
Cyfir: Who will the live DJs be?
Piper: Various people from our SL community like Serendipity and Kota.
Sakairi: From Carbondale and Neighberry respectfully. Many of our Sim Embassies have volunteered to host many events for the convention.
Cyfir: You mentioned merchants that will be involved. Will there be an artist den?
Piper: Yes. We have a museum actually.
Sakairi: The Art Museum will feature walls for all kinds of artists to not only show off previous work, but give information about them like where to find their gallery online and how to commission them if you'd like a special piece done for yourself! It also has a really pretty interactive walkway out front that plays chimes when you enter, Hehe!
Piper: It’s pretty rad, actually.
Sakairi: SLPonyCon has had a fair share of challenges, like most conventions would. But one of the more challenging aspects would be coordinating a team of varied individuals. The Pony Community is one big family. And like any family, we don't always agree on everything. There's always going to be differing opinions, especially with a group as big as this convention team. But in the end, the important thing is we always find a way to compromise and move forward. Our community looks to us all, and it's our hope that this convention shows them that we are all here for them no matter what!
Piper: We have a no nonsense policy as well for backup.
Piper: Meaning if anyone decides no not play ball with everyone else we have a three strike policy and then they are out.
Sakairi: We have a very top notch security team who are on top of things should anything happen. <3 br="">
Cyfir: What have you learned from putting this convention together so far and is there any advice you could give to anyone thinking about putting on a convention in a virtual world?
Sakairi: Being our very first convention we've ever run, we've already learned a lot.
Piper: Teamwork is important. We wouldn't be able to pull this off without all of our amazing staff, and I think it goes without saying that friendship is magic! I would say try your best to get as many people who would like it on board as you can and play to their strengths and show how much you appreciate their hard work all the way through. Your team is what makes things happen.
Cyfir: How did you both become fans of My Little Pony?
Piper: I have been a fan of MLP since I was a little kid. My favorite pony was Sugarberry in generation 1... though these days I am more well known in the Fallout Equestria side of the fandom.
Sakairi: I became a fan through other friends of mine. I used to be one of those people who thought it was just a show for little girls. My friends, who were bronies, told me about it, and I had the excuse at the time of having kids, so I gave it a shot and watched it with them. I fell in love with the messages of kindness the show sent, and later on, the kindness and acceptance I found in the brony community. One thing led to another and I became hooked. My Favorites would be Celestia, Cadence, and my spirit pony, Pinkie Pie!
Cyfir: What about My Little Pony do you think created such a loyal fan base?
Piper: I think the show has such a loyal fan base due to it’s creative community and wholesome content in a world where it's truly needed.
Sakairi: Mostly I feel it's the positive messages it sends out to it’s fans. It teaches people that we can all be different and still accepting of everyone. The cute artwork is a big plus too!
Cyfir: Do you think that the My Little Pony community is much different than the furry community or is there overlap?
Piper: I personally think it's vastly different especially in energy.
Sakairi: I personally differ there. There are differences, sure, but it's a lot alike in other ways. It's a way to express yourself as an individual. There's things in both communities for all kinds of different age ranges and tastes. It's not really about the entire community as a whole as much as the individual and how they choose to use it. There are even Furries and Anthros IN the pony community.
Cyfir: Anything else you would both like to mention?
Piper: I sure hope this makes people’s year just a little bit better.
Sakairi: We can't wait to see all of you! Visit our website and our discord if you would like any more information on the event!
You can check out the SLPonyCon website here: https://www.slponycon.com .
You can check out the convention’s Discord channel here: https://discord.gg/hsD34cH .
Their Twitter can be found here: =https://twitter.com/pony_con .
Finally, for a full schedule of events, go here: https://www.slponycon.com/events-1 .
Monday, May 18, 2020
Yours truly knew her as an occasional visitor to the Happy Vixen and Club Cutlass, and some other Sunweaver events. Standing out in a bovine avatar when most everyone else was a fox, bunny, wolf, normal human, etc, she was certainly a unique personality around. It was unwelcome, sad news when word began getting around on the evening of Friday May 15. Her real-life age was 70, something not revealed to most until after her passing.
"Came as a shock," Dusk Griswold told me, saying she and Violet Solano, "were both good friends with CC. We were almost a team. I think I first met her at Amaranth. Amaranth was her home club, but I'd invite her to Happy Viven or Cutlass if nothing was happening there. One of those people who stand out. And very creative when it came to themes. We'd always look forward to how she'd dress for themes. Might show up at 'Come as your are' as an av of a U and and R, and an R, too.
"Always had a dance chim, I'd always wait for her to show up at the club before dancing, and she'd invite me and usually several others to the chim, so we'd all dance together. Her and Vi and I were kind of an unofficial team.
"She was also good at modding, I learned some of my modding skills from her. Remember my Gazelle from 'Zootopia' av? That would not have come about without her help.
"Also, could always count on CC to attend RFL events. She was very popular, a lot of people will really miss her. ... overall, we have lost one of the nicest, most creative and funny furs I have ever known. We don't know what happened, and Vi does not plan to find out. ... It has really hit the Amaranth family hard.
"Know how sometimes we meet what we realize are special people? If that makes sense. CC was one of those special people."
I would later talk to Violet Solano. She told me she had known her for seven or eight years, "It's amazing how many people CC knew. FullAuto posted a notice in Raglan shire chat, and there was 15 minutes of river dancing and mooing. ... "It's amazing how many people she touched. I have people I never knew IMMing me, thanking me for the info."
Violet would tell me they met, "at a club in a now long gone vintage Los Angeles sim. I used to go to listen to swing music. (I) met her there, brought her back to Amaranth, and she was just part of the family in very short order. There was no place where she didn't get along."
As a member of the Relay's Meli's Maniacs team, she did much to keep spirits up, "and sadly there's no possible way to tell all her friends of her passing. And that's the saddest part of it. To a lot of people, she is just going to be one of the vanished."
She would go on to say she had fond memories of her, "running battles on the sim surface between her and her power shout and me with my dubstep. Or with tanks, guns, or getting a few of us in jex avatars and big game outfits going on the great jexpidition on the old Grendal's jungle sims. CC was a silly old graymuzzle who only wanted people around her to have fun and be happy."
"As one of our other club staff, Kulara Darkstone, posted in Facebook : "
In loving memory of ComCat Fenstalker aka CC. Our beloved bovine avatar friend. CC was a great friend to everyone. She was Funny, Smart, Clever, Kind, Generous and loved a good PUN and loved silly gadgets in Second Life. All she wanted was a "stable" home, and she was "udderly" bodacious
Sadly, the story of a resident whom just wanted to make others happy, has come to it's close. What are left are the screenshots, tales, and memories.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
By Bixyl Shuftan
The SURL took me to "Party Time Dancers," high above the Deep Woods sim. To my surprise, when the lag started to clear I found I was on stage. I promptly stepped down. Just in front of the stage were four seats with red unlit "X"s in front of them. Three of them were occupied by a man and two women: Bigtex Cuddihy, KaliiNoire, and Pastor Lynne (Lynne Applewhyte). I went ahead and got into the seating area. PastorDanT soon appeared on stage, and in voice welcomed everyone to the show.
After most everyone else had cleared out, I had a few words with PastorDanT, to which he responded to my questions in voice. When asked where did he get the idea for the talent show, he answered that it was from "Out of boredom," and with all the things happening in real life lately. He had been spending time in his "mancave, a house outside of my house. Anyway, I did this because this would be a good pressure relief" for the public, and fun and exciting.
When he announced the tryouts for his talent show, twelve people answered. "Six bailed," he told me, two thinking they were "too good" for the competition. Pastor Dan would say the show was inspired in part by "America's Got Talent," adding, "I'm a live singer in Second Life as well, I love to perform." He felt the show was "a nice tension breaker, seems to be working." He was getting no money from this, "This is just for fun. ... this hectic world we're living in. Everyone had fun."
The winner of the competition would be determined by a process of elimination, with the judges voting after each performance. Lighting an "X" up was a strike against the person, "one person get two Xs, she won't be back next week." The winner at the end would be getting a trophy. While there was no cash prize, "they get the recognition, get a chance to sing at one of the places for money."
Of the six women, three "have never done a live event, so that's good. Usually they DJ, so they don't use their singing voice. I think they were pretty good. One got the golden buzzer." He commented she was surprised when it went off, "she didn't know what it was." With this event, there were five with one going out, and four staying to next time.
Pastor Dan told me the next event would be held at the same place, but "we're going to try to go to different venues. meet more people." He told me over time, he'd been with a lot of venues in Second Life, clubs and lounges and places selling musical instruments, "I've been to a lot, too many. I've heard from some back, a few nasty, oh well, that's SL. Working on getting out more."
He had wanted four judges for the event, but only three were able to make it today. Still, he felt they were "a great group of judges." Each runs a venue inworld. Bigtex Cuddihy ran "Party Time Dancers" where the event took place. KaliiNoire, Pastor Dan told me she ran "one of the biggest restaraunts with a club inside." Pastor Lynn was a pastor here in Second Life.
Of the next round of the competition, "Probably on Friday the 8th, 3PM SL time." It would still be in Party Time Dancers, "Later events at the Elixr, hopefully."
And yes, Pastor Dan is a pastor in Second Life, doing church services on Sunday at Noon SL time, with live broadcasts on Zoom, "people can join in. ... Other than that, I chase my chickens and feed the rabbits."
Thursday, April 16, 2020
By Penny (Deaflegacy Resident)
Matt added that shi had also DJed for YIFF, F.A.P. (Furries at Play) and a handful of other clubs before switching to primarily country.
I was wondering what inspired hir to be a DJ. Matt replied, "Well, I always loved music and used to love singing in choirs as a kid, but was always scared of the crowd. I once even went on Nashville Star, but dropped out during callbacks due to fear. I used to hang out with Trevalyn and Kytec a lot at Rainbow Tiger and various places, on my oldest account from 2005, Kavori. They started to peak my interest in Djing and helped me to learn to use SAM. Though I didn't start DJing til much later as Vulpine."
I asked Matt if shi continues to plan continuing her account as a DJ because in my opinion, shi is an awesome DJ. "I do," said Matt, "As venues change or come and go, and friends come and go I may take breaks, or move around as needed, but I still plan to DJ as long as I am able. Right now I'm putting my time and focus on Djing for RFL events as it's something I have been a part of since I could first walk in real life, with my grandmother. And right now it's one of the few ways I can help."
I told Matt that I was wonder that beside being a DJ, some people would consider hir to be a mentor or 'true friend' meaning someone who would support them even in difficult times with hir thoughtful words, what is hir feelings about this. At first, Matt was confused until I explained to her that there is more to being a DJ than one might know. "Well," Matt responded, "for a mentor, I would be a bit surprised because I know I may not be the best person to open up to at times due to my mental issues. But I try my best to listen, even if I may be terrible with advice and often seek it myself. As for a 'rue friend,' that makes me happy, as I think that's rare thing these days. In these tough times, we need good and true friends more now than ever."
I was also wondering about Matt being an inspiration, like helping out in Relay For Life, and what her opinion is. "Inspiration, eh?" replied Matt,"I'm honestly at a loss for words to that, as I never have seen myself as interesting let alone inspiring. Different maybe, odd yes. (laughter) But, if people are inspired by me, that's great, I just hope I inspire them in a good way."
I was very curious to what her favorite coffee is and she said, "Well that comes down to a drink from a local shop called Mudhouse. I love their Mudpupple frappe, as well as their Frozen Unicorn drinks."
I asked for hir permission to mention that Matt is my Second Life sister and she granted it. Thanks, Matt!
This had been an amazing interview. I can honestly say that Matt is one of the awesome DJ. As the interview ended and we continued talking, I just know that not only is Matt an interesting person, shi is also a caring person especially when it comes to helping fight cancer with the Relay For Life.
Editor's note: As mentioned in the interview, Matt is part of Penny's SL family. The interview was done in late March, before Matt took part in the DJ competition on April 1.
Friday, April 3, 2020
By Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich)
In college, I took a whole course on business contingency. Contingency is “a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty.” Everything is contingent. Whether you go in to work tomorrow depends on if work is still there. Whether you go home at the end of the day is contingent on if home is still there. For many in my real life community, both are not still there. Not only has COVID-19 shut many businesses in my area down, an EF3 tornado dropped down a few blocks behind where I live on Saturday afternoon, and tore through the business district, grew into a massive wedge, and leveled homes. There were no casualties thanks to advanced warning and many being home because of COVID-19, but many people no longer have jobs or houses to go back to. The local mall and a handful of businesses are practically destroyed. If the tornado had dropped down sooner, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Here’s the important part: Second Life should be the furthest from your mind in life threatening and/or natural disaster circumstances, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to worry about it at all? Why wait until it’s not possible to do anything about your rent meter running out? Who will inform your Second Life friends of your whereabouts if you’re not able to get online? There have been a few instances when this publication has had to send out a call for help to discover the whereabouts of a missing Second Life resident.
In my business contingency courses, we learned to write up a contingency plan for when the unexpected should occur. For instance, who would be in charge of things if the manager is out? A Second Life contingency plan doesn’t have to be as elaborate and drawn out as a business contingency plan, but think of who you would trust to help you pay your rent meter or tell your friends of your whereabouts if something should occur. Be sure that you can contact them offline or at least let them know that if you disappear one day to please help you with contacting friends or paying rent for a certain amount of time until you get back. I always keep at least two weeks on all my meters in case something happens like a week long power outage. Do you run a blog or website based around Second Life or do you run a sim or a club? Who do you trust to run those while you’re gone? Think of any possible thing that you can see not being taken care of if you vanished for a month and write it down and think of who can back you up in a time of need.
In these times of uncertainty, it’s good to have a plan in real life as well as Second Life for when things go horribly wrong. COVID-19 has had me thinking about this, and the tornado this weekend finally inspired this article. Don’t wait until it’s too late.