Into the Hollow

I don’t usually plug mere stores, but I love this one. :) Into The Hollow has a small but marvelous collection of stuff. Sort of I don’t know Charles Adams meets Peter Pan or something.

into the Hollow

Here is me, in Homemade Wings (including harness), and the Birdsong Ladies’ Underbust:

into the Hollow

With odd and intriguing things for sale on the wall behind me.

This lovely Entomologist’s Collection here is only 10L!

into the Hollow

(There’s a Haunted version for I think the same price.) Come and buy things before the owner realizes how much more she could get for them! :)

Here is more of the stuff; note the extremely educational Young Practitioner’s Series!

into the Hollow

(I got to feel useful by helping out the proprietrix (the new and clearly talented an’ also nice Dame Hollow) , when I bought something that she’d accidentally set to For Sale Original, and I ended up owning it…)

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Bygone Picks III: The Great Avatar Temple

The third of my Picks that I’m replacing (because it isn’t there anymore) is a place I don’t think I visited more than once or twice, but it was kinda neat. The Pick caption is “Great Avatar Temple (The Temple Without Walls) Avatarian HQ”, the location “No Parcel, Rieul (197, 107, 88)” and the text:

“Avatarian Oracle, drum circle and conference area. Svargan sky dome. Built in the ruins of LogicArtist’s futurist temple.”

Although the land is currently abandoned, I’ll bet it’s one of the prettier abandoned areas in the grid! :)

Abandoned Land, Rieul

I don’t find anything significant relating to the Avatarian Church / Movement in Search at present, so I don’t have anything to point you at instead along those lines. And I’m not sure what I’ll put in to replace it, either! Possibly Nemo, but it’s already had so much publicity…

The value of dirt in Tokyo

Tokyo Skyline, seen from Tokyo TowerI keep running across people trying to make the case that land in Second Life is overpriced, because it costs more than the corresponding proportion of the cost of setting up a disconnected OpenSim instance on an Amazon EC2 virtual server and paying someone to answer the phone, or whatever.

And that’s just silly.

You can’t compute the “natural” cost of a piece of land in Tokyo, or Manhattan, or London or Paris, by working out how much it would cost to buy the corresponding number of truckloads of dirt on the open market.

If the economics were really as these simplistic analyses want to claim they are, then we would actually be seeing a large migration of people off of Second Life and onto the “cheaper but just as good” alternate grids that were profitably springing up everywhere.

And we aren’t.

Yeah, there’s lots of interest in other grids, hundreds of people are checking out InWorldz and Reaction Grid and so on, and setting up their own OpenSim instances on Amazon EC2 servers, but these are actually alternatives or competitors to SL in only a tiny number of cases. Mostly they are things that people do in addition to SL, or they are things that people do who wouldn’t be in SL anyway.

Like a piece of land in Tokyo or Manhattan, Second Life isn’t about the dirt, it’s about the location (and the location, and the location, to bow to the legally required truism). Linden Lab does not host generic servers, or generic regions, or even generic customer support. It hosts Second Life, and Second Life is something that lots of people are willing to pay (in time, in eyeballs, and even in US$ or equivalents) to take part in. And that, presumably, is because it has people and events and builds and experience and wonders and riches and connotations and associations that aren’t to be found in those cheaper generic places.

You could actually do a relatively simple calculation of the location-value of SL, by taking the cost of an SL region, and subtracting that “generic OpenSim region running on Amazon EC2 plus 1% of one generic offshore support person” number that people love to drag out.

But instead of framing that number as “see look SL is overpriced by $X!”, you’d have to say “wow, people value SL over the alternatives by $X!”. And somehow that’s not the conclusion that the people usually doing this math seem to want to reach. ;)

ThingMaker — endless

Yes, I have been having far too much fun. :) A pre-release version of the upcoming 3b version of the ThingMaker, a little hack to the code to make it produce things endlessly, a spinning camera-platform, brand-new copies of FRAPS and Windows Media Player, a brand-new YouTube account, good old Soma FM on the land-stream, and there we are!

And you weblog readers get a special behind-the-scenes picture:

The Making of my first Youtube video!

(Your cameraperson there is wearing the wunnerful OrKa outfit from alpha.tribe.)