Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Open Letter to Linden Lab

To whom it may concern at Linden Lab,

In the interest of transparency and good will, I would like to inform you of a new Resident-run initiative. A Second Life fringe festival.

For several years, Linden Lab has graciously provided space for the Residents of Second Life to showcase their talents. For their part, the Residents receive recognition from their peers. (Due to my participation in SL3B, I was interviewed for Le Monde on-line magazine and asked to participate in the University of Texas at Dallas' first display of Resident art. Later, I was asked to be the art director for SL4B and SL5B. My continued presence has given me additional exposure to be asked to be curator and board member for several galleries.)

I understand the need to provide a squeaky-clean image to the "outside" world. Honestly, I want Second Life to continue and succeed as much as you do. However, many artists and exhibitors find the "squeaky clean" image that you wish to portray as being too restrictive. In truth, there are MANY aspects of Second Life, and the G rated version is only part of it.

In the image of the International Arts Festival at Edinburgh with its associated Fringe Festival, several of us from within the community wish to have our own fringe festival. The intent is that Linden Lab's Birthday event is to the Resident event as the Edinburgh International Arts Festival is to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: the official, major event, and the supplementary smaller event. We would welcome your cooperation in coordinating these two separate events so that they can support each other and create a stronger whole.

We have yet to actually name our event, but I am rather fond of calling it the 'fringe festival' following a concept commonly used in Great Britain. (There are actually concurrent fringe festivals in many cities throughout northern England and Scotland.) The festival organizers will be meeting in the upcoming weeks and months to iron out these details, and we welcome input from all sources on how we can construct a truly wonderful festival to celebrate all the things we love about Second Life.

For 2009, we will be asking individuals and corporations, rather than Linden Lab, to donate the use of their sims to host a festival concurrent with Second Life's 6th birthday. In subsequent years, if this is successful, we may include other non-birthday events, especially if we can arrange long term donor support.

The intention of this event is not to take attention away from your primary event(s). It is to allow additional participation by people who love this place and see it as "home".

In thanks for your continued support,

Pyrii Akula
Shoshana Epsilon
SignpostMarv Martin
Will Webb


Everett Linden said...

I love the idea of a Fringe Festival--I'd come to that! It will add to the range of creativity and expression, and I'm sure you'll find lots of Residents willing to donate their land.

Now the real question is...will Dr. Evil Everett Linden get an invitation....?

Seriously, I'm looking forward to what you all create--this year, as well as the next.

Anonymous said...

This is, Sho, a really nice and interesting idea. Of course, count with me in what i can help.

Gwyneth Llewelyn said...

In my experience dealing with Linden Lab, and with all the past experiences of similar events, "lead" by LL but done by residents, the results were, sadly, quite similar to what's happening to SL5B... and happened to SL4B... and to SL3B...

When the time approaches, LL will simply break everything apart and catastrophically "burn out" all volunteers. It's as predictable as the grid failing every weekend...

So I'm totally in favour of a resident-run, not-LL-sponsored event. It's the only way to make sure it'll work. Look at SLCC and the bickering around it, too, as LL tried to "control" SLCC. Is there going to be a SLCC this year?... I'm afraid not.

Or look at what the "orientation areas" and the Mentor groups look like. All "best intentions", but they never catch on. The last attempt by residents to "fix" the orientation experience was early in 2006, I think. After that, volunteers simply left the LL-run organisations and started doing their own: NCI is a continued success, and so are the Metaverse Mentors with their own orientation area, and probably tons of other groups of which I'm not aware, but who know how to do things right so long as LL doesn't try to interfere.

You'll see that the volunteers for these kinds of large-scale events are people who have experience and time to manage volunteers to an incredible amount of success. LL hasn't, no matter how well intended some of their employees actually are. LL is good at developing software (well... :) ), but not so good in dealing with marketing, promotion, public relation, and "people skills".

And sure, let's invite Everett :) *waves at Everett*

Alyx Sands said...

I'd love to see an "alternative" birthday celebration!

And Everett should come in a Dr Evil avatar! ;-)

sirhc deSantis said...

I love the idea of a fringe fest. Its just what we need to counterbalance you know who. BTW is there any news on Burning Man this year?

Anonymous said...

I love the idea, but not the name. Why put ourselves on the fringe?

"Residents Festival" I can get behind.

Shoshana Epsilon said...

"Fringe Festival" is a well known concept in the english-speaking countries. I like the idea of not being on the mainstream. A bit edgier.

From the dictionary:
decorate with or as if with a surrounding fringe; "fur fringed the hem of the dress"

the outside boundary or surface of something

a part of the city far removed from the center; "they built a factory on the outskirts of the city"

a social group holding marginal or extreme views; "members of the fringe believe we should be armed with guns at all times"

Looker Lumet said...

Count me in, ;)), I have no sim, but if I can help, just give me a ring, ;)

Prad Prathivi said...

Count me in too.. wuld love to see what you guys have planned =)

Interfaith Today said...

Having had the wonderful experience some years ago of participating in the Edinburgh Fringe electronic Celtic artists of the diaspora project, I am very fond of concept of Fringe Festivals and I think an SL Fringe for the next birthday would be fab. Please feel free to call on me if there is any way I can assist! Rosmairta Kilara

Scarlet Creative said...
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