AvaCon declines SLCC 2012

Update July 11: Fleep Tuque has posted commentary on the SLCC situation. The post is not an official commentary on the situation from AvaCon, but Fleep does have a valid perspective on matters, having been on the board of AvaCon and worked on previous SLCC events. Some may not agree with her views, but even if this is the case and some feel a need to respond, I would ask on her behalf that they do so reasonably and politely. 

There has been much speculation on Twitter and in blogs recently as to what is happening vis-a-vis this year’s Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), originally slated to take place in Boston.

SLCC events are usually held in August each year and have been organised by AvaCon on behalf of Linden Lab. I managed to cover SLCC 2011 in some measure last year and had been one of those looking forward to this year’s convention. However, with August fast approaching and no news from AvaCon or Linden Lab, speculation was rising that the event would not be taking place.

Today AvaCon have spoken up on the matter, posting a statement on their blog which reads in part:

Due to changes in the terms of the contract offered by Linden Lab this year, AvaCon has declined to organize a Second Life Community Convention in 2012.  We continue to pursue our overall mission and are focusing our attention on other activities and events that promote the metaverse.

Doubtless there will be much speculation as to what the changes to the contract may have been and why AvaCon felt unable to agree to them. But for now, and unless another organisation is willing to step into the breach and organise something at a later date, it would seem as though SLCC-2012 is officially dead. Whether this is true for SLCC as a whole, remains to be seen.

With thanks to Crap Mariner.

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20 thoughts on “AvaCon declines SLCC 2012

  1. I had heard whispers about this, and generally speaking I had hoped that this wouldn’t be the case.

    It seems pretty stupid that they’d up an cancel the convention; I know plenty of people who were wanting to go, and I personally was hoping that I’d be able to go there and talk about a few improvements relating to Second Life coming down the pipeline on my end of things. To my knowledge, LL was still allowing them to use the Second Life trademark, but wasn’t providing any kind of sponsorship for the event.

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    1. Conventions and conferences largely depend upon sponsorship (and registration fees) to meet costs. If the sponsorship isn’t there, the event doesn’t happen, regardless as to whether the organisers have permission to use trademarks and suchlike.

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      1. I understand that it requires sponsorship, but I feel that they could have found sponsorship elsewhere had they put out an open call for sponsors. I’m sure multiple individuals in the community would have stepped up to chip in to make this happen.

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        1. Again, it may not be that straight-forward.

          • What are the terms of the contract? Does the use of the LL / SL trademarks come with strings attached that prevent the easy co-opting of sponsors from elsewhere?
          • How long has this been going back and forth between AvaCon and Linden Lab? Could it be that they have been in negotiation all this time but matters have only just reached a point where AvaCon have felt they must withdraw? If so, then it is posible both sides were hoping that a reasonable compromise could be reached which precluded looking elsewhere.
          • Even if AvaCon are free to find sponsors from elsewhere, we have no clear idea of their commitments elsewhere beyond August 2012 – they may simply not have sufficient time to organise an host a conference later in the year.
          • These are things we simply don’t know, and as such, I think it fair to say, make it impossible to make an accurate determination as to what is and isn’t possible or what should or shouldn’t have been done.

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  2. I call bullshit! (Am I allowed to curse here?)

    Anyone who has spoken to any of the AvaCon folks in the last year knows they are and have been planning on starting a new “meteverse” conference that would include not just SL, but ReactionGrid, Unity 3D, and so on because that’s where they think the money is. It’s also what they are eluding to in their announcement.

    According to a Linden, AvaCon requested funding from Linden Lab over six months ago, so if it was a dispute with that, they could have told us then, but no, they purposely waited until we forced their hand so that no one else could have time to swoop in and plan an SLCC without them and hurt their chances of their new conference being the only option.

    Were they even going to tell us if Daniel and others hadn’t prodded them?

    Like Geenz said, Linden Lab is not the only sponsor of SLCC, They could have looked for other funding. They had to know there was at least a problem over six months ago. Just like SL9B proved all things are possible without Linden Lab, so was this. But they didn’t want to do the work, or even allow someone else to step in because they had already made other plans. This was a blatant bold face attempt to kill SLCC, in order to give them time to establish and launch their new conference.

    I for one won’t be attending their new conference. AvaCon has only been planning SLCC for the last 2 years out of the 7 years of SLCCs. In my opinion as someone who has attended since 2007, the last two were the worst and least planned of them all.

    While it is probably not possible to plan something for August now (thanks again AvaCon), I suggest we give SLCC back to the community and do it ourselves. I can’t stand to see this shrugging it off (Crap Mariner, I’m looking at you!). AvaCon should have never been in charge of a community convention and it’s time the community takes back what is rightfully theirs.

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      1. So because AvaCon screwed over the community in order to preserve themselves and their new conference, SLCC is dead? They didn’t start SLCC, the community did. SLCC isn’t theirs to kill.

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    1. From what I’ve been told, they were considering “killing off” SLCC for a little while now, in favor of a new convention focusing on the broader spectrum of virtual worlds. There’s many ways they could have gone about it, and LL isn’t entirely to blame here; they could have found funding from other sources (and to my knowledge, had more than one sponsor), and to my knowledge LL wasn’t imposing any restrictions where that funding came from for them to use the Second Life name.

      This really doesn’t seem “right”. The least they could have done if this was the case, was have the convention this year, advertise the next convention during this one (or issued an announcement after this year’s convention), and just changed the format from there.

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  3. The actual name “Second Life” Community Convention is totally obsolete as of 2012.

    Second Life’s relative portion of the wider metaverse community has shrunk, as more freedom for users is available via open and multiple sources. Linden Labs chose to opt out SL from the wider metaverse in 2010… having failed to learn from the historic fate of another walled-garden internet community… see lesson #101: “The Demise of AOL” .

    A much broader evolution of the metaverse virtual world is underway with OpenSim, clouds, expanded game systems, etc.

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    1. Speaking from my personal interest, I’m only concerned with Second Life. So an actual Second Life Community is still very valid to me. I might be interested in a broader convention at some point in time, but if the group’s name is Second Life Community then they’ve defined themselves. just sayin

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