Solitary wanderings and stray thoughts

Looking  through my SL photography folders, I was surprised to find one for Sea Salts, the home of Nalena Fairey’s Zigana store, which contained a number of images of the region I’d taken in late 2012. Surprised, because while there can be anything up to a couple of weeks between my taking snaps and then blogging about a destination, it’s rare that I allow months to pass.

As it had been a while since my last visit, I decided to jump over and take another look. I’m glad I did, as Nalena is re-working the region, and the new layout is already pretty stunning, her store sitting in a beautiful wilderness which is already a photographer’s delight. However, it’s not the region I want to discuss per se; I’ll save that until Sea Salts is nearer to completion. In the meantime, I’m going to go off at a tangent, so please bear with me.

Sea Salts
Sea Salts

I generally prefer to explore Second Life on my own, particularly when it involves a place I might blog about. It’s not that I’m anti-social – I’ll happily shared a visit to somewhere I’ve found with a friend or three; rather it’s because when I go somewhere with a view to blogging about it, I prefer the peace and quiet necessary to capture snaps and to be able to wander for as long as I like, my attention on the world around me.

There are unintended side-effects of exploring this way, however. In my case, it means my mind is sometimes prone to wander, which is not always wise, as I’m not sure it should really be allowed to go anywhere on its own without adult supervision. Which brings me to the point of this missive.

Sea Salts
Sea Salts

In wandering through Sea Salts, I found myself thinking about my “destination” reviews, and wondering about how well they are received. I could potentially run a poll in order to find out, but polls can be terribly artificial, and I’m really not one for them (only ever had the one to date). So, I’m going to take a chance and just throw the question out there: do you enjoy the “destination” reviews I provide and / or would you like to see a wider variety / different approach?

I ask, because the feedback on my profile feed whenever I post about places I visit, the feedback seems to be as consistent as when I post to my feed on other matters I blog about. However, the feedback on the blog articles themselves is somewhat more sporadic.

Compared to items on SL news and / or viewer reviews, the overall level of feedback for destination reviews is a lot lower. Granted, news is bound to generate more commentary, etc., and reviews of things like the viewer tend feedback from people as to their own experiences. But that said, and while I am definitely not using this post to try to garner more page “Likes” appearing on my destination reviews or anything remotely akin to that, it does leave me curious as to whether people enjoy reading my “destination” items, or whether perhaps they come across as the “same ol’, same ol'”?

Sea Salts
Sea Salts

Another reason for asking is that one of my aims in writing about places is that I hope to encourage people to go visit the places I blog about. While I certainly don’t expect people all to go running off and visit places based solely on the words which appear in these pages, it would also be nice to think that one or two at least read these entries and opt to hop over and take a look for themselves…

This doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to stop writing about the places I discover in Second Life which appeal to me. I like sticking my nose into the Destination Guide and seeing what I find, and I still have a list of “recommendations / requests” to work through. But I’m curious as to what people think.

Sea Salts
Sea Salts

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17 thoughts on “Solitary wanderings and stray thoughts

  1. I love your destination reviews. I’m always looking for new places to visit and take pictures in, and you often find different places from the other blogs I follow.

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  2. Your Destination Reviews always manage to remind me of the magic of Second Life. On days when I’m struggling (with technology, LL, my SL business, my SL community …) it’s wonderful to find something that inspires as highlighted in your posts. Just look at all the talent and creativity that abounds in SL!

    So thank you for these posts, I do hope that you continue on with them 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Tatiana! As mentioned on Twitter, I might try broadening the range of regions I visit and mixing things up a little more :).

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  3. I get a really nice infusion of groovy avatars (that’s my favorite success metric) after your visits and subsequent blogs.
    😉

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    1. Do you mind if I pass that metric on to Rod Humble?

      “Rod, you need to measure SL’s appeal not in terms of daily sign-ups, but in numbers of groovy avatars we increasingly see in-world.” 🙂

      Mind you, he has some pretty groovy avatars himself!

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  4. As promised, here are my thoughts:

    SL, as it stands, has a strong range of technical topics for people to discuss and, in that, they can be tremendously opinionated, which will lead them to post and comment ad nauseam. I believe this is why technical posts (either on Your blog or on others) attract more commenters and spark more lively and, more often than not, heated discussion.

    When it comes to destination reviews now… I’m sure they are read and appreciated by readers, although I do think some readers may think of Your blog as one that mostly offers lay(wo)man-friendly technical and other news about SL (which does look a bit like typecasting, if You ask me). However, it’s not easy to discuss a region in a blog that mentions it. The author is not the creator of the region and therefore there’s little for them to say about what the build is all about, unless the author is also the build’s creator. So, they just read the blog post, visit the region (if their viewer/computer combo can handle it) and get done with it.

    Do also remember that sometimes people can’t comment on a region until they’ve seen it for themselves.

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  5. And I’ll also dare to say that, as much as I appreciate and enjoy Your more technical posts (from which I learn quite a lot), I really like Your destination reviews, because they show me a glimpse of the beauty that can be found in SL, even if, on some occasions, I enjoy it vicariously (in the cases where my computer can’t really handle a specific region).

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  6. When I feel in an exploring mood I’ll often have a quick browse of the destination guide and my favorite destination blogs (such as yours) to inspire me as to where to go, or at least provide a starting point for my adventures. I think that is one of the reasons why these sorts of posts get fewer comments. By the time people visit the locations, it may be that quite some time has passed, so it seems odd to comment on an old article.

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  7. Thank you Inara Pey. I have been getting your blog for about 2 months now. Between you and one very good friend I have founsd and seen places that take my breath away. I would never have know about these places otherwise. The beautiful and amazing work that is created in SL to be viewed and enjoyed by others is a tremendous gift to us all. They deserve to be shown and shared as most are made to be. Felixx Shepherd of DiVinci/Sunken Atlantis once told me as I thanked him for those places, ” I am glad. This is made for people like you .”. And it is this way almost everywhere. These places need to be shown and seen. Thank you Inara Pey for helping to open the beautiful, fascinating world of SL to me and others.

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    1. Thank you!

      If ever you come across anywhere you think I might like to blog about, feel free to drop me an IM – I can’t promise to blog everything, but I’ll do my best to at least take a look :).

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  8. Inara,

    I absolutely hope you will continue with your Destination Reviews – don’t change a thing! Well, I don’t want to paint you into a corner there. Sure do new stuff, change it up if that’s what you feel, express yourself, that’s what a blog is for. But yeah, keep the Destination Reviews in the act.

    I first came to your blog for news and that is why I keep coming back. But the features are fun too and they make my visit to your blog enjoyable. I have visited the places you review a few times but I like seeing the ones I don’t have time to get to as well because your photos are truly beautiful and because I’m interested in what people are creating. When friends have asked if I know an interesting place for them to explore, I have directed them to your site (and Honour McMillan’s) and they have thanked me later for turning them on to these places and to your blogs. (This has happened again with two friends just recently.) Also, I like it when you give us a little RP writing in some of your reviews. That’s extra fun.

    And, if you’re looking for more beautiful places, as Winterfell Ambassador, I have to suggest you come to Winterfell to explore our sims. There are some great photo ops here. It wouldn’t surprise me if you say you have already done that back before I found your blog but if you haven’t, please check us out. Take the Winterfell Ferry – voted the Most Romantic Place in SL a couple years back – and you will find yourself jumping off to take snaps. IM me if you like and I can suggest where to start.

    I think I feel what you were going through when you wrote this piece as I’ve been there. Have no doubts about what you’re doing. If people didn’t like it, they would not be shy about letting you know.

    Thank you for producing such a top quality blog – informative, interesting, creative, and fun.

    Danko

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  9. Absolutely you should continue this wonderful way of sharing experiences that can be enjoyed by so many others, who might never find these intriguing places on their own! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.

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    1. Oh, not stopping them :). Just curious on the scope / format of the reports :). As mentioned in a reply above, might trying mixing the content a little more in terms of places visited. I love being out in the countryside, and this tends to be reflected in the nature of regions I mostly blog about, so have been concerned that it might cause some of the articles to “all blur together” or something. :).

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