“If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2)

Who what where when how

By Caledonia Skytower

Part Two: The Basics – Who? What? Where? When? How?

When promoting any event, you will need to create text and images to aid you in your efforts to attract interested people to your event or venue – to spread the word.  It does not matter whether it is posting or a poster, these five basics should always be front and centre: Who? What? Where? When? followed closely by How?

You have a finger’s snap worth of time to catch someone’s attention.  If a potential participant looks at your material and cannot answer the first four of those five questions in less than 15 seconds, you have lost them.  If you want to attract an audience, people beyond your friends list, don’t make it hard for them.  Forget the catchy subtitles, or the extensive explanations.  Distil the essential details into quick bites, simple phrases, and make them prominent.  The other information is just that: “other.”  Once someone’s attention is caught, THEN you can dazzle them with your witty descriptive prose and all the cool people who are making things happen.

Promoting your event: the Who and What

Who and What. The “What” is the number one single most important detail, and should be the first thing people notice.  It should be concise and precise: Is it music?  Is it live? Is it a DJ? Is it Theatre? Dance? Poetry? Literature? Gallery exhibition? Fund-raiser?  “Keep it simple.”  If you are in doubt, say the words to yourself out loud, “keep it simple!”

It is easy to mistake “Who” as an invitation to laundry list everyone involved. DON’T.  Name the venue, the group behind it, the sponsor; or if none of those apply, don’t put anything at all.  Those people who might get prickly because their name did not get on the poster as someone who is a part of it are not thinking about how successful your event is going to be, they are thinking about the glamour of being on the poster.  If they really were invested on the success of your event, they’d be happily distributing your poster and inviting everyone on their friends list to come instead of wheezing about poster details.

“Who” is always secondary to “What.”  “What” rules.  “What” is supreme.

Examples (with “What” underlined) :

  • Seamus’ Pub brings you DJ Liam McNarry
  • Seanchai Library presents “Tales of Despereaux”
  • Paul Barkley Live, in Concert at the Whoo Doo Lounge

When you have a “Who” that is a specific group or venue, and your operations are on-going (you produce more than one event – ever) then “Who” becomes a critical part of building your audience long-term.  If you produce successful events, you want people to know that it is you behind this one.  You want them to see your “Who” and say, “They do great stuff.  I might go to that.”  So while “What” is always supreme, do not forget “Who” and attach it as closely as you can.  Your objective is for people to think of them together, even though they are two distinct questions.

Promoting events: the Where and When

Where & When. Be specific with your date and time.  Be aware that you are trying to recruit an audience from all over the world – different time zones.  So it is important to be clear.

Don’t assume, as many people do, that everyone thinks about virtual events in SLT (Second Life Time).  True, Linden Labs designated SLT as a means of coming up with a uniform time rubric for the entire grid. However, there are those who still stubbornly stick to the central references used in other world endeavours such as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). You can’t please everyone. Pick a time zone identifier that is going to be easy for the greatest amount of your audience, existing and potential, to interpret, Stick with it and indicate it clearly.  Don’t get all fancy by listing an array of times in different zones; you’ll just confuse people. Everyone does time maths in Second Life: those outside Pacific time do the maths, and I assure you that those of us who live in Pacific time do the maths when planning for our friends around the world.

Sometimes “Where” will overlap with “Who.” As long as you are conscious of that, and you have answered the question effectively, you are good.  There’s no need to duplicate.

Be sure that you liberally make available either the landmark or the grid address (SLurl) of the place where your event will be taking place.  Pass it out like holiday candy that you bought on clearance.  Most recently I have been including both landmarks and SLurls, whenever possible, to my in-world communication.  Some of the more specialised Third-Party Viewers (like Radegast) deal with location information in different ways to meet the special needs of their users.

Bottom line: everywhere that your “What” is, there your “When” and “Where” should be too; quick and easy to access. (calendar, blog, Facebook, Google+, notecard, poster – everywhere!) Do no assume!

Continue reading ““If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2)”

BURN2: Burnal Equinox 2016

via the BURN2 website
via the BURN2 website

Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd, 2016, marks the 2016 BURN2 Burnal Equinox event, which will take place at Burning Man Deep Hole.

The theme for the event is Picnic in the Playa, with the announcement press release reading in part:

After all these years, the rains that sometimes hit the Playa have come to damp the dust down more often. What has long been a dry lake bed is slowly filling once again from meagre trickles of water that are finally able to sustain some life.

A few plants are taking hold here and there but trees are yet to spread their canopies. In celebration of the Equinox we once more head to our Home for our first gathering of the year, a giant communal picnic. A new fresh living Home awaits, for us to start a new fresh year.

Those wishing to participate in the Burnal Equinox as a builder are invited to complete and submit the builder application form, and are asked to read the builder guide prior to submitting their application.

The press release notes that applications for DJs, live musicians and performers who wish to take part in the event will open shortly – check the BURN2 website for updates.

BURN2 Burnal Equinox 2015: Cienega Soon
BURN2 Burnal Equinox 2015: Cienega Soon

About BURN2

BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man festival and community into the world of Second Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man regional event, and the only virtual world event out of more than 100 real world Regional groups and the only regional event allowed to burn the man.

The BURN2 Team operates events year around, culminating in an annual major festival of community, art and fire in the fall – a virtual echo of Burning Man itself.

Related Links

2016 viewer release summaries: week 5

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 7th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version:, January 15 – no change download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • HTTP updates and Vivox RC viewer updated to version on February 4th – combines the Project Azumarill RC and Vivox Voice RC updates into a single viewer  (download and release notes)
    • Maintenance RC viewer released on February 2 – 38 updates. fixes and tweaks for memory leaks; viewer crashes; UI, permissions and mesh uploader bugs; visual muting issues, autopilot issues and duplicated calling cards (Download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



  • Cool VL Viewer updated as follows: Stable version to and Experimental branch to, both on February 6th (release notes).

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: Juno, Orion and getting to Mars

An artist's impression of Juno orbiting Jupiter (Nasa JPL)
An artist’s impression of Juno orbiting Jupiter (Nasa JPL)

Juno is the name of the NASA deep space vehicle due to rendezvous with Jupiter in July 2016. Launched August 5th, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mission is designed to study Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere, as well as seeking evidence and clues on how the planet formed, including whether it has a solid core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, how its mass is distributed, and its deep winds, which can reach speeds of 618 kilometres per hour (384 mph).

Unlike most vehicles designed to operate beyond the orbit of Mars, which tend to utilise radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) to produce their electrical power, Juno uses three massive solar arrays, the largest ever deployed on a planetary probe, which play an integral role in stabilising the spacecraft.

On arrival at Jupiter on July 4th, 2016, Juno will enter a 14-day polar orbit around the planet, where it will remain through the duration of the mission, which should last until February 2018, when the vehicle, fuel for its manoeuvring systems almost depleted, will be commanded to perform a de-orbit manoeuvre and burn-up in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere.

Juno's journey
Juno’s journey (image: NASA)

Currently travelling at some 25 kilometres per second relative to the Earth and 7.6 kilometres per second relative to the Sun, Juno has used a 5-year gravity assist mission to reach its destination.

The first part of this saw the craft launched into an extended orbit about Earth which carried it beyond the orbit of Mars (2012), before swinging back to make a close flyby of Earth in 2013 which both used Earth’s gravity well to accelerate the craft and as a “slingshot” to curve it onto a trajectory that would carry it to Jupiter.

By the time Juno enters orbit around Jupiter, it will have travelled some 2.8 billion kilometres (1.74 billion miles, or 18.7 AU).

Juno’s planned polar orbit is highly elliptical and takes it to within 4,300 kilometres (2,672 mi) of either pole at its closest approach to the planet, while at its furthest point from Jupiter, it will be beyond the orbit of Callisto, hence the 14–day orbital period. This extreme orbit allows Juno to avoid any long-term contact with Jupiter’s powerful radiation belts, which might otherwise cause significant damage to the vehicle’s solar power arrays and electronics. Overall, Juno will receive much lower levels of radiation exposure than the Galileo mission. But even allowing for this, there is no guarantee the exposed science instruments on the vehicle will last the full duration of the mission. Scientists and engineers are hoping the JunoCam and Jovian Infra-red Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), will last at least eight of the mission’s 37 orbits of Juptier, and that the microwave radiometer will survive for at least eleven orbits.On Wednesday February 3rd, 2016, the vehicle completed the first of two final manoeuvres designed to correctly align it with its intended point of orbital insertion around Jupiter. The second such manoeuvre will take just before Juno is due to arrive at Jupiter.   The spacecraft’s name comes from Greco-Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, but his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and see Jupiter’s true nature – just as it is hoped the mission will probe deep into the planet’s atmosphere and reveal its true nature and origins.

Orion at Kennedy Space Centre

Now set for launch in September 2018 on a circumlunar mission lasting 20 days, the second Orion space vehicle arrived at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016. The vehicle, sans its outer skin and massing 1.22 tonnes, arrived from NASA’s assembly facility iin Louisiana by air aboard the agency’s “Super Guppy” transporter, which has been transporting space vehicle components since the Apollo era.

Further construction activities and a variety of tests will be performed at KSC and NASA’s Glenn Research Centre in Ohio to prepare the craft for its mission, officially titled Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1). This will see the uncrewed Orion launched for the first time with and operational, European-built Service Module atop its dedicated Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

A European Orion Service Module having the launch payload fairings attached to it. The Orion vehicle is attached to the circular part of the Service module visible at the top. This was a structure flight test article used in Orion's first test flight in December 2014 (image: Airbus / ESA)
A European Orion Service Module having the launch payload fairings attached to it. The Orion vehicle is attached to the circular part of the Service module visible at the top. This was a structure flight test article used in Orion’s first test flight in December 2014 (image: ESA / NASA)

“This mission is pretty exciting to us,” Scott Wilson, NASA’s Orion production manager, said as the capsule arrived at KSC. “It is the first time we will have the operational human-rated version of Orion on top of the SLS rocket. It’s a lot of work, but a very exciting time for us.”

The flight will see the Orion system launched into Earth orbit, where a purpose-built upper stage propulsion unit will power the craft onto a flight towards the Moon.

Orion will use the relatively low lunar gravity to both accelerate it and throw it into an elliptical orbit, carrying it a further 70,000 kilometres beyond the Moon – almost half a million kilometres (312,500 miles) from Earth – further than any space vehicle designed to carry humans has yet flown.

Following this, the vehicle will swing back towards Earth, passing the Moon once more before the Command Module separates from the Service Module to make a controlled entry into Earth’s atmosphere and a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

The flight will be a comprehensive test of the European-built Service Module, which is vital for providing power and propulsion to the Orion capsule, and which is being built using  the expertise Europe gained in building and operating the Automated Transfer Vehicle, which remains the largest ISS resupply vehicle so far used in space.  The Service Module includes four post-launch deployable solar panels for electrical power, and provides power, heat rejection, the in-space propulsion capability for orbital transfer, attitude control and high-altitude ascent aborts. It also houses water, oxygen and nitrogen for deep space missions.

Like the Apollo Command and Service modules vehicles, the Orion capsule sits on top of the Service Module at launch, covered by the launch abort system shroud, the service Module protected by special payload fairings and mated to the SLS upper stage propulsion unit. The launch abort system and the fairings are jettisoned once the Orion has reached low Earth obit and has separated from the rest of the SLS booster. The Service Module solar panels are then deployed, and the upper stage of the booster re-fires, sending Orion on its way.

The 2018 mission will be followed in 2023 by a similar flight, this time carrying a crew of four further into space than any humans have ever previously been. Together, Orion and the SLS are intended to be the backbone of America’s return to the moon and for human missions to Mars.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: Juno, Orion and getting to Mars”