“If you just build it, They might not come: promoting events in Second Life” (5)

Wassilly Kandinsky - Composition viii, 1923
Wassilly Kandinsky – Composition viii, 1923

 by Caledonia Skytower

Part 5. Building a network

I was reminded recently of the importance, value, and challenges of building a network when trying to conduct any endeavour successfully.  I could drag out the platitudes, “no man is an island” and all that.  The reality is that no one achieves success on solely their own efforts and merits.  No one.  You need connections: internally to support and keep you honest to your intent; externally to extend your reach and maintain a beneficial presence.  Through the relationships you build, your endear establishes its reputation and gains strength.  It becomes a part of the greater community it inhabits, not just a landmark feature of it.

I use the term “build” deliberately.  I know that the term “grow” is more in vogue, and it works to illustrate more organic developments.  Relationships, however, are hard work – constant work – “one bolt at a time” work.  Each one of them is different, and must be handled based on its individual merits. Some are consumers, some are collegial, some are resources.  The list of possibilities continues.

Human Networks - public domain
Human Networks – public domain

Social media and networking gurus like to use neat images of connected concentric circles, or human-like figurines in one-size-fits-all uniformity with orderly straight lines to illustrate networks.  I believe that human networks look less like a circuitry plot, and more like the work of Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky.

In Kandinsky’s abstract work, slashes, circles and other geometric shapes overlay and intersect in what seems like a chaotic clamour.  What really exists is a delicate balance of  colour and geometry – the like with the unlike – the complementary with the contrasting.  Each intersection is totally unique.  I think that’s what a network of relationships really looks like.

A successful network is a wild mixture of all the connections you need to thrive viably, and/or sustainably – whichever you desire.  You need:

  • Black – relationships that are solid and the foundation of your work within, and your presence without.  These are the true believers who “get” what you do, and support you absolutely.
  • Blue – relationships that connect you with valuable resources and people of influence in your area of endeavour.  These are people you can learn from, and go to when you need insight and advice.
  • Yellow – relationships with people who you just like.  They do great things, and you can’t help but want to be around them, or associated with them because you admire their spirit, creativity, energy, whatever.  They make you feel good.
  • Red – relationships that challenge you.  These can be some of the hardest relationships to make and maintain.  None of us does our best unless we are stretched a little.  Establishing a good, respectful working relationships with people whose ideas push us to be more than we might be otherwise are invaluable.

These relationships all look different.  Some will be inscribed boldly, and others will be faint washes across your canvas.  All of these have value, and play a different role in the overall composition of your network.

Wassilly Kandinsky - Circles in a Circle, 1923
Wassilly Kandinsky – Circles in a Circle, 1923

To move from the esoteric to the concrete we need an example, so I’ll use Seanchai Library. When the library was just a kernel of an idea, nine years ago, founder Derry McMahon did not just jump into terraforming a parcel and designing a logo (which we all tend to do when we get excited about an idea – guilty!).  She took time to visit different libraries around the grid, and get to know the people involved with them.  Her connections in her professional life helped this – the person who introduced her to virtual worlds was a friend and colleague.

She also took the time to observe.  She asked herself key questions about what she observed. She specifically asked herself what would serve residents in a manner that was not already being provided for. A library of the spoken word was a gamble, and some days it still is.  It involved all sorts of different relationships inside the library community, and outside of it.

Today, Shandon Loring and I maintain relationships for Seanchai with a wide variety of people and organizations.  Some are ongoing relationships that are engaged all the time, and some come and go as opportunity and mutual needs dictate.  They vary widely from connections in the literary community, the arts, bloggers and media, land developers, educators.  We need each and every one of them to stay dynamic and viable.

These key questions will help you assess a potential relationship:

    1. What do you have in common?
    2. What do you have to offer?
    3. What would benefit you?
    4. What is the risk, if any?

One absolute requirement of these connections, or any relationship for that matter, is that they be 100% genuine and based on mutual respect and benefit. You must have something to offer each other – something to exchange as equals.  Anything less and the connection is one-sided, and ultimately will collapse.

Wassilly Kandinsky - Deepened Impulse (detail), 1928
Wassilly Kandinsky – Deepened Impulse (detail), 1928

Continue reading ““If you just build it, They might not come: promoting events in Second Life” (5)”

Watch The Tyger, Radheya’s latest machinima triumph

Tyger, Tyger
Tyger, Tyger

I’ve been following – albeit from a distance – the creative talent of young film-maker and machinima maker Radheya Jegatheva. The son of Second Life colleague and friend, Jayjay Zinfanwe (of University of Western Australia fame), Radheya has shown an extraordinary gift for story telling through video and animation.

In May I wrote about Radheya’s success – helped in part by Second Life residents  – in the #MyFreoStory video competition. Now the 17-year-old’s latest work has taken no fewer that three national and international prizes.

Entitled The Tyger and created using iClone 3D animation software, is a visual / aural telling of William Blake’s classic 1794 poem, The Tyger. At the end of June it received the Best Film award at the Asiagraph Reallusion 3D International Film Competition in Taiwan. Just 24 hours later it received the Best Junior Short Film award at the Warburton Film Festival, based in Victoria, in his home country of Australia, before also gaining the Best Australian Cinema Now award at the Sydney World Film Festival.

Radheya Jegatheva: young filmmaker and machinima maker
Radheya Jegatheva: young filmmaker and machinima maker

The Tyger is very much a family affair. Radheya used iClone to create the visuals seen in the film, including the stunning tiger, seen in the still in the banner to this piece. He then enlisted the help of his father to narrate the poem over the images.

Radheya selected the poem as being symbolic of a piece of very personal family history.

“The poem is a favourite of mine,” Jayjay explained as we discussed his son’s successes. “My mum would recite it to me when I was young. Then Radheya learned from his grand-aunt that the poem was the reason my mum and dad met.”

Jayjay continued, “My mum won an oratorical competition reciting The Tyger. Her prize was the opportunity to act in a major stage drama – and my dad was acting in that same drama. So they met purely because of The Tyger.”

Nor do things end there. “We’ve been informed that Tyger, Tyger has been selected for showing at two further international film festivals,” Jayjay told me.

In August, the film will be shown at the International Festival of Animated Film for Children and Youth, which will be held in Nis, Serbia – and Rayheya’s work is the only non-European selection made by the festival organisers in the 13-17 year-old category.  Then in November, it will be shown at the 6th Festival Internacional Pequeno Cineasta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The film has had an impact in other ways as well. Tim Heath,  Chair of the Blake Society in London, contacted Radheya to say the Society would be covering the film is their newsletter. Radheya and his family have also been contacted by universities and schools from across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia, stating they would like to use the film as a teaching tool in classes on literature, poetry and romanticism, as it presents a new means by which poetry can be interpreted.

This is another remarkable set of achievements for Radheya, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass on my congratulations to him on all of his recent success, and to wish him all the best for the upcoming festivals in Serbia and Brazil.

2016 viewer release summaries: week 27

Updates for the week ending Sunday, July 10th

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

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers


  • No updates.


  • Cool VL viewer Stable branch updated to version and the Experimental branch updated to version, both on July 9th (release notes)

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

When Pink Floyd eats your sim in Second Life

Furillen: Pink Floyd Ate My Sim
Furillen: “Pink Floyd Ate My Sim”

Furillen, Serene Footman’s homestead region, is a beautifully atmospheric place (see my last post on it from December 2015). Given this, it is quite possibly the last location you might expect to come across a celebration of English rock band Pink Floyd. But for a short period of time, that’s exactly what has happened.

“I enjoy transforming the sim for events – the Bowie and Radiohead weekends will always be highlights for me of the sim’s first six months – but this one really did get out of hand.” Serene says of the region’s current incarnation, as he introduces it in a post he’s called Pink Floyd Ate My Sim.

Furillen: Pink Floyd Ate My Sim
Furillen: “Pink Floyd Ate My Sim”

In place of the region’s normal sombre skies and brooding landscape (some of the familiar buildings remain), sits a marvellous tribute to Pink Floyd which includes iconic album covers through to commemorations of live tours and scenes from the group’s music videos – and more.

“It was carnage as some of Furillen’s biggest landmarks were hoovered up into my inventory,” Serene states. “When this is over, I’ll be taking full advantage of the option to ‘restore to last position’!”

Furillen: Pink Floyd Ate My Sim
Furillen: “Pink Floyd Ate My Sim”

In the meantime, visitors can variously enjoy Battersea power station, complete with pig floating overhead (Animals, 1977), which brackets the landing point between itself and that iconic wall from the 1979 album of the same name, whilst alongside the power station sit the rows of beds from 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason. And that’s just the start of things.

With Pink Floyd songs playing in the music stream (a 13 hour play list featuring every studio album made by Pink Floyd, in chronological order, no less!), a spinning CD of The Wall forming the landing point (courtesy of Tizzy Canucci) and a terrain texture taken from the album, Furillen is a veritable nirvana for Floyd fans. So much so that it’s hard not to get entirely snap-happy as you wander / cam around!

Furillen: Pink Floyd Ate My Sim
Furillen: “Pink Floyd Ate My Sim”

As well as the references to album covers visitors will also find references to individual songs by the group and to members of the band – Serene helpfully provides a list of all the points of interest if you don’t want to miss anything.

This is a spectacular, fun exhibit Whether viewed as a tribute to Pink Floyd or as an artictic statement or simply as a little bit of fun, the end result really is eye-catching and a must-see. So if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to hop over to Furillen. Serene has promised to hold off hitting the “restore” button until around mid-week after July 10th; and when you visit, do please consider making a donation towards the region’s upkeep so Serene can continue to provide us with delights like this.

Furillen: Pink Floyd Ate My Sim
Furillen: “Pink Floyd Ate My Sim”

SLurl Details