Can you help the East River Community in Second Life?

East River Community
East River Community

Located on the mainland continent of Sansara, the East River Community (ERC) will this year celebrate its ninth year of operations in Second Life – although it can trace its roots as far back as 2006 with the MBYC, one of the first sailing clubs in Second Life – and sailing remains very much a part of the ERC’s activities.

Comprising a federation of groups, the intent within East River has always been to create an open, collaborative and convivial space for residents and businesses, nurturing the growth of relationships, friendships, personal projects, and encouraging collaborative activities  with both members and non-members of the community.

ERC has always been particularly engaged in fostering cultural activities and in enhancing the Mainland experience by demonstrating an attractive residential and commercial environment can be created purely through resident action. Newcomers are always welcome to explore the community’s regions, which offer a wide variety of public spaces including art galleries, cafés horse riding tracks, entertainment venues, nautical events, a harbour and airport for boating / flying enthusiasts and, for those wanting to get their first taste of water-based activities, a variety of free-access zero-cost boating.

Arriving at one of East River Community's airfields
Arriving at one of East River Community’s airfields

One of the mainstays of ERC has been its founder, Indigo Mertel – who has also contributed immensely to the Second Life community as a whole through a wide range of user-focused activities from establishing and building East River through to her work in curating and disseminating Second Life news form a wide range of notable sources, to the benefit of all users.

Indigo Mertal by Paola Tauber
Indigo Mertal by Paola Tauber

Not only did Indigo found East River, and has been active within the community throughout its live and growth, she has been responsible for holding and managing six of the community’s regions, including meetings much of the financial cost in maintaining them. She recently contacted me with some sad news – and with her permission, I’m reprinting it here in the hope that one or more people might be able to step forward and help.

“I’ve been contributing to the East River Community with land for years,” Indigo revealed in a note she passed out to bloggers on Sunday, February 5th. “But many things have changed in my physical life these past months, and I am now in the sad position of no longer able to contribute to the community as I have done in the past.

“I’ve procrastinated this decision for a long time, because I was very uncomfortable with the idea of harming or breaking a community many have put so much effort into helping to build. But eventually, I had to come to a decision.

“We all want the East River Community to survive, and so I’m putting out a call to everyone, both within ERC and beyond, in the hope we can find donors willing to offer tier to the group so that East River can continue to be a vibrant part of Second Life. And with this in mind, I intend to continue covering the costs involved for a limited time, so that those with a desire to help ERC can contact me directly.”

If you are in a position to help ensure ERC continues as we know it today, regardless of whether you are active in the community or not, please contact Indigo in-world.

You can find out a lot more about ERC by visiting the ERC website, and by watching a Designing Worlds special on the community, which I’ve embedded below.



11 thoughts on “Can you help the East River Community in Second Life?

  1. Your screenshots made me curious and I gave a peek. I sailed for years in SL, but I’m not sure if I ever heard of that community. Maybe it was more famous 9 years ago. The place looks interesting, the airport too (something tickles my memory, perhaps I passed from there a couple of times).
    But that “vibrant part of Second Life” has almost zero traffic actually.
    Her blog hasn’t been updated for more than a year (November 2015), and before that it didn’t look so active anyway, with an handful of posts in 2015. It looks like the blog was mostly active between the second half of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Then, going backward, it skips to 2011.
    It looks all kinda dead and abandoned since a long while now. I don’t know how much of a community is still there.

    The most helpful thing for those communities (in general, I don’t know the specific case) is to delegate, share tasks, create a management group and teamwork, not just donors, and to make yourself as less indispensable as possible; so that if something happens to you, or you want to quit, you won’t harm or break the community. When SL or RL communities depends entirely or mostly on just a single person, they are quite fragile: as soon as that person can’t continue, the community is dead or won’t go far.
    Creating teams is easier on larger and active groups though. Usually SL communities aren’t so large, active people are even less, besides some exception. Meanwhile the land is expensive. Nice places keep disappearing, which is a pity. I hope someone helps and I wish Indigo good luck both in SL and her physical life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, the community may look quiet (like many places in SL) but it is not dead. While the community is rather vast, we are a small group of people. Our community is a federation of groups, landowners and is run by a Steering Committee. The fact that the blog has not been updated in a long time has to do with my RL commitments. I was the person in charge to promote the community and coordinate events. Those who want to contribute to the community may see this as an opportunity to manage some of the tasks in the community. We have many facilities which can be used to run all kind of events.

      BTW, we have two airports. The one you probably saw is the smaller one.


      1. Yup, I flew into the smaller airstrip, rather than the larger airport, as the former is more suited to light aircraft 🙂 .


    2. Like many places in SL, activity in ERC can vary. I’ve been there both at times when it has appeared to be almost deserted, and other time when it has been very busy, both with locals and with visitors, on land and on the water. How you find it can easily come down to the time-of-day when you visit, and what else is going on in SL.


  2. I’ve boated through ERC many times on my way to the Sea of Fables. It’s a nice place but like much of SL’s communities, it feels haunted since while the boats and buildings are there, the people aren’t.
    Perhaps more activities there planned around the clock will perk interest in the site, or asking Linden to make part of East River a part of the Linden Historical sites. Getting people from various Real World locations involved would help with the population issues as would allowing New People to “Set as Home” some part of the East River Community by either membership or area designation. IMHO, the trick there is to get new Residents involved with East River if you want increased participation and increased support. It’s more than just an artists’ and sailing area and that “more” needs to be exploited to keep Tier paid and people interested in the area.


  3. I’ve just read this today. Do you still need help? I hope things have gotten better for you (and ERC) since you posted this article.
    I do like to help whenever i can. Mostly i’ve tipped the owner of a place when i like it, or recommended it to friends. I hope that helps too.


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