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Old 05-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Last Message from Ina Centaur on Second Life

Got this in my morning deluge of notices and send-outs.

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Dear mShakespeare and Primtings Patrons,

The Globe has been silent the year so far, as we figure out what to do on the new tier costs -- if anything we can do. Primtings valiantly raised the needed amount to maintain its tier in time, but the 4-sim arts mecca infrastructure of sLiterary is in danger.

It seems there’s a limit to the funds an organization can raise in Second Life for a purely inworld cause. Pooling all efforts together, we were only able to fundraise the costs of two full sims -- focusing the fundraising effort on Primtings, with member shareholder support on Shakespeare. Inevitably, the 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre will be losing two sims, and Second Life would be losing a rare historical theatre for live performance with large audience capacity. The timeline for deletion is uncertain, and it might happen any day now. But...

Myself and several others have made appeals to Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble on saving my account and these two sims, and thereby the 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre. It’s not yet clear what his decision is or how divine intervention might come to play. Perhaps, there’s still hope...

Currently, my account is locked out of Second Life. We are $3,245 behind in unpaid tier fees, and as many of you have already donated to save Primtings and Shakespeare, it is unlikely to raise the additional amount for the other two sims. I am unable to send this message to you directly from my avatar because of this. There is a chance that my avatar and virtual possessions might be deleted completely on June 3 or thereabouts. Shakespeare and Primtings tier have been paid 6 months in advance starting from February 23, but as my account would be unable to renew come next turn, that would be the end of everything.

Like Cirque du Soleil, in that other life, we started as homeless nomadic street performers -- from absolutely nothing that somehow managed to accumulate land and a following and a brand, all without any external funding. It was a good run, but if only Second Life could be as limitless and far-reaching as real life. We’ve done all that we can in Second Life. It’s an end to an era that you’d be witnessing. The uncertainty lies in how it will turn out.

In the event that this is my last message to you, then it’s all up to you -- the theatre and the spirit of creation lives through you -- the precious few we’ve touched through circumstances unlikely in Real Life.

Thank you for sharing a dream that should otherwise never have lasted.

Best,
Ina Centaur

A Last Message from Ina Centaur | Primtings Blog
mShakespeare Blog 2009-2010 » Blog Archive » A Last Message from Ina Centaur in Second Life
It'll be sad to see the Globe sims go. It was one of the first places I ever explored in SL (along with Mont Saint-Michel) that got me hooked on what could be accomplished in SL.

Cue the usual rants about how LL is fucking people over, or whatever. Just thought folks might want to know.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm having Privateer Space flashbacks once again. (._.)
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have had nothing but negative experiences dealing with primtings. Between the never-ending spam, the repeated lying by the owner about being taken off the list (and never did), and the numerous ARs that resulted, the closure of those regions couldn't come fast enough to suit me.

In the meantime, these are lean times in SL. Keeping four sims financially afloat is a tough task, no matter how many superlatives one puts in the description.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ina is a person of great talent, vision and energy, but perhaps mailing list administration isn't her best skill I wasn't close enough to the group to see why SL Shakespeare never quite attained sustainability. I wish now that I had offered to help her with grants; though I have no expertise, I have a little theatre experience and am familiar with how helpful they can be if you hit them right, and how unapproachable if you don't. I will always wonder now whether I could have helped.

I'm forgetting now which Linden ... was it Pathfinder? ... was a member of the performing company for the first couple of years. The first year or so, performances were MOBBED. Playing on a lappie, crashes were a matter of course for me. But I still went. It was a challenge to figure out how to dress up for the theatah wearing only system clothes!

I worked for a few performances as an usher We had uniforms. Our main task was to help bewildered people in private IM. I posted performance notifications to the old forums and Cartel notices for a while.

It was one of the first performance venues to use SL Voice, which bewildered some people. I wrote an audience guide that Ina used for a bit .... it let people know that Voice was in use and how to set it up. It also was the first venue I encountered where seats took over camera control, to help you find the stage. Ina had a good scripter, I forget who it was.

The Globe was the first place I ever saw gatherings of oldbies and merchants whose names I knew. Timeless Prototype went to many shows, I recall.

Primtings was also really neat, it included an interactive library with SL novels on attractive display. Haven't been there in ages. Never joined its group.

Ina made skins and shapes for some performances, and much of the costuming was stunning. A few pieces are still on sale in SL.

I haz a sad.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, but just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you should get free tier. Your idea has to be good, and sustainable, otherwise it's not a good idea. It's annoying these people (not just Ina, but the elf group and many others) think that they are too big to fail. It may work with the US Gov. but not here in SL.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by newfie View Post
I have had nothing but negative experiences dealing with primtings. Between the never-ending spam, the repeated lying by the owner about being taken off the list (and never did), and the numerous ARs that resulted, the closure of those regions couldn't come fast enough to suit me.

In the meantime, these are lean times in SL. Keeping four sims financially afloat is a tough task, no matter how many superlatives one puts in the description.
Sorry for your negative experiences, but you might want to read it again. Primtings isn't the part that's closing. They raised their tier. It's the Globe sims that are going away. I've been on their mailing list for almost two years now, and this was the first I heard of any trouble, way too late. So I doubt mShakespear deserves any vitriol. But that's just my opinion, and you're free to yours.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's annoying these people (not just Ina, but the elf group and many others) think that they are too big to fail. It may work with the US Gov. but not here in SL.
That's some serious reading between the lines, there. Mind showing me where Ina said she deserved what she was asking for? All she did was ask for it, without the Wayfinder Flounce.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nimrod Yaffle View Post
I'm sorry, but just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you should get free tier. Your idea has to be good, and sustainable, otherwise it's not a good idea. It's annoying these people (not just Ina, but the elf group and many others) think that they are too big to fail. It may work with the US Gov. but not here in SL.
I'm out of Schadenfreude pie, but I see you have some already.

My reaction to her appealing to Rod Humble is, "can't blame a girl for trying!". Given the non-immense amount owing, it appears that the elimination of nonprofit discounts is what finally sunk them. I think Humble should have his attention drawn to what a colossally stupid decision that was. They could have eliminated the abusers without tossing education and the arts out the fucking window.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The way in which RL corporations could get the biggest bang for their SL promotions buck would be to underwrite ventures just such as this. For pocket change and minimal oversight, they could garner more exposure for their brand name than a product store that doesn't meet SL creative standards.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not surprised, this isn't anything new. If the announcement that the group was moving to Opensim wasn't enough to kill their SL involvement, then certainly the subsequent lack of activity did.

Quote:
The Globe has been silent the year so far, as we figure out what to do on the new tier costs
Altruism for the sake of art is admirable, but it doesn't entitle one to avoid paying tier. If costs were an issue, perhaps they should have decided to do something about the sims back when they knew they needed to make a decision. 5 months of tier on two regions?

Yeah, i'm not surprised the account was suspended.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ive never heard of them.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's a huge auditorium on the corners of the LEA sims (Linden Endowment of the Arts or somesuch) Perhaps this troupe of players could move there along with any other troupe looking for a place to stage their work. I'm pretty sure that's what its for and it would be quite good to see it filled regularly with all kinds of plays, dances, recitals, etc.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ive never heard of them.
I haven't either and I received that note. Can't figure out why for the life of me.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Since her account is locked out, I don't know if she'll see an inworld IM, but maybe someone can direct her here.

I can't afford tier on 4 or 2 more sims that don't cover their costs, but I'd be willing to let them use my theatre, a 2 sim venue, for no charge aside from free advertising in their programs. I could in effect be one of their sponsors. The theatre doesn't resemble the Globe, but is state of the art and capable of handling large productions. If anyone from SL Shakespeare sees this, you can contact me inworld - Ayesha Lytton.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My perspective is that it's in LL's best interest to make those ideas that draw people in to SL, or are a means of retaining people in SL, succeed.

A part of that is incentives, sure, but there's also the issues of promotion and efficiency. Now, I didn't see the sims in question here myself, but if the creators built like the vast majority of people in SL build, that four sims' worth of content could probably fit comfortably inside a single sim. I won't go into my usual rant but there it is, from the sound of it this entire situation could have been avoided. I blame LL for making it so difficult to build efficiently and effectively.

As for promotion, LL really should do more to draw attention to SL's best attractions. Especially the "best kept secrets". If some of SL's best attractions are going entirely unnoticed by the vast majority of residents, LL is shooting themselves in the foot. I haven't tried the new-new search yet, but if it works as well as advertised that could be a huge step in the right direction. A better run Destinations Guide would be another. Why is the official viewer not set up so people can visit the sims where the start screen screenshots were taken? Why isn't that start screen being used to show off SL? Some of the screenshots in the rotation are just plain bad and people have no idea where to find the really nice looking places shown.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The 4 sim thing is to reduce lag and increase capacity. You can theoretically seat 300 people plus have the stage on its own sim.

Mine is a 2 sim venue, so it can seat 100 and the stage remains less laggy.

I wonder why no one ever charges for tickets? It would at least help cover costs. I'm seriously considering doing ticketed events or a subscription system. People need to understand that shows have value, and performers and venue owners deserve to be paid for their work.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Fair point, I didn't consider capacity. You're right about tickets, too. Wouldn't need to be much. Make the tickets low-priced and put on a good show and at the very least you ease the financial burden.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's some serious reading between the lines, there. Mind showing me where Ina said she deserved what she was asking for? All she did was ask for it, without the Wayfinder Flounce.
The whole tone of the message felt like very.... I don't actually even know the word, so it's hard to express. Now, I do believe LL definitely should find a way to help everyone with artistic ideas out, but when it comes to playing favorites, they should not. It was also odd they stated the exact dollar amount. If your model is based on donations, it more than likely will fail at some time, so you should be prepared and expect it, but where things get fun. If you have an innovative mind and are open to change, then you can figure out ways to make it.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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My problem with this is a good demonstration of discouraging people from investing regular amounts of money into SL - if you can't make a payment you get locked out of your account and lose everything - if you don't contribute regular amounts of money, then you never have that problem.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The 4 sims were rented to Avenue Modeling all the time for huge fashion shows. I haven't seen any big shows from Avenue there for a while, maybe that hurt a little too?


I am all for art but art needs to be able to support itself, like Nimrod said.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My problem with this is a good demonstration of discouraging people from investing regular amounts of money into SL - if you can't make a payment you get locked out of your account and lose everything - if you don't contribute regular amounts of money, then you never have that problem.
If you don't pay your bills in real life what happens? If you don't pay rent they lock you out and toss all your belongings in the street and send you a bill for it all.

You don't get over $3000 USD over night, that is almost 3 months of tier, so obviously LL has been nice and has worked with Ina because they will lock you out for being like 7 or 10 days late.

Tons of people have lost their accounts over not being able to pay their bills. LL helping Ina out will set a really bad example.

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I wonder why no one ever charges for tickets? It would at least help cover costs. I'm seriously considering doing ticketed events or a subscription system. People need to understand that shows have value, and performers and venue owners deserve to be paid for their work.
Because no one would pay, that is why people don't charge. There are very few if any events people will pay for in SL
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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This news has been a looong time in coming. Every few months I would teleport into her Skin City sim (usually to pick up a freebie pair of eyes for an alt), and it was almost always deserted. I can't think that she's been making many sales lately. So sad that this had to happen, but not a surprise to me at all.

(Skin City was/is one of her four sLiterary sims, with an overall style based on the monochrome comic Sin City. It was always fun to wander around, and Ina left, or forgot about, many discarded pop cans and bottlecaps with free eyes as prizes from hunts back in 2007/2008. Ina never had been successful in getting all of her empty stores rented out, but near the end she had almost zero tenants. So not only no sales, no rent coming in either.)

Also, I wonder if Ina had ever considered moving some or all of her builds over to InWorldz or some other OpenSim-based grid. She'd have a lot fewer visitors, but she'd save a lot of money on rental. Marketed right, such an endeavour would bring people *into* an OpenSim world, much like the Center for American Architecture and Design will bring people into InWorldz (by the wy, if you haven't been yet, do go see the exhibits. It's still starting up but there's already a fair bit to see.)

And... I seem to remember (I may be wrong) that Ina Centaur had an alt called Ina Minotaur. If she has an alt, it's likely that the alt was not banned, and she should be able to get in-world to send a message.

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I am all for art but art needs to be able to support itself, like Nimrod said.
True, however LL also needs to make it feasible to create self-sustaining content. For the better part of a decade now they've failed to improve upon the content creation tools allowing us to create more interactive and engaging content. There's currently only so much you can do to try and keep people interested in a sim or set of sims. As it becomes more difficult to sustain content in SL, SL loses content. This means LL loses incentives for people to join or stay in SL.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #25 (permalink)
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If the powers-that-be don't agree to a prorated or discounted fee >BEFORE< your fees are delinquent you are absolutely f'd. This is common, not just an LL thing.

Hospitals? If you're paying cash some are very willing to negotiate with you... but only if you discuss it with them before your fees are delinquent.

Otherwise... Hard sacrifices are required if your expenses out-pace your actual revenues.

Even so... My heart goes out to Ina, losing access to your primary identity over billing issues >SUCKS<.
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