Reviving the blog

I started this blog six years ago, in February 2009, but in recent years I’ve let it languish and for the last year I’ve written no posts at all until today.   I’ve had the avatarplanet.com website even longer, since about 2005, but although it once had a decent following, I’ve let it wither and have made no updates for the last three years.  It’s time for me to revive both. A total revamping of the website will be coming soon.

A World That Never Happened

It’s been over a year since my last post.  In that time, I built a 32 region OpenSim grid for a client, doing everything from creating the terrain in L3DT, building and obtaining content, and administering the server, including writing the PHP and Powershell scripts that ran the grid.

Sadly, just when it was ready to open for beta. my client shut it down, so no one will ever see what I put so much effort into over the last year.  In retrospect I can see a number of things I could have done differently that might have avoided it, but maybe the most important is this:  my client never visited the world I was building for his company!  Despite my urging, he never had any interest in seeing it.

The next time I build a virtual world for a client, there are a number of things I’ll do differently, but at the top of the list will be making sure that my client sees what I’m building and has an interest in seeing it to completion.  It’s extremely disappointing to put over a year into building a world only to see it vanish before it even opens to the public.  I was paid for my time and gained good experience, so it wasn’t a wasted effort for me, but it is painful.

Builders and content creators needed

I’ve long felt that virtual worlds are an ideal technology for senior citizens.  Virtual worlds allow seniors who are no longer as mobile or as agile as they once were to lead active lives as members of a community even if they find it difficult to leave their home in the physical world. Yet until now, virtual worlds have been regarded as more for the young even though in my observation in Second Life, OpenSim worlds, and There.com, older people account for a surprising percentage of active participants.  Despite this, virtual worlds have pretty much ignored them.

That’s why I am so excited about the SeniorCan Care corporation asking me to build an OpenSim grid that’s explicitly for senior citizens, with the intent of creating a virtual world where seniors can lead active lives as contributing members of a community.  Working in conjunction with a medical device maker, it will initially be marketed to Chinese living in Canada and later in the United States.  My hope is that it will be successful enough to expand to the general population of seniors.

The SeniorCan Care grid is buying creative content of just about every type – houses and other structures, avatars, vegetation, clothing, animations, etc.  There are three ways you can sell your content or services to the new grid:

  1. Selling from your existing inventory.
  2. Custom building to order (there could be some interesting custom building jobs)
  3. Selling your goods to members of the new grid.  We recognize that this is a side business for most creators and that you lead a busy life, so we will set up a store for you if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

For content creators and builders, SeniorCan Care presents an unusual opportunity to sell content to an OpenSim world that’s relatively well funded, has a positive social purpose, and is committed to protecting intellectual property rights.  The company behind the new grid is committed to its success and will be publicizing it.  this could be an opportunity for your work to be seen by a wider audience.

If you’re a Second Life or OpenSim content creator and any of this interests you, please get in contact with me by using the contact form on my personal website, erikbainbridge.com/formmailer.

A word about my own background: I’ve had my own OpenSim grid since 2011 (formerly Diva, now standard OpenSim), I’ve been in Second Life since 2004 and I’ve been writing about it for examiner.com since 2009, I was a beta tester of There.com in 2003-4, and my Master’s thesis in 1995 dealt with future virtual worlds.

Do you know any interesting opensim regions?

A recent post by Han Held on Google Plus reminded me of the fact that folks in SL often don’t know what OpenSim is all about, and that it can be hard to explain openSim’s attraction to people who’ve never spent time in OpenSim worlds or maybe just made a cursory visit.

One way to educate them is to show some interesting locations and activities in OpenSim worlds, both in open grids that can be visited on the HyperGrid and in closed worlds. I’d like to start highlighting them in this blog. If you know of OpenSim locations I could write about, please tell me about them. There are three ways you can reach me:

  1. Reply to this post
  2. Use the contact form on my personal website, erikbainbridge.com/formmailer
  3. In Second Life, give a notecard to Apollo Manga.  Don’t IM me.  My IM’s frequently get capped.

A lot of people in SL seem to think that being involved in OpenSim means leaving Second Life  It doesn’t.  I have my own HyperGrid-enabled OpenSim grid, but I also own land in Second Life.  I love both, as do many others who have ventured out from Second Life to OpenSim worlds.

If you have ideas about good places for me to write about and photograph, please tell me about them so I can share them with others.

 

Yman Juran performing at Burnal Equinox

Yman Juran performing at Burnal Equinox
Yman Juran performing at Burnal Equinox

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1800s New Mexico teleport hub

OSGrid_NewMexico_Hub_400px

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Darmstadt City

Darmstadt City (OpenSim)
Darmstadt City (OpenSim)

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Awahua teleport hub

Awahua teleport hub (OpenSim)
Awahua teleport hub (OpenSim)

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A Rusted Development

A Rusted Development
A Rusted Development

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