Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day & My Rules

A rainy day here in Maine, USA as a Nor'easter approaches to drench us tonight so it isn't the most exciting of Earth Days in Real Life. While I'm struggling to figure some nice connection with the special day and Second Life, Honour McMilan is taking the high road and writing about her rules for Second Life blogging to compliment nicely Earth Day-ish pictures. Go ahead, Honour, and make the rest of us again look like hacks. Sheesh.

Svarga (SLurl) is a fine place to celebrate Earth Day in Second Life.

I don't pretend (much) to be a journalist so I really don't follow rules outside the AP Stylebook or the grammar tips I get from the A Way With Words podcast. To put it another way, I watch how I write more than what I write. This is a blog. I'm beholden to none because I really write more for my own amusement than for any other reason. If I manage to entertain, impress, or inform anyone else in the process, it is purely by accident though pleasing nonetheless.

Dating back to 2006, Svarga is (or was) home to a very early experiment in virtual artificial life, with plants propagating on their own with the help of bees (as food for carnivorous plants and to pollinate others).

As I write, though, there are some personal guidelines that I do try to keep in mind ...

It is perfectly okay to bite the hand of the people who own the world I play in, but I try to not go so far as to alienate them should the opportunity to be an LDPW Mole come up or that I might get another chance to appear on the official blog again. Fair, well-reasonsed criticism — positive or negative — founded with documented facts is healthy. For this reason I've kept pretty silent on the recent news that there will be no Linden-sponsored Second Life Birthday celebration like there has been in the past. I don't know all the internal politics or finances and it would be unfair to speculate.

A L$25 donation to Taras Balderdash for the charity Modest Needs earns a note card with your fortune, just pay the orb in this underground chamber below what looks like an empty marketplace.
Pure speculation and opinion is also perfectly okay, but should be clearly identified as such. It would be one thing to claim that The Lab hires only satyrs for staff since the fall of M Linden, but proving it would be another thing even if I had a reason to spread such rumors. Not that I follow drama if I don't have to anyway. Life is too short and if I really want drama, I'll rent a movie. Or see another psychiatrist.

Focus, focus, focus. This is primarily a Second Life blog so I try very hard to not write about anything else, especially Real Life. You may have seen posts about Lego Universe and my Apple iPad and other seemingly random, off-topic posts, but they do tie back to Second Life in some (usually highly tangental) fashion. Since changing the subtitle of this blog to "Real Me. Digital Life. Virtual Spaces." I've opened up the possibility of expanding post topics but have more or less avoided doing so.

Very little has changed in Svarga since 2006. The shop is gone, as is the giant sea serpent and a nice cuddle hammock. You can still pay L$1 to feed the birds but you can no longer rez the seeds you get so don't bother. Somewhat recently a Stargate showed up but it looks entirely appropriate.

With all this in mind, I freely pillage Honour's rules and steal "Rule #5; Don’t take yourself seriously. We’re bloggers not gurus" for myself. If I ever appear to be more than I am, I expect and appreciate when someone takes me down a peg or three. While I grudgingly (or not so grudgingly, at times) agree with those who tell me I write well, I freely admit but sometimes forget that there is always someone much better than I am at any task I set myself or any activity I participate in at any given time. Having a blog doesn't make me an expert at all. Anyone can blog. Only in the last few years has the community of professional journalists acknowledged that this free-form, un-regulated forum often can and does contain proper reportage and punditry.

I'm not a professional like Hamlet Au, but as you can see, I try to keep at least some guidelines to my writing, if not actual rules conforming to professional standards.


From the bee tour: "In European mythology Svarga or "Heaven" is the residence of the god Svarog."

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Windlight Sky: [TOR] Sparz puft
Water Preset: Glassy
No Shadows or post-process re-touching


Honour McMillan said...

You know if all that is required for you to be a "professional" is some lindens I'll send you a couple.
You are more articulate, better researched and far more interesting than others against which you might compare yourself.
Love you! *hugs*

Honour McMillan said...

um *against whom

Uccello Poultry said...

Hugs, Honour. Well, I did take a couple journalism and writing classes in high school. But I think the difference is that I write for myself. When I wrote for a corporate newsletter I didn't apply the same effort — more than enough to do a good job, but not as if I enjoyed the process.