My last hour, or so, has been spent absorbing Philip Linden’s keynote speech and Q&A session that he made at SL1B – yes, a whole nine years ago!
What surprised me the most, whilst listening to Philip’s speech and the questions he fielded afterwards, was not how much sl has changed as we look forward to its tenth year as a virtual community, but rather the quite remarkable number of things that have barely changed at all. As he begins his address to the sl community – the first time that streaming audio had been employed in this way – Philip recommends that residents having trouble with the stream should leave and TP back to the region to sort out the problems and, failing that, might want to use Winamp to playback the stream URL… advice that holds just as good today and which i’ve found myself passing on in only the past week to people having audio streaming problems. Some things never change!
The question and answer session in particular is pretty interesting – other than a small number of questions directly related to the very early sl, most of the points raised could easily have been pulled from any current sl blog, forum or discussion – the questions are much the same today, even though the technology and its application may have moved on, from all those years ago. Unfortunately, many of the answers sound distressingly familiar too – although i did have to suppress a chuckle at Philip’s answer to the question, “As the world gets bigger, with more residents, will the Lindens still be as accessible to us?” – “Yes!”, he responded… ah well, even demigods can get things wrong at times!
Things in sl may have moved on in leaps and bounds over the years, but it’s also pretty apparent that, in many ways, the same old problems and issues are still with us – some may have changed their outward appearance, but like a nasty, system-haired Ruth, they’re still lurking there beneath the surface veneer of progress. As that bloke in the bible said, (no, not the one with the beard, sandals and a talent for picnic catering… the other one): ‘There is nothing new under the sun’.
The irony of that particular homily hasn’t been lost on me as i’ve carried out the background work on my SL10B project. The annals of sl past are full of history repeating itself – as Douglas Adams once said, it has to: nobody listens – and i can’t help wondering whether the future of sl is going to carry on in the same vein, all of which is somewhat related to the SL10B theme of ‘Looking back, Looking forward’. The other aspect of history repeating itself is in the way in which – absolutely true to my usual form – i’ve managed to let things slip, dawdled over what needed to be done by way of preparation and now find myself under enormous pressure to meet a deadline that is looming far faster than i thought possible.
The good news is that i came home today to find an email in my inbox congratulating me on securing an SL10B plot for my build… the bad news is that, over the past three weeks when i should have been concentrating on getting the damn thing ready, i’ve managed to completely fail to do any work at all on it. Oh dear, i’m going to be spending an awful lot of time fiddling about in Photoshop in the next few days, if i’m to stand any chance of being ready in time. Then there’s a stack sl technical and historical data i need to pore over and make some sort of sense of… where on earth am i going to find the time?
Anyway, that’s my problem! Those of you who’ve been astute may remember i mentioned i’d like members of the sl community to get involved with this year’s project… well, here’s how:
This year’s celebratory exhibit is called “The Passage of Time”, in which i hope to take visitors on a virtual journey from the very earliest days of sl, using images, anecdotes and snippets from the past, and onwards into the many possible futures of sl. As part of the exhibit, i’d like to invite members of the sl community to make their own written contribution to this journey through time.
You’re invited to write two short stories, reflections, poems or pieces of prose, one under the title, ‘Looking Back’, and one entitled, ‘Looking Forward’. i’ll collate all submissions into an anthology, which will be offered to anyone who visits the exhibit at SL10B. Ideally, both themes should have some connection with sl, but provided you stick to the two titles, you can use them in pretty much any way you wish – the idea is to reflect the diversity and creativity of sl residents.
There are a few rules i’ll ask you to stick to – any submissions that don’t keep to the rules will be rejected:
1 – You must submit an entry for both ‘Looking Back’ and ‘Looking Forward’
2 – A maximum of 500 words for each title
3 – SL10B is ‘G’ rated, therefore all submissions must also be compliant
4 – All submissions must comply with the exhibitor’s rules for SL10B
You can make your submissions by email to or by sending me a notecard inworld – you can include up to two images, one for each title, but i’ll only accept images by way of notecard. All notecards and images must be full permissions. Submissions won’t be edited or altered, so please make sure what you send is what you want to be included! Any queries can be made by email to the address above, sent by notecard inworld, (my IMs do get capped), or you can put them in the comments to this post and i’ll answer below.
Please include your sl name and a note confirming that you’re happy for your work to be included in the SL10B anthology – it won’t be used anywhere else without your express permission. You can also include one LM or SLurl and a URL to your own site. Entry is open now and will close June 10th – whether you’re an writer, poet, drabbler, blogger, lyricist, established author or first-time amateur, i’d love it if you could participate and become part of sl history.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Then, as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Led Zeppelin – Ten Years Gone