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Let’s Create Legends!

Rockcliffe Library SimOne of the first steps in actually writing a community plan is to research and develop the introduction. This opening to the plan establishes background for the reader; it provides context and describes the type of community for which the plan is written. Some plans include in this section a back story or local tale which can be fictional in nature and provides the reader a feeling for the culture and spirit of that community. Unfortunately for Second Life, there is no legend or tale describing the founding of our world. We know the facts behind it, but this is not the same. So thinking about how creative the Second Life community is, we talked about asking people in Second Life to create and vote on a founding legend or story for Second Life. Then we talked about the sub-cultures – it would be interesting to have founding stories for those. So the outcome of this is a type of contest or call for Legends. There's a special website set up where you can learn more about how to submit and vote on entries we post at Virtual Vision 2020 Legends. Legends will be accepted until 11:59 pm CST March 31, 2013. Then voting will close at 5pm CST April 15, 2013.

Disclaimer: Virtual Vision 2020 and the Virtual Vision 2020 Legends are neither owned nor operated by Linden Lab or Second Life. Second Life® and Linden Lab® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

Business Development in Second Life

Virtual Vision 2020 recently set up a Google+ community to host discussions related to a community plan in Second Life. Someone had posted in the thread an observation they had upon entering Second Life for the purpose of exploring the platform for marketing their business. They said it felt empty like no one was around and did not think it would be valuable for business development.

This view has been shared by others who report on the failure of "real life" business efforts in Second Life. What is interesting is that in all of these is that the Second Life platform or environment is identified as the cause of the failure. The conclusion is that because of these failures, setting up a presence in Second Life isn't worth pursuing. 

Of course, those who understand the environment and who spend considerable time there have commented on the absurdity of this. They usually point out that the business did not take the right approach. Yet people who have not spent time in Second Life don't seem to understand this.

But those familiar with Second Life are right – Second Life has its own culture, much in the way countries have their own cultures. When US-based businesses try to open up a market in China in a manner similar to their US operations and experience failure, people don't say, "Oh, they are wasting their time." They don't blame China for being China. They don't dredge up all the negative aspects of the society as reasons people should stay away. Instead, people blame the company for ignoring the culture and not fitting their approach to what the Chinese expect.

So why is it so different with Second Life, and what strategies can we identify to correct this misconception and attitude? Can emulating what is done offline work? Companies trying to successfully move into the market in another country typically hire people or firms to help them make that transition. Is this what we need to develop and a service that needs to be offered for those considering a move into Second Life?

These are important questions to explore if we want to ensure successful economic and business development in Second Life. It seems one newly formed effort in Second Life, the Centre for Business Development, might be attempting to address these questions and services. You can read more about their mission and goals on their website at:

September Planning Workshops


Due to a change in schedule, we have to change the time and date for the event that was scheduled for Sat., Sept 15th  – we'll update you with the future date when we get it set up. Meanwhile, we have an agenda in place for the NPC event and hope to see everyone there!

Virtual State Fair

We have two planning workshops scheduled for this month thanks to the generous offer by two organizations to host the events. The first will be Saturday, September 15, at 7pm PDT at the Virtual Fair event (SLURL:  The Virtual Fair is an annual event organized by the Cooperative Extension System. According to the Extension's website, "the fifth Annual Virtual State Fair week in Second Life is an online celebration of everything Cooperative Extension with educational exhibits, live music, rides, games and contests. The fair runs from Monday, September 10 to Sunday, September 16 from noon to 10 p.m. ET." The planning workshop will take place in the barn after the last live music event on Saturday. We also encourage you to check out their other events.

The other workshop will be held on Friday, September 21, at 8:30 pm PDT at the Nonprofit Commons (SLURL: 

Nonprofit Commons

This workshop will take place during the Nonprofit Commons 5th Anniversary celebration. There are also other events held this day as part of the celebrations that you might want to visit – you can find out more at the SLURL above.


Both organizations are great community builders in Second Life so it's a wonderful opportunity to partner with them on a community plan. The Nonprofit Commons has embraced community building and support of Second Life as part of their mission. And community planning is a core service area for the Extension. You can find out more about each organization through the links below:

Extension – Community planning resources

Nonprofit Commons in Second Life




SL Planning Twitter Chat June 20!

That's right – after a great workshop tonight at the Virtual Vision 2020 plot at SL9B, we're excited about continuing the discussion tomorrow (Wed, June 20) night. This time, we'll be talking about community and Second Life through a Twitter chat. Sandy Adam (Twitter handle @sandyadam) will be leading the chat which will begin at 6 PDT (or SLT) with the hashtag #vv2020. So be sure to check out the #vv2020 hashtag tomorrow and join in the conversation!

What the Heck is a Twitter Chat?!

For those of you who might be wondering just what is a Twitter chat (or Tweet chat), it's really just a conversation on Twitter about a specific topic. Usually the chat is facilitated by one person who tweets a few questions, and anyone who wants to join in responds. The entire thread of the conversation can be followed because anyone particpating adds the same hashtag to their Tweets. In our case, this will be #vv2020. So you can follow the discussion by searching for the hashtag, #vv2020 starting around 6 pm PDT tomorrow night. There are even some programs set up to make it easier for you to follow this type of discussion. I've introduced a few below you can try for tomorrow night:

First, you can just use Twitter by typing in the hashtag at the top in the search. This will bring up any tweets with that hashtag. But the difficulty in using Twitter is that you have no longer have your own window in which to type any responses. So you would have to either go back and forth or open another window.

So, an easier tool is TweetChat. After you authorize the application to access your Twitter account, you can type in the hashtag you want to follow in the window at the top. This will bring up all tweets with that hashtag. And you have a window at the top of the stream in which to type your tweets.

Another easy tool to use is Twitterfall. After signing in on the site with your Twitter account, you can type the hashtag into the search window and the stream of tweets begins falling down the page. This site is nice because you can DM, reply, RT, Favorite, or Follow each Tweet or person by hovering over the right end of the tweet and choosing from a pop-up menu. To post a new tweet, you just go to the top of the page and click "New Tweet."

A Collection of Reflections

Because many of you are already discussion the different aspects of community, it's beneficial to collect and highlight those discussions here. The ideas found in those posts and related comments offer insight into how the community thinks and feels about their experience in Second Life. Below under the different categories, I've listed several of the recent posts I've read discussion issues related to that aspect of Second Life. Be sure to add in the comments any other posts that you've found or think are relevant. It would also be great to hear your opinion regarding the ideas presented in these posts. I'll also update this post as I locate more articles:

General Discussions

Metareality Podcast: weekly discussion about many topics related to community in Second Life

Living in the Modem World: regular posts covering many topics related to community in Second Life

Land Use:

Tyche Shepherd's Mainland Census June 2012 (Her main site is at: Second Life Grid Survey)

Great general discussion of land use and its implications: THINKERS JUNE 12 2012: DECLINE OF PRIVATE SIMS

Shed Me No Tiers blog post by Tateru Nino discussing cost of land






Upcoming Planning Workshops – June 2012

Normally community plans are developed over time by having public workshops or discussions to identify information to be used in the plan. So there will be discussions held over the next few weeks where people from the Second Life community can give feedback and share thoughts and ideas. The benefit we have over the traditional process is that we have many more venues in which to host these discussions. So if you want to participate, there'll be many opportunities! Below are a few upcoming workshops/discussions:


Community Planning Discussion: Tues., June 19, 2012, 4:00 pm SLT, at the Virtual Vision 2020 exhibit at SL9B

Community Planning Discussion: Fri., June 22, 2012, 4:00 pm SLT, at the Virtual Vision 2020 exhibit at SL9B

Ongoing Facebook Discussion courtesy of Eric Hackathorn and the Virtual World Group

Twitter Chat: first one scheduled for Wed., June 20, 2012, 6 pm SLT #vv2020


Virtual Vision 2020 Begins!


Virtual Vision 2020 is a community plan for Second Life. 

Virtual Vision 2020 is an attempt to capture the community's thoughts, ideas, opinions, and goals for Second Life. Modeled off the community planning process that takes place in communities all across the world, this virtual plan can help the Second Life community define itself, set goals for its future, and offer a roadmap for success. If you are a member of that community, your input is important to help make the plan a reality and a success!

This is only the first phase of the process – gathering feedback. So if you've ever wanted to share your ideas and thoughts about what makes Second Life great, what makes it frustrating,  what can make it better for you, and where you think it needs to be in 2020, here's your chance – the community needs to hear from you!

But shouting it from the nearest rooftop is not a good idea, or even safe. And we all know shouting in Second Life doesn't travel nearly far enough for everyone to hear. So instead, you can share what you'd like to say or shout or even whisper using one or all of seven surveys – one general and six specific – where you can share anonymously.

You are also welcome to post comments below or on the blog – over the next few weeks, you'll find several topics discussed here covering many of the aspects of Second Life. Just keep any comments clean, try to be constructive in criticism, and rated G. If you've got some strong opinions and would like to write a post here, just send an email to so you can get access to post. Many of you already have blogs of your own and have already been posting over the years your thoughts and ideas about many of these issues. If we know about your posts, we'll highlight them here because the best plan will come from the most feedback.

Virtual Vision 2020 will also be at the SL9B so make sure to stop by and share your thoughts there.