Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventures in the METAVERSE 1 - Alternatives to SecondLife

Yo! I love this topic. In all the time i have been in secondlife (SL) i have been aware that there were alternatives to SL, but whenever i tried to open the door to them they were closed. I tried left-click I tried right-click. I gave up. It was clearly a place for nerds and linux types :) and i went back to the wonderful world of SL. And it is truly wonderful.
Recently more of my friends have been muttering alternatives to SL noises - in particular Inworldz and Avination so i have been looking around again. This time i found at least some of the doors open and even welcoming and i want to tell you about them - just in case you are in anything like the same position as me on all this stuff - curious and interested, but lost. It will be inaccurate and your worst source of definitive information so don't feel bad about stopping reading as soon as you start slapping your forehead with the palm of your hand :) And i will break all this down into easy to chomp morsels, always from the perspective of someone who knows SL and is curious about alternatives.

CONCEPT. Best place to start is prolly with a definition of the Metaverse from wikipedia - the Metaverse is our collective online shared space. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional space that uses the metaphor of the real world. Cool! I see where SL fits into this then.
WHERE DOES SL FIT. It is just a part of the metaverse. Keep imagining that the metaverse is a virtual real world, well then SL is like a continent on that real world. This means that there is a lot of space for more secondlifes. And there are.
WHO OWNS IT. No-one owns it. You can create your own part of the metaverse OR you can attach yourself to parts of it created by other people - such as SL, Inworldz and Avination (and many others). It can be very cheap (host your own virtual world on your puter) or expensive (own an island sim in SL $295/month).
DO YOU NEED SL TO ENJOY THAT PART OF THE METAVERSE. No. Plenty of other places do pretty much what SL does. However, depending what makes up your enjoyment of SL you may find that no other place does things as well as SL. So i'm not trying to find a replacement for SL, i'm just trying to add expand my metaverse.
WHY THE HYPE ABOUT SL THEN.  SL do this part of the metaverse better than anyone and they are the biggest by far, and were for a long time and for a variety of reasons (not all bad) in a monopoly position for people like me wishing to explore the metaverse.
WHY THIS WHOLE THING IS CONFUSING. Same reasons as the real world. Why dont PCs and Macs talk together better. Why isn't their just one generic phone and computer recharger device. Why are some avatars gorgeous like me and other like Experiment and Charles just plain ugly? Because there is a battle for control and fame and fortune going on in the metaverse just like there is in real life. As wonderful as the internet is some of the exploitative parts of the capitalist model in real life working against real people, in particular lack of competition and monopolies, are at work in the metaverse. Many people are trying to nail down a part of the metaverse as their own and try and turn it into their own fat cash cow. DON'T LET EM. As much as i love ebay and amazon and google and apple and secondlife and facebook and twitter etc, we will all be better off when their is true competition in the parts of the internet that they dominate, so that they will continue to innovate and provide good value for the consumer.
CAN WE JUST BE CONTENT WITH SL. Sure we can. BUT. Linden Labs are controlling your experience of the metaverse (as is their right) when you choose to be in their part of it, SL. But, they do control you. They could let you teleport to inworldz and avination and a thousand other places if they wanted to. They could let you have 45000 prims instead of 15000. They could let you make a prim 256x256x256 instead of 10x10x10 if they wanted. They want a closed metaverse where they own your avatar, where they control what you can do with content created in SL, they want to promote their own currency and establish an economy free from true market forces (read this as inflate the value).
WHAT ARE WE TO DO THEN. Well my answer to my own questions is just to widen my experience a little. There are open source worlds out there, fledgling SL's, indie SL's and they all have something to offer in  expanding your experience, and freedom of experience, in the metaverse and that is just what i am doing. I love and admire the vision of LindenLabs and SecondLife and never want to leave it, but the anarchist in me doesn't like to be controlled and manipulated so i'm off to explore.
Remember back at the start of this topic i said that i now felt that other doors to the rest of the metaverse were opening, well that's what the next post in this series will start to explore. Maybe, like me, you will be pleased to find them open now.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 30, 2011

LOVE WINS - If I Could Wish

LOVE WINS is the second song written as part of our LOVE LETTERS from SECONDLIFE happening in secondlife (SL). The lyrics started out as a letter dropped on the grounds of the Colour Factory in SL waiting for a reply, and in this case, a song.
The letter/lyric has already received its first reply and you can read this on the loveletters website and in the loveletters conservatory at the Colour Factory. Puff.
The song cover for this song was adapted from a wonderful photo taken by our friend Lucky Trouble - you can see her work on flickr. Thank you Trouble :)
Click the TITLE of this blog entry to go and have a listen to LOVE WINS. 

If i could wish upon a star
i'd wish a dream upon your heart
I would paint i would sing
i'd throw caution to the wind

If i could take you anywhere
i'd take you everywhere you've never been
the pyramids the eiffel tower
to the other side of the moon

If i could tell you anything
i'll tell you why you're my everything
you are pink and i am blue
but on your own you changed my world

If i could write i'd write to you
i'd share the wonders of loving you
you are spring and i am fall
but with you i have it all

If i could buy you anything
I'd buy the house that you adore
we would love and we would live
there together for evermore

If i could change one little thing
i'd make the world a smaller place
so i could walk right to your door
from the other side of the world

Because love wins it's everything
and i'm nothing if i cant tell you every single day
no other thing makes me sing
with all the joy your love gives me every single day


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Between mist and snow, my friend the rain.

Just can't imagine a world without rain so i just wanted to write a post to the rain to let it know. This post is the first part of my blog series - WHAT I LOVE.

I bet it rained quite often, right up to the time i first started to notice rain. I remember swimming in a river, a calm still river, and stopping and stalking it like a crocodile with my eyes just above the water level, watching big drops of rain splash into the river just inches from my eyes. And umbrellas! man they are fun. They don't always work that well but who doesn't enjoy walking in the rain under an umbrella - even just a bit - until your hair goes frizzy. I like your hair that way - honest. And then there was driving in the rain and being hypnotised by the windshield washers - you know the noise they make - unless they don't make that noise on fancy cars :) And sometimes on long country drives when it started to rain heavily i would pull over to the side of the road and just sit there listening to it beat down on the roof. 
And a house with a tin roof!!! They are the bomb! You ever really listen to the sound of the rain on your roof - how it transmits every slight variation in the intensity of the rain - how you can hear and follow the passage of the wind as it first eases off and lets the rain fall more directly onto the roof but then as the wind increases the intensity of the rain flows and cascades over the roof. 

Who never imagined and who is yet to find out how sweet love making is under a tin roof, or on a tin roof - erm, i digress :)
Some people live in places where it rains a lot and some in places where it hardly rains at all. Some people live in places where it only rains in the monsoon season and others where it only rains in winter but everyone has something in common - we all know when the rain isn't what it is meant to be. I have friends who live where it rains on lots of days during the year, and when it does it rains lots, and they have rich deep soils that soak up the rain so that every tree and grass and root and flower and pumpkin patch is happy any time of the year. I have other friends who live where the cycle of rain and growth is more pronounced, where grass begins to grow after the first rain in early winter and ceases when the rain stops  for the year sometime in early spring.
One thing people all around the world know is when the rain isn't the way it usually is. Too much and floods rip across the landscape - too little and dams and streams and water holes begin to dry up and the scourge of drought on all living things begins to take it's hold.
And so rain, you are on my list of what i love. On the list of things that i will tell martians about when they arrive and ask me what is so special about this place our earth. I will always notice you and miss you when you are gone. You, can rain on my roof anytime.
Wanders off to check the rain gauge :)
Thanks for reading folks.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


OMG!! Twitter has been a HUGE success so far. I have 8 followers and i'm following 19 people - hehehe. I have a young niece who was giving me the low down on twitter the other day and her explanation of how to do it and to judge how well you are doing it, went like - she is following Britney Spears and is on of 17,ooo,ooo doing so. Britney follows 70,000 people, and my niece is one of them. Her point is clear - i am a twitter loser :)
So here is the thing - Britney!! follow me and i will follow you, It's all up to you pumpkin.
Oh yeah, the reason for this post. I can never have enough friends :)
Tweet me at BrightOh1
Add me at FB Bright Oh
Thanks gang

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Celtic Amazon Warriors Hunt For Life

The Colour Factory is happily following up its involvement with Relay For Life (RFL) at the Fantasie Faire with our inclusion in the HUNT FOR LIFE. Here's the goss on it :)
The Hunt for Life is a Fantasy/Roleplay themed hunt with awesome stores taking part and fantastic prizes! The Hunt for Life is being run as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society through the RFL in SecondLife.
The hunt runs from May 16 until July 16.
You can read the Hunt blog - just look for the link in the right hand column.
The vendors used to accept donations for the hunt huds are provided by the RFL SL group which is a BBB accredited charity - www.bbb.org/
More information about RFL SL - www.relayforlife.org/secondlife
All hunt queries to Mairearad Islay in SL or via her hunt blog.
Checks Bright's picks in SL for a landmark to the hunt HQ in SL (for purchase of the hud to use in the hunt etc)
Thanks for reading.
Hope it's a great event for you Mairearad :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

OH YEAH BABY Gina Gracemount

Yesterdays SOAR show at the Colour Factory was a funkalicious hoot!!! Thanks everyone for being there. We debuted three brand new songs
Your Candle Burns
Straight From the Heart
Gina Gracemount
Um yes :) that would be correct - we have written a song about our sweet sweet friend and supreme secondlife performer, Gina!! But you will have to come to our shows to hear it :)
Try these for a sample of the lyrics -
Oh yeah baby Gina Gracemout, where you been hiding all of my life. As you can see they are lyrics to die for.
Thank you Gina for being wonderful and letting us get away with this. Find out about Gina here

Saturday, May 7, 2011

MATTY! You are a legend. Trust me on this folks :)

I don't quite know how to put this. See, i was at my Mum's and she and the rest of the family were watching TV. I was making polite conversation, eating and doing the dishes. Well, on comes Australia's Got Talent. Yeah yeah i know what you are thinking. Somehow i did catch three acts, and, my face still hurts from laffin so much.
This guy, Matty, I thank you. You have artistry, timing, humour, strength and humility. You so WIN dude.
So just do it folks. Head off to Utube and take a look at Matty :) Link is at the end of this post..
The sooner EX gets rid of the keyboard in our shows and replaces it with a pole, the better for everyone.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Most of you will already know the fun of having land to call your own in SecondLife. When time permits i think building and landscaping are some of the very best bits of SL - fumbles for my list of the other things :)
The Colour Factory (TCF) is built in the sky so we have always had the ground to play with, and we have held a few concerts down there too. We primarily built TCF in the sky because it is such a big build and from my experience big builds can dominate a sim and easily affect the perspective of other things on the sim - buildings, trees whatever. TCF has more than a quarter of a sim but i don't think it would have fit :) And, the build isn't in keeping with the theme of the rest of Cari's lovely sim.
Recently we did find some time to do some building and redesigning of the ground that Mari and RebelMum had so sweetly put together, and, it includes a brand new outdoor stage! WHEEE.
It's the bright squarish thing top centre of the overhead photo of our part of the sim. We are also extending the lake as the new bridge over it did dwarf it a little.
I'm excited - hehehe, and it's been great fun and we hope to have a SOAR concert there real soon. It's close enough to finished for you to visit it anytime you like now - and i hope you will :)
Wanders off to mix more cement.
Whistles a happy tune.
Thanks for reading.