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forseti svarog

I am excited to see these tools in action. I give you a lot of credit for taking the time to really understand the group tools, think about how they could be improved, lobby for those changes, etc. I thank you for the hours you have put in testing the tools on the preview grid... especially since I have not had a chance to do that at all.

I think that this is a great day for small business in SL. Hopefully the first release will bug free, but even if there is a little initial pain, it is worth it.

Kyrah Abattoir

yay for the group tools, however prok do you realise the nonsense you wrote?

the most skilled creators of sl are non american ^^

on your side all you know is renting /selling land wich is under any other job i can think of, no pride at all considering even an ape could make it

but yay for the group tools, there will be a lot to experiment with them

FlipperPA Peregrine

While I'm very psyched for these long-overdue tools, I gotta say it:

zOMG FIC! Prokofy bitches and bitches and suddenly it gets done... BEFORE PRIVACY CONTROLS! Who's the corrupted, feted one now? ;-) Take your medicine on this one, Prok.

Prokofy Neva

The Lindens had a rare moment of clarity where they saw that the businesses from the outside world coming in simply need more sophisticated, less hippie-dope-smoking tools than what they knocked together back in the days when it was Philip and Andrew just mashing up stuff.

Somebody could say this just benefits Prokofy and rentals in general (and there are hundreds of rentals agencies on the mainland, that's the amazing thing)and this is feting, but that's fine, because to do so acknowledges that yes, there's a feting problem, and it's just that you feel on the outside of a fete right now. But...I thought your position is that there is no FIC and no feting.

Some of the Lindens, like Pathfinder and Jeska who have to deal with groups, communications, and role-assignments, were themselves an internal form of pressure. I find when Lindens themselves need something, they become a lobby, too.

Lindens don't need to be not mapped. They're already able to turn off mapping. So they don't care.

You should just make an alt like everybody else. Your urgent argumentation about this as some kind of showstopper that has to be addressed immediately is hardly credible. You have a third-party website with scripted objects that was purchased by a larger company with staff, so you don't have to worry about customer service.

If you don't take on reputational enhancement exercises like organizing fanboyz' conferences and making sure you're in EVERY SINGLE media article about SL. Flipper, you'll have more time to yourself and your family and your SL. And...get an alt.

Take YOUR medicine, I don't need to take any. I've eaten the bitter, bitter, fruits of land management for two years and suffered major losses while you've laughed all the way to the bank. So shut the fuck up, Flipper, your rushing over here to this blog to spout off like this shows me...you care too much. You're not supposed to care about your lowly rivals in a game.

Prokofy Neva

>the most skilled creators of sl are non american ^^

I didn't write any such thing. It's not true. There are skilled people from all continents and no special "unskilled" status for Americans. Um, who invented SL and populated it and put most of the tools in it that you use today? Duh.

And land management and rentals are not monkey work. Copying pictures of spandex off the Internet on to PSP and uploading it for $10 -- now *that* is monkeywork.


What are privacy controls?

Hey Flipper did you hear me plug Indigo having an estate sim attached to the north?

Yea Prokofy! *clap* *cheer* You Rock with the group tools you created! Perhaps you'll attend SLCC 2007 and present their proper usage.

Prokofy Neva

What "privacy controls" means is the ability to NOT map Flipper, so that he can log on, and meet with Lindens and/or RL business and not have anybody see what he's doing, including his closes friends, whom he wishes not to know about some of his deals sometimes.

Flipper gets to attach an island to the mainland?

I didn't "create" the group tools, Khamon, I promoted their reforms. As for their "proper" usage, what do you think that would be when the model is that they are infinitely customizable? Who is going to be determine what is "proper"? You, I guess. Not sure what this slam is all about.

As for attending SLCC 2007, I suspect strongly there won't be such a thing because the Lindens will no longer be supporting it at the level they have by deploying their people for it or their financing.

But if there is any such conference, I'd look to see if the leadership is changing before getting involved.


Oh, why would we not want to be mappable? Isn't this sposed to be social and all? Thanks for the explanation.

True "create" was misspoken. Is misspoken spelled with one s or two? I should've said "group tools you eloquently proposed all those months ago"

It was a cheap slam all in good fun Jocularity! Jocularity!

Prokofy Neva

I'm all for being mappable. I have gadzillion cards from complete strangers, mainly tenants. They never map me -- I've never been mapped by any but the closest of friends. Of course, that could be due to my naturally attractive personality : )

Yes I did eloquently propose changes by calling them hippie dope smoking circle jerks and saying that if they liked the idea of some dumbass pizza guy stealing their whole building and their software just so he could deliver and throw out a pizza box or leave a receipt or whatever, they should try living like that in RL. I think they did get it.

I'm surprised you aren't winding up the pitch to slam me for extolling groups and their granularity and their each-snowflake-is-unique quality, and yet not seeing that they all should then snowflake themselves into private islands or basement brewing s with Jarod or open source or individual licensing. You're missing an opportunity to bash me, Khamon, with jocularity of course.

In fact, I know I owe Jarod a comment but I can't find the post.


It's not bashable because I see it both ways. People are people and will clump into groups by interest and need with whatever code-as-law tools are available to them. The elimination of officer recall and introduction of roles will make your job easier; but you were managing without them.

Other groups managed as well all this time and will simply adapt to the new tools as they're needed. "As they're needed" by people who want people, "as they must be imposed for the good of all concerned hail the tools" by people who want tools.

Yes people will flake off and drift into "gated" community groups; but not to the exculsion of visiting other areas, meeting people outside their basements, joining new groups to pursue varying interests other than wanting live in a quiet sim with a guaranteed view.

Does it sound too Torleyish to say "it's all good?" Mitch hammered the nail when he said SL "isn't ready for prime time," that it would have to become something wholly different from what it is today or stagnate as a tiny virtual world toy. Oh wait, that's another article. I'm thinking too comprehensively. Sorry.

Sardonic Undertone

"So shut the fuck up, Flipper, your rushing over here to this blog to spout off like this shows me...you care too much. You're not supposed to care about your lowly rivals in a game."

Heh, yes. What's actually rather amusing is that the comments posted on your blog by the likes of Flipper, Kyrah or Maxx Monde (among others) have done more to sour me on the idea of ever having any voluntary association with them than anything you've ever written about 'em.

Prokofy Neva

It's ready for prime time for a lot of people, Khamon, for many people it already is their prime time and where they are at 9 pm every single night, prime time, having the time of their lives.

Tools start to force behaviour in ways that is unnecessary and becomes counterproductive.

Example: I used to have all my groups on "open enrollment". I still do. But now what happens? They come in, but only to the "everyone" status. The system can only default that one status like that at a time obviously. So I could make "everyone" all perms -- which before was all equal, everyone in the group who was a tenant had all the same permissions, but different than officers -- but then if I award on an open basis the right to eject avatars and create ban lists, then griefers will enter the group and seize those privileges to harass other people. This is what always happens.

So I leave it to "everyone" and they come in and can "set home" and set prims down but they then have to leave the group and accept a new, manually issued invitation to a higher status. So now...it's not really so open but discretionary. This is what I mean by how it becomes more open but more closed.

It's hard to know how much of a problem the griefing will be such as to nerf my plans, but all of a sudden I have gone from a happy go-lucky liberal, not too far from the hippie ideal, see? And become a surly slumlord eyeing a tenant's armour and guns to see if they should be denied ban status because they will only use it to grief others trying to fly home.
Or maybe they won't?

People flake off into gated communities. I hope they're happy. I guess I tend to side a bit here with Lewis Nerd who oftens asks with incredulity, but you're in a 3-d virtual social world. Why don't you want to visit somebody's house? Why don't you want to have them visit you?

Of course, there's more than a little bit of Animal Crossing romanticism with that, like we're all furry friends in the forest, when the reality is that most people want to have cybersex in the privacy of their homes. If it were even about little interesting groups/societies/communities getting started with some kind of refined pursuits, that might be worthy of acclaim as needing its flaking and niching. But it's just cybersex, not terribly interesting, in couples, or in smaller groups of like a dom and their subs playing dungeon. In fact, you sense that it isn't all that terribly interesting for them, either, which is why they have to get up to even more exotic positions, bondages, farout and even despicable things like ageplay.

This is the story of Bowling Alone, I guess, what it comes to, Whipping Alone or in a folie a deux or trois in a virtual world.

I guess that's why I'm impressed when somebody slike Slinky gets together a little community on the mainland (!) with, say, some stores, some nice townhouses, a library, a theater. Looks great!

But...you must have gone through that in Slate, and then somehow got all jaded. I realize Slate has broken up now for various reasons. Perhaps it can come together in some new form some day.


The new group tools will not deter griefers at all. They will find a way. They work hard at it.

We should obviously be able to reassign roles without requiring that people leave and reenter the group. Short of manually populated invitation lists though, there has to be a default joining role. How can the devs address your concern that "it's not really so open but discretionary"?

When you say "it becomes more open but more closed", I can only reply yes it's what you asked for, insisted on, did you not realize this would be a consequence?

My view of "gated" centers more on view I suppose than lifestyle. My sister lives in a RL gated community around a pretty lake under all sorts of little regulations about leaving cars in the yard and painting your house purple. It's lovely and peaceful and non-trafficed. But that's only the restful, relaxing part of their lives. They work in bustling downtown office buildings a third of their lives and attend regular functions at a progressive church full of people from all walks of life including griefers that intentionally take advantage of the openness to cause disruptions.

They're not hateful, antisocial people cut off from the world just because they choose to spend off hours in a secure, attractive environment. That's a tool they have access to and use for a purpose. It doesn't define the whole of their persona.

I, on the other hand, am jaded I mean just look at me ha ha. Seriously, Slate breaks apart and reforms every six months or so. It's always been that way. What happens, in fact, is our gated naturalistic demanding a view members get caught up in social activities around the grid to the point that we're hardly ever in Slate. Then we seem to converge and rebuild and party with our gated selves for a while before diving back into the wild. Strange ain't it?

Jarod's forever saying that people will use whatever tools are avialable to them to socialize as they please. Sometimes they're very open, sometimes they're very closed, but it frustrates him to no end that he can pigionhole people into neat little categories based solely on the techonology they choose to use to communicate, share experiences and find kindred souls. People are too flexible to let a tool, especially a piece of software, lord over their existance and tell them who they'll be and how they'll act.

Kyrah Abattoir

"Copying pictures of spandex off the Internet on to PSP and uploading it for $10 -- now *that* is monkeywork."
woohoo prok and i was thinking that you where actually documenting yourself before pulling out an argument!
You obviously know nothing about my work. But thanks for the low insult, pathetic, but at least it made me smile.

Prokofy Neva

I disagree that the new tools won't deter griefing. That is, sure, there will be lots of new ways that griefers think up. Or they'll now start resorting to other methods besides bombing if push is turned off; besides trying to trespass and annoy if ban is turned on. But at least *that kind* of griefing is modified/displaced. It's never a solution to use technical tools on griefing instead of broader social policies. I had this argument with Travis about his BanLink concept which I still insist is a centralized master list many will draw from which will only displace griefing to those who can't or won't use it for various reasons, more on this in another blog.

As for "more open but closed," it's not always possible, at least for people like me unable to see technical steps clearly unfolding like an accordion (this is something you are either gifted with or not, or at least, not disabled or disabled about), and who can only understand things more intuitively, what the consequences are.

It seems to me, however, that if you add MORE choice, i.e. the ability to toggle to a role within the same menu as the menu about whether to leave the group on open enrollment, that you could leave on open a more open role *temporarily as need occurred*. But of course, that would be gilding the lily. You could also just take "everyone" and open up all its perms and leave THAT on open, either always, or temp by checking off its boxes, then coming back an unchecking.

I suppose until residents can more effectively use scripted paid items that can unlock features of land or groups that it will be hard to make this operate under a set of rules rather than manual discretion. For example, all people who pay rent get access to adding to the ban list; people who don't pay rent or pay only 7 days don't get access to the ban list.

I suppose for me, the biggest unanticipated surprise for the "day after" the group tools was put in was that I'd have to be forced to "become like the Lindens" and adopt what feels to me like a lame-ass policy about griefing.

That is, before, if someone was griefed, I'd have to manually come and put on "group only" or "access only" on each parcel on a discretionary basis, because I basically don't want the whole place to fill up with red lines and because 90 percent or more of the tenants don't need them or want them and don't experience griefing. If anything, I've come to detect a pattern about who gets griefed and who doesn't.

And one pattern is of course that whoever elects to shoot, bomb, verbally engage, and fight griefers can almost guarantee they'll be back, and with their pals next time.

In having to address this manually, I could then also do more -- make sure the tenant filed an abuse report; made sure they at least got a lecture about how they shouldn't fight back (lost on most, but when they understand that if they keep shooting they will either be evicted or the Lindens will likely wind up banning THEM more effectively than they ever did the original griefers, it deters vengeance a bit); make sure that the leaders of the group gets a stern protest from me, since some groups will discipline more unruly members and get them to stop griefing at least the "civilians" outside their role-play.

But because of the sheer amount of "staff time" this approach creates, which has escalated to hours and hours out of the day since 6/06/06, to such alarming proportions that I felt I was going to be forced to go under, what I can only do now is create a class of tenant who is called -- guess what! -- Resident. OK, it was 3:00 a.m. I was tired, and I didn't have any better ideas that the Lindens.

See, you have to walk a mile in their shoes, eh? And now I can only say, sadly, "We call our tenants in Ravenglass 'residents,' not "users" or "players" to reflect that erm (now what would Lindenspeak say next) holistic somethingness in which they participate. We here at Ravenglass have given them the tools they need to manage their own parcels as they see fit. They are now free to add to their ban lists or even to create 'access only' where only they and their loved ones have access".

So in the interests of fighting griefing efficiently, and meeting tenant demand (or the 10 percent or so effected will leave for the islands), I can give them ban/access and their all-time favourite, "freeze/eject". Many people find an inordinate glee in being able to freeze/eject another person and send them 'orbiting' -- and now they can do this without guns.

Ordinal Malaprop who understands weaponry a lot better than I do is right to say that all these land tools do is create a set of weapons for pioneers to use on their property. That is, freeze/eject and ban/no access create barriers or walls, or projectiles, if you will, that are merely using force to defend your turf. It's the propertarians' answer -- more force!

So now I'll have to see whether the Residents create red ban lines everywhere, which will necessitate me pleading with them to take them off or even removing this power. In Ansheland, she has opted to make it illegal, i.e. an expellable offense, to have "access only" left on when you go offline. I don't see how this can be policed, but one way she gets it to be policed is -- you guessed it -- by having a robust police informers' mentality spring up. So that means people talk to each other on lists, or spot people offline and then call Master and tell him to disclipline the offenders. I refuse to have talky and police-informery lists like that myself.

I do hope that because I'm not obsessed with growth and scaling and technology the way Lindens are, even though I have been frog-marched into duplicating their model of devolving the system's griefing problems on to individuals to make discretionary choices. So I will be able to manually still fly around, talk to people, get to know people, get to see who doesn't belong in the area and deal with them before they grief, or spot troublesome tenants moving in and ask them to remove weapons or whatever.

One of the reasons I do my rentals is to understand why the Lindens do things, since they never tell you. So I replicate the same thing on a tiny scale and try to understand. Free subsidized communities create crime, and you then go about having to eliminate them, etc.

I think I have written before about the neighbourhood I witnessed in Cape Cod which went from being open to closed and gated, and how a woman was hounded from it, and how that memory stuck with me. She happened to have a kind of wacky purple house, a shop named "Which-craft" that seemed to spawn a kind of surly hatred of her as a "witch," and other aspects of her life that rankled people. All these fancier suburban tract houses began to spring up around her from what at first were older beach houses, and then they wanted her to get gone. Since she wasn't directly in their view, I always felt she should be left alone since not only was the store the means to her own survival, it seemed to me it causes tourists to stop and then linger to shop elsewhere further down the road, whereas they might have completely drive by the whole town otherwise.

But by making those sorts of community board ordnances like "thou shalt not have a purple house" or "thou shalt tie up all dogs" or whatever, they could get rid of her, and it seemed stupid to me.

What you say about Slate is an interesting dynamic. Perhaps it's important that the "idea of Slate" remain in your minds even without the actual manifestation of Slate-ness on the grid tying up somebody having to pay tier on it and having to play groundskeeper and caretaker all day. That gets to be a lot of wear and tear, and it always seems the case that only a few people will certain personalities will adopt those roles. Of course you'd like to have Slate-in-a-can that you can just rez out when you and that happenstance community feels like being able to gather and all look at your favourite buildings/objects again. Still, I do feel there is a big advantage to having a sense of geographic space and home, that some people keep that home a continuous presence, and yet open to change.

I don't understand Jarod's frustrations, really. That is, I've just explained how tools drive you into things you didn't want and force you into kinds of interactions that aren't optimal. I don't know now whether people will red-ban-line others and make it unpleasant. I tried to build my communities with areas of commons that aren't access-only that anyone inside or out can stroll around in, shop, do some activity like play a game, sit at a picnic table, etc.

As I wrote on the "products wanted" once in detail, all of this stuff about houses and red ban lines and gatedness would change drastically in SL overnight if there was a way to throw up a forcefield only around your own avatar and your chosen sexual partners and those sex ball thingies. If there was a way to capture them in yellow boxes the way you can buildings and make clouds of impenetrability around them, people would get over the one thing that makes them hugely and unreasonably angry -- being disturbed while trying to cyber. This is the root of a lot of the aggressive behaviour in SL.

This aggressiveness may have been built in, or evolved in, by Nature, to ensure that human beings in the wild were able to reproduce without animals attacking and eating them, to ensure they'd always create defended zones or something. But now, in a virtual world, it's overkill.

I've been a big booster of the group tool reforms because I actually (naively no doubt) buy into the Linden "tool as law" stuff at some level and at least want tools to become less clunky and forced.

In the weeks since 6/6/06, I can't tell you how many people I have had, especially the new Europeans and Asians, ask me in utter bewilderment about these "votes" they are getting.

One problem is just without English, they can't understand what's happening, and fear that a yes/no thing they are clicking on might be dooming them.

But another thing I find is that they feel they've walked into some "American" situation where "people are voting all the time -- but why?" ROFL.

I've had to explain, of course, that there is no vote, that it's just a message hack. That sharpens their wary eye about democracy -- perhaps it's all fake? Perhaps land barons merely use it as a hack, etc.

I've had quite a few sort of sidle up to me and say, "Hmm, now how are YOU voting on this issue," i.e. the "issue" of "my rentals are going up in price" (NOT a thing to be voted on sorry!). They hope they might "vote on the right side of the issue" ROFL>

This would have been a fascinating thing to go on watching but now fortunately for those who were confused before, it should be ending as a problem.

Prokofy Neva

>Copying pictures of spandex off the Internet on to PSP and uploading it for $10 -- now *that* is monkeywork."
>woohoo prok and i was thinking that you where actually documenting yourself before pulling out an argument!
You obviously know nothing about my work. But thanks for the low insult, pathetic, but at least it made me smile.

Yes, no doubt you labour under the illusion that making BDSM artifacts and clothing for a video game is art. I assure you that paying attention to the mechanical matters of shading and shape in spandex, and mechanically duplicating them on to an avatar template for later animated flailing, is indeed monkey work of the most prosaic kind.

Kyrah Abattoir

that's why i am experimenting and creating, while you are mechanically deeding TVs ^_^

to each and every of us only the place he deserve

Prokofy Neva

I do a lot more than deed TVs, hon.

I help create and enable worlds in little communities that people can come and live in and fulfill their dreams. It's hard -- and creative work -- trying to keep open reasonably-priced, open public spaces in SL.

You destroy worlds by providing the tools and costuming for a destructive and violent lifestyle and ideology that demean the human spirit and corrode the soul. All your interventions here and on the forums are ample evidence of that.

There's a difference.


That bit you wrote about the voting is some funny stuff there, Prok! I'm so glad that has been fixed.



"So shut the fuck up, Flipper, your rushing over here to this blog to spout off like this shows me...you care too much. You're not supposed to care about your lowly rivals in a game."

Amen! LOLL good snap back, Prok!

Too bad these tools came just a leetle bit too late for the NCI.

But thanks to Carl and the Crew group membership is being rebuilt.

Until the privacy controls (ever) get kicked in yall are free to come watch me do whatever it is I do whenever it is I log in :D But don't say you weren't WARNED ;)~~~

Kyrah Abattoir

"All your interventions here and on the forums are ample evidence of that."

Aren't you banned of the forums?

Prokofy Neva

>Aren't you banned of the forums?

Aren't the forums being closed now? And don't you wonder why?

Kyrah Abattoir

"Aren't the forums being closed now? And don't you wonder why?"

cause you made a forum alt?

Prokofy Neva

No, I have no forum alts.

BTW, it's been SO gratifying to get the numerous pieces of fan mail I've gotten lately for standing up to Kyrah Abbatoir and exposing her as the little vicious "Siggy Romulus C Word" that she is. Eh, Siggy? One of your own. I feel vindicated : )

Gwyneth Llewelyn

It was on of the best and most comprehensive posts on the group tools that I've ever read. Thanks, Prokofy. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to play enough with it (no chance to buy land on the Preview), but your very thorough guide will certainly help me to find out about some of the caveats that you've pointed out so carefully.

Enjoy the experience of "stepping in the Linden's shoes"! I only wish that people would do that more and more, like you're doing, and *understand* their reasons for making certain decisions. It certainly made me rethink a lot about some commentaries by others...

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