« THE NEW WORLD NOTES TOP TEN, ONE YEAR LATER | Main | MENTAL CONVERSION »

Monday, June 07, 2004

GIVING IT AWAY, PART I -- TO THE EFF

A few months after a couple third-party e-commerce sites began the buying and selling of Linden Dollars for actual money, and Linden Lab announced a strict laissez faire attitude on that exchange, several residents launched in-world charity groups that convert $L donations into $US contributions to real world charity and advocacy non-profits. This week, the stories behind their benevolence. -- WJA

BHODI SILVERMAN AND VERTU

When I arrive to interview her, last week, Bhodi is standing in front of a giant check to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, for US$1,768.

"You can't have a fundraiser without a Big Giant Check," Bhodi explains. Bhodi's the founder and lead officer for VERTU, for Virtual Economies Realizing True Usefulness, a Second Life group which supports various real world non-profit groups. And on Thursday, Vertu hosted an event where she would announce the handing of said check to the EFF.

The lion's share of that contribution comes from a recent VERTU auction, in which residents put their time and talent on the bidding bloc. (A photo session with fasion maven Nephilaine Protagonist, for example, or a collection of statuettes from Koee Few.) VERTU officer Francis Chung put together the auction, and at the end, she found themselves with L$220,000-- which, in current exchange rates, totals to US$900. "It was definitely a long month for her," Bhodi says, of Francis' efforts, "and more work than I thought anyone would be willing to take on." In the end, over 150 residents donated to VERTU's EFF drive, with several throwing in donations in the tens of thousands, in Linden Dollars-- each of these converting to the hundreds of dollars, in US currency.

The idea for VERTU came to Bhodi after attending a fundraising drive, offline-- Bhodi works for a disability rights advocacy non-profit, in the Appalachians-- and attending a town hall meeting with Philip Linden, in-world. "I hadn't been on much, and I missed SL-- but I couldn't seem to find anything that I felt 'justified' my time here. Philip Linden spoke of his desire to merge Second Life with the real world, and for Bhodi, "Suddenly, the possibilities were staggering... It was when I really got the 'it's not a game' message. When I realized that one could do serious, meaningful things here." So she thought about fundraising for non-profits, "And I thought-- wow, we could do that here, and we could do it better, with less overhead, and reach a larger audience."

It was Vertu member Malachi Petunia's idea to select the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the first recipient of a donation drive, and last Friday, an EFF spokesperson came in-world, to accept VERTU's big symbolic check. (The actual, take-it-to-the-actual-bank check will be sent more or less concurrently.) "They 'got it' right away," Bhodi says of EFF, "and were tech savvy enough to come in-world for events." (A transcript from one such event, featuring the EFF's Ren Galatea speaking about the DMCA, electronic voting, and other issues, is available here.)

"Of course," she says, speaking of VERTU, "I just had a nascent little idea... it was the whole VERTU group that made it into something we could actually realize." And like any non-profit group, "There were a lot of boring process meetings before we launched!" VERTU worked out a deal with Zeppi Schlegel, the in-world representative of Gaming Open Market. "He gave us access to all the transaction data for VERTU, and a commission-free account, so we could make sure all the money goes directly to the non-profits... Zeppi writes the checks so that we never handle any actual cash-- the legal issues were very complex. I spent a lot of time on the phone with the Secretary of State's office and the IRS trying to figure out if we needed 501(c)3 status."

By "Secretary of State", she means the department in her state which deals with non-profit tax issues, not Colin Powell's office. "They were very nice, but clearly the whole Julian Dibbell thing had passed them by and they didn't quite get it... [I]t boiled down to - 'If you can arrange not to have to handle the actual money yourselves, and not to take out any operating expenses, you don't need to mess with this!' in a kind of relieved tone of voice. It turns out we don't even qualify for 501(c)3 status, and if we need to do so later, it makes their heads hurt to imagine how to do that, given the issues of game currency, barter, etc. However, they were pretty iffy on the whole idea of people claiming donations on their taxes!" Bhodi grins. "We could issue receipts, and they could try it, I guess... but the IRS agent I spoke to wasn't too enthusiastic about that part!"

Posted at 05:20 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ccd9653ef00e5505505d28834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference GIVING IT AWAY, PART I -- TO THE EFF:

» WIRELESS TOYZ from Toyz Shop
Customers want to shop the leader - a store that has a proven record with thousands of customers across the nation. Wireless Toyz represents almost every ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 21, 2006 4:29:09 AM

» Barbosa Earning Trust of Coaches from the exact numbers
else is the same for Barbosa, who went from 10 minutes a game in last year's Suns playoffs to being called [Read More]

Tracked on May 22, 2006 4:31:59 PM

» Former POW gets note from Iraqi captor (AP) from Iraqi forces
war by Iraqi forces 15 years ago has received an unusual reminder of his days in captivity: a letter from his Iraqi interrogator. [Read More]

Tracked on May 30, 2006 9:54:19 PM

» News Release from Technosim
ITmedia Mobile i ASCII24@nifty FMOBILE Watch. ి... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 2, 2006 7:09:50 PM

» News Online from JapanHorse
Features weekly articles, archives to past issues, and timelines of scientific importance. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 2, 2006 8:44:55 PM

» Social Security Worth The Wait? from into Social Security
at age 62. But as The Early Show's financial adviser Ray Martin explains, waiting may be well worth [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 5, 2006 1:40:56 PM

» /POEZIQ/What-s-new from StihiNew
new Илья Янкелевич Габай. ( 2k) GABAJ_I/stihi.txt Илья Габай. Посох ... new Орхан Вели Канык. ( 6k) ORXAN_VELI/stihi.txt Орхан Вели Канык. Избранные стихи ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 5, 2006 6:56:52 PM

» fiber boost capsules from Detox process
The good news is that the detox process may enhance your body's ability to metabolize the medication and you may soon require less. But in the meantime, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 8, 2006 2:46:40 PM

» NBA Investigating Dispute Involving Avery's Wife from Two season ticket
writes Calvin Watkins of THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS. At the end of the first quarter of Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns, Cassandra Johnson and several [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 8, 2006 10:27:12 PM

» Nebraska Implements Innovative Disaster Preparedness for Rapid Response from tate Health and
tate Health and Human Services Group Tracks Stockpile Shipments Online [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 13, 2006 8:10:39 PM

» Self-published Author Hits Amazon's Top 100 from The Elder
Fantasy (PRWEB Jun 8, 2006) Trackback URL: http://prweb.com/pingpr.php/Q3Jhcy1Mb3ZlLVRoaXItRW1wdC1JbnNlLVplcm8= [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 15, 2006 7:10:35 AM

» RUNNERS HIGH on Track to Urban World VIBE Film Fest from Go! (PRWEB Jun
High documentary takes two festival screening laps around New Yorks [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 12:00:15 PM

» Stocks soar after Bernanke comments (Reuters) from were relieved
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steered clear of fueling inflation concerns, [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 21, 2006 4:08:12 PM

» Heat's Shandon Anderson Gets a Chance from his fair share
than ready when called on Thursday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2006 1:35:48 PM

» RB Toolbar from rbtoolbar
RB Toolbar - уникальный и наиболее перспективный и продуманный проект... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 19, 2006 8:35:59 AM

» USA towns: Butler from USA MAP
USA - cities, towns and villages of the United States. Extensive business listings, community info, coupons and classified ads for USA cities, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 21, 2006 4:37:24 PM

» Medical Dictionary from Bestbarrel
Searchable dictionary created by Dr. ALFRED. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 9:24:24 AM

» ALL Themes from Invision Power Board
He has set up a test blog so you can check it out - it’s great work. ... Note to all theme authors: In order to be considered for the competition, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 4:29:28 PM

» lolli pics from People searching
Searchable keywords online... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 31, 2006 4:33:59 PM

» Bvlgari from Bvlgari Watches
Great Saving On Bvlgari Watches Bulgari Watch Bvlgari Assioma, Bulgari Zero1, Bulgari Watch Tubagas, Bvlgari Diagono Aluminium, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 4, 2006 7:31:52 AM

» Toyota outsells Ford in July - Monsters and Critics.com from discount pricing.
sales figures, in part because of last year`s employee discount pricing. But the weak US carmaker performance contrasted ... Ford [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 7, 2006 7:30:11 PM

» TrustDefender Delivers New Online Security Solution to Business and Consumers with the Availability of TrustDefender Gold Edition Beta from URI: http://www.prweb.com/dingpr.php/SG9yci1TdW1tLVNxdWEtSW5zZS1JbnNlLVplcm8=
Trackback URI: http://www.prweb.com/dingpr.php/SG9yci1TdW1tLVNxdWEtSW5zZS1JbnNlLVplcm8= [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 8, 2006 1:21:20 AM

» Popular phrase from Map Directory
A search engine directory map... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 13, 2006 8:34:33 AM

» Ru-Энциклопедия from Words 2005-2006
Most Popular Words from Internet... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 16, 2006 2:11:07 PM

Comments

Thanks, Hamlet - that pretty much sums the whole thing up!

Posted by: Bhodi at Jun 7, 2004 10:59:55 AM

Great job, Bhodi! :D

Posted by: Jade Lily at Jun 9, 2004 9:44:28 AM

If you're coming on this from the archives, part 2 and 3 are after the next day's entry.

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Jun 23, 2004 12:27:44 AM

The link to the VERTU site is an old one, the new one is:
http://www.vertuous.org/

Posted by: Milo Bukowski at Jul 20, 2004 9:23:49 AM

bad credit personal loan bad credit personal loan

bad credit credit cards bad credit credit cards

bad credit mortgage bad credit mortgage

bad credit home loan bad credit home loan

bad credit refinance bad credit refinance

Posted by: home at May 31, 2007 4:25:17 AM

Don`t run away of this shit!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/admin/search/google?keywords=site%3Aforumlivre.com%20biagra
buy generic biagra [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/admin/search/google?keywords=site%3Aforumlivre.com%20biagra]buy generic biagra[/url]

Posted by: biagra at Jul 30, 2007 10:00:51 PM

Thank's for the very informative site, these sites are some I would recommend.

For Online Casino slots and online casino try this La Isla Casino, for more online casino slots and online slots try Slots Kings.

If Bingo is your thing try Bingo Online News for online bingo and internet bingo, internet casino slots and slots information to be found

on Slots Online News. If you like to play bingo online Red7Bingo is the best internet bingo to be found on a online bingo site. For online poker

we recommend Nett Poker. Street Slots is the leading site for Slots, Video Slots and Online Slots. Nett Casino have all the info on casino poker

and many other online casino games in a Norwegian Casino Portal about online casino. Craps is a game of fun and excitement, play craps in CrapsRoom.com

the number one website for online craps.

online casino slot machine online casino slot machine Hope you enjoy them.

Posted by: slots man at Sep 3, 2007 5:51:40 AM

Nobody is a stranger to the word viagra. Even the children have heard of it, though they may be unaware of its meaning. Keeping in pace of its increasing demand which resulted from its phenomenal success in treating ED, even the online pharmacies started dealing in Viagra. One can now easily buy viagra or order viagra online. Ever since the day of introduction of viagra online, it has been like a blessing to both the online pharmacies and the customers. The online pharmacies are reaping huge profits and the people are getting the worlds most sought after drug at their doorsteps that too at a cost relaxation.

Posted by: viagra at Sep 9, 2007 10:48:51 PM

This is an age when people are growing more and more health conscious and are becoming more aware about their bodies. The health info sites on the internet are the best guides to these kinds of people.

Posted by: Health info site at Oct 26, 2007 2:22:39 AM

Horny goat weed gives you everything that expect from a sexual enhancement pill minus the side-effects. Horny goat weed is a safe, legal and cheap substitute to pharmaceutical pills such as Viagra® and Cialis®. It’s not only economical, but also requires no prescription from your doctor. The natural elements ensure that you achieve maximum pleasure and contentment in the safest way. Leave all your fears and cares and make the most of your sex life only through Horny goat weed.

Horny goat weed

Posted by: engelpeagem at Oct 25, 2008 11:19:48 PM

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

Posted by: Buy Viagra at Dec 16, 2009 3:41:20 PM