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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ALL TOMORROW'S POLITICAL PARTIES

Tracking left and right in virtual world politics...

SLOG is a relatively new group blog featuring nearly 20 of the most established and respected Residents. It's easily one of (if not the) best multi-contributor blogs devoted to Second Life, regularly featuring polished, pithy stories and opinion pieces with a minimum (thank God) crossover of interpersonal rancor from the Forums.

One of the latest entries, however, takes the cake. Quality-wise, I'd say it easily ranks up there with a Terra Nova entry. But since it's by bad girl fashionista Aimee Weber, terms like "assless pants" are regularly employed, and the author's photo is considerably hotter than anything you'd come across in, say, Public Affairs Quarterly. So, you know, a two-fer.

Ms. Weber has done the seemingly impossible: categorize Residents according to political ideology. Repurposing the popular square-shaped, four-pole spectrum that separates the libertarians from the socialists and the liberals from the conservatives, Aimee defines Second Life parties by the way they perceive their world. On the center-left, those who hold Philip Linden at his word that Second Life is, quite literally, a new country. On the center-right, those who consider SL a software platform (and a financially lucrative one at that). On the libertarian-left, those who prefer to see SL as an anarchic state; on the authoritarian-right, those who want Second Life to function as a game, with all freedoms curtailed for the sake of making it more fun.

An extraordinary model-- can we dub it the Weber Square?-- and one I'll probably use in future entries on in-world politics. So like better-known bloggers, I get to say: read the whole thing.

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Comments

Hamlet, SLOG isn't a blog of the most established and respected residents, except in your own mind. It's a closed, self-referential, and exclusive clique of the FIC de la FIC, which has closed itself off to snicker at others, and can't even accept any comments to the blogs by anybody but its' own self-adulatory members. Even the august and impressive Terra Nova, a blog of peer-reviewed academics and game developers, still lets us hoi polloi comment on the items posted by its select members.

Geez, can't you recognize the FIC when you see it? Uh, no wonder there's no "personal rancor" -- there is no right even to praise the people writing there, let alone argue with them!

It's nice they've arranged themselves all in one-stop-shopping now, so that anyone can now ascertain that there really is a certain paucity of ideas coming out of this gang -- even the ubiquitous Hiro Pendragon on his sole blog has more ideas per square inch than SLOG, which finds it humorous to go around snarkily satirizing Tringo games and blingtards (they people who are their own customers) -- and then engage in the kind of stereotyping of SL characters that I'm always accused of doing lol.

As for your breathlessness about Aimee's pan-I mean parties, I think you must never read SL Political Science, the rubric on the forums. For months, there have been dozens of people trying to categorize various ideologies in SL by comparison to RL political ideologies. Been there, done that.

Normally, in RL, parties develop platforms in relationship to *economic ideologies*. Aimee, who is no political scientist, pays scant attention to this glaring reality of sharp differences in economic ideologies in SL, but instead, characterizes the parties in relationship to their attitude toward Linden Lab and its software and platform, Second Life. She places herself in the "good party" of Platformers who aren't "dumb enough" to think SL is some kind of "country" like Lindenor in a quest game, but who suck up to the company for pragmatic reasons -- and as Aimee added on the forums -- get the company to "stop those who slander their business." Indeed!

It's like...There's something...almost winsomely pathetic about these Belarusian-style parties defining themselves not by viable economic programs, but by their attitude toward Mother Russia.

I've contributed my own thorough critique of Aimee's parties here: http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2005/11/aimees_pani_mea.html

The most silly thing she does is put me and Ulrika in the same party, merely to gain points in the forums wars and declare me "an extremist". Indeed, her parties are just a thinly-veiled forum vilification -- one senses that Aimee cannot begin any study of any politics without first somehow "putting Prok in his place" hehehe.

I don't belong in any party with Ulrika, a socialist who is so hard on the left that she almost becomes right -- surely she's hysterially conservative on matters like wanting to vandalize SUVs or take Gideon Bibles out of hotels, an old and innocuous American tradition. In SL, Ulrika has campaigned for everything from removal of the ten-percent tier bonus, which used to benefit her own group (she dropped it when she moved to a private island where it is no longer applicable) to flat tier to hatred of land barons as a class. Indeed, Ulrika's ideas are extreme forms of Marxist socialism and she is rightly called an extremist in views as well as methods.

I'm not an extremist "on the other side," i.e. advocating rampant, unrestrained capitalism, Social Darwinism, winner-takes-all SL stakeholding. Unfamiliar with real politics, the unschooled kids in SL thinks anyone who vigorously criticizes or satirizes is "an extremist" because they confuse method with viewpoint.

In fact, if you want to see Social Darwininism and extreme celebration of capitalism don't look to me, a manager of a medium-sized company, or my writings about the need for more social responsibility of big business in SL (i.e. the big businesses of Preen, Snapzilla, GIGAS, Nexcom, etc.), look to Aimee's fellow Slog-blogger Enabran Templar, whose siggy says "A businessman doesn't make excuses, a businessman makes a profit," etc.

I run a business of low-cost rentals to enable people to break through the FIC-dominated market in malls and I undercut land barons -- that's not extreme capitalism, that's more of the social-oriented market economics that some of Neualtenberg's own denizens support. I support an extensive public land preserve. I help newbies and give away money to newbies without all the fanboyz stuff like Mentors and Helpers. I don't use SL as my 3-D resume hanger.

There shouldn't be a confusion between sharpness of style, the use of satire and sarcasm in political writing, and extremity of views. I'm a moderate and a liberal, dedicated to the kind of freedom and openness of society which Aimee herself has worked to shut, with her face appearing five times on the SL website, her position in favour of travel-restricting bounce scripts (with an inadequate "push slider" only to counter them), in favour of prisons in SL, in favour of deposits on to accounts, in opposition to mass participatory democracy, in favour of ghettos on the forums for disliked posters, etc.

I shudder to think that now all political analysis in SL is going to be dumbed-down, using the self-celebratory and Hamlet-blessed "Weber Square" which propagandizes rather than informs or analyzes. It cannot explain why, in fashioning parties by relationship to LL itself, that within this one company, Philip Linden says SL is a "country" but Robin Linden says "it is not a country".

A political tool that leaves out the obvious -- the creator-fascists who suck up to the company to obtain their privileges and who use the platform to obtain jobs within this company (1/3 of employees are hired from among residents) is a tool that is curiously censored or at least silent on the giant political elephant in the room.

Platformers are not the savvy and kewl moderates and the beloved of the people they imagine. Au contraire. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 8, 2005 8:51:11 AM

Why a square? Why not the tried-and-true diamond?

Loses all legitimacy without the diamond. Pfft.

Posted by: Jiggly Puff at Nov 8, 2005 12:16:57 PM

Thank you for your comments Hamlet. I know some people want SLOG to open up it's comments section, but I remain on the fence there. On the one hand, I really like challenging perspectives, on the other I do not want to transplant the rancor of the forums -- we already have one of those. We (as much as there is a "we", since slog members have never had a group meeting/discussion and probably never will) continue to contemplate that challenge. Personally, I definitely plan on cross-linking to other blogs as much as possible though, and hope cocoa (who has been talking about starting one) and others free their pens are get a-writing.

The funny thing about prok is how he reads what he wants to read, never what's actually there. I am aware of only one SL blog where nasty comments and judgemental invective pours forth with machine-gun rapidity, and I'm happy to say it's not SLOG.

Posted by: Forseti Svarog at Nov 8, 2005 3:28:26 PM

Forseti, you look through rose-coloured glasses at your world. Read Pol Tabla's parody of the events list, just to cite one example. Don't forget who started a blog posting with first trying to "put Prok in his place" in some ridiculous political party box -- your friend Aimee. I know it must seem to you as if you guys never cast the first stone, and I'm sure it must feel to you, in self-righteous mode abetted by your fan Hamlet here, that the stones coming back at you into your walled garden are somehow unprovoked, unjustified, and unfair. Too bad. You invite them, with the judgement with which you faced the world initially, in the profoundly judgemental, exclusive invective involved in creating a closed blog with no posting rights for anyone but your own clique.

I suspect if you allow just a few more forum regs into your cloistered midst, you'll find that you bring the forums rancor with you, without even letting in the hoi polloi. Things that you think you can escape often tend to come with you.

Hamlet, I'm really not impressed with you gushing so over a residents' blog that is exclusive and exclusionary and doesn't even allow the freedom of speech of the Lindens' own forums. Geez. And then gushing about forum rancor.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 8, 2005 7:41:23 PM

wow Hams. I've been reading your writings since well over a year now, and even a month or so before I entered Second Life.

You've missed the mark on numerous occasions, but nothing has ever prompted me to post, not even ONCE here in all that time.

But this just takes the cake. Well said, Prokofy. You keep on keeping on!

Hamlet, many things of importance to LL and SL aside from all the "interpersonal rancor" (which in many cases has been furthered and continued by those you so lovingly caress here with your words of praise) appear on those forums.

And yes have even prompted policy changes good or bad.

How you as a writer - in a medium that has fought for and continues to fight for freedom of expression, can tout such an example of what basically is in opposition to those themes - as a beacon of light for the rest of us, is beyond me.

Good luck on your book. Out in the "real world" there are critics who are "allowed" to write freely about what they think and comment negatively or positively on what others write about the world or worlds in which they live in.

Posted by: Brace at Nov 9, 2005 10:54:14 AM

I don't see why a commentless blog is such a hard concept to understand. There's no reason why any publication has an obligation to host a comments link -- it's simply a convenience that many blogs have chosen to include. A great many blogs and news websites DO NOT host a comments.

If you wish to express an opinion, create your own blog and write as much as you want -- no one is stopping you.

Posted by: Cubey Terra at Nov 9, 2005 11:18:22 AM

Duh, Cubey, we all know that. Why do you think that a condescending statement of the obvious is going to be instructive? We all have blogs, even being banned from the Forums, duh, you make a blog, people even such as yourself read it. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about Hamlet, a journalist, even if he is an inhouse organist, who is supposed to be somewhat impartial, who is touting a group of people as being "most respected" and patting them heartily on the back for avoiding "forum rancour" when that is utterly beside the point -- anybody can make a happy little bloggy when they have no comments enabled! We can't respect that, and as Brace aptly noted, some of these people are the very same ones purveying arrogant and condescending and even oppressive comments on the SL forums, trying to enforce the group-think.

For people to tout themselves as great thinkers and artists -- creative, even Bohemian types -- and then create a closed blog to which no one can even add their fan-like praise is to let us know the real level of their intellectual endeavor: mediocre. Artists and inventors enclaves have existed from time immemorial. They don't let just anybody into their ranks, and they judge by quality. But it's only in the stuffy walled-garden of Second Life that they are so insecure that they have to keep others out or even shun them. In RL, interesting literary or art or technical collectives have life and meaning because they allow for criticism and robust comment and they allow people at least to be hangers-on, around the edges of their brilliance. This bunch seems to think it will wilt if they open up a little comments screen.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 9, 2005 11:45:48 AM

Your objection makes no sense at all if you've admitted that blogs have no obligation to host comments. It seems more likely that you simply want to badger them into giving you another soap box for your conspiracy theories.

Posted by: Cubey Terra at Nov 9, 2005 12:03:02 PM

That's one way to look at it, Prok. Here's another. It's about variety of tone.

We have no intention of competing with SL's Forums, The SL Herald, SL Universe, or SecondThoughts. Users currently have a wide range of choices to read about and post furious debates, strikes, counterstrikes, hearsay, libel, conspiaracy theories, and volumes of insane ranting. Nobody at SLOG felt another venue for this kind of tone was needed.

SLOG was intended to capture that drama-averse segment of SL's population that have sworn off the forums. It's a nice relaxing place to read some articles without getting knee deep in the poo-flinging. That's not something that existed before now, and our near instant success is a testament to the need for such a format.

People will have a preference to read SLOG, or to not read SLOG. We are comfortable with this and know that readers have innumerable alternatives.

Posted by: Aimee Weber at Nov 9, 2005 12:25:37 PM

Just a reminder, NWN is moderated along the same community standards as the official forums. I will (and have) deleted comments I construe as personal attack-- or come close enough to incite same in rejoinder.

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Nov 9, 2005 4:53:19 PM

"Twenty of the most established and respected residents?"

You want to think THAT one over a bit, Hamlet?

I personally do NOT respect people who gratuitiously denigrate my work and my SL business on the SL Forums, nor should you, and one of them does exactly that. That is what you want to encourage? I am insulted by that.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I also don't respect people who talk down to other posters, while praising each other. Some of the people on SLOG do all they can to be to run off posters whose ideas they dislike - or, if not going quite that far, at least to establish themselves in various unsavory ways as the self-proclaimed creme de la creme. Emphasis on "self-proclaimed" - that is, until you come along to semi-officially declare them so.

Who think - as one of them told me on the forums - that it is actually okay to ever strip another person of their human dignity.

Do you even READ the forums they are supposedly rising above with this blog? Do you not see how some of them make fun of everyone? How some of them do their best to marginalize anyone they disagree with? How a new person (not me) can come along and make a comment and pretty soon some of them are fast and furious with the in-jokes with each other and cleverly putting that person down, rather than actually addressing the person's thoughts?

What's the use of being nice to each other on your private blog, and using the SL Forums to laugh at other posters, to be dismissive and condescending, nasty and foul-mouthed and mean and everything else? To other paying residents of SL? Of course, not all the people on SLOG do that. But enough do it, and often enough, that I think it is irresponsible of you to applaud them.

Now they have created their own blog, where no one else can even be trusted enough to so much as post, "Cute piece, Pol." And now, for some obscure reason, you write all this up as if it were the second coming?

Not to MENTION how some of them talk on other people's blogs. Something there about not fouling one's own nest, but . . .

Here's some news and clues for you, Hamlet: There are nigh upon 80k members to SL even as we speak. Even overlooking alt accounts, that's just a WHOLE LOT of PEOPLE. None of whom are allowed to do comment on the SLOG blog, though they are encouraged in every siggy to come read it and worship at its feet. Eighty thousand people you could pay more attention to if you're properly covering SL.

You talk about how their blog won't be tainted by any of the interpersonal rancor such as that which occurs on the SL forums, "thank God." Hamlet, some of these individuals are directly RESPONSIBLE for the rancor on the forums! Naturally they aren't going to get any in their own closed club.

And surely, surely, you are being tongue-in-cheek when you write, "Ms. Weber has done the seemingly impossible: categorize Residents according to political ideology." Either that, or you have been living under a rock.

It definitely gives the impression that Aimee could probably write her grocery list and you would nominate it for a Pulitzer.

Or - it's actually an insult from you, in an underhanded way, appearing to be incredibly impressed that she can actually think, even though she's a fashion designer.

coco


Posted by: Cocoanut at Nov 9, 2005 4:57:53 PM

I should also note how bizarre it is to have the Comments section of this blog inundated with comments from other SL bloggers about other SL bloggers' decision not to have a Comments section, in their own blog. Comments on Comments?

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Nov 9, 2005 4:59:17 PM

Wow, Hamlet has deleted my post! And merely because I pointed out that this comment is denigrating and belittling to other SL residents with blogs: " Users currently have a wide range of choices to read about and post furious debates, strikes, counterstrikes, hearsay, libel, conspiaracy theories, and volumes of insane ranting".

Nice one!

Hamlet has also originated a new doctrine: pre-emptive censorship -- he can -- and does! -- remove posts that are personal insults "or come close enough to incite same in rejoinder".

That is, if he thinks a post, which may be ok in and of itself, *might* cause his previously rancor-free and petted blogsters to lose their uber cool and make a personal attack, he will censor not that cool person, but the who was the cause of their personal attack.

It just boggles the mind! Hello, Room 101.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 9, 2005 7:52:46 PM

Brace wrote "Good luck on your book. Out in the "real world" there are critics who are "allowed" to write freely about what they think and comment negatively or positively on what others write about the world or worlds in which they live in."

I fail to understand the fuss here. Can you go to every author's website and write what you think about them? Can you write a letter to the New York Times Book Review and demand to get it published? No, but you can exercise your freedom of speech on your own blog, on forums, and in countless, countless other ways.

This righteous rage (or whatever it is) is misplaced.

Go look at Gwyneth Llewelyn's blog -- no comment function (at least right now lol). How about Michael Yon's very high profile blog on Iraq (http://michaelyon.blogspot.com)? Or the blog of Jonathan Schwartz, the COO of Sun? Do those blogs bother you equally?

I'm sorry if Prokofy wants yet another platform and can't have one. No, not really.

For the record, I welcome criticism and challenges to what I write. I still participate on the forums, and I try to hear out other perspectives. There are many ways to reach me, or critique my slog writings.

Posted by: Forseti Svarog at Nov 9, 2005 9:46:00 PM

Oh I see. So this closed blog is just to keep Prokofy from posting.

Wow.

That is a whole lot of power you are just handing right over.

Again you miss the point.

And this is why I can no longer sit idly by. Pretty much what Coco said. I mean Hamlet seems to be even further out of touch with SL and whats happening in game and on the forums than philly.

Amazing. Utterly amazing.

And Forsie - bad enuff that folks want to circle their wagons and whatsnot, but thats really not the issue at hand here.

And I won't bother further explaining it to you as at least three of us have clearly and eloquently explained it already.

Read and Learn. There's still time.

And Cubes we all got blogs. Anyone and everyone can post whatever they heck they want on mine.

I'm not scared of what anyone might say. I've been called kinda b**ches on my blog and I'm still breathing.

Really Hams you should check out the behavior of some of your so called "respected" residents.

Unbelieveable.

Posted by: Brace at Nov 10, 2005 12:33:12 AM

Actually my take on this is that it is simply making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no power play here, much as a few like to read such a thing into every time an avatar sneezes. RL has enough drama for both lives.

I will freely admit that there are some members of SLOG who get rough and tumble on the forums. But I would not tar the entire cast with that brush.

I can think of lots of people who get rough and tumble on the forums as well (some of whom are posting in outrage above), but if Hamlet pointed out their blog as an example of excellence, you would not see me gnashing my teeth or protesting the justice of it all.

Convince yourself that you are a victim, but it won't make it true.

At the end of the day, we simply have different perspectives on this.

Posted by: Forseti Svarog at Nov 10, 2005 5:59:49 AM

Hey howdy,

Well I'm probably the bone of contention in that "most established and respected Residents" phrase. No one really knows of me outside the forums. In fact, no one really knows of a lot of SLOG's contributors outside the forums. Yeah, I build, but so do tons of others. I'm hardly famous for it and I don't make money doing it. I digress. I agree it might not have been the most correct phrasing to use.

SLOG is a group of people that Forseti likes the writing style of, and he knows that we can be semi-responsible in tone and courtesy. Nothing more, nothing less.

NOW! The meat of it: anyone that thinks they have a god given right to post a comment on anybody's writing on that person's personal blog/journal is smoking crack and I laugh at you. Brace, it *is* about Prokofy - if you'll gander on J-Wu's new blog, Prok's already decided to sh*t mile long paragraphs all over the place, and J-Wu only has two posts! SLOG is a fun little writing exercise for its contributors. I personally see no reason why Forseti should be obligated to go through the hassle and emotional stress involved with dealing with Prok having a psychological breakdown every time SLOG adds a post just because he has a hair up his ass for most/all of us.

There is no earthy reason why someone can't start their own blog and link to ours to respond. Why should we be obligated to give you a forum? Blogs are free. Spend a little time and make something yourself. Forseti's already been posting links to other blogs that comment on SLOG.

As of yesterday, comments were shut down completely. No one can comment. Period. Read it and move on with your life. Or don't read it. We'll probably still post anyway.


Posted by: Cory Edo at Nov 10, 2005 6:51:52 AM

Let's go over again what's wrong with Hamlet's article here:

1. He has very arbitrarily decided who 20 of the most respected and established residents of SL are -- he's now put paid to Robin Linden's notion that the FIC "is an interesting myth". It's now no longer a myth, but a reported, documented, in-real-time reality.
2. He has blessed this 6th-grade clique's finger-paintings with the judgement that they are among the best (if not the best) of all SL blogs with regular witty and pithy opinion pieces (huh? stuff like FlipperPA telling us he's busy in RL and can't post? stuff on prim shoes and tiny avatar feet and Cory gushing about Jauani revealing the dimple-secret of building? Huh)?
3. Worst of all, he's compared this compilation to Terra Nova, a peer-reviewed, quality, academic publication.
4. He's also blessed assless pants, declared Aimee as "hawt," and essentially put the 6th edition of her taunting mug on the Linden-sponsored forums.
5. Then, to add insult to injury, he's declared that this dubious exercise escaped the "interpersonal rancour of the forums" -- which grave blindness to the fact that these 20 are in fact responsible themselves for a good deal of the condescending, flippant, snarky, group-think remarks on the forums that chase off newbies as well as oldbies, and drive certain people to fight them so hard, out of the obvious sense of injustice, that they themselves are banned.
6. He has introduced a new doctrine for forums' censorship, which is to pre-emptively delete any post that might not actually be a personal attack but might drive the weak-willed among the feted into making a personal attack themselves.

In a sense, Hamlet has declared that Aimee and the FIC have "won the forums," and now Philip Linden can proceed with his plan to close them down, and let fan blogs replace the old Jeska functions -- starting with a walled garden where no one else can post. Nice job for an afternoon's work!

Just like the FIC constantly deny their privileges ingame, they are all furiously trying to dredge up everything from the New York Times letter page (not a blog, and a product of editorial judgement) to Gwyn's blog as evidence that there's nothing wrong with this method.

I beg to disagree. It's one thing when one person just wants to have a blog of their own, and not have comments enabled, or block posts they don't like. It's another thing when *20 people in an identifiably elite grouping* -- further blessed as the most established, most respected, and even most witty and most like Terra Nova -- close off comments even from those who are likeminded. AND even make provocative comments on others with impunity, and no way for anyone to debate them. This is a wonder to behold. This Metaversal Miracle Mile is exactly the sort of awful thing we can expect if we don't fight back for freedom.

20 people in a self-selected blog denying comments by even their fans, i.e. not exercising reasonable deletion of spam or hate posts, are making a profound comment, which is that there can't be freedom of expression in the Metaverse, and it has to be scrubbed, sanitized, blessed by the corporation, and yet still purveyed as kewl and interesting and even witty and academic.

No sale!

Here we have a game company, and its hired PR flak, selecting 20 of their most loyal "Platformers" (some of whom they are statistically likely to hire in the next year), declaring that they do in fact openly play favourites and openly applaud the suppression and exclusion of expression by people who don't find these 20 as wonderful as they do. All sham of just "covering SL" evaporates here, as Hamlet picks sides and decides not only who won the forums, but who won SL, and who won even the virtual-worlds Internet. It's really a stunning coup.

Like all coups, however, it's a shaky victory and there are enemy factions everywhere that will probably topple this multi-party SLOG government eventually. I suspect not only grumbling from the ranks within, but grumbling from those FIC obviously not included now like Hiro Pendragon, Cristiano Midnight, Chip Midnight, and Nolan Nash, could be coming down the line.

Let's try to analyze why this coup is taking place *now* and I'd hazard a few guesses:

1. Hamlet has to leave and write a book if he is to compete with Uri and Walker; he hasn't found quite the right stringers yet, and he needs to have pointers to the quality, trusted pro-platform stuff that can serve the old purpose of his own column -- hence the blessing of SLOG.
2. The Lindens really are thinking of closing down the forums now -- it can go both ways with them, they can both take over player businesses but also force their previously Linden-run institutions to spin off to player businesses, too. This is to help prepare the public for such a move, now, or eventually. For ever and anon, Philip and others can now say, see, there are these nice resident blogs that are even as good as Terra Nova with SL's most established residents, so read their works, and if you want to comment, well, start your own blog.
3. The world is growing so fast, with so many new people, and so much new evident talent, that the old FIC and even the neo-FIC of the last year can't compete. Hence some artificial boosts.
4. Traffic and sales are down for these 20, for all kinds of reasons, not only to do with game and patch glitches but their own burn-out and crossover to WoW and the reality of some pretty fierce non-FIC competition that has emerged in their fields. Something to pump them up was needed to keep them engaged on SL.

Any other thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 10, 2005 7:54:32 AM

Cory, I wasn't even thinking about you when I wrote my post above. I was thinking of not one, but SEVERAL other people on SLOG, some of whose activities I referred to obliquely. Some supposedly respected; some not even that.

It is NOT about Prokofy. It is about all of us. I innocently wandered into the trap - trying to post a comment regarding Pol's cute piece, then getting told no - eventually, after internal discussion.

It is about everyone BUT those in that group. They could make a comments section - anybody running a group blog that large, advertising it, and taking on airs about its "contributors," owes it to their readership to allow comments.*

Forseti, saying some of your members occasionally get "rough and tumble" on the forums is really putting far too nice a face on what is simply and purely rotten and sometimes downright vicious behavior by SLOG members on the SL forums. Not to mention condescending.

coco

*I see Prok has made the same point about the fact that it is a large group blog. This is a conclusion I arrived at separately, and before going back to read the rest of the posts after Cory's.

And to comment on his notion that Hamlet's coverage here is preliminary to closing down the forums, I would hope not. I prefer democracy and free speech - not the annointing of kings and queens, or gods and goddesses on some kind of virtual, unreachable, Mount Olympus.

I think, though, it's probably more a case of the fact that SLOG is under fire, and Hamlet's just helping out his friends.

And I would also second another of Prok's points - it's really, really unfair to use a group blog to talk about others and yet not let those others comment.

For Hamlet to ENDORSE and FURTHER ADVERTISE a blog where others can and are be talked about but aren't allowed to speak for themselves - a blog which includes contributors who have already done their best to ruin the official forums - is nothing short of outrageous.

At this point, it's not even about SLOG, as far as I'm concerned. It's about Hamlet Linden giving it the official thumbs up, and declaring everyone on it "respected," regardless of how they treat other residents.

That isn't even journalistically accurate.

coco

Posted by: Cocoanut Koala at Nov 10, 2005 8:43:52 AM

Oops, sorry, of the 18 eminent most respected and established residents of SL, of course Chip and Cristiano *are* on there already -- my point is not that they are left out, but they might, once they get posting, stir up the hornet's nest in this happy bloggy. But Nolan Nash, Cienna Samiam, some of our other forum beloveds are conspicuous by their absence.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 10, 2005 8:49:00 AM

I am delighted by the enthusiastic interest people have been taking in SLOG!

I do want to point out that when you say "under fire" what you mean is "the usual folks are attacking" Yes, We *KNOW* Prok, Coco, Blaze, and Brace don't like us. You guys have posted and blogged you feelings about us for the better part of this year. That's not what people think of when they hear "under fire."

But most of the input we have been getting (via e-mail and in-world) has been quite positive. Oh, and you guys may want to carry your criticism over at the SL Herald too, where Uri described my story as "an interesting piece" and "a fine exercise."

http://www.dragonscoveherald.com/blog/index.php?p=1011

I will keep you posted if still more sites fail to understand that our work is like "6th-grade clique's finger-paintings."

Posted by: Aimee Weber at Nov 10, 2005 9:13:38 AM

"For Hamlet to ENDORSE and FURTHER ADVERTISE a blog where others can and are be talked about but aren't allowed to speak for themselves - a blog which includes contributors who have already done their best to ruin the official forums - is nothing short of outrageous."

Here's the list of contributors:
* BuhBuhCuh
* Torley
* Cristiano Midnight
* Barnes
* pandastrong Fairplay
* Launa
* Aimee Weber
* Forseti Svarog
* Chip Midnight
* Ushuaia
* Cory Edo
* Ingrid
* Kim Anubis
* Pol Tabla
* Enabran Templar
* Satchmo Prototype
* Flipper Peregrine
* Catherine Omega


Probably me and Enabran are the two worst offenders in the SL forums. And Enabran hasn't even posted to SLOG yet. Panda quit so he's moot. I don't see anybody else on the list of contributors that could possibly be pinpointed as "trying their best to ruin the official forums". (Not that I'm trying to say you DID mean me, I only say this because I freely admit I'm a smartass and I can honestly only think of me and Enabran that might fall in the category you describe.)

"At this point, it's not even about SLOG, as far as I'm concerned. It's about Hamlet Linden giving it the official thumbs up, and declaring everyone on it "respected," regardless of how they treat other residents."

OK, that I can agree with, but possibly not in the way you intended. To me, the absolute funniest thing about this whole controversy (such as it is) is that *everybody else* is making all these value judgements about how elitist, cool, not-cool, snotty, revered, etc. the SLOG contributors are. Forseti just picked people that he likes, and that he likes the writing of. We're only as elite as everyone else makes us out to be. And isn't that what celebrity is all about?


Posted by: Cory Edo at Nov 10, 2005 9:53:46 AM

You may not see anybody else, but I have seen their less-than-stellar work, Cory. I don't expect you to have read all the same things I have.

Keep talking, Aimee. Dismiss me as "one of the usual folks" all you like. That hardly answers all the problems with SLOG, or with Hamlet's piece.

coco

Posted by: Cocoanut Koala at Nov 10, 2005 10:05:11 AM

Aimee, Re: ""an interesting piece" -- what makes you so sure he's talking about the article and not, oh well never mind. If you have to reach to the *Herald* for an endorsement, for God's sake, sheesh. Maybe try some of the professors at Terra Nova, to which you have also been compared?

Cory, you really need to google the forums postings of Cristiano, Chip, Ingrid, and some of the other forums royals there. They're all part of the snarky tone, the brow-beating, the guilt-tripping over silly issues like first land, the hectoring tone with newbies who get too uppity with them -- etc.

As for Forseti just "picking people he likes," I suppose it's no accident that he "just happens to like" the group-think five-percent forum FIC lol. Nice taste!

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 10, 2005 10:28:51 AM

There's always the simple solution of "just don't read the damn thing". I do that with Prokofy's blog now (and his commentary anyplace it happens to be) and my blood pressure is much more stable.

People only have as much power over you as you give them.

Posted by: Cory Edo at Nov 10, 2005 10:30:34 AM