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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

GOING INDY

I began this journal that became a blog near 3 years ago-- on April 22, 2003, to be exact. And on March 1st, by very cool and generous arrangement with Linden Lab, I'll be taking full ownership of New World Notes.

On that day I'll also be ending my current contractor relationship with the company-- a totally mutual decision between Linden and me. In the months that follow, I'll instead be focusing much of my efforts on developing the book version of New World Notes with my agent, a project that's been waiting to bloom for quite awhile.

At the same time, New World Notes will go on pretty much as it is now, except as my own independent project, financed by ads and/or other forms of sponsorship. That in place, I'll continue to chronicle Second Life's evolution from an emerging society (it's already emerged, really) to becoming what I believe is the next generation of the Internet. That's the story of my career, so no way am I letting it go. I'll continue to be endlessly suprised and genuinely awed by the community of Residents who have transformed this place from an uninhabited world to an electric society-- and as Second Life expands past a million-plus users and beyond, it'll be my job (and joy) to watch as they begin to transform the world outside, too.

You can communicate with Hamlet Linden in-world and at hamlet@secondlife.com until the end of February. After which, a new embedded journalist avatar under my control will emerge, ready to continue with the community on the march to a million.

Meantime, if you're interested in the new New World Notes as a potential advertiser or sponsor, contact me at wjamesau@well.com. Any questions for Linden Lab about this change should be directed to the ever-excellent Catherine Smith (catherine@lindenlab.com).

Posted at 12:50 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Hamlet! I arise to find this stellar news waiting, but must admit it's with a little sadness that I'll be saying good-bye to you in this particular incarnation. You are a delightful, kindred soul, and can count on me to remain an ally in every way possible.

Shall be in touch shortly with some things to throw your way. In the meantime, let me simple offer my thanks for this wonderful channel of exploration and insight you've given us, and wish you great success as you go indy and cultivate this bad-ass best seller of your's.

Bloody good show ~wink and a hug~

Sue.

Posted by: Sue Stonebender at Feb 8, 2006 5:50:39 AM

Good luck and HUGGS Hams :)

It will be interesting to see the new chapters of your life unfolding like the dew kissed petals of a flower in the morning

*sniffles*

kick some butt!

~BC

Posted by: Brace at Feb 8, 2006 6:05:20 AM

Wow, change is definitely in the air! Congrats, Hamlet; I look forward to meeting your new incarnation!

-Flip

Posted by: FlipperPA Peregrine at Feb 8, 2006 7:12:27 AM

*Latches onto Hamlet's leg* NOOOOOOOooooooooo

Posted by: Aimee Weber at Feb 8, 2006 7:21:42 AM

Great news that your books finally gets underway, and looking forward to your new incarnation. Are you playing a style for the av?

Posted by: Frans Charming at Feb 8, 2006 7:31:46 AM

Good luck with your future endeavors, Hamlet. We're gonna miss you, but we'll get your replacement to remind you of that EVERY DAY! ;)

Posted by: Psyra Extraordinaire at Feb 8, 2006 7:40:16 AM

Well.. your in my RSS feed and one of my major sources of news in SL. Now that your going indie... well that's great news! ;)

Keep up the good work and here's to good fortune!

Posted by: Icon Serpentine at Feb 8, 2006 7:42:58 AM

Exciting news! Good luck, Hamlet, and I'll be first in line for the book.

Posted by: Thomas Malaby at Feb 8, 2006 8:04:38 AM

Hmm...Re "by very cool and generous arrangement with Linden Lab".

I'm thinking this arrangement is more than a tier-free 4096 for life but...less than 3 months' RL pay.

Hamlet, would you like to accept some advertising for Ravenglass Rentals? Will you take ad payments in Linden dollars?

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Feb 8, 2006 8:09:57 AM

Knock 'em dead, Hamlet!!!! You'll be missed.

Posted by: JessicaQin at Feb 8, 2006 8:32:28 AM

Hmm... a new incarnation... Macbeth Linden, anyone?

Best wishes for the changes ahead, Hammy.

P2

Posted by: Phoenix Psaltery at Feb 8, 2006 8:35:05 AM

Eh brah, this is a proud moment in your career which I find myself fortunate to witness before my eyes. Your insight and enthusiasm has always marked you as a rightful evangelist of Second Life and your presence in the community has always been highly valued by residents like myself.

I wish you much prosperity on this new path and look forward to knockin' back a few drinks with you to celebrate. Mahalo!

Posted by: Cyrus Apollo at Feb 8, 2006 9:03:47 AM

MacBeth Linden would certainly get things done compared to that hesitating Hamlet! or maybe...


*cough*Aimee Linden*cough*

Posted by: Aimee Weber at Feb 8, 2006 9:13:12 AM

> ...a new embedded journalist avatar under my control will emerge, ready to continue with the community on the march to a million.

I love it :). Makes me reminisce. Dude, I remember meeting you at SXSW in 2004--I drove up to Austin from Houston just to see your panel (had to borrow a badge), back when I was focusing on virtual worlds in the futures studies program. What, did SL have like 4 or 5,000 subscribers then? Less? So quaint. Hopefully I can make it out to SXSW this year to say Hey and fully cement how exciting the last two years have been and how much has really happened in that short amount of time...And of course we can look ahead to an even more jam-packed next 730 days as the metaverse blows up on the Web and things get really interesting!

BTW in your role as independent I'm looking forward to catching at least a glimpse of the darker, snarkier, "in-house organ my left foot!” Hamlet, or whatever name you choose to go by. That'll be fun :p.

Wishing you two times the best, man. Break a script!

Posted by: Jerry Paffendorf at Feb 8, 2006 10:09:21 AM

Best of luck with your book project, Hamlet. Hope you'll still be around. Thanks for all you've done. You most definitely rock, sir!

Posted by: Chip Midnight at Feb 8, 2006 12:37:59 PM

Congrats James! Excellent excellent news.

Posted by: Peter Ludlow at Feb 8, 2006 2:04:37 PM

Dearest Hamlet,
While I will be ever so sad that you are departing your *official* capacity within LL, I am thrilled that you are advancing in your RL career.

I look forward to the publishing of your NWN, thank you for all the accomodations throughout our long friendship, and wish you the very best of luck.

Stay close to us, my sweet friend. We are all better while you remain in our midst. Keep up the wonderful work you do and stay as charming as you are.

With great fondness, Baccara

Posted by: Baccara Rhodes at Feb 8, 2006 2:43:37 PM

good luck on your new venture Hamlet.

Posted by: Max Case at Feb 8, 2006 5:14:02 PM

What bittersweet news!

Or perhaps not, since it was a mutual decision?

At any rate, you'll always be welcome among the Penny-Arcadians.

Enjoy life on the Edge,

Orikae

Posted by: Orikae Fisher at Feb 8, 2006 5:52:33 PM

Hamlet,

Congrats, good luck, and for the record I think this is a good move for you and a smart move for Linden Lab.

What's your new surname going to be? :)

Posted by: Hiro Pendragon at Feb 8, 2006 6:28:51 PM

Thanks for all the kind words all, they're hugely appreciated.

Just to be clear, I have no intention of stopping New World Notes the blog while writing New World Notes the book. I read all these posts that make it sound like I'm about to go into a coma, when in actuality, little should really change from the reader or Resident's point of view-- there'll probably be a slight burp as the blog starts displaying ads, and I'll show up in-world as "Hamlet [not a Linden]" but really, that's pretty much it. I'll probably be in-world *more* from now on.

Far as ads on NWN, please e-mail me, as I'm still working out the details. The ideal situation is those will be handled by a third party who can act as a Chinese Wall between editorial (i.e. me) and my advertisers.

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Feb 8, 2006 11:39:22 PM

I couldn't not sound in here... that'd be lacking of me.

I'd like to thank you graciously, Hamlet, for helping to bring me into Second Life. It was before I ever talked to you and got to know you personally, that I became acquainted through the "pages" of NWN. Having aroused my curiosity sufficiently, I soon dove in. And, as the story goes, put you as my referrer.

Something makes me *want* to be sad, but you've done the Linden thing, I've done the Resident thing. We now find ourselves in a rather fascinating reversal of sorts, as has been discussed.

I sometimes muse, in that anachronistic way, what it'd be like if NWN was paper journalism, and it was in a display case, to be read by future generations. (Invalidations of the uniqueness our synthetic world affords us aside for a colorful analogy.) Well, lo and behold, paper is still very much in demand, and you'll have a BOOK. I do hope it gets preserved, because where we are now--in the present--leads to many things to come. And younguns will look back, when there are many Hamletbabies (hehe), and say: "That's where it started." By then, the technological advances will be great, but stories of the heart will continue to inspire, and maybe by then, you'll be gray and wizened and passing on your fu to a new generation of newsworthy disciples.

Many more adventures until then!

It sounds utterly hilarious, but capturing these moments... some of which I was present at, months, years down the line. One of the kewlest things I've been able to do through NWN, is read about great people, and then actually be able to make contact with them.

I of course, not only refer to the subjects of your articles, Hamlet, but the person writing them. :)

Posted by: Torley Linden at Feb 9, 2006 2:14:26 AM

Congrats from the whole lot of our RL and SL peeps. Mark this day on the calendar. History. You watch. I know these things. ;-)

ER/Spin
ericrice.com
spinmartin.com

Posted by: Eric Rice/Spin Martin at Feb 9, 2006 12:25:05 PM

Good Luck!

Posted by: Chance Abattoir at Feb 9, 2006 11:15:28 PM

This sounds good - a change, a little fresh air, a new viewpoint on Second Life and the world. It makes me think of holding an object of beauty and turning it to admire it from as many angles as possible. Good things are coming.

Posted by: Osprey at Feb 10, 2006 12:14:24 AM