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Monday, February 23, 2004

RAILROAD PUBLICITY

I've been wanting to write something about Athos Murphy's 19th century railway project, for some time now. It's rather hard to miss, with a track that begins at a mountainous station in Slate, and then winds its way through the hills and fields of several simulators. Thing is, it's usually my policy to hold off on covering projects like this, until after their official christening. Too many ambitious schemes fall by the wayside, for one reason or another, partly completed and abandoned. So I wanted to wait on writing about the railroad, until its premiere ride.

Athos Murphy's publicist, however, had other ideas.

"Picture the train completed," Cori Sunshine e-mailed me, in her
first press release, "it's up and running, passengers on board. We
ride throughout Second Life, taking in the scenes as they pass by,
sim by sim. Suddenly we enter a killzone, the train is highjacked
by bandits, we're robbed, and sent on our way."

It's also the first press release on an in-world project, written by an in-world publicist, that I can recall getting. And that says something, I think. It's one thing to build railroads or skyscrapers-- that's industrial era. But now there's PR, too-- and that's information age, baby.

Cori actually gained some prior experience in publicity, when she co-created and launched SLive, a streaming radio network operated by in-world DJs. "I own the station, basically," Cori tells me. "Phinz does the tech work for me, and I do the PR. I'm better at getting people involved, he's really good with the techie things."

Which is also why Athos brought her in to promote his railway, as he explains while tinkering on a passenger car: "Athos just wants to build stuff," he says. "All the negotiating and revisions take away from prime modelling time." With promotion in the hands of Cori, and scripting by Christopher Omega, he believes the train will take its first trip in a couple weeks. "[Omega's] got the basic physical objects in chained motion effect working," says Athos, "but having them follow [the] track and behave like a train, well... it's coming along."

"I want to see this train cover most of the world," Cori tells me. "We will try Crimson next, then Mocha or Mauve, and head South." Laying track as they go, seeking and gaining permission to build through Linden territory and private property alike. And here, Cori also brings her skills into play.

"I just walk up to [property owners] and speak to them about it, Hamlet," she says. "Just approach and sell the idea to them."

"Anyone resist so far?" I ask.

"Not yet," says Sunshine. "Not with me, anyway. I basically want to know if they aren't keen on the idea, what it would take to change their minds. I'm not afraid to negotiate if that’s what it takes."

"There's a lot of negotiation," Athos interjects, "and reassurance that we'll respect their ideas and views."

"Well, we're going to get this train through," Cori Sunshine says to him, smiling. "Everyone has a price."

Posted at 09:09 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I'm so very excited to know that the GSLR is being accepted by the whole SL community.

A prject of this size will eventually show that it is possible for the whole of the SL community to pull together and accomplish something of this size and nature.

I hope that everyone in SL discovers this, and learns, as we have in Slate, that it is possible to take control of your SIM and turn it from Chaos to wonderfully warm communities.

If the whole SL community can get behind the GSLR, then individual SIM residents can figure out ways to make their SIMs a joy to be in, and not pure chaos as much of our world is now.

Congratulations to Cori, Athos, and Christopher, you are all doing such a wonderful job!

Posted by: Bob Bunderfeld at Feb 24, 2004 3:13:05 PM

I don't want to seem like the bad guy here (but oh well...), but I have to say I wasn't particularly pleased to see that the train track was built right up to the border of my land yesterday about half way down the length of it, making it pretty obvious where it is expected to go next... through the middle of my new tower.
I wouldn't have minded so much, but no one from the railway project has ever come to see me about it. It feels a little intimidating to find a railway track laid right to your front door when no one has bothered to ask or approach you about it.
I applaud the idea, not too keen on the tactics.

Posted by: Kris Ritter at Feb 25, 2004 12:44:57 AM

I'm a big fan of Slate the SIM and the government in Slate. I also hope the railway comes to Blue sometime. I've got plenty of land to donate when/if it gets to Blue.

Kris have you been living under a rock? You could have talked to them about the railway project. I'm not too keen on YOUR tactics buddy.

Posted by: Jack Digieridoo at Mar 1, 2004 9:12:32 AM

No, Jack. I just only read the parts of the forums that might interest me. Which is actually more interaction than many, many other residents have with the forums. Does it say anywhere that we MUST keep up to date with what other people are doing? I don't think not visiting certain threads in the forums constitutes living under a rock.

And, please forgive me for sounding really dumb, here, Jack... but how exactly would I have pre-empted this contact about something I didnt know about, and even if I had, wouldn't have known that its proposed path was across my property in Purple? And WHY should I have pre-empted this contact with people who's project I would have no interest in anyway?

What tactics of mine is it you don't like, Jack?

Posted by: Kris Ritter at Mar 2, 2004 3:19:08 AM