Second Life: Culture Changes

Hey there. You've stumbled across my ramblings again. How's your Christmas going, hows your dog doing? I don't just mean your RezzRoom Fluffball on a Roomba. I mean HOW ARE YOU in general. This year has been insane. It's time we had a bit of a chat.


I was going to do a little more research, ask some more questions - but I wanted to pose this as a question. I wanted to discuss this and then follow up with another blog post.


How can we change how we promote or use social media in the face of our virtual world in 2021? Or at least, how can we start diversifying and promote things either in a centralized, decentralized, or alternative format?


Argument:


We're using outdated platforms that, while useful for some, are becoming dangerous in many ways. The top two platforms I've noted in this argument are Tumblr and Flickr. Both former Yahoo properties, and both have been off and on used in the second life circle. This argument will speak on other platforms that I have alternative views on, but won't focus on them as much as mainly Flickr or maybe Tumblr.


Specifically, let's speak on the platforms that I have alternative views on - that while they're NOT DANGEROUS - they annoy me personally. This will give you a good pro and con into WHAT these platforms are and how they're used. As to give you a reason and thought why the Flickr argument will come in handy. I will also mention some alternative platforms near the end that are UP and coming or pre-existing that are useful for some, but maybe not me exactly.


Platforms I've used that annoys me, but whatever:


Deviant Art: One sentence SHOULD but doesn't sum it up clearly. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG VORE/INFLATION PORN. Sadly we'll have this in our brains because for a while and sometimes you're unlucky - it shows up in the front pages of categories. (Please note, i'm not calling you erotic/porn artists out, i'm just whining that y'all show up in the front pages of the categories EVEN WITH the adult search turned on LOL.) That's the annoyance as a long time DA user who's used it for design and art reasons. I've been on that platform off and on since i was in my early 20s. I'm now in my late 30s. I'm cranky I GET IT! Also, the only OTHER FRUSTRATION POINT is: In order to further "COMMERCIALIZE" it for blogger purposes (as this isn't really a blogging platform per se, though there is a journal function) - you really should get premium. Honestly, there's a ton of plus sides to USING DEVIANT ART, but the major problem is that it's currenly stablized as a PORTFOLIO website. So it'd be great for people who CREATE, or maybe even photographers.


WordPress: Ugh. Ok this is ... I'm not KNOCKING you all for USING wordpress. I'm just - there's a ton of people who are not technologically sound in SL - and if you're gonna do blogging, make sure your audience KNOWS how to use it or navigate it. And please start using more sense in how you design your blog, if i can't read it - and my eyes are bleeding, then you're generally using YELLOW TEXT ON AN ORANGE BACKGROUND with neon pink just because

someone in 9th grade told you it was pretty. There's a reason they have pre-made templates, as ugly and annoying as they are - they're useable, they're readable.


The other complaint about that platform? EASY TO HACK INTO even on your free wordpress.com ones. I've had multiple emails ruined because the security isn't that great on the dot com ones, and then when you have your own domain and you're using it - unless you're BUYING INTO THE MULTIPLE AMOUNTS OF PAID PLUGINS TO KEEP YOUR SITE SAFE - you're dead in the water. If you don't understand all that jargon - fine I guess?

Wix (FREE, not paid): Not many huge downsides to this. There's .. just... DID YOU EXPECT ME TO BAG THE PLACE I JUMPED FROM SQUARESPACE TO? Geeze. Ok there's only a real small limiation: Some stuff requires a PAID account, and some like squarespace require - A COMMERICIAL level. This isn't a nightmare, trust me - it actually - it's all up there it's all valid. I think in reality, you could make your own photo website with it - and share your gallery like it's 2001. I miss those days.


Up and coming (That annoy me, but aren't bad!):


WHY THESE ANNOY ME: Because i'm an old school jerk who's bored of centralization and thinks there was joy back when we all had our blogs and we communicated in the comments instead of yelling at each other on someone's wall because they were YEETED or YOTE from somewhere. I mean sure the youtube comments section is trash, but that's because it's a social media that's centralized LOL.

SOCIAL VR


These are some screenshots of me signing up to this today, and some views on their Terms of Service, and Rules and Regulations.







PIXEL VR

- Looks a TON like Instagram on Dark Mode.



PHOTO VR




The UPSIDES TO ALL OF THESE:

  1. Centralized.

  2. Looks similar to existing social media

  3. Focuses on virtual worlds and VR

  4. Has a pro feature, which sure costs money - but supports the overall development.

  5. Not run by Verizon, Yahoo or ZUCKFACE.

  6. Run by someone like you, who enjoys the virtual worlds.

The downsides to all of these:

  1. Centralized.

  2. Forms of "SOCIAL MEDIA" - Which means everything gets muddled between "FEELINGS" and "PROMOTION" - and ther'es no room for actual discussion.

  3. Looks similiar to existing social media.

  4. Has a pro feature, that costs money. I mean sure it supports development, but nobody likes paying 99L for a set of jeans in SL so why would you pay 9.99 a month for a social media platform? (Hah. GOT YOU CHEAP ASSES!)

  5. "NOT RUN BY A CORPORATE IDENTITY SO I MAY NOT FEEL SAFE" (I can't believe i'm doing devil's advocate here)

  6. Run by another user just like you, and because it's "VIRTUAL WORLDS" you may not understand the legal complications or identification or anything with it - (Frankly i laugh when people don't want to use Social VR vs facebook because FACEBOOK DOES NOTHING FOR YOU but ban you for doing things that you love lol.)



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TUMBLR:


Let's break this part down into bulleted points because it's not as popular as other sites and it's well - if it weren't basically glorified "Lets' ban you for posting your dog and we said it was titties, but you can keep the child porn" - it'd be a ton better. But Yahoo screwed it up. Like it did flickr.


  1. No ownership of your content.

  2. Acts almost like a glorified pin board - when people reblog your content your hashtags tend to get muddled.

  3. Glorified pornography that is against terms of service, but you get banned for posting NIP NIPS when you're only posting your portrait of grandma eating cake on her 90th.

  4. It's basically a fandom site, with more puns and arguing.

  5. It's unsecure as hell.

  6. Nobody uses it really for SL, and promoting on it is a nightmare.

  7. You get hacked easily.


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FLICKR:



Well well well. Let's break this down into what I HAVE learned so far in the small amount of kerosene burning discussions i've tried to have. These are the "FOR" and against sort of arguments from everyone plus my own. I'd like to pull another blog post detailing FAR MORE about why we need to jump from sites like this and create better culture.


My arguments on discord were the following:


"Topic to think about: Why are we beholden to FLICKR for our virutal world? My reasons for asking is the following: 1. As a blogger i get no hits from flickr, it ruins my links and the whole point of an offsite blog is useless. 2. IT's a VERY UNSECURE and horribly coded site that hasn't been upgraded in years. 3. People left and right are being excluded for the weirdest of reasons, it's like FB but weirder - and 4. "COMMERCIAL" is when you're using marketplace or SLURLS a lot and it's unfair on people who can't afford PRO just for that and 5. Honestly, the whole storage thing is lame <_< 6... PEOPLE STEAL YOUR STUFF OFF FLICKR MORE REGULARLY THAN OTHERWISE lol (i've had it happen off and on over the years) and 7. They only contact you when they need to screw you over :slight_smile:


What can we do to BREAK this chain in SL? I realize flickr is GREAT FOR PRETTYYYYY PICTURES - it's an art form , it's great for seeing what's on offer - but i find it horrible to track everything as a blogger, and worse as a former designer - you're held by the same rules as every other website - post A LOT AND OFTEN regardless of quality to get "TRAFFIC" - and Flickr doens't get you much off for traffic other than to ITS site...


What sites are worth it otherwise? - Lemme know cause this is a topic i want to make on my blog - though i'm sure it's been brought up before "