Next week, I will reach the one-year mark of working from home in self-isolation for my university library system (my full-time paying job). As the pandemic drags on, my chronic clinical depression has become worse and worse. I regret that I am now at the point where I have to put this blog on hold. For how long, I don’t know. At least until I can get my worsening depression under some sort of control.
I am really struggling with my mental state, and I need to do this to focus my limited energies on my paying job. I WANT TO MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR: I AM NOT SUICIDAL!!!I just need to take a break from the blog.
I will still be active on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server, Twitter, and Clubhouse (where all I have to do is listen), and I will still be showing up at Bray’s Place in Second Life, and perhaps a few other social VR platforms and virtual worlds (I feel very guilty for neglecting Sinespace these past six months). But that’s the extent of what I can do right now.
So this will be my last blogpost for a while. I’m so sorry, you guys. I tried to keep going, but I have to rest and heal for a bit. I hope you understand, but even if you don’t, I am still stepping away from the blog.
The RyanSchultz.com blog will be closed for an indefinite period. Given my past history of starts and stops over the past 3-1/2 years, I will probably be back at some point. But between the Winnipeg winter, the pandemic, and multiple other stressors, I have been stretched to the breaking point—and today I finally broke. Badly.
I just need to go away and heal for a while. It is now likely that I will have to take some extended sick time from my paying job with the University of Manitoba Libraries. The only thing that I have planned is to sit down for a chat with Kent Bye for his Voices of VR podcast in early March; other than that, I will be staying off Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, not blogging, and not checking my email. Please note that I have turned off the ability to leave comments on all my blogposts. You may have things you want to say to me, but I’m not really in a place to hear them. I’m sorry. I am in tears as I write this. Things are not going well.
My clinical depression, which I have struggled with for most of my teenage and adult life, is slowly getting worse again, but I am getting treatment and I am taking care of myself as best I can.
UPDATE Feb. 25th, 10:11 p,m. The following thread of 5 tweets I pinned to the top of my Twitter profile this evening, I will be taking an extended break from Twitter.
1/4 Everybody is asking me what happened yesterday and if I am OK. I don’t know if my explaining what happened yesterday is going to help. No, I am not OK.
3/5 Christina Kinne (a.k.a XaosPrincess) gave a summary of what happened next: “Political Correctness backfired in the most cruel way on Ryan. He put up this list of 25 social VR people he follows, but he mentioned only a couple of POC folks in this…”
4/5 Xaos: “Therefore he got attacked from the left and the right, and even though he made big amends (expanding the list, inviting the lady who legitimately criticized him for an interview on inclusion), the attacks got viral & someone even told him to “walk directly into the sea”
5/5 Kaos “As much as I love PC for its original intent to change the social narrative in terms of equal rights & representation for everyone, as paradox it gets imo if someone (who has always been transparent about his issues with depression) is prompted to kill themselves.”
End. As a result, I will no longer be cross-posting my blog posts to my Twitter. I am also taking an extended break from all social media as of this evening (Twitter, Reddit, Discord), and taking a break from blogging.
Among the absolute bonanza of detailed statistics WordPress offers up on my blog, are a list of search terms which people are using when they stumble across one of my blogposts, as shown here in a screen capture of today’s stats:
So tonight (because it’s 8:30 p.m. and I am tired and cranky and it’s -25°C outside and I OBVIOUSLY have nothing better to do with my time), I have decided to share with you what people have been searching for when they visit the RyanSchultz.com blog over the past three and a half years. Think of it as a glimpse into the zeitgeist of my readers, or visitors, or whatever you like to call yourselves…so, let’s dive in, shall we?
Top of the list is a bit of a surprise to me: a search for “amazon”. Now, I have absolutely no idea why people searching for Amazon land up on my blog, but yes, they do! (Perhaps I should consider setting up a sales affiliate link of some kind.)
“vrchat nsfw avatar worlds” (even though I don’t link to any!)
“vr chat sex”
“adult vr chat”
“vr chat nude”
“vr chat nudity”
“18+ vrchat worlds”
etc. etc. etc.
I mean, people, come on, already…do you really expect to find not-safe-for-work content in VRChat with a Google search?!??
Number three is also a bit of a surprise: “livcloser”. The last time I checked, LivCloser was a virtual world still very much in the alpha stage of development, if it still exists at all (here’s a link to all my blogposts about it), and I haven’t even visited it since April of 2018. It turns out that, in some cases, blogposts I wrote about some of the more obscure virtual worlds I have visited end up rather high in the results of Google, Bing, and other search engines; who knew?
Much like LivCloser, among the other little-known-about platforms which show up in the search terms people use to land up at my blog are:
InWorldz and its short-lived successor, Islandz (because I had written at length about the final, unexpected, dramatic shutdown of the OpenSim-based virtual world, and its attempts to resurrect itself);
Next up is something which I did very much expect to find: “second Life freebies”, as well as related search terms about my extensive and popular coverage of steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life. I note with no lack of amusement that one intrepid searcher actually entered “ryan schultz’s 2 blog posts packed with info on the free or cheap mesh bodies/heads” into a search engine no less than 17 times, with the exact same wording every time! (It’s a newgfangled browser feature called a BOOKMARK, sweetheart…look into it. 😉 and, if you are interested, you can always find my constantly-updated compilations of free mesh heads and bodies for Second Life avatars here: male and female.)
Among the rest of the (sometimes mystifying) more popular search terms people have used are:
But fear not! Instead of the blog, I have set up a brand new Second Life group, just to share with you everything I find as I scour the grid for freebies! Here’s the description of the new group:
Ryan Schultz (the uncrowned Freebie Queen of Second Life, and writer of the popular Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies blogposts on his blog, RyanSchultz.com) has started a new SL group in order to share news about the best bargains and freebies in the virtual world of Second Life, including hunt prizes and lucky chairs!
To join this new group, click on the following link and it should open up the group join window in Firestorm or whatever other SL viewer you prefer: RyanSchultz Steals Deals & Freebies. If that doesn’t work, then copy and paste the following group URI into the text chat window of your Second Life client software (type Ctrl+H to pull that up):
If all else fails, just do a keyword search for “ryanschultz” (yes, all one word) under the Groups tab in Search. That should definitely pull up my new group!
After some careful consideration, I have decided to charge a nominal group join fee of L$50. Yes, if I charge money for my advice, it means that I can now call myself a professional freebie fashionista!* For that small fee, you will receive every single tidbit of information about steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life, the very best advice on the grid on how to outfit your avatar for nothing or next to nothing, and still look like you spent thousands of Linden dollars!
And you will wear the group tag of Freebie Fashionista, to proudly proclaim your allegiance to everyone you encounter in your peripatetic travels around the grid!
Note that this group is actually a spin-off of an internal group to which Vanity Fair (my main SL avatar), Heath Homewood (my main male avatar), and my small army of alts are subscribed, which turned out to be the most efficient and effective way to share SLURLs, notecards, and other vital freebie information between avatars. Unfortunately, that particular group was set to private, and I was unable to switch it so that people could search for it under the Groups tab in Search. Hence, this new group.
And you should also know that being subscribed to the group is even better than following this blog for news of Second Life freebies! Why? Well, you might be surprised to learn this, but I only land up blogging about 10-15% of the freebies I find on the grid! In many cases, I decide it just isn’t worth it to write up a blogpost for just one single freebie, even if it is a nice one (although I have made exceptions in the past, such as this post).
If you subscribe to the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals, and Freebies group, you will receive all of the unfiltered, unvarnished news about free items and great bargains from my fevered brain! (While I intend to sharply curtail by blogging about Second Life in 2021, I do still log into SL just about every day, to scout out the latest freebies.)
Now, a few ground rules. Like the blog, the communication in this group will be a one-way street, at least to start. I have decided to turn off group chat and group voice chat for this new group, at least for the time being, as we get set up. You will not be allowed to post your own items to the group (although I reserve the right to change my mind and allow some members to post items, if I think it will be a net benefit the group). As with the RyanSchultz.com Discord server, which I have been running for quite a while now, please know that I will not hesitate to step in and moderate if any problems arise. I expect you to treat each other with kindness and courtesy, even if you disagree.
I do hope that you will join us as we embark on an exciting new chapter of Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies! My coverage of Second Life freebies is still, far and away, the most popular part of my blog, according to my WordPress statistics, and I think that it only makes sense to use a communication method within Second Life itself!
One final note: I have recently updated the compilation and distillation of all my best advice for finding freebies in Second Life, which you can find here. Enjoy!