High Fidelity Hijinks: DJ Phlash at Rust Nightclub

High Fidelity DJ Phlash at Rush 9 Feb 2018.png

Note: This is the first in a new category of blogposts about events in High Fidelity, which I have decided to call “High Fidelity Hijinks”. (I’m not sure I’ll keep the name, but it works for now. It’s sufficiently alliterative.)

Yesterday evening I visited the Rust domain in High Fidelity, where I joined about thirty other avatars who were dancing to music spun by DJ Phlash. Apparently, he performs every Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

The evening was notable for the presence of High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale (he’s on the far left in the picture above), the founder of Second Life. The avatars present were able to dance by clicking on the coloured square tiles beneath them (unfortunately, you could only do this in desktop mode; it didn’t work when in a VR headset).

I also was able to use HiFi’s new ability to directly pay another avatar in order to “tip” DJ Phlash 100 HFC (High Fidelity Coins, the in-world currency in HiFi). I really have no idea if that amount was too much or not enough; it’s kind of hard to judge what a currency is worth when it’s so brand-new, and there are so few things to buy!

High Fidelity has been very generous in giving out HFC to its users: I got 10,000 HFC when I first set up my wallet as part of the beta test, and I just got another 5,000 HFC when the person-to-person payment system was launched. (Note that only users with pre-existing High Fidelity accounts got these HFC grants. As far as I am aware, newly-created HiFi accounts don’t qualify for them.)

All in all, it was a fun evening!

UPDATE Feb. 13th: I have decided to rename this new category High Fidelity Highlights, rather than High Fidelity Hijinks.

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The Sansar Newsblog Has Changed Its Name to RyanSchultz.com

The SansarNewsblogis now

I have decided that I’m not going to wait for Linden Lab to issue brand guidelines for Sansar. I am rebranding the Sansar Newsblog under my own name. (I’ve held the domain name for well over a decade, and this is the perfect place to finally use it!)

All of the old blogposts are still searchable and accessible, and almost all the Sansar-related blogposts have been tagged with the tag “Sansar” to make them easier to find. All the old URLs should still work as before.

Along with the new name comes a new focus. I will no longer be focusing near-exclusively on Sansar in this blog. Instead, I will be expanding my coverage to provide “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse”, as my new blog tagline now states. Platforms covered will include, but not be limited to:

Note that I do not plan to write much about Second Life and its many Opensim-based spin-offs; there are already over a thousand avid bloggers who do an excellent job of that! I plan to focus on the newer platforms, especially those that support virtual reality.

I will be closing the Facebook and Google+ groups I created for the Sansar Newsblog, and creating new groups for this rebranded blog.

Infographic: Comparing Sansar and High Fidelity

As I have said before, it’s only natural to want to compare two of the VR-capable social virtual worlds: High Fidelity (founded in 2013 by the visionary Philip Rosedale), and Sansar by Linden Lab (the company founded in 1999, also by Philip Rosedale, before he left to start HiFi; the current CEO is Ebbe Altberg). The two virtual worlds have much in common, but there are some significant differences between them.

My first blogpost comparing Sansar and High Fidelity back in August generated a fair bit of traffic for the Sansar Newsblog, but that post is now dated. Some of the information I gave is no longer accurate because of recent updates to both platforms.

So it’s time for an infographic I created using the free design service, Canva.com, comparing and contrasting both virtual worlds. (Philip Rosedale himself said that my infographic looked good, so I feel fairly confident that it is accurate. I don’t need Ebbe Altberg to sign off on my Sansar information; I am already somewhat of an expert in that particular area!)

Sansar

I hope that this information helps people understand the differences between the two virtual world platforms. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I want to do what I can to help correct it. Thanks!

Editorial: Linden Lab Needs to Fix Sansar’s User Forums and Blogs

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Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash

Inara Pey, in her most recent blogpost report of last Friday’s Product Meetup, says this:

Sansar forums, blogs, etc: it has finally been recognised that the current tool used for these – ZenDesk – is not well suited to the task (YAY!), although fixing this is not a high priority. There have been internal discussions at the Lab about using the platform and tools employed in creating the Second Life forums, blogs, etc., to build something for Sansar – potentially more as a cost saving opportunity then for the sake of functionality. Frankly, I’m still stunned that this wasn’t the route taken from the start given the Lab have the tools and the experience to use them, which could have been easily leveraged, rather than going for a tool entirely unsuited to the task and which presents information in a very unfriendly – and dare I say amateur – manner.

AMEN. I am in 100% agreement with Inara on this. I am going to add my strong opinions on this matter, which I have shared already with everybody (including Linden Lab staff) on the official Sansar Discord forums.

I know that at the casual meetup he attended last week, Ebbe Altberg (Linden Lab CEO) said he wants to have a “consumer launch” of Sansar sometime in 2018 (as opposed to a “creator beta”). But BEFORE they do that, Linden Lab really, really needs to reconsider the software they are using for their community forums/blog/documentation. I mean this truly ugly and uninspiring thing with the too-small font: https://help.sansar.com/hc/en-us.

Frankly, it looks terrible and it projects a bad image for Sansar, which in so many other ways has a professional look and some design appeal to it. They already have a fully-functional, attractive-looking community forums/blog/announcement system in place for Second Life, why don’t they use that? Their official blog in particular really looks TERRIBLE, and it has a HORRIBLE URL to boot: https://help.sansar.com/hc/en-us/sections/115001137103-Official-Blog (hate to say it, but it’s true). Linden Lab should fix this before they kick off any campaign to attract consumers/end-users into Sansar.

I hate Zendesk, it is unattractive and Linden Lab can certainly do better. Look at the Second Life community forums page: https://community.secondlife.com/ and their knowledge base: https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/ and their blogs: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/. Much better than what Sansar currently has!

 

Look at what High Fidelity has, it is much more visually appealing and functional: https://forums.highfidelity.com/. High Fidelity uses Medium (a free solution!) for their blog: https://blog.highfidelity.com/. Let’s compare that with the official Sansar blog:

High Fidelity Blog 8 Jan 2018
High Fidelity’s Official Blog
Sansar Blog 8 Jan 2018
Sansar’s Official Blog

I rest my case!