Big Announcement!

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I have something that I want to share with all of you!

No, it's not that I am really a woman in RL (shocker, I know).  It's about a project that I have been working on recently.  It's something I have been thinking about doing for a while, and it has finally all come together.

It is still a bit rough around the edges, but I have been sharing it with a few friends, and they have been giving me some great feedback, and a very positive response overall.  So I am announcing it to the world, sorta speak..:)

Here it is!  My latest blog/website...

The goal of this site is multi-fold.  The two main objectives is to have a place where people can share the hard work they have done on thier avatars in Second Life.  The second main objective is to have a place where people can browse through different looks, and have information regarding how it was made, so they can learn about new items, new shops, and/or new skills!  The focus will be just on the avatar itself, and parts to make it what it is.

On the topic of the second objective.  I have been getting some great response so far from the women, but I REALLY want this to be a good resource for men also.   So I need a bit of help on this front.

Ladies, if you have a man in your life and/or you have men you know in Second Life that have a look you like, please encourage them to submit an entry!  You might even make a fun night out of it to help them take the pictures (hint hint).

As you already know, men usually are not big shoppers, and are basically visual creatures.  One of my hopes for this site is to give men a place where they can see what is available out in the world.

Anyway, as far as announcements go, I know this is a bit unconventional. But then again, I am a bit unconventional.

Please take a look at the site and let me know what you think!  There is still work to be done on it for sure, but it has been coming along nicely I think.

I would also like to thank EVERYBODY that has already submitted, and is planning on submitting a post.  I have been overwhelmed with the responce so far (in a very good way), so THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled SL wednesday evening.

The More You Know!

I have spent many an hour working on getting my laptop to run Second Life as best as it can, and I have achieved a pretty good environment for myself.  My home lot runs pretty well, but when I venture out onto the grid, I usually run into lots of lag, and I am always curious as to where it comes from.

I have heard a lot of things that people have said that will help with lag, especially at busy places with a lot of avatars (i.e. Store openings, big sales, concerts, etc).   I always wonder how much of  these "lag reducing" methods actually work, but I have never taken the time to really dig into them.

Today I found a blog post that really digs down into the causes of lag, and what is really true about what might be done to reduce it.  I honestly think that anybody that owns a store, or a sim, and wants to make the experience that people have in your palce the best that it possibly can be, need to read this post thoroughly.   It has some really important tips to make things just work better, which I think if implemented properly, would really improve the over all experience for many people.  

I hear a lot about how Linden Labs needs to make things better, and while I am all for pushing Linden Labs for performance enhancements, I am also a big believer of people doing all that they can to make thier own lives, both RL and SL, better using all the tools and techniques available to them.

If you are a builder, a store owner, a sim owner/manager, a content creator of almost any type, I think you will benefit from the information in this post!

Please take a look and please let me know what you think!  Feedback is always appreciated!

Have a lag free day!

Slap me some Skin Bro! (Nice Rant!)

(I call it a nice rant, because I am not really angry, just a bit frustrated)

OK, I am going to rant here for a few minutes.  I don't mean any disrespect with this, it is just me venting my frustration.

I had a friend recently want to show me a skin shop she "found" (I had already known about it).  They had some new skins, so I figured I would get some demo's just to look them over.

I happen to love my current skin, but even that designer has a new one out, so I decided to get a demo of that one also..just for some fun comparisons.

Here is my complaint.  I collect the demo's of these new skins.  They appear in a folder in my inventory.  I look in the folders and they have the "name" of the skin, and usually some number reference.  There is no way for me to know what demo skin is what.  I have to try them all on to find the one that I saw in the store.

Granted, I am kinda picky on my facial features (I am partial to beards), and I would probably end up trying them all on at some point, but it would be REALLY helpful if there was textures included in the demo pack showing each face, and the name of the skin in the folder that matches it.

Guys are not big shoppers, and when we have to sort through things over and over because we are not sure which one is which, we get VERY frustrated.  I really makes us NOT want to buy a new skin at all, because it is just too frustrating.  Woman have a memory geared for this kind of thing, men do not.

Here is my suggestion, if anybody cares to take it.  In each demo folder, have a texture that is a mosaic of all the skins included, probably just the face shots like you have at your store.  This may be harder than I think given the limits of texture sizes, but maybe not.  On each picture, have a way to identify each skin, so I can look at at the folder, and see exactly what skin matches with the pictures.  I personally would also include a close-up shot of each one, so we can see it in the picture better, but the mosaic is key, because we can sort through them nice and easily to find the skin we saw in the shop, and try it on.

Personally, I think that each group should include all the skin tones, but that might be being a bit too picky.  If a mosaic is included in each demo pack, its not hard to get each tones demo pack, and look to see which one I want to try on, and then do it.

Outside of that, I am soo happy that men's skins have been improving so much.  Cudo's to the creators who are amazingly talented, and are devoting their time and energy into creating these fantastic skins!

The Evolution of Man on Second Life

I have been in Second Life long enough now to see some amazing improvements.  So many things are different these days, that somebody new coming into this world usually does not have any idea of the progress that has been made to get where we are.

As far as avatar improvements go, there have been huge strides in how good you can get your avatar to look. If you talk to any woman who has been around long enough, they will tell you all the options that are available for them.  Women have a huge advantage over men in the availability of shapes, skins, hair, clothes etc.

But I wanted to review something for the guys.  Although we do not have as many options as the ladies, it really does not take much to make a huge difference in how your avatar looks.

I went back to on of the default avatars available when you sign into Second Life for the first time.   I chose  "Musician Male by Renegade Clothing" for this example.

So that is a default avatar for Second Life.

So I decided to add in each basic part from my current avatar, one part at a time.  To illustrate how some very simple things can really make a difference.

So I added my current shape:

Quite a difference, right?  Already the avatar starts to look better, with just the change of a shape.

Next, I added my current hair:

Even more change.  I think it looks pretty good, even though I hate black eyes on my avatar.

Next I added my current eyes.

Not a huge difference, unless you look close.  But I have gotten many compliments on these eyes, and I like the way they stand out.

I don't think this guy looks all that bad to be honest.  I have seen much worse on the grid.

Lastly, I added my current skin.

Now that is the biggest difference of all.  The amazing quality of the skins available to guys, while not as broad as the ladies have, has really improved dramatically!

These simple things, really do change how an avatar looks on the basic level.   I think it shows how far you can really take things in Second Life with just a few simple steps.

I have been hearing all sorts of things about the new client/server stuff about new meshes and all.  I have a pretty strong feeling that it will take things even further which should be VERY interesting.

Ok, here are the parts I used for this demonstration:

Shape - RAFAEL by MADesigns
Hair - Modern Rail by ARGRACE
Eyes - Twilight Eyes by Exodi
Skin - Jonas SK 6 (hair) by Belleza

I think many guys feel a bit intimidated about changing their look.  So guys, if you have any desire to change your look but have no idea how to go about it, understanding how each item can change your look is a good first step.  Then I would recommend  finding a woman friend, that you think has good taste, and take her along shopping.  Trust me, it will be a huge help, and a heck of a lot of fun!

Good Luck!