THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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In the home straight

Poolpartyad We are in the final approaches now to the Blogpower Awards ceremony next Sunday. Normal service will soon be resumed at this blog, for good or ill. I thank my readers who are not attending, or who find the whole Second Life (SL) thing a bore, for their patience. I hope I have not lost you forever!

The venue is ready. Those who plan to attend have set up their accounts, designed their “avatars” and are all set. The only mysteries in this respect are James and Ellee. Both have been in SL. Ellee is planning her birthday party there, but neither has made contact. It seems that Ellee, sadly, will not be able to make it to the awards.

As the founder and guiding spirit of Blogpower, I am expecting James to make a suitable entrance "on the night".

The "Blogpower" group in Second Life (search for "Blogpower" and join, if you haven’t already) now numbers 26. I have met all of them in SL and spent a little time with most, helping to familiarise them. Most  will "attend" the awards, as will some others I know. My glamorous lady neighbour in SL (who kindly donated the DJ's (tuxedos) for the Blogpower men to wear) is getting up at  6am her time to do so (thanks, Zhu).

Some Blogpower members and guests still struggle a little. Since this link (and others around the Blogpower blogs) will take them straight to the venue, they need no navigation skills. They need only master the basics, which of course include communication. The first three buttons from the left at the bottom of the SL screen are the most important for this, "IM," "Chat," and "Friends."

The first message most Blogpower people received in Second LIfe was an instant message (IM) from me, (LastDitch Writer) welcoming them. The next was an invitation to be my Friend (and thus to be added to the list brought up by my "Friends" button). The third was to join the Blogpower group that I have set up in SL.

Clicking the IM button allows you to send a message to your friends. I should be on your list.  Add me if I am not. If you have accepted my invitation to join the Blogpower group, you can also IM the whole group at once, which may be useful if you are in trouble. IM's are forwarded by email if someone is offline, so it's worth sending one anyway. Someone may log on just to reply!

IM’s are for distance communication. One common mistake is to use it when in the same space with the people you are talking to. Only the person or group you send your IM to will see it on screen. To talk to everyone "in the room" you need to use "Chat". This mistake has caused some confusion when we have had large groups assembled, as those not receiving the IM's struggle to understand half a conversation!

When you get to the awards venue, just click on "Chat" and type away. Everyone in the room will "hear" you by seeing the text (prefixed by your name) on their screens. Find a place to stand (out of the way of the incoming teleporter please). You can close your IM box.

Some of you have become adept at using SL gadgets. Bag Writer set off some fireworks on my airship last night. Very pretty, but please don't do things like that on the night. Our region of SL will have more people than usual in it, and we may suffer from server lag and other problems - even a crash - if people run too many "scripts" (little SL programs) to use such devices. No weapons please, of any kind. The security bot will eject you if you pull a gun! If we DO have a crash, don't panic. Simply restart SL, making sure to ensure that you are set to return to your last location. You will resume your place in the room.

If you have questions in the next few days, please IM me in SL or email me direct. I want this event to be a huge success and will do my very best to help. I will be devoting my blog to adverts for the event for the rest of this week. Please email me for suitable graphics to use for this purpose if you would also like to promote it. Please link the graphics to this URL, so that people can teleport to the location in SL directly from your blog. I would appreciate all the help you can give .

I have hired an SL and general tech guru, Abramth Asp, to be my estate manager in SL (I have a real life and a blog to run, you know!). He will be on hand to help out anyone who gets stuck or lost during the event, when I may be a bit too busy to do so. By all means add him to your list of SL friends. If you are in trouble during the event, just send an IM to Blogpower and one of us will help out. I look forward to seeing you all on the day. It's not to late to set up a free account and join us. Don't leave it too late. You need a bit of practice in advance.

Cross-posted to Defending the Blog, Nourishing Obscurity and the Blogpower Express


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Man in a Shed

Was all ready to sign up for SL only to discover Windows Vista not supported ! ( Its not going anywhere near my serious work laptop that run reliable(ish) WinXP).

Still will be in pub calibrating the onset of middle age at the time anyway.

But I have a plan to set up a virtual PC for this sort of stuff - so might make it next time.

Charles Robertson

Sorry about the mini-gun thing Tom, but Bag was about to go nuclear...



I've finally bitten the bullet and set up my character. PubPhilosopher Enoch! Well, it just had to be done didn't it?

Anyway, I got as far as the door to the bar but your bouncer wouldn't let me in. I tried to go over and give him a good kicking but some force-field stopped me. It seems I need to get a key from you.

Any idea how I can get rid of my character's ridiculous hairstyle?


I'm looking forward to it, Tom!

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