Well, the day has arrived. And I think we are all ready. In a short time, and despite using a dial-up connection, James Higham has become quite at home in Second Life. The Blogpower community in SL has helped him through a rapid apprenticeship and yesterday we were finally able to rehearse.
Also yesterday, my SL neighbour Zhu and I took Welshcakes shopping. She is now glamorously attired, shod and bejewelled for her big day. Like James, she is accessing SL with a less-than-powerful computer and a poor connection, so it's a struggle. But, deo volenti, she will be there - as will at least one of her regular readers who came along yesterday to check out the venue.
If you have your account set up, don't start your Second Life software yet. If you have started it, quit. Instead, Just click this link or the similar links at other Blogpower blogs. It will launch the software and insert the correct address (see screenshot above) so that when you click "connect" to enter Second Life you will arrive at the right place.
Step forward to avoid the next arrival landing on your head and find yourself a place to stand. If you are in the running for an award, please stand near the front, where I can reach you to give you your trophy. All winners with Second Life avatars to receive them will be presented with one of the glittering (and expensive) trophies shown here. Alas they can only be displayed in Second Life itself.
I am happy to rent you a beautiful virtual apartment where you can display yours, or to provide a trophy cabinet on my airship - free of charge - where you can keep it. My security robots will be given your name so you can visit unmolested whenever you want. Your equally-prestigious winners blog badges will be your equivalent in Real Life.
I will open the ceremony at 1400 London time (0900 New York time) by introducing James, the founder of the feast. Within the hour, we will be done with the formalities and ready to adjourn to the bar and dance floor on the airship "Limoncello", some 200 metres above. The metal disk (pictured) on the grassy terrace outside the venue is a teleporter. Click on it, and it will take you to the bar.
At that point, you might also want to click on the "music" button at the bottom of your SL screen (see screenshot) . One of our guests this week spent an hour or so dancing away in silence, because he did not notice that button!
Apart from the lovely Welshcakes, we hope to see other Blogpower members and readers from the fairer sex, as well as some of the other beautiful women of Second Life who have promised to join the party. My neighour, Zhu, who has helped enormously in the preparations, as well as donating the tuxedos to be worn by the male guests, has promised to get up at 0600 her time to be there. We also hope to see the lovely Anais (pictured below in full bling) for whom James seems, from his blog reports, to have fallen very hard.
Our only regrets at this stage are that neither the doyenne of Blogpower, Ellee Seymour nor the lovely Ruthie Zaftig (pictured modelling a new dress yesterday, and who has given superb support and encouragement during the run-up to the awards) will be able to attend.
In the end, it's all just fun, but it has been a wonderful experience to "meet" and chat to so many of you as we prepared for this event. It has certainly brought the Blogpower bloggers together and we look forward, wherever in the world you are, to "meeting" you too.We can be recognised by the "blogger" titles hovering over our heads. Feel free to introduce yourselves.
For those of you who can't make it, SL has excellent facilities for video-recording and photography, so expect some serious red carpet reportage on the various Blogpower blogs tomorrow. For those of you who can make it, please do. We look forward to seeing you there!