Sunday, January 31, 2016

Getting Seen in Open Sim

Is this scenario familiar to you?
           You like to build things, but Second Life has become too expensive or dramatic or stale or commercial for your taste, so you decide to move to open sim.
          You've overcome the hurdle of being a noob again, you've found a region on a sympathetic and cheap grid, or set up your own minigrid and hooked it up to hypergridding. (Which is a lot easier than it sounds, just ask Livio Korobase.) You've gone through an intense period of creating, facing the challenges of sourcing material away from the SL Marketplace, dealing with the maddening glitches that open sim likes to throw at builders, and kaboom - now you have a bunch of beautiful stuff on your sim. 
          You look up from your work and suddenly realize that Hey, this is not like SL where you can send out a notice in some spammy art or building group, pay a musician 6 or 7k Lindens, and throw a vernissage or housewarming party with 40 hot bodies to pat you on the back.
SL Artist Livio Korobase has made a brilliant transition into the open sim art world
          So how can you get the positive feedback which is an essential part of the creative process? How does it work in Open Sim? What can you do?
Get a Beacon
  • The number one quickest way to let people know you're out there and ready for visitors is to get an Opensimworld beacon and set it up on your land. This is a two step process.
     1. sign up on the website
     2. get a beacon inworld.
    The easiest way to get a working beacon is to go to the opensimworld region on Metropolis or OSGrid, HG Addresses at the end of the post.  The beacon (created by the wonderful Satyr Gator) connects your sim to the website so it will show up in the Catalog of Destinations. The sim gets its own page where you can post photos and set up Events. Events are featured in a sort of as-it-happens tickertape along the top of opensimworld's home page.
Get your beacon and play with the toys on opensimworld sim
Be in the news
  • Write to Maria Korolov and tell her about events you are planning, she may be willing to run an article about it on the main feed of Hypergrid Business or on the Grid Life section , which gives you a good chance of reaching a lot of opensim users out there.  You can also add an event to Maria's Hyperica website. 
  • Seek out Selby 'Thinkerer' Evans  and show him your work, he may want to feature it on his Virtual Outworlding site. 
  • Check out the Corran Journal, run by Winter Silversmith aka Kevin Klerks. It is based on Great Canadian Grid, but they post information about events happening anywhere in the hyperverse.
  • Join where you can add links to your websites and contribute to the forum and keep track of the event calendar.
  • Got the gift of the gab? Why not contact Mal Burns and ask if you can go on his weekly talk show, Metaverse Week in Review. It is a great way to get noticed in open sim, and also to meet and network with others. Watch archived shows over on YouTube to get a better feel of what is going on in opensim. And have some laughs.

  • Join G+ and seek out the opensim communities - there are loads of them, with words like 'opensim' or 'hypergrid' in their titles. Many of these will allow you to post about your events, and of course you can create your own community to promote your region. Fair warning... if your enthusiasm is over the top, people will just block you. Have some discretion.
  • Hypevents is a tool that shows upcoming events, by Tom Frost. If you have an event calendar, you can probably get it added.
  • An example of how your region might be featured on the grid's splash page
  • If you have set up a grid, you can also register with Hypergrid Business, this will result in your grid being included in the Active Opensim Grid List, the bible of hypergridders looking for a new places to jump on. 
Spread the word inworld
  • Contact Sunbeam Magic and get yourself featured in Visionz, OpenSim's premier magazine. You can find her on Great Canadian Grid, Nara's Nook, and elsewhere.
  • Ask your grid owner to feature your region as part of the slideshow on the grid's splash screen. Most grids have a TP hub on the Welcome sim,  get yourself a portal there, it is a good way for your fellow residents, and the casual grid-hopper, to find you.
    Mercalia's HG friendly Travel shop on OSGrid
  • Visit Mercalia Beck in OSGrid and get her to promote your region via her Travel Office. Mercalia has an actual shop on OSGrid's Wright Plaza, but she also has a teleport sign that allows you to get the word out.
  • Let Spike Sol know about your region. On a small grid called Soloton, Spike runs far and away the best themed hypergate station. It has hundreds of destinations organized according to type, anything from Roleplay to Freebies, to Education, to Clubs. Spike also posts on Facebook every time a new destination is added, so you will get some publicity that way too.
  • Visit the Work In Progress Meet (it's on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at midday Pacific time). More details on the community in G+This is a great way to share some of the things you have made, get answers to your opensim building questions, and make new friends.
  • Go the the Friday dance on Event Plaza, OSGrid. This weekly event attracts a HUGE number of people from all over the hyperverse. Starting at about midday pacific time, it's a marathon event attracting people in the European, Us and Australia time zones. It is a friendly dance and chat environment where you can tell people about what you've been up to - and learn about their news too.
  • Spike's TP hub is a great way to learn hypergridding, and find out what's out there.
  • Invite a hg travel group to visit. There are at least three travel groups running regular trips across the hyperverse. 
  •     HG Safari you already know, if you're reading this. We meet Wednesdays at midday Pacific time (aka SLT). Our starting point is the hgsafari sim on Francogrid. Each week just before  the Safari I set out a dipenser that will give you the week's Landmarks, they're available both on Francogrid and at our alternate clubhouse on Teravus Plaza OSGrid. If you want to invite the group to visit your region, IM Thirza Ember in OSGrid, Francogrid, Facebook or in G+. We have a group in Facebook and in G+ where upcoming tours and other events are advertised, so feel free to join those.
  •    Hypergrid Nights is a twice monthly tour group organized by Dora Hembree of Nara's Nook grid. Their events begin at 6pm Pacific time on alternate Wednesdays. 
  •    Metaverse Tours is a Saturday event that starts on Kitely each week, and contacting one of the regulars there may be rewarding.
Too many prims may result in your visitors seeing nothing.
Be prepared
  • If you're new to open sim, you may have lost your mind about prim count. Many grids boast that you can have a hundred thousand prims on your region. That may be true, but nobody is going to be able to see, much less enjoy, your work if your sim is overloaded like that. Have a sensible amount of objects on display.
  • Do a load test. The Safari is always willing to crash a sim, you only have to ask. Your visual experience as the builder may be wildly different to that of your visitors, so ask for feedback.
Kodinpump build by Ange and Nani. Beautiful to look at... with a purpose.

  • Give people something to do in your install. Something interactive, even as simple as a few sit or dance poses, can transform a pretty sim into a pretty awesome sim. If you are worried about sim performance, get Aine Caoimhe's PMAC - it's like the Magic Sit script from SL, and allows you to control a whole lot of the animations on your sim from a single script, very parsimonious. You can grab a copy of Aine's stuff at her excellent shop on Refuge grid. Donating to her paypal would also be nice.

Aine's posing system, in her animation store

Be Involved
  • The Self-involved SL artist lasts about 5 minutes in open sim. People who park their art in a sim and don't bother to interact or support other events in the community are not going to get much love. This is a small community and people have long memories when it comes to drama monkeys and SL smartalecs. There are literally millions of ex-SL prims by SL primadonnas, collecting dust in open sim, don't bother adding to it. It's a small community, but generous when it comes to showing appreciation, and you will get plenty of support, if you support others. Make a point of attending some tours, concerts, and art shows. Where are they happening? Read the above section on events.
  • If you've made some interesting stuff, think about ways you can show it to the community in installments, not all at once. Be innovative in your presentation, run a series of  events over the arc of several weeks, to raise awareness of what you're doing. Partner up with other artists to make a richer show. Find ways to make it about the audience, not just a self-love fest.
  • Lani Mall
  • Put a visitor counter or a Thank You button on your sim. You can find the scripts for these on Ferd's website, or you can pick up a ready made 'Thank You' button at Lani Mall on OGrid (as well as loads of other goodies) and these will allow you to simply keep track of who's been to your sim, which will make you feel good about your builds.

HG Addresses
Opensimworld region:
Corran Journal HQ          
Mal Burns broadcasting
Mercalia Beck's Travel Office        plaza
Spike Sol's teleport station         
Aine Caoimhe's PMAC posing system Shopping
Lani Mall                                   
HG Safari Clubhouses:
     osgrid (SW corner by the waterfall) plaza 
WIP meeting point                       II

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