Thursday, February 1, 2018


          This week's Safari trip was a celebration of two paragons of opensim longevity. First, a conversation with Sylvia Sonoda on Swondo, then a dancing and feast of art on Craft Grid to mark their 8th anniversary. HG Addresses as always at the end of the post.
          Swondo on OSGrid is one of those names we've all heard, or perhaps one should say seen, on OSGrid - the Swondo estate is adjacent to OSgrid's go-to region, LBSA. But what is it? What does the name mean, and who runs this place? All was revealed...
Sylvia Sonoda

Sylvia Sonoda: My name is Sylvia Sonoda and in Real it is also Sylvia, ok we are here in OSgrid and I guess everyone knows how Opensim works right?

Selby Evans: Yes --we know about OSgrid
Sylvia Sonoda: we are currently standing in the Swondo information region. Swondo has public regions, special project regions, free land regions and leased out regions in both OSgrid and Metropolis, the public, freeland and special regions are in total about 50 currently in OSgrid. The combined total that Swondo hosts in OSgrid and metro are a little under 100 counting the var regions as one per var.
George Equus: A lot to manage!

Sylvia Sonoda: but before I tell you about the current different regions let me start at the beginning. Behind me currently is the Swondo public section and freelands, it is all located around the heart of OSgrid, we are where the red arrow is. In December 2006 I and my brother were watching television when Second Life was mentioned, we liked it but my brother was more serious, he created an avatar, that time one could not chose last name, he wanted Yoda as first name and choose Sonoda for how it sounded,  then a day later he created an avatar for me, he simply took my real name and the already chosen Sonoda last name.
snowbody Cortes: wow 2006, the virtual stone age ;)
Sylvia Sonoda: Like everyone we started exploring. My brother lost interest after a few days, but I was hooked in no time. I was born in Isabel in SL which is next to a public swimming pool I hung out. I started to create bikinis, and sold them.
George Equus wonders how many hours he sat collecting money in SL...
Jessie Campbell: love the enterprising lady
Sylvia's newbie look

Sylvia Sonoda: I soon found out that one needs land but that costs money, at first I lived and created things in a skybox above a friends land, then one day I found a private estate that was so very beautiful - for oldies: it was called Otherland Estate- I fell in love with the public castle, behind me you see it
Juliette.SurrealDreaming: nice :)
Sylvia Sonoda: I kind of started living here, after a while I contacted the owner of the estate, I asked land for work and if she had work for me, I became a service person, helping people to new land lease etc, within 6 months I drove 350 km into germany and met Dana Bergson and after a week we became partners. Otherland estate has 150 regions in SL - that gave some head aches as that meant a invoice by Linden Lab of 32.000 real american dollars each month
Otherland in SL

Lucy.Afarensis: ouch
Sylvia Sonoda: and Linden changing the land rules over night often, it was impossible to make middle long business plans, and finally in 2009 we were able to sell the 150 sims and moved out. That was so goood for my sleep !By 2008 I started to go into the alternative grid: OSgrid, back then OSgrid was the only opensim world and the story was that it was a hack of the sl software. In the beginning of opensim one had to create a new ava and dress it each login, it was a bumpy road but by 2009 the software was so good people not being techies also came in :)
Jessie Campbell: good excuse to be nude !
snowbody Cortes: ahah jessie...  I remember the early days of OSgrid, with the script engine full of bugs...
Sylvia Sonoda: so I started to export my stuff as good as possible and move to osgrid, it took about 6 months before I was ready to start leasing out regions

Thirza Ember: so you are 2 time oldbie, Sylvia... inSL and in Opensim
Sylvia Sonoda: yes I am very old lol - you dont say when you see me, right - lots of make up
Thirza Ember: an old soul, not an old person!
Sylvia Sonoda: hahaha!  I was fighting with OSgrid staff all the time, as there goal was making new software as I seek only a stable environment, the answer was always : we are a test grid,: so when Metropolis became a serious option I started there as well, nowdays all opensim worlds are very stable - well if they are not run from a home pc :)
Sunshine Szavanna:

Sylvia Sonoda: My brother became interested again and does and as we also have a real world 2d hosting thingy Swondo became part of the family company in which my nephew is the real computer wizard. The biggest advantage of Opensim is that we now own the servers no Linden Lab to pay a lot of money,  which makes the land prices real low
Thirza.Ember: why is it called swondo
Sylvia Sonoda: I needed a company name and we searched for names of which the .nl and .com was still available, finally we saw some ice cream and a bit different came in Swondo... I can explain the "do" as it is japanese for "path" or "road" to go - the Swon I still have to find a meaning for LOL, so in real we liked the sound but have no real good explanation, to be honest it is not always handy as lots of people remember it as swando, anyways everyone got used to the name

Sylvia Sonoda: My greatest hobby is creating nature land and (hidden) underground caves, people liked the lands so Swondo offers initial landscapes for leasers
Drang Po: mesh caves?
Sylvia Sonoda: for marketing I thought it is good to offer free land that feels great
snowbody.Cortes very good idea
Sunshine Szavanna: ☻ true
Sylvia Sonoda: hoping some of the people wanted more prims or bigger lands, or both, with the freelands we now can say that we offer land for every budget, and most leasers today started with free land and then liked the server and service quality enough to stay
Thirza.Ember yours must be one of the oldest land rental companies in opensim
Sylvia Sonoda: Yes , I am proud to say that Swondo is the oldest independent Land company in Opensim, so the freelands come with 500 prims but unfortunately I had to limit the mesh prims of this, it was getting too heavy on the servers, so it is 500 prims of which 175 can be mesh, still enough to create a nice home with everything in with
 Thirza.Ember: yes that's good to know for new people coming to opensim
Sylvia Sonoda: Swondo also has special projects - I think lots of people can create things and land, the real importance to my opinion is community building, people wanting to organize gatherings etc. One of the first projects I started to try to get things done as a group was the "boardwalk" around LBSA plaza, when we started the regions around were owned by about 8 different people, we created a continuous boardwalk, and today it is still there, when people left I took the empty spots and now are looking for people who like to create initiatives all around. So people with ideas that can help getting more community things is what we are open for and sponsor with land.On the north we have Swondo village which is a building pit for several years now. it is ment to become a freebie place, but it needs people, and hangout
Lucy Afarensis: I thought it was a great idea and I have my main galleries here
Phred: Are there any attempts at Intentional Communities or Ecovilliages?
Sylvia Sonoda: I think not yet Phred but I am open for everything
Harthelie Deux: vos résidents ont ils la possibilité de faire des OAR et IAR ?
Sylvia Sonoda: I do not speak frenchs but yes OAR can be handed out and IAR with some effort as well, we also help people exporting from SL if they move to paid land, of course moving from opensim to opensim is easy, with oar and iar, but I expect with HG getting better all the time it is not realy needed to move your ava anymore... if there are no further questions we can try to walk to the newest freeland which has also "hidden" undergrounds
Jessie Campbell: for sure...lead on!

Sylvia Sonoda: the landowner can select how the top opening is shown and the front cave entrance is closable also
Jessie Campbell: well into the brink !
Lucy.Afarensis: nice rock textures
Sylvia Sonoda: on the west side there is a similar land but with a underground sort of harbour, there is a hidden back room,
Juliette SurrealDreaming: a secret escape
Sylvia Sonoda: now it is finished someone else can live here for free with still 500 prims to spend
Sylvia in one of her caves

Juliette SurrealDreaming: wow that's very generous Sylvia
Jessie Campbell: yes very cool
Thirza Ember: it's a great way to get started in opensim, so many people would like to escape the rent of SL but they just don't know how to get started in opensim... ideas like this are a real game-changer
Jessie Campbell: Thirza has an embassy in SL  I think, maybe a poster would help
Thirza Ember: yes it would be great to advertise there, Sylvia, we should talk again
Phred.420: found the secret door!
snowbody Cortes: ty Sylvia for showing us, I loved your presentation with your old avi aspect :)
Sunshine Szavanna: ☻ love it thanks for showing us your world Sylvia
Jessie Campbell: yes and much continued success dear
Lucy Afarensis: Thank Sylvia it has been interesting
George Equus: This was a real treat Sylvia. Thank you
Wizardoz Chrome: Thanks Silvia .)
Phred.420: how are private places marked?
Sylvia Sonoda: real private are only the leased out regions but one can check the landowner to be sure it is public (Sylvia) owned land, the freelands handed out are also on the persons name, any questions please ask. now or anytime by e-mail also if you like:
Phred.420: thanks for the history and tour
Sylvia Sonoda: thank you too hugs hugs
Jessie Campbell: hugs indeed Sylvia
Juliette SurrealDreaming: See everyone at destination 2 :))
            About forty of us gathered on sim metaverso to celebrate Craft Grid's 8th anniversary. Congrats to founders Licu Rau, Tao Quan, Tosha Tyran and all the Craft residents! Craft is an international grid, and a vibrant multicultural society with a strong emphasis on educational and artistic themes.              You can read a couple of posts about the Anniversary build here on Tosha Tyran's blog Lamatodellaregina 

           The anniversary build is in fact two regions. Metaverso, architecture by Moran Demedici is set up like an Italian city center. Jubilee, next door, is the Expo region. The light show - or photochromatic architectural enhancements if you prefer - on Metaverso is the work of Venus Adored and Cherry Manga

          This beautiful region was further enhanced by the sight of so many friends, and some old friends that haven't been seen on Craft for a long time. The next big party on this region is February 4, when Torben Asp will be playing his dreamy, particle-filled music for us.
          Don't miss the Expo region, Jubilee. It houses the fair building but also a wonderful Historical Museum showing photos of Craft and Cyberlandia over the years - for anyone interested in the heritage of opensim, this is a must-see.
          The main exposition building, a large wrought iron construction harking back to the golden days of RL World Fairs, contains displays representing a wide range of Craft activities, installations, and projects, from Craft Radio, to a build about refugees, to ones with 2D art, as well as Alpha Ori's Guided Zen Meditation group...
.... and Edu3D's multifaceted educational courses...
.... so much to see and to inspire you to get building, or get involved one way or another in our extraordinary community! 
HG Addresses
Swondo (    
Craft Anniversary party region 
Craft Anniversary expo region  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much again Thirza for organizing the safari to Swondo and for creating this webpage about it.
    Hugs Sylvia Sonoda