After sitting back and watching a great many things, people stating they are working toward good and unite a community, listening to people at those meetings and the cry for representation and structure, hearing people tear apart the very community they say they are trying to unite; myself, as I am sure many do, have an opinion as to how uniting of a community should and would work. As within the next week or two, depending on if I am slacking off or not, I will put those ideas down. There are some things that I just do not see as uniting a community but rather as dividing it.
First and foremost a closed by invite only group is not the answer, whether the founders of that group call themselves, owners, facilitators etc...the bottom line is that there is a sense of power, they still control who belongs to that group, have the ability to kick someone out and/or shut someone up, etc....That is not equal representation and structure. It is power, and quite often it is power with an agenda of its own. In the case of one group, I see a push for a system that keeps being rejected, in another group, I see it as a way to force their publication/radio etc. down people's throats. All of it no matter what guise they place on it is lining someone or trying to line someone's pockets with Lindens. The funny thing is that the people I see doing this the most are the ones that have to depend on other people to fill their Second Life wallets, as they can not afford to do it themselves. Something I believe to be wary of is the person that says they are doing things for the greater good, yet wants the greater good to promote them and their products. That is not for the greater good, actually it is in its simplest of terms, using others to benefit themselves.
Lately I have seen performers that are bouncing between the different virtual worlds to perform. I think it is wonderful that the performers are becoming flexible and reaching out to new audiences. Yesterday I recently saw a subscribo that not only stated that performer was going to be in another world, but also encouraged Second Life residents to go and form an avi. I won't sugar coat and say that it did not bother me, it did. I did not view it as a way to increase exposure to an artist as much as a way to give exposure to another world.
The Second Life Music Industry is an expensive one. Performers earn their monies by putting on quality performances. There are many that have been performing quite some time in Second Life, in many ways they have walked the walk that gets them to where they are. There are also many that 2 years ago were the creme of the crop in Second Life, winning contests etc., though we love them for who they are and what they have accomplished; this is an industry that always has someone better waiting in the wings, something all performers should remember. It takes innovation and flexibility to continue to win contests. As a venue, the biggest draw are the performers that are winning contests and awards now...not two years ago, though we love them all the same. From a view of someone that loves to listen to the SL artists, what I find is that many need to become more flexible. Keeping up with what people are listening to, rising to meet the demands of the newer Second Life residents. People that are entering Second Life now tend to be a younger age group. Ask yourselves, are you being flexible enough to meet these demands. At times I find I could go from one performance to another and listen to the same songs being played by different people. I am seeing more and more artists that also are actively seeking real life careers, hearing about their trials and tribulations as well as their successes, only serves to make them even more loved, for hopefully we all want the very best for our Second Life performers. They are also bringing their rl into sl....reality meeting virtual is a wonderful thing.
As venues, are we doing all we can to reach out as well? It is only with those that are very unique venues, that seem to draw the crowds anymore. One day I looked at the map as I had someone that has always been a big draw performing, yet the amount of people here was so far down. I checked events during prime time evening hours....and looked at the map with each one that was going on. Only one sim had 30+ people the rest somewhere between 10-18. The one that had 30+ was a country western venue. hmmmm I know that told me I was missing out on a genre that I needed to include. At the same time, Second Life was no less busier that night with the normal 50-60 thousand logged in. I wondered are we really reaching them. Whether someone is a builder, scriptor, merchant, arts, tinies, Gor, etc......there is one thing that binds everyone.....music. Are we as venues reaching out to everyone; or do we all continue to send the same notices to the same groups over and over, I know I am guilty of this, and then wonder why attendance is down. Just as performers need to be flexible, as venues we also need to be flexible. Real Life changes and takes it hits....highs and lows, Second Life is no different. Are we as a community truly rising to meet these challenges? Are we being flexible, finding new avenues to draw our own residents? Are we as community thinking outside the box? If you are a venue that is doing something different...or a performer that is changing to meet the demands of the new younger Second Life residents, please share with each other. Many times what starts as a small statement can quite often snowball into something really good.
Things that I have done, and in many ways I am lucky that I have an entire sim to work with, many venues share parcels on a sim. I tried rentals,,,,they were okay but not something i truly cared about. Now I have an amusement park up, it works to increase traffic as it keeps different keywords in the search, many times attracting different residents that are not aware of live music. I have a few shops and carts, not many. Many of you know me as someone that likes to think of new and fun things to celebrate or do. Now we are doing new contests, unique in their own right. Public relations of any kind is also important. Myself, I tend to utilize what I feel are the most effective avenues right now, promoting every event on Moolto, SL profiles, and FaceBook, SL events, destination guide. Though I see a lot of performers promoting themselves on FaceBook, I see very few venues, yet the exposure is the best as it grows daily, networking is easy and above all free!!!! Yes it can be a bit time consuming, at the same time, yet we all agree we need exposure, depending on anyone else to do it for us is silly, as we may turn blue holding our breath waiting for that. There is sooo much that we can do now...it costs us some time. So ask yourselves, do you feel passionate enough about your venue and Second Life music to spend a some time on increasing your your exposure? There are ways to do it. some I have thought of....and probably tons that I do not have a clue about. Each of us should take the time and think about ways that we can increase exposure, without depending on someone else to do it for us. Talk to each other, share ideas. If there is anything I have learned, it is that Second Life has some of the most creative people in the world in it........lets use our creativity to create more exposure for the things we are sooo passionate about.