I had some great meetings last week! On Monday I met with Peri Afarensis, on Wednesday with Dave Koi, and then just before Wednesday night’s Photohunt started I had a chance to chat briefly with Corcosman Voom.
I’m slowly learning a lot about “VAA Today”… the only thing I haven’t entirely puzzled together so far is how / when The Founders left. I’ll say more about that in my next post, Searching For Cyanide Seelowe, but suffice it to say, they did leave. And it seems like the VAA Founders’ departure, whether it was all at once, or sequenced over time, left a pretty big hole that Special, Peri, Dave, Cor, and others have done an admirable job of filling.
VAA (Virtual Artist Alliance) initially had 3 projects: Haiku Speedbuild, Photohunt, and Virtual Artpedia. It seems like Virtual Artpedia may have ended a long time ago, and of course, Haiku Speedbuild and Photohunt continue to this day. Haiku Speedbuild was originally held on a Zen sim where they also offered activities in writing Haiku. IDK if Photohunt was there also, but at some point the SIM(s) that VAA used were lost, and Peri Afarensis seems to have stepped in at just the right time and saved these events by hosting them at her Afar region in Second Life. Her generosity has really enabled many virtual artists to explore a lot of work and ideas in our shared virtual space. Everyone who participates in Photohunt or Speedbuild should say “Thank You” to her at some point – maybe we can all sign a big card! It was my impression from my visit with her that she’s still happy and able to be hosting both of these events, but we should be careful not to take advantage of her generosity – we should check in from time to time and make sure the arrangement still works for her, and while it’s really nice to have a long running home, we should at least consider that letting any one sim-owner host both Photohunt and Speedbuild may in itself be taking advantage. Ok, maybe not if it’s The University of Texas, who, last time I counted owns 28 regions in SL (down from the 50 they had before the EDU price increases, but still a crazy lot of regions! 🙂
As far as I know, Afarensis only owns one region in SL. SL regions are an expensive item for an individual to be providing, and while I’m grateful for, and humbled by her generosity, I worry that even though VAA does serve a lot of artists, still, having 2 events on her one sim might be taking advantage.
On Wednesday I sat down for a conversation with Photohunt host of hosts, Dave Koi. His achievements with this event are as good as his emo posture is bad! 😛 He’s built a team of hosts that both takes the strain off any individual, and also builds a greater community. They now have 2 Photohunts EVERY WEEK at different times that help build a more global audience for the event. Dave’s 66% of the way to having his own “Deep Space Network” (the radio telescope network spaced 120° around the earth with stations near Goldstone, California, Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia!) I think what Dave & Co. have achieved with Photohunt is a model for what we might try to do with Haiku Speedbuild in 6 to 12 months if we can build participation to something near the level of Photohunt.
Peri rescued VAA from sim loss, but apparently there was website loss and also a sort of group loss. The VAA group isn’t lost, it’s alive and well and has, hahaha, no kidding, exactly 666 members ATM! But all of the founders left the VAA group and I presume SL as well, so the group currently has no owner, and without some unlikely deus ex machina intervention by Linden Lab, an ownerless group can never again have an owner since no one that’s left has the power to make anyone an owner. IDK why the founders all left without promoting anyone first. The VAA group today has 8 moderators: Special, Dave, Cor, Ellie Criss, Caleb Kit, Slappy Doobie, “Photohunt” (a group avatar that Photohunt moderators share) and now me. More people can be made “moderator” but no one has the power to make another “owner” which means there are all sorts of group maintenance actions that we can never perform, the simplest is that when the group gets chat spammed, we don’t even have the ability to eject the spammer. Dave and I agreed that it’s time to start a new group that the living VAA can manage. Yes we’ll lose some members in the conversion, but they’ll mostly be peeps who haven’t been active in perhaps a long time. The current group name is “Virtual Artist Alliance” and I always sort of thought it should be plural, so perhaps the new group name can simply be “Virtual Artists’ Alliance.”
I only had a chance to chat with Cor briefly, and we mostly confirmed ideas Dave and I had exchanged, but it was still nice to say hi to such a long-time and central VAA member.
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