Saturday, June 5, 2010

All Good Things ...


When I first arrived at SL Newspaper, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was only weeks before in which I had shed the newbie avatar, and made some real friends and a couple hangouts in the metaverse. I was fairly confident I’d be able to do an article a week on something, along with at least one funny picture, but I was still the junior guy. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

In October 2007, it had been just weeks before I truly considered my newcomer status over. I’d shed the old-style ringtail I’d stepped into the Metaverse with and took on the red Luskwood fox as my appearance, found a couple hangouts, and made some good friends. Wanting to know more about Second Life, I searched the ‘net for websites about it. That’s how I found out about Second Life Newspaper. I enjoyed reading it every day, and peeking into the archives. Then I saw an article asking for reader submissions for articles and funny pictures. After sending a few in, Owner JamesT Juno and Editor Dana Vanmoer asked me to the office to talk about a position in the staff.

And the rest they say, is history. 

It’s been a lot of work. I like to write, but I aim to do it well. And whenever writers block set in, it could be a struggle. But I kept up doing at least one article and cartoon a week, and usually did more. My search for things to write about took me all over the grid, and sometimes I didn’t have to look far at all for something. Quite a variety too, from art galleries to sports fields, from churches to adult entertainment, from monuments to roleplays, from politics to science, from clubs to game shows, from “SLeberties” to people noted in real life dropping in on the Metaverse, I can say I’ve written pretty much about all kinds of subjects. And the journey has brought me a few friends as well, people I continue to keep in touch with. And it’s allowed me to give a few talented friends some deserved exposure. 

Been through a bit of Second Life history as well, from the Banking Crisis, to the SL5 celebration, to the VAT rules, to the Openspace mess, to the Presidential 2008 election, to the Adult Verification debate, to the Relay for Life walks, the Burning Life events, and many other events. 

And in the process, learning a little more about being a journalist. 

“What a strange, long, trip it’s been.”

I had a terrific team to work with: Gemma Cleanslate, Breezes Babii, Grey Lupindo, and Shellie Sands. In the past, there was more: Nazz Lane, Alesia Schumann, Delinda Dyrssen, Penance Sautereau, Dashwood Dayafter, Dixie Barbosa, Neuron Bandit, Baron DeSantis,Any1 Gynoid, and many others.

And of course JamesT Juno and Dana Vanmoer, who made it possible.

Sadly, for Second Life Newspaper, the journey is over. It was a great newspaper that both informed and entertained the residents of the Metaverse, and a few non-residents curious about the place. We the staff will very much miss it.

We at the staff have thought about what to do. We could easily find other jobs in Second Life. But I personally have been reporting too long to simply just give it up.

So, I’m prepared to start again.

I’ve created a news blog page at  -  “Second Life News.” A small start, but with effort, it can grow to be something big. Chatting with the crew, some have expressed interest in joining up. And once we get sponsors, we truly will be an online newspaper.

There will be a few rough spots along the way in running this new bird. Dana is leaving some big shoes to fill. But being a newser at heart, nothing to do but step forward. If Second Life has showed me anything, it’s that this is a land of possibilities. 

And so, hello to the new newspaper, and goodbye to the retired one. She served us well.

“And that’s the way it is.” Good night from Second Life Newspaper.

Bixyl Shuftan 


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