Elf Clan Social Network

This is the public blog site for Elf Clan, a fantasy Virtual Reality-based group. For those curious about the founder of the group and the purpose of my own blogs here...

About Wayfinder and this Blog…

Wayfinder is the founder of Elf Clan, a virtual reality group. This site is run by the same core Charter as Elf Clan (*Honor * Respect * Friendship) and is G-rated. The same rules in Elf Clan apply here: no occult, politics, obscenity, drama etc. But aside from that, this is our social area outside of VR. So you're liable to find any number of general and odd discussions here.

As far as my blogs go...

VR: Virtual Reality. In the context of this blog, primarily referring to 3-D Internet based games and societies such as Inworldz, Reaction Grid and Second Life.

Truthful writing: Telling it like it is, no beating around the bush, no brown-nosing. I'm somewhat known for being very frank and factual in my use and analysis of Second Life and the host company, Linden Lab. I don't gloss over or rose-color anything. In RL I held a career for almost 3 decades as a systems analyst and corporate watchdog, and ran my own company for many years. I retired at a very early age and now spend my time working at fun things. : ) As a result of that career, I have a habit of looking people in the eye and explaining how things stand-- no kid gloves-- especially when it comes to corporations. Failing to understand and deal properly with customers is suicidal business behavior. It doesn't pay to feather-dust potentially harmful activity.

As a result of my professional life, I can often see through to the core of what's going on with Second Life. I'll often pass that information
on to you, for whatever benefit such may be. Don't expect "politically
correct" or egg-shell stepping. It's not my style and it just enables
those who are causing core problems.

My main focus however (as of April 2010) is on Elf Clan and our goals. Prior to that I have been pretty iron-gloved in dealing with Linden Lab... trying to get them to wake up before it's too late. Failed project... so onward and outward. Elf Clan is my focus at this time, with examination of our role not only on Second Life, but on external grids as well.

Hopefully this blog will benefit readers more than offend. In these writings I have one goal: to benefit the users of virtual worlds. If that means telling a company it needs to clean up its act... I have been known to do so from time to time. But even more importantly, helping our members to adapt and cope to a changing VR environment seems the primary vision of our group today.

Trademarks: Linden Lab and Second Life are trademarks of Linden Lab Inc. Not that this matters, because this is a commentary/opinion blog and in this country at least, we have the right to freedom of speech… which includes identifying a company’s name and product in such a venue. Just a statement for legality. ; )

Opinions: Everything on this blog site should be considered personal user opinion, even if presented as factual. Just another statement for legality. ; )

Brief bio: Wayfinder Wishbringer is the founder of Elf Clan, one of the oldest and most popular fantasy groups on a virtual world called Second Life. He’s also the founder of the Poetry Guild on the same system, one of the oldest (if not the oldest) and most active literary groups on the grid. Elf Clan holds (at this time) two sims on Second Life, multiple sims on other grids, and boasts some 2,000 members, with consistent weekly growth.

This blog is a frank discussion of Second Life and virtual worlds in general as well as miscellaneous subjects, both to help new members be aware of inner issues not clearly visible upon joining/investing in such a system, and to provide feedback where such is welcome and beneficial. These days I do try to avoid beating my head against a brick wall... especially the thick ones. ; )

One should not expect rose-colored, optimistic everything-is-fine posts here. I tell it like it is, both good and bad. Some of this is my personal opinion; much more is the professional educated opinion of a business/computer consultant with almost three decades of experience. No brag, just fact. I’ve made my living advising companies how to improve their business, customer support and bottom line. The success of Elf Clan as a group is testimony to what can be done if one deals with people in a friendly, respectful, honorable, drama-free manner… and especially if you treat them like people instead of income-sources.

If you’re offended by honest, frank discussion with a proven track record*, this isn’t the place to be. If you’re looking for something to sink your teeth into and causes you to think about the future of SL and VR in general, welcome!

– Wayfinder

PS…. About comments: I totally welcome those who wish to comment with insight, respect and honor. Whether you agree with my posts or not doesn't matter; your opinions and insight–-no matter what they are– are the spice of the pudding.

Those who wish to troll, insult, flame, get personal or leave spam and drivel irrelevant to the subject will have their posts wiped faster than a foggy mirror.

* “proven track record”. People invest heavy amounts of money into Second Life and Linden Lab. That’s fine if the platform is stable and the company honest and reliable. When that is not the case, those in the know need to speak out so others can be forewarned.

Over the past several years I’ve shown a knack for for predicting and exposing problems on the grid, and for making initial suggestions that later proved to be of great value to Second Life. Two of those suggestions (Estate Tools and Group Tools) are now an everyday part of Second Life function. Two of my forum posts, “The Lag Monster Myths” and “Sim Owners Beware-- Sim Servers Stacked" blew the lid off two major Linden Lab shenanigans. The exposes on the OpenSpace sim fiasco were widely read and stand as historic testimony in that blatant abuse of customer welfare.

Six times in Linden Lab history, based on nothing more than user-available evidence, I became aware of serious system problems. The first four times I contacted Linden Lab and told my close friends in Elf Clan that the grid was going to crash within 2 weeks if something wasn’t done to correct matters. The first three times apparently Linden Lab ignored the warning… and the grid crashed (once for almost an entire week due to a failed asset server with no mirror backup). The fourth time, after the warning, within 2-3 days the serious symptoms I’d warned about suddenly disappeared-- noticeably. No contact from the company, no acknowledgment… but the grid didn’t crash. Goal accomplished.

The fifth and sixth times were months later, after Elf Clan had experienced some significant problems with Linden Lab that cost our group several thousand dollars worth of sims. I didn't really feel like giving warning at that point. I told a few friends and kept it to myself beyond that. Within days.. WHAM. Grid down.

On no other occasion than those six did the grid crash as a whole.

100% accuracy. That’s a pretty consistent track record.

Not blowing my own horn at all. There are a number of people on Second Life who can do the same thing I do. There are people all over SL who know how to gauge SL performance. We have been trained to do such in real life, have built careers doing such. It should not be surprising that some customers know as much about computers as Linden Lab.

I applaud other members for having the courage to speak out. It's for your benefit they do so... and ultimately for the benefit of Second Life and Linden Lab. Because the hard truth is that if Second Life doesn't work right-- eventually someone else will come along with a system that does. Then where will Second Life be?

But Elf Clan has moved beyond Linden Lab and Second Life. We are no longer chained to that platform and have started expanding to other grids. Were Second Life die tomorrow, Elf Clan would continue. However if groups like Elf Clan start leaving Second Life en masse... SL cannot survive. Obviously our focus needs to be on Elf Clan... and the VR community as a whole.

Thus, for whatever it’s worth, these blogs. If I can help someone make a better investment decision (namely, DON'T), if my blogs warn people of impending disasters or company problems, if it helps people adapt to VR and what the future brings, terrific. Better use of my time than vegetating on television. ; )

— Anyway folks, that’s who Wayfinder is and that’s what this is about. It’s not all negative. It’s not all positive. It’s a realistic examination of the virtual community. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far then I invite you… read on! And welcome to the Elf Clan Social Network! : )


Views: 76

Comment by Powers Constantine on July 2, 2009 at 2:10pm
What Way failed to mention here is the countless hours he spends behind the "scenes" doing whatever it takes to keep Elf Clan up and running, this website up-to-date, Elf Clan sims on RG and then just taking time to have fun!!!! He does all of this on his own time---for the benefit of all of us. Much of it is done while the rest of us sleep--something he gets very little of I am sure!!! Go on and blow that horn, Way!!!! You have earned it!!!
Comment by Schlitzie Martini on July 2, 2009 at 8:42pm
He also has failed to mention how much he loves goats ;)
Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on July 14, 2009 at 12:39am
Now if I were a Dwagon, I'd respond with something like, "Mmmmmm goats...." but since I'm not, I'll just send a few Dwagons over with some pink flowers for the Ork embassy... to let the Orks know how much we luvs 'em. ; )

We all know how much Dwagons love leaving the Orks gifts. They're very generous...
Comment by Rose Sak on August 2, 2009 at 4:32pm
well said..
Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on November 10, 2009 at 1:57pm

Well, here's a rule of thumb: do what you can, but no matter what you do, Second Life is still going to be borked. Take that as fact... and then have fun. :D

Yes, I definitely let Linden Lab know how their decisions, policies and "updates" affect the community... and when they do something really selfish and stupid I let them know about that in no uncertain terms (ie, the Open Space Sim fiasco which they have no right to expect to ever go away. From all reports, hey destroyed some 5,000 sims over that bit of greedy slimeballing. That's unforgivable. Some managers needed to lose jobs over that one.) When they do well, I let them know that too (although sadly, that's very rare these days).

But other than that, I just take things as they come and move onward, secure in the knowledge that there's only so much we can do to make SL work properly. Beyond that... it's out of our hands.

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on June 17, 2010 at 2:21pm
An update: when the official records were finally released, the total damage of the OpenSpace fiasco was approximately 5,200 sims... significant enough. They lost tens of thousands of customers, from reports about 15% of their Premium user base, and put their chief competition (OpenSim) on the map. Serious consequences of serious actions.

Sad news is... they didn't learn from that. They're still making the same blunders...


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