I have to admit, watching things unfold in Second Life over the last year and a half or so has been an eye opening experience. when I started, I spent about a week dancing and going to clubs and being sparkly and witty, and playing with prims, which i thought were about the coolest thing since sliced bread - I had never spent time in a virtual world before, and it was all so exciting and new. After a very short time, i realized that i had to DO something in SL, or I was going to go crazy.
so, of course I became an escort. lmao. to some, this will probably lower me in your estimation, but frankly, I could care less... I have a pretty broad definition of "acceptable behaviour" when it comes to things like sexuality and entertainment. I had a great time for a while, but quickly realized that i could do better by running an escort service, rather than actually doing the hard work (hehe). So, within a few weeks, my friend Anna and I started an escort service (Anna Andalso is on the Board of DDE and is my oldest and dearest friend in SL - and a constant source of advice and grounding). We bought some land (which was really the only personal money i ever put into SL), built a nice place, and got the business going. It was pretty successful, and with the profits, I kept adding to the land i owned on that sim. I was so excited with each 1024 plot that i bought!
At first, it was to build an apartment building to house the escorts, and later, to add a mall and a larger apartment complex, followed by renting out some land for other buinsesses to set themselves up. I've realized since then that it doesn't matter to me so much WHAT the business is, as much as just building or creating something, be it a 10x10 building, or a large real-estate company. I realized early on that what was the most fun for me was helping people to build their dreams. I know that sounds incredibly corny, and maybe even fake, but I honestly got a lot more satisfaction out of helping someone get the means to build up a successful business, or even just learn the ropes in SL, than I ever have out of making high profits. Of course, that's fun too - hehehe.
Those two things - helping people, and building/creating something, have driven everything i have done in Second Life since then. I've heard other people say similar things in posts in various places (like another of our WSE CEO's who has posted on this blog recently - wink), and it really resonated with me. I kinda hesitated ever posting this, because it SO sounds like marketing for Delicious, but then i figured, wtf, it's my blog.
Early in my SLife, I was lied to and cheated by some people that I thought were my friends, and by some other people that I didn't even know. The experience was far more painful than i ever thought it would be - I guess i get personally offended when people are assholes... It made me promise that I would never make anyone else feel like that in here. So, although it was awful, it really centred me, and made me know how I would behave in my dealings in SL. I am no angel, that is for sure, and I have made my share of mistakes, and contributed to my share of SL drama. Hell, I'm of italian descent!!!
I guess this whole post is a little immodest, but the context is important for what I REALLY wanted to get to with this post. lmao. I have really tried to do right by people in SL, especially since I went onto the WSE. I really take it as a serious responsibility to steward other people's money. I could never have achieved a lot of the business success I have in recent months without the resources they gave me - both in terms of money, and in terms of advice, teaching, and direction. As well as some healthy competition - which gets me motivated! And, the bottom line is, my reputation is important to me.
But I will be honest with you, I have watched with dismay over the last few months, as other business owners in SL (all over SL - not just on the WSE), have shit on their investors and basically stolen their money in order to... idk... make themselves feel important? get rich? play a game? I mean, the Ginko thing - geeeeeze. The pathetic final announcements from Ginko, in which they basically said, "I was just a kid! I never thought it would go this far! Oops. oh, and sorry for the millions you all lost. my bad." and others before that - Montana Ryder just basically stealing everyone's money and disappearing from SL. other companies that have been really happy to take the IPO money, and then slowly orphan their company on the SL, without the decency to even post an announcement EVER. i have to say here - props to LukeConnell for setting up the WTF to at least do SOMETHING to compensate people for the losses suffered at the hands of these thieves.
It is disheartening. It makes me wonder why I bother. I mean if the norms of behaviour are amoral (even immoral), why on earth do I cling to some stupid set of ethics about what I will and won't do? It makes me feel like a sucker - watching people getting rich and having NO consequences. Part of me wants to just jump on the bandwagon, take the money and run. Part of me wants to just quit and stop swimming against the current.
Fortunately, I put that part of myself in a cage, and don't let it out very often, except maybe to vent occasionally to pablo, Kejo, or anna. and now - to you! I remind myself of how i felt every time i got screwed (and not in the fun way!). I remind myself of why I like SL, and what is important for me. All that stuff I said up above. I guess in the end, I could simply not live with myself if I did what these unscrupulous people have done. Dammit!!! lmao.
In the end, we are left with ourselves in those quiet moments, right? and I don't want to spend my quiet moments alone with an asshole...