Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Blogging Journey

With the arrival of spring I've been revisiting my own blogging journey so Strawberry Singh's Blogging Journey Challenge is very timely indeed.  What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my travels, ponder the paths taken by other Second Life bloggers and make some corrections to my current course.  Thank you, Berry for launching another excellent adventure!

Which electronic devices do you use to blog with? Tatiana, Duchesse de Provence Coeur, would say she uses only the finest quill pen and perhaps some oil paints.  I keep it almost as basic and stick to my computer.

Do you have a mission statement for your blog, if so, what is it? Connect; Create; Entertain; Inform; Have Fun; Do no Harm; (not necessarily in that order).

How do you feel about blogs that use their platforms to spread negativity? If that's their only goal I'm not interested in them.  Though I appreciate all sides of a discussion, relentless negativity will just suck the soul right out of you.

Are you a grammar junkie? Do you thoroughly check your blog for errors before posting and/or do you judge other people’s posts if they contain errors? I do make an effort to act as my own editor (it's not easy) with the goal of communicating clearly.  As for judging other people's posts; I firmly believe that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones :)

If you could switch blogs with another blogger who would it be? He's not a SL blogger but I would switch with Philippe Joubert Lussac of Gris-bleu, consistently one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever seen.  I also love Jamie Adair and her History Behind Game of Thrones.  Dang!  Why didn't I think of doing that!

Has your blog/blogging style evolved over the year(s)? How? My first post, Just Arrived, was published January 1, 2009.  The whole blogging process was exciting & a tad overwhelming.  Not only did I have to begin writing again but I had to figure out all the technical aspects as well as the whole blog design thing.  At least now I can leverage my basic knowledge and concentrate on improving.  Honestly, I continue to find the whole process fascinating.

What is the most extraordinary thing that has happened to you because of blogging? It's definitely expanded my world.  I have an excuse to research history, art, architecture & Second Life all at the same time.  Life is good!

When it comes to Second Life blogs, there are different styles: Fashion bloggers, Lifestyle & Travel bloggers, Informative bloggers, and more. Which style do you prefer and where do you feel your blog fits in? I love them all.  As hard as I try, I really can't seem to limit myself to much of a niche (cue the music for ♪ Don't Fence Me In ♪). I've even blogged a bit about Fashion (18th century of course) even though it is at the bottom of my list.  An interesting point is that much of my audience comes for the historical research and have no prior knowledge of Second Life.  I always hope that I deliver a good first impression of this virtual world.

What has blogging taught you? The potential to engage with others via your respective blogs is vast.  Whether you're looking for inspiration, information or just good entertainment, it's all out there.  I've also learned that blogging is a very creative process that requires endless effort to do well.  It can be extremely frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.

Share your top 3 tips for new bloggers. Follow your heart & blog what you love.  If you enjoy making connections you can use your blog as the anchor for other Social Media platforms and expand your discovery of many vibrant communities.  Find your own balance, i.e. what works well for you, and don't worry about what others are doing.  Blogging is not a competition.


My Blogging Journey by  on 2014-04-30 Tatiana reflects on her blogging journey as part of Strawberry Singh's latest challenge 

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic (click to enlarge)
Location: Petit Trianon, Provence Coeur Est

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flat Ebbe: The Age of Enlightenment

It only seems appropriate that I take Flat Ebbe back to my home in 18th-Century France.  I know that he's been run off his feet this week as a result of Strawberry Singh's Flat Ebbe Linden Meme and so I figured that a quick tour through the Age of Enlightenment might make for a bit of a respite and perhaps some, well, enlightenment.

After touring the French Gardens outside the Petit Trianon, we paused for refreshments in The French Pavilion while I pondered the advice that I could/would/should offer this new Linden Lab CEO.

It's not like I'm a stranger to offering advice, solicited or not, to CEOs.  My real life (RL) resume is pitted with examples but as I said in  Adventures w Flat Rod: Rod Humble Crept into My Life with regard to Second Life (SL): I'm just one among the many and for the most part I'm very content with our at-arm's-length relationship.

I hauled Flat Rod around because it was a lot of fun mixed in with a little bit of empowerment: I suspect that I want Rodvik to see what I see, the beauty, creativity and the community of Second Life. It's not and has never been a game to me. It's something unique, something worth tending & nurturing.

What three pieces of advice will really help a new CEO go forth to "tend & nurture" while still keeping an eye on the bottom line?  Thank goodness Berry didn't ask for more than three because this could easily turn into The Song that Doesn't End!  So here goes ...

Go forth, explore & connect: I believe this process has already started. Good!  Keep it going!! Set the Lindens free to wander the vastness, experience the beauty, enjoy the communities (inworld and online) and recharge their creative batteries.  If the only connection the Lindens have to SL is the official forum and JIRA they'll end up jaded & depressed in no time.  Nothing can suck the soul right out of you quite like listening to a continual "round of rants" so balance those customer concerns with some inworld fun, enthusiasm, knowledge & inspiration.

Give some thought to the little guys & outliers:  I'm not exactly sure what the SL target demographics are but I'm pretty certain my niche community's not included in them.  I run with a crowd that loves to explore history, art & architecture.  For the most part we're RL professionals and we're old (think 40+ if you average us out).  Like many other niche groups we're very interested in the potential for education and would appreciate any related improvements.

We're also great ambassadors for our SL niche. We constantly promote it and have enough RL credibility to at least be considered.  Throw us a bone!  Give us some support through your marketing.  As a SL Affiliate I have a hard time even picking out a banner advertisement with some relevance to my SL.  Vampires & kids in bikinis really don't work for me.  Work with us to dispel the "all sex, all of the time" perception of SL.

And speaking of the little guys ...

Consider some financial breaks:  My SL business partners & I are small land baronets with one destination estate that has provided a stable environment and excellent service  for over six years.  We work like dogs, watch the trends and constantly adapt; which is how we've managed to remain a viable business this long.  It isn't easy.

I've read many discussions concerning financial breaks for those that aren't large land barons but it's hard to vet viable options without access to the numbers for a proper analysis of the impacts on both LL and its clients.  From what I've seen, including the Homestead pricing debacle, LL isn't always clear on the impacts themselves.

Nevertheless, even a small break would make a big difference to our financial situation and starting small would probably be an excellent strategy.  Reducing all Homestead prices back to US$95 would definitely be beneficial.  If Homestead prices just can't be lowered, increasing the Homestead Region Capacity to 7500 would provide some much needed breathing room.  Think about it!

And so ends the advice for the day.  I believe it's time to go out and enjoy another SL adventure.  Perhaps Flat Ebbe would like to see more of the Jardin Français or venture out in a rather leaky sailboat to tour the Duché de Coeur coastline. 

Bon Voyage! 
Flat Ebbe: The Age of Enlightenment by  on 2014-04-17 Tatiana drags Flat Ebbe on a quick guided tour through 18th Century France and the Age of Enlightenment 

Image: Tatiana Dokuchic (click to enlarge)
Room & Furniture: TatianaDokuchic Varriale (excluding music stand)
Dress: Ephe Luik

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shared Seas Sailboat Race

Way too much fun was had at the April running of the Shared Seas Sailboat Race!

The competitors loaded up their boats with lucky charms & brave passengers before setting sail on the challenging course that threaded its way through the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina.

It was a bit of a wonder that Fortune smiled on everyone and they all made it to the finish line, a bit soggy but mostly intact.  

Perhaps the Navigator Challenge is having a beneficial effect on our Shared Seas Sailors as not a shipwreck or lost vessel was to be reported.

There were, however, rumours of some rather aggressive sailing maneuvers conducted by my sister, Skye.  Something about her attempting to drive Mercury onto the rocks?
I'm not going to ask too many questions about that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last Dance with Rodvik

Warning!! Given Rodvik's recent departure from Second Life, the title of this post might imply some melodramatic musings when it's actually a response to Strawberry Singh's latest Monday Meme, Dance in Second Life Challenge.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SL Sailing Pro Tips: A Lighthearted Look at Second Life Sailing

Now that Port Trianon is open and the Shared Seas of the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina have become a reality I've set my sights on becoming a Second Life sailor.  It hasn't been easy and though I've had to swim for my life more times than I care to count I have learned a few things along the way. Calling them "Pro Tips" may be a bit of a stretch (though it does have a nice ring to it!) but they may help novice SL sailors figure out their port from their starboard.  Have a look & see what you think!

First things first; take my hard-earned advice and make an effort to get to know your sailboat, especially if you intend to do any racing.  Being a "last minute" person myself, I've suffered the embarrassment of backing over my competition at the starting-line when I really meant to move forward.  Fortunately, they're a forgiving bunch!

Public sailboats are available at the docks of Languedoc Coeur, the docks of Port Trianon & the beach of Rocca Sorrentina.

The green & brown sailboats from the Duché are for singles & groups; these are the ones used for racing. The blue sailboats are for couples that like to cuddle though they can also be used as a rather awkward single.

With the Duché boats make sure you "sit" to the right of the rudder otherwise the boat, thinking you are a passenger, will not follow your commands.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Port Trianon: Connecting the Shared Seas

Port Trianon: Midday

It's been a whirlwind three months since the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina formalized their plans for a closer physical connection between their two realms.

We started with the addition of two, brand-new, sailable regions linking Rocca Sorrentina to the southern shores of Provence Coeur.  Then the real work commenced.

We were busy dredging harbours, forming islands and attending to all the little details that make this a magical Second Life destination.  A few minor bumps were experienced along the way; I managed to flatten both Provence Coeur Est & Provence Coeur Est2 with one keystroke (note to self: always look above sea level when using the terrain tool especially when it's set to high) but all-in-all the work progressed smoothly.