Saturday, April 1, 2017

ApRiL fOoL!

Happy April Fools Day from the Second Life Newser!

Yes, there is an "Ark Park," but Linden Lab isn't part of the team developing it.

 May your April Fools Day be filled with joy, merriment, and general foolery.

For previous April Fool jokes, check out 2016, 2015, 20142013, 2012, and 2011.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Furry Discrimination

By Grease Coakes

Sometimes in Second Life I just want to chill and hang out at one of the many dance clubs in Second Life. Maybe to work on a writing project with a live DJ jamming tunes for me or goof off talking with friends. Electronic Music Informer is a good source of various music clubs to whatever music genres. Until one day when I walked into a club that was against furries which surprised me, as the majority of human clubs accept me for who I am.

So I find a club at Anaconda (42/32/22) that was playing hip hop. I was accepting that they were playing different music. It’s boring to hear EDM or electric dance music all the time. I was there for less than a minute and suddenly I got an IM from nowhere

Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): WE NEED TO CHANGE HUMAN PLEASE
Grease Coakes: why?
Grease Coakes: Furries aren't allowed?
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): NO FURRY
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): NO
Šassy Hausмaηη - Ivory  (Sassy Lexenstar): MOM WILL BOUNCE YOU
Grease Coakes: That's racist :O
Grease Coakes: I don't understand why don't you allow furries?

When I went there a second time without reason she booted me to a safe haven here at the Vilania sim. What really surprised me is that I was banned there just for being a furry. When I tried to go there to get more answers I ran into a message that said, “Teleport failed You are banned from the region.”

So not only did I not get a reason of why furries are not allowed at this club, I was also banned. That’s sad that in Second life that I ran into a racist club. It’s bad enough to see racism in my first life. Second Life should be a place to chill and relax and if I choose to be a walking talking fox then so be it.

I’m part of a group called  “Furs Against Social Inequality.” I shared my story within the chat group and got some swift responses.

Second Life should be a better environment then the real world to hang out at a club with or without your friends. It’s unfortunate although rare that there are clubs in Second Life that don’t allow you if you’re different then the human norm. Second Life is a fantasy where you should be allowed whomever you want. It’s a shame I found a club that wasn’t okay with that.

Grease Coakes

Editor's Note: The Newser has reported on avatar discrimination a few times in the past, a recent commentary in January examining them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

What It's Like To Acquire A Sim

By MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

I knew that by the time I had four different parcels I was paying tier on, things were becoming a bit ridiculous, and it was time to investigate actually getting a sim.  With the beginning of Sansar underway, and the new increase of prims allotted to Second Life from Linden Labs, I figured there surely was a good solution to my predicament.

The first thing I did was call Linden Lab.  They gave me a good page off their website to go to (I have listed it at the bottom of this article in the URL section, and rehosted it at Tiny URL).  At that "Name Your Land" page, you can create a name for your region (or see if the name you want is available), find out which areas of the grid are available to make a sim (by putting in coordinates or another region name), and even click to chat immediately with a more-than-happy-to-speak-with-you sales associate.

I found the Linden Lab sales associate very informative, but my gawd, the prices were astounding! $600 USD for the initial buying price of a sim PLUS $300 USD a month tier -a car engine goes for around $500 USD.  Plus you have to take into account, their policy of residents not being allowed to own Homesteads without owning a Full private region, because Homesteads are essentially an add-on for a full region (not physically, but from a sales perspective).  Sadly, there are no discounts available.  Linden Lab only has the Premium incentive to offer: 1) weekly L$300 stipend deposited to your shop, 2) L$1,000 sign-up bonus for first-time Premium Account subscribers to be deposited to your account after 45 consecutive days, 3) Linden Home or 512 Square Meter Tier allotment for use towards a parcel on the Mainland, 4) Expanded Live-Chat customer support, 5) Exclusive Virtual Gifts, 6) Premium-only accessible areas and experiences in Second Life, 7) Exclusive activities and games, 8) Increased cap on missed Instant Messages, 9) Increased group membership limits, and 10) Voice Morphing.

I was a bit thwarted, but I decided to continue my research with one of the companies in Second Life that I had contently rented from for over a couple of years now, ZoHa Islands.  My relationship with them started because I Fish Hunt, and every time I went to their buoy, I was always greeted personally by a sales representative.  No matter that all I was interested in, was just catching fish, they were always polite and wished me good luck, consistently.  I thought that was really cool.  They built a good rapport with me, and I finally took them up on their offer one day, and haven't looked back.  They recently implemented a new system, where you must file a ticket on their website to get a response to any inquiry (I have listed that at the bottom of this article as the second link in the URL reference section).  They do this to make sure everyone gets answered and nobody gets accidentally missed on the group chat.  Tammy Mayo (tammiedee.mayo), a very helpful and patient representative, contacted me, and we talked for about three hours initially (but really, she did earn her commission, poor thing, *laughter*).

At the time, my main concern was being able to have a sim connected to my previous home of Faerie Crossing, a land of 10 neighbored regions.  Now, it is not possible for ZoHa to make a sim from scratch, off of any place on the grid, and sell it to you.  Nonetheless, they do have a fabulous selection of already existing regions to choose from (starting at $30 USD for the initial buy price, and about $120 USD per month for homesteads).  It is entirely conceivable to get a sim and have it moved (it costs a one-time fee of $150 USD, which is what LL charges).  However, in order to move a sim right next to another, and become neighbors, you need to have permission from the owner of the other region first.  All the areas on the map in the first link (under "Region Location" "Region Coordinates") that are cross-hatched in red, are these types of places you need to get permission for.  Everything else is fair game.  Also, it is just as easy to have any of ZoHa's sims renamed (it costs a one-time fee of $50 USD, which is also what Linden Lab charges). 

Next I had to decide whether I should invest in a Homestead sim or a Full.  The difference between them is not just price, but prims and avatar capacity.  They are exactly the same size of 65,000+ SqM.  However, a Homestead can only host 20 avatars at any given time, whereas a Full can have up to 100.  You also get 5,000 prims with a Homestead, but with a Full, you get 20,000.  This is why Homesteads are usually cheaper.  I figured it would be safe to give the Homestead a try, and I could always change to the Full later if it ever became necessary.  It's not like I was planning on renting out parcels or anything, so what the heck?

It took about a day or less to change the title of Vita Nova into Zamargad.  As far as Linden Lab paperwork goes, the Governor of ZoHa Islands owns it, but I have full control of the region.  From making it Moderate, who can visit (open to the public or not), generating parcels, to even writing my own Covenant; Zamargad is a little piece of me that I get to share with all who dare to tread it.  Not a bad deal at all.  I saved $950 USD (OMG!), and ZoHa gave me a current resident discount (for having already been a client).

After recovering from the shock and depression of being banned from my previous Faerie Crossing home of three years, and with some powerfully supportive decorating suggestions and tips from friends, it took about a month to finalize Zamargad.  I learned that the best way to see Second Life is to tick these in my viewer settings: "Automatically change environment to use region/parcel settings" and to "Use Firestorm Parcel Windlight Sharing."  Environment settings really set the mood for what kind of ornamentation is best.  I chose a night theme so the glowing vegetation and other structures had just the right touch of mysteriousness and wonder.  It took about $200 USD of birthday and Christmas money, and countless, relentless hours of scouring the Marketplace to turn my new home into a masterpiece.

I wanted an epic grand opening, and I definitely got one!  Vinnie (acoustic.rhapsody) of The Vinnie Show, one of the performers for my grand opening, mentioned something very key for setting things in motion, in the preparation of this event.  In anticipation of all the traffic this would generate, we were worried about crashing my Homestead of Zamargad.  Vinnie suggested a work around of using a parcel on a Full sim, and then having a tour of Zamargad afterward.  Tammy helped me again to get the grand opening party parcel.  I only had to rent it for a week, and I got another discount for having done so.  I went back into a productive creative mode, and designed the grand opening parcel set, so that all I had to do was "Take" it from Zamargad, and rerezz it at the parcel.  The grand opening was definitely a success!  Over L$2,500 were raised in donations during this all day event.  I was very pleased that everyone came to support and share my reverie with me.

I also learned that it actually doesn't matter where your region is on the grid.  You could be an adoption sim, surrounded by BDSM sims.  In any event, "location, location, location" doesn't matter, unless you're going for Mainland. And in that case, it's because you want to be a part of a historical continent, pricing, or clear rules instead of a covenant.  If your region is awesome, people will come, no matter what.  There are no such things as designated areas of the Second Life grid for fantasy, or any other what-have-you themes, even in Mainland where ironically the only constant theme is variety.  At one time there were a bunch of fantasy regions surrounding the realms of Faerie Crossing, Elf Circle, Farhaven, and Isle of Wyrms, but that is slowly dissipating.  I would love to see a huge continent of fantasy, but I suppose it's like when per say, a cell phone company buys out another cell phone company and they merge ... and they keep on buying all the other cell phone companies until there is almost a monopoly ... and then they split and get bought out by other cell phone companies altogether, and the cycle repeats.  It is just the nature of business and things. 

According to Rabbinical mythology, Zamargad is the name of the land to which Lilith (Adam's first wife) betook herself in her flight from Paradise (the garden of Eden). And it is near the Red Sea, which could be metaphorically construed as the disapproving neighbors cross-hatched in red on the "Name Your Land" map. - Thus I do toy with the idea of poetically moving a water sim away from the fantasy realms I once knew...  But Zamargad currently rests, nestled between a bunch of other private estates on the grid, and is happy there for the time being.  Despite my otherwise assertive soul and meaningful trivia, I do think there are better things to put my money toward... like tipping performers and venues!

But that is what it's like to get a sim.  Lots of research, preparation, anxiety, support, a new found appreciation of everything that goes into all the places you visit in Second Life, and of course, the big payoff - celebration and sharing your imagination with the world!  Very fulfilling and worth it.  If I had more money and ideas, I'm sure I would do it again.  ...I hope this article helped you some, and gave you a bit more perspective on the matter.  Here's to your dreams coming true as well!

Additional Information:



^v^/<|;) (Group Key: 0dceeb4c-62ab-9436-ca6a-5f46106681b4)

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MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sacred Cauldron's Lesson

“A Lesson In Humanity And Other Folklore...”-

By MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

What does religion in Second Life mean to you?  Some people do not separate real life from Second Life, they admit that SL is just an extension of their real life.  Is it therefore important to find some spiritual grounding for your avatar?  I happened to think so, until I ran into a situation that made me feel really uncomfortable. 

It began with me recently seeing another article on Sacred Cauldron, Witch School, Wiccan Seminary, part of the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, and I immediately took some personal interest.  I visited the Sacred Cauldron sim, and a lovely helper greeted me and answered some immediate questions.  She informed me that she volunteered to help pay for her classes, and they treated her very well.  I honestly liked the feel I got when I was there, I was given the impression that I could enroll and volunteer too.  It had been a dream of mine to fulfill my spiritual needs and to find a new place to belong to, especially since I spend so much time in Second Life.

She directed me to the application part of the Wiccan Seminary website, where it asked me for personal things like my legal name, phone number, birth date/time/place, current occupation, educational background, magical training, High Priest/ess contact info., and medical/mental/disability/learning issues, etc.  I filled all this out, of course, in good faith (part of the Wiccan Rede is "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"), thinking that perhaps I would be on my way to a scholarship. 

The next thing I did was contact Belladonna Laveau (belladonna.yarrowroot).  The helper said I should contact her, as she's the dean, and she would help me figure out what classes I needed (I had completed previous Wicca training in real life, and I was unsure as to how that worked with this new school).  I also informed Belladonna that I was looking for a possible scholarship, and explained that I was on a fixed income, various other things, long story short, I'm not Richie Rich, but that my intentions were pure and dedicated (I even offered to help teach a class on The Secret / The Law of Attraction, as compensation).  She got back to me a few hours later explaining that they understandably needed some proof of my income to qualify me for a scholarship, and a letter of approval from my current HP/s.  I confirmed with her where to send my proof of income to, and that my training was complete (but that she was welcome to contact my HP/s).  She thought that was wonderful, and that they should be able to set me up the next business day.  So I sent them  proof of my RL income to the e-mail address she requested it be sent to, and gave her my HP/s contact information.

Upon doing so, I received two e-mails (one of which included a manual PDF):

"Welcome to the Wiccan Seminary!

     "Merry Meet,

     "Thank you for your interest in WiccanSeminary.EDU. I am contacting you to help you register and transition into campus life. Please take a few moments to create a profile for yourself on and set up your subscription payment at:

     "Once you have set up your profile on the class website www.wiccanseminary.US and set up your subscription for payment for your classes, please take a moment to look over the 100 Level courses. We will need you to send us your two elective choices so you may be placed into classes.

     "Please remember that your monthly subscription covers your core classes and two electives and is under your control. We can not stop or terminate the subscription from our end and when you complete your schooling, you will need to terminate the subscription unless you wish to continue to support our efforts for Wicca.

     "We have you scheduled for Joining the Circle: Orientation, which occurs Wednesday at 7pm PST

    "Have you created an avatar in Second Life and visited the Virtual Online Campus, Sacred Cauldron? Have you joined us at any of the online classes, rituals, or events?

     "There are so many fun things to do everyday. Our next session began on April 3, 2017, but you are welcome to join in your classes once the registration process is completed. I’d be happy to meet you on campus, show you around and introduce you to everyone. When would you have time to set up your avatar on and meet with me?

     "Please remember that you can always find updated information on the Google Calendar in the lobby of the Castle on SecondLife or on website. To see the Session Dates, view the calendar by month and look up at the top of the calendar for extended date listings.

     "I look forward to hearing from you. I am attaching a copy of your Student Manual that has lots of great information that you will need in order to succeed here at WiccanSeminary.

     "Blessed Be,


     "Enrollment Coordinator

     "Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary"

"Greetings  ---RL-Name-Removed-For-Privacy---

     "Thank you so much for applying for a Service Scholarship at the WSTS.

     "The Scholarship Program offers access to classes in exchange for your skills and effort in a given position.  The minimum time requirement for any Scholarship position is between 15 and 20 hours hours per week.

     "Before you are granted access to your classes, you must complete a 30-day probationary period. If you can be placed in a position where your service can be of value to the school, your tuition will be waived as long as you uphold your scholarship commitments.

     "You will need to plan on attending the Career Counselor's meeting at 5:00pm SLT on Wednesday's which is posted on the calendar in the Lobby of the Sacred Cauldron. You can also contact Capewind Dept. Director or Belladonna Laveau, Dean of Wiccan Seminary.

    " We are so glad to have you as a part of our growing student community, and look forward to working with you as you grow with us.

     "Should you need immediate access to your classes, you are welcome to move forward with paying tuition for your classes. There are several tuition levels that may be able to help you.

     "Bright Blessings,

    "Volunteer Director"

To both of these e-mails, I responded by explaining my real-life work schedule, and that Wednesday would be a problem for me, and to please help.

I waited a couple of days, and Wednesday anxiously drew near.  I then, finally decided to contact Belladonna again.  She responded a few hours later that she never got my e-mails and that they would not be able to provide me a service scholarship because I work.  That the scholarship requires 15 hours of work a week, and already I was having scheduling issues.  Furthermore, that I should consider a hardship discount instead.

I was baffled.  Now, the e-mails I got, looked very much like "welcome aboard" letters to me.  I was just concerned about getting my initial bearings and welcome class underway.  The manual I had been sent along with these e-mails prided itself on the students being able to earn their degree through just the use of the website, and that it wasn't necessary to go inworld (it also contradicts itself and says that at least 1 hour a week for class labs is required as a Freshman).  My main concern however, that I also shared with Belladonna, was that a school would turn down a scholarship to someone who was trying to better themselves by working while being on a fixed income.  And how would I not have enough time for spirituality and their school?  In SL, I have been self motivated enough to have my own store, my own sim, write for the SL Newser, write the Lindo TOS, have a great rank in the Fish Hunt game, and had even worked my way up to Gateway Guide in Faerie Crossing and edit their Magic Messenger.  I additionally pointed out that this could be the beginning of a good business relationship, as once I was properly trained by her school, I could broaden their schedule to other hours that weren't previously available for people all over the world.  I explained that I gave her all my details upfront, especially RL info., but now, because of my RL work schedule, my scholarship was no longer a consideration?

Belladonna responded that wasn't about me not being able to attend events, that it was about the needs of the school, as scholarships are not guaranteed.  They found that people with already full schedules do not do well in scholarship programs, and based on the information I provided, I was not qualified.  She wanted someone who would be reliable in their job duties and someone who can be respectful to others when there is a problem.  Consequently, there were no job openings, not even for mascot (which I filled out the application for as well).  She added that she was not discriminating against me, she was just following the policies set forth by the school.  To that, I replied that it seemed she was judging me unfairly, and that a disclaimer would have been nice before I took a chance in sending them all my RL information in hopes of such. 

Lastly, Belladonna explained that the 2 received e-mails I got with the manual that made me think I had already been accepted, were actually form letters (as in, pre-written corporate letters that everyone gets).  She asked if I had noticed the part where they mentioned my monthly subscription covering core classes and 2 electives.  I told her I did notice that part, and I figured someone would respond to my e-mails and explain it to me, or that they would be covered in orientation on Wednesday.  She then said that she had responded to my application (during this last instant message), and that the others had written her about the fact that I did not qualify, and wanted her to make a decision so I wouldn't have to wonder any longer.  After figuring out the circumstances and feeling a bit duped, my last reply was, "This whole thing has been a fantastic journey of wanting something and not being good enough to get it, but I thank you for the lesson and wish you well," and it seemed rather hypocritical but expected, that her last words were, "Blessed be."

I'm sure there are probably lots of testimonials that would say otherwise, however, my final thoughts for those of us who are genuinely kind people and trust too easily (and can therefore be taken advantage of): 

♦NEVER give out your real life information and make yourself vulnerable, unless you are SURE that it is worth it, and you have researched the crap out of the asking party's intent.  Just because a website looks official, doesn't mean that it actually is.  If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

♦Any spiritual school, especially from Second Life, that is going to send out form letters to applicants, does not strike me as professional, instead they come off in the end as impersonal, manipulative, and not worth any investment.  If they give the impression that they are too busy for an applicant, then their goal of trying to coerce money (or other things) out of potential applicants seems counterproductive.

♦Always be on your guard; never be so desperate to fill a void in your heart that you end up throwing yourself or others under the bus.  Trust takes time for a reason, but all things of value are worth the wait.  Sometimes being an overachiever and being on top of everything means to have the virtue of patience.

I wish you all well in your SL: go forth, being true to yourselves, as well as wary.

By MajikVixen

Editor's Note. I contacted Belladonna Laveau about the matter. Her response was "MajikVixen had applied for a service scholarship, meaning she would be allowed to attend school in exchange for working for us. Based on the information she provided in her application, she does not qualify for a scholarship. We welcome all students, and we make it possible for every person, who truly wants to go to school to do so. We have policies and limits, that protect the integrity of the school, the applicant and the rest of the student body. We have many hardship programs, which fit into almost any budget. We did our best to help MajikVixen, but were unfortunately unable to meet her demands."

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mauritius in Real Life and Second Life

By Mylie Foxclaw

The 12th of March is an important date in a very tiny part of the world, often overlooked by many but still significant for those residing there.  For those who are wondering, on 12 March 1968 Mauritius gained its independence from the British Empire, becoming a democracy.  Usually, as many residents have never heard of Mauritius, we get asked all sorts of questions.  Hence, through this post, you can learn a bit more about us.  

While Mauritius is unheard by most people, we do have Second Life residents from this little island. But first, let me tell you a little bit about us.  Mauritius is a tiny little island of 1.4 Million (yes that’s correct) inhabitants.  I fondly call it a tini-mini dot on the globe.  It’s situated near Africa, most specifically close to Madagascar (yes we do like to move it too).  We’re known for our beaches.  In fact, during my first two years in Second Life, I found a Mauritius sim and this is where I met a few Mauritians.  It was a beach type of resort with a dodo.

We’re the third smallest country in Africa and also among the most developed countries in the region.  We rely on tourism, ICT and the financial sector.  We’re also known because of the Dodo which originates from our country.  We speak French and English and Creole is our mother tongue. We’re a multicultural state with people originating from Europe, Africa and Asia and we respect each and every culture.  Sega is our national traditional dance.  The traditional sega is very popular, even today though there are some musicians who have added a little modern twist to it. 

As internet has become more accessible, there are more people discovering the internet.  Social media is a common favourite by most people.  Gamers seem more rare, at least in Second Life.  I have met a few fellow Mauritians in 2016 and it was a pleasant surprise.  The fact that SL is so huge makes it so amazing.  It’s really a chance meeting if I do actually meet another Mauritian.  The Mauritius sim does not exist anymore but maybe in the future someone may reproduce Mauritius with its popular landmarks to give Second Life a better idea of Mauritian Culture. 

Mylie Foxclaw

Monday, January 16, 2017

Commentary: Will Linden Lab Not Allow Adult Content in Sansar?

By Bixyl Shuftan

With the development of Sansar, Linden Lab is once again getting some attention from the media of the kind they enjoyed in their glory days of 2006-2008. They promise a virtual world rich in detail. But one thing that has almost never come up are questions about what rules and restrictions will it's users will be under, such as that of adult content. It's an issue that while some argue a libertarian approach is best, "let the customer decide," others feel the controversy generated by stories of virtual strip joints and pranks of flying genitalia attacks hurt Second Life and hindered it's acceptance by the general public, and Sansar allows for an opportunity to appeal to people wary of adult content.

About a decade ago, Second Life was the darling of the tech media. Computer magazines, business publications, and even mainstream media newspapers and television programs wrote about it. TV dramas had Second Life as part of an occasional plot. Politicians came to the virtual world. Major corporations had places here. But eventually the wonder people on the outside were expressing began to change, to the confusion about what to do and how to do it, the glitches and lag, and whispers about the adult content. Two infamous examples of the latter were a video of a child rape roleplay and the "flying penis" attack during a live interview of Second Life real estate baron Anshe Chung.

The result was that some considered Second Life an "adult" area, even though most places didn't cater to that kind of activity. One notable example is the "Twitch" live streaming service which considers broadcasting from Second Life a bannable offense. When I talked about Second Life with friends and coworkers, the majority brought up the porn, or "cyber noggie" as they sometimes called it. One writer I talked to about the matter called it part of a sad reality of human nature, that it is so much easier to get people to read about controversy than a story where people are doing something constructive.

When you allow people a great deal of freedom, for better or worse some healthy young adults, and some not so young, are going to take advantage of it to express or at least find a release of their more hormonal side. Fortunately most are willing to follow some rules about it, though as some women can attest, there's always a few whom seem to think of nothing but their baser desires and don't particularly care where they are or if others around would rather not deal with it. And of course there are the griefers whom get their jollies by harassing and shocking people, and a barrage of flying dongs or pictures of an obvious sexual nature will certainly do it.

As Linden Lab had created Second Life to be "Your World, Your Imagination," they didn't have any rules about sexual content at the beginning. Perhaps being computer programmers and engineers they never took into account how much people would take advantage of the freedom to create and engage in virtual porn. So it was simply a case of taking actions against griefers when enough people complained. But when the controversy of the child rape video came along, they realized they had to do something out of both personal revulsion and fear about their product getting blacklisted. So came the first rule in Second Life concerning adult activities: none concerning child avatars - period. There was enough paranoia about the matter for a time that some were wondering if Linden Lab was trying to discourage all use of child avatars, and to this day some in short but still adult and tiny avatars grumble about not being allowed in some areas where the rules allow adult activity but don't necessarily cater to it. But that's another issue.

In 2009, Linden Lab began taking another look at rules concerting adult content in Second Life. It established the "Adult" rating for areas allowing explicit content and activity, where before there was simply two ratings "PG" and "Mature." Their Adult Content Policy also affected the "Search." The result was large numbers of residents expressing concern, some alarm, that this was just the beginning of a widescale censorship campaign by Linden Lab, some suggesting that the newly created continent for adult-themed residential areas, Zindra, was actually a Trojan horse, saying that the Lab would soon restrict adult content and activity to the continent, and then get rid of it as a "cost saving measure" like they did with the Teen grid. Some even wondered in it's paranoia that Linden Lab would disallow nonhuman avatars out of fear they'd be used for exotic fantasy screenshots of an adult nature, or just simply out of meanness. Linden Lab got the message, and stepped back from enacting further rules rather than risk further alienating it's customer base.

So today, the issue of adult content in Second Life has more or less long been settled. But with the development of a new virtual world, Sansar, it's just a matter of time before it comes up there.

At the VWBPE conference in 2016, Ebbe Linden stated that Linden Lab had "no plans to disallow" adult content. But many of Second Life's core user base have continued to express skepticism about Sansar, and it's my observation more are feeling it's not a place they'll be spending most of their virtual world time in. So perhaps seeing the opportunity for a fresh start and that they don't have much to lose from a customer base that's happy with what they already have and reluctant to move over to their new product, they may decide to make rules discouraging, if not outright banning, adult content and activity.

Banning adult content in Sansar would mean that people with an attraction for that sort of material, and perhaps the more libertarian-minded, would be disinclined to try Sansar. But Linden Lab could easily argue if that's what they want, they can head to Second Life and say that by making their new virtual world free of it, they're doing a favor for those whom would rather not be exposed to it. Freedom from "flying penis" attacks by griefers. Freedom from Flashers. Freedom from horndogs rubbing up against you. Well, perhaps not 100% Freedom. Hackers whom are determined enough no doubt would be able to find a way to bring adult content in and grief with it. And of course it's possible the ban would not be widely enforced by Linden Lab so those whom searched for it long enough would eventually be able to find adult content and if they were careful would avoid being banned from Sansar.

Something else to think about is whom will Linden Lab be marketing Sansar to. In Second Life's early days, the majority of it's customers were from Generation X. While some Millennials have come to the virtual world over the years, they never took to it like the previous generation. While young adults in general have a reputation for having a taste for adult content, Generation Xers had a reputation for seeing it as less of a big deal when they were, and today are more in favor of more libertarian approaches. Millennials in contrast have had a reputation of having their parents looking over their shoulders a lot more and having monitors and "net nannies" restrict what they can and can't see. While no doubt there are still plenty of Millenials just as hard-nosed as the previous generation, the stories of "Safe Spaces" on campuses these days suggests a new generation with lower tolerances, or rather a reputation of such.. So while Second Life remains the virtual world where one can see it all, for better and worse, Sansar could become Linden Lab's "Safe Space," where users will be free from the sight of huge breasts, gore, and Donald Trump.

Or perhaps Linden Lab will simply carry over their adult content policy from Second Life to Sansar, either having forgotten the earlier controversy, deciding it's best to let individual customers decide and deal with the choices of others, or simply hoping for the best. We won't really know until we see it for ourselves.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Five"

By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at at"

Continued from Chapter Four

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 5: How to Go Beyond the DJ Tantari Way

This is what I’ve learned so far.  There is so much more you can do.  You can do live beat matching and mixing.  You can loop sections of a track and layer them with four or more tracks at a time.  You can plug in a microphone and do voice overs.  You can upgrade from MIXXX to more “professional” commercial DJ software like Traktor or Virtual DJ.  You can use USB or MIDI based physical controllers instead of a keyboard and a mouse.  You can control vinyl turntables.  You can even go to real clubs and perform in person.  You can even compose and record your own original songs.  The sky is the limit!

There are so many places to learn.  You can find tons of videos on YouTube or other sites.  In my experience, DJs love to talk and compare notes.  We’ll talk about the craft, software, new music and artists, clubs, fans, network with each other, and so much more.  If you’re polite, we might even answer questions and offer advice.  Keep in mind that every DJ is different; we all have our own personal techniques and perspective on things.  What works for them might not work for you and vice versa.

Being Happy as a DJ

I know a lot of DJs who are reaching as high as they can with their craft.  I also know a lot who are happily doing the same thing over and over.  Many “pro DJs” won’t consider you to be a “real DJ” until you are doing live beat matching and mixing.  Who is right?

In my opinion, none of them is right.  Only you can decide what is right for you.

If this is your career and livelihood, then you should always be striving to reach higher levels, make better music, and reach bigger audiences.  That’s great!  I look forward to going to your sets, hearing your music, and cheering you on.

But what about the rest of us?  I think the vast majority of us are just doing this as a hobby.  That means we do this for fun.  Being a DJ is about being an artist and an entertainer.  If you and your audience are having a good time, then you’re a success.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Anyone who plays recorded music in front of a crowd is a DJ.  Anyone who makes them happy is a real DJ.

On the other hand, I always encourage you to try new things and learn.  Add new skills to your DJing tool belt and use them where you feel they’re appropriate.  Maybe you’ll find something cool and want to use it everywhere.  Maybe you’ll decide that it’s not for you.  Most likely, you’ll find a place for this new technique and use it where it’s appropriate according to your personal artistic sense.  Be yourself and be happy.

To quote Bruce Lee, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve had a lot of fun as a DJ.  It’s hard work, but I get to spend my time listening to great music, interacting with fans, and helping other people have a good time.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet and worth with a lot of great people.  It’s even brought me a little pocket change.  There are so many things in this world that are soul crushing.  I’m happy to have found something that is soul enriching.

I look forward to hearing what you make!  I’m a very busy person, but if you do start DJing and post a recording, I’d love to check it out!  Find me on Second Life as Tantari Kim, Mixcloud at or email me at (at)  If this guide helps you become a DJ, I'd be thrilled to hear about it.  Please let me know!

And come to one of my sets on Second Life.  It’s one thing to read about this.  It’s another to hear and experience it!

A truly great DJ can, just for a moment, make a whole room fall in love.  Life should have a soundtrack!

– DJ Tantari

Friday, December 23, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Four"

By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at at"

Continued from Chapter Three

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 4: How to Have a Second Life DJ Career the DJ Tantari Way

That’s all you need to know if you’re going to get up there and DJ a few times at a friend’s club or home or maybe

even at a special event.  But if you want to keep at this, there are a few things you need to know to make this a SL career.  If you do it well, you can get a bit of fame and fortune out of it too.

Getting Your First Gig

If you’ve already followed Chapter 1, 2, you’re well on your way.  Hopefully you’ll read this guide carefully and learn from my mistakes to get a much stronger start than I did.  The next step is Chapter 3;  rent a server (or host one from your home if you know how) and do a few sets for your friends.  You’ll make a heck of a lot of mistakes during your first few live sets.  Get those out of the way.

Once you’ve got a little experience and can operate your DJ station without embarrassing yourself, it’s time to apply to a club and build yourself a reputation as a competent and reliable DJ.

There are two kinds of clubs, Event Clubs and 24 Hour Clubs.  Event Clubs are clubs that are empty most of the time.  They fill up for certain pre-scheduled events and as soon as they are over, they empty out again.  24 Hour Clubs are those that have people all the time, even if there isn't an official event running. The dirty little secret is that there are far more clubs than there are DJs to fill them.  And no matter what type it is, they’re looking for more DJs.  Event Clubs are usually looking for someone to fill more slots, or at least a backup DJ who can fill in when a regular is out.  As paradoxical as it sounds, it’s probably easier to get a slot at a 24 Hour Club because most of them want to have a DJ playing every hour of every day.  I don’t know of any of them that even have half their hours filled.  If you’re willing to work an unusual time, you can get in right away and have at least a small audience.  And if you screw up, which you will do your first few times, you will have very few people to notice.  Later on, you can work up to the more prime slots.

Here’s the other dirty little secret:  It’s not hard to be better than most of the DJs on Second Life.  If you’re a DJ who’s consistent and reliable, you’re already better than about half of them.  If you put a lot of work and professionalism into it, you can easily make it to the top 15%.  (To get higher than that, you have to compete against the professional DJs.  That gets really hard!)  Virtually all clubs, even the most popular ones, need good DJs, but they’re willing to settle for someone who’s at least reliable.  So you have to prove yourself to be reliable and competent before anything else.  Since most DJs are paid in customer tips, it costs them virtually nothing to give you a chance, provided you’re willing to take an unused or unpopular time slot.  Most clubs won’t have anything to do with you if you keep missing shows, create a lot of controversy for the club, raise a fuss, and make a lot of extra work for the club management.  Don’t be that guy.  Be the guy they can ignore because you're reliable.

Go to your favorite clubs.  Almost all of them will have DJ applications.  Fill them out.  Do this for a few clubs.  Usually if they don’t call you, it’s because the management is overworked, so don’t take it personally.  Do your best when you talk to them and you might get an audition.  Keep trying and don't give up!  Even getting an audition at a small club is a good start.

Usually an audition is just a regular set in front of an audience at the club you’re applying to, except that a member of the management, usually the DJ manager, will be there and watching you.  Try not to get nervous and do your best. If you’ve done everything I’ve described to you and practiced a few times, chances are extremely good that you’ll get hired.  And if you do manage to fail, apologize and tell them that you'll be working to correct these issues right away.  Maybe they’ll agree to give you another audition in a week or two.

Once you get a regular time slot, make sure you’re always there early.  Always do your best.  If you screw up, apologize right away and try to fix it.  Keep writing news sets and debuting them.  Your audience will get bored if you keep playing the same stuff over and over.  (After a while, you'll have a large library and can play old ones.  Either people won't notice or they'll be happy to hear an old favorite again.)  Never ever miss a set unless you get approval from the management beforehand.  About a week before is ideal.You’ll be building up your reputation as a solid DJ who gets the job done.  You’ll also have a chance to figure out who you are.

Finding Your Brand

I could have put this before Your First Gig, but if you’re really a newbie, you probably don’t know enough to do this yet.  You need to get a little experience before you know what you like and who you are. That’s what this is all about.  Your brand is who you are.  It’s why people should listen to you instead of any other DJ or an ordinary radio station.  It’s what makes you different than any other DJ out there.  It’s why people get excited to go to your shows.

How do you find your brand?  First you need to find out what makes you unique.  There are two
exercises that I know of.  I’m sure there are many more, but I’m a novice at branding.  If you know some good techniques, let me know and I’ll include them here.

The first and most important is keywords.  Think of some words that describe your sets and you as a DJ.  Try to get as many as you can.  If you home in on something, you’ll find that they start covering the same ideas over and over.  For DJ Tantari, this is what I came up with: clever, sexy, fun, nerdy, geeky, high-tech, journey, adventure, across, smart, computer, digital, fox, vixen, foxy, space, sci-fi, trivia, educational, learning, and new.  See how they form a cloud of ideas that start to overlap after a while?  As you learn more about your personal DJ brand, you will want to update this list, adding some and removing others.

The second is brand association.  If you can’t think about your own brand, maybe you can sneak up on it from a different angle.  If your DJ show had well-known brands as sponsors, who would it be?  For DJ Tantari, I think it would be: Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Odroid, Raspberry Pi, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Think Geek, Digitally Imported, Intel, AMD, ARM, Kaskade, Deadmau5, and MIXXX.  Then you can think about what keywords are associated with those brands, which of them apply to you, and fill out your keywords list.

Another example is one of my DJ friends named Lawrence.  He loves metal and wears a leather shirt.  His keywords are: metal, rock, AC/DC, leather, motorcycle, hard, the Law, bounty hunter, intense.

The next thing to do is to take your keywords and use them to try to form an image of who you are. 
Then turn that into branding.  My brand is DJ Tantari and a Journey Into Sound.  My logo is my face with a high tech lettering around it.  I do nerdy, geeky, well-prepared sets that take you on a journey, explore a subject, or tell a story.  That’s all my brand, my image.  Lawrence’s brand is THE LAW.  He wears a leather jacket.  He uses a lot of bounty hunter imagery and expressions.  He plays almost all heavy metal.

You’ll have to do your homework and find your brand.  I wish I could give you more, but that's all I've learned so far!

Expressing Your Brand

There are a lot of ways to convey your brand once you’ve found it:

The easiest is your DJ name.  I go by DJ Tantari.  Lawrence chose THE LAW.

Think of some slogans or trademarks.  I use “Journey Into Sound” and “This is a Journey Into Sound with DJ Tantari” as mine.

Pay someone to make a logo for you.  That’s what I did.  It has my cute, sexy, foxy self.  It also has high tech elements, lots of color, and the Journey Into Sound trademark.

Choose what styles to play in your sets.  I play mostly rock and electronica of various kinds, but I also play many others.  I am known for having an exceptionally wide variety of styles, more than almost any DJ on Second Life.  Lawrence plays almost all metal and hard rock.

Choose how your sets are put together.  Are they all about colors or shapes or seasons?  Are each of your sets built around a single video game or fictional character?  Get creative!

Choose how you perform your sets.  Do you give a lot of trivia about the songs while you play them?  (I have earned the nickname of the Educational DJ from some of my fans.)  Do you use a lot of military or high-tech lingo?

Choose what you wear during your sets.  As DJ Tantari, I am always a blue fox.  I wear very high tech nanosuits, cyber suits, hologram suits, and other high tech things; though I will sometimes wear something appropriate for the set’s theme.  Lawrence wears a biker outfit with a leather jacket adorned with a cool logo.  Do you always wear military gear?  Are you always dressed in floral shirts and shorts like Jimmy Buffett would wear?  Do you wear a wolf avatar or an alien avatar?  Whatever it is, it should be visually distinctive and recognizable, because what you look like is perhaps the most obvious part of your brand.

I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t thought of.  Get creative!

Building Your Brand

Now you have regular sets at a club and a brand.  You’ve figured out your DJ name, maybe a trademark phrase, got a logo, and probably a cool outfit.  What’s next?  Building your brand, or course.  Getting more fans!  Spreading out to other clubs!

The first thing you need is a website.  I built mine with a word processor and posted it to a vanilla http server.  Others may be more comfortable with Tumbler, Facebook, or something else.  What you need is a place where people can always get the latest copy of certain information about you.  I always update the same static page.  You could post a new update to a blog.  Whatever works for you is good.  Here’s what I post:

My Logo – Big and in all its glory

My name and tagline – DJ Tantari, Journeys Into Sound

My schedule – Anyone who stops on this page needs to know how to find me.  If my schedule changes, I update it right away.

Any upcoming special events – While this page isn’t the primary place for people to find that, it’s a good idea to put it here.

Who I am and what I do – Give them the sales pitch.  Let them know why you’re worth their time and effort.  Why should they listen to you?  How long have you been DJing?  What else should they know about you?

Your catalog – This is a list of all the sets (title and blurb) you’ve written so far and are ready to perform.

So you might be asking, who is this page for?  The fans?  That’s partially true, and I do encourage my fans to go there.  The main group this page is for is DJ managers and club owners.  This is your resume.  Any time I go to a club, I can say, “I’m DJ Tantari.  This is why you should hire me,” and give them the web page URL.  Since I’ve had my web page, I’ve never had to do an audition.  When I applied to DJ at the Ark, they said, “Oh, well I guess I’ll pop in at your next set and see how you’re doing.”  In fact, I’ve received many requests out of the blue from club owners wanting me to perform at their club, probably through word of mouth.

Next you will want to create a Second Life group.  Try to have your DJ name in it so people can find it easily.  In the description, include the URLs of your web page and your music archive (we’ll cover that under Posting Live Sets).  Get one of the publicly available Group Joiner objects or scripts and customize it (or hire someone to customize it for you) to give out invitations to your group.  Announce it once or twice during your live sets in an entertaining way, “You’ll always know when I’m performing and where.  You’ll get notices about special events.  You’ll get to help me choose which set I play.  You’ll also get access to over 75 live recorded sets including this one, with full song lists and DJ notes.  Join today, for the wages of apathy are DEATH!”  Once you have the group, don’t spam with too many notices.  Personally, I only send out notices for special events, which are rare.  For regularly scheduled events, I chat with the group.  That catches everyone who is online and doesn’t spam the offline people.

Recording and Mastering Live Sets

A lot of DJs don’t record live sets.  A lot of DJs do very little preparation; they simply play whatever it is that they feel like at that moment.  That’s not what I do.  I make highly scripted, well-prepared sets. Most good DJs do a lot of preparation and you should too.  I think that my sets are worth listening too even outside a live environment.  In fact, I’ll often go back and listen to them from time to time for my own personal enjoyment.  I think they are “pure, concentrated awesome!”  I make access to my back catalog a major benefit to joining my DJ group.  And last but not least, club owners who want to hire me not only see a schedule and an impressive list of sets, they can pull up any of them and listen to them to know that I'm for real.

I don’t record every performance.  I record the first time I debut a new set and then I won’t ever record it again unless I can't use the recording.

MIXXX makes recording your set very easy.  In the Preferences panel, go to the Recording tab.  Here you can pick what directory to store it in and what format.  I use the default WAV format because it is uncompressed and the highest quality.

When you’re about to start your set, click Options -> Record Mix.  I like to do this a minute or two before I start and stop it a minute or two after I’m done because I’ve had issues with MIXXX cutting off the very beginning or ending of a set.  It will create a WAV file in your chosen recording directory.  Click Options -> Record Mix again to stop the recording.

After the set is over, I like to modify the WAV’s filename to include the name of the set.  This makes it easier for me to figure out what it is if I have to go back in the future.

Audacity is an extremely powerful piece of editing software.  You could use it to create a perfectly mixed set from the raw tracks if you wanted to, but that’s not what I want.  I want to capture the feel of a live set, this is why I try to keep corrections to a minimum and only fix the most obvious things.  Too many corrections will make it feel mechanical.  I could wait until I perform the set again before I master it and post it, but generally I make a big deal out of debuting a new set and don’t want my fans to wait to take the recording home with them.  I try to get it posted the same night that I debut it.

I trim off the beginning and end silence.  Just zoom in to the beginning and move the cursor to just before the sound starts.  Hold Shift and click the Skip to Start arrow button to select from here to the beginning of the track.  Press Control-X to cut it.  Then go to the end of the track with the Skip to End arrow button.  Move the cursor to where the sound stops.  Hold shift and click the Skip to End arrow to select to the end of the track.  Press Control-X to cut.

The most common error I make is leaving silence between the end of one track and the beginning of another.  This is usually because I waited too long to press “Fade Now”.  While I don’t like to edit more than I have to, I’ll generally allow myself to correct these errors if they’re really obvious.  I tell Audacity to look for dead spots in my mix with Analyze -> Silence Finder.  This puts little marks on a label track underneath your recording showing you where it found the silence.  I will zoom in on these and listen.  If its silence that’s supposed to be part of a song or something I otherwise want to keep, I skip over it.  Otherwise I'll remove it.

I won’t go too deeply in how to use Audacity, but here is how I remove silence from a bad transition in Audacity.  Remember that Audacity is very forgiving and has almost infinite undo (and redo) capabilities. If you mess something up or decide you simply don’t like it and want to go back, press Control-Z.  See the Audacity manual ( for more information.

As mentioned before, find the silence using Analyze -> Silence Finder.  Use zoom, scrolling, and listening to determine that this is a chunk of silence you want to remove.

At the point where you want to start fading out, put the cursor there.  Hold Shift and click the Skip to End arrow to jump to the ending of the track.  Press Control-X to cut all of that sound.

Click Tracks -> Add New -> Stereo Track to create a new stereo track.  Click there and press Control-V to past the last chunk of the audio in.

Use the Time Selection Tool to slide the audio in the second track so it matches where the first track cuts out.  It will sort of click in to that spot.

Zoom in on the second track.  Listen to it.  Place the cursor (with the Selection Tool) to where you want the audio to start to face in.  Drag backwards to where the sounds starts.  Press Control-X to cut this sound out.

Approximate how much fade time you want to have.  I usually do 2 seconds.  Drag the second track so it begins approximately 2 seconds before the end of the first track.

Using your cursor (and the Selection Tool), select from the beginning of the second track to the end of the first track.  You will need to drag your mouse across both tracks to do this.

Click Effect -> Crossfade Tracks.  I prefer to use the Fade type: Constant Power 1 because I think itsounds best.

Move your cursor back a little and listen to the fade in context.  If you don’t like it, you can undo the previous steps with Control-Z and change them until you’re happy.

Once I have it the way I like, I like to Mix and Render it down to a single track again.  This keeps the project simple so I only have a single track to work with.  You can do this by clicking Tracks -> Mix and Render.

Go back to looking for silence with the Silence Finder.  If you find another dead spot, you can fix it by following these steps again.

Crossfading Tracks in Audacity

Once you have the set the way you want, you need to export it.  Press Control-Shift-E to bring up the export menu.  I generally export them as both a high quality MP3 (192 kbps variable bitrate) and a much lower quality Ogg/Vorbis (128 kbps).  They have approximately the same quality, but the Ogg is much smaller, so it helps people on low bandwidth connections.  The MP3 is the lowest common denominator; I know everyone can play it.  I open both the exported files in WinAmp and check the metadata to make sure it’s good.  The MP3 always seems to come out properly.  The Ogg always loses the comments, so I have to paste them in and save again.

I generally don’t bother saving the Audacity project.  The save files are very large.  Over my many sets, I’ve never had the need to go back.  If I ever did, I feel that I could re-do them quickly, as my changes are generally very simple.

Next I make the DJ notes.  This is a text file that I want my fans to read while listening to my music.  It contains my DJ name, the title with blurb, song titles (with any important section breaks inserted), and any other notes I want my listeners to have.  To get this, I copy the playlist file (MoodForARainyDay-playlist.m3u) to a text file (MoodForARainyDay-playlist.txt).  As before, you'll see that each track has two lines, the metadata (which starts with #EXTINF) and the filename.  In this case, you'll want to drop all the filenames and keep the metadata.  On each metadata line, you'll want to delete up to the first comma, retaining everything else.  You can do this by hand, or you can use this line in Unix (Linux, Mac command line, or Bash for Windows 10) to do it for you: grep MoonForARainyDay.txt | grep “#EXTINF” | awk -F, '{ print $2 }'

Once you have your song list, add the rest as you see fit.  Here's my finished MoodForARainyDay-playlist.txt:

DJ Tantari

Mood for a Rainy Day - Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.


Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town

Alan Parsons Project - Don't Anwser Me

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Electric Light Orchestra - Love and Rain

Electric Light Orchestra - Rain is Falling

Toto - Africa

Superchick - Stand in the Rain

They Might Be Giants - Why Must I Be Sad?

Royksopp - In Space

Tor Linløkken - Eagle

Massive Attack - Teardrop

Moby - Porcelain

Royksopp - Beautiful Day Without You

Royksopp - Remind Me (Zabiela's Ingeborg Mix)

Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence

Above & Beyond - Alone Tonight (Original Mix)

deadmau5 & Kaskade - I Remember

Kaskade - Raining

Kaskade - Turn It Down

Kaskade - 4AM

Keo Nozari - Close Enough (Interstate Remix)

Clint Mansell - Ghosts of a Future Lost

Royksopp - Dead to the World

The last step is archival.  I have a folder on the same drive as my music called w:\DJ Tantari.  I make sure it’s not inside my Music Library (w:\music) because I don’t want MIXXX to find it and index it.  Inside it, I’ll create a folder with the same name as the set (w:\DJ Tantari\MoodForARainyDay).  In there I copy my exported MP3 and Ogg files, my set notes, the playlist, the crate, and the final DJ notes.

As for the raw WAV file, I don’t archive it.  I will leave it on my large recordings drive for a month or two, or until my temporary drive starts to get full.  If I haven’t needed it by then, it’s probably safe to delete it.

Posting Live Sets

If you go to all the trouble of recording and mastering your sets, you should post them where your fans can get to them.  Having an archive of live sets that are available all the time is a nice bonus to include with membership in your DJ group.  But how do you do it?

If you have a web server and sufficient space, you can post them directly there.  This is what I do.  The problem with this is that a personal web server and can easily run out of bandwidth and storage.  So far this hasn’t been a problem, but I keep this as a private site for fans and club managers only.  My website generally gets very little traffic.  Since my sets are easy to download, I think most people do exactly that; they download them once and keep them, reducing the amount of bandwidth I need.  Still, if your website is vulnerable to hackers, Denial of Service attacks, and racking up outrageous bandwidth costs.  These are important factors to consider.

The safe choice is to use Mixcloud.  They offer you effectively unlimited bandwidth and storage.  They pay royalties on the songs you use, so it is all legal.  They also allow you to link up with other DJs and fans.  For this reason, I have one.  (It’s at and you should check it out.)  It’s very easy to create an account and it’s pretty easy to use.  The downsides are that Mixcloud doesn’t allow people to officially download your mixes (though there are ways around this) and that if your mix doesn’t meet certain criteria, they’ll disable it.  The rules are pretty esoteric, but in general if you use too many tracks by the same artist in a single set, they won’t let your listeners see it.  This is a big problem if you’re trying to do a set centered on a particular band.

Personally I use both a private site and Mixcloud.  I recommend that you use Mixcloud, as it’s the best choice for a DJ who is just getting started.

Continued on Chapter Five.

Tantari Kim

Santa is Missing: Part 2

By Mylie Foxclaw

Continued from Part One

After two intensive days of investigation, one thing was clear.  Everyone living in the North Pole HATED Santa Claus.  My list of suspects was endless.  Everyone had a grudge against him and they all seemed glad that he was gone.  I looked everywhere in the North Pole, putting myself in great danger when I confronted two polar bears who stated that they had to pay a monthly rent to Santa Claus so they could stay there.  To most inhabitants, Santa was an oppressor. 

I was not finding any clues other than that.  That’s when I realised that I would need to infiltrate if I wanted to resolve this case.  I talked to Roan the Elf and explained my problem to him.  I needed to go incognito!  Roan thought for a while and dashed away.  He came back with a box and said that he found the perfect disguise.  I opened the box and smiled.  His idea was brilliant!  I quickly changed into the costume and smiled.  I could pass as a reindeer easily with this thing on.

As I stepped out of Santa’s house, I noticed a commotion nearby.  I went to look and my jaw dropped.  It turned out that the elves had lost hope already.  They had started to audition for a replacement Santa and there were all kind of creatures, including the Grinch, who wanted the prestigious position.  I knew that Christmas would be a total disaster if I did not figure out what happened to Santa Claus.  

I went around, the costume keeping me warm.  I marched confidently, knowing that I would find some clue soon.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  It turned out that no one had any idea.  The inhabitants repeated whatever they told me yesterday.  To make it short, Santa was a total bastard.  I figured that I had to search elsewhere if I wanted to find Santa.  I decided to venture across the globe on my own in order not to draw attention.  I did not want Santa’s kidnappers to find out that I was investigating.  My search took me to places which I heard Santa would sometimes go during the year.  These included zoos, casinos, strip clubs (yeah I was speechless too when Mrs Claus mentioned this), and more awkward places.  But the thought of someone else taking Santa’s place kept me going.

Some days later, I decided to give up.  There was no trace or clue.  I felt terrible whenever I saw kids walking around excitedly as Christmas approached.  I knew that that Roan and Rudolph were waiting for good days; after all, I had promised them that I would solve this case.  I did not have the heart to tell them that they would indeed need a new Santa.

Before going back to the North Pole, I decided to visit a secluded beach to think about how I would break the news to them.  I found a quiet spot and starred at the waves while I listened to the birds chirping a tropical version of ‘Jingle Bells’.  Suddenly I heard a rough voice shouting in anger, “Rudolph, what the hell are you doing here?”

I looked up and blinked in confusion.  It could not be!  I rubbed my eyes while he continued to shout and yell. 

“Santa?  Is that you?” I asked, watching the old man in his Santa suit and boots and a pair of funky shades.

“What happened to your voice, you idiot?” he asked back.

“I’m not Rudolph!” I shouted, feeling irritated.  Santa looked at me closely and let out a sign of relief.  I explained how I ended up at the beach in my Reindeer costume.  When I finished, I said that he owed me an explanation. 

It turned out that Santa Claus needed a break because he felt overwhelmed and so he decided to take a vacation to a secluded tropical spot, away from the North Pole.  He also wanted to get his dose of Vitamin D from the sun before Christmas. 

“Those bastards are probably happy that I’m gone!” he grunted out as I enjoyed the sun’s warmth.  I nodded as he continued, “Ungrateful ….”

“Do you ever get any gifts for Christmas?” I interrupted as I stared at him.

“Gifts?  Me?”  Santa asked, scratching his head, “I never get gifts.”

“That’s because you are a jerk to your own neighbours!” I snapped, “Everyone hates you, so its obvious that you will never get gifts in your life!”

“But I’m Santa Claus!  Everyone knows that!” Santa argued.

“So what?” I countered, “Being Santa does not give you the right to ill-treat everyone!  And don’t tell me that you don’t.  I know what you tried to do to your snowman!”

Santa looked at his feet for a moment before letting out a sigh, “But North Pole is so boring.  There’s nothing, it’s just all about Christmas!”

“You can make it exciting if you paid attention to everyone.  They got great ideas but they can’t talk to you because you are mean.  In fact if all the children in the world knew how you behaved, they would stop celebrating Christmas,” I stated.

I spent the rest of the evening explaining to Santa how to be a better person and neighbour.  He seemed willing to make an effort.  I hoped he would not disappoint.  At least I had kept my promise to Roan the elf and Rudolph the reindeer.  My job was done.

As for Santa, he will be heading back home soon now that he got his dose of Vitamin D and a suntan.  No one needs to worry anymore.  Christmas is not cancelled.  Santa is fine, he just wanted a little summer vacation before the big day.   

Merry Christmas everyone!  Enjoy!

Mylie Foxclaw

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Three"

By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at at"

Continued from Chapter Two Part Two

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 3: How to Perform a Live Set the DJ Tantari Way

If you’re content to listen to them yourself or just post them, then you don’t need this chapter.  It’s entirely possible to put together a perfect set as a multitrack project with fades between songs and master it in Audacity, then export it to a MP3 to post somewhere and give to your friends.  But that’s not what a DJ does.  A DJ plays live.  A DJ has a conversation with the crowd through chat and music.  And a DJ will often modify their set in response to a live crowd.

I get a special thrill out of performing for a live crowd.  It isn’t something I have to do; it’s something I get to do.  It’s the entire reason that I do this.  Hopefully you will give it a try.  I’m assuming that you already have a place to play.  If not, check out Chapter 4: How to Have a Second Life DJ Career the DJ Tantari Way.

Preparing for a Live Set

Before I start a live performance, I need two extra things, a silence file and a logo file.  I put both of these in a special crate in MIXXX named _live; that way they’re always easy for me to find and grab.

A silence file is exactly that, an MP3 file that contains 5 minutes of silence. It’s easy to create. Just open Audacity and tell it to insert 5 minutes of silence. Then save it as an MP3. I call mine Silence-5Minutes.mp3 and I store it in w:\music\DJ Sets.

A logo file is often called a sound bumper.  It is only a few seconds long and usually has your DJ name in it with some sound effects.  I chose a famous sound effects record that starts with an English gentleman saying, “This is a journey into sound” because it fits my brand.  You should find something that suits you.

As previously described, you want to make up some DJ Cards for the specific club.  You will want to schedule a time to get together with the DJ manager for the club to test things out and make sure everything works.  This should be outside of normal hours, preferably when there is nothing happening at the club.

At the meeting, give the DJ Cards them to the DJ manager and he or she will put them in the board for you.  Click on the DJ board and log in as a DJ.  (The DJ manager can show you how if you get confused.)  Get your DJ station up and running.  Put your set into the Auto DJ.  Start playing music.  Connect to the Server (either yours or the one provided by the club).  Open the Server URL in your web browser and make sure it shows your connection and your song title.  Make sure that the DJ Board is showing the correct artist and title for your songs.  (If it doesn’t, this is usually because the cards were set for SHOUTcast v2 and the Server is v1 or vice versa.)  Make sure that you can turn on the music stream and hear yourself.  Ask the DJ manager to do the same.  If everything is working well, then you’re good to go! If not, you have a lot of time to troubleshoot and correct things before the audience sees you.  You want to look perfect and effortless in front of them.

Starting a Live Set

You’ve got your DJ station all set up.  You’re familiar with the software.  You’ve played with a personal SHOUTcast Server and you have obtained access to a real SHOUTcast Server.  You’ve written a set.  You’ve contacted a club and got a time slot to play in.  You’ve worked with the club’s DJ manager and had a successful test.  All of this is for nothing without an audience to play to.  It’s show time.

Well, not quite.  First you want to find out if there is anyone on immediately before or after you.  Having that extra slack before and after a set is very nice, but you don’t always get it.

Make sure you show up about 30 minutes early, maybe more if it’s the first time performing at a new club or you’re new to things.  You want to have plenty of time to set up all your software without feeling rushed.  Contact the club host if there is one to let them know you’re there and to give your set title and blurb.  If not, check to see if you can post them yourself to the club’s group (if there is one).  A little advertisement helps build the crowd and anticipation for your event.  If no one is playing before you, it’s great to start with a live warmup, playing whatever songs you want to get people in the mood.  This gives you a final check that everything is working before it’s time to go live.  (This has saved by butt more than once!)

Pull up your working notes for that set.  In MIXXX, pull up the Auto DJ playlist and make sure it’s empty. Then load in your silence file, then your logo file, then your set playlist, then the silence file.  Open the Server URL in your web browser so you can make sure it’s alive and keep an eye on it during the set.  If you’re sharing the Server with the club, you should definitely make sure no one is using it before you connect to it.  You might mess up their set, which will make the other DJ and the club upset with you. If there is another DJ currently playing, make sure to give them an IM (instant message) early on.  It is common courtesy for a DJ to give a time remaining count to the next one so they know when to go.  It’ll usually start somewhere around 5 minutes before the switchover.  Eventually it’ll get down to 1:00, :30, :10, GO!  When they shout GO, it’s time to start your set.

A minute or so before it’s time to start, click the Enable Auto DJ button.  It’ll start playing the 5 minutes of silence.  When you get the GO signal from the other DJ, tell MIXXX to connect to the streaming server. (This is if you’re using a shared Server.  If it’s a private server owned by you, then you can get on it early without bothering anyone.)  Click the DJ board and click the Log In as DJ link.  Once it loads your DJ data, you’re streaming live!  Click the “Fade Now” button to go into your intro file and then into your set.  You’re DJing! (Don’t forget to log in to the club’s DJ tip jar or drop your own if you have one.)

Performing a Live Set

From this point until your 2 hours are up, you’re live.  I will let a song play until it has said everything it needs to say, then click the “Fade Now” button to go to the next song.  You should keep the fade at 2 seconds unless you want to tweak it higher or lower for a particular song.  You should know how to mix up your Auto DJ playlist while playing in case you want to cut some time, add a request from the audience, or just vary the order.
Performing Live is a very subjective; every DJ does it differently.  I’m going to give you some pointers on what does and does not work for me.  As you learn the club, the crowd, and your own style, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.

When I start the set, I like to paste my title and blurb into group chat the moment my intro file plays.  That lets them know that I’m starting something special.  Even if I was warming up before, this is the main event.  For me, I always use the same form: This is a Journey Into Sound with DJ Tantari.  Tonight’s Journey is Mood for a Rainy Day - Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

If this is a new set, make sure to play it up.  “This is the world premiere of a brand new set, Mood for a Rainy Day!”

Refresh your Server URL in your web page from time to time.  Make sure the status is good.  Watch your current listener numbers.  Make note of what things get them to tune in and what things make them drop off.  Learn from it, but don’t be driven by it or obsess over it.

Try to say a little something about each song other than the title.  If you have a bit of trivia about the band or song, share it.  If not, try to say something clever and work the title in.  If you really can’t think of anything, state the title and append it with one of your Theme Quotes.

Welcome people as they come in.  Greet them by name.  Don’t say the same thing each time; they may think that you’re using a script and get annoyed.  Often I’ll use it to work in Theme Quotes.  For example, “Hey, Steve!  Welcome to the Ark and Mood for a Rainy Day!  It’s not about waiting for the rain to stop.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain!”  If the club supplies a good host or hostess, you won’t have to do this too much.

If people in the crowd talk to you, make sure to talk back to them.  Engage them in a conversation around the music.  Make them a participant.

Always try to keep a happy and positive attitude.  Exude enthusiasm.  Hopefully your audience will catch on and want to have fun with you.

If you want to quote song lyrics, make it short and sweet.  Do it sparingly.  Do this at most once per song.

Never beg for tips.  I don’t even mention it.  It’s tacky.  If you’re in it just for the money, this isn’t a good way to do it.  The most I’ll do is say something like, “I do this for you!  If you’re enjoying the set, throw me a compliment!”  It encourages the audience to get involved and someone with money might decide to throw a few dollars your way.  If you do get a tip, make sure to thank them by name no matter how small.

Point out the continuity of your set.  “I’ve got a trio of They Might Be Giants coming at you next!”  “We’re upping the energy even more as we dive into our Dark Rock Block!”  “Now it’s time to give all that negative energy a break with some Comedy.”

Make sure you know how to call for security at the club if an audience member starts doing abusive things.  Don't deal with them yourself.  Call the club's security team and let them do their job.

Realize that you will have some good nights and some bad nights and there's nothing you can do about it.  Sometimes you’ll make a lot of mistakes, but the audience will be eating out of your hand.  Other times you'll be doing your best and just can't get their attention.  It happens.  Don't take it personally.  Do your best every time and realize that there is always another performance tomorrow.

Taking Requests

This is important enough to break out into its own section.  The main job of a DJ is to create a mood and show the audience a good time.  It is not to be a jukebox and play whatever someone requests.  A poor request can break the mood you’ve spent time and energy trying to build.  If another DJ is after you, you have a very limited time; every request you play means other tracks must be dropped from your carefully crafted set.  Since you’ve saved the best for last, requests jeopardize your epic finale!  But you can’t just tell the requester to take a hike.  He or she is a valued member of your audience.  This is a very delicate subject.  Some DJs never take requests.  Should you?  What to do?

While I can’t tell you what to do in every circumstance, here are some pointers to help you:

Try to deal with requests in IMs (instant messages) as much as possible.  If something goes sour, it’s private instead of in front of the entire audience.

Explain to the requester, “Tonight our theme is Mood for a Rainy Day.  Do you have any calm, mellow songs that you would play on a rainy day?  Also, they have to be totally awesome!”  About half the time they’ll apologize and back down.  But sometimes you’ll get a really awesome new song that you wish you’d thought of in the first place.

If the song is a huge style shift that you think would break your set, try to back out of it.  Explain that you don’t have it and you’re very sorry.  Or explain it straight to them in a very polite way, “I’d love to play this but it’s really going to clash with the feel of the rest of the set.  I’m sorry.”

Try to find a spot in your set where the request will flow at least decently instead of just putting it in next.  Explain that to the requester, “Hey, I think this would fit in really well 3 songs from now.  Is that cool?”

If you do decide to play a request and you don’t have it in your MIXXX Library (use the search function), then ask the requester for a YouTube URL for a clean copy of the song.  In my experience, they’re very happy to provide them.  Listen to a few seconds of the song to make sure it’s not horrible.  (It’ll be hard to hear it over your live stream anyway.)  Then throw it into your YouTube ripper of choice (like and dump it to your temporary directory (f:\temp\MusicResearch\new).  Drag and drop it directly into the Auto DJ window to queue it up.
(Due to an eccentricity of the way MIXXX and Auto DJ work, if you want to play it next, you'll also have to also load it into the idle deck manually.)

When you play the song, announce it to the crowd.  It makes the requester feel good to be credited for it, and if it’s really bad, it gets you off the hook with the audience for choosing something awful.  “Okay, I’ve got a special request up next for Steve!”

If you do play a request, be mindful of your total play time.  If no one is up after you, you have the luxury of running long; just know that some crowds will rapidly disperse after a contest is awarded, so you can’t go more than 4 or 5 minutes long.  If another DJ is up right after you, try to eliminate the same amount of time from the rest of the set as you can.  This is really hard to do on the fly.  Often I'll load the playlist into WinAmp and select the remaining songs to get an estimate of remaining playtime to help me determine what songs to delete to bring it in on time.You’ll have to use a lot of judgment on this one, because you still want a chance to play your epic finale.

If there is no one after you, save requests for the encore.  “We’re doing Mood for a Rainy Day for this set, but my set is over in 45 minutes.  After that I’m taking requests for any topic at all.  I’d love to play it for you then.  I don’t seem to have that song.  Can you send me a YouTube URL so I can grab it?”

And most importantly, always be polite, even when you have to say no.  This is your audience. You’re here to entertain them and give them a good time.

Ending a Live Set

You’ve done a great job and wowed the audience.  Time to wrap it up with a bow.  If the audience remembers anything, it will usually be your last impression, so make it count.

Towards the end of your set, remind them that there will be a grand finale.  “Just 30 minutes left!  And I always save the best for last.”  “Just 3 songs left, and I’ve got a great finale for you!”  “One last song, and it’s something special...”

During the last song, thank them for coming out.  Thank your listeners.  Plug the next DJ if there is any.  If no one is after you and you want to stay later for some requests or extra bonus songs, announce that as well.  “Thank you all so much for coming out to the Ark tonight.  And a special big thanks to my 12 current listeners.  I do this for you!  Stay tuned for DJ Ignite coming up next!”

If there’s another DJ after you, make sure to get in an IM with them and give them a countdown during your last song or two.  Announce him/her to the audience.  Disconnect from the Server quickly so the next DJ can use it.  (If you’re using a private one, this isn’t an issue.)  Make sure to log out of the tip jar or pick up your tip jar before you leave.

And that’s it!  Great job, DJ!

Continued in Chapter Four

Tantari Kim