I never fail to be impressed with the kindness and generosity of my fellow SL Residents. Two incidents of this yesterday illustrate this perfectly.
SL Residents raise thousands of US dollars each year in an annual grid-wide fund raising effort for the Relay for Life effort sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Last night, a fund raising event was held at Grizzy’s Cafe, owned by my good friend Grizzy Griswold. In just a few hours of good fun and socializing, we raised close to $200 USD for the cause! I will add that Grizzy put more than just her Linden dollars on the line. She pledged to dress like a showgirl (NOT her usual mode of appearance) for a period of time to be determined by the amount raised. By the end of the evening, Grizzy was on the hook for four weeks of sartorial excess. She apologizes in advance for any awkwardness this may cause at her weekly bible study and other events for which she normally dresses in a much more conservative fashion. It just goes to show what a good sport she is!
The second incident actually exemplifies the best and worst of SL behavior. First I will explain to non-Residents that Second Life is created and designed almost exclusively by its Residents. Linden Labs provides the servers and the basic template, but the rest is created by us. Often those who have mastered a particular skill will open businesses to sell their goods and services. One of the best of the lot is Fatima Ur, owner of the collection of Antique Artistry sims. Not only is she an incredible designer, she is a lovely person who goes out of her way to take care of her customers (a trait I encounter again and again in SL merchants). As a result, she has very devoted customers! Well, long story short, just after I left Grizzy’s event, I got a group notice to Fatima’s customers. Seems that someone (from the sound of it, an unscrupulous competitor) was purchasing items from Fatima on Xstreet SL (a web-based vendor of SL products) and posting very negative reviews. When Fatima read the reviews, she immediately contacted the person who submitted the review and refunded their money. Which they immediately used to buy more items and submit more negative reviews! So this was clearly more than a case of an unsatisfied customer. Fatima send the notice to inform her customers of what had happened, and asked them to consider visiting the site to submit their own reviews and comments on her products, to hopefully negate the bad ones. I will add that she specifically requested that people not spend any more of their hard earned Linden dollars on this, but just review things that they had previously purchased. Well, as soon as the notice arrived, the group IM was flooded with good wishes and pledges of support. Many of us visited the site to submit our reviews, and from the sound of the IMs that were flying around many more were very happy to have an excuse to buy even more of her products, and submit glowing reviews as well.
Some people who have never experienced the sense of community present in virtual worlds have an idea that they are cold, impersonal places. They couldn’t be more mistaken about that.