Saturday, September 22, 2007

InfoHub Loitering and Greifing reaching a High Point

HISTORY: Bear sim came online early 2005. The Realtor who won it at auction had me buy a piece. No roads and no Telehub for months as I built my shopping area. Then it came and traffic was steady and good for business.

2006: Telehubs become obsolete. Direct teleport is in full effect and the telehubs are decommissioned. Some areas are sold as regular real estate, some are preserved as Linden land. The Lindens ask property owners in the sims that have defunct Telehub lands if they would like a community builder to build a structure where the Telehub was. It was explained that these InfoHUBS would have notegivers for new players to receive information about Second Life. Seemed friendly enough - so we say yes as opposed to having the land sold off and chopped up (some Telehubs were completely wiped away and the land sold). By this time I own most of Bear sim, nearly a quarter of Sawdell and a few thousand meters of land in Gealain. I had spent alot of time and money preserving Bear sim and the surrounding sims. I bought out Vampire clubs, grabbed roadside parcels across the sim line to make sure advertising did not spring up there and was lucky enough to be a good judge of character when selling land. Only one adfarmer spot in Bear sim and that has been contained for the moment. I got a island and sold off most of Bear to one fellow that took care it for nearly a year. I kept one roadside parcel so when folks came looking for me they could find a re-directed teleporter.
Then open enrollment hit the grid and Linden Lab had to re-direct the traffic coming in - so they used these defunct Telehub spots that to drop these people. The day of the Brazilian invasion I could not enter Bear sim because of all of the new player traffic being directed there. After a conversation with the Lindens this was rectified.
AND NOW: Free accounts meant that the people that liked to go to sandboxes to socialize had to find safer places to gather and chat. The griefing in Sandboxes was and still is a major problem (in today's SL Forum: "I was in a sandbox tonight and suddenly my avatar became grotesquely distorted. Then a message appeared on the chat line that said something to the effect of "Trasher says do you like your new shape Yipp Oh?""). So these social chatters made their way to what is now considered InfoHUBS. Then Linden Lab decided to test the voice client on the mainland before releasing it grid-wide. They told everyone to go to these InfoHUBS and try the voice client. And thousands complied.
THE PROBLEM: Many of these people that ended up chatting for hours in these areas were crude, rude and greifing. People would gather to be entertained by these public nuisances. After voice was released grid-wide on everyone's parcel - There had emerged a community of people that re-defined the InfoHUB. Even Linden Lab employees re-defined the infoHUB
Jesse Linden had wrote:
"Recently we set aside a number of spaces in Second Life to serve as community and information centers for our resident population.

Our goal in this follows a historical model of a town center or community square as a location in which to build spaces for social interaction and information exchange. These spaces, called Infohubs in Second Life, are distributed throughout the mainland grid. Because these spaces vary in size from very small plots of land to larger ones, we are considering two types of builds. The smaller of these would function as an information center for centralized distribution of Linden Lab news and announcements as well as resident content. The larger type of space would be used as a public gathering space for meetings, events, or general socializing. This latter concept would more closely resemble a �public commons' in the sense described above. For this project, we have decided to reach out to real life' architects and urban studies scholars and professionals in attempt to solicit unique designs for public spaces in virtual environments. "

The Bear InfoHub is considered a smaller Hub and therefore functions as an information center for centralized distribution of Linden Lab news and announcements as well as resident content. Bear sim only holds 43 avatars and begins to have major lag issues after 30 are present for more than two hours.

I now use my Bear parcel as a vocational school for people that want to get into the virtual nightclub business as hosts, DJs or Owners/Managers. The classes are small (no more than 6 to 10 people at times) and I usually use the parcel for teaching from 6AM to 9PM SL time 4 days a week. Also on Tuesdays and Saturdays people enrolled in the Host and DJ programs have their finals in the Bear space. They must host or DJ a real event there - which attracts about 15 people for two hours. And since I have to be there I may have a meeting upstairs with some of my essential Island staff. This is becoming increasingly impossible to achievee the amount of chatters that misuse the Bear InfoHUB.

Just yesterday I had to have a student leave the sim to get another into the classroom BECAUSE THERE WERE 38 PEOPLE IN TH EBEAR INFOHUB.

I have tracked the new player traffic and the traffic of the people that loiter in the hub and use it for conversation, some griefing and other hi-jinks. When the group of chatters that have formed a group (Bear Buddies) are not in the InfoHUB we have a regula flow of new players rezzing into the Hub, getting their bearings and then moving on to explore and start their Second Life. When the Bear Buddies insist upon sitting in the Hub for upwards to 10 hours a day - the traffic comes in but does not cycle out as quickly. A glut of people in that one area begins to form that completely overpowers the entire sim (think of casino camping). And, at least twice a week, then the griefers come.

This InfoHUB is for distribution of information - not a social area for chatters and those seeking negative attention. As a tier paying land owner in Bear sim - I have the right to utilize the resources that I have been paying for for over two years. But these Bear Buddies believe that since they decided to sit there - they have the right to utlize over 85% of the sim's resources.

Some quotes from Bear Buddy Members:
Katie Broome: our plan is to stop this fighting, and get the B to move on
Clint Peccable: i would rather stand around and loiter..oh and skate
Clint Peccable: funny he has a place not far from here and doesnt come to Bear bithcin about people being here.

This group has dug in deep and refuses to budge. They say the have some Linden endorsement that they are allowed to sit there as long as they want. They also say that the Linden they spoke to said the Hub will stay as it. As a landowner who has the right to use the resources I am paying for I challenge that. I am currently collecting sim data, taking screen shots and tracking the glut of loiterers that takeover the sim daily. This information will be presented to Linden Lab by the end of this month. I do expect that Linden Lab will respond as they did before and take action to make sure that people with vested interest in a server can access it freely.

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