October 27, 2008

6 random facts

Well THANK YOU, Bettye, so the tagging meme season started again. OK, here we go:

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 6 non-important/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up

Non important habits? NON IMPORTANT? To me my habits and quirks are all important, in a positive as well as in a negative way. They define who I am, what type of person. They shape me, for good, but also for bad. Even an annoying habit shapes me, and therefore it is important for me as it points out things where I need to work on me.

  1. I shave under the shower
    Electric shaving was never my thing, I am a convinced wet shaver. But I also like to sleep, so eventually I found out that shaving under the shower saves some precious minutes. I don't use foam either, but lathe my face with showergel.

  2. I hate traveling
    I like "being there", but I hate the process of traveling. "The way is the goal" was not coined for me. The goal is to be there. This is the reason I prefer flying, as it is the fastest possible. The prospect of sitting hours upon hours in a car makes me crrrrrrrraaaaaazzzzyyy!

  3. I'm a procrastinator
    The fact that I work well under pressure made me build up pressure for many tasks by pushing them until the last possible moment. I know I would be more relaxed if I worked on them on time, but so far procrastinating was more rewarding.

  4. I don't like phones
    I don't like phoning, I don't like to get phoned. Partly this is because I don't like my voice, but I see the telephone as a tool to harass me (even before telemarketers mushroomed). The telephone dictates when I have to answer it. I prefer to go by my own schedule, and thus I don't like phoning.

  5. I slice cucumbers into small discs
    Most people I know slice pickled cucumbers into - well - long slices to put them on a sandwich. I cut them into small discs, and place them on the bread like an intricate mosaic. Allows for more mustard in the gaps as well.

  6. Don't disturb me when I read
    When I have a new book, I read it. From start to finish. Prferably in one row. Don't dare to talk to me or disturb me in any other way. You don't exist when I read a book. Understood? You have been warned!
So far my dirty little secrets every HR person would love to know. Now let's think of 6 victims: Trinity, Therese, Ivanova who needs to blog something new anyways, Elusyve , Cenadra and Kitty!

October 25, 2008

Seduce me to spend more!

The other day a rather well known SL designer released some new female fashion items, and within hours I read excited reports from friends and acquaintances. I sent my girlfriend Skinkie a photo and as expected she fell in love with the creations as well, so we TPed to the shop. There, we found 10 color variations in exceptional quality at the steep but justified price of 400 L$ each. A lot of the designer's items are available as fat packs, but this one was not. As I did in the past I IMed the designer and asked if a fat pack are available, but she was not online. We spent half an hour in the shop, and after trying on the demos we settled for 4 of the 10 packs which were the ones we both liked best. There were another 4 packs we both kind of liked, but did not see as "essential".

Today, I received this offline IM:

[1:44] Wellknown Designer: hi peter, sorry - i spend too much time on each color to justify discounted fatpacks

This left me confused. Already now, I have spent 1600 L$ on her creations, and I made it clear that I was willing to spend more than that. All versions together would have been at 4000 L$. Had she had a fatpack for 3200 L$ (10 for the price of 8) or even 3600 L$ (10 for the price of 9) I would have most likely bought it. So the lack of a fatpack "cost" this designer 1600 L$ or even 2000 L$ of additional revenue.

I asked for some mindshare among the folks on Plurk, and the majority agrees on my assessment. Especially since the tedious process of boxing up the items has been done already, offering a fatpack is not a lot of extra work. I realize that I am in a privileged position to be able to afford the prices mentioned - some commenters on Plurk said they would have to carefully chose one or two items maximum. On the other hand, being involved on the sales side of ~flirt~ fine prim jewellery showed me that while the large majority of customers buy one ore two items, there are still a surprisingly high number of people who buy fatpacks with a 3000 L$ pricetag.

  • As a content creator I think you are well advised to address all kinds of potential customers: the ones on a budget with good and affordable single items, as well as the ones who are willing to spend more with attractive bundle options.
  • There is such a thing like the "upper class of shoppers" in SL, who is prepared to spend large sums of money. Designers should make it as easy for them as possible the spend it.

I will not stop to shop at this designer's outlet since she offers quality and I know her for quite a while. But she could have 2000 L$ more in her account by now, which ultimately some other designer will benefit from.

October 09, 2008

It's my rezday and I cry if I want to

I have an issue with birthdays, since I feel significantly younger than my biological age is. So I always feel a bit anxious when one is around. As SL is special to me, I hoped to make my first rezday last year special as well, so weeks in advance, I put out clues and hints to my friends, and hoped I could celebrate with them - alas none showed up. So this year I decided for myself to not mention it to anybody, so the potential disappointment would be not as drastic.

The first to remember it was my friend Ivanova, who started the congratulations shortly after Midnight SLT time on Plurk, and a lot of friends joined in. Later my close friend and SL sister Trinity joined in, and I received a lot of congratulations over the course of the day. That made me feel good.

Admittedly I was a bit disappointed that my girlfriend Skinkie did not seem to remeber, but when I finally took the courage to tell her she said she's notoriously bad at remembering birthdays at all. However she arranged an impromptu rezday party at the Code Red Lounge, where a lot of friends came and danced and had fun. I'm not the party animal, but I loved that so many folks stopped by. Late in the day, I even did Moggs Oceanlane's "Poppins RezDay Challenge".

So what happened in this last year? Most notably, I met two amazing women. Gina Glimmer, with who I developed a close and closer friendship, until she made me the most happy man in SL by accepting to become my partner in January. Unfortunately we only were granted 3 happy months together, followed by 3 painful months as she was forced to leave SL due to RL obligations. Yet I am deeply grateful to her, and consider myself lucky to see her still around and still have a close friendship to her. And then there is Skinkie Winkler, my girlfriend of over 3 months now, an incredibly "present" woman, who manages to root me firmly on the ground, and with whom I am so much in synch it's wonderful.

With my translation company "Babel Translations" being a success beyond imagination, I was able to take over a competitor early this year. On the business side I also founded "GREENE concept" with my friend Ivanova, developing furniture, and a business company with Trinity. Also Skinkie offered me to become part of her company and take care of the Sales & Marketing side - and I am glad to say my help made a difference.

Another highlight of the past year was also my appearance as Post 6 Guy in the SL Herald, which - as I got told - marked a special event in the Herald's history as it was the first Post 6 that attracted almost no nasty comments. May of my friends were portrayed since then - Trinity, Moggs and Gina, and even the photographer - Bunny - became a friend through this. Hope it's Ivanova's turn soon :-)

What I value most about the last year is the intensification of existing friendships, and finding new friends. The closest person to me (apart of course Skinkie) is my SL sister Trinity, and I only met her early this year by pure chance. I can not imagine how it would be without her friendship. We share openly personal thoughts and insights, and it is eerie how similar we are in many things. Ivanova comes to mind as well - I met her in Januray as a friend of Gina, and now we are very close and even run a company together. Dandellion is the only person I talk about politics a lot. We don't meet that often, but when we talk it usually goes on for hours. Quaintly commented on my blog (I still don't recall how she found it), and she became a very good friend in short time. Tarissa, who speed TPed into my office one day, and from which a long and funny friendship developed. There are a few young friendships, which still need to develop, and I hope to write about them next year. Unfortunately, there are friendships who suffered as well, and time will tell if they can be mended again.

My RL situation is a very difficult one - even became more difficult recently - and I value all of these freindships highly. Even considering the more negative events of the past year, I would not want to miss it for anything. Thank you all who made my SLife an enriching experience!

October 07, 2008

JIRA: Optional text for payments to show up in transaction history

[This is an issue I have filed as VWR-9597 on JIRA]

Avatar-to-Avatar payments show up in the transaction history as "gift". However when buying services, paying staff or other non-vendor transactions, it might be good to know what the payment was actually made for. I suggest an extra input field for freeform text, where the optionally entered text would show up in the transaction histories instead of "gift".

As an addition, llGiveMoney(key destination, integer amount) could get an optional 3rd string parameter with the subject/description line as well, and thus get rid of the "Object pays" nuisance in transaction histories.

If you think this is a useful feature, log in to JIRA with your SL username/password and vote for it using this link: http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-9597

October 03, 2008

Babel Business Development (What Peter has been up to lately - Part 2)

As my faithful 2 readers know, over a year ago I founded "Babel Translations and Text Creation", by now the largest and oldest translation agency in Second Life. Part of the service of Babel Translations was always to offer conceptual and planning work to clients as well. I did not advertise this - it more came naturally during the discussions with the clients. My close friend and SL sister Trinity Dechou suggested a while ago to branch these services out. We discussed the idea a while, made concepts and plans, a portfolio of services and towards the end of July we founded Babel Business Development, a company offering full service marketing and business services to Second Life companies.

Our slogan is "We make a difference", and our goal is to provide exactly what a business owner in SL needs. Unlike RL, where specialists care for their respective areas, in SL businesses are often run by individuals with limited capacity who need to take care of a lot of things: creating their products and services, handling sales, generating public interest,supporting their clients, etc. Trinity and myself have both RL backgrounds in Sales and Marketing/PR, as well as a track record for being successful in SL. With this experience we offer the tools often forgotten or misunderstood to business. With the ability to view business as an outside source we can offer advice on areas to be developed. One core concept is to give our clients only what they need. We do not want to "take over" their business, not change their ways, not take away the power to make the decisions from them. Our clients remain independent, and get from us as much or as little as they want.

Fairly fast we found our first prospective client, an averagely known fashion designer with her partner, who reported to struggle with sales lately. A visit on site revealed many things with potential for optimization, starting from the layout of their shop, product presentation, and continuing with their blog and brand representation. We prepared a report and a number of next steps, alas we seemed to have overwhelmed them and they literally fled the scene.

We changed a few things in our presentation, and set a "Meet and Greet" on the client's property as the first step, and soon enough we found our second client, a rather well known accessory designer, and conduct a brand research for them as of the writing of this blogpost.

Coming from a country where creating your own business is ridiculously difficult, and been employed my whole adult life, for the third time I am thrilled how easy it is to create a business in SL. People with good ideas, designs and creations can simply start to market them, and the abundance of creativity in SL is proof of that. I did not come to SL to become an entrepreneur - but here I am, running the market leader in translation services, a successful furniture company, being the business soul of another company, and now the co-founder of a business development company. Not only is this fun, not only is this useful, it only taught me a lot about myself.

October 01, 2008

What Peter has been up to lately - Part 1

My friend Quaintly asked me the other day if I plan to update my blog again, and I have to admit, I neglected it very much in the past months. Not that there was nothing blogworthy, but rather because my SLife was extremely busy. So apart from bringing some fresh energy into this blog again, I will report about some of the tings that happened in the past weeks.

Some time ago, my friend and blogger Dandellion Kimban asked me if I would like to take part in a comicstrip project of hers. My career as movie star back in January ended rather aprubtly, so I was more than thrilled by her offer. She asked me to play a priest who explains religion. Mhmm... a comicstrip with message it seems? I asked her what outfit to wear, and she asked if I had any "priestly" clothing, so I pointed her towards a pic I put on Flickr recently.

She was thrilled, even assuming that pic was what subconsciously made her consider me for the role. And so we ended up doing a rather funny shooting in some roleplay enabled church in SL, along with Laleeta, Eidur and Raul Crimson.
Towards the end one of the roleplayers discovered us, and demanded in some rather nasty tone 'what this is about', and we had some silly fun inspecting his venue on behalf of the Second Life Actor's Union, asking him when his fire extinguishers have been examined last.

Today, Dandellion finished the comic, and you can view it online: Die Laughing. Great work, Dandellion.