Communicate -> Contacts -> Friends and Groups

The software trainer says: "In the lower left corner of your Second Life Linden Lab client, click the Communicate button. In the dialog box that appears, click the Contacts tab in the lower left of that dialog box. You will see two tabs in the upper left of the dialog box: Friends and Groups".

Now that we are all on the same "page", I have an announcement and a question regarding Friends and Groups in Second Life. :-)

Gabi's Friends List - The Announcement

My Friends list is insanely huge due to what I do in SL professionally with Radio Riel and my Estates. It stopped being useful to me by the end of 2007 because it was so big and clunky. I have always used Calling Cards in my Inventory to search for the names and profiles of my friends, and to deliver important information.

Some of you might recall that Desmond Shang had to delete his entire Friends list last year, and then slowly rebuild it because the amount of data in the list was severely slowing his SL client performance and inventory loading.

Guess what? I'm now in that same position. So, I need to clear out my Friends list. This will not be a problem for me as I don't use my Friends list in any functional way, other than with a few people with whom I need to share object permissions with in order to set up event venues. I am going to remove everyone from my Friends list, unless you are a current and active Radio Riel client, one of the residents of my Estates or the Estate Owner of an estate in which I own land.

I know that people can get *very* sensitive about being removed from a Friends list, so please understand...THIS IS NOT PERSONAL! This is something I need to do for the technical performance of my Second Life client. It does not mean I hate you or that I do not consider you a friend. Ok? I am keeping all of my Calling Cards, as that is what I use anyway to search and manage my list of friends.

I hope this cuts down on some of the inevitable, "Gabi Riel took me off her Friends list for no reason! What a bitch!" or "Gabi...are you mad at me??" that I am sure to hear.

Aether Chrononauts Group - The Question

Yesterday, I found myself wondering why the New Brunswick Herald was being sent out via a Group Notice in the Independent State of Caledon Group. Are they technically a part of Caledon? Are they a colony? Does this mean that Winterfell or New Babbage can send out weekly updates about what is going on in their communities via the ISC Group?

Note: I am talking about Group Notices, not Group Chat! I got a bunch of huffy "well Radio Riel sends out stuff all the time in other Groups" messages yesterday. I actually have very strict policies at RR and sending out event info. We NEVER send Group Notices to communities other than the one in which the event is taking place. NEVER. It's unacceptable. We handle Group Chat differently. My policies for chat are "send to the RR Group, the group of the community in which the event is taking place AND to the Independent State of Caledon". I am going to be changing this policy to that it mirrors the one we have in place for Group Notices. Chat will only go to RR Group and the Group of the community in which the event is happening.

(Um...if this seems all anal and weird to you and you are shocked by the fact that I have detailed policies covering this stuff? Don't be. I've been doing events for three years. The policies are based on my knowledge and experience.)

Anyway, this whole thing got me thinking. And I am going to ask for your opinion and feedback. Should I create an "Aether Chrononauts" Group in SL to provide event information from ALL of the Steamlands and Historical Grid sims?

Otenth Paderborn has created the "Aether Chrononauts Calendar", which contains event information from most of the Steamlands and Historical Grid sims. Would an in world Group that sends Notices and chat spam prior to events be a beneficial addition to providing communication on events all across the Aether Chrononauts sims?

I know that some of you are probably groaning: "not another group"! However, I know that I belong to several community Groups simply so I can stay abreast of their events. Having one Group that covered them all would enable me to delete more than one of these Groups. I will actually come out with less Groups in total.
This challenge of communicating events has been one of the banes of my entire SL existence. I've been trying to figure out the best way to keep an entire community up to date on what is going on for 3 years...and the options now are the same crappy options as 3 years ago:
  • Group Notices that fail or that no one reads
  • Community Calendar that some people watch...and some people do not know exists
  • Postings on Blogs and Forums...that once again only some people read...and some people do not know exist
So many of us are residents of more than one community in the Aether Chrononauts. Would it be helpful to have ONE Group in which event information from all resides? Of course the individual community groups will still post Group Notices to their specific Group.

It's a Catch 22 for me. There have been times when I only spam the Radio Riel Group about an event somewhere, and then someone who is not in that Group but is a resident of Caledon says: "Oh I wish I knew about that!" Then someone pipes up and complains that I am posting what they consider irrelevant information to a Group Chat. Well, they might not want it...but others do!

What's a Duchess in Exile to do?

Tell me what you think!

~ The Nightingale


Just a thought - but why don't we combine it with The Primgraph? We're already picking up news from across the Steamlands on the blog, rss feeds for various blogs (and could add more) and I'd love to embed a Steamlands event calendar. We also have around 4,000 subscribers who we could urge to join the group ...
Darkling Elytis said…
Dear Lady, I understand your need to cut down your Friends list. I took the opposite tactic months back, and deleted nearly all my Calling Cards.
As to the additional Aether group: it sounds like a good idea, though I personally wouldn't use it. Does that make sense? I attend very few events in SL now, and prefer to keep those I do attend to two or three groups.
But I remember my party days, & I think I would've made good use of such a resource, so I'm sure there are many out there now who would love it.
Of course the real challenge will be getting the word out and building a large enough group of followers to make ut viable.
May I suggest you consider using Hippogroups, or a similar service? Many folk have no group slots free, and you could scatter the signup boards all across the Steamlands.
Thank you Gabi, for all that you do. You're a delight and inspiration to us all.
~ Darkling, Lady Speirling
Rhianon Jameson said…
I would find it distressing if notice of a Radio Riel event is available only through the group in which the event is held. Hearing of events elsewhere in the Steamlands seems like an excellent way of increasing the usually low signal-to-noise ratio in ISC chat. :)

Having a central clearinghouse for Steamland-related events would be lovely, though I have little insight into the best way to accomplish this. A Hippogroups-like service, as Lady Speirling suggests, seems like an elegant solution, but perhaps others would be equally good.

As an aside, after New Brunswick appeared, physically connected to Caer Firnas and thus to the rest of Caledon, I anticipated an announcement of some Caledon-related status for NB that would facilitate cross-border RP, or some such. Though I am not bothered by news from NB arriving via the ISC Group (I do, however, understand the issue of fairness regarding other non-Caledon announcements), I wondered what was driving those announcements.
Gabrielle Riel said…
Hmm - good food for thought here from 3 of the sharpest ladies around. :-)

Saffia - I would *love* to figure out a way to integrate this with the Primgraph as it is *the* central source for info in the Steamlands. I will think on this!

And A HippoGroup is a good idea. I already use the Hippo Rental and Vending systems with their online management features. Another option to think about.

Thank you My Ladies!
Friends? No comment.

Groups? Yay! Why didn't I think of that? Some of my experience:

A.C. google calendar: I occasionally go through all the other google calendars I'm subscribed to and copy things over. I've been very liberal with adding other people to administer the calendar (including not only adding events, but adding other administrators). I'm pleased and sometimes surprised at where I've seen this calendar embedded (by people who just want to read it and make it available for others to read, not administrators). All in all, a successful experiment with a high ROI. hasn't ever really taken off. Then again, I haven't really promoted it. Perhaps if it were the hub for web access to a HippoGroup, it could become more useful.

Victorian Shopkeepers Association. It seems to be useful to those who join. It has a fairly high ratio of shopkeepers to customers, but also tight limits on how often those shopkeepers can send notices, and of what sort. I occasionally have the unhappy duty of reminding someone of those rules, but this group largely runs itself. I set up a blogger blog at the same time ( ), but like the other website, I haven't really promoted this, and it hasn't taken off. It doesn't seem to address a need of the shopkeepers.
Ceejay Writer said…
I've been carefully copying all New Babbage events over to the Aether Chrononauts calendar, in blind hope that it's being utilized. But I really have no idea how many people look at that google calendar.

That's startling news that a huge friends list could bog like that. I have a LOT of issues with the functionality of the friends list anyway (why can't I have a 'choose ALL' button to go invisible, demmit, I'm a reclusive writer sometimes!) and now I have one more future issue to fear.

I'd be fine with a group. I have no more room for groups under Ceejay, but I have a research alt that could take on a group. I get notices offline in email. So I get em from either avi.

Someone will no doubt freak out at the unfriending. Can't be helped. Good luck with the organizing!
A couple of things that might help: one is using the subscribe-o-matic that we have and encouraging the punters to subscribe. I know I'm guilty for not using it to send out announcements. But if we re-inforce it, maybe have a brief staffmeeting to make sure we know how to use it as well.

I'm fairly sure that the two most regular attendees to the Riel Theatre are not in either the Radio Riel group or the Edison group. I know I get casual drop ins from letting people in various groups know about it. Depends on the story obviously.
Mako Magellan said…
There are two other options for maintaining mailing lists, and neither of them require monthly subscriptions, which I understand both the Hippo and Subscribe-o-Matic systems do.

1: The various versions of SMS by Zanara Zemovka

2: The server and web-based group features of APEZ

THe SMS system has the advantage of offering sign-up/opt-out terminals, the APEZ has the advantage of being completely free.

Both allow you to manage mailing lists manually, and to create as many different lists as you need.