The Grand Opening of ecoutee in Second Life

It all came down to this one night… Would we attract people, or did we completely miss the mark?

Rewinding back to days earlier…

After my trials and errors with making the double-ee-shirt, and after talking to Gigii in one meeting and Naimya on Wednesday night about the same topic, both had the same opinion that we should use a static shirt to create the illusion that the shirt can be worn. With shirt construction out of the way, it was time to spread the word about ecoutee’s opening.

I decided that the best way to attract attention is to look like I want attention, and doing that as Wii Xi wouldn’t do the job.

So, I decided to dress up in costume for the occasion. Disguised from my normal look, I went around to do advertising for the store. I wanted to find a good place to tell people about the store, so I went to the Sandboxes. Upon login, the Sandboxes give warnings about no advertising of products or services, no selling of products or services, and no shooting of other people within the Sandboxes. I also noticed giant billboard ads for cheap land, people selling their products to each other, and a futuristic-bounty-hunter-looking player shooting random players as they were working.

Perfect.

People definitely saw me and were interested in what I had to say (thanks to my avatar), as I walked around talking to random people about ecoutee and handing out notecards with the landmark location enclosed. One person I had chatted with, Vicky, was very excited about showing up to the grand opening and said she would show up with her friends after she gets out of work in SL.

Vicky Dance

Her SL title: “Sexy Stripper”

I had a great response from people wanting to show up, so with that working for me, I was able to focus on getting ready for the grand opening. Naimya sent out a quick checklist via e-mail to help with any little things that should be added or changed on Friday morning. In it, there was a suggestion of , “an improved Double ee tee that’s a bit more than a flat placard, with a side note that, “Prof Erde is helping Wii with this.” Did this mean that Prof. Erde was going to contact me on Friday during the day about this, or was I to contact him, or did Gigii and Naimya have a plan from Thursday’s meeting (which I had been out of state at the time and could not attend)? I asked Gigii when I had time to, and she explained that it was discussed on Thursday that Prof. Erde had an idea and an SL coded example to work with our shirt display. We figured I should send a quick e-mail to him to ask about it. Considering though that the earliest chance I had that day to be at a computer for more than 5 minutes was an hour before opening, I wasn’t expecting a quick response. But, I hope to give the shirt thing one final swing before my final class post. If not, all else still went well.

Jojogirl

Which led to that final hour before. I got a chance to finally introduce myself to Jojogirl Bailey, one of the caretakers of the island the store was set up on. She had been working on an event to take place right outside of the store after our grand opening. Sweet – more business for us!

However, the celebration was interrupted by a lagging and slow server response. Of course! About a half an hour before opening, and the server starts to flake out. Wonderful and predictable Second Life. With all the money going through the ‘collection plates of commerce,’ why can’t ‘the Gods’ afford better servers?!

shirt sign

When Naimya arrived, I suggested that the snowflakes we had running through the store could have been starting to slow things down a little (not the entire issue, but dropping some particle effects couldn’t hurt). Things appeared to run smoother when the snowflakes were disabled; not perfect, but better. Between Naimya and I, we were able to get a lot set up during the pre-opening stages of the store, including a fancy sign I designed (with Naimya’s written text) for the store. Gigii arrived a little late, but because she’s been frantically setting up the store both in Second Life and in real life, where the store would ultimately make more money.

opening1

Maybe I’ll discuss with her about helping with making the ecoutee website in the future… 😉

Then the store opened, and…

opening2

The turnout was great!! It was tough to stay interacting with people, mostly because I was assisting with a live television production in RL at the same time of the opening of the store in SL, but it was still very cool to see how many people responded to our spreading of the advertising for the store. I felt like my time hadn’t been wasted, and that made me feel great. We all had a good laugh when Vicky showed up and discussed what she did in SL. Naimya’s reaction was the best, which was something like, “Wii, how did you and Vicky meet? Or would you prefer not to say?” I couldn’t stop laughing! I even switched back to my costume to show people how I went around advertising the store. People in the store thought I was cute with my change in avatar.

opening4

My girlfriend, however, kept grabbing my arm in real life during the opening as the females in the store commented on my costume, jokingly growling and saying to the screen, “You can’t have him – He’s mine!!”

opening3

The entire night turned out well. The final outcome was a joy to see, considering the amount of work we’ve all done for this project, and I’m very happy with the results.

If you want to check out any more pictures from the event, check out:
http://flickr.com/photos/avatarsuperstars/

What’s left for this class? A couple of make-up posts, and my final opinions of the group project and the class experience as a whole.

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~ by Cliff Huizenga on December 1, 2007.

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