Window Shopping is Work!

Window Shopping is Work!

This week I’ve started assembling a budget for the CCTV in Second Life project. This, of course, meant one of my favorite Second Life activities – shopping!

In Second Life, all of the content is user-created. One cannot help but be impressed with the creativity displayed in the objects for sale. The picture was taken in the Kunst Furniture Store, just one of many places to buy office furniture. There are so many choices in just this one store!

It’s fun to think that there is an “interior design” aspect to the CCTV SL presence. We’re trying to think in terms of “looking back, looking forward,” so a modern look seems to be appropriate. I’m thinking of designing and building the front conference room first. It will be nice to have a space in Second Life where we can meet virtually, when appropriate. Remember the Jetsons? Everything was modern, but the concept of “home” (dinner tables, bedrooms) was still the same. It’s the same philosophy here. CCTV has a certain character that I want to capture, in an updated way. Our signature neon sign is just the kind of thing that needs to be in SL… but I think we’ll go for a slightly more stylish table and chairs. ;)

Putting together a budget is tougher than one might think. There is such a wide variety of options, and seemingly endless range of prices. There are free tables, that are quite a bit less elegant… the fancy one in the foreground of the picture is a whopping $L640! Oh… I should note that that amount is in “Linden Dollars,” Second Life’s currency… That’s about $2.72 in real dollars. But still, why spend $2.72 when there are other options? So, I’ll do some bargain hunting. In the meantime I need an “asset list,” a list of what will be needed to furnish the SL space, and then start plugging in numbers. Excel is my friend, just like Second Life!


Well, this is interesting. I know that I can be blamed for not paying enough attention to CCTV's furnishings, thinking that space design and equipment and people's attitudes are more important, but, ok, I know that furninshings say alot about the place and atmosphere. How much does a large screen and good sound system cost? how else do we need to furnish?

Ah, but this is part of the beauty of Second Life!

In the real world costs are high enough that we must think carefully about where funds are allocated... I can easily see that leather chairs would be irresponsible in our conference room; fancy furnishings would take money away from other more important programs!

In Second Life (SL), however, the unusual economic structure means that, after paying 'rent' for the 'footprint' of a space, the cost structure is entirely determined by initiative and creativity. Options range from paying for fancy chairs to researching freebies to taking time to simply build your own. Thus the allocation of resources becomes entirely about time and labor. Real life ("RL" in "SL" speak) labor is expensive (well, except for me - I'm free!). When you consider that a high end conference table is $3, low end is free, then there suddenly seems to be a lot of budget flexibility *especially* when compared with real life resource and asset allocation.

All that said, discipline is always in order, and it makes sense (especially where my labor costs are $0) to look around for free things where possible. Importantly, I rather consider these "things" (chairs and such) to really just be place-holders. Hopefully in the near future they will be replaced by CCTV members' own creations--perhaps the final result of basic building exercises--as education and familiarity with SL grows among the CCTV community.

To your first question: The cost of a large screen and good system is the same as the cost of a little screen (see what I mean about strange economics?) in that the real cost is in the "streaming" of the media--the cost of hosting the media somewhere. This is an area of costs where I have *much* to learn. To the second: I'm assembling a list based on some overall notions of ways to use the space. I'll write that up as a separate blog post this week. It's fun since, in this case, thinking "big" doesn't mean big dollars. :) Thank you!!

Thanks for your post, Aubree. It's great to see things moving along with the planning in SL.

Are there any sites in Second Life that you think we should look at as a reference? This would be a great way for some of us at CCTV to start spending more time experiencing Second Life and also to have a better idea of the ways in which avatars move around in SL.

Also, do you know if there are any television stations that have a presence in SL? That would be really interesting to see!