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Second Life's Bay City to celebrate first birthday

Tateru Nino
05.15.09
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Second Life's Bay City is holding its first anniversary celebration this Sunday, 17 May from Noon. It's a user-run event, which may surprise some people who'd more or less given up on the idea of Bay City early on.

Bay City was something of a watershed project for Linden Lab. Placing a structured, zoned area in the casually anarchic mainland estate, it was also the first big project for the Linden Department of Public Works. The land was designed, overall structure and landmarks were laid out, the land was parceled and set up for auction, Linden Lab heavily hyped and promoted it ... and then everything went wrong with Bay City.

Land flippers bought up the majority of the parcels, bidding strongly and then setting those parcels for sale for even more. Bay city largely languished as a forest of for-sale signs on land too-highly priced to sell for some time.

Linden Lab made a few halting efforts to correct things, but it had mostly fizzled. A promised infohub went on the back-burner. Bay City seemed like a bit of an embarrassing failure at that point.

Enter the Bay City Alliance -- a group of land-owners who formed late last year, who really wanted to see Bay City succeed. They organized, they brought in other interested users, and they tried to get help from Linden Lab.

Unlike other mainland areas, the Bay City Alliance actually needed help from the Lab. Unlike other areas of Second Life, a lot of the Bay City structure and infrastructure was Lab property. Only the Lab and their Public Works department had access to the objects and the textures or the ability to perform any maintenance or repairs on them. Plus there was the small matter of that promised infohub.

It wasn't easy. Linden Lab's always been pretty opaque on job responsibilities. The BCA had a lot of trouble finding who was responsible for Bay City -- and when they chased them down, discovered that roles had been changed and reassigned. Eventually, the BCA found the staff that Bay City had been delegated to, though a little more confusion resulted, as those staff apparently were not aware.

Nonetheless, after a rocky start, the Infohub is in place, and a second one is on the way. To be fair, once the lines of communicaton were unkinked, the Lab has followed through and been very supportive. A lot of neglected maintenance has been being done, and the Lab has done well, though we wonder if this kind of support would really be scalable to other, future, zoned areas. The land is no longer a desolate landscape of for-sale signs and overpriced plots and the BCA is justifiably proud of its burgeoning community.

Come and celebrate that with them.


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