Thursday, 23 August 2007

I communicate with Lindens and order an island. And upgrade to Premium

Islands ordered: 1 (v. good); Emails sent to Lindens: 1 (OK); Emails received from Lindens: 2 (good); Upgrades to account: 1 (pointless)

Cannot remember if mentioned previously that have been granted money by Centre for Inquiry based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) to buy island (!!!) and pay island fees for a year. In fact also tried to get money to cover a bit of colleagues' time, but no go. However colleagues still up for it so am going ahead with bit less teaching than hoped for.
Order form short but puzzling, namely it asks for Tax ID no. to prove nonprofit status (there being 50% discount for same) and not sure what to put there, since am not in USA. Ask our Finance office and they suggest Charitable Status Reference number. Decide that should ask Linden Labs in advance if this OK.
There starts my quest since SL site cunningly devoid of email addresses and before get to query form on website have to navigate through one of those multiple choice thingies where none of the choices are actually what you want to ask and they don't even provide an "other".
Anyway, negotiate form, fill in to best of ability, click send and hope for speedy reply. Reply indeed speedy, taking form of email telling me to bog off as only a Basic resident and thus only entitled to ask q.s if avatar vanishes off face of SL or similar dire circumstance. Of course email does not actually say "bog off".

Somewhat cross. Decide to try and contact a British Linden (i.e. British employee of Linden Labs, they are all called Linden, cute or what). Had heard him speak at Eduserv conf and finally track down correct email at end of his ppt slide. Send off cogent yet slightly tetchy email.

Result! British Linden does not reply, but had evidently circulated it efficiently round Lindenplex as receive replies separately from Claudia and Jay Linden apologising for difficulties and saying that can ignore Tax ID field if from UK. Can give them constructive feedback in return i.e. in that case why doesn't it say so.

Am so bedazzled by this Linden response immediately sign up for Premium account. If had done this first would have not had this bother since now I am entitled to speak to live human being. Anyway, trying not to brood too much on my irrational behaviour, fill in various pages of island order form and finally receive emails confirming that Sheila Webber of University of Sheffield, 211 Portobello Street (that's me in RL) will take delivery of 1 island of 64K square meters in due course. Gosh. Undoubtedly first time have purchased island in any Life.

Have selected Island Shape 4, if anyone is interested.

1st 2 photos show me on other parts of Eduserv island: looking at poster for RL event which will be attending on 20 Sept, and with an art installation "Do Androids dream of electric sheep". Last pic shows me at poster session of SLCC of which more anon.

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The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.