General


Steve Jobs has passed away and It has made me pause and consider the impact his life has made on the world. Apart from an iPhone I haven’t owned an Apple computer but I’ve used Macs off and on over the past 30 years starting with the Apple II. Some people say Steve was a first class jerk and a control freak. I would say he wasn’t really. It was his company and he ran the organization in the way he saw fit. The results speak for themselves as Apple became a very successful and lucrative company. More companies have emulated Apple than the other way around.

His commencement speech from 2005 at Stanford was a very inspirational piece. Here’s an excerpt I especially like:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

And on a lighter note but right on the money The Onion honored Steve in their own irreverent way.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/last-american-who-knew-what-the-fuck-he-was-doing,26268/

Below is a press release from a long time friend, talented musician and all around nice guy, Heath Vercher (known in SL as Heath Elvehjem):

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September 2, 2010

Just for clarity, this is for immediate release. I guess.

It’s another afternoon spent writing e-mails, posting videos, and eating Lucky Charms. And somewhere in all this, dear reader, I realize the need to write a press release or some sort of official document chronicling the impending release of a brand new recording project.

I could write that in the third person and tell you that “Heath’s latest release is sure to be a winner, complete with happy-go-lucky piano tunes that will melt your heart” or that “this upcoming solo piano album will be more fun than a day at the beach.” But you don’t really want to hear that, do you? I thought not.

And you know what, you’re exactly right. How do I make ‘solo piano’ fun? That’s a tough call.

Well, how about I start by telling you the release date? OK, here goes. It’s October 5, 2010. See, that wasn’t so bad. “Well, Heath, what sort of songs are going to be on the album?”

A very valid question! And in case didn’t figure it out, this album is solo piano. Mostly.

Let me start with the title piece, “Whimsy.” One day, while I was driving to work, I got this picture in my head of an album cover. And on the album cover, you see a pianist, or rather, the pianist’s feet, while he or she is sitting at the piano. From the attire of the individual, you would think they are playing a formal event, and the tone of the evening would be one of hushed silence and little talking. From the vantage point of the photograph, one can make out both feet of the performer, and on one foot, a shiny black formal dress shoe, but on the other, a fuzzy rainbow-colored sock like the stockings you might find on a birthday clown. And that’s it. Amusing. Funny. Quirky. And reflective. For the kiddos, there is “The Dreamers,” a solo piano piece with some added cello. There’s always room for cello, right? Children are a very big part of my life. From teaching piano to children, to spending time with my nieces, nephews and the children of my friends, there is something innocent, pure and magical about childhood. And for some reason, waltzes always remind me of lazy days as a kid, letting my imagination run wild and seeing what new adventure waited over the horizon. This song is for children everywhere, and for the child within each one of us.

“Edgewater” is another piece from “Whimsy,” highlighting recent and not-so-recent travels along the Gulf Coast. I have always loved the water. And I have always loved the South. It’s something in the air, and something about the way of life down here that is inescapable. And so that is where “Edgewater” tells its story, in drives up and down the coast, in sunsets watching the waves crash along the shore, and in adventures to have every single day.

“Te Deseo,” also Spanish for ‘I desire you’ is a piece written for my wonderful wife. I wanted to capture the sound of what it feels like every time I look in her eyes, run my hands through her hair, or hold her in my arms. I wanted to capture in this piece all the sensuality that is loving a woman in the most romantic way possible. This song is written for kisses in the rain, candlelight, whispers, and dreams on the lips of two people who are deeply in love. And it is for something much deeper. This piece is written for a woman whose beauty goes so deep that mere words can fail to describe it.

And that’s just a small sampling of the 11 pieces that appear on the release. So come on in, rest your weary head, and laugh a little. Love life. That’s what this album is all about.

…………………………..

There is more to come. More music videos. Performances. But it all begins with you.

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I have all 11 tracks now in rotation on the stream. You can also sample  some of his music here: http://www.heartsparkmusic.com/

Heath’s indicated to me there will be some giveaways to KONA Radio listeners so be sure to listen and visit the KONA Radio website in the upcoming weeks!

to play KONA Radio on your parcel use this URL : http://gold.slserver.com:8030


For the past 3 years KONA Radio has derived it’s operating funds by having sponsors and soliciting donations. This has served pretty well as my income has easily met my expenses. However do to a recent and sustained increase in listenership my cost in royalty fees has jumped dramatically. In this current economy it’s getting more difficult to find people who are willing to sponsor, but there is still interest in advertising. Effective next month I’ll be changing licensing entities and will run advertising spots on air. Unlike terrestrial radio and many of the big web stations The advertising will not be in large blocks and will generally last less then a minute in duration. As a nod to my fans I’ll probably make the music sets longer between commercials.

So, if you’re interested in advertising on the most popular Second Life radio station as well as a popular iTunes radio station please contact me in world or send me an email at Ravishal.Bentham@gmail.com .

It’s been a while since my last meaningful post and there have been a lot of things I’d like to write about. This post should address some of those things.

There.com . Kinda sad to see it go. I had an account there and visited on occasion but there just wasn’t much to keep me there. The avatars were cartoonish (yet strangely more appealing than the noob avatars for SL) and the choices for clothing and gear was severely limited. It was also a strictly enforced PG zone as children as young as 12 were logged on. And I tell you, nothing feels more creepy than a 12 year old girl asking if you wanted to be her boyfriend. Yikes! Run away! Run Away! But it served the needs of many of its users. It had plenty of games like dune buggy races and hover-boards as many of the fun activities. You could also run There.com on a 56K dial-up connection and on computers with built in graphic chips (like those crummy Intel ones). I suspect most of the users will take a pass on SL or Blue Mars and head for the likes of Free Realms or Toon Town. Both can be played for free, are PG and have many task oriented activities to participate in.

Kissy faced in Coke land

Socializing: I’ve pretty much cut down on my activities in world the past year. Work has been a bit more demanding of my time and attention. I’m mostly concerned with station business when I do get online. But that’s not to say I didn’t have any fun. 🙂
Sunset at Cocololo - 2Hanging around

Hanging with Ladi on the patio

Running a radio station in Second Life: If you think you’re going to make it rich or become wildly popular with a streaming station,you’re sadly mistaken. If you stream you’re in it to share the music, period. If your music has a lot of appeal, you have a somewhat professional sound, and you are a business savvy, then you can probably cover your expenses. What are those expenses? Let’s assume you’re going to be legit, pay your royalties and run advertising. Stream costs : $15-30 a month (100 slots), Music Royalties (assuming a monthly Total Listener Hours of 10,000) $50, and SESAC License (for advertising) $20+ .  You’re looking at an outlay of $85-$100 a month. Land tier, that’s up to you if you want an in world studio or home office.

Can you make this money back? Maybe. Who is going to hear it and can you generate traffic for your advertisers? Probably not in most cases. Here’s the ugly truth about media and advertising in SL. It doesn’t work that well. SL is a very fractured market and it’s hard to get the word out. While I may in fact have the most successful and listened to SL radio station getting a wide audience to listen is difficult. Hell, a lot of people can’t place a media URL on their land. Also, most people who are in SL simply do not bother to listen to the parcel media unless someone or something tells them too. I’m not saying that getting the word out over the air is worthless, it’s just not as effective as written or graphic media.

How do I stay afloat? I have a more restrictive license that prohibits me from advertising but I can have sponsors. Prices, services, and comparisons are verboten.  Business names and websites are OK to mention and it is in a way a soft sell. Repeated often enough and it becomes a form or mild advertising. I am always up front with every sponsor of mine and tell them this will not boost your sales through the roof. Most if not all of my current and past sponsors have contributed to keep the station online because they love the music as much as I do. In the nearly 3 years KONA Radio has been online I’ve always met my budget. Any extra money went into music purchases, web hosting and equipment upgrades for the radio station.

Pirates: Let’s just say that if you encounter a station that’s not licensed and is running advertising, stay away. Unlicensed streams are a dime a dozen and typically don’t get caught if they maintain a low profile, but if they try to make money off their stream it can get pretty ugly. If caught they can expect some very hefty fines and possibly confiscation of their computer gear. You do not want to associate your good business name with criminal activity.

To close out this post I’d like to thank some of my Sponsors and supporters for all their contributions:

Sponsors: Kevin Ludwig,Nikki Brennan, Brookston Holiday, Izabella Bentham, Tasha Kostolany, Yxes Delacroix, Banana Stein, Cynthia Maine, Viola Bentham, Stuart Warf, Razzap Snookums, Chatnoir Tangerine, Gayle Cabaret, Gorgeous Yongho, and many more

Supporters: Trill Lomu, LaDonna Upshaw,Crap Mariner, Grizzy Griswold, Marianne McCann, and many more also.

Home page: www.konastream.com

Parcel Media: http://gold.slserver.com:8030

We can also be found on iTunes in the “Retro 70s” category of the radio listings. We actually play 60s 70s and 80s but that’s where we got placed.

Rav

This video pretty much represents what I feel about Facebook. On the SL side it’s pretty useless as I get spammed constantly with invites, games, and whatever. My RL Facebook is a bit better as the friends list is much smaller and the friends I do have are a bit more mature and restrained than my SL brethren.  Can’t say I’ll miss FB very much if the axe on avatar accounts comes to fruition. Oh, I wouldn’t hold your breath to see if I’ll get an account on Avatars United. I’ve heard quite enough to know I don’t want to bother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4De7wdnuuII

Having disappeared mysteriously and then reappearing in strange Youtube vids from Hong Kong it appears Gomem is back in SL. He will of course have more to say on this on the Podmafia podcast . It’s still the same old Gomem as evidenced by these pictures.

Gomem is back and raring to go
No women where you are Gomem?

Gomem is properly welcomed back to SL

Nika missed you something terrible. Even her pet did too!

Welcome back Gomem, we really did miss you. BTW, ever hear of Zindra?

I don’t know how this commercial ever slipped passed by me.

It’s so great seeing the most popular, accomplished golfer have a bit of fun with the sport and a classic comedy. Way to go Tiger Woods!

On an unrelated note an FYI for you KONA Radio fans. iTunes has reshuffled its stations listings with the new 9.0 client. In the new client you can find KONA Radio in the Retro 70s section.

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