Other Worlds

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.



Music stats for October 2009

October showed a lot of gains for KONA Radio in listenership levels. After a deep drop in August we’ve rebounded from 11,000 to over 15,000 Total Listener Hours. Those late summer doldrums are far behind us now and it looks like the numbers will keep up for the foreseeable future. Below are the latest stats from the Shoutcast.com stats page. I’ve included other SL stations for comparison. Not all are represented here as they choose not to be listed, use Icecast, or otherwise I’ve never heard about.

Report Date: Sun Nov  1 04:00:01 2009

30 day rolling total, taken from 30 days of data

POS          TTSL                    TUNE-INS          5-MIN-TUNE-INS    STATION
#2514      15,466               30,848            6,798             KONA Radio – Qlty Music 60s 70s & 80s
#3895       8,014.75          24,251            6,469             IndieSpectrum Radio, Indie originals with artists from Second Life
#5007      5,315.25          12,477            4,086             KTOX – Second LIfe
#8901      1,870.5               5,627             2,010             K-TOX Toxian City Radio Second Life – Industrial and More!
#5520      4,505.25          13,736            3,128            WALICED YOUR RADIO IN SECONDLIFE
#9074      1,800                13,165              3,336             SL Live Radio – Live Music Second Life Previews
#10807    1,285.75          18,270            1,145             DBC Radio TV Join us inside Second Life
#12122     1,036.75 8,171             1,425             PUB Radio – your FIRST Choice in SECOND LIFE music

TOTAL      39294.25

I would imagine the stations I could not find would easily total another 10-15,000 hours a month.

Now contrast this to the EVE-ONLINE community which has an active community of 300,000 accounts and a typical concurrency of 40,000 players. EVE-ONLINE is the premiere radio station for the community boasting over 2 dozen DJs and a primary music stream.

EVE-ONLINE community station
#1148      45,763            44,176            14,829            EVE-Radio.com: EVE Radio Jukebox
#3643      8,945.5           12,402            5,946             EVE-Radio.com: Wiggles on EvE-Radio
#5368      4,722.75          7,222             2,586             EVE-Radio.com: Helix
#5381      4,708.5           15,979            5,317             EVE-Radio.com: Miss Emopants
#5597      4,400.75          8,742             2,859             EVE-Radio.com: DJ Anarkros
#6467      3,455.75          4,425             1,847             EVE-Radio.com: Whitey Towers
#6777      3,167.75          6,856             2,382             EVE-Radio.com: EVE-Radio: DJ Moz
#6884      3,059.25          5,782             2,121             EVE-Radio.com: GRN – Eve-Radio LIVE 2
#6928      3,031             8,713             3,062             EVE-Radio.com: WorldEater
#7398      2,681.25          11,237            3,595             EVE-Radio.com: DJ Sam
#7782      2,431.75          6,937             2,342             EVE-Radio.com: DJ LMP zwntana! (live 1)
#8793      1,914.75          4,010             1,433             EVE-Radio.com: eve-radio | Live 2
#8817      1,906.5           3,697             1,318             EVE-Radio.com: DJ WarMaster
#9005      1,823.25          3,538             1,200             EVE-Radio.com: EVE Radio
#9122      1,784.5           9,208             3,055             EVE-Radio.com: DJ Erkenfresh Live on EVE Radio
#9141      1,776.5           3,419             1,216             EVE-Radio.com: DJ Dunewolf
#9184      1,762             3,191             1,114             EVE-Radio.com: EvE Radio LIVE 1:
#9234      1,745.25          3,844             1,184             EVE-Radio.com: The Adragon Technochrist Show
#9599      1,615.25          6,550             1,985             EVE-Radio.com: EVE-Radio.com
#10136     1,453.25          3,372             1,118             EVE-Radio.com: DJ Kraven’s Uplink
#10324     1,395.75          3,757             1,716             EVE-Radio.com: Minerdave-a-saur on Eve-Radio
#10383     1,382             2,626             1,025             EVE-Radio.com: EVE-Radio Live 1: DJ Spuffy
#10426     1,374             3,042             1,014             EVE-Radio.com: Forty-Two
#10863     1,274             0                 0                 EVE-Radio.com: DJ MrNix
#10947     1,249.25          0                 0                 EVE-Radio.com: Eve Radio 2 – DJ Hemlock
#11399     1,155             7,804             2,662             EVE-Radio.com: LamsterBunny
#11763     1,092.5 0                 0                 EVE-Radio.com: JusJ4ck

TOTAL HOURS =   111,071

Perhaps it’s the fact the Eve community is closer knit and pursuing the same goals and interest that allows this one station to do so well in a smaller population than SL? Similar attempts at a Grid wide music service has failed (Phreak, Cyrscomm) as they simply failed to gain traction and could not support themselves. My station gets the majority of it’s listeners from iTunes. While SL’s population is very diverse you’d think the stations here would do much better. I think it’s a matter of exposure or a lack there of. Getting the word out about your station isn’t easy as the media in SL doesn’t reach masses, only select portions of the population. I can’t really complain much as my station does support itself but I’ll take listeners where I can get them 🙂

A whole lotta 5 Islands

A quick trip to THERE.COM

As crappy as the Grid may get it is still light years ahead of the competition. Back in the Spring of 2007 I created an account at There.com while the grid was down hard for hours on end. I used it off and on over the months with the last time I logged in was early 2008. Tonight the grid’s general borkiness prompted me to think about There again and I hopped back over for a few hours with my SL parter Trill.
A new home and a fresh start

As you can see we look pretty normal for SL. There is a bit more primitive. I won;t scare you with closeups but Ruth and Joe Noob look pretty damn good compared to the There avatars.
Fungus platforms
Appearance wise the environment is fairly primitive, some objects are fairly detailed and rival what you see in SL. Sadly there are no in world builing or scripting tools. All objects and clothing must be created off world on must be cleared by There before they can be imported. Yeah, the economy is centrally controlled so choices are very limited. Here’s me and Trill meeting our clones:
So much for uniqueness
So much for uniqueness.

There are some activities in SL, dune buggies, hover boards and clubs.
Fishing in There

Oh, the big drawback? Children. You’re in the mix with people as young as 13. Cripes! I had a girl walk up and ask me for a kiss. I said no and she called me a bitch. That sounds about 13 to me. Creepy….

But when you do kiss your legal age sweetie the lips do match up :
Kissy faced in Coke land
Gestures do work OK here. There is also voice, but you need to be a premium member. Oh, you also need to be a premium if you want to tleport your friends to where you are. Yeah, it’s a racket, but the fee is a one time $10USD charge. Coca-Cola also has a big presence in There.com too.

My advice? Not really worth the time but hey, if the grid is down or your locked out it’s better than nothing or Opensim.


Twinity – low battery


My invitation to Twinity arrived Friday night and I gave it a test drive. Sadly I couldn’t even start the engine on this promising software at first. On my primary machine which features Windows XP, 1 gig of Ram and an ATI 1600 video card the software crashes before I get to the log in screen. A crash report is sent and they must have at least a dozen of mine by now. I installed it onto my other machine (Windows XP, 512mb ram and a Geforce Ti4200 video card) which is a bit older and had better luck. The program loaded just fine but the big problem was that my avatar was invisible and so was most of the environment. All I saw was trees and sky. Also, a BIG negative as pointed out by others was that during the sign up was that you aren’t told that when you fill in First and Last name that it would be floating over your head in world. Having your real life name  assigned to your avatar is a stop sign for me. If this can’t be fixed then don’t expect a lot of savvy netizens to come here and have their real life name exposed to a bunch of strangers. If they don’t allow us to edit what our world name will be or allow us to re-register for a new “safer” name I doubt I’ll hang out there.There’s no forum and the FAQ has no troubleshooting section. Of course this is a beta and it will be rather glitchy so if it doesn’t work for you then you are probably out of luck until an update is released.

For now I will wait for either an answer to my support queries or an update to the client ( a whopping 124mb).