Portal to Possibilities
A new kind of publication is inspired from the collection of Sim Street Journal articles—with features of a magazine, but characteristics of interaction. The articles don’t really belong in a magazine. “Journal” signifies critical and commentary content. It develops in series like a magazine, yet the articles are not timely. They describe the deeper meaning of experience that reaches out of the virtual landscape. The articles are relevant themselves, as they address a mission to discover virtual world Relevance! Most importantly, the contributors present wisdom, inspiration, and insight that are true in any world, and magnified in a created one.
Eighteen issues, 200 contributors, 2,000 monthly subscribers, 50,000 web hits, and readers in 72 countries are testimony to the relevance of the content.
Unifying Themes— online article that describes the eight themes that tie all of the articles in eighteen issues together.
The talented avatars that lend their experience to these pages offer more than in-world insights. They exemplify transformed lifestyles, exercise maximum imagination, build communities, and find unique ways to use the platform. They explore and innovate. Each one pushes the possibilities a little further, and SSJ seeks to capture the achievements, while becoming greater than its parts. The virtual world is as varied as the real, but there are truths that can be captured for greater mastery of both.
SSJ also uses the media in new ways. In series, each issue comprises a suite of publishing platforms:
• The in-world edition is distributed in kiosks around the grid, and can be worn or “rezzed” as a real book. Different than a real life book (though it mimics ‘print’ by having pages), it has tabs that offer links and landmarks. “Immersive Impact: The Best of SSJ #1–18” makes maximum use of these features; it is the masterpiece of the series, the hub of the Collection. This format is also supported by the advertising. It is available in Marketplace.*
• The online edition complements and adds to the in-world version, though it also stands alone. It has to be different because it uses other online features. Creatively, SSJ tries to take advantage of what each platform offers, and does not try to force one to work like the other. Topics divide between in-world and online editions take advantage of the characteristics each offers, and can attract the reader to cross-read. The online edition is also targeted to include readers who are not active in the virtual world, but curious.
• A PDF edition converts the in-world version so it can be downloaded from the website. All 18 issues are available online at the end of each article. This allows a larger audience, outside of Second Life®, to access.
• Blog from Eleanor Medier gives a personal point-of-view to highlight influences or events. From the point-of-view as virtual publisher, there is always a story behind the story.
• Facebook is both a social environment (extending from SL) and a publishing platform. Making posts, creating Albums, participating in Groups, including timely content, it is also a major announcement tool.
These platforms work together as a suite, continuing with this new release
* In-world features
“Immersive Impact: The Best of SSJ #1–18”
If the virtual world is a place to try new ideas, here is an opportunity to do so with the perception and use of a “publication.” The special in-world issue of Sim Street Journal works like a portal to the collection:
> Compelling highlights of the best articles have download and links to the originals
> The totality of compare/contrast about relevance, balance, and discoveries fit together, as there is an underlying structure of common topics between each contributor.
> The whole series fits together in one place, where the parts become a greater whole. This may be the most magic aspect of content presentation. As the media demands messages to be broken down into small chunks, it becomes more of a challenge to present longer works that have a greater cohesion. SSJ has a master structure of content from the beginning that now gives this combined presentation its unifying power (see “Unifying Themes”).
Pushing definitions has validity when there is a strong base. To change a convention or perception penetrates most deeply when it evolves. Like puzzle pieces, each article, each issue, each medium, and compilations, come together here. As virtual worlds evolve, the artists make sense of it. Publications express, and add to, the artists’ achievement. A society is judged first by what it publishes as a chronicle of development and a record preserved for the future. The virtual world has its greatest potential in bridging differences between people in a hybrid place where tolerance, patience, sharing, and understanding flourish.
Also please read Unifying Themes that describes the conceptual backbone that holds the entire series together, inspiring compare/contrast, and conclusions.
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INDEX for all contributors and articles
Sim Street Journal #1: Virtual Reveals Real
Sim Street Journal #2: The Old in the New
Sim Street Journal #3: Magicians of Meaning
Sim Street Journal #4: Telling Stories
Sim Street Journal #5: Champions of Expression
Sim Street Journal #6: Overlapping Realities
Sim Street Journal #7: Luck Created
Sim Street Journal #8: Facing the Inevitable
Sim Street Journal #9: Motivated Learning
Sim Street Journal #10: Serious Fun
Sim Street Journal #11: Fantasy Fulfillment
Sim Street Journal #12: Insights from Extremes
Sim Street Journal #13: Bridging Boundaries
Sim Street Journal #14: Realities Blend
Sim Street Journal #15: Creative Collaborations
Sim Street Journal #16: Visual Music
Sim Street Journal #17: Retrospective Tribute to Visual Leadership
Sim Street Journal #18: Capture Time
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Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of virtual to real commerce and culture.
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Eleanor Medier (avatar of Liane Sebastian)
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Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.
Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
© 2016 by Liane Sebastian/Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal.
Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.