So, I came across a great blog post on the SL Revolution blog about Second Life’s indie scene and its author was kind enough to let me repost. One of the strongest elements that can be used to drive a virtual world is music and I thought her commentary was an important piece of information related to what my blog is trying to do. Without further ado, here is her post.

Posted in SecondLife® on May 22, 2009 by Daila Holder

When I blog, I try to give the reader a peek into my Second Life viewer and sometimes even a quick glimpse into the inner workings of Daila Holder. My Second Life, like most of yours, is made up of fashion, friendship and fun, but a key element of my time spent in world is music. I always have my stream on, and have been known to be snobby enough to not shop in a store if the music stream is unappealing.

Though unlike most musically motivated avatars, I am not a D.J. I am a connoisseur of others’ hand picked musical selections. I lean toward indie music, and two years ago I discovered my Second Life home away from home: The Velvet

In an environment where clubs can close as quickly as they open, The Velvet has endured. So what is the key to starting and ensuring success of a club in Second Life, and why in a virtual world where fashion, drama and relationships rule, do so many take the time to focus on music? I asked Jed Brimm, Second Life DJ and Jasper Haifisch, Manager and DJ at The Velvet to help me answer those questions.

First a little history about The Velvet from Jasper:

Jasper Haifisch: The Velvet opened its fake doors on October 18, 2006. The club was conceptualized and brought to life by Pushbutton Skolnick. You’ll see her there from time to time socializing and DJing on occasion. About a year after the Velvet opened, she handed the keys over to me so we could keep it going.

And his thoughts on why the club has been successful:

Jasper Haifisch: Pushbutton Skolnick and I joke (I think we’re joking, maybe we’re just kidding ourselves) that we refuse to die. When the club first started, we used a lot of contests and themes to bring people in. That can take a lot of time and work and it eventually fell by the wayside, along with patrons. It took a while, but we’ve built a following back up and it’s all because of the community here. The Velvet exists because of the patrons.

Jed Brimm currently DJs at The Velvet, The Evening Room and others, and his sets are always worth catching. Check his SL profile for more details.

Some Evening Room DJs (Jed is top row, 3rd from left)

Some Evening Room DJs (Jed is top row, 3rd from left)

One of the questions I posed to Jed is:

In a virtual world where fashion, drama and relationships rule, why should someone take the time to focus on music?

Jed Brimm: I don’t think focusing on music excludes any of those things. In fact I would suggest that it complements them. Of course for many people, any or all of those things might be their sole focus. But in my experience music is a great catalyst for bringing people with similar tastes together. In many cases if you share an interest in particular music with someone, you might share other interests as well.
I also think, without getting too psychological, that it’s fair to say that virtual worlds are attractive to people who might be considered introverts. I have friends in SL who are shy even online. They just don’t wander up to people and start conversing. Musical venues are good places for people to come together. They hear something they like, maybe something they know about, they may want to share a story about a concert or a band or whetever. So in that sense, as a social medium, I think it is a good starting off point. Is that its sole purpose? I think most people who play music in SL love the music for its own sake. There might be others, I doubt many, who do it solely for the Lindens. I think there is also a bit of ego gratification involved. You like something, you want others to like it as well. But speaking for myself, the social interaction is the lure. Otherwise I could as easily play the music on my stereo.

Searching For Just the Right Song at Evening Room

Searching For Just the Right Song at Evening Room

So why do clubs like The Velvet and The Evening Room remain my favorite places to teleport into? The music baby, it’s all about the music. With 23 regular DJs, who, according to Jasper, “are given carte blanche for the most part”, you are sure to hear a set you enjoy. You can check out a current Velvet schedule here

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