Saturday, June 26, 2010

Surf Fest 2010 Featuring Tauri Tigerpaw

Friday, June 25, 2010, Tauri Tigerpaw was asked to be a special guest speaker at Surf Fest 2010.  Following is a posting of her talk:

Hi, I'm Tauri Tigerpaw, Editor-in-Chief of SurfWatch, Second Life (SL) surfing's breaking news blog, In-World Edition quarterly publication, merchandiser and video production. Thanks for coming out to Surf Fest 2010! WOOOOOOT!

When Revy (Revlon Benoir) first asked me to speak at Surf Fest, I polled some of my friends to see what kinds of topics they would be interested in hearing me talk about. Ya, I got the expected "sex!", "favorite positions!", and "best sex pose ball" - lol. But I also got some really good ideas, so I'll try to cover them briefly here tonight.

Barchan Paderborn started SurfWatch back in early 2008. He asked me to join about mid-year, initially to help with marketing. I got it in my head that it would be a great idea to document SL surfing history by the people that started it. People have a tendency to rewrite history, and I wanted to talk to and publish it from the horse's mouth.

I think my most challenging story that first year was talking to LL's Project Manager regarding Havoc4 and the impact it was having on the SL surfing community. I didn't quite understand the technicalities myself, so I'm sure it was a challenge for him explaining to me what happened. Go back and read that interview with Sidewinder Linden for an understanding of what happened during that period and the impact it had on SL surfing physics and other interactive SL sports like race cars, sailboats, etc.

Barc had a real focus on reporting live from the competitions, which is a huge undertaking. Socks Clawtooth and Abel Halderman assisted Barc with the live score reports that first year. Colleen Brennan and Ashleigh Dickins also joined the staff. SurfWatch had a total of 172 postings for 2008.

In 2009, I noticed the holiday posting had not changed for awhile, and I was afraid it was the end of SurfWatch. Barchan contacted me early that year and asked if I wanted to take it on. Few people realize the time commitment and effort that goes into keeping SurfWatch viable, and he just no longer had the time. To this point, I still had not learned how to actually post anything - I would give Barc my information and it would magically appear in the blog. Okay, he DID try to show me how, and it was really just easier to let him do it - lol. But once I decided to take it on, I had to learn very quickly how to input information, manipulate it, insert photos and video, etc., not to mention find stuff to post about!

So we entered this experimental phase for SurfWatch. My goal, and our mission statement, is to be a central spot for SL surfing information and planning. While many beaches and organizations have their own websites to post their events, the idea was everyone can log onto SurfWatch to see if there's an activity already scheduled, to avoid conflicting events. We wanted to include more of the community, so we added a segment for partnerships and adoptions. We even tried out the infamous "Dr. Love" - no, it was not me!!!

We saw an opportunity to use SW as an instructional tool with SL surfing tips, SL surfing locations, and to keep the history and people involved in SL surfing alive. With such a rapid time condensation in SL, time and turnover make it easy to lose important names and events, and we want to make sure that doesn't happen. We also want to support the sims that allow us to SL surf by sharing them with readers and promoting them and the products that make SL surfing possible.

So my goals were:
1. Make SW a central clearning house for the community to share and as a central resource for information

2. Utilize SW to promote SL surfing - sims, retailers, creators, people, etc.

3. Create an in-world magazine that would be totally different information from the blog:
The advantages of the blog are that it can reach a large audience quickly with information, as well as quickly get competition results and pictures published. My goal for the magazine would be a more leisurely look at the lifestyle - fashions, people, places. I asked Ashleigh Dickins to head up that project as editor, and she has turned out one of the most realistic amazing magazines in SL that I have seen to date. We decided quarterly publication was the best way to go to keep the quality, and using a themed approach has been so much fun, thinking of ways to work within the themes like our recent "Back to the Future" edition available at SW kiosks now.

4. Create SW merchandise:
One of the goals in merchandising was to generate income to cover our expenses - we try to purchase sponsorships with local organizations and kick in for local contests, as well as offer linden for our own contests. My goal was also to be able to pay our contributors at some point, which I'm still working towards. I also wanted quality products to get the SurfWatch name out to the larger SL population. We are fortunate to have the beautiful Moontan Jewelry and the fashionable Island Sea Dreams as merchandisers, creating unique quality products for SW. The Surf Watch and the SWack (SurfWatch backpack) are available at our SW booth here at Surf Fest and at SW HQ at Boracay.

5. Create SW videos
Develop a SW SL surfing sports video involving members of the SL surfing community. This has been one of the most fun projects, spearheaded by Aeryn Kidd, Soul Wave producer, and SW's Marianna Monentes. Check out the videos when you have a chance - the segments are posted in the blog and also on youtube. I watch them months later and still crack up laughing - I enjoy them so much. These two, and the participants involved - Lissa Pinion and Quench Spotter - have put together a classic of SL video. At some point soon, we will have an entire program, complete with commercials, for release.

We do have other projects in the cooker, and we'll keep you posted when they are ready to roll out!

In February we had our 2 year anniversary party that went for 12 hours straight. It was a constant 12 hours of activity - some of the highlights were the beach fashion show put together by Emma Portilo and Jimbo the Cartboy; and Heather Goodliffe giving a talk from the design and creator perspective. We also had a comedianne, I gave a performance, Tone Uriza performed, we had a drunken party of a competition; an art show, a surfboard design was exhausting, and I'm still working on the photo album of the event for release.

I've also been involved in live performances to benefit surf sims, the SLSA, SW expenses. It's something I can do that can help the community and keep SW operational. Sometimes people forget I also have expenses and can't always perform for free. But I've always made myself available to help out where it's needed.

SurfWatch has a huge group of contributors, past and present, and we hope to keep adding to our talent. People come up with new ideas, have fresh perspectives, and bring new skills. In 2009, we had 309 postings and mid year 2010, we've already reached 361. This new group of contributors: Jimbo the Cartboy and his Channel Surfing; Kantbe Thursday and Kantbe Serious; Lissa Pinion bringing her organizational and writing talents to an editor position; Harbor Piers with the Search for the Perfect Wave, along with our own Marianna Monentes, Colleen Brennan, Ashleigh Dickins, and the MIA Rhett McMahn, combined with one time submissions from various members of the community, bring SurfWatch to a whole new level, and I hope readers stay tuned to what comes up next!

My first marshall experience:
One night at midnight, Abel contacted me desperate for a marshall for the next days' SLSA competition. I wasn't even an SLSA member at the time - it was very intimidating to me and I had not attended an SLSA comp, altho I had placed in the finals in a VSA comp. I agreed to do it, because I have trouble saying no to anyone that needs help - lol. But I had trouble finding anyone to tell me exactly how to marshall. I ended up with Cip (Cipriano Grut) and Rani (Decosta) giving me a crash course readers digest version, and when comp time rolled around, I was worried sick that I would screw something up. About the time I hit the beach, a competitor walked by and said she was so nervous, she was going to throw up. That's when it hit me - the best thing I could do for them was to stay calm and keep them calm - they were way more nervous than me!  That started a season of some of the most fun I've had in the SLSA, and I marshalled almost that entire first season. People would tickle my feet, we would all crack jokes, and I remember it fondly as camaderie and fun.

Director term: training session at Chi
I was asked in 2009 to run for Director. I was one of 4 people running for 2 open seats, and I was sure I was not going to get it - not that many people knew me compared to the other candidates. But 1 candidate dropped out and I ended up taking 1 of the 2 seats. Initially, it was Ash, Colleen Brennan, Sally LaSalle, VW Sands and myself. After Ash and Col's terms, Sally ran again and won and Mick Lunasea and Caraneah Ku served. I remember it as one of the most challenging 6 months of my SL. The Board actually worked great as a team but I was going thru other SL issues and thinking of leaving. The SLSA Board commitment is what KEPT me in SL during that time.

One of the highlights of my term was holding the surfing/judging/marshalling training session at Chi. We had 3 specialized trainings going on at once at various times of the day- a day of training! Just scheduling people at various times that wanted to attend all 3 sessions was a handful! V taught the master surfer class; Sally handled the judges training, and I organized it and taught the marshall portion. There are things we learned from that to improve on in the future, but the turn-out and enthusiasm of the members was really exciting! I just did a brief training with someone interested in working as a marshall as recently as a few weeks ago, and I'm always available to show anyone my particular techniques of marshalling if they are interested.

People have asked me to talk briefly about other organizations I belong to and other things I do in SL, so I'll touch on those if we have a little time.

- Naked Surf Nation
This group is just for fun - we strip naked and hit the waves! It has nothing to do with any grudges or politics or conflicts or sex - just strictly having a blast surfing! We spontaneously meet, have a naked sesh, laugh and put our clothes back on! Naked Surf Nation wants to rule the world!

- Sisterhood of the Sand
This group started in my earliest of SL with a small band of girls sharing confidences and supporting eachother on the beach. It has grown, and shrunk, and membership sometimes changes. But the core group is still there. We have called on eachother for help, leaned on eachother in tough times, helped eachother. I can't seem to disband the group no matter what is going on. And so, as long as 2 sistas remain in the group, there will be an SOS.

- SL Hall of Fame
I really had no familiarity with this group, altho I had interviewed several members and remain in awe of most of the people in the HoF. It was not something I ever had a goal of achieving or inclinations to aspire to. When my name came up as a nomination, I actually declined the nomination - not because I did not want to be a part of this group, but because I could think of several others that should be inducted. I have great respect for the accomplishments of most of the other members of this group, and am extremely honored to have been nominated and voted in in recognition of my involvement and work in the SL surfing community.

My time in SL is limited right now so my concentration has been on fun when I come into SL. I'd love to do more of the video projects and I have a huge amount of fun doing the fashion focus pieces - I pull something out of my closet and we use it in a photo shoot. Sometimes the clothing retailed is so old, they are out of business, but the pieces stand as sold, and it's fun to combine clothing, accessories, shapes, skin, hair, etc. for a total look. SurfWatch has broadened it's market to a new audience of surfanistas who have no interest in surfing, per se, but they DO want to look hot on the beach! And they will support our retailers and our sims by shopping in our shops and sunbathing on our shores, so it's all good!

- helping people to develop their talents
My most fun in SL is helping people develop and reach their potential. I spent alot of time early on in SL teaching noobs how to surf and to watch them excel is a thrill for me. More recently, I use SurfWatch to open the door for individuals to develop their talents in writing, organizing, managing, creating, etc. And to be able to step back and watch some just blossom and surpass what they thought they could achieve is a huge privilege for me to be a part of. Currently, I have the pleasure of handing Lissa Pinion the oar so she can row the boat when I'm tied up with RL obligations, so don't hesitate to contact her if you need something of SW and I'm not around.

Please check out if you haven't, and join our new subscriber at Boracay, Stables and Mori to sign up for notices on breaking news and gifts! Thank you for coming!


Jimbo said...

Tauri, you’re a legend in your own special way.
You have done so much, and helped so many.
I’m honored to be your friend, I’m so proud of you!

Lissa Pinion said...

I second what Jimbo says. The surf community is huge and with so much going on at any given time, you and SW have held us together, let us know the events going on, and addressed concerns that may have otherwise not gone addressed. I'm honored to be a part of, and yes, a bit overwhelmed at times with all you and SW have accomplished and will accomplish in the future. Bottom line Tauri, you Rock!

Anonymous said...

I always inspired by you, your opinion and attitude, again, thanks for this nice post.

- Thomas