Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SLSA Board Discusses Sim Move

SurfWatch recently sat down with members of the SLSA Board of Directors to discuss the exciting new move to Solace Beach.  We took the questions most commonly asked and presented them to the Board who were gracious enough to take some time from the sim move and holiday bustle to share some insights with us.

SW:  What was the primary reason for the SLSA to move its home sim to another location?

SLSA Board:  We believe that success happens when an organization embraces new opportunities. We understand and appreciate the generosity of the members who donate their own money to keep the SLSA sim funded and operational. What we want to see, is for those generous donations of those hardworking members to be utilized more effectively
We moved the SLSA home to a sim that will allow the SLSA to be introduced and promoted to a large community, which is the most effective way for the association to keep growing in the long term we envisage this new opportunity as fundamentally a partnership that is beneficial to both sides. And we enter this partnership with no additional cost to the members.
We have to think of our sim as not only a place for competitions or the SLSA Hall of Fame. It must be a place where our community is met by the outsiders, who have a chance to become a part of our family, not a remote place with no connection to any other community. We have to think of our sim as a place that would not only be visited at the times of fundraisers but also be a welcoming and attractive place anytime even without the officers/managers/directors constant involvement. That is what the Solace Dream has a chance to become.
Bottom line therefore is: the SLSA Board of Directors believes that the money coming from generous donations from the SLSA members should be used the best way possible, producing the most benefit for the organization as possible - for the lowest possible cost. That is why we embraced this opportunity to move the SLSA home with open arms, and it is our sincere hope that all our members do the same.

SW:   The decision to move the SLSA sim location seems to have been done very quickly. What was the rush and why was the SLSA group not consulted before the move was made? 

SLSA Board:  The opportunity to move our sim from one location to another was brought to the attention of the board by a member of the group. The board always seeks to respond in a timely and decisive matter to issues and suggestions from its members, particularly when they have a direct positive impact on the SLSA’s constitutional mission. The benefits of the proposition were discussed as a sensitive commercial negotiation and the move was agreed to by all 5 board members. The new sim in question is a desirable and hot property and became available to the SLSA a week before the sim tier was due at our previous location. It was an opportunity that all of the board members agree has enormous potential benefit for the entire SLSA group.

SW:   We understand that the desire with the move is to increase membership and therefore competition numbers which have been decreasing. Currently the group has 901 members. What will be done to encourage your current members to compete or become active?

SLSA Board:  Declining participation has been one of the problems the SLSA has been dealing with for at least 6 months now. Yes, the SLSA has about 900 members, however let’s agree on one fact; most are inactive and never will be actively participating in our events. That is the thing all large organizations experience. One of the ways that the new sim will help with this is to bring fresh new surroundings, new people, new faces and new friends into the mix. Developing a diverse and varied social group and introducing new people to surfing is no only the primary mission of the SLSA, it’s also a wonderful way to encourage existing members to re-energize and give them the opportunity to build their own social circle of friends. Additionally, the sim is situated in a fun location with a lot of activities that surfers can enjoy together off the beach. So new people, new surroundings, new experiences, we say to all members come and try this out with a fresh positive outlook!

SW:  The press release says, "... however designated builders within the group, will manage the facilities and will return stray prims on a regular schedule..." How often is regular? Do members have the names of those who will have perms to clean the sim if someone has decided to dump prims on the sim and it makes the lag unbearable? Are those responsible spread out over several time zones?

SLSA Board:  So let’s focus on the positives here first. The new Sim, Solace Dreams has the SL Surfing Association Group as the parcel owner. The SLSA has full control over who comes, who goes, who rezzes and as such we can and will allow members to rez their own surfboards or objects on the sim any time. The idea behind this is to make the sim that the SLSA pays for truly feel like a place that SLSA members can call home. Indeed in fact, members can Set Home to the sim if they have nowhere else to do that! Within the SLSA Group a Role has been created called SLSA Sim Support. Members that are placed in to that role will be able to build permanent structures, as well as to return non-permanent builds. Members are welcome to ask the board to volunteer in that role, we should have plenty of time zone coverage and anyone that sees a problem can look up the role in the group profile to see who they can call for help at any time. Also pertinent to this question, the Solace Estates is part of the Linden Labs Atlas program meaning that sims in the estate receive priority concierge and performance resolution; this is yet another benefit of moving to this estate.

SW:   There was a great deal of talk about how the traffic from a club on James Isle affected sim performance on Archi. How will this be different having two bordering sims, San Diego City to the North side and Solace Beach to the East side an one of these having an events center that will have well, events? And with open water to the both the West border and South border, does the SLSA know if the Estate owners plan on adding sims?

SLSA Board:  There are a couple of things to keep in mind on this point, first of all our sim was and remains a HomeStead level sim. This means that the sim is limited by Linden Labs to 20 Avatars, and this means that it is necessary to have a neighboring Full performance sim in order to be able to conduct competitions on the sim.
The Club on James Island which negatively impacted lag on Archipelago was a private club that was occupied pretty much around the clock. The events center on Solace Beach is managed by the Solace Estate and holds one to 2 hour music concerts every 2 or 3 days only. Any event that the SLSA runs on our Sim can be coordinated with the Solace estate manager so that there is no clash with neighboring events.
As we needed to be placed next to a full sim, we asked for our sim to be placed next to the event center and the coastal themed San Diego. In general sims are not placed next to each other in the Solace Estate and we would expect no further sim placed next to our sim.

SW:  Will surfers be competing with boats on the new sim since it is encouraged on the San Diego City North side sim with boat docks?

SLSA Board:  Sailing is a beautiful sport but there is simply no place for it at the SLSA sim due to the presence of waves that are physical objects. In addition, San Diego sim boaters are not used to having a water sim where our sim is, and we can control object entry if necessary.

SW:   While the sim was located at Archi, it was rarely utilized. How will this change with the move to Solace Estates?

SLSA Board:  Since the SLSA will have total control over the land at the sim, our members will be able to rezz at the sim. We want them to feel at home everytime they visit the sim. They will be allowed to set the sim as their home location, too.
In addition, the SLSA sim is slowly becoming a necessity especially for competitions when the surfing world is facing more and more sim departures. Recently, Bundoran Reef, now Crab, PrimWorks (aka Surf Camp) next. Soon there will be no sims left for the SLSA to have its activities on. Without them the community has no chance to grow and stay active. So we want members to really embrace Solace Dreams, come and make yourselves at home!

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