Saturday, December 3, 2011

SLSA Announces December 1st Election Results

The SLSA Election Committee announced the results of the December 1st election to replace the seats being vacated by Maldrul Morris, GiavannaMarie Melody, and Imzadi Amaterasu as their six month terms have come to an end.  Maldrul Morries, GiavannnaMarie Melody, Sally LaSalle, Yari Ziplon, and Abel Halderman put forth their bids to run for the three seats.

Thirty-six eligible voters made their voices heard. Incoming SLSA Board of Director members are Maldrul Morris, Sally LaSalle, and Abel Halderman.

Congratulations to the incoming Board members and thank you to all who ran.

Events!


SATURDAY



Ice Skating Party !!!
7:00 - 9:00pm SL time
Saturday, December 3rd
SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Tuvan/88/160/2

DJ Dan will be streaming his SLs Mix - FG Radio show from Laval Art and Photography Gallery during our Ice Skating Party. Join us for the fun and music!! Skate, stroll through the winter landscape or visit the gallery.
 Free skates available, or bring your own.

SUNDAY


Miracle Mini Comp
3:30 -6:00pm SL time
Sunday, December 4th
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Artanis/147/113/21

Shangri-La Beach Resort Lagoon. All boards, huds, anything goes. 1 rider at a time, 3 waves. NO Judges, peoples choice! FUN! Invite your friends, stuff the ballot box. FUN!  Prizes include lindens, trophies and a free week at one of the houses at Shangri-La !

**Have an event?  Surf related or not, let us know so we can help get the word out to the community. Contact Lissa Pinion (Sands) in-world via notecard or at lissapinion@gmail.com**

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vote! SLSA Board of Directors Election Today

The SLSA is holding an election today to fill three seats on the Board of Directors. The six month terms for  Maldrul Morris, GiavannaMarie Melody, and Imzadi Amaterasu end today as three of the elected candidates take office in their place.

Yari Ziplon, Abel Halderman, Sally LaSalle, GiavannaMarie Melody, and Maldrul Morris are each vying for the highly contested seats.  Voting begins at midnight December 1st and runs for 24 hours. Only those on the vote list will be eligible to vote.  Voting is held in the SLSA Hall of Fame http://slurl.com/secondlife/Archipelago/222/146/22

SLSA Director Candidates Interviews Part 4


SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help voters get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All five candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received four interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Voting opens on December 1st. Stay tuned for more details!


Candidate Name: Yari Ziplon

SW:  You are currently ranked  #240 or some such for last season's SLSA surf rankings and you've been SL surfing for LESS than 2 years.  We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term.  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?  

YZ:  Um skills? I am pretty good at engine repair. I have no people skills so I dont listen to bullshit lol other then that I have no clue... I was asked to run so I figured what the hell

SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?

YZ:  The organisation needs a whole new outlook on PR and marketing. Both where venues are concerned and where people and the sport is concerned. I think we as an organisation could benefit from being more
active in our marketing. plus plus plus lol

SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director? 

YZ:   My first priority would be to make SLSA fun for everyone. The greatest challenge is getting people who want to make a difference. You see it everywhere. Everyone wants to have fun, not everyone are willing to do the work. I think the people who have held this position in the past and who run for it in the future are worthy of our respect and our admiration. but people rarely appreciate it. RL I volunteered to help build an indoor arena for the local sports team so that kids can have fun. the cost of that arena was less then 10% of the value of the product because everyone pitched in and worked for their children, their siblings etc. Why do you not see much of that anymore?

SW:  Why are you the best candidate for this job?

YZ:  Honestly, I'm not and here is why: I travel up to 200 days a year and am incommunicado (thats down the road and to the right of incognito) a lot of the time

SW:  What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season?  What were you most dissatisfied with?

YZ: I was very sattisfied with the competitions not so satisfied with the turnout lately

SW:  Anything else you would like voters to know about you?


YZ: I'm a panda, I like bamboo and I surf and I love my wifey... um other then that not much

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2011 and possible issues moving into Season 2 (listed below):


1.  Were you concerned with  the low number of competitors signed up for the recent Open comps and what do you foresee for the future of the two-round, two-weekend SLSA competition format?  If you are in favor of keeping the two round format, what are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in compititions? 

YZ;  The low signup concerns me, yes. However changing the setup can be a double edged enema. You can end up losing the people who want to compete for fear of the PROs skill level  at the same time I think it a prudent idea to look at the current realities.

2.  With the continuing decline of full surf sims with supporting neighbor sims for specators, and with more and more surf sims set up on Homesteads, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions?

YZ:  Good question Alex 0_o to be honest my view on this is very simple. We can support each other up and down but at the end of the day asking people to pay a signup fee would make us loose competitors but that might be an alternative to some. I hope that never happens and I will do my best to find better solutions to that

3.  The SLSA put into place a stipulation that a rider could miss one comp each season and not have it count against their rank in order to allow more people to volunteer to work comps. Most riders who use it are not using it to voluneteer but to do things in rl.  Should this stipulation go back to being for volunteers only or should all riders be able to use this?

YZ:  Volunteers should have some privelages I think this should be one privelage for volunteers. At the same time, RL must come first. And if you have things come up RL I think that could be worked out in a way that is to everyones benefit

4. With all the recent tier shortage notices, do you feel it is necessary for the SLSA to keep a home sim. Why or why not?

YZ: Yes, but I think it important to be sure where and how. A home sim is vital to SLSA due to the fact that it is an assembly point for people who are curious for SLSA to train volunteers and a place where we can arrange events to attract more people.

5. There has been some discussion on allowing other board types and wave types other than SSi.  What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?

YZ:  I think the competitions should be about who is better not who has the best scripts. That should be a good answer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SLSA Director Candidates Interviews Part 3



SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help voters get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All five candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received four interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Voting opens on December 1st. Stay tuned for more details!


Candidate Name:  Abel Halderman

SW:  You are currently ranked  #19 for last season's SLSA surf rankings and you've been SL surfing for nearly 4 years.  We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term.  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?

AH: This job is mostly about hard work, it is about committing your time for the benefit of the members.  It’s always given me a great satisfaction to participate in organizing things in the SLSA and seeing them actually happen… even better - seeing other people enjoying them, too. I have a passion for this job and I’m excited about the opportunity to run for the office on the SLSA Board.

I believe that my previous experience as a director, surfer, surfing coach, head judge or event coordinator, along with my experience with RL large projects, can be a valuable asset to the SLSA. I take this experience as an important lesson about my own abilities and limits, but also about how things should or shouldn’t be done.  It makes me pretty certain about what to expect of the job, what kind of tasks I may be assigned to, what kind of issues or problems the SLSA may be facing, and that communication, transparency and being open-minded is the key to success for our organization.


SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?
The SLSA has always been a people’s organization and I’m happy that we’re still discussing possible directions the SLSA should head in. There is plenty of good ideas on the SLSA forum, and I believe we should keep implementing some of them. 

AH: Of course one of the “hottest” issues to me is a low number of registrations for competitions.  Another thing is something mentioned many times: low number of volunteers to work the competitions. It often happens that the same people judge or marshall almost all season. I don’t believe that it’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s a communication issue only and I’ve noticed an improvement in that area, but on the other hand maybe it also requires some changes in our regulations, too.


SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?


AH:  The main issues for SL surfing is surf sims being declined. There is literally only a few sims the SLSA can have its competitions at, and that is how the problem touches the organization. Of course it is not a good thing for another reason as well: shortage of surf sims = less people interested in surfing in general.
If I am elected, I will start my term basically after most of the preparations for the last season competition are over. Therefore my priority would be to discuss and implement solutions to make the next season a success, and one thing in particular: have more surfers in it! There is plenty of great ideas on the SLSA forum and on the members’ minds, and I believe a lot of people willing to help with the task. Some people would say: “surfing doesn’t need promotion”. I’d say: yes, it does.. in a manner of “hey, there is something like surfing here, and we have competitions, come over and have fun”.
There is also another priority for the Board to focus on before the next season starts: should we use different manufacturers’ surfboards in our comps? Maybe it’s time for the SLSA to open its comps to different and new surfboards. There is a lot going for that solution and there are some “but’s”, too. All worth discussing, but I believe in this matter we should hear more from a larger number of people, which would suggest that an SLSA survey should be organized, much like the one SurfWatch had, maybe a little more detailed, too.
I would also like to organize another Town Hall Meeting, like the one a year ago, which was a great opportunity for the directors and the members to meet live and discuss the most current and important matters in the SLSA.

SW:  Why are you the best candidate for this job?


AH:  The SLSA is about fun. That’s for sure. I think a director should be a person having even more fun than others when preparing competitions and events  Someone once said: “Do what you love doing, and you will be successful”. So I hope me doing what I enjoy doing would help the SLSA and its members. Besides, I believe I have the experience, skills and attitude to be an effective director.

SW:  What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season?  What were you most dissatisfied with? 


AH:  I’ve seen a lot of new faces recently. I also noticed they are doing very well in comps.  And they are excited about being a part of this group, too. I’m glad that the SLSA is open-minded to new solutions and ideas. And then, like I mentioned before, I’m not very happy about the number or registrations for our competitions. After all there is over 900 people in the SLSA group and only 20-30 surf in our comps.

SW:  Anything else you would like voters to know about you?


AH:  I love burritos ;-)

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2011 and possible issues moving into Season 2 (listed below):
1.    Were you concerned with  the low number of competitors signed up for the recent Open comps and what do you foresee for the future of the two-round, two-weekend SLSA competition format?  If you are in favor of keeping the two round format, what are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in competitions?

AH:  I am concerned with that. Recent cancellations of the Open events was the only thing the directors could have done though. One of the main reasons for the introduction of the two-round format was to make competition shorter, so the judges, marshals and other officers wouldn’t have to work non-stop for 10-12 hours and surfers wouldn't have to sit around waiting forever, too, other than to let more people surf in SLSA comps (reminder: before it was introduced the limit of riders in each season competition was 40).
The two-round, or rather two-competition format has its good sides: it lets the less experienced surfers to surf in another competition and get ready for a challenge of facing the “old timers” in the Pro one. It is also not very hard to find staff for those comps, since a lot of trained judges and marshalls are not surfing in the Open. Even  though there is no harm in having those comps, they are a bit of a waste of time for the staff since the surfers could automatically be qualified for the Pro competition and the number of the Pro comp surfers would still be 30. Bottom line is that as long as the numbers are low, I’d suggest to have the Open comps cancelled with a notice regarding that sent to the riders ahead of time.

2.    With the continuing decline of full surf sims with supporting neighbor sims for specators, and with more and more surf sims set up on Homesteads, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions?

AH:  First thing we could do is to make title sponsorship free for our competition hosts. Having to pay for at least two sims (including at least one full sim) is a big challenge for them, and then the SLSA makes them pay another $7500L if they want to be promoted. Skip that, and the SLSA budget will lose $37.500L a season, which is not that much for the SLSA. We could also improve our sponsors promotion within the SLSA, or even come up with a project, something like “Save Our Sims” a few years ago, but focused on raising funds for surf sims.

3.    The SLSA put into place a stipulation that a rider could miss one comp each season and not have it count against their rank in order to allow more people to volunteer to work comps. Most riders who use it are not using it to voluneteer but to do things in rl.  Should this stipulation go back to being for volunteers only or should all riders be able to use this?


AH:  Every rider uses the system. Every rider’s worst competition points are skipped when calculating the overall rankings, including the comps they didn’t surf in and got the DNC or DNS points. The system was put in place to let people volunteer. Yet, I see that those who volunteer would most probably did it even without the system. And they lose as much as they would lose if the system was not in place since other surfers use it just to remove their worst result. I am not happy with that at all. On the other hand it is about surfing skills, so rewarding only those that judge with points that are supposed to be given for surfing skills is not a good solution, either. I don’t believe there is a perfect solution for that problem other than perhaps some kind of a regulation that would make surfers volunteer. Of course that wouldn’t be 100% fair, either, since not everybody can judge in a season due to limited opportunities to do it.

4.    With all the recent tier shortage notices, do you feel it is necessary for the SLSA to keep a home sim. Why or why not?


AH:  I believe that if some miracle doesn’t happen soon, we should let the sim go. Seriously, guys. Last time I went there the traffic was 191. The SLSA has been struggling to keep it for a while now, and we keep asking people to donate, but then what… still not much has been happening there for a long time. It’s nobody’s fault really, but for sure all of the activities that we had there could happen somewhere else… with an additional benefit of promoting other struggling surf sims by having our events there. I know there is a Hall of Fame building at Archi and it is an important part of the SLSA tradition. But couldn’t we have it somewhere else? Most probably a lot cheaper or for free? It’s a nice building, a very clever design from Syx Toshi, approved by the SLSA members in a contest a while back. I’m sure a lot of sim owners would like to have it on their land.


5.    There has been some discussion on allowing other board types and wave types other than SSi.  What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?


AH:  I believe that maybe it’s time to do so. SSi boards will always be my favorite, but I also think that we need some new stuff allowed in competitions. I don’t think we should have multiple manufacturers  boards in one competition as the judging would become nearly impossible then, since it is not only about the style to many judges, but also difficulty. And some difficult moves and sets of moves are easier to do with some boards than with others. I think introducing new boards would also help with numbers of registrations for our competition. Like I said before, I think that we need a detailed survey on that for the SLSA members to express their opinions.

Monday, November 28, 2011

SLSA Director Candidates Interviews Part 2


SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help voters get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All five candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received four interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Voting opens on December 1st. Stay tuned for more details!


Candidate Name: Sally LaSalle

SW:  You are currently ranked #20 for SLSA surf rankings and you've been SL surfing for more than 4 years.  We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term.  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?  


SL:  I love SL surfing its fun and I have been involved in it ever since surf-able waves were invented back in 2007. I have been a director 3 times in the past, and in my first term helped to oversee the recovery of the SLSA from a deep crisis into its most successful period ever. I have great organizational skills, I keep my word, I follow through on actions, and I have 5 years of SL skills related to building, scripting, animation, clothing and video.I created and own the surf sims Chi and Tai, the most long lived surf sim in SL.

SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?


SL:  As an Organization I would love to see participation recover to its former peaks and beyond.  SL Surfing is an enjoyable way to spend time, and make life long friends and relationships, and I'd like to see as many people as possible have that opportunity.  I think that SL surfing has been effected by the general down turn in the SL economy and so needs a way to mitigate those effects and rebuild.

SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?


SL:  To me the top issue facing SL Surfing in general, is the financial viability of sims dedicated to surfing.  More successful surf sims, means more places for people to surf and to learn about surfing, and the spread of the sport by word of mouth and stability of the venues. More participation is the key to addressing all of the issues the SLSA faces. More participation means a larger pool of people to get event volunteers from, it means a large pool of resources to help support our sim and attract sponsors, and it means a larger pool of people to help our surf sims remain viable. I also believe that people would like to see some innovation, some new types of surfing, some new types of competition and participation to keep it fun and challenging, but also to allow new people to get a sense of achievement early on.

SW:  Why are you the best candidate for this job?


SL:  Each of the candudates is from a diffferent surf team background and I think this is a wonderful sign of strength in the organisation, any of the candidates would be great directors.  Personally, I have a strong track record in getting things organised and seeing things through into implementation within the SLSA, and helping to ensure all directors are consulted on major decisions.  I have a long record of continuity in the surf scene, so I bring knowledge of the past as well as a vision for the future.  Directors, while naturally needing to be in touch with members, also need to be able to make and support decisions, they also need to be able to change things that are found to not be working.

SW:  What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season?  What were you most dissatisfied with?

SL:  The best part was to see good friends and to go out and enjoy surfing with them.  I was a little disappointed that participation has been falling off, and that we have been losing more surf sims to financial pressures.

SW:  Anything else you would like voters to know about you?


SL:  I have always been a strong sponsor of the sport, but I have personally never made any money from it so I'm not into it for financial reasons. I have my own views about things, I'm not afraid to support my views, but I am certainly open to be persuaded by a good idea and supporting argument from others.  One thing you can be certain of, is that if I am elected, i will be putting in the hours to help my fellow directors collectively achieve the best outcomes possible for all our members.

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2011 and possible issues moving into Season 2 (listed below):


1.  Were you concerned with  the low number of competitors signed up for the recent Open comps and what do you foresee for the future of the two-round, two-weekend SLSA competition format?  If you are in favor of keeping the two round format, what are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in competitions? 


SL:  In essence the mission of the SLSA the reason it exists, is to spread the word to as many people about SL Surfing and to get as many people surfing and enjoying the sport as possible.  So any decline in participation is I believe a sign that we aren't really living up to our mission.  The two round event format was introduced back when participation was so great, that either people were missing out on the opportunity to compete, or surf comps would take so long to finish that it was a drain on the officials and the competitors.  When the two round system was introduced, limits were also set on how many surfers would be needed to justify two rounds, again based on limiting the comp to a reasonable amount of time for officials and participants especially in time zones outside the USA.  If participation was to increase again, then I would insist in a format that limited the time needed to hold an event. The time span of a single event is the crux of the issue, so the solution is either, to split the event up over multiple dates or, to find a way to cut down the time of a single day event.
I think that the best way to get more participation, is the friendly welcome of new surfers into the group and that the group is positive about itself and what we do. One rule of every successful business is to make a product of service that is easier to buy, or easier to use.  We need to find ways to achieve that simplification.
From a practical point of view, we also need to ensure that members are getting event notifications, in addition to in world group notices, I would advocate the purchase and operation of a subscriber service to ensure we are gettign as much communication with members as possible.

2.  With the continuing decline of full surf sims with supporting neighbor sims for spectators, and with more and more surf sims set up on Homesteads, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions?


SL:  This is a two pronged issue, I think that we as a group need to be a strong lobby to surf product vendors to increase the return on sales to sim owners. We could also investigate the sale of SLSA developed products and services through sims, where a large portion of the sale goes to the sim owners.  This benefit should only be avaialble to sims that provided a surf venue, and not to non-surf sims.  We currently spend US$100 per month to maintain an SLSA member owned sim.  We need to look at that very carefully, personally I feels its important for the future health of the SLSA to have a Hub where people can go to find out about all the other surf locations available and to learn about surfing and surf officiating.  Its also important in supporting our bid with the Lindens to have the Lindens provide us with protected surf sims around the grid. In the short term however, that $100 a month may be better used in hiring a spectator sim for two days next to a HS surf sim, with the re-acquisition of the SLSA sim based on a financial and participative minimum threshold.

3.  The SLSA put into place a stipulation that a rider could miss one comp each season and not have it count against their rank in order to allow more people to volunteer to work comps. Most riders who use it are not using it to volunteer but to do things in rl.  Should this stipulation go back to being for volunteers only or should all riders be able to use this?


SL:  I think that a modification  of this rule is in order given how difficult it is to get experienced judges to volunteer for Pro events.  I think that everyone should still get the chance to discard one event due to conflicts with RL commitments, but that Volunteers for Event Official positions should be given a "bonus" in the form of not a "Did Not Compete", but in the form of a "Volunteer Average" score.  So for instance, in the current system, if a surfer got 2, 3, 2, 5, DNC, there score for the season would be 12 (discarding the DNC which is recorded even if the volunteer). In my proposal in stead of the DNC a volunteer would get a 3 which is their average placing for the events they surfed in. So their scores would now be 2, 3, 2, 5, 3* and their score for the season would be 10 (discarding their now worst 5th).  Giving them an average score for their discard would give them the opportunity to discard another worst score as if they had actually surfed every event.

4. With all the recent tier shortage notices, do you feel it is necessary for the SLSA to keep a home sim. Why or why not?


SL:  I would like to see the retention of the SLSA sim,  but one of the problems with the current SLSA sim, is that it doesn't feel like an SLSA member benefit.  If I am a member of the SLSA, then having that sim should provide value to me.  As a general member I should be proud of it and feel like I as a member, am a part owner of it.  One of the ways to do that, is to open up general prim rezzing to SLSA members only, so that members can come along and rez a board to show their friends, maybe work on tweaking it, or they should be able to rez a cuddle pose for their sweety, and spend some time there really feeling like its a place they are privileged to use and that they can bring a friend to.  I think this change would help get more participation from more members when it comes to funding tier.  If we got 250L a month from just 100 of our 800 members there would be no tier issue at all.
From a practical persepctive, I have advocated and gotten approval form the directors to put Adboards on Archipelago to assist with regular income for the sim.  I will ensure that this gets implmented immediately, and that of course,  the sim is appropriately monitored and managed from a scritp lag point of view.

5. There has been some discussion on allowing other board types and wave types other than SSi.  What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?


SL: Well we have certainly already allowed wave types other than Surf Systems Inc (SSi), with both HP and LSD waves now having been used in official comps.
The question of board types is a different one.  The surfboard scripts from the different makers responds differently to keyboard input.  So surfing boards from different script makers, you have to (re)learn to surf each one.  I think though, that there has been little innovation from some script  makers lately, while new makers have been working hard to explore the new physics of mesh and to redefine the surfing experience.  I think that the SLSA again needs to embrace that diversity and innovation and competititon in some way.  If we don't then we face the possibility of becoming irrelevant and of stagnating as an organisation and as a sport.  I think that we should consider some events using different board types, I think that we should also consider some events using a board rezzer so that all boards perform the same and only the skill of the surfers is being compared.  I think at this stage I would not recommend mixed board script type events as it would be difficult to compare certainly in the tricks area as the board makers scripts have different capabilities.   Embracing new board types is also another way to tap in to a new stream of members, and to also give surf sims some options for different income streams.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SLSA Director Candidates Interviews Part 1


SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help voters get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All five candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received four interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Voting opens on December 1st. Stay tuned for more details!




Candidate Name: Maldrul Morris

SW:  You are currently ranked  #1 for last season's SLSA surf rankings and you've been SL surfing for more than 2 years.  We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term.  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?  

MM: I work as a computer consultant and have been administrating the SLSA website and forum as communications officer and Director. I have also been keeping scores and calculating and posting individual and team ranking for the 2011 Season 2. I am a fair and honest elf with a good work ethic. I am running for director because I wish to continue helping to keep the SLSA organized and efficient.

SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?

MM: Further refinement of the surf event process to accommodate various levels of interest (ie single event vs Open and Pro based on number of registered competitiors). Training, not only for event staff such as judge or marshall, but also for the various officer duties such as SIM manager or HR.

SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?

MM: A recurring sentiment I have been hearing since I was elected is that the SLSA isn't fun anymore. I would say the top priority for all of the directors should be to make sure everyone is having fun.

SW:  Why are you the best candidate for this job?

MM: I am the best candidate because I am thorough, intelligent and hard working. I will take the position of Director of the SLSA seriously and always consider the surfers when performing my duties.

SW:  What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season?  What were you most dissatisfied with?

MM: I was most satisfied with the hard work of the event staff last season. I was most dissatisfied with lag.

SW:  Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

MM: I still make great cookies! :>

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2011 and possible issues moving into Season 2 (listed below):


1.  Were you concerned with  the low number of competitors signed up for the recent Open comps and what do you foresee for the future of the two-round, two-weekend SLSA competition format?  If you are in favor of keeping the two round format, what are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in compititions?

MM: The two round format has been useful in the past when event registration swelled to allow more surfers to compete. It can still be useful in the future when interest again waxes and we see larger numbers of competitors. Further refinement of the process for determining if 2 events are needed will help to increase the fun factor for surfers and spectators by limiting the duration of any single event.

2.  With the continuing decline of full surf sims with supporting neighbor sims for specators, and with more and more surf sims set up on Homesteads, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions?

MM: Make certain that tip jars for the sim are prominent and pointed out by the event DJ and coordinator during a competition. Negotiate with venue providers to remove or reduce lag inducing scripts and objects prior to a competition.

3.  The SLSA put into place a stipulation that a rider could miss one comp each season and not have it count against their rank in order to allow more people to volunteer to work comps. Most riders who use it are not using it to voluneteer but to do things in rl.  Should this stipulation go back to being for volunteers only or should all riders be able to use this?

MM: The stipulation was specifically to allow more surfers to be able to act as judges since it is possible to compete while serving as either marshall, event coordinator or security. As I have said before, SecondLife is called that because that is what it is: a second life. Real life has a way of interjecting itself frequently into all of our enjoyment of the game. The dropping of the worst competition score (or NS score) has helped otherwise great surfers obtain rankings more in line with their talent and less with their ability to attend. Also, the term 'volunteer' is a bit of a misnomer. Event staff are paid for their service.

4. With all the recent tier shortage notices, do you feel it is necessary for the SLSA to keep a home sim. Why or why not?

MM: Necessary? Nothing about this game is 'necessary', but I do think that having a home sim for the SLSA is a good idea. The resource has been underutilized but I see that turning around.

5. There has been some discussion on allowing other board types and wave types other than SSi.  What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?

MM: In the interest of fairness, any new waves or boards would have to interact in the same manner as the currently accepted waves and boards. That will require an agreed upon set of parameters and specifications which would have to be met before the new boards or waves would be sanctioned for SLSA events.