Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Every once in awhile an idea comes along at a perfect point of time in a perfect place.  For me, SurfWatch was that idea.  Here was Barchan Paderborn, the original founding editor of SurfWatch, in the virtual world of Second Life (SL), watching the start of something new - virtual surfing - along with the competitions, the organizations, the personalities, the venues, the retailers, the rivalries.  He had the foresight and vision to cover the sport like a real life event, with real time event scores, interviews, backgrounds.  No one else came close to his idea or having his professionalism in implementing his idea.

When Barchan handed the reins to me, my idea was to expand SurfWatch to a variety magazine format to reach a broader niche.  We expanded into all areas of media - in-world magazine, video, marketing - as well as the broader area of beach lifestyle and surfing in all virtual worlds.  It was fun on top of fun.  We never let fear of disapproval or unpopularity determine what topics we would cover.  Even through the criticisms, intimidations, attacks, power plays, rivals, threats and difficult times, SurfWatch tried always to maintain a level of integrity that readers could trust, and we are very proud of our record.

When I announced to the SurfWatch Staff group back in August that SurfWatch would be shutting down operations in September, I expected a rash of immediate departures.  Instead, the SurfWatch Staff continued to submit to and support SurfWatch into its final day.  I'd like to acknowledge and deeply thank the Second Life SurfWatch Staff group for their unpaid efforts, enthusiasm and support of SurfWatch.  These are members of the virtual surfing community that work behind the scenes to keep surfing strong, never for their own self promotion, usually on multiple projects, and have a strong history with the surfing community:

Cierra Theriac - A long history with SL surfing as one of the founding members of the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA). Cie volunteered to be the link to keep readers up to date on SLSA news such as elections and, most importantly, provide the competition heat draws and competition results as soon as they became available.

Kantbe Thursday - Always juggling multiple SurfWatch submissions with the highest quality of writing and coming from a background with the SLSA, wearing many hats and working tirelessly behind the scenes, Kant brought a variety of topics to SurfWatch including Kantbe Serious columns.  She maintains the most comprehensive virtual wave report, constantly updating to keep the information current, for wave locations and wave types in all virtual worlds

Lissa Pinion Sands -  Coming from a background of beginning the Vibrations Surf Alliance (VSA) and working many seasons as Head Judge for the SLSA, Lis took the reins as editor in 2011/12 while I was away to keep SurfWatch going for the benefit of the surfing community.  She spent countless hours researching topics, managing and writing postings, and staying connected to the entire surfing community for the benefit of SurfWatch readers.

Maxwell Silvansky - Never one for self promotion or self aggrandizement, Max spent years behind the scenes teaching and encouraging new surfers, mentoring experienced surfers, and keeping a positive vibe in the community.  Always original and entertaining, Jimbo the Cart Boy could be counted on to come up with the most original, inclusive, hilarious variety of posts, including all of Bandit's many surfing adventures.

Zelda Zimberman - The newest member to join the SurfWatch staff group, Zelda's enthusiasm for all things virtual surf comes through the moment you speak with her.  Zelda put together her 20 Questions:  Surf Perspective series to share individual points of view on virtual surfing and the SLSA which I believe also served to show how much we all share the same love of virtual surfing.

Special acknowledgement goes to the members of the SurfWatch Honor Roll whose work with SurfWatch made it the unique project that it couldn't have been without them:

Barchan Paderborn - Founding Editor

Ashleigh Dickins - In-World Edition Editor, one of the most creative and persevering talents behind the scenes in the virtual surfing community.

Colleen Brennan - Special Correspondent bringing SurfWatch readers a true feeling of inclusiveness in the surfing community.

Rhett McMahn - Special Correspondent fearlessly tackling the most controversial and challenging topics.

Many others contributed to SurfWatch either as staff, sponsors, special contributors or correspondents through the years, and I'd like to thank you for bringing your uniqueness to the pages of SurfWatch.

Most of all, my heartfelt thank you to the many readers of SurfWatch through the years - those who took the time to comment, those who submitted photos, videos and information, and those who checked in regularly.  You are the reason we have continued as long as we have, you are who we have been reaching out to in the pages, and you are who we will miss the most.

It has been my great pleasure to have worked on SurfWatch these past years, and I thank you,

Tauri Tigerpaw


m said...

Thanks to all who made SW happen. Aloha

Kantbe Thursday said...

Can't help but tear up with this post. Even before I became involved with SurfWatch, I considered Tauri a friend and my SL "moral compass" during some of the most drama filled periods I've experienced. It has been a great honor and privilege to be able to contribute in some small way to both the in world and blog versions of SurfWatch. Surfwatch has introduced me to so many wonderful people in SL some great experiences working with Tauri and Lissa. SurfWatch has become a part of my SL and will be greatly missed.

[Dusting off my SurfWatch Reporter tag and putting it up on the mantle]

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how to thank you all enough. It was a dily ritual for me, checking SurfWatch after my morning emails. It will be greatly missed.

Cheers to happy memories and new horizons.


Syx Toshi said...

Thanks to all the hard working people behind Surfwatch. even when I couldn't log on I would read The Surfwatch blogg.

Cheers to all of you!