SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Busy, busy, busy!

The domain is registered, the hosting is purchased, the blog is up and running (and I’m looking at all my past posts here and wincing, because they all need to be cross-posted over there) and I’m plotting website design. I won’t be giving out the URL until the site is done, and even when I am done, I still intend to cross-post both here and on the site blog until such time as Linden Research Inc., tell me to stop using this blog because it features the letters ‘SL’ in the URL.

In the meantime, I’m working on some dollarbie skins posts, so keep an eye skinned (*groan*) for those…

April 9, 2008 Posted by | legalese, mar's ponderings, second life, website | | Leave a comment

Ponderings

So, while Second Life is down and we’re all getting twitchy as we stare blankly out of the window and wonder what that big yellow ball in the sky is (and while I glare menacingly at WordPress’s new and not-very-nice layout) I’ve been thinking.

Yeah, yeah. I know. You could hear the squeaking and grinding of cogs alllll the way from over there, right?

Well I’ve been considering getting hosting for SL for Nowt, turning it into a website (with a self-hosted WordPress blog) and making it a newbie-friendly place. The blog would concentrate, as it does now, on freebies, cheapies, and Mar’s general musings and odd screenshots, but the site would be a complete off-world (note the Blade Runner reference there *g*) beginner’s guide. I know there are plenty of other beginner’s guides out there, too, but just as there are probably a few hundred newbie kits – all of them different – so there can be a few hundred beginner’s guides – all with their explanations and tutorials worded differently.

My problem is this: what to call it? SL for Nowt is a snappy name, and I love it. But in the light of Linden Research, Inc.’s recent trademark policy, it’s a name that I should not be using any more. But I can’t think of anything else that has the same meaning and snappiness put together, and that will work well as a web address, too.

I thought about maybe using the blog’s byline – Living a digital life with empty pockets – but not only is that (and all possible conjunctions of it) way too long, but turning it into a URL would result in two sets of double letters, viz. digitallifeemptypockets.com – which just looks way too weird.

I thought about other digital meanings of ‘SL’ so I could perhaps keep the name, but nothing came up. I even pondered variations on ‘digital’ and ‘virtual’ but the closest I could come was virtuality4nowt.com which, though it looks better, just… doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi. It also (and I wonder if Linden Research, Inc. even thought of this when they came up with the trademark thing) doesn’t advertise that it will help newbies to the Second Life world: only that it’s something about virtual worlds that cost nothing. Or… something.

Edit: OK, I thought about inworldonthecheap.com, since it’s rare for me to refer to Second Life by name after the trademark change, which you may or may not have noticed. I tend to try and keep my references vague, and usually employ the expression ‘in-world’ instead of a direct name. There’s also virtualityonthecheap.com, but again that’s going back to the vagueness of what ‘virtuality’ could mean. To me, it speaks of anything cheap you might find online, and doesn’t focus on living in a digital world, such as Second Life is. And neither of those names focus on the newbie thing. *sigh*

So I’m opening this up. I know most of my readers happen across me at random, usually via tag-surfing, but nonetheless there should be a few of you reading this. I would love to hear your suggestions: for a site name that’s snappy and keeps to the ethos of the blog (and refers to being newbie-friendly, if at all possible), works well as a (preferably memorable!) URL, and encompasses the whole freebie/cheapie ideal.

April 5, 2008 Posted by | legalese, mar's ponderings, second life, trademarks | | Leave a comment

Trademarks

I have no idea what will become of this blog, especially considering its name, in the light of Linden Lab’s blog post: Introducing The Second Life Brand Center.

I don’t know if I can (or should) change the blog name to SL® for Nowt, or what. And although I can change the displayed name, I can’t change the URL. And ‘for Nowt’ certainly doesn’t fall under the “two generic nouns” required before ‘SL’ can be incorporated into a domain name. The reference guidelines state the following:

Follow these guidelines when referring to a Linden Lab word mark or brand name:

  1. Notice Symbol. In the United States, always use a trademark notice symbol for your first or most prominent reference to a Linden Lab brand name. Use the symbol ® for our brand names that are registered trademarks and ™ for those that are unregistered. This chart shows Linden Lab’s trademarks and the proper symbol for each in the United States. Outside the United States, do not use trademark notice symbols like ® and ™, but do use the statement of trademark notice provided in Paragraph 2 below.
  2. Attribution Notice. In the United States and elsewhere, always use a legible and reasonably prominent trademark attribution notice in the following format: “__________ and __________ are trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.”
  3. Generic Nouns. Always follow a Linden Lab brand name with an appropriate generic noun for at least your first reference to the brand name. A “generic noun” is a common noun and not a proper noun, trademark, or brand name. Here are some accepted generic nouns for our brand names. This list is not exhaustive, and other generic nouns may be appropriate. After the first reference, use an appropriate generic noun after the Linden Lab brand name as often as possible. Never use the brand name as a generic noun or verb, and never use it in the plural or possessive form.

I do not live in the US, hence this would suggest that I am not required by law to use the registered trademark logos for any of my blog posts referring to Second Life. However, the servers hosting this blog most likely do reside in the US, and usually when it comes to copyright law on the internet, it’s server location that takes precedent over user location.

Edited to add: Nice remark in the comments of that post (#126, by Neural) and aimed at Philip Linden himself: The difference between how to “run” a company and how to “ruin” a company is “I”.

In the light of those guidelines, I have placed the following disclaimer on the ‘About’ page of this blog:

SL for Nowt is an entirely unofficial blogsite, and is not endorsed by Linden Research, Inc. Second Life, SL, Linden Lab, LL, SLurl, Linden dollars, and L$ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | legalese, second life, trademarks | | 2 Comments