Musings - In the Meantime
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A regular column by Hyper Anthony concerning current events. This edition is concerning the void of activity left by users on hiatus.


In days long past when I was building something of an empire in AWTeen, I became involved in world leadership and I noticed something peculiar. As other leaders -- caretakers -- got older and progressed into college, they got very busy. They fell off the map. For a long time, I didn't understand why -- until I got there myself. Being in the second year of a rigorous architecture program, along with my other obligations, I find myself scrapping for time to pop into AW and check on my projects. The shortage of time leads to my work going idle for long periods of time -- even this column that I had intended to write weekly became too much to pencil in.

Similarly, other users share the same time burden. One such example led to a bit of a mess in the Active Worlds Forums almost a month ago, as the ImaBot team came under fire for not having updated the AlphaMapper on-schedule. RoadKill, the primary developer, had been unavailable to work on the project for many months and the project moved to Ima Genius and Byte, who were unfamiliar with the systems used in the project. Unfortunately for the project, both of these users also have outstanding obligations outside of Active Worlds that strain their time to work on the Mapper. Ultimately, these circumstances have made for slow-going in getting the map updated.

Situations such as these create challenges for users who are active daily within the Universe, even moreso when the users who have to take leave are important content developers. Where does that leave the remainder of the community without them? In the meantime, what does the community do without them? To answer this, I would make several recommendations -- the first of which is to be flexible. Having an important project stalling can be frustrating, but it isn't crippling. In regards to the AlphaMapper, there are other ways to produce maps in Alphaworld. With some short training, any citizen can use Andras' Mapview utility to get a good look at their project. The quality of the map isn't quite as good as the AlphaMapper, but it is much better than being completely dependent on a third party.

My second suggestion would be to step up if you can help someone who can't be around all the time. This might not apply in every situation, but if you have a friend who's project is struggling because they have to be away from the Universe, offer to help. In my experience this happens less with advanced or built projects and more with cities or websites. It could be a small gesture like making sure information is maintained (for example, making sure the day's events on the front page of the ActiveWiki are up to date) but it keeps things flowing and is appreciated by those who can't do it themselves!

In sum, my suggestions are really about having each others back. Since the event is coming up this Saturday Night, I'll draw from some Cy Awards jargon -- an important part of being a CommunitY is actually being in community -- being there for each other, and making sure we're all getting by.

Hyper Anthony is a Community Leader and Staff in SW City.

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