Kitely is now known for its community

Hypergrid Business has posted its Fourth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey.

654 people responded to questions about their primary grid and about the other grids they have visited.

The big winner this year was Kitely. The report says: “Kitely came out on top for ‘How do you rate this grid overall?’ with a 4.93 score and 84 votes cast. It ranked second in technology, and, surprisingly, third in community. Kitely is not known as a community-oriented grid.”

There was good news for other grids as well and I have no intention of telling the whole story of the survey here. That’s why I gave you the link. 🙂

What I do want to talk about here is the last part of the above quote, “…Kitely is not known as a community-oriented grid.”

I don’t really take issue with Maria Korolov’s statement there, at least not too much. I know what she means. And she’s partially right.

Let’s re-phrase that quote so that I can be in complete agreement with it: “Kitely is not known outside its borders as a community-oriented grid.”

True.

Devokan Storytellers' gathering in the world of Dragon's Teeth on Kitely in November. (Image courtesy  Jamie Wright.)

Devokan Storytellers’ gathering in the world of Dragon’s Teeth on Kitely in November. (Image courtesy Jamie Wright.)

People who don’t use Kitely assume it is not “community-oriented.” I have heard this over and over again since I first heard of Kitely in October of last year. Often it’s expressed this way: “There’s no community there.”

These people have never been to Kitely, so as I say, they assume this.

Why? I’ve asked them.

“I don’t like Kitely. They charge you by the minute. It’s ridiculous. They’re on the cloud! The regions are not on all the time. There’s no map. You can’t find anybody. How can you have a community in a place like that? It’s impossible.”

That’s their “evidence.”

What they’re really saying is: “I don’t know how Kitely works, I don’t get it at all. So I can’t imagine how they could have a community there.”

Nothing wrong with that statement. You don’t get it so, you don’t know.

The problem is, you think you do know.

Because you can’t conceive of it, you think it is not possible. Yeah, well…

There are also those who “tried” Kitely and would also say there is no community there. And they know because they tried it.

Well, I’m not going to try to figure out why you missed it…but you did.

There’s proof! It’s the Fourth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey!

Kitely finished third in Community. Even though it’s not known for that!

You see, our survey says it IS known for that by the people IN Kitely…which, when you are talking about Community, is all that actually matters.

Although the question did occur to me: What is a “community-oriented grid” anyway?

I think, as in my recent piece on The Free Metaverse, that it may depend on whom you ask.

Most of the time when I hear people talking about their grid having “a great community” they use as examples the quantity or quality of the events the grid has and the good attendance these events receive. And yes, while there are many other types of events happening around the Metaverse, usually these people are referring to DJ dance parties or live solo performances of pop and related music. If they give any other examples of “community” – and they usually don’t – it is about the good freebie selection or the welcome area or the excellent support from grid management.

K, well most grids have those things, so I’m not going to be overly impressed with your “great community” if that’s what you present as evidence. I mean, I’m sure your grid is nice and all. Kitely has those things too. Not as many music events as other grids, that’s true. Though that is an area that is growing just lately.

But a grid’s community is more than just music events, right?

I’m glad you agree.

Let me tell you a couple things about Kitely…

First, I joined Kitely in October of last year. For the past year I have hosted a four-region sim called Evergreen for The Devokan Trust. (We would be a part of the Kitely “community,” in fact.)

My home or primary grid is Second Life but SL isn’t part of the Hypergrid Business OpenSim survey. I don’t know if I spend more time in SL or OpenSim – wish I had a log of my time in various worlds this year, it would be fascinating to see! But I am an OpenSim user and fan and citizen, so I wanted to take this survey.

Next year, I expect most of my inworld time will be on my personal mini-grid, Dankoville, but what about this year? I couldn’t even guess which OpenSim grid I’d spent the most time on this year. The survey wants to know my primary OpenSim grid. Well, Kitely is the only one I own land on, so that’s the one I’m going with.

I gave Kitely high marks on all of the questions asked.

Funny thing is, I hardly spend any time inworld in Kitely. I host my sim and that’s about it.

My sim was a set piece from Day 1. It doesn’t change. So there has been almost no building or tweaking to do after the first few days. My sim was created by others, as I say, I simply host it, pay for it. And watch over it.

Via the Kitely website, I can monitor my sim without going inworld. It tells me who has been there and for how long. I go in a couple times a month for a few minutes just to see that everything is in order. In addition, I can see on the activity log if another member of The Devokan Trust or other friends have been there and I know they will alert me if something is amiss.

So, I’m not inworld much on Kitely. But, I’m still involved in the community. In addition to hosting the regions for Devokan – which is a community project itself – I also am very involved with the Devokan Storytellers group, we get together once a month. I can’t get to every gathering but when I am there, that one event makes up most of my inworld time for the month, 90 minutes.

More broadly, I follow the Kitely forums and although I don’t post there often, I usually do take part in the discussions on the major topics of community-wide interest that come up.

I definitely don’t want to use myself as an example of “the community” at Kitely. In fact, I’m almost saying the opposite because of my lack of time inworld there. But I stay on top of what’s going on there and get involved in the conversation at times. So I’m thinking if you add that up, it balances out that I’m just your average community member – more involved than some, less involved than others. And again, inworld less than most…so I’ll call myself an average member of the community but an atypical user…the point being that most users of a world would be inworld more than me and would be even more likely to take part in the community than I would.

And yet, I’m involved anyway. Why would that be? Well, at least part of it has to be that there is such a sense of community in Kitely that I have been drawn into it in spite of the fact that I’m not inworld there very often. Sure, I’ve admitted to being atypical, so some of it could just be me. But at least some of it has to be “the community” of Kitely.

Some of my best friends in the Metaverse are people I met first in the Kitely forums. Now we talk on Google+ or other social nets and even see each other inworld on other grids. But I know them via Kitely and Kitely is what we had in common that started our friendship.

That’s what happens in a “community.”

I came to Kitely because one of my SL friends was there. But I made so many new friends in Kitely that I have lost count.

And now friends from other worlds are coming to Kitely because they know me and they know other people I know and they see the community that is there.

So, like Peter Finch, I am getting up out of my chair and I am going to my virtual window and I am shouting as loudly as I can: “KITELY IS A COMMUNITY-ORIENTED GRID AND I’M NOT GOING TO HEAR OTHERWISE ANYOMRE!”

/me clears throat.

Here are just a few – but very important – examples of community in Kitely. They also show that a community is more than the frequency of its music events.

This is an excerpt of a post I made on the Kitely Forums yesterday about this reputation the grid has…it’s since been cross-posted a few other places 🙂

“I think Kitely has a very good and active community. The evidence can be found right here on the forums. But there is more evidence: how many grids have a welcome area that was designed, created, established by users who volunteered their time and talent? And then there’s the transfer stations – Kitely created something that did the job but “the community” spoke up, Kitely listened and a better way was found with major community help and effort. The community input Kitely asked for and received on the creation of the Marketplace is another example. And the current discussion about “Towns” is another sign that when “the community” sees a problem or a place for improvement, attention is paid.

“There are other examples of community input as well but consider the importance of the ones I named above — welcome center, transfer stations, marketplace — these are basic building blocks of a good and innovative grid – things the owners of most grids would do their own way and not even consider opening the floor to ideas from mere users.”

Now, let’s be clear…though I think Kitely’s record is stellar on this, I’m not saying that no other grid has community projects.

What I am saying is, the opinion that Kitely is not community-oriented was always uninformed.

Now you know it’s just flat out wrong.

George Miner

George Miner - known as Danko Whitfield inworld - is a retired journalist who has covered everything from politics to sports. He now writes several blogs about virtual worlds. He is also a consultant to virtual world business, organizations, estate and grid owners in the areas of community, marketing and media.

  • good write up Danko-))

  • i massively <3 Kitely =)

  • Serendipity Seraph

    Want more community? Move events you used to host in SL and elsewhere to Kitely. I did with my weekly Fulfillment meetings (near term positive futurism). I was delighted and touched that most of the SL attendees took it on to learn something new and come to Kitely to attend.

    I think that is how we make this virtual corner of the metaverse more full of life and activities. Each of us doing our thing here and making it known that we are doing so.

  • Ozwell Wayfarer

    I second these warm sentiments towards Kitelys community. I must get round to coming to one of the weekly meetings soon 🙂

    I have only ever met a handful of people in-world but we all stay in touch and communicate ideas via the forums. i can not overstate to a newcomer how important the forums are for initially meeting people.

    I think that is just the nature of where Kitely is right now. A lot of people are pre-occupied creating their own regions for others to visit. I know I still have many hours work ahead of me before I will be thinking of going traveling and socializing. Everyone in Kitely is a land-owner and that is a big dynamic change compared to what we are used to. Not everyone is trying to create a public social environment for others to enjoy, but right now Kitely draws people with a disposition for building one way or the other.

    The true “social crowd” are only going to consider giving it a try once things are built and lots of nice things are there for them ready to go on the MP, which will of course take a little time, but I think Kitely has a very strong base to work off in 2014 both in terms of community and tech.