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Relay for Life 2012 Debriefing

First of all, I wish to thank everyone who participated in Relay for Life in any way—building, creating things to sell in vendors or at auction, the DJ-Off participants, the auction participants, and those who donated monetarily.  You all rock, and with your help, we can kick cancer!

Special thanks to Avariel Falcon for being my co-captain, helping to keep me within hailing distance of sanity, and most especially for raising the New Babbage flag outside of Babbage.  You’re much better at that than I am!

Special thanks also to Nathaniel Lorefield for helming the building team for the campsite, and to all the builders for creating a spectacular tower!  If you haven’t been there yet, you have until Friday to see it!

Now on to the discussion part, which, admittedly, will be long.  Which probably means those whom I’d most like to read it will TL;DR it.

As Victor would say, “…sigh.”

Tenk, you and I are going to have to agree to disagree.  To me, there is a difference between being low-key and being passive, and I thought this year was dangerously close to being passive.  Think about it—what organized, community-wide events did we have?  The balloon judging (yes, I’ll address that more below), the DJ-Off, and the auctions (also more below).  That’s it—unless there was something done in June while I was gone that wasn’t mentioned on the BAR, and if so, please let me know so I can thank whoever it was!  (Yes, there was also Emerson and Victor’s thing, which was a very enjoyable read, and many thanks to them for doing it!  But I don’t know that it quite counts as a community-wide event.)  You cannot tell me that was too much.  Don’t even try.

Now, please don’t misunderstand.  I’m not at all knocking what we did.  And this has nothing to do with the amount of money raised.  I have not, would not, and will not ever denigrate any individual for the amount they donate.  You give what you can—I fully understand that, and take the lesson of Luke 21:1-4 to heart.  What I am talking about is community engagement and enthusiasm.  That is what I think we lacked this year.  We had individual participation—wonderful individual participation—but, to me, no sense of community participation.

I can’t help but keep thinking back to 2 years ago, and the Athenaeum challenge.  Where is the spirit that allowed us to raise over 20,000L in one evening, just by me showing my knees and dancing in front of the Athenaeum?  It’s not the amount that concerns me—it’s the spontaneous enthusiasm that drove it.  I want to recapture that spirit for us.  I don’t know how.  I need your help.

Now, about the balloon judging.  That was a last-minute suggestion, one which I agreed to as I thought that format was an established one for RFL fundraising.  I’ve seen other contests outside New Babbage where awards were based on kiosk donations—heck, I won a photography contest in Caledon that way a couple years ago.  And given the… conditions of this year, I rather doubted, and still doubt, ballot-box stuffing to be a real issue.  However, IF we do such a thing again, perhaps we could offer two award/ribbon structures—one based on judging by a select group, and one a “People’s Choice” based on kiosk donations.  Would that address the various concerns?

The RFL auctions.  The backbone of our fundraising.  An exhilarating weekend.  I DO NOT want to do it that way again.  It was unutterably exhausting, and both auctions went far over their allotted times.  I can think of two potential solutions to this, other than finding other people to do the actual auctioneering themselves.  1) Split them up over two weekends—I was thinking one set of people/thing auctions in April, and one in June.  2) Have some people/things offered in a week-or-so-long silent auction.  My preference is for option 1, as I do see a potential problem with option 2—people might view being in the silent auction as less “prestigious” than being in the live auction, so I’d likely have a heck of a time divvying people and things up between them.  And no, I don’t think we should move everything to a silent auction.  Exhausting as they are, the live auctions are fun—you never know what’ll happen at them! *cough*Victor*cough*hyacinth*cough*  What do you folks think?

Well, I think I’ve rambled on enough, and I really do need to get to work.  Thank you all again, and I hope to see civil discussion and lots of suggestions here!

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  1. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 17, 2012

    i can’t think of any auction that stayed within its alloted time. it seems to be the nature of the beast.

    thanks for your feedback! i value being open about things.

  2. Obscura Benoir Obscura Benoir July 17, 2012

    What I am talking about is community engagement and enthusiasm.

    sorry for my *eeeek* english , but I do absolute agree with this , Ive been the third time now on the New Babbage Campside , and I was totally disappointet that I only saw a few Babbagers at the Campside , or at Team Round we did …till we crashed *g*

    Ive never seen so much disinterest in New Babbage -.- 

    sorry just my 2cents

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

      I’m suffering from it too, driven by some RL factors to a degree. And I do see fewer and fewer people in Babbage.

      One factor is that a lot of old timers are departing, and newcomers may not feel enough a part of the community yet to get involved in something as big as RFL.

      I think another part is just Event Fatigue. There are multiple events each week at times now, whereas a year or two ago, it was a big thing to have more than a few events in a month. With so many things to do so often, people may start to feel overwhelmed with scheduling time to make it to them, so they just start to skip them altogether, and may even feel a little resentment at missing them. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

      • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 17, 2012

        no, you aren’t. i’ve always been concious of event fatigue from my own experiences in other places, which is why i prefer the monthlies over the weeklies. i don’t mind the radio shows, since you can tune those in from whereever you are. we have thankfully avoided the worst of “if its [day of week] it must be [insert dj]” syndrome, but it does sneak in over time.

        • Amadeus Hammerer Amadeus Hammerer July 17, 2012

          “i don’t mind the radio shows, since you can tune those in from whereever you are.”

          Hey, this sounds like a good idea, I should keep in mind…”This is Radio Clockhaven, sending live from the old brewery to all engineers around the planet…”

          • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 17, 2012


            i can see you doing that too

        • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

          I’ve been meaning to talk with Victor about scaling back FTF for a while, making those events feel less rote and more special. Ahnyanka already said we could reuse Music Appreciation Night. Those always felt like special events to me. Maybe if we limit it to twice a month or once a month?

          • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 17, 2012

            It’s the bugaboo of ‘regular’ events. Other places do their weekly dance party, but it will eventually become a ‘rut’

            I like having FTF weekly, just as a start of the weekend party. MAN was cool because of the ‘cool mystery music theme’…

          • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse July 17, 2012

            I’m happy to help out with FTF.  The chance of playing some 80s or Goth or whatever would be a nice change :-)

      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 17, 2012

        the downside of the interconnected nature of the world now is several folks who are in New Babbage are also in Steelhead or Caledon or *insert sim*. The fatigue effect is multiplied when you have every team in every town doing the Billy Mays sales speech on you.

  3. Amber Ilsker Amber Ilsker July 17, 2012

    Maybe the answer is that there are actually only a few people who are really enthusiastic about RFL and the rest of the people in Babbage simply aren’t that into it like those people are. And this year that contrast has been even more obvious than previous years.

    When it’s shoved in your face with almost manic enthusiasm it can be rather off putting. Just because one person is VERY into the whole RFL event doesn’t mean everyone is. It doesn’t mean they are against charity, they may have personal experience of cancer themselves, they’re just not happy about the OTT nature of it when some people get very swept up in it all.

    It could be that it’s taken a couple of years for people to just decide to walk away from it this time round.

    • Obscura Benoir Obscura Benoir July 17, 2012

      sry Miss Ilsker , but Im not really enthusiastic bout RFL , I’m just someone who love the Steampunks of New Babbage Community ..and sure I love it like the other Engineers to Build (nooot to script*grins*)..but I would also have visited the RFL Campside if I’m not a part of the Building Team .And I think noone of us was VERY into the RFL even the Builders !

  4. Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 17, 2012

    I can only speak for me, so YMMV.

    Some of you may know, some of you may not, but I am a 2 time family survivor. RFL was very hard for me this year, in both RL and SL. Having lost my sister last September it was very much a raw nerved emotional thing. I gave money, and I made my lap, because I had to for my own mental process. For my bits as well, this spring has been very busy for me RL wise, so it took a lot of my free time that I might have had for RFL things (most notably the auction).

  5. Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain July 17, 2012

    Some of you know I’m comming from a tender spot on this, but I’m going to say my piece anyway. 

    Can’t we just have taken a year off? Yes, things were way more low key, but maybe it’s because for the last two or three years we’ve been so very, very competative (and yes, I’m using that word deliberately because it IS a competition, no matter how you lay the cards out. It’s a charitable competition, sure, but one just the same.).  

    Why not take a year where we all just calm down a little and fundraise in a more contemplative manner?

    Also, I really feel it has to be pointed out that there HAS been a population shift in New Babbage, IE: We don’t have one. When RFL ran last year we were at a MUCH high occupancy and had a far more flush community ( I know for sure I’m not the only one who has had to cut waaay back on their SL spending/time due to RL finances). Heck, we’ve even had a sim-scale-down this year! Next year we’ll be on an upswing, we’ll have more enthusiasm and more spending cash.


  6. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

    Jed and Star, not to compare anyone’s troubles with actually losing loved ones, but this is the kind of thing I’m seeing a lot, including with myself. Everyone’s just stretched thin this year. It’s been rough on a lot of us. I’ve thought about just leaving Babbage because I didn’t want to deal with my leisure space being as stressful as my RL space!

    I’m sorry I couldn’t do more other than donate what little I could spare and participate in the DJ-off and auction. From my perspective, everything went very well, but I know the kind of iceberg that planning all of this can be, having served several years on the board of directors for a RL social group.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 17, 2012

      as atypical as it may seem, you can sleep on a sofa at my garage before you go anywhere. Your fuzzy little ass is staying put.

      and don’t you dare argue with me. :)

  7. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 17, 2012

    I was going to wait until I got home, but… naaaah.

    As I said above, you are never going to convince me that 3 events constitutes shoving RFL in people’s faces.  And trust me, I don’t display manic enthusiasm about anything.  That’s not me.  The closest I got was during the auctions, but give me a break–that’s expected of an auctioneer.

    Now, if the folks who are talking about Event Fatigue are referring to New Babbage plus other places, as Jed mentioned, then yes, I can understand that.  But please understand–I don’t have any control over what other sims do.  In fact, I don’t know what they do–the only other city group chat I’m part of is Seraph City, and Lord knows that’s quiet as the grave when I’m on.  I can’t control the length of the RFL season, and I can’t control the signal-to-noise ratio of other sims.  However, what you–the collective you–can control is your reaction to those.  You can choose to withdraw from everything, or you can choose something different.

    And folks, there’s something you need to understand.  Fundraising is not a passive thing.  It can’t be a passive thing and work.  It needs a driving force, organization, events, advertising.  I’m sorry if that offends some of you, but guess what?  These basic facts aren’t going to change.

    Obviously, I need to reiterate this point.  THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY.  My disappointment is not, and never will be, about the total amount we raised.  As I’ve said over and over, I know that RL is difficult right now for many people.  What concerns me is the lack of community engagement and participation.  I pointed out ways other than Linden donations that people could contribute, but never received a direct reply or question about those suggestions.

    I’m going to be honest–I never once felt during this time that I had the support of New Babbage as a whole.  That was very, very disheartening for me.  (And once again, I state: By “support,” I do not mean money!)  If that atmosphere doesn’t change for next year… then I agree with Breezy.  If we do anything, we do it as part of, say, Aether Chrononauts, not as a separate team.

  8. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington July 17, 2012

    Well from the point of view of someone captaining another team but also doing small stuff for New Babbage i think the one word i have seen which covers a lot of this is simple…


    At the back end of this season i suffered from it myself.  The Relay for Life season is simply too dang long.  It goes on from end of February to July and “officially” ends in August.  Thats ALL of spring and most of summer gone.  It also comes around at a bad time for folks in the northern hemisphere.  School holidays, parents keeping their money back for vacations.

    Also, in the beginning when i first got involved with RFL 4 years ago, it was fun.  People could take part in it if they wish or choose not to.  Now, its a massive behemoth that steamrolls everyone into participating and make folks who dont participate feel guilty.  I’m sorry…that is NOT how a charity should function in the real world, let alone a virtual world.

    At the beginning of this season it was fun, halfway through the fun was starting to fade, at the end of it I was simply tired of the whole thing.  The Dr Who Team raised over 500,000L, and that was set against a backdrop of two of the 5 hub regions suffering from monetary problems.  During the 24 hour relay event itself the vast bulk of the Dr Who community didnt even show up on the track, because it had went beyond the point of helping a charity, it was now at the point of making people feel guilty for not raising as much money as those purple or saphhire teams.

    All the way through this theory of “One Team” with the Bronzing event which was the only true “One Team” event which took place, my team listened to the praises of the big scoring teams who raised millions of lindens with their week long faires and events…and members of my team QUIT…they upped and left citing that if the emphasis is supposed to be on raising money, no matter how small the donation size is, then why is the emphasis put on those bigger teams who seem to have a bottomless pit of money?

    Thats why…next year I will more than likley be walkiung away from RFL in SL.  If i want to donate i can do so via the Cancer Research UK website.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 17, 2012

      *sighs and makes a note: Definitely no DJ-Off next year*

      • Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington July 17, 2012

        So…i say i probably wont be participating in RFL next year so you cancel the DJ Off just because of me?  Theres a massive slap in the face to Ed and Blackberry.

        THAT is EXACTLY the kind of sweep all “make folks feel guilty” attitude i was talking about book.

        • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 17, 2012

          I’m sorry–that wasn’t my intention.  However, Edward has also told me about his reservations about RFL.  It’s hard to have a DJ-Off with just one DJ, unless there are others who would like to step in.

          And to address your original comment–I’ll be honest.  That sort of decision, from you and others, is one that I cannot understand.  That’s not a slam on you–it’s just that my brain doesn’t work that way.  I’ve seen at least some of what you refer to, and I certainly saw a great deal in all the announcements and chat on the RFL Volunteers group.  What did I do?

          I ignored it.

          To me, the central cause is what matters.  Relay for Life, and the American Cancer Society, and their goal of raising cancer awareness, education, and funding for research.  How others handle their fundraising for that does not matter to me–that is out of my control.  What matters to me is the cause, and trying to persuade this community of the necessity and rightness of that cause, and attempting to find out what, if anything, we can do next year, within our community, to raise enthusiasm and participation.

          • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse July 17, 2012

            I’m still reading through the comments but I’ll reply to this at length below.

      • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 18, 2012

        whoa, let’s stop the crazytalk tangents. there’s no way of telling what the talent pool will hold from year to year.


        • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska July 18, 2012

          Spoken like a true Mathematician Herr Uhrkrone. Seems this debriefing is at least slipping onto Future Tensa a bit soon. Perhaps Old Business should be covered more thoroughly than New Business at this point, fellow Citizens?

  9. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman July 17, 2012

    I have nothing against RFL or what it’s for , but personally after the first one I was inworld for a few years back, I’ve largly kept away from RFL in SL, Usually I rarely logg on to SL during that time as I often get at least someone asking me why I’m not at RFL event #A or B, and sounding as if I should feel bad or something for not being involved.

     that first year, not to say it was ‘in your face’ but it was in many sims and communities ‘the only game in town”. I’ve logged onto Sl that first year to get IMs immediatly about RFL, attempted guilt trips for not attending events, buying from kiosks or whatever have you, not just from Babbage, but from other sims, though I will admit Babbage has been the lesser offender the last few times.  it’s largly why I don’t get involved in RFL on the SL end of things.  I’ll happily donate in RL  to cancer research, and often do, but I don’t get involved in it in SL.  that first year turned me off of it.

    Far as participation, there is a much smaller population in New Babbage, yes, it happens, people hit a rough time, my own house had been destroyed in RL and I’m still recovering mentally , physically, and financially, so I know how it can be.

     Things will improve eventually though, new people will come in, and the sim will be full again.

     taking time off may work in your favor, get the people who are always involved a breather  as more people come in, make them feel welcomed and part of the community,  then when you’re all more rested, and they’re all settled, go off again with it when you have more in the community, by then if they feel welcomed and part of the city enough, they’ll likely get involved.

  10. Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye July 17, 2012

    I know “It’s not about the money” has been said lots of times, but…

    In the end, it really IS about money, though, isn’t it?  RFL is a fundraiser.  I can only speak for myself, but thats what puts me off about it.  There may be lots of good events going on for it, but their purpose is to raise money for RFL.  Whether it is intended or not, I’ve always had the feeling that I was expected to donate if I went anywhere near anything RFL related.

    The community in Babbage has come together plenty recently for other events.  The Oiling Festival went really well with not even a fraction of the advertising RFL gets every year.  But the Oiling Fesitval is about Babbage.  The only thing expected of anyone at the events that lots of people still show up to is “have fun”.  On that note, I’m still really looking forward to the next Air Kraken Festival when that comes up again, and I really wish I had time to participate in the build contests at Piermont!

    Of course anyone running an RFL event wants people to have fun too, but then theres the donation kiosks everywhere with floating numbers, and the announcements when people donate, and the regular talk of how much has been raised.

    I dunno, maybe thats not a good reason to stop caring about RFL, but it’s my reason, and it’s good enough for me.

  11. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 17, 2012

    First off, i’m really proud of everyone that worked this year, the fundraisers and the builders. the auction was a blast. and this was possibly the most ambitious build we’ve ever produced, from an engineering perspective. I love having the opportunity for the builders to push themselves to see what they can do.

    but here’s what i think about the larger event:

    i think there’s a very high burn out on rfl, and its not just a babbage thing. the steamland builds were as spectacular as they’ve always been this year, but overall, i thought the camp builds were not up to what i usualy expect to see at RFL in general. even the track seemed to have less folks on it than usual.

    We’re in a rough time, all of us. I don’t think its going to end any time soon. I know all organizations that rely on donations are suffering to the point of closure. It’s painful to watch things like this when the disposable income is not there to support it. Frankly, the whole RFL evolution needs to acknowledge the amount of time resource it asks for and scale back. Way back.  Would it really kill them to wait until May? JUNE? 6 weeks is more than enough for us front door people. They should have this down to a science by now.

    Most of all, how can we comfortably talk about some other cause when there’s an elephant is in the room for half the year? That’s what really bothers me.

  12. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

    Can I suggest that we let it sit for a week and then have an in-world retrospective meeting? I do these a lot in software development, and they can be incredibly helpful. I will volunteer to facilitate. Anyone with any good or bad opinion on how RFL went should come.

  13. Obscura Benoir Obscura Benoir July 17, 2012

    RFL is a Fundraising Event …buuut

    for me  (and maybe for some others) it was allways a great but also a funny event ..this year ,

    we’ve had  such a fun by doing a Tractor race *g …we stood together with our New Babbage Flag , and some of us did the Lap with or without crashing . yay Babbage

    I do my rounds on RFL Sims not for spending tons of money , I do them cause I like to see what other Builders for great works do

    I do not build to get a Price , I build cause I love it to be creative

    I dont stay at the Campside to be seen from others , Im there to make jokes , spam *go Relay *grins at Breezy and Book *and wave the Flag of my Community

    Im on the Campside cause Im proud of all the Team Members  for what they created …or organized..or gave only a suggetion how to do it better

    and I can absolutly not understand that some of you only are talking bout …it is all for money …you havent to spend money if you wont noone forces you to do that -.-


    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 17, 2012

      you guys were having waaaaay too much fun during build week! don’t take it down yet, still havn’t got your pictures.

  14. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin July 17, 2012

    Errrr….. oh… i don’t know what to say, having enjoyed the events i was able to get to, had fun thinking up something for the auction, enjoyed seeing the build, and not felt pressured myself…

    It may be because i wasn’t on the build teams, or involved in any organising, except for my small auction bit. It may be because i gave up on feeling guilty that i can’t do more than i can afford, either in time, money or ability – it was causing me far to much grief when i did! Sometimes a little is all we can manage, and that little is of as much worth as a lot, if that is what we can do, never forget that, and never feel guilty about it.

    I don’t know what should be done next year, that is for us to think about and discuss, and eventually, for each individual to decide upon, without pressure, and without guilt.

    Well done to all who took part, in whatever capacity, i loved seeing it all, and appreciate what you all did. Thank you.

    • Amadeus Hammerer Amadeus Hammerer July 17, 2012


      Thank you for your words. It’s the same that I feel.

      and yes, sometimes is a little all we can manage and this is ok.

      There are famous words on the grave of Oskar Schindler:

      “Wer nur ein Menschenleben rettet, rettet die ganze Welt.”

      Difficult to translate for me, maybe Mr Tenk can translate it.:-)

      It means every little help can change the world.


      • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

        If only one person’s life is saved, the entire world is saved.

        • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska July 20, 2012

          מי הורס את הנפש, זה נחשב כאילו הוא מאבד עולם מלא. ואת כל המציל נפש, זה נחשב כאילו הציל עולם מלא

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 17, 2012

      You gave what you could, and it paid off in dividends!  *That* is precisely what I want people to take away from this.

  15. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 17, 2012

    OK, let me start again, and see if I can be more clear about my feelings and intentions with this.


    Question: Am I proud of what we accomplished this season?

    Answer: Abso-fraggin’-lutely yes!


    Question: Do I think we could have done more?

    Answer: Yes, with more community support and enthusiasm.  We’ve had that in the past; I’d like to see it again in the future.


    Question: What, if anything, can we do, that is in our power to control, to increase community support and enthusiasm?

    Answer: I don’t know.  That is what I am asking you, with this year still fresh in your minds.

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 17, 2012

      That last question is where I think a retrospective could be useful.

  16. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 17, 2012

    Maybe I’m not a good person to talk about this, but here goes anyway.

    I somewhat agree with Kaylee. If I heard something was RFL related, I felt like if I went I’d have to give something to the little kiosk. And I feel bad that I can’t.

    BUT– I loved the Dj-Off. That was super fun and everyone had a blast. I hear the people and things auctions were fun. I think maybe instead of loading everyone down with ALL the RFL events, how about you just pick a few big ones that people agree to participate in? Maybe with just a few choices, you’ll get bigger turnout in each. With people having less time, that might help.

    And I know I’m not on as often as I used to be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support Babbage. Hm…. Maybe we can do as Blackberry suggested and have that retrospective meeting. That sounds like a great idea and it would help get things in the open and help get ideas rolling for next year– whether it be to sit out, or scale down or whatever.

  17. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold July 17, 2012

    I vote for a meeting next week sometime, it seems like a very good idea.  I had a great time being involved this year, but I’d be perfectly fine if we sat next year on the side lines or even voted that we would only get involved every two years or something.  I think that enthusiasm for the event would go up if we knew we as a team knew we would be sitting the next year out every time.

  18. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse July 18, 2012

    OK. Some of you know I have issues with how RFL in SL is conducted. Apart from co-opting fundraising for nearly half the year, it also contributes heavily to donor fatigue for other charity events. There’s also issues with RFL as a charity but that’s another story again. Suffice to say that it’s not on my list of supported charities.


    I have in the past helped out with the Babbage build site. I’ve donated time for events (the DJ playoff being one. I’ve bought items from RFL vendors. I quite enjoy being part of the efforts to showcase the Babbage Community. We’re a great bunch of people.

    In past years RFL has been very IN YOUR FACE. Events every other week from March to July gets a bit much. RFL runs a local event in association with Cancer Council Australia. I hadn’t heard a squeak from them until about 2 weeks ago. They do just fine without a 5 month lead up. Thankfully in the past couple of years the “faceness” of SLRFL has dropped off and people are able to feel good about being involved, or not feel they’re being guilt tripped if they don’t.

    I’m happy to help out the Babbage Community. If I’m asked to be in the DJ off or help out with the build then I’ll try my best. I’m not going to step up for Team Captain any time soon.

    I’ve no idea what the fundraising totals are in comparison to previous years but lots of people are doing it hard. It’s one thing to hand over $20 when you have a full pantry and own your own home. It’s another when you’re hours have been cut back and your house foreclosed.

    This year’s fundraising was very low key. To be honest the actual relay snuck up on me without me realising it. I probably would have been down at the Babbage Camp for more of the event had RL not had me committed elsewhere.

    So long and rambly and possibly not highly coherant but that’s me on RFL for now.

    • Gabrielle Riel Gabrielle Riel July 19, 2012

      Who are you and what have you done with my brother???


  19. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 18, 2012

    as low key as we were… we still made it into the top 20 teams on the roster for build week.

    • Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold July 18, 2012

      In the top 20?  Well out of 40 something sims and at least 4 teams a sim on average, that’s a pretty good showing.

  20. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 18, 2012

    It sounds like our takeaways here are:
    – we consistently do well
    – we consistently do good
    – everyone is hella stressed

    We need to pull together, not pull apart.

  21. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 18, 2012

    *Bangs her head against the desk. Multiple times.*

    Guys, you keep bringing up the money.  IT’S! NOT! ABOUT! THE! MONEY! I wouldn’t care if we raised half the amount of Lindens next year that we did this year, so long as it was done in a spirit of community, a can-do attitude, people taking the initiative to hold creative events, and people not being scared to come to an event and have fun, whether they tip in 1L or 1000L.

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just can’t bear to throw away the rose-tinted glasses.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 18, 2012

      *pats book’s hand*

      we’re babbagers. we’re competive perfectionists. we can’t help it.

  22. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver July 18, 2012

    See thats Point CLock winder  aren’t we ALL BABBAGERS  ????  

    or are just certain people  ???  

    please let me know ..  

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 18, 2012

      yes, we all are.  i think we all have a heavy competitive streak that we all work to keep in check.

  23. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver July 18, 2012

    night night CLockwinder :)  nice  reply ..  smiles   very .. thoughtful and quite true :) .. 

    (( thank you  !!! ))   

  24. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 18, 2012

    I’m sorry.

    Obviously, I am delusional, and I am an idiot.

    I will shut up now.

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 18, 2012

      I’m nobody, but I think it’s okay to have concerns, and just because other people don’t have those concerns (or you think they don’t), that doesn’t invalidate them.

      This is why gatherings where everyone can voice things seems to help.

      If it’s still desired, I’m still happy to facilitate it.

  25. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver July 18, 2012

    well lets see Avariel  a few of  us *die hards* actively  pitched in , gave and took part

    and were not even  listed on the team website roster ..

    Again this is not about the rfl build team .. nor how much can be raised ..

    It is about a New Babbage RFL Team in as whole and it’s journey together  !

    Its nice to say yay ..  great job..  yay ..

    but its important to realize and take note  sometimes  things are not as they seem ..

  26. Elilka Sieyes Elilka Sieyes July 18, 2012

    I knew I was going to be up to my ears in coursework this year (RFL day was hand-in day) so I didn’t get deeply involved in anything. I know I’m not the only one who had my nose to the RL grindstone this year. Don’t feel disheartened by one year where people were too knackered to really get together.  Spoons may be more plentiful in future, and it does take a certain critical mass of energised humans to get stuff rolling.

  27. Knowledge Tomorrow Knowledge Tomorrow July 18, 2012

    For those of you who don’t get outside of Babbage much, the RFL fatigue in SL is getting worse every year. It’s not just the loudness, it’s the relentlessness if you’re involved in multiple groups or communities, running for so many months. It’s in multiple mediums: forums, inworld (notices, group chat, notecards, promo objects, IMs from friends), email, Facebook, etc. It would almost be easier if it was all year. I stuck exclusively to Babbage events and fundraisers this year (and have left a number of groups and subscribers through the year, due to RFL notice overload) as many other places and groups are starting to feel like a 24×7 shopping network/telethon.

    For the folks in the US, it’s worth noting that the money goes to the American Cancer Society, while for those of us outside the US, this is not our local cancer charity, so a lot of the (never have I seen it at Babbage) guilt-mongering is wearing pretty thin with the folks overseas, who are often donating to the same cause in multiple countries (yes, people really are calling other people “pro-cancer” for not donating or not attending and it’s gotten pretty silly sometimes). The SL population isn’t as US-centric as it once was. Being outside the US, more than three quarters of all RFL event notices I got, I couldn’t attend due to sleeping and working or the notice advising it was coming up came while I was sleeping or working and so I missed it. I can’t opt out of these notices as they are coming out of normal groups and subscribers.

    I’ve seen RL charities fall into this trap, when people groan at the sight of your charity’s name  (Australia has some giant people-sized koalas that follow you down the street asking for your spare change and waving a giant plastic bucket in your face, singing, shouting and trying to embarass you into donating by stalking and harassing you), it’s not a good environment for anyone to donate in (or have fun in). Unfortunately when times are tough, charities don’t have a lot of options for raising more money and tend to turn up the volume. RFL also don’t control most of the communications that are flying around about it.

    I doubt any RFL fatigue is exclusive to Babbage, there’s just a lot of burn out for RFL across the grid. I’m not sure if there is more fragmentation in teams, or just more promotion this year, but this year was too much and it almost stopped me donating and attending events.

    There are a lot of new charities and fundraisers on the grid too (like Feed a Smile feeding kids in Kenya), many of which are either suffering or shut down during RFL as people stop their regular donating and stop turning up to regular events. I’m not anti-charity at all, I think SL is a great opportunity for charities, but it concerns me when any charity turns people off donating, or when it runs over other charities. A lot of the fatigue is pure advertising fatigue. I don’t think I’ve logged into SL for well over 6 months without seeing some kind of reference to RFL, other years have been busy, but not like this.

    I would not join a build team, aside from my complete lack of building skills, I could not handle any more RFL-theme messages in my day, I get enough RFL spam without being involved in anything directly.

    It would be nice though to see what else would be on at Babbage if RFL didn’t take up so much of people’s time. Same goes for the rest of the grid. Tough times mean a lot of people have less time inworld, so bigger projects/events seem to be getting more draining, if they’re all you do when you’re inworld.

    A year off might be a good option, but I will still support (quietly) Babbage if it’s on again in 2013. I really enjoyed the auctions, the vendors, the ball and visiting the RFL build (will the beautiful clock tower be moving to Babbage?). Babbage makes these events fun and does keep them low key, which I was very grateful for this year.

    Thank you to all the people who contributed, I really enjoyed it.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 18, 2012

      Good to hear from an outside perspective that we are doing something right, and this reinforces my opinion of why we should always maintain strong boundaries on the season.

      I think part of the reason the build went so well was becuase they started much later, so they had to get down to business right away rather than muddle and struggle over it. 

      If we do have a go at it next year, should we tighten it up more? I found I was more willing to throw myself to the effort at the beginning of June, when the end is in sight.

      • Knowledge Tomorrow Knowledge Tomorrow July 19, 2012

        I think a shorter run would up the fun factor and reduce any hassles.

  28. Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer July 18, 2012

    Cutting through it all to what seems to be Book’s main question, and I quote:

    Question: What, if anything, can we do, that is in our power to control, to increase community support and enthusiasm?

    Talk of all other aspects are just frustrating Book, it’s clear.  THIS is the nugget that she’s concerned about.

    Until it’s understood what IS “Babbage Community”, I don’t think the question can be answered.  Is Babbage Community the Engineers? The Roleplayers?  Non-builder non-roleplayers who simply enjoy living in Babbage?  The Visitors?   Does it lean towards those who can be inworld ten hours a day, or are those who manage an hour or so a week as equally considered as Community?  

    As much as we like to think of the City as a real city, it’s comprised of people with a First Life driving their time constraints, energy, emotions and priorities. 

    I have a shop in Port Babbage.  I left a legacy in the CocoaJava Cafe. I have been connected with New Babbage since 2007.  I support charities and events as much as is possible (which is just a trickle of time and lindens due to my own RL circumstances.)  I consider myself Community even though probably half the town has no clue who I am.   I am EXACTLY the sort of Community member Book would have one hell of a time getting engaged in RFL.  From her point of view, I AM part  of the problem.

    But I’m not a problem that can be solved.  I don’t see myself as a problem in my own eyes.  Babbage gets from me everyting I am able to give it with my time, emotions and finances.  It is what it is.

    And each of you have your own set of parameters.  Book’s question is very simple. The answer is not.  Perhaps a different conversation about Community might be interesting, with absolutely NO mention of charities.  You can’t build a house until you know exactly what sort of foundation it’s going on.  Talk a while about the foundation, I suggest!

    Oh, and buy my toys.  *ducks*




  29. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh July 18, 2012

    My bit is that events in New Babbage, any events whether inside or outside the community, should be viewed through the same lens through which we view RP participation.  You may indulge or not as you see fit.  A little, or a lot depending on what your time and interests may be.  There will be those who will jump in with blindfolds, and those who choose not to be involved at all.

    No one should be made to feel badly about not participating, and no one should feel badly because some choose not to participate.  I have not read through all the posts, but I hope no one felt pressure to “do this” or “do that”, because pressure of that sort would destroy this community, and very quickly.

    That’s all.  And kudos to Book and Avariel, and all the builders and DJs and the rest of ya.  A job well done, IMO.

    ((Jimmy cuts off his typist’s link and lays back on the bench, pulling the newspaper over his head.))



    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman July 19, 2012

      good post, events should be 100% optional

  30. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 19, 2012

    *breaks her silence in one last attempt to explain herself*

    Of course Relay for Life is optional.  Of course it is entirely up to each individual to decide which events, if any, he or she will attend, and how much, if anything, he or she will donate.  I understand that.  I agree with that.




    When we agreed at the beginning of the year to field an RFL team this year, I thought that committed us, as a community, to support that cause, to exhibit a certain amount of interest in, and enthusiasm for, the goals of the American Cancer Society–goals which I firmly, absolutely believe are worth supporting and which reach far beyond the borders of the United States.  When I agreed to be the captain of the fundraising side of things, I thought my job would be to foster and support that interest and enthusiasm.  But I never felt that I got that community feedback.  On the individual level, yes, but not the community.  That is what I am lamenting.  That is what I wanted to change, and hoped to get ideas about from you.


    I don’t know.  Maybe I’m the only one who can think in this type of individual/community separation.  Like I said, maybe I’m delusional.


    *retreats back into herself*

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 19, 2012

      Firstly, you’re never going to get “New Babbage” to agree on anything. The best you can hope for would be the support of individuals *from* the community.

      What could we do better to show support besides participating and donating? What do you feel the role of supporters is in RFL where we fell short?

    • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer July 20, 2012

      If you want to continue feeling alone, I can’t stop you. Did you even see my reply, though?




  31. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 19, 2012

    I don’t think there’s a need to get apocalyptic, nor to ignore the many people who are trying to be reasonable and only hear the few complainers.

  32. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold July 19, 2012

    Book, there is a quote from a childrens book that I think you should take to heart for now, “If you are holding out for universal popularity you will be very disappointed indeed.” 

    The same applies to RFL, it will never be universally popular even if some of it’s flaws listed above were fixed.  However the fact that it does have these flaws turn people off to it, and Babbagers are known to have a prickly nature to begin with.

    Another quote comes to mind from Star Wars, if you tighten your grip the more people will slip out of your fingers.  The more you try to get people interested at some point the more people will have reason to feel it is being forced on them to feel interested.

    I still think a meeting is a good idea…what time or date would be good though is always a problem.

    • Mumsy Abigail Mumsy Abigail July 19, 2012

      Who are you calling prickly, Cat?  *glowers*

      Where the rest of this conversation is concerned, can we just say that RFL is over, we raised a bunch of money for a good cause, thank Miss Book and Miss Avariel for putting up with the lot of us, and be done with it?

      *mumbles to herself as she hobbles off*

  33. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver July 19, 2012


    saw a quote about six weeks ago ..

    Brilliant really .. It said ” various location name here “insult one person, but five different personalities ..

    Guess Babbage  could work well with it .. Cause in all reality No matter where you go there you are ..  .. i think i shall be deleting my own words here  shortly .done !!  no one likes to mocked in any world .. .  pfft !!

  34. Polenth Yue Polenth Yue July 21, 2012

    The worst event I attended for this year’s RFL was that initial planning meeting. I came with ideas and enthusiasm. I’d thought about stuff we could do and thought it’d be a good chance to get more involved in New Babbage. What actually happened is I spent most of the meeting talking someone down from posting a rant about how no one was getting involved and that it wasn’t worth bothering. I left feeling sad and drained.

    The question isn’t, “Why did four people turn up instead of twenty?” It should be, “How do I make sure these four people have fun?” An answer based on what people are saying here is to pick one or two events, and hold them close to the actual relay date so the season is short and sweet.

    But to be honest, based on the atmosphere at that planning meeting, I think taking a break for a least a year would be best. If the management isn’t having fun, it won’t be fun for other people either.

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