Sunday, May 27, 2012

Infohubs 2: General electric boogaloo

Well, I said I'd do it... even though, really, there isn't all that much point.  It is the Moderate (and, I suspect, the Adult) hubs that see most of the traffic, due to the vagaries of the random-teleportation thing that slings people into infohubs in the first place.  So, my suspicion was that the General level hubs wouldn't have declined significantly, on account of their traffic was at rock bottom already.  So off I went:-


With a due sense of doom, trepidation, and general foreboding, I aim for the "Welcome Area on the Mainland" in everyone's library - which straddles four sims, but is best known by the name of one of them, Ahern.  Well.  It is still laggy, it is still crowded, there are still people in voice cackling about how you could... no, best not to go into that in any detail.  Anyway.  It is, if I'm any judge, slightly less busy and slightly less horrible than last time I saw it.  So.  I have been to Ahern.  I need a shower now.


The Confederation of Democratic Simulators infohub, in the Snowlands where I make my Mainland home.  There is one other person on the sim when I arrive, and I land on top of them, which is par for the course in every imaginable respect.  Actually, I was expecting this place to be busier, for a reason I will get to at a more appropriate juncture.  But, busy, Anzere is not.

Calleta's Hobo Railroad

The Hobo hub is still there, which is a good thing.  It even has one or two people about, which is also a good thing.  It's been a while since I visited, but it looks like the place is keeping up to date.  Still, it seems quite quiet, here.

Chalet Linden, Wengen

The other Snowlands infohub - the one with Rudolph's head mounted over the main entrance.  The gangsta-rap soundtrack has gone.  There is no one in sight.  Actually, now I think about it, it's kind of sinister.  Isolated cabin in the snows, no one around, severed head of beloved childhood icon over the front door?  I shall leave here before I start typing ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY over and over again.

emOt(i)Con, the Mauve infohub

Still "IN DEVELOPMENT", I see - hasn't developed much since I last saw it.  As with my last visit, all the people on the sim are in the adjacent sandbox, and a whole lot of Not Much is happening at the hub itself.  Well, it still looks... um... very modernist.  And that's about all you can say about it.

Governor Linden's Mansion

Give the Governor a harrumph!  Which is about all you're going to get here.  The place is empty.  To be fair, it was empty last time, too, so no change there, really.


The other Korean welcome area, the general level one that nobody goes to.  Well, actually, there are six people here, which is pretty busy for this hub.  It always surprises me, though, how many old people (you can tell they're old, they have two names) you see hanging around the hubs.  Some of these avis are five years old or more, surely by now they've found something more interesting to do than hang out at infohubs?  But, then, I'm visiting infohubs myself, so who am I to judge?

Help Island Public

This is one of the three landmarks we all get in our libraries, so it is still popular.  Really, though, in the interests of truth in advertising, it ought to be renamed "Blaring noise, idiots and vampires Island".  So that you know what to expect.


This is another one that's popped up since my time... except I think it hasn't really, it's been around a while - as the main hub for the old Teen Grid.  Before this was amalgamated into SL as a whole (in one of those Terrible LL Decisions That Brought About The Death Of The Grid) the Teen Grid sims were around, but inaccessible to ordinary SL residents, just as the teens couldn't get onto mainland.
The incorporation of the Teen Grid is the main reason why I think the General level infohubs should be busier than they are.  Because, when you are hurled at random into a hub, you are hurled into one at your maximum current maturity setting, and because most people don't bother changing theirs away from "Moderate", the Moderate level sims get most traffic.  But, with the influx of 16-17 year olds from the former Teen Grid, we have a bunch of people whose maximum maturity setting is General, so they should be popping up at the General level sims.  That's the theory.  But in practice they're not.  They're certainly not popping up here, the place is deader than Ruislip on a wet Tuesday afternoon.

Linden Land, Hanson

Well, this certainly used to be an infohub... and some of the old buildings are still around...  but the hub symbol is gone from the map, and the sim's arrival point just shows as "Protected Land" now.  One of our infohubs is missing!  It's a General level hub, though, so no one even noticed.  (It is, or was, the other other Snowlands hub.  Perhaps it was felt that the Snowlands were well enough served for infohubs anyway.)


The other volcano-based infohub, the one that doesn't do anything like as much marketing as Zebrasil.  It's empty.  There is nothing new about that, the Mahulu hub always was; interesting, volcanic, and empty.

Memory Bazaar @ Ross infohub

I've always rather liked the Memory Bazaar; it has a style of its own, offbeat, cluttered, quirky and authentic.  This is not enough, alas, to get people to visit it in any great numbers.  Once again, as I pass through it, the bustling throngs are conspicuous by their absence.  Tsk!  Come on, throngs, what's gotten into you?

Murray Temporary Welcome Area

This made it to my notecard, despite not being live as an infohub at the time... It is the only infohub I've seen on the Destination Guide since the rest of them were purged.  Still no actual hub symbol... and, mostly, still empty.  Nice, but empty.  Except for a "rez zone" in one corner, which provided my first breach of the hubs' no-weapons policy.  You don't see that one broken all that much.  (The last time, actually, I saw someone banging away with a gun, it was in Braunworth, the one I forgot to do, last time.)

NCI Castle Kuula

Well... you would not expect the main NCI sim to be anything other than bustling, would you?  And indeed it is.  But I suspect it's got nothing to do with the General level infohub.

Nova Albion

Spanning four sims in the east end of Bay City, with transport lines and many, many extremely expensive plots of land nearby, Nova Albion always won the trophy for Best Provided And Positioned Infohub That No One Actually Goes To.  It's still holding that crown.  One newbie in Busy mode when I arrived, and a couple of far-off green dots, presumably residents of Bay City doing whatever one does in Bay City - I don't judge.  Anyway.  No great activity at the hub.

Orientation Island Public

Third and last of our automatically-provided library landmarks.  And this one is usually heaving with people, so I was genuinely surprised to see only eleven people there.  Still, between them they managed a quite impressive number of policy violations, so the place is still maintaining its standards.  (Mostly sexual references, some weapons, if you were interested.)


The railway station in Periwinkle was always the most minimal infohub around... So, that hasn't changed.  And I don't think it could have had a lower occupancy without actively throwing people out... and that hasn't changed either.  The trains are still running, at least, that's something.  Periwinkle!  Once you get here, you can go somewhere else.

Violet Welcome Area

The otherwise attractive Violet hub has a well-established subculture of its own, and this is still, apparently, flourishing.  In its way.  Took all of thirty seconds for the first burst of hate speech (I'm not going to repeat it) cropped up.  Also, more weapons violations.  Why have guns become so much more popular?  ... In this place, it's best not to speculate.

Warmouth Infohub - the Nerditorium

Like the Memory Bazaar, this was one of the hubs I actually liked, a bit - some creativity and thought had gone into its design; compare and contrast with the Adult "Safe" Hubs.  It is, of course, completely deserted.

All of this was pretty much what I expected.  People just don't restrict themselves to General content in any significant number, so the General hubs get little or no random traffic.  The ones that are populous are the three that are listed as landmarks in the library (Ahern, Help Island, Orientation Island), the ones with nearby major attractions (the sandbox at Mauve, the NCI campus at Kuula).... and, for some reason, the Violet hub has a well-established and enduring clique attached to it.
The one hub whose emptiness rather surprised me is the old Teen Grid hub at Lewis.  I was expecting residual interest and loyalty would keep more people hanging out on the former Teen Grid sims, and that this would spill over into the infohub... but, apparently, this is not the case.  Well, one of the arguments LL used for merging in the teens was that Teen Grid in itself was more or less moribund... it would seem they were right!

I will do the Adult sims, but I don't expect the policy change will have had any effect on them - they didn't appear in the Destination Guide anyway, to the best of my recollection.

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