Beam Me Up Linden
Although some bloggers loved Star Trek in Second Life, now its creators are saddened to announce that "Star Trek Museum to Close." The letter of complaint that explains the closure and rails against the economic model that discourages fan participation has a number of interesting features.
For a long time our house sales and donations have been inadequate to pay the huge Linden Labs bills. On top of that, Linden Labs has made it more difficult to attract people to the museum. We cannot be in the Showcase because we use copyrighted material. Our events, which brought hundreds of new visitors a week, and donations, have been disallowed, while yard sales, nude beaches, penis stores and fake contests are allowed to flourish) and it is especially difficult to sell homes with all the limitations and expense of advertising. Without visitor donations and house sales, it is impossible to pay the bills. I have hung on as long as possible to try to save the museum, all the hard work by the staff and volunteers, and all the homes. Besides the monetary cost of running this place, taking care of the museum, fixing and finding things, helping visitors and residents, advertising, bookkeeping, all require a huge amount of time and energy, and I cannot afford the expense or the many hours per day any longer. To be honest, I am really looking forward to having more time for my real life ;-) To all of you who have been helpful around the museum, supported the museum with your tiers and rents, and generous with donations, you know who you are and how appreciative I am. I sincerely thank you again. To others, my only advice is to donate to the places you love in SL, or they may disappear too, as so many have. With our home-world gone, Tsora and I will most likely be retiring to our little corner of the universe, the Vulcan colony in Eridani, and do look forward to your visits.
In some way it constitutes a classic virtual world "goodbye" that acknowledges the demands of the real world, gives credit to community and collaboration, and -- frequently -- places blame for the surrender to a corporate entity.
In this case it is interesting also to note the role that copyright played in the project's lack of viability, an issue that Henry Jenkins has written about frequently to describe the frustrations of fans who want to appropriate content for new platforms, uses, and audiences.