Sunday, September 27, 2009

Interview with Zayn Till

Raglan Shire Magistrate: Zayn Till

"...a community based around tinies; a dynamic, creative, welcoming place that anyone could come and be a part of..."
I was very happy to see a post at New World Notes about Second Life's Great Undiscovered Personalities that mentioned Zayn Till - the person who originally brought Raglan Shire into existence, and who has nurtured and helped develop one of the most amazingly creative communities in Second Life. 

I wanted to interview him in response to the NWN post because he has had such a positive impact on so many lives, and helped artists and creators in the Raglan Shire community to build experiences and host events that have brought tears to eyes, become precious memories, and started life-changing friendships.

Me: What is the best thing about Raglan?

Zayn: I really love the community. I think it's the people who give raglan a lot of its personality. Raglan folks are so friendly, helpful, welcoming, and creative it makes for a really nice place to log into.

We're constantly doing different things all the time so there's a fun energy about the sims. There's always, art, games, group activities, classes, live music, gatherings of all types and wonderful themed extended events for people to enjoy. Everyone is encouraged to participate and add their ideas and be a part of it all. Plus it's not like it's in any way any type of official entity/business as nobody really takes any of it serious. It's a dedicated place with lots of silliness sprinkled in :)

Me: Why did you start Raglan Shire?

Zayn: Before the Raglan Shire community began, I had been running 5 or 6 private sims that I owned with the intent being to give people a safe place to rent land and realize their SL vision - whether it was a business or a virtual residence or wotnot. However during the time I was renting these sims out, I realized that there really wasn't anything for me to do other then play virtual apartment manager. There was no real creativity involved. I tried hard to do right by the tenants and thought I did a pretty good job but... it was a job and I wanted more silliness XD

At that point I was making the transition from normal biggie human Ken doll avatar to being a tiny bunny avatar. I love the tiny avatars... they're so cute and unassuming, everyone who sees em smiles, and I think they're a natural ice breaker. 15 years ago I was a tiny bunny avatar in the old worlds chat program so the first time I saw the Wynx tinies and saw the bunny av she makes, I was like OH HELL YEA! Wooot!

So by the time I was nearly completely transitioned to full time tiny, a friend of mine who knew Wynx and Nora from Extrovirtual mentioned to me that they were looking for a new home as the private sim they were on had some disruptive neighbors. We both thought it might super awesome to have Extrovirtual on one of my sims and then started talking to them about the idea of not just having them set up shop, but create a community based around tinies; a dynamic, creative, welcoming place that anyone could come and be a part of.

Raglan Shire had already been in existence but not for any other purpose then as a rental sim. We decided to use it for Extrovirtual and it was moved and connected to two other sims that would eventually become part of the Community Cluster. We built the tree city and mapped out the sim, contacted other tiny content creators about the grid, and in April of 2007 Raglan Shire was re-launched as a tiny themed community.

Since its inception its grown to become a 7 sim cluster with shops, residential areas, and lots and lots of public locales for people to explore and enjoy. we have a Sandbox for folks to build in which we call the SILICA CUBICLE and an enormous central area that we use on the Raglan Shire sim itself to stage our large monthly events - Medieval Festivals, Winterfests, Halloween months, Mardi Gras, Art walks, and everything and anything else we do or want to do.

Raglan is a place I always wanted in the real world but due to logistics could never actually realize. A place where people could interact, collaborate and be creative in a very friendly and encouraging environment.. I wouldn't mind living there myself :)

Me: What are your hopes for Raglan Shire in 2010?

Zayn: 2010? eeep, I can't even think past next week... ummm... I just hope that we can continue to do wot we've been doing and continue welcoming new folks as they visit and become part of our lil family. We love meeting new folks and having them add their personality to the tiny borg collective jhehe.

For more information about Raglan Shire visit Events are listed on the Raglan Calendar.

Interview by Misa Delight, September 2009 
In response to the NWN post Second Life Blogger Challenge: Help Me Profile These Great Undiscovered Personalities of Second Life!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Misa Delight said...

Dear Anonymous,
I appreciate you reading my blog post, and commenting, however the comment you left had some seriously critical remarks about an incident that occurred in SL. Without signing your name, or without having both sides of the story, I feel uncomfortable leaving your comment up. I don't want to censor, but I also don't want to host any anonymous comments that carry serious charges about a person's character.